Shortwave

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6ft3Aussie
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Re: Shortwave

Post by 6ft3Aussie »

geron wrote: Wed Nov 15, 2023 11:25 pm The Beeb is unlikely to reprieve 200 kHz because the electricity bill for all those kilowatts is simply enormous, the supply of spare valves (tubes) is very low, and it doesn't want to buy a new solid-state transmitter to continue the service.

It's likely that the main reason the LW service has lasted a long as it has is that it also carries a data signal for certain electricity consumers around the UK -- it can switch their electricity meters over to off-peak tariffs at certain times of day.
As for the long wave 198 kHz carrying a data signal to control smart meters, that's interesting. Here, down under, I think devices like that are controlled and remotely read via one of the mobile phone networks.

The French are using the long wave transmitter on 162 kHz that used to carry one of their radio programs to control clocks and provide an extremely precise time service. They turned the transmitter off maybe 10 years ago and it caused widespread havoc to many services...
If you listen to the French 162 kHz using one of the online SDR receivers you can hear the QPSK data on the 162 kHz carrier.

As far as shortwave is concerned, here in Australia in I think it was 2018 the ABC switched off their domestic 120m band and 60m band services that serve the majority of central Australia, they said that "oh well why don't you stream the service on your mobile phone or use the domestic TV satellite service which carries a stream on one of their muxes".... That's all well and good until you're in remote places where you might be 300km from the nearest mobile phone cell site, and using a satellite dish and receiver doesn't work so well when you're mobile... Now there are vast areas in Australia where there is no domestic services receivable. I have spent time in remote places, in some cases more than 600km by road from the nearest towns, your only means of communication out there is HF radio or Iridium satellite phone.
pelmut
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Re: Shortwave

Post by pelmut »

6ft3Aussie wrote: Thu Nov 16, 2023 10:02 am [...] your only means of communication out there is HF radio or Iridium satellite phone.
What happens if someone blows up a satellite in geosynchronous orbit? The debris will spread out and sooner or later hit another satellite, creating even more debris. This could lead to a chain reaction until the entire geosynchronous shell is too risky for any communications satellites to use.

I'm sure someone has done the maths and worked out from the laws of the probability the level of satellite density at which this become likely.
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rode_kater
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Re: Shortwave

Post by rode_kater »

6ft3Aussie wrote: Thu Nov 16, 2023 10:02 am As for the long wave 198 kHz carrying a data signal to control smart meters, that's interesting. Here, down under, I think devices like that are controlled and remotely read via one of the mobile phone networks.
This is the normal practice. The SIM is configured with a different APN and it basically connects to the same towers but ends up being sent to completely different servers. In general they connect to to the old 3G towers that are long since bought and paid for, while consumer devices go to the snazzy new stuff. AIUI in bulk you can get SIMs for like €5 each for lifetime usage at 64Kb/s data rate, intermittent usage, which is perfect for stuff like cars and smart meters.

Most of the other proprietary frequencies are all from before mobile network data became ubiquitous and the 3G modems became cheap (a few dollars each).
pelmut wrote: Thu Nov 16, 2023 1:24 pm I'm sure someone has done the maths and worked out from the laws of the probability the level of satellite density at which this become likely.
It's called Kessler syndrome and the issue is not geosynchronous orbit which is basically huge. Low Earth Orbit is where most satellites are and where the highest risk is. One of the reasons most of those satellites are so low is because they will eventually fall down due to atmospheric drag. So any accidents will eventually resolve themselves (though not necessarily in your lifetime).

The higher orbits are much more tightly regulated because accidents there will never clear themselves up.
Pleats
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Re: Shortwave

Post by Pleats »

The transmitters used on the long wave systems are very old. They run high power and consume a lot of electricity. Power levels as high as 500 kilowatts. I heard the reason one of the long wave transmitters was going off the air is because they don't have a source for the high power amplifier tubes. Long out of production. Once the tubes in service go bad that is it. No spares.

