History of wireless telegraphy and broadcasting in Australia/Topical/Publications/Australian Radio History/On this day/August
On this day - August
2KO Newcastle 1931: Launched with a five watt transmitter (previously experimental licence 2KB in 1930). Played ten minutes of advertising daily, raising £15 each month which just covered costs. Increased power to 200 watts in 1933 then 500 watts in 1935. Often heard in Perth and New York. Photo is Bob Knorpp.
2DAY Sydney 1980: Opened with a soft adult contemporary format, changing later to top 40.
2MMM Sydney 1980: Started by Rod Muir and often known as “Muir’s Money Machine”.
3FOX Melbourne 1980: Their first announcer, John Amies, opened by saying “The Fox is at Large”. Their slogan was “Catch the Fox”.
5AD Adelaide 1930. Launched by the Advertiser, and known as “The Advertiser Broadcast Network”. Their 500 watt transmitter (often heard in New Zealand) was designed and built by their Chief Engineer Harry Kauper from 5BG/5DN/5CL. One studio had 200 seats for the public. Used a shortwave transmitter from 1937 to 1939 to cover South Australia, with the callsign 5DI. Photo is their early studio.
ON THIS DAY AUGUST 3.
7NT Launceston 1935. A.B.C. Northern Tasmania. Opened with 7,000 watts. Locals were allowed to climb their 500 feet tower before opening. Relayed 7ZL, with some local programs (first A.B.C. regional station to broadcast local programs). Also relayed programs from Sydney and Melbourne via a short wave receiver.
3CV Maryborough 1952: They installed a new transmitter which was regularly heard in New Zealand, Hawaii, and the U.S.A. Photo is Harry Wilde in 1977.
1966: 2,000 protesters marched in Adelaide chanting “Ban the Jam” after the P.M.G. jammed their student operated pirate radio station Radio Prosh. The P.M.G. described Radio Prosh as “clandestine, unlawful, and impermissible”.
2009: Joan Warner, C.E.O. of Commercial Radio Australia, described the launch of digital radio as “a joyful celebration of the next stage in the evolution of radio”.
7UV Ulverstone 1932. Launched as “7UV - the personal touch”. Installed by the Findlay family and owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their studios were upstairs in the Town Hall, and later in the local picture theatre. Bought by 3AK in 1933, increasing power to 300 watts. The Gawler transmitter hut had one turntable and one microphone for use during studio failures. Often heard in Queensland, the U.S.A. and Canada. Relayed some programs from Melbourne stations via a receiver, and the A.W.A. shortwave relay VK3ME.
9AC Torokina (T.P.N.G.) 1945: Knowing that Japanese soldiers were listening nearby, this Australian Army Service station broadcast the consequences of the atomic bomb drops on Japan, using the Japanese language.
3AR Melbourne 1929: Their programming was taken over by the privately owned Australian Broadcasting Company with 60 minutes of advertising daily.
6NOW Perth 1980: Their launch slogan was “We’re on a Different Wavelength”.
6WA Wagin 1936: Their tower collapsed.
7SD Scottsdale 1972: Published a recipe book with recipes provided by listeners.
4MK MACKAY 1952: Thieves stole £11 during a break-in.
1877: Thomas Edison invented the worlds’ first phonograph; a tinfoil record player. Records could only be played once as the needle destroyed them.
1919 A.W.A. Sydney: A.W.A Chairman Ernest Fisk said “Look gentlemen, there are no wires” when he demonstrated radio transmission to engineers. The broadcast was long enough to play the record “God Save the King”.
7HO Hobart 1930. Licenced to Ron Hope (see 7RS) who then sold it to Findlay’s Electrical and Radio Store. Ron stayed on as Chief Engineer. Started with three people and one room, housing the office, studio, and 50 watt transmitter built by Ron. Advertisements cost 1/6 (15 cents). The only microphone was slid along a string between singer, announcer, instrumentalist, organ, and gramophone horn. Overseas news was taken from the B.B.C. via a short wave receiver. They broadcast the Town Hall hourly clock chimes with a microphone in the clock.
2010: Digital radio transmissions started in Darwin using the proposed but never activated 9A television channel.
9GR Goroka, 9LA Lae, 9MD Madang (T.P.N.G.) 1971. Launched by the A.B.C. as relays of 9PA using 2,000 watt transmitters.
6IX Perth 1955: Criticised for seeking interstate for announcers, stating that local applicants didn’t meet their required standards.
4GR Toowoomba 1925. Previously experimental station 4EG, owned by Edward Gold of Gold Radio Electrical Service above Perrins Cafe. Launched by using the 4EG 50 watt equipment. Opening night featured local artists. Known as “The Voice of the Downs”.
4BC Brisbane 1930. Launched by John Beale Chandler (Mayor of Brisbane in 1940, a Member of Parliament, and Knighted). On air 0630-1300 using 200 watts. Started with five staff (manager, announcer, salesman, engineer, [Thomas Elliott from 4CM], and secretary). Their first broadcast was the first Test match of an Australian cricket tour of England. Loudspeakers around Brisbane were crowded with listeners. Member of the Federal Radio Network (2UW, 3DB, 5AD, and 6ML). Manufactured and sold their “Gloriola” radios.
4MB Maryborough 1932. Launched by Alf Wynne in his house with a 100 watt transmitter built by 4BC. Their Chief Engineer, Bob Beatson, previously owned 4BB in Maryborough.
