History of wireless telegraphy and broadcasting in Australia/Topical/Publications/Australian Radio History/Tas AM Stations
Tas AM Stations
Tasmanian A.M. Radio Stations
Part of the most comprehensive list ever compiled of Australian A.M. broadcasting stations. Tasmanian A.M. Radio Stations
Part of the most comprehensive list ever compiled of Australian A.M. broadcasting stations.
10 Oct 1921 - 7AA - Hobart
Experimental station owned by Trevor Watkins. He later changed the callsign to 7DX after the P.M.G. commandeered the 7AA callsign on 28 Jul 1925. Trevor served on the local Wireless Institute of Australia committee.
1921 - 7AB - Hobart
Experimental station owned by Arthur Smith, owner of Tas Radio P/L. They built 130 Willsonia radios, financed by Wills and Co. (see 7BC, 7BN and 7QT). Closed in 1927 after the batteries powering his transmitter blew up. Arthur later designed and built the 'Sound On Film' recording equipment for Cinesound.
7RS - Hobart
Experimental station owned by Ron S. Hope with a 9 watt transmitter at Sandy Bay (also see 7HO).
7JR - Launceston
Experimental station owned by T. Kitto, with a 15 watt transmitter.
7BC - Burnie
Experimental station owned by Bruce Craw. This callsign was later reissued in Launceston.
7CS - Launceston
Experimental station owned by Cecil Scott. Cecil later moved his station to Hobart when the licensing authorities ordered him not to go on air in Launceston until 2200 each night (see 7BQ).
7?? - Hobart
Experimental station owned by George Bills-Thompson, who later worked with 2UW and 3AW.
7AG - Hobart
Experimental station owned by J. Milne. Transmitter at Gretna. This callsign was later used by the P.M.G. to test the A.B.C. 7NT transmitter in July 1935.
7CS - Hobart
Experimental station owned by Cecil Scott. Transmitter at Lindisfarne (later at Sandy Bay). He previously operated this station in Launceston.
7BP - Hobart
Experimental station owned by J. McMillan.
7AS - Launceston
Experimental station owned by A. S. Gill.
7LZ - Launceston
Experimental station owned by Col Wright.
7BH - Launceston
Experimental station owned by E. Sheldrick.
7PF - Launceston
Experimental station owned by P. Fysh.
7LJ - Hobart
Experimental station owned by L. Jensen. Transmitter at New Town.
7BC - Launceston
Experimental station owned by Norman Cave who was previously a radio operator in the U.K. for the R.A.F. during WW1. Norman designed the Willsonia radios for Tas Radio P/L (see 7AB and 7BN). This callsign was previously issued in Burnie, also as an experimental station.
7CW - Hobart
Experimental station owned by Crosby Walch. Transmitter at Battery Point.
7WI - Launceston
Experimental station owned by the Tasmanian Division of the Wireless Institute of Australia.
7LA - Launceston
Experimental station owned by Lyndsay Arthur Hope (eldest brother of Ron Hope – see 7RS and 7HO). This callsign was reissued on 13 Dec 1930 as a commercial licence (also see 7BN 1926).
7WR - Hobart
Experimental station owned by William R. Nicholas. Transmitter at North Hobart.
17 Dec 1924 - 7ZL - Hobart
First planned to open as 7AA, then 7AR. Owned by 3AR and started with their original 350 watt transmitter (1,000 watts in 1927). A "sealed set" station, in one Mercury newspaper office room with one staff. Then situated above a fruit shop. In October 1928 they broadcast an appeal for funds to purchase a radio for Hobart hospital patients. Moved into the old Hobart railway station (pictured) also in 1928. Programs were provided by the privately owned Australian Broadcasting Company from 14 Dec 1930, with 60 minutes of advertisements per day. On air 0730-0830, 1100-1400, 1500-1630, and 1800-2300. Broadcast the opera "Maritana" by William Wallace, live from the Bush Hotel in New Norfolk on 26 Jun 1932 (legend has it that "Scenes that are Brightest", an aria from "Maritana" was written at the Bush Hotel). Their original "Reisz" microphone is on display at the Tasmanian Museum. Taken over by the A.B.C. on 1 Jul 32 with 3,000 watts. All programs were live until a disc recorder was installed in their Sydney studios in 1935 (P.M.G. landlines from the mainland did not exist). Started an eleven person orchestra in 1936. The Army set up a camp next to the transmitter to guard it during WWII. Moved to the old Hobart railway station in the 1980s with 7ZR. They changed their callsign to 7RN in 1990.
