DK8KW Longwave Information
Transmitter Burg, DCF39, on 139 kHz

DCF39 on (nominal) 139.000 kHz, QTH near Magdeburg/Germany

This strong  signal can be heard throughout Europe. The Mark frequency of 138.830 kHz can be used very nicely as a frequency alignment indicator. The modulation switches over to the space freqeuncy every 10 seconds or so.

There is strong evidence that this signal was copied in Australia using a very long integration method based on DSP harware.

Signal strength: constant -46 dBu (at 75 Ohm) at my old Marconi t-antenna, -23 dBu (75) with the new vertical antenna.

(special thanks to Gamal for the following infomation)

More information can be found at


Station DCF39
purpose remote control service


nominal frequency  139.000 kHz
modulation: ASCII (8E1) 200 baud FSK 340Hz shift
mark_frequency   138.830 kHz
space_frequency   139.170 kHz


from topographic map 50
latitude   52d17m18s N
longitude   11d53m51s E
locator    JO52WG
located at Burg near Magdeburg


EFR - Europaeische Funk-Rundsteuerung GmbH
Nymphenburger Str. 39
80335 München
+49-891254-4681 phone
+49-891254-4682 fax



Deutsche Telekom AG

Want to ask them to turn their antenna to your
direction? Here is their telephone number!


transmitter power 50 kW

vertical monopole antenna 324m high

EIRP about 40 kW (omnidirectional),
confirmed by Gamal's and my
measurements taken on April 8, 2000


There are 5 (were 6) antennas on this site:

(1) 210m vertical monopole
52d17m21s north
11d54m29s east

This is a guyed isolated tubular mast
used for BC transmissions of
"Radioropa Info" on 261kHz
powered by a Tesla Transmitter
which is designed for nominal 200kW
but presently operated with 50kW HFout

(2) 210m vertical monopole
This is a guyed isolated tubular mast
presently unused
formerly used for MW transmissions

(3) 324m vertical biconical antenna
52d17m18s north
11d53m51s east

This is a hexafilar wire antenna
supported by fabric mast
used for transmissions of DCF39
powered by
Telefunken Transmitter
which is a MOSFET amp providing
50kW HFout

 Top and  ...

... bottom of the DCF39 mast

(4) triple, 70m octofilar horizontal dipole
presently unused
formerly used for MW transmissions
(1575kHz Radio Berlin International)

(5) 55m trideco antenna
> presently unused
> formerly used for MW transmissions as backup antenna
NONEXISTENT - scrapped !!!

(6) 55m trideco antenna
presently unused
formerly used for MW transmissions as backup antenna


a    N                                   (5) A
a    |       52N17
a W--+--E    11E54
a    |       JO52WG
a    S                             (2)O
a             =========        (1)O
a         (4) =========
a             =========
a (3) O
a                         (6) A


The frequency was formerly (<1995) allocated
to DCF39, a transmitter located in Bad Vilbel
(north of Frankfurt/Main).


Transmissions are used for power-line and power-plant related remote control. More information (in German language) can be found at the homepage

More information on DCF39:

I have digged in my files and found some interesting information compiled
by Tom, DL8AAM a while ago, that he posted on the packet radio network. It
should even be possible to decode the signal.

The callsign that Tom states (DCF49)  probably is only valid for the 129.1
kHz transmitter, same is tru for the power (Gamal had posted some technical
information on the transmitter in Burg, DCF39, here a while ago). There is
even some uncertainty about the callsign within the company running it, I
have heard people saying that they received "DBF39" as well as "DCF39" in

Best 73

Geri, DK8KW (W1KW)


VLF @EU          de:DL8AAM 12.01.98 16:00 360   6803 Bytes
DCF49 on 139 kHz
*** Bulletin-ID: 121803DB0NDR ***

980112/1603z DB0ABZ, 980112/1600z DB0ERF, 980112/1557z DB0MAK
980112/1457z OK0PKL, 980112/1611z DB0DLN, 980112/1538Z DB0TUD
980112/1530z DB0NDR
de DL8AAM @ DB0NDR.#NDS.DEU.EU   (Tom)
to VLF @ EU

*!* HOT NEWS *!*
EFR - Europaeische Funk-Rundsteuerung GmbH
Many European dxers have logged DCF49 on 129.1 kHz. The station is
still listed by some publishers as 'BMPT, Bonn', but that is not correct.
So, if it isn't BMPT Bonn, then who is responsible for the transmissions?
this month I have the true story for you.
Remember where you read it first.......  YES, in the WUN newsletter!!!
My sincere thanks to Klaus Betke for his research and to EFR Berlin
for their help and information.

 Station          : EFR Berlin
 Callsign         : DCF49
 Transmission site: LW-facility Mainflingen
 Radiated Power   : 60 kW
 Frequencies      : 129.1 and 139.0 kHz
 Transmission mode: 200 bps ASCII
 Modulation       : FSK
 Control protocol : DIN 19244
 Message format   : FT 1.2
 Service          : Long wave Teleswitching

Long wave teleswitching is a new way in load management technology. It
replaces the well adapted ripple-control technology, which is widely
used in the utility industry worldwide.
First a few words about ripple control. It is used for tariff-switching
applications and load management as well as for the control of street
lighting for example. Basically, ripple control systems are used to
spread information to lots of receivers installed in the supply region
of a utility. Today, ripple control is not considered to be a very
economical method but, for that, a relatively safe method.
Ripple control systems use the existing mains as signal carrier (i.e.
energy suppliers transmit 'tones' over the power lines for this purpose).
since the mains network is designed for 50 Hz, a ripple control freq of
a 100 Hz is being affected under certain circumstances. Consequently
the conventional ripple control will face changes due to new transmis-
sion methods and additional intelligence in modern receivers. The newly
offered long wave teleswitching system is using a radio channel to
transmit the information via air, apart from that it follows the same
basic principles known from conventional ripple control.
The economical management of modern power supply systems requires possi-
bilities to transmit commands to control the consumption of electricity
at any time. Audio frequency ripple control systems have been used for
many years. They help to transmit control commands from the control
centre of an utility via the mains which can be received at any point of
the network. Many utilities are already using these systems (some 410
companies in Germany alone).

