Monthly Archives: July 2014

Arthur Cushen’s 1st Radio Hobbies DX News

163-October 1952-92 copy

Arthur Cushen was New Zealand’s longest-serving and most prolific DX news columnist and one of the most prominent DXers of his time. This article was produced in October 1952.

ZBC Directors Question VOZ Mess

zbcOnce again, inaction from the ZBC in re-instating the Voice of Zimbabwe’s SW service has riled the country’s politicians, according to this story on the Radio World website.

Note that SW Radio Africa recently announced they were leaving SW so the VOZ has one less competitor.


Thanks Bill Marsh Jnr.

Bill Marsh (Jnr.)

Bill has kindly provided material for the many historical articles recently featured here.  Bill’s profile is also available on

AES Stations Part 2

80-November 1945-36

Click to enlarge.

American Expeditionary Broadcast Band Stations 1946


Historical article:

AES Stations on the Broadcast Band in 1946.


Foreign to the soldiers of World War 1., but well known and much appreciated by our troops today, are the numerous radio stations installed at centres throughout the “fighting” world, wherever reasonably large numbers of Allied men and women may be stationed. Many such stations in the Pacific war zone have been heard in Australia, as well as others in Europe; nor do we forget the various United Nations’ radio stations on the short-waves.

DX’ers will be interested in the information we are able to supply about some of these stations.

The Rise & Fall Of Broadcasting House



Thanks to Paul Rawdon reporting on DX Dialog, here is an podcast on the history of our very own “Broadcasting House”. In 1963, Broadcasting House  in Wellington opened. It was the nerve centre of the country’s radio networks and home to the Capital’s stations. Its Japanese-made technical equipment was state-of-the-art and its studios world-standard. It was demolished in 1997 to make way for an extension of parliament that never happened. In 1972, Spectrum’s Jack Perkins recorded a day’s activities in Broadcasting House. This rebroadcast of ‘Sound Around the Clock’ marks 50 years since the opening of Broadcasting House.

The Dreaded “Sealed Set”


Historical article:



We feel sure DX’ers would not have appreciated the sealed set scheme, used for a time during 1924. To overcome the financial problem, a listener was able to purchase a set, enabling him to receive signals from one station only. The listener was able to choose the station to which he wished to listen, and was compelled to pay a licence fee to the station to which his receiver was tuned. Stations asked their own fees, by the way.

SABC Broadcast Stations In 1943


sabc1Historical article:



Listen For These Stations:

Here we present a list of all known stations in the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s network. This list may be of interest to our WA DX’ers particularly, as several stations from South Africa have been logged in that State.

Best listening time for these stations in WA is from around midnight till about 5.30 am WA time, and In the Eastern States, listen around 5.00 am AEST.

560 kc., Grahamstown, No. 1.

600 kc., Capetown No. 1.

620 kc., Bloemfontein. No. 2.

Sunspots And Reception In 1939



Historical article:

The apparent effect which “sun-spots” have on radio reception makes their study of special interest to the radio engineer. This article was submitted to Radio and Hobbies by a reader in England, and gives some interesting information on a special subject.



SUNSPOTS are one indication of high solar activity, which is, however, also indicated by other phenomena. The most important of these are the clouds of hydrogen and of calcium vapour – called hydrogen or calcium flocculi – which appear on the sun’s surface, having been erupted from its interior, usually in the vicinity of sunspots.

Broadcast Band DX In 1939


Historical article:

Since the very first issue of Radio and Hobbies, (April 1939), it has been a matter of policy to provide, each month, the best possible information for short-wave listeners. However, we have often wondered how many of our readers are interested in long distance and overseas reception on the broadcast band. Here are some broadcast band DX notes, compiled by Mr. Roy Hallett. If you are interested, drop us a line and we will see what can be done about making this a regular feature.


The Aussie Broadcast Band In 1946

Aussie BC Stations Jan 1946s

click to enlarge

The Ionosphere And Its Relation to Radio Frequency



Historical article:

A summary of a lecture delivered to the Wireless Institute of Australia
on June 15, 1939, this article will be welcomed by all who are interested
in fading and skip-distance transmission on various frequencies.

By R. H. Healy, D.Sc., E. inst. P.


