Monday, January 13, 2014

Russia: End of an era for long-wave listeners

Russia has quietly switched off nearly all of its long-wave transmitters, ending almost nine decades of broadcasting - as cost finally catches up on the medium.

At 1am on 9 January, state-run Radio Rossii wound up its broadcast as usual with the national anthem. There was no mention that long-wave transmissions were coming to an end, and the following day listeners found they had to rely on local FM broadcasts and the internet to hear the station. The only state radio station with truly national coverage, Radio Rossii can be compared to BBC Radio 4 with its mix of news, drama and educational programmes.

Long-wave suited Russian broadcasters because a single transmitter could reach a wide area at all times of day and night. But they are expensive, and as most listeners have begun listening on FM, or through cable, satellite and the internet, the authorities decided to bring the service to an end..

Long-wave radio played a role in the Cold War, with the United States building a powerful transmitter near Munich and broadcasting its Russian service on the same frequency as Moscow's programmes. Listeners in parts of the Soviet Union found state radio drowned out by the Voice of America - the US equivalent of the BBC World Service.

A modern radio receiver, tuned to Moscow's 171kHz frequency

Long-wave radio broadcasting has become a victim of technology and finance
Now only one LW transmitter remains in the country, broadcasting Radio Kavkaz to the North Caucasus region on a limited schedule.

The BBC says that although it is planning to end its use of long-wave radio at some time in the future, there is no specific date for the closure of its Radio 4 transmissions on 198 kHz, much loved by listeners of the shipping forecast and Test Match Special.


  1. congratulations for your very informative blog. I read it over a year now and this is the first time iam posting a comment. Its very sad what happens worldwide with LW/MW/SW BCB stations. It is like a virus desease without treatment and you dont know who is going to die next.... like ERT and others....

    HELP!!! 10 Email Addresses For Reception Reports needed

    I had logged/recorded about 159 SW reports (from various ITUs and bands) during summer months and iam in the process of sending reception reports to the stations via email. From the 159 loggings, i had 10 cases where i wasn't able to find any email address to send my reception report. Below is the list of the 10 reports that i dont have the station's email address:

    Freq,ITU,Station,TX Site

    17880,OMA,BBC British Broadcasting Corporation,Al Seela
    17790,SNG,BBC British Broadcasting Corporation,Kranji
    11510,BUL,Denge Kurdistani,Kostinbrod(Sofia)
    11510,MDA,Denge Kurdistani,Kishinev-Grigoriopol
    15280,AUT,FEBA Radio (Voice of Forgivenes),Moosbrunn
    11980,UKR,Radio Dniprovska Hvylya,Zaporizhia
    13860,D,Radio Farda,Lampertheim
    21505,ARS,Radio Riyadh,Riyadh
    11935,MRA,VOA Voice of America,Tinian Island
    12015,KRE,Voice of Korea (KCBS),Kujang

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!


    George Vastianos SV8GXC

    1. Dear George,
      Thanks for the nice comment. As to my knowledge Radio Dniprovska Hvylya, Denge Kurdistani and Radio Riyadh do not verify reception reports.

      The address of Voice of Korea is:

      The Voice of Korea
      Democratic People's Republic of Korea

      You may also write " via Beijing, People's Republic of China. " on the envelope after the address of the station.

      FEBA Radio:
      Radio Farda:,
      Voice of America:,

      BBC Far East Relay Station in Kranji, Singapore:

      BBC Far Eastern Relay Station
      c/o Operations Manager, Mr.Yong Wui Pin
      51, Turut Track,
      718930 Kranji, Singapore

      BBC Eastern Relay Station
      PO Box 40
      Alashkarah 422


  2. thanks for your quick reply. it seems that in most of the cases .. snail mail is the only option

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