martedì 1 gennaio 2019

About mediumwave 621 and 1008 khz closures

It seems that both RTBF mediumwave transmitters, 621 and 1125 kHz, have been turned off between 1930 and 2000 UT, maybe a bit later. That final Wavre sign-off was a bad joke, because it was the same stuff than always, with the announcement that transmissions will resume at 6 AM. Not really a surprise, however; I was told that they made in 2010 quite a mess of the closure of analogue TV. Or just look at the mess the "RTBF International" brand became when they turned off shortwave and Hotbird.

Over to 1008 kHz... excitement raises after in pauses a 2 kHz het from a carrier on 1010 kHz is pretty obvious... the final song, for a final time the "ouch, level meter sticks" view from 2 dB of residual dynamics on this horribly overprocessed modulation... and... blew, just the program input switches to a "retune" loop. At least this time it is not such a brainwashing stuff than 15 years ago when NOS left this very frequency. So it remains to be seen when the transmitter will be really turned off.

(Kai Ludwig via WOR io group)

From the audio recording I made using the U. Twente SDR receiver, it appears that the 621 kHz transmitter was switched off at about 19:38 UTC. There is a noticeable change in the audio level of the other stations on that frequency at that time. And, although RTBF International continues to exist in principle, they didn't bother to update their online program grid for the past couple of years. I'll archive the last hour of 621 kHz, which was a program in a series about Charles Aznavour, a recipient of the Order of Canada amongst other awards and who died earlier this year, soon. There was actually an international flavour to this last program as it was co-produced by Radio Francophone Publique, La RTBF, Radio Suisse Romande, Radio France, and Radio-Canada. (Richard Langley)