Letters to Editor & Introduction of SW to NZ


From the Christchurch Press, Volume LXXIII, Issue 22247, 11 November 1937, Page 9


Sir—The portion of “Listener’s” letter “who listens … entertainment value,” calls for some comment, as it is quite obvious that your correspondent is ignorant of the value of reports sent to radio stations. If his statement that the stations are pestered with useless reports is true, why do the stations request reports from listeners, especially to the extent of broadcasting special programmes after their regular transmitting hours? These programmes are extra expense to the stations and the officials would not waste time and money if reports were useless, and these “Specials” sometimes last two hours.

The following extracts from letters from the directors and engineers from various stations may be of interest. Broadcasting House, Daventry, Regret your bad reception, please send more reports immediately”; KGU, Honolulu, “We appreciate reports so much from Australia and New Zealand that we are dedicating a special programme to you … We ask for as many reports as possible.” 2NZ, Inverell, Australia, “We have been calling our New Zealand friends for the last three weeks and would be grateful if you would let any of your listeners know about this programme, for in addition to calling a few listeners, we play some Maori tunes. Let us know whether the present night is suitable.” WJR, Detroit, “We request reports from New Zealand listeners.”

It is also a well-known fact that the national short-wave stations in Australia, America, Europe, and other countries ask for reports during their transmissions. “Listener” also states that short-wave stations are listened to very rarely by owners of all wave sets. This being so, it may be asked why the owners purchase these sets when a broadcasting receiver would be quite sufficient and far cheaper? Before “Listener” dwells on this point it would be interesting for him to inquire from any reliable source whether the all wave receiver overshadows the ordinary broadcast model on the market to-day.

In conclusion, I am sure that Listener” would be made very welcome at the meeting of the Christchurch branch of the DX Radio Association, where he could meet some “small boys” and explain his point of view. Incidentally, he will find that many of the “small boys” are mature men of various walks of life holding responsible positions in our cities. Our membership also includes a Cabinet Minister. – Yours, etc., E. C. M. PHILPOTT, Headquarters Secretary, the N.Z. DX Radio Association, Inc. November 8, 1937.


Sir, – I should like to point out to “Listener,” who makes some ridiculous statements about useless reports being sent to stations from listeners, that these so-called useless reports prove very useful to radio stations. This may be seen by the many programmes broadcast by them, for this purpose, to listeners in all parts of the world. If “Listener” were more conversant with radio reception he would know this to be true.

The N.Z. DX Radio Association, to which I belong, recommended, at its last annual meeting, “that a shortwave station would be of great value to New Zealand.” The report stated that in districts where the noise level on the broadcast band is always high, short-wave reception of a government transmitter on high power in, say, Wellington, relaying the national programmes, would be of considerable benefit, as dual-wave and all-wave receivers are in comparatively common use now throughout the Dominion. Also, such a transmitter would be a great advertisement overseas for the tourist attractions of New Zealand.”

It can easily be seen that such a short-wave station would prove of great value, as is recognised by other countries that have erected stations for this purpose.

“Listener’s” statement about “small boys” is of course childish, as the “small boys” with whom I associate range from 18 to 80 years of age. I might add that I am not challenging “Listener’s” political views on the matter. Whether the Government was National, Labour, or Communist, 1 should still advocate that a short-wave station would prove useful to New Zealand.—Yours, etc., AGE 50. November 8, 1937.


Sir, —“Listener,” in his recent letter, makes a lot of ridiculous remarks regarding short-wave broadcasting. Not only are his remarks ridiculous but, to the many thousands of DX members throughout the world, they are insulting.

Perhaps “Listener” does not realise that if it were not for the work of DX clubs, improvement in short-wave development would be considerably slower. Admittedly, many overseas stations do receive a certain amount of useless information, but members of DX clubs go in for the thing properly. Contrary to “Listener’s” evident idea, it is not just a matter ,of writing to a station saying, “I heard your programme; please send me a Q.S.L. card.”

Technical data regarding signal strength, quality, and many other details, are, with the use of certain recognised codes, sent to the station heard, the idea being to give the station’s engineers valuable information. Technical reports are sorted out, and, from the information therein, necessary adjustments and improvements are able to be made.

As for “Listener’s” reference to “little boys” and stamp collecting, many DX members, through the medium of short-wave stations, contact correspondents and exchange all sorts of objects of interest. In fact, if “Listener” is interested, I can show him a fine collection of letters, photographs, cards, etc., from all over the world. We are not just “little boys” cadging stamps, but, in one way or another, pay for everything we receive, and, in an unassuming way, are doing our share towards promoting friendly international feelings.

Incidentally, we are also giving our country a lot of publicity, which, owing to our deplorable lack of short-wave transmitters, our country is missing. Regarding a short-wave transmitter, this could be operated in conjunction with a broadcast station, at a much lower cost than the figures quoted. However, on this point, at least, I agree with “Listener,” for it would be rather uninteresting for listeners in other countries to listen to the “canned” versions of their own music.

Much talk is being made of the number of new radio licences being procured, but no mention is made of the ever increasing number of radio owners who are thoroughly tired of the everlasting recordings, and are now enjoying worth-while programmes from practically all countries.

From the general tone of “Listener’s” letter, it seems evident that the art of “DXing” is rather a mystery, in which case he should hesitate to label us as “little boys” who pester overseas stations for stamps.

Hoping these few facts will serve to give a more correct, and worthy, impression of DX members.—Yours, etc., DOUBLET. November 10, 1937.

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