May 27, 2024

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine


Canada’s 84-year radio time check has stopped because of accuracy concerns

“The beginning of the long dash indicates exactly 1 o’clock Eastern daylight time.”

Millions of Canadians grew accustomed to hearing a version of this daily affirmation on CBC Radio One. The National Research Council Time Signal, and the series of 800 Hz “pips” that preceded and followed the time-setting dash, worked its way into everyday rituals. Human listeners, automated radio receivers at railways, shipping firms, and other entities, could set their mechanical clocks to it. That is why it started broadcasting on November 5, 1939, the same year Canada entered World War II.

The long dash’s last broadcast was, somewhat unexpectedly, October 9, 2023.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the NRC have cited accuracy as the reason the 84-year ritual was halted. The CBC told its reporters that because the CBC is now heard over satellite and Internet connections, not just terrestrial radio, there are delays when people hear it. A spokesperson acknowledged Canadians’ “fondness” for the daily ritual but said it “can no longer ensure that the time announcement can be accurate.”

Read more – Ars Technica: