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or £19.95 for the  276 page book
 
 
 
Full details telling you what you need, how to assemble everything, how much should you pay and how to launch your own online radio station..
 
Where do you get the bandwidth on which to broadcast, how to decide what  system should you use and how do you promote your radio station?
 
To get this information on a seminar or course would cost about $1,500. You can download it today, onto your tablet, computer or phone and read all 77,000 words straight away. 
 
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Long Wave broadcasting is carried out by stations operating between 153 and 279 KiloHertz,  i.e. wavelengths that are greater than 1,000 Metres.
 
These wavelengths travel very long distances and generally use much higher power than medium wave, or FM and DAB. Typical power levels are 500 kilowatts, though some stations transmit with up to 2 megawatts (two million watts).  Coverage 'per kilowatt' is much better on Long Wave than a similar powered transitter on the medium wave band, so it is favoured for wide area coverage.
 
The band is mainly used in Europe, the ITU's region 1, although not exclusively. Many Middle East and North African countries use the band, or have unexploited allocations.
 
It's often said to be an obsolete band, but this is not true as. Not only do millions listen to Long Wave stations every day, but there are plans to increase the number of Long Wave Radio stations.

Future of Long Wave

The question is often asked whether there would be an audence for a new Long Wave radio station covering the UK today?
 
First, its certain that there COULD be an audience as there are still well over 60 million long wave radios still in use - rather more than there are DAB radios. Long Wave signals can pervade every part of the UK with just a few blackspots in city centres where the interference levels (the noise floor) spoil reception. 
 
The big question is surely: "is there likely to be an appetite from listeners for a new radio service that cannot be had elsewhere?" We would answer with another question: "Can a radio station produce a programme format that will attract listeners?"
 
Radio stations have proved many times in the past, that when it comes to radio, CONTENT is always KING.

Long Wave

radio s

tations

'

 

output

p

ower

The total electrical LOAD of an AM transmitter will be much more than the often used term 'carrier power' of the transmitter.  Around 2.2 times more energy is needed if the transmitter is capable of moduating to 100%, as modern units are.
 
The cost of electricity varies around the world, from 2 pence per kilowatt hour up to 27p, however the average is of the order of 10p per Kilowatt-hour.  Multiplying this by the total load will give you an hourly cost for the energy.
 
Additionally, any operator must factor in the cost of maintenance, licence fees, and the programming costs such as presenters and music copyright.
 
A debate on the RNI Forum into cost of  Long Wave transmission began after RTE, the state broadcaster in Ireland, announced that it would close down 252 KHz at the end of 2015.  The 252 LW transmitter carries RTE Radio 1, which  is partially replicated on FM and DAB in Eire.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Long wave radio DJ Charlie Wolf
Long Wave Transmitter station building in Sweden
 
The original Atlantic 252 transmitter was a pair of 300 Kilowatt units made by Continental of Dallas, feeding a single triangular tower over 800 feet tall.  The transmitter was replaced in 2007 by a single 300 Kilowatt TRAM unit from Telefunken, their sister company in Berlin. It's capable of DRM mode, but this is not used at the moment.
 
The station was set up by CLT, the owner of Radio Luxembourg, and RTE, the state broadcaster in Ireland, in the late 1980s after radio entrepreneur Chris Cary set up an unlicensed station to exploit the unused Irish Long Wave allocation.
 
Even using low power his experiment was widely heard and the Irish Government decided to thwart his initiative by leasing the frequency to CLT, to bring the frequency into use. Their original Radio Tara project became Atlantic 252, launching in 1989. Its target audience was the entire British Isles, with a good signal across the UK, except in a few city centres. Atlantic 252 attracted an audience of over 4 million at its peak, but format alterations lost most of that. Improvements to FM reception and many new stations in the UK eroded Atlantic's competitive edge and audience ratings.
 
The facility was bought in 2002 by Team Talk for a sports news station with studios in Leeds. It spent £9.5 million on the launch and in its first quarter had an audience  of around half a million. TeamTalk 252 closed when its owners sold it to another buyer, the online gambling operator, UKBetting.com
 
They were more interested in the other assets than radio. TeamTalk closed down on 31st July 2002 since when they have relayed Ireland's RTE 1.
252 Long Wave also has up to half a million listeners in the Irish diaspora in the UK who rely on the station for a link to home. The transmitter was upgraded to new equipment in 2007, but like most other state broadcasters they don't have much responsibility when it comes to spending taxpayers' money! 
 
Swedish station at Motala,
now only rarely on the air.

LONG WAVE STATIONS

(Bold indicates those still transmitting in  Dec 2016)
 
