Monday, August 25, 2008

Update on St Helena on shortwave

St. Helena
Finally after much research over past weeks I can reveal to our membership the TWO site coordinates of the special Radio Saint Helena shortwave transmissions.

The first site used in the 1990's was from the Cable & Wireless utility site located at:
15 57 33.4 S 05 43 08.8 W at a location called 'The Briars'. (antenna site)

The recent transmissions originated from the studios of Radio St. Helena which is located 4.5 km SSW of Jamestown at the following coordinates: 15 56 33.3 S 05 42 35.2 W

My thanks to John Ekwall & Robert Kipp for their valued assistance.
(Ian Baxter-AUS, SW TXsite Aug 8)

As reported yesterday, a bunch of Radio Saint Helena QSL cards arrived in Europe on Aug 19th and 20th. (A-DX Aug 20)

Radio St. Helena Shortwave Transmitting Sites
During the 1990's, the transmitter and the dipole antenna were both located at the Cable & Wireless facilities at The Briars southsoutheast of Jamestown, St. Helena. After Radio St. Helena Day 1999 ("The Final Transmission"), C&W sold the old Redifon G423B (1500 Watt) transmitter for scrap.

In November of 2006, the dipole antenna was still stretched between two tall masts next to and on the north side of the main C&W building. The dipole runs about east-west and radiated, therefore, essentially north and south. However, to the south of C&W, the valley comes to an end. This explains why Radio St. Helena , during the 1990's, was mainly only heard in Europe and eastern North America.

The RSD shortwave broadcasts were reintroduced in 2006 with the "Revival Transmission" and continued in 2007 with the "Double Anniversary" broadcasts: In 2007, Radio St. Helena celebrated 40 years of broadcasting on 1548 KHz mediumwave and that 2007 program was the 10th official transmission on shortwaves.

The shortwave transmitter and the 3-element monoband Yagi beam antenna(with full sized elements without traps) atop a 12-meter tall tower are now both located at the Radio St. Helena Broadcasting House in the Pouncey's area of the island. This location is fairly high above sea level and is relatively free of obstructions in all directions. This helps to explain why the RSD shortwave broadcasts can now be heard in many parts of the world that never heard the programs before. The new transmitter and power amplifier combination are usually operated by Radio St. Helena at an output of 1000 Watts. As in the 1990's, the programs are broadcast in
Upper Side Band and on the special frequency of 11092.5 kHz.

The 2007 QSL card lists Radio St. Helena at 15 57 South by 05 44 West.This is only approximate and actually appears to be on some quite greenisolated hill side, when using some map / satellite photo programs on the Internet.

Using a 1:25000 map of the island, the Broadcasting House would appear to be at about 15ΓΈ 57 18 South by 05 43 30 West. This is also only approximate, due to the difficulty of reading the geographical coordinates from the scales on the map edges Using some map / satellite photo programmes on the Internet
Using select "Yahoo!Maps" and set the cursor (centre of the screen) to Latitude 15 57 33.5 South by 05 43 08.8 West. This appears to be right on the Radio St. Helena Broadcasting House. The shortwave tower is just off the lower right edge of the building, and the two mediumwave towers can be found stretching northeast from the building, if one knows where to look. The Cable & Wireless complex at The Briars appears to be at 15 56 33.5 South by 05 42 31.5 West.

Using try the following.

Select "Satellite" pictures and do a "Maps Search" on "Jamestown St Helena".

The red flag is not where Jamestown really is located, but it is close.

Select a resolution of 500 Meters (lower left in picture). Move the red flag into the upper left corner of the picture. Just a bit below and to the right of the middle of the picture is The Briars area, and one sees a blue rectangular object. Keep the blue building in the middle of the picture and change the resolution to 200m, then 100m, and then to 50 Meters.

The Cable and Wireless complex is just to the right of the blue building(s).

Going back to a resolution of 500m or 200m, it would appear that the map area shown here does not reach far enough south to be able to find the RSH Broadcasting House.
(Robert Kipp-D, NZ DX Times Aug 2008)
(Source: WWDXC Top News/ BC DX # 874 via wb, Germany)