28 Jan 1925 - 7BQ - Launceston
Broadcast station owned by Leonard Crooks. On air each Sunday. In 1930, Leonard was told by the licensing authorities not to open until 2200 (also see experimental licence 7CS).
28 Jul 1925 - 7DX - Hobart
Broadcast station owned by Trevor Watkins. (See experimental licence 7AA 10 Oct 1921).
1926 - 7BN - Launceston
Broadcast station owned by A. Smith who worked for Norman Findlay of Wills and Company in an eight foot square room with one piano and one microphone. The station was specifically used to advertise radios and parts sold by Wills and Company, including the "Willsonia" radio, designed and built by Norman Cave (see 7BC) for Tas Radio P/L (see 7AB). Became commercial licence 7LA on 13 Dec 1930.
1929 - 7DR - Devonport
Broadcast station owned by the Devonport Radio Club. Actually licensed in 1924. On air each Sunday using 18 watts. Situated opposite the old wharf entrance with a 100 feet high tower, and an antenna attached to the Tasmanian Woolgrowers Building. Often broadcast popular local balls. Heard throughout Australia.
===13 Aug 1930 - 7HO Hobart . Licenced to Ron Hope (see 7RS) who then sold it to Findlay's Electrical and Radio Store. Ron stayed on as the Chief Engineer. Started with three people in one room, housing the office, studio, and 50 watt transmitter, built by Ron (200 watts in 1932, and 500 in 1937). Advertisements cost 1/6 (15 cents). The only microphone was slid along a string between singer, announcer, instrumentalist, a gramophone horn, and an organ. Overseas news was taken from the B.B.C. via a shortwave receiver. Listed as 2HO by the Broadcast Business Year Book 1936. Criticised by the A.B.C. for 'copying' their "Hospital Half Hour" program (also see 2UE 1925). Raised £5,000 for the Red Cross, and also organised volunteers to make 350 camouflage nets for the WWII war effort (also see 7EX 5 Feb 1938). Known as "Hobart's Original Station". Their children's "Pals" club, and women's "Theatre" club in the 1940s were very popular. Advertising manager Eric McRae was the Commanding Officer at the WWII Australian Army Amenities Station 9AD in Moratai, and their announcer Alan Brown was the Commanding Officer at 9AE Jacqinot (see separate WWII Military radio article). Used a wire recorder to record church services. Member of the Macquarie (2GB) Network. They broadcast the Town Hall hourly clock chimes with a microphone in the clock. The Chief Engineer once locked himself in the clock tower. He then used the microphone on the next hour to broadcast his plight on air. Broadcast live from the Royal Hobart Show during the 1950s. In 1960, weather reports were live by meteorologists from the Bureau of Meteorology. A publicity stunt with announcers Frank Avis and John Loughlan, saw them racing two elephants down the main street in 1961, attracting 20,000 people (also see 4IP). Off the air in 1967 by a storm cutting power to their transmitter. Known as "Personality Radio" in the 1970s. Col Joye and the Joy Boys featured at their 1980 Golden Anniversary Ball. Moved to F.M. on 1 Nov 1990 with 7RPH using their A.M. frequency.
===13 Dec 1930 - 7LA - Launceston (See 7BN). Installed by A.W.A. in the Findlay building (later the T.A.A. building). Owned by the Findlay's (A.W.A. radio distributors), who wrongly believed they could cover all Tasmania on 50 watts (200 watts in 1932, 500 in 1936, 2,000 at Riverside in 1954 and 5,000 at Rocherlea in the 1990s). Opened by the Post Master General, The Hon. Joseph Lyons, with guest speaker 3LO manager Major Condor. On his honeymoon, Sir Kingsford Smith was a special guest at the opening. Known as 'The Original and Feature Station' (later 'The Voice of Northern Tasmania)'. Ernest Fisk was a Director. On air 1200-1400 and 1730-2230. Used two towers 160 feet high at Prospect Hill. Broadcast an interview with Lord Baden Powell in 1931. In 1933 they had 50 permanent landlines for outside broadcasts. The A.B.C. requested a quote to erect relay stations for 3AR and 3LO to operate five hours per day. The £100 quote was rejected. Beamed some programs with New Zealand advertisements to New Zealand in 1934, as advertisements were banned on New Zealand radio. Chief Engineer, Rex McLean, stayed for 50 years from 1936. Their 1937 transmitter is on display in the Queen Victoria Museum. During the Great Depression, they sponsored lunchtime concerts at the Princess Theatre. Member of the Macquarie (2GB) Network. Their "Girls and Boys Club" (later "Merrymakers Club") had 11,000 members in 1946. Manager Val Sides invented the moving coil pickup for record players. Started a "Women's" club in the 1950s. 2,000 children attended the Peters Pals Fancy Dress Jubilee Radio Ball on 28 Sep 1951. Built the first outside broadcast van in Australia (a 1961 V.W. Kombi). Opened a relay studio at Georgetown on 10 Jun 1970. Known as "Funtastic Radio" in the 1970s. Installed digital studios in 1997. Moved to F.M. in 2007, with their A.M. transmitter on air until the poor F.M. coverage was improved. This callsign was previously issued in the 1920s as an experimental broadcast station.
