The importance of long wave

Broadcast radio has gone through a bit of a revolution in the last decade in the UK.
Now as standard, FM radio is the norm, Medium wave is a novelty, and as for long wave? Well in broadcast terms the UK is waiting for its last few valves to die in the main transmission centre, and that will be an end to it.

Effectively the long distance transmissions of BBC will end because they cannot (or probably more accurate) WILL NOT spend money of maintaining a system of transmission that virtually covers the whole of the UK and most of the world.

So where is LW on the radio dial?
Simply anything under the 540 KHz bottom setting of most broadcast receivers.
And there are plenty of stations to choose from!

The rest of the world is more ‘switched on’ and long wave (with its ground hugging, long ranges) stations abound. Why? Because they know they need less transmitters to cover a wider area than FM or digital can. Here’s a quick listing but there are plenty more! Mostly spaced 9 KHz apart.

Freq Station Name Transmitter Site Power (Watts)
153 Romania Actualitata Brasov Bod 1200000
153 Deutschlandfunk Donebach 500000
162 France Inter Allouis 2000000
164 Mongolyn Radio Khonkhor 500000
171 R Mediterranee Int’l Nador 2000000
177 Deutschlandradio Kultur Zehlendorf 500000
180 TRT-4 Polatli 1200000
180 GTRK Kamchatka / R Rossii Petropavlovsk 150000
183 Europe 1 Felsberg 2000000
189 GRTK Amur / R Rossii Belogorsk 1200000
198 BBC Radio 4 Droitwich 500000
207 Deutschlandfunk Aholming 500000
207 Ukrainske Radio 1 Kyiv 125000
209 Mongolyn Radio Dalanzadgad 75000
216 R Monte Carlo Roumoules 2000000
216 Tsentr Rossii / GRTK Krasnoyarskaya Krasnoyarsk 150000
225 Polskie Radio P1 Solec Kujawski 1200000
227 Mongolyn Radio Altai 75000
234 RTL Beidweiler 2000000
243 Primorskoe R / R Rossii Razdolnoe 500000
252 RTE Radio 1 Clarkstown 300000
261 R Rossii Taldom 2500000
270 Cesky rozhlas 1 Topolna 650000
279 Turkmen Radio 1 Asgabat 150000

So why doesn’t everyone push long wave?
Why FM-VHF all the time?
The sound quality is better in FM. Wow!
If you are trying to listen to a long-range broadcast, AM (and its big brother SSB) is better.
Range wise, it takes more power to keep enough signal present for a FM radio to work.
AM is prone to fading and noise though, but a good AM receiver will allow you to hear the tiniest of fading signal. Simple keying an AM signal on and off will allow you to transmit Morse Code while receiving a weak FM signal may not have enough power to “turn the receiver on”.

Conclusions. FM-VHF sucks for survival purposes!

One final bit.
AM receivers can be simple to make i.e. Something in Crystal.

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