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I was in Cardiff for a week! and to keep in touch with my irish news addiction i tuned to 252LW RTE. Usually for the 6am or 6.30 news….  just to see if Enda Kenny staged a Coup or if that guy from Westlife was made President yet. (Bono can wait)

I used a trusty FM~LW Phillips transistor that I bought in error (no MW) once when I went over to a Leeds Utd. game in Elland Road. Anyway the signal in the Hotel (Cardiff) was poor and made me wonder if RTE LW was on low power. When I moved location 45KM west (toward Ireland) the night time signal was worse 50/50 with a french LW service and basically unlistenable (only a trained radio ear would bother to sample out the French and sample in the Irish in the ear/brain).

Next morning the RTE 252LW was 50% clearer than the Cardiff location and suggested that location location and atmosphere may have more to do with it than poor output signal.

Its really good that Irish people abroad can hear RTE beyond the reach of 567khz or the need to be hooked to a 80CM dish. The two great shames associated with this are

1. RTE should never have given RTL any stake in 252LW. & then TalkSport wouldn’t have had it.

2. RTE should be FTA in the UK for radio & TV output, there is a need. oh and a law from the Irish house of Parliament that says RTE should be International in its reach. (see RTE2FTA.com for more details)

the thing is RTE was never much of a international broadcaster but now they are on SW LW MW internet and WRN & DVB sat for Radio. They weren’t so international in 1976 when this stamp was issued to commemorate their 50th.

but the LW just touches London (for experts) the SW is a couple of hours a week, the WRN is no more than 10hrs a week and the internet well its not truly mobile until 2.5/3G prices fall below broadband cost. What we need is a world service approach. Starting small, Ireland has stories to tell the world and needs a platform and a network it can control so our country can continue to punch above its weight in many areas like music food sport dance culture books and talk. Technically a FTA RTE International TV service on 28E 13E and 30W would be a start. LW or SW DRM from Ireland to the European continent would be welcomed as we revolutionise digital radio (rather than wait for RTL DW & BBC to set standards) and an academy of Radio would feed this world service with talent for decades to come.

my 2 cent. Long Wave Home.

Categorized as radio