12 Jun 1932 - 7JB - Hobart
Experimental station owned by Jack Batchelor, using a 25 watt transmitter.
6 Aug 1932 - 7UV - Ulverstone
Known as '7UV - the personal touch'. Installed by the Findlays and owned by the Jehovahs Witnesses. Opened by Prime Minister The Rt. Hon. Joseph Lyons, with studios upstairs in the Town Hall, and later in the local picture theatre. Bought by 3AK in 1933, increasing power to 300 watts. Their microphone was powered by a large battery. The Gawler transmitter hut had one turntable and microphone for use during studio failures. Used two towers 200 feet apart. Often heard throughout Queensland, the U.S.A. and also Canada. Relayed some programs from Melbourne stations via a receiver tuned to the A.W.A. shortwave relay VK3ME. On air 0730-0900, 1730-1800, and 1930-2230. Their staff assisted in the development of 7BU. Added on-air hours 1200-1400 on 20 Jul 1936. Moved to Devonport as 7AD on 9 Mar 1940, with their new owners, the Findlay Family and the Advocate newspaper. They also installed a transmitter at Don Heads. The photograph is their new Ulverstone transmitter.
1932 - 7RY - Devonport
Experimental station owned by Edgar Nicholls. The station moved to Burnie in 1934.
Jul 1935 - 7AG Launceston
This callsign was used to test the 7NT transmitter. QSL cards are rare and highly prized. (Also note unrelated 7AG Hobart).
3 Aug 1935 - 7NT - Launceston
A.B.C. Northern Tasmania. Their 7,000 watt transmitter was installed by the P.M.G. at Kelso and tested using the callsign 7AG which was first issued to an experimental broadcast station in Hobart. Locals were allowed to climb their 500 feet tower before opening. Opened by the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Joseph Lyons, being a relay of 7ZL, with some local programs (first A.B.C. regional station to broadcast local programs). Also relayed programs from Sydney and Melbourne via a shortwave receiver until an undersea cable was installed to Tasmania in 1936. Criticised in August 1936 for dropping a variety program which featured local performers in order to take more programs from Hobart. Opened new studios in Brisbane Street on 24 Feb 1939. News was initially provided by the Examiner and Mercury newspapers until they employed journalists in Launceston, Devonport and Burnie in 1959. Moved again to new studios in Ann Street on 10 Nov 1972. Increased power in 1993. Moved to F.M. in 2006. Now covers all of Northern Tasmania with 16 F.M. relay transmitters.
1935 - 7RY - Burnie
Experimental station owned by Edgar Nicholls. Originally started at Devonport in 1932.
19 Oct 1935 - 7BU - Burnie
Started by the Findlay family using 50 watts above their radio shop, with a 120 feet high mast (210 feet in 1954 with 11 miles of copper tubing as an earth mat). Officially opened by the Prime Minister The Rt. Hon. Joseph Lyons. First planned to operate as 7WB. Renowned for their large number of live outside broadcasts. Their own staff designed and built their second transmitter in 1936 (200 watts). Known as "The Station with a Smile". Criticised by the Communist Party for censoring news supplied to the station by them in 1945. Their "Sunshiners Children's Club" saw hundreds of youngsters at the Burnie Theatre each week from 1945-1958, and featured 'Peters Pals' and 'Ovalteenies' sponsorships. This club had 11,000 members by 1947. Shipping movements were broadcast daily to advise waterside workers where to report. Banned advertising on Sundays. Increased power to 500 watts in 1950 (2,000 in 1966). A joint radiothon with 7AD raised £2,250 for the Crippled Children's Society in 1954. Their "Buy and Sell Corner" was their top rating program in the 1950s. They experimented with stereo in 1958 (see 7AD for details). Radio executive Rod Muir started his career here. Broadcast a disco live from the Top of the Town hotel every Saturday night 2100-0000 during the 1980s. Now has a relay transmitter at Smithton.
