Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sri Lanka to close Ekala transmitter site

Sri Lanka

This historic station which started at Ekala with the wartime South East Asia Command Radio (SEAC) is now on its last legs. Out of the 3 VOA 35 kW transmitters only 2 are working, the NHK transmitters are both still in good conditions, but for spares and they are too expensive to repair and run. The old 10kW Phillips transmitters are almost gone.

The old Marconi 100 kW from Radio SEAC is rusty and with cobwebs and is gone for ever. The final nail in its cofin came, when DW packed up from Trincomalee handing over the station to SLBC. Trincomalee is a fine station and the MW transmitter is also capable of DRM and it did run DRM 1700-1800 for DW for a while. The 4 SW transmitters at Trincomalee need to run at least 45 hours to make it viable to use the hige Diesel Generators which need about a $1000 a day to run and maintain. Ekala is on prime land close to the city and it is quite logical to close it down taking the state of the station.
If you want a QSL from SLBC Ekala, you will have to do so, before Apr 01, as plans are afoot to close down Ekala,  if the Trinco station gets the power from the National Grid as planned before the end of the B12 season. During the 30 year war with the Tamil Tigers it was not possible to take the national grid power lines, as this area was in the front lines. DW had tacit agreements therun without interference from the LTTE. But now the North and East, which have been freed, are making rapid progress and electricty is reaching most parts.
Ekala schedule as of now:
0012-0330 7190(10kW) / 11905(35kW) Hindi to Asia, English news at 0215.
0125-0300 (Sun 0500) 6005( 10kW) / 9770 (10kW) / 15745(35kW) English to Asia.
0930-1215 6005(10kW) / 11905(35kW) Vernaculars to South  India.
I will get you your QSLs, like I have in the past 10 months or so. The SLBC's above services will move to Trincomalee in A13 and the relays from Trincomalee for other clients will continue. (Goonetilleke in DXplorer, Feb 12). Victor kindly showed me the Ekala transmitter site from nearby distance in March 1999.
(Anker Petersen/DSWCI-DX Window 473)