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Thursday, March 17, 2022

The author's 2010 visit to the US Govt's big HF transmitting station in Ban Dung in Northern Thailand and Surveys HF signals the local afternoon., .

  Homage to first shortwave trans-Atlantic radio broadcast - BBC News


This blog consists of two parts examining elements of HF broadcasting:

1. The results of a HF study made  here in Melbourne by the author on March 12, 2022 across the time span 0400 to 0430

2. A visit by the author to Northern Thailand in June 2010, to survey service effectiveness of Radio Australia in the South Asian region. HF propagation, frequency occupancy

This was in his capacity as a professional engineering consultant for Radio Australia Operations in Melbourne 




TThis is a summary of monitoring of March 12 2022. made here in Melbourne, at the big Westerfolds’ Park, in Templestowe on frequencies above 11 MHz during our mid afternoon period across the time span 0400 to 0430. Propagation was dominated by strong daytime sigmas from Asia and the Middle East. 

11745 S ARABIA Arabic 

11780 IRAN Hebrew from *0423 1

1825 JAPAN NHK Yamata Chinese 

11850 CUBA RHC Spanish 11860 S. ARABIA Arabic 

11875 IRAN Turkish at *0423 1

3610 CHINA CNR1 

13740 CHINA CRI-Kashi Hakka 

13790 MADAGASCAR BBC-Talata, Somali 

13850 ARMENIA BBC-Yerevan Dari 

13860 THAILAND R. Azadi, Udon Thani , Pushto 15160 CHINA CR-Xian Cantonese 15130 CHINA CRI-B Chinese 

15170 JAPAN NHK-Yamata Japanese

 15230 CUBA RHC Spanish 

15320 TAIWAN RTI Chinese 

15420 UAE BBC Dhabbaya Somali

15445 CHINA CRI-Kashi Russian

 15500 CHINA CNR2 15550 CHINA CNR7 Cantonese 

15665 CRI-Kashi Russian 

15710 CHINA CNR6 Amoy 

15720 RNZI domestic 

17530 MADAGASCAR WCR Chinese 

17510 CHINA CRI-Xian Hakka 

17565 CRI-B English

 17625 CHINA CNR1

17660 MARIANAS RFA-Agignan Chinse 

17710 CHINA CRI-B Hakka 

17740 CHINA CRI-Xian Vietnamese 

17760 TAIWAN SOH Chinese 

17780 TAIWAN SOH Chinese

 17810 JAPAN NHK-Yamata Japanese 

17865 VOA-Tinang Tibetan 

7890 CHINA CNR1 

21620 PHLS VOA-Tinang Tibetan 


Visit to Northern Thailand, June 2010

The USS Govt's large relay station in Udon Thani Province, Northern Thailand.

Map showing site of the station, red balloon,   Very close to Vientiane and Laotian border

Above - aerial view  of the transmitting station - property  perimeter is 12 km. (Google 2022)

In June 2010 I visited the city of Chiang Rai,flying up from Bangkok, in support of an engineering consultancy research project for the Australian Government., and on a tour drove past the entrance of the US Govt's large HF relay station, on a trip through Northern Thailand The facility hosts broadcasts for VoA, Radio Thailand’s international service, VoA’s Radio Ashna, VoA’s Deewa Radio, Radio Farda, Radio Free Asia,Radio Liberty, Radio Mashhaal,, R. Azadi (a.k.a. R. Free Afghanistan), and the Bangkok Meteo Fax service. They all transmit from this site. 

The province escaped the terrible December 26 2004 Indian Tsunami Earthquake which destroyed much of the west 

coast of Southern Thailand.   There is continuing confusion as to the location of she station. Many sources show this at Udon Thani. This is not correct as the capital is also called Udon Thani, a province,  and is the major city within the province. However, the correct location of the transmitting facility is near the village of Ban Dung. .



 Image above:  ground level view of antenna masts (Google, 2022)

The district is the site of a Voice of America (VOA) relay station, opened in 1994. Voice of America gave the station to Thailand, and was allowed to operate it under a 25-year renewable lease expiring in 2019. Each of the station's seven shortwave transmitters is capable of broadcasting 500 kilowatts of power, covering 40 percent of the earth's surface. One of the transmitters is dedicated for use by Radio Thailand. It has sufficient power to reach the Middle East and the West Coast of the United States, both areas with large expatriate Thai communities.Currently,(2022)  output is reduced to 250 KW for each transmitter

The site is run by the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM) formerly known as IBB (International Broadcasting Bureau), the technical arm of an independent U.S. Government agency called the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG).