Author Topic: Radio Australia HF Station Signs Off in CW  (Read 614 times)

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Offline xrunner

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Radio Australia HF Station Signs Off in CW
« on: February 10, 2017, 02:43:24 pm »
From the ARRL Newsletter -

In an apparent nod to radio amateurs who may have tuned in, Radio Australia's VL8A transmitter in Alice Springs signed off on January 31 in CW. The station sent "73 de VL8A QRT," before pulling the big switch. Radio Australia announced last fall that it planned to cease shortwave transmissions. Although the broadcaster shut down its Katherine, Tennant Creek, and Roe Creek (Alice Springs) transmitters at the end of January, it will continue to broadcast on the FM and AM bands, via satellite, and via online streaming and mobile applications.

The move was not popular with those who live and work in the vast area the shortwave broadcasts reached, with some saying it was the only reliable broadcast outlet, and that its demise could deprive Northern Australian listeners of emergency and critical weather information. Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association President Tom Stockwell, who lives on Sunday Creek Station with no access to AM or FM radio or mobile phone service, isn't buying the Australian Broadcasting Commission's explanation. He said the decision to focus on digital transmission ignored people in the bush. "It affects a big area of Australia, and it affects those people that are remote from other forms of communication that rely on radio network," he said.

Mark Crocombe of the indigenous Thamarrurr Rangers in the remote community of Wadeye said his group members spend days and sometimes weeks at a time away in the bush and out on sea patrols and had relied on the ABC's shortwave radio for weather reports and emergency information, including cyclone warnings. "It could be life threatening, if you are out and you don't know a cyclone is coming," he said.

Radio Australia has said the move was in line with its commitment to dispense with outdated technology and to expand its digital content offerings and FM services.
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