History of wireless telegraphy and broadcasting in Australia/Topical/Publications/Australian Radio History/On this day/July
On this day - July
3LO Melbourne 1925: They moved from longwave (175 KHz.) to medium wave (808 KHz.).
2BL and 2FC Sydney 1928: Both commercial stations were sold to the N.S.W. Broadcasting Company.
1932: The Australian Broadcasting Commission (A.B.C.) was established, taking over all twelve commercial “A” class stations previously programmed by the privately owned Australian Broadcasting Company. They were then financed by compulsory listener licence fees instead of commercials. In the first twelve months, 6,000 people were fined for not having a listeners licence.
9PA Port Moresby 1946: A.B.C. First manager was Basil Kirke from 6WF. Used a wire recorder in remote villages to record village singing for later broadcast. Photo is 9PA announcer Geoffrey Norton.
5MU Murray Bridge 1952: They became a relay of 5AD. Photo is announcer Glenn Gale.
2QN Deniliquin 1955: The station was sold to 2WG.
8DN Darwin 1978: They were taken over temporarily by 25 intruders.
1983: The Australian Broadcasting Commission was changed to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
2005: The A.C.M.A. is formed by merging the A.C.A. (technical) and the A.B.T. (programming).
2009: The A.B.C. and S.B.S. commenced digital radio transmissions, using the proposed but never activated TV channel 9A.
4RO Rockhampton 1932. Launched by 4BC with four staff. Relayed several 4BC programs using 50 watts (200 watts in 1933). In 1939 a radio appeal for Easter eggs raised 2,500 eggs for local orphanages.
2MG Mudgee 1938. Started by Harry Milton using 100 watts as experimental licence 2NM (this callsign was later reissued as a commercial licence at Muswellbrook). Opened with a broadcast by local artists from the old Hotel Mudgee. Relayed A.B.C. news three times a day until closing on 21-5-1942. Reopened on 13-10-1944, as a member of the Macquarie (2GB) Network. Their early transmitter is on display in the Mudgee museum. Bought by their manager, Ron Camplin, in 1958.
2DU Dubbo 1936. Launched by Doug Holmes (VK2MX). Their official opening on 5-6-1936 was cancelled when the Radio Inspector failed to arrive for an inspection. Their studio was capable of seating an audience of 80 people. Walter Grant (from 2KY, 2KA, 2BS, and 2LT), was appointed manager in 1943. Several WWII army camps nearby held concerts courtesy of 2DU, with well-known stars Bobby Limb and Jack Davey.
5SE Mount Gambier 1937. South Eastern Broadcasting Co. Opened with 100 watts on a broadcast from the Jens Hotel, using their power generator as local power was DC. Most programs were pre-recorded at 5AD and sent by train. Broadcast the Town Hall clock chimes every hour with a telephone receiver in the tower. Became mainly an Advertiser newspaper 5AD relay from 14-6-1941.
1922: The “Wireless Weekly” periodical was launched.
2LF Young 1952: They relayed over 500 emergency messages live to air during severe flooding, as all other forms of emergency communications were wiped out.
6MD Merredin 1941. Opened with a live broadcast by local artists from the Town Hall at 2000. Equipment was supplied by A.W.A. and installed by Malcolm Urquhart (VK6MU). Started as a relay of 6ML using 500 watts. Closed 0930-1700. 6ML staff communicated with 6MD via Morse code down the program line. Switched to relaying 6IX on 31-5-1943 when 6ML closed. Before opening, Merredin residents heard the news daily through outdoor speakers at the Merredin Hotel from a radio tuned to 6WF.
8DR Darwin 1960. A.B.C. Launched as Darwin Radio. Off the air for 34 hours after Cyclone Tracy cut their landline to their transmitter on 25-12-1974. Back on air using a landline to Melbourne feeding a Radio Australia shortwave transmitter at Lyndhurst to a receiver at their transmitter.
2GZ Orange 1938: They formed the Provincial Radio Network.
4NA Nambour 1973: Used a rowboat to take a microphone and turntable to the transmitter, as floods had cut the studio cable.
1913: Amalgamated Wireless Australasia (A.W.A.) was formed by merging Marconi and Telefunken. Note the WWW.
2CY Canberra 1946: Instigated regular national broadcasts of Parliament House sessions.
3EON Melbourne 1980: The first song on their opening was “New Kid in Town” by the Eagles.
1999: The A.B.C. TV program “Media Watch” alleged that John Laws had made a lucrative deal with the Australian Bankers Association to cease criticising banks on 2UE. Mike Gibson on 2GB likened Laws’ activities to “prostitution”. This was the start of the “Cash for Comment” inquiry.
AWA Sydney 1919. This was the first A.W.A. demonstration of music broadcasts by Chairman Ernest Fisk, during a lecture at the Royal Society of N.S.W. The single valve A.W.A. transmitter was at Wireless House, 97 Clarence Street, covering a distance of 525 metres. 20 telephone earpieces with tin horns attached were hung from the ceiling as loudspeakers. The broadcast was only long enough to play the record “God Save the King”.
2010: Digital radio transmissions commenced in Canberra using the proposed but never activated 9A television channel.
1937: The radio newspaper “The South Australian Radio Call” was launched.
6IX Perth - 6WB Katanning - 6BY Bridgetown - 6MD Merredin 1970: Bought by TVW-7 TV.
2NR Grafton 1936. A.B.C., relaying 2BL with some local programs. Northern Rivers service with a 7,000 watt transmitter at Lawrence. Opening night featured a function at the Saraton Theatre. Their studio moved to Lismore in 1989. Now has a relay transmitter near Tweed Heads.
2WL Wollongong 1931. Launched by Russell Yeldon. He built all the equipment and operated the station 1800-2200 by himself for the first two years. His hand-built 50 watt transmitter is now on display in their foyer. The entire station was in his 14 feet by 12 feet living room. Their Wollongong building was deliberately burnt down in 1966. Their Nowra studio was eventually closed on 4-6-1972 when 2ST opened. First commercial station to install a remote control transmitter. Their transmitter tower was destroyed by a tornado in November 1980.
1927: Letter to the Editor “A new wireless set that dispenses with large batteries and accumulators has been developed. Now how about one that dispenses with bad programs?”
2BS Bathurst 1948: They held an appeal for winter clothes for the local orphanage.
3DB Melbourne 1932: An unemployed listener bought a half hour timeslot to promote himself looking for work.
2BL - 2FC - 3LO 1929: The privately owned Australian Broadcasting Company commenced programming these stations with 60 minutes of advertising daily.
3MP Melbourne 1976. Mornington Peninsula. Opened by their Director Mike Walsh. They bought 3EE later, and simulcast until the Australian Broadcasting Authority ordered them to operate with separate programs.
4ZR Roma 1937. Designed and built by Edward (Ted) Gold from 4GR. He also built their 100 watt transmitter. Almost closed during WWII due to financial problems. Heard regularly in Perth, Thursday Island, Hawaii, New Zealand, and New Guinea.
2CY Canberra 1938: They commenced regular national broadcasts of Parliament.
Nothing identified as yet.
5AU Port Augusta 1938. Installed in a house (the technician lived in a bedroom) with 100 watts (later 200 watts). Known as “The Voice of the North”. Opened its studio on Sundays for visitors. On air seven hours daily, relaying some 5KA programs. Closed by the military during WWII on 8-1-1941 for broadcasting an alleged security breach while owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
7DY Derby 1954: Moved to Scottsdale as 7SD due to a bad local economy and a falling population caused by mine closures.
7SD Scottsdale 1954. Owned by the Findlay family. Their studios were opened by Premier, Robert Cosgrove, with entertainment by local artists. Often heard in the Northern Territory and Hawaii. An application to move to Launceston was rejected.
4QG Brisbane 1925. All available receivers were tested in Toowoomba for reception capabilities. Their opening broadcast was described by the Queenslander newspaper as “generally disappointing. Once objected to Government censorship, despite Queensland Government ownership. Made a profit from advertising of £5,211 in 1928. Broadcast the arrival of record breaking aviatrix Amy Johnson at Eagle Farm airport in 1930 (shortest ever outside broadcast in the world). All the announcer said was “Christ, she’s crashed” and the broadcast was cut.
1955 2GB Sydney: Ted Harris made history by broadcasting the first live description of the Davis Cup.
4RK Rockhampton 1931. Programs were supplied by the privately owned Australian Broadcasting Company with 60 minutes of advertisements per day, using a 2,000 watt transmitter at Gracemere. Originally planned to use callsign 4RN. Their opening broadcast was from the School of Arts hall with local artists. Their first studio was in the Post Office (later in the City Hall). Many listeners in New Zealand, and the only station heard clearly on Mornington Island. Ceased broadcasting advertisements when taken over by the A.B.C. on 1-7-1932, relaying 4QG, and later, 4QR, with limited local programs. A plane crash near Clermont killed four of their staff in the 1980s. Photo is their first studio.
2NB Broken Hill 1948. A.B.C., relaying 5CL with 1,000 watts, two staff, and one hour of local input daily. Ravaged by fire in 1966, with local news being read at the telephone exchange. Moved into a ten feet wide shop with the typist stopping while the microphone was on.
1927: Letter to the Editor “2FC has a callous disregard of advertised programmes, and displays responsibility by starting or finishing numerous tunes in the middle”.
3BA Ballarat 1930. Owned by Warne Wilson (VK3WA) and Alfred Kerr (VK3AL) with studios above a bank. Earlier, in 1929, Warne was the first person to receive experimental television transmissions from 3UZ and 3DB. On air three hours daily using 50 watts. Sold to the Ballarat Courier in June 1935 as “The Courier Station”. Eight out of 10 staff went to WWII. Raised over £100,000 with Rotary for the war effort. Also forced to give up a security pistol in 1940 for the war effort.
6BY Bunbury 1935: Forced to close due to a lack of advertising during the Great Depression.