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Tag: Ireland

QSL Malin Head Radio 518 kHz

A fully detailed QSL letter from Malin Head Radio 518 kHz. Watch officer Mc Dermott was so kind to confirm my report within minutes. I sent my report to: . Its my second QSL from Malin Head Radio. The first one was from 31 years ago for a USB transmission on 2182/1677 kHz.

QSL Malin Head Coast Guard Radio
fully detailed e-QSL letter from Malin Head Radio on 518 kHz

Malin Head Coast Guard Radio has a nice facebook page posting their current activities. But I also found a “facebook legacy site” with some interesting information:

The station was opened in 1902 by the Marconi Marine Company on behalf of Lloyds. Located at the northernmost tip of Ireland, this station was ideally positioned to communicate with shipping coming across the Atlantic or from northern waters. But already in 1805 Lloyds had a signal station on this location.

Mailn Head Radio at the opening in 1902. The old signal tower on the right.

In 1988 the morse code services from Malin Head on 500 and 421 kHz were discontinued. That turned out to be a bit early. There was one instance where the station’s 500kHz automatic alarm receiver, which remained on watch, was activated by the signals of a sinking ship far out in the Atlantic. Malin Head Radio was the only station able to copy the weak signals from the ship’s lifeboat. With the station’s transmitters dismantled, return transmissions had to be made by her sister station Valentia Radio – not the most ideal means of conducting a distress situation.

Thanks to the team of Malin Head Radio for issuing QSL to us DX folks. And once again I learned something just by listening to the radio!

RTE ends long wave service 252 kHz

Next Friday RTE (Raidió Teilifís Éireann) from Ireland will end their long wave service on 252 kHz. Operation on 252 kHz started in 1989 when a joint venture of RTE and RTL started as Atlantic 252. With its powerful transmitter it easily covered Ireland and the UK. The BBC and Independent Local Radio complained about the station as they considered it a “commercial pirate”.

Initially the station was on air between 6 am and 7 pm, as listeners were encouraged to tune to Radio Luxembourg in the evening hours. Radio Luxembourg was the station that – following the demise of the North Sea pirate stations – you listened to for the latest popmusic. From 1991 Atlantic 252 it was on the air 24 hours a day, making it an easier catch for DX-ers around the world.

Popularity of the station reached a peak in the mid 90-ies. But commercial radio on FM, with better sound quality, gained popularity in the UK. From over 6 million listeners the audience declined to less than 1 million in 1999, and in 2001 the station went off the air. For a few months in 2002 Teamtalk 252 was aired via this frequency, after that RTE used the transmitter for RTE 1 programmes directed to the Irish expat community.

Below you can see my QSL from 1989, a few months after the start of Atlantic 252. It’s a pity that following the closure of the Beidweiler station of JV partner RTL another LW station bites the dust. On the other hand, given the costs and pressure to save on the huge energy consumption of such transmitters, it is understandable.

Information Letter Atlantic 252
QSL folder (1989) for Atlantic 252, Ireland

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