The cost to design and build new transmitters is probably more than the station is worth.

Similar issue to AM radio stations here in the USA. When the antennas were constructed the land was out in the country. The city grew around the antenna site. Now the property is worth more than the station. The owners sell the land. They have four choices: 1.) move the station to FM if any frequencies are available, 2.) simulcast their AM transmitter with another and share the same antenna site, 3.) move to internet streaming service, or 4.) just go dark and walk away. Sad state of affairs but it is the reality of today.

To make matters worst younger people don't appear to listen to AM at all. Add to this the increasing number of listeners that are using internet or satellite streaming services. Digital services are rapidly taking over. Leaving analog to fade into history.
geron
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Re: Shortwave

Post by geron »

Pleats wrote: Thu Nov 16, 2023 8:06 pm ...To make matters worst younger people don't appear to listen to AM at all. Add to this the increasing number of listeners that are using internet or satellite streaming services. Digital services are rapidly taking over. Leaving analog to fade into history.
In the UK, it's VHF/FM that's probably next for the chop, although our government is giving another ten years. The terrestrial digital network (DAB and DAB+) gives better mobile reception because it doesn't (unlike FM) suffer from multi-path distortion. Norway, with its mountainous terrain, has already closed its FM networks for that reason.
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greenboots
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Re: Shortwave

Post by greenboots »

It's likely that the main reason the LW service has lasted a long as it has is that it also carries a data signal for certain electricity consumers around the UK -- it can switch their electricity meters over to off-peak tariffs at certain times of day.
We had notification last year that the meter switching signal would be turned off in March 2023. I don’t know if it happened. We got smart meters installed, which use 3G (I think) for switching. Then I realised it was costing us £100 more per year for dual rate, because we didn’t have enough nighttime usage. We are now single rate, so no need to worry.
geron
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Re: Shortwave

Post by geron »

greenboots wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 10:28 pm We had notification last year that the meter switching signal would be turned off in March 2023. I don’t know if it happened. We got smart meters installed, which use 3G (I think) for switching. Then I realised it was costing us £100 more per year for dual rate, because we didn’t have enough nighttime usage. We are now single rate, so no need to worry.
I hope yours isn't 3G, because that too is due to be closed down in the not-too-distant future:
https://www.mobileuk.org/2g-3g-switch-o ... 20services.
And not only in the UK.
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SkirtsDad
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Re: Shortwave

Post by SkirtsDad »

greenboots wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 10:28 pm
It's likely that the main reason the LW service has lasted a long as it has is that it also carries a data signal for certain electricity consumers around the UK -- it can switch their electricity meters over to off-peak tariffs at certain times of day.
We had notification last year that the meter switching signal would be turned off in March 2023. I don’t know if it happened. We got smart meters installed, which use 3G (I think) for switching. Then I realised it was costing us £100 more per year for dual rate, because we didn’t have enough nighttime usage. We are now single rate, so no need to worry.
Earlier this year my father was due to have a new meter installed, for the same reason. The installation date coincided with his hospital appointment so he phoned them up to reschedule the meter installation and was told not to worry because the switch off had been postponed until next year. He hasn't bothered booking a new date yet.

Btw, he is licenced G0, having first got his G8 in the 80s, as did I. He runs a small CW net every week.
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phathack
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Re: Shortwave

Post by phathack »

geron wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 11:05 pm I hope yours isn't 3G, because that too is due to be closed down in the not-too-distant future:
3G is turned off in the USA last year.
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Uncle Al
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Re: Shortwave

Post by Uncle Al »

phathack wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2023 2:58 am
geron wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 11:05 pm I hope yours isn't 3G, because that too is due to be closed down in the not-too-distant future:
3G is turned off in the USA last year.
4G is scheduled to be terminated in a year or so, so I'm told :|
At least my phone will operate on either 4 or 5 "G" so I won't
have to upgrade my phone for a couple of years :D

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