Monday, May 21, 2007

End of Era - Rugby Time Station Closes

The Rugby time signal station in the United Kingdom, and operating on 60 KHz, closed it's doors on April 30, 2007. The once-mighty station which has a rich history going back to 1910 has succumbed to modern technology.
For over six years now, Rugby's short wave antennas, which once handled vast amounts of overseas traffic, have fallen into disuse. Three of the twelve antennas are still standing. The traffic once handled by the station has now been rerouted to satellite and trans-oceanic cable. In its last years, the station became a time signal station only. Once the site is cleared of the radio infrastructure, it will be used for a proposed housing development.
On April 30, Rugby switched off its signal at midnight and the new transmitter at Anthorn in Cumbria should have taken over immediately.
Unfortunately something went wrong and many radio synchronized clocks in the southern part of England malfunctioned. One user reported that it took two days before hearing the new signal. The new transmitter is of much lower power and doesn't have the same coverage as Rugby.
For anyone interested in reading up on the station's history, refer to:
(Source: Jerry Proc/UDXF via Larry Van Horn)