19 Apr 1937 - 7HT - Hobart
"The Feature Station". Used two wooden masts 120 feet high with 250 watts (500 watts in 1938, 1,000 in the 1950s, and 5,000 in September 1969). The transmitter hut had a bedroom for the technician, with a turntable and microphone for emergencies. Made their turntables in the 1940s, due to WWII supply problems. Owned a record shop downstairs from their studio. Listeners won a record from the shop if correct in identifying a song on a program called "Name That Tune". Started their popular children's "Kiwi" club (later "Sunshiners" club), and a "Women's" club in the 1950s. Member of the Major (2UE) Network. Known as "The Heart of Hobart" in the 1960s, with manager Richard Vertigan, who was a script writer for Bob Dyer. Played "High Noon" by Frankie Laine continuously for 24 hours in 1983, when bought by TNT-9 TV, and 7EX. Sold to the T.A.B. and 2NX as a sports results station in July 1991. Bought out by the T.A.B. in December 1992 as 7TAB. Relayed to 7EX from 8 Jan 1993. Moved to F.M. on 25 May 1998 with a "Classic Hits" format. The photograph is their 1970s studio. Now known as "Heart 107.3".
29 May 1937 - 7QT - Queenstown
Commenced with three staff. Owned and operated by Stromberg Carlson (radio manufacturers), and the Findlay family/Wills and Company (radio retailers). Their first studio was in the Paragon Theatre. On air seven hours per day in three separate blocks. News stories were provided live by a studio in the Launceston Examiner newspaper. Often broadcast live from Wills and Co. promoting Stromberg Carlson radios. A weekly competition in 1937 with a prize of one guinea needed listeners to correctly identify portions of six recordings. Eventually moved into a small demountable building. One announcer was fired for only playing hillbilly music, and another was fired for always singing along with the records while his microphone was open. Broadcast 1,400 birthday calls in 1954. Bought by 2XL in 1982. Became 7XS on 1 Oct 1988.
5 Feb 1938 - 7EX - Launceston
Established by Denis Cousins, for the Examiner, and launched by the Prime Minister, Joseph Lyons with the slogan "On Top in Tasmania". An appeal raised enough money to buy a WWII Spitfire fighter plane. Organised volunteers to make WWII camouflage. Organised a 'League of Young Airmen' club in 1940, and their 'Women's' and 'Gardening' clubs in the 1950s. Member of the Major (2UE) network. Their Children's Christmas Fairs raised funds for crippled babies. They broadcast live from the Cornwalls Hotel nightclub on Saturdays in the 1960s. Opened new studios in the TNT-9 TV building in the 1960s, then known as "The Good Guys Station" in the 1970s. Published a 'Carols by Candlelight' book and a cookery book. Bought 7HT in 1983. Launched a "Classic Hits" format in 1985. Sold to 2NX and the TAB in July1991. Bought out by the TAB in December 1992. All staff were dismissed from 8 Jan 1993, when they started relaying 7TAB in Hobart. Then sold to Grant Broadcasters. Became 90.1 Chilli FM in 2007.
26 Feb 1938 - 7DY - Derby
Owned by Doug Charlton (see 8DN) and the Findlay family using 100 watts. Launched by the Premier, A.G. Ogilvie. Broadcast from a farmhouse on a hill between Derby and Winnaleah. On air 1630-2205. Their children's 7DY Sunpolishers Club" had 2,900 members, and assisted children in hospital. Raised £4,200 for the Red Cross during WWII. Off the air on 27 Nov 1951 when a storm demolished their tower. Member of the Macquarie Radio Network. Moved to Scottsdale as 7SD on 26 Jul 1954 using 200 watts. The move was due to a bad local economy and falling population caused by mine closures. The original studio equipment are now on display at the Derby Tin Mine Museum.
