DW transmitter back on air

From Southgate ARC news:

Amateur radio based group rescues released broadcast frequency

When the ‘Deutsche Welle’ decided to close down one of their 500 KW short wave broadcast transmitters near Munich at the end of 2012, a group containing some German radio amateurs applied for and were allocated the then available short wave frequency of 6070 KHz in 2013.

This group now have an operational 10KW station on the frequency, using the driver stages from the old Deutsche Welle transmitter. The rest of the transmitter was built by and is run by Rainer DB8QC . The licence allow transmission 24/7 but at present most transmissions are on a weekend during daylight hours.

Content is mainly provided by existing Internet Radio stations wanting to get their material “on-the-air” this includes several soceities that remember the days of the Pirate Radio pop music stations in the North sea between England and Holland and a lot of their music content is from the 60’s and 70’s.

Additional content is being sought and at only 15 Euros an hour, this is not a corporate big business rather a facility where smaller groups can afford to buy time to transmit their content. One such group is the Deutsche Amateur Radio Club, the National Amateur Radio Soceity in Germany, who hope to have a weekly 2 hour slot on the station from mid-March to send a DX orientated program, probably from 6pm local time on Sundays.

The DARC DX magazine will be in the German language and targeted towards German speaking listeners. Amateur radio is an international medium however so there are thoughts of also producing an international / English hour in addition, to reach out across Europe not only to radio amateurs but also to short wave listeners and the general public.

When I talked with another Rainer DF2NU who is one of the group running the station and the president of the Munich South section of the DARC, he told me that they hope to be able to broadcast more often once sufficient content is available however they are already seeing other broadcasters such as Radio China moving onto the frequency in the evenings as those stations percieve 6070 KHz as a free frequency.

Rainer told me that currently “Channel 292″ has airtime bookings for 20-25 hrs a week, mostly on weekends at which times it runs at 10 kW output. When the station is idle (as there is no booking), the transmitter power is reduced to 1kW and transmits an infinite music-loop with no actual program. Late evenings, after 8pm local, the transmitter is switched off completely in order to save energy costs. Rainer stressed that the license is for 24/7 so they can use the frequency at any time when they have content.

With a current rate of EUR 15,– per hour airtime you cannot earn any money. This broadcast station is an extenion of the amateur radio hobby and the group seek to simply cover their costs.

Thinking back to the very start of amateur radio, Hams were allowed to transmit music, news and entertainment programs, so it’s nice to see some of this coming back onto the short wave bands thanks to the efforts of groups like this one.

I wonder as we see more and more broadcasters leaving the short wave bands in favour of Internet broadcasting, whether we’ll see more licences and surplus transmitters being picked up by amateur radio groups? This seems to be somewhat of a repeat of the situation when it was said 200 metres and up is useless for broadcasting – give it to the amateurs. We all know what then followed.

Perhaps amateur Radio groups around the world can put new life into released shortware broadcast frequencies?”

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I shall be looking for Channel 292 on 6070 and hope to report reception to them. A very exiting development in broadcasting.

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