The main LW Teleswitching system components are:
     - control centre
     - central computer
     - LW teleswitch transmitter
     - LW teleswitch receiver
The CONTROL CENTRE of the utility consists of a standard computer
system (PC). The program used, enables every participant to initiate
his own messages. A reference-receiver signalises back the messages
sent by radio for monitoring purposes.
The CENTRAL COMPUTER is located in Mainflingen. This computer serves
to assign priorities, buffer, manage and pass on messages to the trans-
The LW TELESWITCH RECEIVER is based on existing conventional ripple
control technology. The network filter has been replaced by a RF (radio
freq) filter. The areal is fixed on the receiver but can also be in-
stalled separately, if the location poses problems. The receiver has a
program memory to store repetitive control functions. This means that
only program changes have to be transmitted.
The LW TRANSMITTER operates at carrier freqs of 129.1 and 139.0 kHz.
modulation is by FSK; keying is done by shifting between a freq above
and below the carrier freq.
CONTROL TASKS. Modern LW teleswitch can fulfill the same tasks as
conventional ripple control. For example,
- switching tasks, such as:
 o rate switching of multi tariff meters (night and day rates)
 o switching of streetlights
 o switching of water heaters (to cause heaters to use the night charge)

 load control tasks, such as:
 o group heating control depending on the weather
 o load decrease
 o influence of load variation in industrial companies etc.
 o blocking of heat pump systems
- special tasks, such as:
 o transmission of tariff information remote parameter assignment of
   receiver groups or individual receivers.
most telegrams are a few bytes long i.e. about 1 second), but a length
of up to 30 bytes will be possible soon. Reaction time is a few seconds.
Each telegram is transmitted asynchronous at 200 Baud and 340 Hz shift,
using 8 data bits plus even parity bit. The format is derived from the
international standard IEC 60870-5, or 870-5 in the old numbering system.
It consists of 7 header bytes, a user data field of up to 16 bytes, and
 trailing bytes:

         - Start        68h (h = hexadecimal)
      - L field
      - L field
      - Start        68h
      - C field
      - A field
      - CI field
      - User data    0-16 bytes
      - Check sum
      - Stop         16h

After the start character 68h, the length field (L field) is transmitted
twice, followed by the start character once again. This is followed by
the C field, the A field and the CI field. The L field gives the number
of user data bytes plus 3 (for C, A, CI).
The C field (control field, function field) specifies the direction of
data flow and is responsible for various additional tasks. The A field
address field) serves to address the receiver; adresses 1 through 250
can be allocated to individual parties. Address 255 (FFh) is used to
transmit information to all participants (broadcast). The meaning of the
CI field (control information field) is not clear. Maybe it is used as
an address extension. Most often, however, it is identical to the A field.
The user data field is followed by the check sum, which is the least
significant byte of the arithmetical sum of C, A, CI and the user bytes.
Finally the stop character 16h is transmitted.
Most telegrams are sent twice. Currently the lengths range from L = 5
to L = 13. Occasionally the string "DCF49 TEST" is transmitted in the
user data field, with L = 13, C = FFh, A = FFh (broadcast), CI = FFh.

"David L. Wilson" wrote:

> The callsign depends on which transmit site is actually being used:
> ITU:
> 00139.00000K  ³ D   ³ BURG 1               ³ D      ³ 011E5400 52N1700 ³ FX
>  ASSIGN_ID : 096021507    REGION : 1   EMISS/REC : E   RECORD TYPE : A01
> 1C :
> 1D :                                      DATE-MRF-UPD :  19.02.1997
> 2C :    01.12.1996                        WIC-NBR/PART :  2266/2
> 3A :    DBF39                             NOTICE-TYPE  :  1A1
> 4C :    011E5400 52N1700                  RR NOTIF     :  RR1214
> 4D :                                      NOISE-ZONE   :
> 4E :                                      SYNC         :
> 4G :
> 6B :    CV
> 6C :
> 9E(S):
> 10A:
> 12A:    001
> 12B:    A
> 13C:
> 00139.00000K  ³ D   ³ MAINFLINGEN          ³ D      ³ 009E0000 50N0100 ³ FX
>  ASSIGN_ID : 080002113    REGION : 1   EMISS/REC : E   RECORD TYPE : A01
> 1C :
> 1D :                                      DATE-MRF-UPD :  15.06.1994
> 2C :    10.01.1961                        WIC-NBR/PART :  1792/A
> 3A :    DCF39                             NOTICE-TYPE  :  1A1
> 4C :    009E0000 50N0100                  RR NOTIF     :  RR1214
> 4D :                                      NOISE-ZONE   :
> 4E :                                      SYNC         :
> 4G :
> 6B :    CR
> 6C :
> 9E(S):
> 10A:
> 12A:    001
> 12B:    A
> 13C:

Vaino, OH2LX pcarried out interesting long-term field strength measurements on DCF39.

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