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Old 21st Oct 2012, 8:46 pm   #1
Mach One
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Default Another Masts Quiery (Query): M1, near J19

This weekend I happened to take a trip up the M1 - my first in many years. Gone - of course, and unfortunately - are the masts that used to grace the side of the motorway which were the BBC SW station at Daventry, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that there is still a collection of transmitting masts around Rugby, I guess, just before Junction 19.

Is this what remains of Rugby, or is it something else, does anyone know? Is it still in use?
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Old 21st Oct 2012, 9:54 pm   #2
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Unhappy Re: Another Masts Quiery (Query): M1, near J19

Good evening
They are the masts from Rugby radio station. The larger 12 masts have long gone but the many smaller SW ones still remain. There is no aerial network connected to any of them and are all redundant along with some derelict feeders on poles scattered around the site. The main radio station (C building) has been stripped of all transmitting equipment and is a file storage facility for BT.
There are several plans and schemes to clear the site of masts and build houses and light industrial buildings along with the expansion of the Daventry rail freight centre as the radio station site and aerial fields are located directly on the A5 and the M6 and M1.

There are now no transmissions from either Daventry or Rugby radio stations

Christopher Capener
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Old 22nd Oct 2012, 8:57 am   #3
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Default Re: Another Masts Quiery (Query): M1, near J19

Thank you for that.

The last time that I passed that route both Daventry and Rugby were fully functioning. Now it's all almost gone.

Such a shame.
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Old 22nd Oct 2012, 9:26 am   #4
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Default Re: Another Masts Quiery (Query): M1, near J19

Oh, crumbs!

I believed that the signals for all those "Wireless Controlled" clocks and watches still came from Rugby.

I must try and keep up.
Where do they come from now?

MM
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Old 22nd Oct 2012, 10:31 am   #5
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Default Re: Another Masts Quiery (Query): M1, near J19

Anthorn in Cumbria, big submarine comms there too.

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Old 22nd Oct 2012, 11:11 am   #6
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Default Re: Another Masts Quiery (Query): M1, near J19

Many thanks MM for info.
Distance is no problem at such low frequencies so such a move is logical.
To display further ignorance, I wonder if there much communcation world wide at LF these days without Morse's Code?

MM
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Old 22nd Oct 2012, 12:13 pm   #7
Martin G7MRV
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Default Re: Another Masts Quiery (Query): M1, near J19

Plenty of LF, VLF and ELF comms still about, mostly in the form of FSK modes these days, but some remains as QRS 'morse', used in 'bellringer' applications - ie to alert the radio operator that they need to switch to a higher frequency, higher capacity link for the actual message. Incidentally, the Grimeton Alexanderson Alternator is due a run on 17kHz in the next few days, thats in Morse, and very easy to receive if you have a long wire antenna and a PC soundcard with spectrum analysis software (i use Spectrum lab). Its quite fascinating to set up to watch the waterfall display between a few khz and say 20khz. Text of email about the transmission below -



EXTRA GRIMETON RADIO/SAQ TRANSMISSION


There will be a transmission with the Alexanderson alternator on 17.2 kHz on "United Nations Day" October 24, 2012 at 10:30 UTC.

Start up and tuning from about 10:00 UTC.

We do not require any QSL-reports this time and will not verify.

Regards.

SM6NM/Lars

P.S. We still intend to continue with our annual transmissions on Christmas Eve (morning), Dec 24, at 08:00 UTC with tuning up from 07:30 UTC. D.S.


Incidentally, Daventry is now a storage and repair facility for Arqiva.
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Last edited by Martin G7MRV; 22nd Oct 2012 at 12:18 pm. Reason: my text in middle of Lars' text
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Old 22nd Oct 2012, 12:22 pm   #8
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Default Re: Another Masts Quiery (Query): M1, near J19

Another quick note, LF is defined as 30 - 300kHz, MF 300 - 3000khz etc etc, so in terms of LF, yes, lots of morse still to be had - aero navigation beacons (NDBs) can be found between about 260khz - 450kHz. For example my local airfield (Sherburn) can be found on 323kHz in MGM AM (machine generated morse, essentially AM FSK) callsign SBL.
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Old 22nd Oct 2012, 6:16 pm   #9
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Default Re: Another Masts Quiery (Query): M1, near J19

There will be a transmission with the Alexanderson alternator on 17.2 kHz on "United Nations Day" October 24, 2012 at 10:30 UTC.

Start up and tuning from about 10:00 UTC.

Hello Martin, I can't see me being ready to receive for the 24th but for later, have you links to or thoughts about how to receive these signals. Short of building a full VLF receiver. Cliff.
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Old 22nd Oct 2012, 7:26 pm   #10
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Default Re: Another Masts Quiery (Query): M1, near J19

Hum ! best I learn to read before engaging key board. Cliff.
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Old 22nd Oct 2012, 7:52 pm   #11
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Default Re: Another Masts Quiery (Query): M1, near J19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gi4CZW Cliff View Post
Hum ! best I learn to read before engaging key board. Cliff.
Happens to us all!

My setup is very simple, a long wire antenna, which feeds a simple interface consisting of a pair of back to back diodes (1N4148) across the antenna to ground, then a 10nF blocking cap, and a 3.5mm jack plug into my PC soundcard. I then use DL4YHFs Spectrum Lab software to display a waterfall plot of the frequencies. The software can be found here http://www.qsl.net/dl4yhf/spectra1.html

Thats just reminded me - I need to add this software to my new laptop.

Essentially, all you need is a PC with a soundcard, some suitable software, and an antenna! Its worth setting up the day before, there are signals there to see before SAQ comes on
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Old 23rd Oct 2012, 8:21 pm   #12
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Default Re: Another Masts Quiery (Query): M1, near J19

Thanks to all for useful information and I'm tempted to try and receive the Christmas Eve. transmissions using a long wire etc.

MM
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Old 23rd Oct 2012, 8:25 pm   #13
Martin G7MRV
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Default Re: Another Masts Quiery (Query): M1, near J19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro Maker View Post
Thanks to all for useful information and I'm tempted to try and receive the Christmas Eve. transmissions using a long wire etc.

MM
A 100nF cap in series with the center pin of a 3.5mm jack, and either a neon, or a pair of back to back diodes across to ground, plus say 20m of wire run out, and you stand a chance using one of the spectrum analyser or VLF receiver programs. If you're about in the morning around 10:00 why not give it a try?
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