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Thread: AIRMET Radio Voice Broadcasts

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    Default AIRMET Radio Voice Broadcasts

    Hello All,

    AIRMET was a voice broadcast, in the LF band, of meteorological actuals and forecasts in existence between 1946-1950. I have no idea who organised, or ran, it (I used to listen to it!). The wavelength was, I think, around 1224 metres which was easily receivable on the majority of domestic radio receivers sold in UK at the time. There was considerable uproar when it was shut down (letters to The Times, debates in Parliament, etc), but no mention of the actual frequency it used.

    Does anybody know which precise frequency was used? I am intrigued about receiver R1080 (Sect Ref 10A/8291) which was, according to one account, built for single frequency reception of “meteorological broadcasts”! Which broadcasts?

    The only reason I can think of why a specific, single-frequency, receiver was officially built was so that it could only receive AIRMET, and NOT "ITMA", "Much Binding in the Marsh", or "Workers Playtime", etc, etc, was to stop such broadcasts being listened to whilst 'on duty'!!

    TIA

    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Peter,

    There was a similar broadcast pre-war, but for obvious reasons this ceased in September 1939. The new version, AIRMET, was introduced on 1 January 1946. The service was broadcast between 7 am and 6 pm daily on long-wave at 1224.5 m. There are several papers in Weather, and I'll copy two of the earliest to you.

    Replying to one of those complaining, the reason given by the Postmaster General for the cessation of the service in 1950 was

    This service was instituted some years ago for aeronautical purposes and although until 15 March this year it was transmitted on a wavelength in a band shared between broadcasting and other services, it was not intended for reception for the public generally (quietly ignoring the fact that our maritime brethren found it extremely useful). It would not have been proper, therefore, or in practice possible (owing to the heavy pressure on broadcasting requirements) to accommodate 'Airmet' in the Copenhagen Broadcasting Plan. The pressure for more essential requirements also made it impossible to secure provision for ';Airmet' in the complementary aeronautical plan.

    Means of restoring the 'Airmet' service are still being investigated, but may take some time to reach a satisfactory conclusion.


    Brian

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    Further to my first reply, the broadcast was made from the Airmet studio at the Dunstable HQ of the Met Office.

    Brian

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    Tks Brian. We now have the frequency – 245 khz. This is precisely the single frequency this receiver was designed to be used for! But I cannot, for the life of me, work out the reason for designing, and building/issuing a radio receiver that would only work on one frequency (there was a bit of minor ‘twiddling’ you could do either side of 245khz)!!
    This was, eventually, replaced by the various VOLMET broadcasts – but these were, usually, outside the range of the normal domestic radio.
    We listened, on some operations/exercises, a lot to Shannon Aeradio VOLMET (especially on Saturday afternoons when the Afternoon Watch had ‘lunched’ in the pub!!).
    And there must be many of you who remember the Upavon VOLMET (“Architect, Architect, this is Architect” – which is now bcast as ‘TASCOMM’ from Inskip (unless it’s changed?)).
    All this came about by finding (in the course of investigations for another thread) this single frequency "Met" receiver!!
    All done and dusted in a couple of hours!!
    Tks
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 21st August 2016 at 14:30. Reason: QSD
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hello All,
    Probably already covered, but there are a few files that come up when you search AIRMET in the National Archives database. These stood out:

    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C1443042
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C1443040
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C2637093

    HTH,
    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

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    Bruce, Hi,
    Mni tks yr input. The national, and international, 'in-fighting' over the Copenhagen Broadcasting Frequency Plan is still with us!! AIRMET frequency was too close to Lahti, in Finland, and AIRMET was being broadcast with a lot of "thrutch". Who gave in to who in return for what (at Copenhagen) is probably PhD Thesis material!!!
    What intrigued me is the fact that Air Ministry commissioned, designed, built, and issued, a radio receiver (R1080 Receiver (Sect Ref 10A/8291)) that would only work on one frequency - that of AIRMET! Somebody (or, even, somebodies) should have been in Secure Accommodation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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