22 Jun 1938 - 7ZR - Hobart
A.B.C. First planned to open as 7HN (Hobart National). Operating twelve hours daily with 500 watts (2,000 from 24 Dec 1953). Their tower fell down on 21 Oct 1953. Used wind-up recorders in 1958 for recording most of their outside interviews. Moved into the former Hobart railway station in the 1980s, as did 7ZL. The photo is John Bennett in the 7ZR studio in 1939.
9 Mar 1940 - 7AD - Devonport
Originally 7UV Ulverstone (6 Aug 1932). Opened by Premier Robert Cosgrove, with local artists performing. Owned by the Advocate. Later purchased by the Findlay family. A WWII Radio Ball was held in 1940, raising over £4,000 for the Red Cross. Broadcast shipping movements daily, advising waterside workers where to report for work. Banned advertising on Sundays. Increased power to 2,000 watts in 1946. Their "Sunday Hymns" request program was popular from 1947- 1980. Their children's "Koala" club started in the 1950s. Broadcast live from "The Warehouse" nightclub every Saturday during the 1950s. Their slogan was "Better Music, and More of It". First to broadcast stereo in Tasmania (with 7BU) during joint tests in 1958. Both stations broadcast the same program with left and right channels on separate stations. Listeners needed two radios to hear stereo.
26 Jul 1954 - 7SD - Scottsdale
(See 7DY Derby 6 Feb 1938). Established by the Findlay family. Opened by Premier Robert Cosgrove, with the musical entertainment by local artists. Often heard in the Northern Territory and Hawaii. An application to move to Launceston was rejected. They did open a Launceston office in 1984. Aired daily potato-delivery instructions to farmers. Banned Sunday advertising. Some cows once knocked over their transmitter hut and rain put the transmitter off the air. Raised power to 2,000 watts in 1962 with a directional antenna (5,000 watts in 1975; this was then the strongest in Tasmania). They published a recipe book in 1972. Photo is half of their record library.
Sep 1954 - 7QN - Queenstown
A.B.C. Queenstown National service. Relay of 7NT. Moved to F.M. in 1991.
Jan 1977 - 7FG - Fingal
A.B.C. Relays of 7NT.
Jun 1977 - 7SH - St Helens
A.B.C. Relays of 7NT.
26 Jun 1982 - 7RPH - Hobart
Radio for the Print Handicapped. First of the network of R.P.H. stations. Started with test transmissions outside the broadcast band. Moved to the former 7HO frequency (864 kHz) in 1991 after 7HO moved to F.M. Now has an F.M. relay at Launceston.
1 Oct 1988 - 7XS - Queenstown
See 7QT 29 May 1937. Now relays to Rosebery and Strahan.
1990 - 7PB - Hobart
A.B.C. Parliamentary Broadcasting network. Broadcast Muzak style music between Parliamentary sittings. Closed on non-sitting days, until starting "A.B.C. News Radio" in August 1994.
6 May 1998 - 7TAB - Hobart
Tab racing and sport station. Previously this service was on 7HT from July 1991. Opened on the former 7HT 1080 kHz frequency after they had moved to F.M. They also had 7EX at Launceston as a relay station.
Letters to the Editor:
"I am sure there is a good deal of resentment amongst 7NT listeners. Their policy seems to be to cut local programs at 9PM and switch to Hobart where a program of rubbish is submitted". Letter to the Editor in The Examiner 13 Jun 1936.
If you haven't got a wireless set, and fixed your mast upright. You're losing half the fun we get, by listening in at night. The world is mad about the game, why not now do the same? Anonymous fan promoting the introduction of wireless.
"I have long ago written off 7NT as a total loss. When this station was built, we were led to believe that we should have decent reception in return for the licence fee paid to the A.B.C. Actually, it usually sounds as though broadcasting is done from an express train travelling at 60 M.P.H. into an 80 M.P.H. hurricane". Letter to the Editor, 26 Jan 1950.
"I have listened with my mouth open, to the rolling of foreign tongues off the announcers' mouths, but when I found these same announcers making blunders over our great Australian names and places, I lost heart, and am thinking of taking up cross-words". Letter to the Editor, 3 Sep 1935.
An Examiner article stated: "7EX has covered 2573 miles and surveyed 76 locations with a potential listening audience of 361,320 to establish that its Midnight to Dawn show featuring Bill Scetrine is being heard as clearly as mainland shows in the same time slot. 7 cars were equipped with identical transistor portables and recorders and positioned at pre-determined locations. At midnight each car stopped at selected points to record broadcasts from the all-night mainland stations and 7EX as a comparison".