Thursday 31 December 2015

The lights go out over parts of Europe tonight…

…Or rather the audio, as medium wave (mw) bids adieu to the Radio France channels (Bleu, Info, Inter etc.) and Deutschlandfunk.

Luxy, good old Radio Luxembourg 208, or these days 1440kHz on mw. The transmitter at Marnach closes as this year ends. A special broadcast of the last Radio Luxembourg show -from the early 1990s- was aired again last night (0000 UTC 30 December). It was great to hear the Ovalteenies advert, a history of the proud old broadcaster that commenced its English programming back in the 1930s, rock and pop from the 1970s- which was when I used to listen under the bedclothes just like every other early radio-fan-soon-to-become- DXer!.

I even enjoyed China Radio International, also  on 1440kHz, making the most of its pop and rock music show on their German language service. I normally avoid the ubiquitous CRI but there was a novelty factor late last night.

I’ve been making the most of France Inter from Lille throughout the month and Deutschlandfunk too; an “as live” concert of US blues singer Carolyn Wonderland over Christmas was great.

With certain frequencies devoid of French and German from tomorrow, it will be a chance to see what we can hear instead- maybe signals from eastern Europe and north Africa from stations using those frequencies will be heard instead, and we can usher in a new age of exciting mw DXing. (See Herman Boel's European and North African MW Guide for details- it's not being updated from now on but much of the info will be relevant for a few more months at least).

I certainly liked Kossuth Radio from Salt in Hungary on 540kHz earlier this month when it was booming in with news and sport and an enchanting children’s programme- the strongest signal from the Hungarian station that I’ve ever heard. That’s a good sign.

So, thanks to DLF and Radio France, and welcome to new mw DX adventures!

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