Hellissandur longwave radio mast

Coordinates: 64°54′26″N 23°55′20″W / 64.90722°N 23.92222°W / 64.90722; -23.92222
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Hellissandur longwave radio mast
Langbylgjustöðin á Gufuskálum
View of the Hellissandur masts
General information
TypeMast radiator insulated against the ground
LocationHellissandur, Iceland
Coordinates64°54′26″N 23°55′20″W / 64.90722°N 23.92222°W / 64.90722; -23.92222
Inaugurated1999-09-08 (Longwave transmissions)
Height412 m (1,351.71 ft)
Design and construction
Main contractorUS Coast Guard

The Hellissandur longwave radio mast (Icelandic: Langbylgjustöðin á Gufuskálum [ˈlauŋkˌpɪlcʏˌstœːðɪn auː ˈkʏːvʏˌskauːlʏm]) is a 412 m (1,352 ft) tall guyed radio mast used for longwave radio transmissions of RÚV (The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service). It is situated at Gufuskálar [ˈkʏːvʏˌskauːlar̥], near Hellissandur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula of West Iceland. It is currently the tallest longwave radio mast in the world and the tallest above ground structure in Western Europe.

It forms part of RÚV's longwave service. It is intended to fill in gaps of the FM radio, serve seafarers and as a critical communications facility. It previously operated in parallel with the less powerful Eiðar longwave transmitter to form nationwide longwave coverage, but Eiðar was demolished in 2023.[1]

The mast, which is among the tallest structures in Western Europe, is insulated against the ground, and guyed at five levels by steel ropes, which are subdivided by insulators. It was built in 1963 to replace the 190.5 m (625 ft) tall LORAN-C mast, constructed in 1959 for the North Atlantic LORAN-C chain (GRD 7970).[2] A second, smaller, 30 m (98 ft) tall tower was installed by the US Coast Guard in the autumn of 1961 as part of a LORAN-A network paired with Greenland.

The LORAN-C scheme closed in 1994. In 1991, the original RÚV 1930 longwave transmitter tower at Vatnsendi (near Reykjavík) collapsed. As the Hellissandur mast was free for use, it was converted for use by RÚV (The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service) for its longwave transmissions on 189 kHz at a power of 300 kilowatts in the 1997.[2][3]

As of 2023, it is still operating at 189 kHz. RÚV has announced the retirement of all its longwave transmissions by 2024, citing its inadequacy as a backup service as most vehicles and radios do not support longwave broadcasts anymore.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Slökkt á langbylgjuútsendingum frá Eiðum - RÚV.is". RÚV. 2023-02-28. Retrieved 2023-06-23.
  2. ^ a b "Langbylgjustöðin (Útvarpshúsið) á Vatnsendahæð – Ferlir" (in Icelandic). Retrieved 2023-06-22.
  3. ^ "Morgunblaðið - 205. tölublað (11.09.1997) - Tímarit.is". timarit.is. Retrieved 2023-06-23.
  4. ^ "Langbylgjan þagnar og kallað eftir ábendingum um hvar má bæta FM kerfi RÚV - RÚV.is". RÚV. 2023-02-28. Retrieved 2023-06-21.
  5. ^ "Third largest structure in Iceland demolished - RÚV.is". RÚV. 2023-02-28. Retrieved 2023-06-04.

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