History of wireless telegraphy and broadcasting in Australia/Topical/Publications/Australian Radio History/ACT AM Stations
ACT AM Stations
Australian Capital Territory A.M. Radio Stations (formerly Federal Capital Territory)
Part of the most comprehensive list ever compiled of Australian A.M. broadcasting stations.
14 Nov 1931 - 2CA - Canberra
Originally owned by Jack Ryan – VK2LE (a WW1 signaller) in his Kingston radio shop with a 50 watt transmitter, built by himself. (A.W.A. falsely claimed that they built the transmitter). Jack then tested as 2YN and 2LE during the off-air hours of 2BL (callsign 2LE was reissued to a commercial station at Meadow Flat, which never went to air). Officially launched by the Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon. Joseph Lyons. Received 17 letters from New Zealand after the reception of their first broadcast. 16 year old George Barlin, Jack’s only employee, started on 3 Feb 1933. He worked in the radio shop from 0900-1300, then with the station 1300-2200 six days a week as technician, salesman, announcer, and copywriter. Jack installed a 500 watt transmitter in 1933 built by George and himself with a move to Fyshwick (then called ‘Molonglo’), and relayed almost all of their evening programs from 2GB. George was appointed manager during WWII and was later the first manager of CTC-7 TV. On air three times daily for a total of five hours. (Phot Caption) George Barlin at the 2CA microphone. (Photo Caption) Announcer Ted Reeves. Broadcast local weather conditions and landing instructions on air to all aeroplane pilots flying between Sydney and Melbourne via Canberra during 1936. Off the air on 18 Jan 1937 when lightning destroyed their tower. Installed a 2,000 watt transmitter at Gungahlin from 2GB in 1938. On 22 Sep 1938, Federal Parliament refuted statements on 2CA that they had been given permission to broadcast Parliamentary proceedings. Started 24 hour broadcasting on 7 Oct 1938, except during WWII. Broadcast regular Balls and “Country Town Sessions” from 11 towns. Opened a theatrette with fortnightly concerts. Service people were admitted free, with proceeds given to their “Women’s Club” to support WWII service personnel. Jack once broadcast from a Wirth’s circus lion cage. Owned for a short time by 2GB, with both control rooms communicating via Morse code. Established most of the Australia-wide important relays from Parliament House. Launched a “Boys” club and a “Younger Set” club in 1950, and a “Night Owls” club in 1960. Their studios had to be evacuated on 29 Nov 1993 when a man crashed his car into the ground floor of the Jolimont Building and tried to blow up the building. Staff from both 2CA and FM104.7 had to be rescued from their first floor studio by smashing a window and climbing down a ladder. Known as “The Capital Station” in 1971, then "Life Station 2CA"in 1978. In February 1987 they were first station (with 2CC) to be granted a supplementary F.M. licence. Started a “News/Talk” format in February 1988.
23 Dec 1938 - 2CY - Canberra
A.B.C. Used a 10,000 watt transmitter feeding a 620 feet high tower. Officially opened by the Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon. Joseph Lyons. Started with a studio next to their Gungahlin transmitter site. Instigated regular national broadcasts of Parliament House sessions on 10-7-1946 (also see 2KY 31 Oct 1925). Moved into Canberra in 1957, then to Northbourne Avenue in 1964.
21 Jan 1953 - 2CN - Canberra
A.B.C. Canberra National with a studio at their Gungahlin transmitter site. Moved to their combined radio and television building in Northbourne Avenue in 1964.
197? - 2SS - Canberra
Sports programs. Moved to F.M. on 4 Nov 1986 as 2SSS. Closed in 2003.
31 Oct 1975 - 2CC - Canberra
Capital City Broadcasters P/L. Known as "Music Radio 2CC". Their first manager was Nick Erby from 2VM. Their program “National Country Music Jamboree” was relayed to 43 stations. Named "Station of the Year" in 1976 by the USA magazine ‘Billboard’. Organised a successful world record attempt for non-stop disco dancing on 6 Jun 1978 (90 hours). Their Great Community Fete on 26 Oct 1980 raised over $40,000 for charities. Launched stereo programming on 1 Feb 1986 with equipment costing $300,000. 2CC and 2CA were the first stations to be granted supplementary licences on FM (February 1987). First station to use a male/female duo breakfast program. Known as “Classic Hits 2CC” from February 1988.
Jun 1976 - 2XX - Canberra
Public radio educational licence based at the Australian National University. Relicensed in 1999 as a community station when they changed to F.M., moving their facilities out of the University. Their programs are a mix of ethnic and current affairs along with alternative music. They hold an annual Radiothon, raising funds for upgrading equipment.
1 Apr 1985 - 1RPH - Canberra
Radio for the Print Handicapped. Started as 1PHR on 1620 KHz, using an A.B.C. 500 watt transmitter. Their main announcer was Roger Mallison from 2BE, 2DU, and 4CD. Moved to the broadcast band on 17 Oct 1994 using 2,000 watts. Their on-air slogan is “Turning Print into Sound”. Opened an F.M. relay at Wagga Wagga on 21 May 2009. The Junee Shire Council established a relay on 21 Sep 2012.