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Re: LF: Radio 4 Long Wave to close.... (soon?)

To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: LF: Radio 4 Long Wave to close.... (soon?)
From: Andy Talbot <[email protected]>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2011 15:25:34 +0000
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There seems to be an awful lot of invective about this, most seeming
to come from people living in other countries.

As a BBC licence payer who be prepared to pay even more to keep TV
channels and radio stations without suffering adverts< i'd ratehr thay
used the income sensibly to maintain VHF  - which contrary to some of
the comments seen here doe sprovide wide country coverage, (and as for
the car radio problem, don't they all have auto selection and retuning

R4 Longwave, in fact teh whole MF service, is awful quality, poor
frequency response and really only suited to what it is used for most
- local radio.

R4 on 198kHz however, is a designated frequency standard transmission,
although I'm pretty certain it is only Rubidium driven and correctes
against Caesium as necessary.  Wheich, I think, only makes it a
secondary time / freqeuncy standard.

BUT ..................    and here's a biggie that will probably keep
It carries a time / date / info code (25baud low index PSK)  that is
used to control some domestic electricity meters for tarrif switching.
  These days it would probably be cheaper for them to use cellphone
modules (even some streetlights are controlled this way now) but ther
eis a legacy base to maintain.

I doubt if the BBC really does have such a poor procurement policy as
your invective suggests.  They have been pushed into the 21st centuary
financial market same as everyone else, so when the crunch time comes
and the huge vac-FETs all die,  wouldn't be at all surprised if a cost
solution suddenly appeared.

And it is a huge site, try to get a look one day.


On 9 November 2011 14:43, Warren Ziegler <[email protected]> wrote:
> Hi John,
>      The point is that they are starting from a position of "Analog
> modulation is rubbish, and anything below 100MHz is total rubbish,
> what can we say to justify a preordained decision?"  Their religion is
> that only digital has value, what's more, many (most?) people get a
> digital service through a paid subscription model, either through an
> ISP or a cell phone provider. (I realize that there is digital over
> the air but that seems a small minority at least in this country.) I
> believe they (the BBC as well as others) would love to ween the public
> off of broadcast in the traditional sense and get the public to pay
> for the service through a digital provider, Currently the BBC gets its
> revenue through 'license fees', switching to a model that collects
> taxes on ISPs and cell providers would muddy the waters enough and
> people would think (wrongly) that eliminating the license fee was some
> kind of tax break when in fact the revenue stream would be lumped in
> with a general tax on data service providers.
>    Had the BBC started from a position of "Radio 4 is a valuable
> service, what can we do to maintain it at reasonable cost?" a
> different solution would be reached. They could alter their
> acquisition model to make it look more a commercial broadcaster, e.g.
> buy 2 off the shelf transmitters (1 as a spare), some additional spare
> parts and have a service/maintenance contract,probably for less than 1
> million GBP.
>    What hurts most is that they take the public for complete idiots
> and think that they will buy all the rubbish stories that they have
> invented. (We've forgotten how to make valves, faulty valves send a
> 'power wave' up the tower etc. etc.)
> That's my rant for today.
> --
> 73 Warren K2ORS
>                 WD2XGJ
>                 WD2XSH/23
>                 WE2XEB/2
>                 WE2XGR/1
> On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 7:48 AM, John Andrews <[email protected]> wrote:
>> Warren,
>>> "Building a new long-wave transmitter for Radio 4 would cost "many
>>> millions of pounds"
>>> Many millions ? I doubt that they sought a quote!
>> They may not have, but I'm not entirely surprised by that off-the-cuff
>> estimate. The Beeb would likely set up specifications requiring a custom
>> design. As has been pointed out, that design might include standard modules
>> from a manufacturer like Harris, but Auntie would set up specs that require
>> considerable engineering and testing expenses.
>> And it doesn't end there. There would be contracted costs for training at
>> the manufacturer's plant and on-site in the U.K. They would, of course, not
>> just be training one guy...
>> There's also the issue of spare parts. No tubes, obviously, but quantities
>> of boards, modules, big RF components and power supply stuff. Not cheap.
>> Little of this would apply to U.S. commercial broadcasters, but the BBC has
>> somewhat different procurement systems.
>> John, W1TAG

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