2LE Lismore 1925. Short lived broadcast station owned by the Lismore Electrical Company in Molesworth Street using a 50 watt transmitter on 1100 KHz. This callsign was reissued as a commercial licence to Radio Corporation Limited at Meadow Flat in 1933, but never went to air, despite their studios and offices being installed in Sydney.
4CD Gladstone 1970. Started and managed by Frank Bellet (see 4AM 15-9-1967). Made a profit in their first year, and paid a dividend of 6%. After six years, the dividend was 33%. Later they opened a relay transmitter at Rockhampton with a change of callsign to 4CC (Central Coast of Queensland). Bought by Prime TV in 2005.
2UW Sydney 1964: They changed their slogan to “The New UW” and introduced current pop music programming with the disc jockeys known as “The 11-10 Men”.
6WA Wagin 1957: A new transmitter was installed with 50,000 watts.
9AP Labuan (Borneo) 1945. Australian Army Amenities Service station using 10 watts. Their announcers were Sergeant Ken Austin from 3UL, (later 2GZ and 3SR) and Frank Bennett (later 2KY, 2GB, and 2UE). On 27-8-1945 they broadcast a concert featuring Gracie Fields entertaining the troops.
6PM Perth 1941: Became a Perth station after originally being licensed as a 100 watt Fremantle station.
3GL Geelong 1953: They broadcast live the first breaking of the sound barrier by a jet in Australia. A conversation by the pilot and the announcer was aired during the event.
4MMM Brisbane 1980: Prior to open, they played 24 hours of continuous Beatles songs to test their equipment.
2GB Sydney 1926. Owned by Theosophical Broadcasting P/L broadcasting from “Clifton Gardens” in Mosman, on air four evenings each week. First planned to operate as 2AB (Annie Besant, British Theosophist) but named after Italian Philosopher Giordano Bruno. Their first manager, Edward Bennett, had three staff. He later started the Radio Transcription Recording Co. (Artransa). The studio only had one microphone and one wind-up horn gramophone.
6MD Merredin 1951: Installed a new 2,000 watt transmitter with ten miles of copper earthing attached to their tower.
2KM Kempsey 1950: They were off the air due to a one week announcers strike regarding unpaid wages.
2KA Penrith 2004. Known as “Cool Country 2KA”, and “The Best of New and Classic Country”, using the old 2KA Katoomba callsign and Penrith translator on 1476 KHz. 25% of their electricity usage was generated from their own solar panels. They closed on 24-2-2015.
5AD Adelaide 1937: Installed disc recorders to record programs on 17 inch discs. Photo is their record library with 26,000 discs in 1958.
3SH Swan Hill 1931. Started by Ronald Hipwell from 3KU, and installed in his home using a 50 watt transmitter which was often heard in New Zealand and New Guinea. (Ron also started 2BH). Known as “The Border Feature Station” (later, “The Voice of the North”). Broadcast many balls from local towns.
2XL Broken Hill 1931. Barrier Broadcast Ltd., located opposite the Courthouse. Closed on 15-4-32 due to economic problems. Their technician, E. Jinks, then reopened the station as 2HX. Broken Hill was the second of three towns to be given this callsign for a commercial licence after 2XL Lismore (1920s), and before 2XL Cooma in 1937.
1994: The A.B.C. Parliamentary Broadcasting Network (2PB, 3PB etc.) incorporated “News Radio” into their programming.
2XL Cooma 1937. Launched with their motto “To Excel”. Tried a test broadcast on 20-8-1937 from the Dodd’s Hotel and the Monaro Theatre. Wyatt Evans was Managing Director and first announcer and built the station on his property. Started with one experienced broadcast person: their engineer John Scott from 2UE and 3DB. Briefly owned 2BE in 1941, then sold it to John Kerr (later an announcer with pirate radio station “Radio Caroline” off Scotland). Known as “The Southern Tablelands Station”.
2HR Lochinvar 1937. First licensed as 2SI in Singleton, but never went to air. Hunter River Broadcasters, known on air as “The Hunter River Station”. Owned by Alex Mather (VK2JZ) who later started 2GO, and by the Singleton Argus. The studio and transmitter were installed by Geoff Partridge (VK2VU) at Lochinvar using 300 watts. On 14-1-1954 they changed their callsign to 2NX, with a new transmitter at Bolwarra (Maitland).
2GB Sydney 1957: Eric Baume broadcast live from a cage next to a gorilla at Taronga zoo.
4AK Oakey 1935. Used the original 1,000 watt transmitter from 4QG and 4BK, (now in the Oakey museum - the only Australian transmitter used to launch three radio stations). Their 210 feet high tower was railed to Oakey in four sections. Owned by 4BK. In 1953 they sold their second transmitter (2,000 watts) to 2RE for their start. This callsign was first issued as an experimental station at Brisbane in 1922.
3CV Charlton 1938. First licensed as 3MB Birchip in 26-10-1935). Central Victoria Broadcasters P/L. “The Peoples Station”. Closed daily between 1300 and 1700. Owned by Cliff Parry with only one other staff. Their Women’s Club had over 11,000 members during WWII, providing ambulances, canteens, and food parcels for the war effort. Moved on the back of an old truck to Maryborough on 5-10-1943.
2SM Sydney 1978: Ian MacRae announced that he had arranged for a jumbo to go under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Thousands of listeners went to the harbour to see this spectacle. They then saw a barge pass under the bridge carrying an elephant.