Monday, October 25, 2010

567 Cape Talk Antenna Mast at Klipheuwel, Western Cape, South Africa

The 120 metre antenna mast situated at Klipheuwel, Western Cape, South Africa (Photograph Gary Deacon).

An appropriate road sign (Photograph Gary Deacon).

It seems an appropriate time to feature the antenna mast of Cape Town's local mediumwave radio station, 567 Cape Talk. The station commenced broadcasting just over 13 years ago on the 14th October 1997.

A visit to the SENTECH broadcasting site at Klipheuwel for the first time last week has been long overdue. I managed to take a few interesting photographs of the mediumwave facility.

Another view of part of the antenna mast, showing two of the three wind turbines at Eskom’s first experimental wind energy farm at Klipheuwel (Photograph Gary Deacon).

The mediumwave facility is situated on relatively high ground clear of mountains and has long been the preferred site for a radio transmitter and antenna system. Marconi erected 245 meter high radio masts at Klipheuwel in 1923. This was part of a plan to establish long-wave radio links between London and the entire British Empire.

The sign at the entrance of the mediumwave facility at Klipheuwel. SENTECH is "The Common Carrier for Broadcasting in South Africa" to quote from the almost faded description on the sign (Photograph Gary Deacon).

A view of the entrance with the transmitter building in the distance (Photograph Gary Deacon).

Google Earth Image of the 567 Cape Talk mediumwave facility at Klipheuwel (Click onto the image for a higher resolution) .

The 25 kw signal on 567 kHz at Klipheuwel covers the entire Western Cape. Cape Town's first talk radio station is twinned with Johannesburg's 702 Talk Radio and is owned by Primedia.


567 Cape Talk station identification - recorded at 2000 UTC on the 25th October 2010 at Fish Hoek :


It was interesting to read about dxer Jean Burnell's trans-Atlantic reception of 567 Cape Talk's mediumwave signal which made it through over an impressive distance of 11 425 km / 7 100 miles - recorded at 2158 UTC on the 30th April 2009 during a dxpedition at Cappahayden on the south-east coast of Newfoundland :


Anonymous said...

The first pylons were erected in 1923 and demolished in 1937. Was there any other towers being demolished at Klipheuwel?

Deon Steyn

Unknown said...

Just stumbled CROSS THE article about the original Klipheuwel radio masts. When the government decided to demolish the masts, the job was given to the 3rd Field Company SAEC. My father, Major H.L. Abrahams was then the OC and it was under him and by his direction that the masts were demolished. I was born in 1936 so have no independent recollection of the event. Based on what my father told me and reports in the Cape Argus and the Cape Times at that time, the wire stays to masts were tightened on one side so that the masts leaned slightly, each in a predetermined direction. The next day, explosive charges cut the stays which had been tightened and so the masts each fell in the predetermined direction. Bolts flew like bullets. A visit to the Klipheuwel site will show the massive original concrete foundations which still exist.
My family had a photo album of the entire occurrence which has, unfortunately been lost.
George Abrahams
Great Neck, New York 11021

Calabar Babbler said...

My grandfather, Johann A van Tilburg, was the engineer working for Marconi and responsible for the original tower. The family moved to Klipheuwel during the construction, and my uncle, then under ten apparently climbed some way up the tower. The story I heard was that the tower was too high and became a danger to aircraft, hence the demolition.