Saturday, May 30, 2015

American Forces Network Europe*

The American Forces Network Europe (AFNE) aired its first broadcast to U.S. troops from BBC Studios in London on 4 July 1943. The broadcast included five hours of recorded shows and BBC News and sportscasts. The signal was sent via telephone lines to five regional transmitters to the troops in the United Kingdom. Since 1943, AFNE has  provided American service members, families and Defense Department civilian employees stationed in Europe with American radio and television services.

In the coming months "AFN PowerNet" which is broadcast mainly on medium-wave will cease operation. If AFNE indeed puts their plans into action, the medium-wave frequencies will be completely abandoned in Germany, at least as regards to official broadcasters. In addition to AFNE,  WDR, SR, and Bayerischer Rundfunk have announced an end to their broadcasts on medium-wave. AFNE FM statio
ns will also be affected. The reason? The US Department of Defense wants to reduce spending in Europe. 

Mindful of the fact, I tuned in to a few AFNE medium-wave broadcasts from a remote receiver in the Netherlands, and the results follow.

American Forces Network Europe*, transmitting from Germany, was logged on 29 May 2015. NPR News, ESPN Sports and rock music with Department of Defense adverts and station IDs were observed from 23.00 till 23.30 UTC. Reception on 1143 kHz was (SINPO) 24322 -- poor to fair, yet audible signal, despite long fades and co-frequency QRM with RAI Radio 1.

AFN Europe was also monitored on 1107 kHz from 00.00 till 00.15 UTC on the same day. NPR programming was observed amidst severe QRM and long fades. TX location is presumed to be Vilseck, Germany.

Reception report was emailed and submitted online on 30 May 2015. AFN Europe replied with two separate emails on 1 June 2015. One, indicated details would be forwarded to their technical personnel. In another email, AFN Europe confirmed both stations and stated QSL cards per se were no longer issued. I've yet to hear from still another source, so we shall see whether anything arrives in the mail in coming months.

AFNE Website:

For more information on this report, click RadioSzene 

*Logged using remote SDR receiver at the University of Twente (The Netherlands)

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