Freq NameTransmitter SitePower (Watts)
153Alger Chaine 1Bechar2000
153Romania ActualitataBrasov Bod1200
153DeutschlandfunkDonebach500
153R YunostTaldom300
153NRK EuropakanalenIngoy100
162France InterAllouis2000
162TRT-4Agri1000
162GRTK Taymyr / R RossiiNorilsk150
162Uzbek Radio 1Tashkent150
164Mongolyn RadioKhonkhor500
171R Mediterranee Int'lNador2000
171R Chechnya  Tbilisskaya1200
171R RossiiBolshakovo600
171GRTK Tomsk / R RossiiOyash250
171NVK Sakha / R RossiiYakutsk150
177Deutschlandradio KulturZehlendorf500
180TRT-4Polatli1200
180Chitinskaya GRTK / R MayakChita150
180GTRK  R RossiiPetropavlovsk150
183Europe 1   Felsberg2000
189GRTK Amur / R RossiiBelogorsk1200
189RikisutvarpidGufuskalar300
189R RossiiBlagoveshchensk150
189Gruzinsloye RTbilisi100
189Sveriges RMotala20
198Alger Chaine 1Ouargla2000
198BBC Radio 4Droitwich500
198R MayakAngarsk250
198Polskie R 1Raszyn200
198R MayakKurovskaya150
198R MayakOlgino75000
198BBC Radio 4Droitwich 400
198 BBC Radio4 Westerglen50
198BBC Radio 4Burghead50
207DeutschlandfunkAholming500
207RTM AAzilal400
207R MayakTynda150
207Ukrainske Radio 1Kyiv125
207Iceland RikisutvarpidEidar100
209Mongolyn RadioDalanzadgad75
209Mongolyn RadioChoibalsan75
209Mongolyn RadioUlgii30
216R Monte CarloRoumoules2,000
216Azerbaijani Radio 1Gyandza500
216R RossiiBirobidzhan150
216Tsentr Rossii / GRTK  Krasnoyarsk150
225Polskie Radio P1Solec Kujawski1200
225Khanty GRTK YugoriyaSurgut1000
225TRT-GAP / TRT-4Van600
227Mongolyn RadioAltai75
234RTLBeidweiler2000
234GRTK Magadan / R RossiiArman1000
234Radio 1Gavar500
234Irkutskaya GRTK / R RossiiAngarsk250
243Primorskoe R / R RossiiRazdolnoe500
243TRT Erzurum R / TRT-4Erzurum200
243  DR  danmarks Radio   Kalundborg  50
252Alger Chaine 1 & 3Tipaza1500
252RTE Radio 1Clarkstown100
252R RossiiKazan150
252  Algeria (2 trasnmitters)    1,500
252Tajik RadioDushanbe150
261R RossiiTaldom2500
261R Rossii / Chitinskaya GRTKChi   150
261R HorizontVakarel60
270Cesky rozhlas 1Topolna650
270R Slovo / GRTKNovosibirsk150
279GRTK Sakhalin / R Rossii1000
279Belaruskaye Radio 1Sasnovy500
279GRTK / R RossiiUlan-Ude150
279GRTK / R RossiiYekaterinburg150
279Turkmen Radio 1Asgabat150
279GRTK Altay / R RossiiGorno-Altaysk50
Atlantic 252 Long Wave radio studio
Long Wave
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
RTL's 2MW LW transmitter on 236 kHz
 
Cost of Long Wave transmission
 
It's reported recently that the cost of operating a Long Wave Transmitter is about £1800 a day. The estimate is certainly in the right ball park and it's a pretty straight forward calculation: You need to  take the carrier power, add in the modulating power, add in whatever the cooling cost and control circuitry is for the unit (and if its installed properly it will have huge air conditioning plant to keep it cool, and the air around it pure and dry.)

Long Wave

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Long Wave DJ Robin Banks

LONG WAVE PIRATES?

Since some major Long Wave broadcasters switched off their transmitters in Europe, several hobbyists have started using the now almost empty frequencies. At least three stations calling themselves Radio Luxembourg have been heard in 2017, mostly on 261 kHz.  Being a very quiet channel, transmissions on this frequency often travel up to 800 miles even though they probably use very inefficient aerials and are just a few hundred watts in strength.
The station was to be located at the former Butlins Holiday Camp, now called Mosney Holiday Centre, on the coast of County Louth. The planned frequency was 254khz, a channel originally allocated to Ireland, however its assignee, the RTE. had no plans for Long Wave.
 
The Irish Government promised swift action to close the station if Mr Cary carried out the plan. The equipment was already in place and aerial erection was to start after the weekend.   A local Air Force base was informed that a pair of tall masts would be erected. The threat of Government action spooked the owner of the land, Phelim McCloskey. He pulled the plug on his involvement and  ordered Chris to remove the transmitters and mast sections.
 
A fifteen kilowatt longwave transmitter did start a few days of test transmissions in January 1886.  The station identified as Radio Exidy and for a few hours as Radio Nova.  The last time the station was heard was on 254 kHwz LW was on February 2nd.
 
The name Radio Exidy had been used previously by Radio Nova to test a spare transmitter on 738khz AM. A five hour show was hosted by Tony Allen but  the frequency then returned to broadcasting Radio Nova.
 
 

EXIDY - 

Ireland's first

 

Long Wave Pirate

Chris Cary Radio Exidy 254 LW
Long Wve bar and cafe
Mary Ellen, Atlantic 252 DJ
Radio Exidy was one of Chris Cary's more audacious plans. in the 1980s he planned to launch a longwave station with programmes aimed at Britain.
 

Where better to listen to Long Wave ?

A comprehensive guide to the RTL2832U RTL-SDR software defined radio by the authors of the RTL-SDR Blog. The RTL-SDR is a super cheap software defined radio based on DVB-T TV dongles that can be found for under $20.
 
This book is crammed full fo tutorials and tips that show you how to get the most out of your RTL-SDR dongle. Most projects described in this book are also compatible with other wideband SDRs such as the HackRF, Airspy and SDRPlay RSP.
 
The book is available now, as a print copy or as a Kindle - see here for details.
 
Guide to RTL-SDR book