Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Transmitter Search & Find

As part of a video documentary I am making about the big changes to international broadcasting, I put out a call on Saturday to see if anyone has tabulated all the geocoordinates for the main transmitter sites around the world. Of course, they have. Sign-up to the http://shortwavesites.googlepages.com where Ian Baxter and friends have made two extensive Excel sheets which tells the story of shortwave's hayday and slow decline. It's a brilliant piece of work, combining data that's been sitting around in the WRTH for years and some original detective work. There are also lists out on the Interwebs for very low frequency stations (like the time signal stations that drive radio watches) and special sites devoted to transmission centres in the UK

There are places like the Radio Liberty site at Playa de Pals (Girona) in Spain which now have little trace of their past, but others like VOA Delano in Calfornia ( 35°45'17.12"N 119°16'45.54"W), VOA Hawaii ( 21°25'35.83"N, 158° 9'34.29"W ) or Flevoland here in the Netherlands which still look like a transmitter site. (Of course the photos on Google Earth are not necessarily taken yesterday, so just because its on Google Earth doesn't mean it is still there. Some are so famous, you don't need any numbers. Just type Wertachtal into Google Earth it takes you to the front door of the huge HF transmitter site, built for Deutsche Welle but now, ironically, no longer used by them.
And there's a fascinating Cold War story behind the VTC Orfordness site (where BBC 648 and 1296 kHz originate) still shows the fan shape of the
old over the horizon radar station from the 1970's.

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