Monday, 8 March 2010

Band I TV - Liege E3 - R.I.P.

Well I've known it's been coming, but today I have finally realised that one of my "favourite" sources of meteor reflections, the Band I TV RTBF-1 transmitter on Channel E3 near Liege (Belgium) is no more.

It was there the last time I checked last month, but today, having a day off work when I though I would just have a little tune around to see what was going on, I received no signals from that transmitter. Fearing the worst, I did a Google search and found out very quickly that the transmitter was turned off for the last time on March 1st.

The YouTube link in the heading points to a recording of the last minute or two of programme from this transmitter.

I expect the equipment is going to be dismantled and be recycled into razor blades or whatever, such is the fate of electronic equipment once it has ceased to be of use.

This transmitter not only was the source of meteor reflections, but its distance from me made it ideal to display the effect of aircraft reflections. I have captured many "waterfalls" of these phenomena.

Now that the digital TV bandwagon is rolling relentlessly through Europe, it's only a matter of time before the remaining Band I TV signals are quiet forever. Digital TV will never be broadcast on Band I, so there isn't even that prospect to look forward to.

On the plus side, as these TV services close down across Europe, it appears that more countries are acquiring Amateur allocations in the 70MHz region. As I will hopefully be joining the ranks of 70MHz users in the future, once my homebrew 70MHz "Eden9" transceiver is up and running, that is a bonus.

R.I.P. RTBF-1 Liege, E3

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