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Old 27th Oct 2023, 7:09 pm   #1
Globalgrid
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Default Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

Urban exploration video of old broadcast centre with a BBC Klystron.

This Broadcast centre controlled transmissions of television and radio signals to a central part of Europe and it was equipped with emergency broadcast studios and diesel generators in case of power failure. Broadcasting was ceased in late 2010, as shortwave and medium-wave broadcasting services were phased out. After more than 80 years of operation it has been abandoned, waiting for better tomorrow.

Interesting video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZzVfxFCw34

Last edited by Globalgrid; 27th Oct 2023 at 7:21 pm.
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Old 27th Oct 2023, 7:31 pm   #2
Radio Wrangler
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Default Re: Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

Superb! and so much of the equipment left in place unvandalised.

David
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Old 27th Oct 2023, 7:53 pm   #3
Nymrod121
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Default Re: Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

Interesting footage indeed ... but I don't recall any BBC transmitting station having that range & style of equipment. Although the architecture of Brookmans Park, Droitwich and Regional Stations such as Moorside Edge was impressively functional, this building is markedly different.

I spotted what looked to me like a high-power ceramic-envelope tetrode in its pre-installation carrier but couldn't say for certain whether it was a klystron. If the building and equipment hails from the 1950s, that would bias my thinking towards the device being a tetrode, since klystron-related TV broadcast technology was not in use in the UK until the advent of the UHF network.

Anyone got any further ideas on where this place is/was?

Best wishes

Guy
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Old 27th Oct 2023, 8:01 pm   #4
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Default Re: Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

It doesn't look very 50s to me, more like 70s or 80s. If it dates back to the start of the Cold War then it's had at least one major refit.

My guess is it's something to do with Radio Free Europe.
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Old 27th Oct 2023, 8:16 pm   #5
Buzby123
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Default Re: Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

I think the writing on the control panels and signs is in German.
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Old 27th Oct 2023, 8:34 pm   #6
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Default Re: Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

Which means "no smoking". The characters look as if dating from the 1930s.

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Old 27th Oct 2023, 9:08 pm   #7
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Default Re: Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

The diesel engines of the generators are marked "MWM" which is the German manufacturer Motorenwerke Mannheim.
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Old 27th Oct 2023, 9:50 pm   #8
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Default Re: Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_Lorenz View Post
Which means "no smoking". The characters look as if dating from the 1930s.
Although the lettering uses 'vintage' blackletter script as used in many German speaking countries before the 50s, the equipment is much later. (I think one of the Swiss newspapers only stopped using blackletter quite recently.)

I agree the location is likely to be German though, possibly the suburbs of West Berlin (as was).
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Old 28th Oct 2023, 12:14 am   #9
emeritus
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Default Re: Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

I understand that in 1943, Hitler, by presidential decree, prohibited the use of the old black letter printed characters and the teaching in schools of the old German cursive handwriting script (which looks like a zig-zag of up and down squiggles to the uninitiated). Nonetheless I have seen on-line copies of wartime German printed documents published after that date that were printed in the old characters: presumably wartime shortages meant using up stocks of the old type.

When I started learning german at school in 1960, we had brand-new text books where each chapter started with a passage of text in the old black letter script. We were not taught to read the cursive script, although I understand that, before circa 1960, the German "O" level exam used to include a question consisting of a facsimilie copy of a couple of sentences in the old cursive script that you had to transcribe into ordinary script. I later taught myself to read it using a pre-war german grammar textbook.

Last edited by emeritus; 28th Oct 2023 at 12:27 am. Reason: typos
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Old 28th Oct 2023, 1:54 am   #10
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Default Re: Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

This is Wavre in Belgium. FM and DAB is still transmitted from the area so I guess it is guarded and protected from vandalism. The unused building can be rented for filming, events and such so it is still kept in good shape.

https://urbexing.eu/locations/lost-frequencies/
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Old 28th Oct 2023, 10:21 am   #11
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Default Re: Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

Interesting Hampus, thanks.

So the blackletter sign is actually a Belgian joke, a bit like the 'blinkenlights' instructions found in many 1970s computer machine rooms: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blinkenlights
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Old 28th Oct 2023, 1:47 pm   #12
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Default Re: Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

In Continental Europe generally, "BBC" is rather more likely to be Brown Boveri Cie. than the UK broadcaster (nowadays ASEA Brown Boveri).
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Old 28th Oct 2023, 7:03 pm   #13
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Default Re: Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

Turretslug is absolutely right - BBC on that Klystron in the video refers to Brown Boveri Cie the electrical engineering conglomerate.

I used to work for the English subsidiary in the 1970s & 1980s and there were spats from time to time with the British Broadcasting Corporation over the use of BBC. Brown Boveri always won that argument as it had been in operation for a lot longer!

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Old 30th Oct 2023, 6:08 pm   #14
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Default Re: Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

The part of BBC that made semiconductors is now IXYS who are a subsidiary of Littelfuse along with the british arm of Westinghouse which became Westcode then IXYS-westcode.
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Old 1st Nov 2023, 11:35 pm   #15
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Default Re: Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

Fascinating video, thanks for flagging it!
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Old 2nd Nov 2023, 11:28 am   #16
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Default Re: Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

An agreement with the "other" BBC is why BBC Micros prior to issue 7 say "bbc microcomputer" above the keyboard and issue 7 say "BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION MICROCOMPUTER SYSTEM".

Chris
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Old 8th Nov 2023, 8:47 pm   #17
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Default Re: Abandoned 1950s TV and Radio Station.

Thanks for posting the link to the video was interesting to see. If my memory serves we right the Wavre station ran 150Kw on 540 Kilocycles I think. The biggest station in Belgium was Wolvertem on 1512 Kilocycles with 600 Kw.
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