Pinneberg Meteorological Broadcasting Station

The Pinneberg shortwave broadcasting service, operated by Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD, German Meteorological Service) has caught the attention of one of neighboring Hamburg’s newspapers, the Hamburger Abendblatt. In their Pinneberg category, they describe the 42-K-inhabitants town as meteorological radio’s navel of the world (that’s the opposite of the butt of the world), and provide a bit of technical information: 16 transmitters for short-, medium- and shortwave are reportedly in use at the Pinneberg site, and the shortwave signals among them “can easily circle the world”, but that the service reportedly focuses mainly on the North Atlantic, the North Sea, the Baltic, and the Mediterranean Sea.

DWD is part of the German ministry of transportation. According to Hamburger Abendblatt, the now DWD-operated Pinneberg service was established in the 1930s, then as a Ministry of Aviation overseas transmission site.

Four technicians make sure that the site runs smoothly – they do not do the weather reports, however, according to a technician quoted in the report – the spoken ones (see GERMANY. 5905.00, *1204-1221* there) are computer voices. There is a local color to them, however, as they come with a distinctly northern German accent. In my place, less than 100 km south-west of Hamburg, reception of the daytime transmissons on 5905 kHz requires neither USB mode nor anything beyond the built-in telescopic antenna of an ordinary shortwave receiver. (I haven’t tried the evening transmission yet.)

Not surprisingly, reception appears to be good in the Russian town of Semiluki, too:

But even on the opposite side of the world (if Pinneberg is the navel of the world, guess what the opposite is), a portable receiver can do a good job – a Sangean ATS-909X receiver in this case, used in Hira, New Zealand, according to a Youtube user:

Recently posted schedules suggest that broadcasts can be heard

from 06:00 to 06:30 UTC,
from 12:00 to 12:00 UTC, and
from 20:00 to 20:30 UTC,

[Update May 21: there’s no evening broadcast]

all of them on 5905 kHz, seven days a week.



The signal is usually there in time, and signs off after exactly 30 minutes,, but the actual shipping reports may begin with a delay of four or five minutes, and also end a few minutes early. If you hear nothing on the full hour, a bit of patience may be useful.

4 Comments to “Pinneberg Meteorological Broadcasting Station”

  1. Puuh, bei dem Sound ist es verwunderlich, dass nicht mehr Schiffsunfälle passieren. Dem ständig lauschen zu müssen, hört sich irgendwie ungesund an. Ist die Frage nach dem bottom ein Preisrätsel? Ich tippe mal südostlich von Neuseeland, mitten im Wasser (und wenn das jetzt nicht stimmt, habe ich den Globus völlig umsonst mit der Stricknadel durchbohrt).
    Grüßle, Diander


  2. Nun ja – erstens wurden die Aufnahmen ja offenbar nicht mit Studiomikrofonen gemacht, und zweitens ist Kurzwellenradio Gewohnheitssache.

    Chinesische Hörer von Feindsendern müssen sich nicht nur die Eigenheiten der KW an sich gefallen lassen, sondern obendrein noch Jammingmusik ihrer Regierung, wie →hier ab ca. 45. Sekunde.

    Da wollen wir doch nicht meckern.


  3. Das hat jetzt ein bisschen gedauert, weil dieser Rechner soundcloud blockiert, aber nun habe ich reinlauschen können. Vor allem die Musik ca. 2:00 finde ich eigentlich eine ganz charmante Untermalung.


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