Scoop Business is reporting that New Zealand public broadcaster RNZ has powered down its 34-year-old shortwave Thomson transmitter, known as “Transmitter 1,” for the last time.
The article says that the 100 kW Transmitter 1 is one of two shortwave transmitters delivering analog and digital radio broadcasts to the Pacific and was installed just outside of Taupō in 1989, just in time for the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games.
The power down is in preparation for the installation of a new shortwave transmitter at its Rangitaiki site.
The article continues: “This project is a milestone for RNZ. For the past 75 years, it has been using shortwave radio to broadcast to the vast Pacific region. Replacing the old transmitter marks a significant step in the futureproofing of the service.
Only capable of transmitting in analog, servicing Transmitter 1 has become an increasingly challenging task, with many of the parts for the transmitter now obsolete.
Its replacement, an Ampegon shortwave transmitter capable of both digital and analog transmission, is currently being shipped to New Zealand after being built in Ampegon’s Switzerland factory. However, before the new transmitter can be installed, Transmitter 1 needs to be decommissioned with any useful parts kept as spares.”
The article quotes RNZ’s Transmission Engineer Specialist, Steve White, who said the challenge for the switchover is having an existing transmission building that limits space.
You can read the full article here.