SHORT-WAVE circuits operating between wave-lengths of 10 and 100m. (30 and 3 mcs.) are dependent, in the majority of cases, on reflections from the ionised regions or layers of the atmosphere. In the absence of these reflections, communications by means of the ground ray alone is only possible up to comparatively short distances, the actual distance depending on such factors as the earth resistivity, the wave-length, and the height of the transmitter and receiver above earth.

Stars Control Wave-Length


 Historical article:



An interesting development in checking the frequencies of broadcasting stations is announced by the A.W.A. Research Laboratory

THE stars in the heavens have been harnessed to prevent overlapping among broadcasting stations. By their aid, complaints of interference between any of the 121 stations in Australia have been practically eliminated.

To test whether a station is on its wave-length, the scientific staff at the A.W.A. Research Laboratory, Ashfield, employs a tuning fork of high-grade Elinvar steel. This fork, when vibrating, has a natural frequency of 1000 cycles per second, and when its frequency is compared with the frequency of a broadcast station or control equipment in course of manufacture, the slightest variation from an allotted frequency or wave-length is detected.

Western Radio Broadcasters Tuning Out

vicgoonetillekeWell-known DXer Victor Goonetilleke in Sri Lanka laments the state of international shortwave broadcasts from the West in this story on the Straits Times website.


English Off-Shore Pirate Radio Compilation


Radio Hauraki Documentary


Radio Hauraki, originally New Zealand ‘s first off-shore pirate radio station and now a successful commercial broadcaster is the feature of a recent movie and documentary. The TV doco is previewed on the Stuff website.

A 1996 documentary can be viewed here at New Zealand On Screen.

Audio of a 1966 broadcast can be found on Youtube.


New SIBC Transmitter

SIBC logo
From SIBC News, 25th July, 2014:
The Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has delivered a new radio broadcasting transmission facility through the National Broadcaster, SIBC.
The more than 40-million dollars facility is donated under a project called “Improvement of Radio Broadcasting Network for Disaster Prevention” and is to improve early warning systems during times of disasters in Solomon Islands.
Minister responsible for Disaster Management, Bradley Tovosia “turned the switch on” after receiving the equipment from Japan’s Ambassador to Solomon Islands, Kenichi Kimiya today.
Speaking at the handover ceremony this morning, Ambassador Kimiya said the project is in line with Japan’s priority policy – climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.
The Japanese Ambassador adds, he notes the Solomon Islands Government also prioritizes disaster risk management as an urgent matter.
“The project is especially expected to improve the radio broadcasting network, enabling nationwide coverage in the Solomon Islands, which is exposed to high risks of natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, tidal waves, cyclones and so on. I believe radio broadcasting is a public good
The project includes a shortwave transmitter system, a shortwave antennae system, a transmitter power supply system, a disaster prevention broadcasting communication radio system, a program transmission link equipment and peripherals, tools and spare parts to maintain the equipment.
The project now enables a 24 hours shortwave radio broadcasting and communication service, and increases the coverage of radio broadcasting to nearly 1-hundred percent of the country’s population.

The Exelrad Noiseless Antenna

The Exelrad Noiseless Antenna

Exelrad Noiseless Aerial (1937)

Historical advertisement from the 1930s.

Practical Details of … “Eliminoise” Aerial Equipment


Historical article:

Typical Sales Advertisement from

The N.Z. Radio Times

February 2, 1937

It is generally agreed that if a receiver has to be operated where interference is directly radiated, the most effective way of improving reception is to attend to the aerial; the active span should be erected as far from any metallic conductor as possible, and the down lead which is incapable of picking up any radio voltages be used for connecting the aerial to the receiver.

Clandestine Radio In The 1970s


Martin Hadlow

While accessing some declassified US Government documents in the archives, I came across an interesting report from March, 1971. Headed Soviet and East European Clandestine Broadcasting, the report noted that “The USSR and East European Communist countries today are engaged in extensive clandestine broadcasting operations to supplement the efforts of their official acknowledged international broadcasting networks”.

The report listed nine stations, which broadcast a total of 232.25 hours a week. No doubt many of the stations are familiar to long-time DXers. Personally, I never heard any of the nine listed by the US authorities in their classified report. However, reading the list, and the raison d’etre of each station, is like stepping back in time to an era when the Cold War was at its height.