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Belgium Lost Frequencies (02/2020)

Urban Relics

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My preference usually goes to industrial sites with a lot of rust and decay. This one has none of that. Nevertheless I was very glad to get a chance to see this. I was invited to have a look around by a friend who used to work here. For a short amount of time the place could be visited 'the urbex way'. Unfortunately due to a few vandalist idiots that is no longer possible. It is now tightly sealed an put under alarm. There is also a guardian on the premisses. Apparently the antennas are still under electrical current and are extremely dangerous... Anywho, this is what I took away from my visit there. Enjoy!

A bit of history:

As early as the late 1930s, the then National Institute for Radio Broadcasting (NIR) was aware that the predecessor of this broadcasting station no longer met the needs. However, plans for a new station had to be postponed until after World War II. In 1946 plans were drawn and five years later the foundation stone of the new building was laid. King Baudouin inaugurated the new project in 1952. The new broadcasting station was designed specifically for the national and international radio broadcasts of the public service broadcaster. At that time, there were still many Belgians in Africa and other parts of the world. In order to maintain their relationship with the fatherland, broadcasts from here were sent over the short wave. The transmitters had a power of 100 kW. The transmission system then was amplitude modulation (AM). Frequency modulation (FM) was still very experimental at the time and there were hardly any FM receivers. Three transmission masts were erected on the surrounding site: a 225-meter mast, a 165-meter mast and a 90-meter mast as backup. The short wave antennas are directed to a specific area. The best and most antennas were placed in the direction of Central Africa. They were curtain antennas (a complex wire web stretched on self-supporting masts). For the other areas (North and South America and Asia), cheaper window antennas were built that were less efficient. Over the years the transmission equipment was regularly updated. But technology never stands still. What was high-tech in 1952 has now, barely 60 years later, become industrial archeology. To reach Belgians abroad, the internet now offers a much more efficient solution. The outdated channels were no longer used Short-wave broadcasts were discontinued in 2001 and 10 years later, the VRT also stopped broadcasting in medium wave, and the once imposing building will soon make way for a new hospital complex.


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That's it! Thanks for watching. (y)
 

AndyK!

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Love this place, glad you managed to bag a visit! Nice to see the radio room / sound room has been tidied up too, it was a bit of a mess when we went unfortunately - and looks great now!
 

obscureserenity

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Stunning place and beautifully captured! Shame there's a small number of idiots who ruin it for the rest of us!
 
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