The Pioneering Otago Radio Stations

When Telecom unearthed its files on early private radio stations in Otago, it came up with more than dust and cobwebs. Radio New Zealand historian JIM SULLIVAN recounts the “fascinating stories” of the province’s radio station in the 1930s.

DUNEDIN was New Zealand’s “radio capital” in the early 1930s as it boasted more radio stations than any other city. Public radio was administered by the Broadcasting Board in Wellington and it had two Dunedin stations 4YA and 4YO.

RADIO – In the “Good Old Days” – Reference to 2AQ Taihape.

RADIO – In the “Good Old Days”.

From “The N.Z. Radio Times” dated Wednesday, June 10, 1936.

Station 2AQ, Taihape, owned and operated by Morton W. Coutts, first came on the air in 1922, and in the following article Mr. W. T. Chappen tells of the thrills he experienced while using an old-time receiver during the years that 2AQ was transmitting.

With a view to suitably illustrating this article we delved deeply into dusty relics of bygone days and finally managed to unearth these sets, although we are still uncertain whether they were used in the stone age or for communication between Britain and Rome in the time of Julius Caesar.

Frank Barnett’s NZ Card Collection

The following are Frank’s cards courtesy of his son Bruce of Taieri Mouth near Dunedin.

MLA30+ Loop Antenna User Review

League member Ken Baird has written this interesting review.

EWE Antenna – Optimal Dimensions

The attached table of dimensions was calculated using antenna modelling software by Bill Marsh. The purpose of this exercise was to better understand the EWE antenna characteristics by using different combinations of vertical and horizontal dimensions. Dimensions are based on an “On Ground” EWE with ground wire between vertical elements.

Optimum EWE Dimensions

 

Australian FM Station List

The 2020 list can be found here VHF FM Radio In Frequency Order

NZ AM & FM Station Lists

With many thanks to DX League member David Kaio, updated listings of New Zealand FM and AM stations have been uploaded to radiodx.com

In each case there is a listing in frequency order and a separate listing in regional order.

These lists are derived from the station licences issued by MBIE and are far more detailed than the lists we have produced previously. All current licences are included, so if a station is not currently on air (eg Trackside network frequencies) the Programme name is left empty.
Likewise for frequencies offered at auction that have not yet been won, or licences purchased but yet to commence operation.

More Observations regarding the EWE Antenna

Some More Observations regarding the EWE Antenna – by Bill Marsh

I have recently been doing some design work on the EWE antenna to better understand its characteristics. I have been using “Modelling Software – EZNEC”, the source courtesy of Peter Mott.

Write Up of League Conventions

Work to record all previous League conventions has been completed.

The latest to be added are

 

MW Frequency Listing for the early years of DX 1932

In days gone by (1932) the MW receivers that had radio dials were very often calibrated in metres rather than kilocycles. Attached is a frequency listing based on metres.

MW Log in Metres from 1932

How to write a “DX Report” – Hints from Merv Branks

Here are some tips on “Report Writing” from the March 1938 issue of “The N.Z. Radio Times.

The author is a very well known past NZRDXL member in the name of Merv Branks. Merv at this times was a very senior and well respected member of the “NZ DX Club”. For those that are unaware, Merv used the pseudonym “The Southlander” when writing to the newspapers and magazines of the day.

Report Hints by Mrev branks

 

Some further in-sights into the life of one time DX Champion – Frank Barnett

Frank as well as belonging to the “NZ DX Club” was also a member “NZ DX RA”.

This is his actual “NZ DX RA” badge which is now in the possession of his son Bruce.

 

After his station 4ZO was closed by the Government, he took up occupation with the “New Zealand Broadcasting Service. The top of the photos below, shows Frank operating the NZBS mobile recording unit’s cutting lathe in 1948. He was the main technician involved in touring in this ex army truck “mobile recording unit” around Otago and Southland to interview some of the remaining pioneers about their lives on the goldfields and such. Son Bruce remembers it being parked at their place in Alison Crescent, Dunedin on the odd occasion. The vehicle had jacks at each corner to level it to enable the cutting lathe to operate.

Nationwide Membership List for NZ DX Club

The attached list is my attempt at trying to assemble a membership list for the NZ DX Club. It is only a partial list based on my limited access to copies of “The N.Z. Radio Times”.

I would like to extend this list for historical prosperity, so if any members have other copies of the “The N.Z. Radio Times” I would like to have a lend of them. They will be very well looked after and returned safely.

Bill Marsh – wmarsh@xtra.co.nz

DX Club Membership

 

A DX Competition from 1936

An item from “The N.Z Radio Times” dated Tuesday, August 4, 1936.

This is an account of the winner of “The DX Challange Cup” a very sort after cup by members of the “NZ DX Club” in that time period. Note the receiver used and the tally of verifications. This was a period of record low sunspot activity when MW ruled supreme.

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Phil Van de Paverd

 

Phil at the Mangawhai 2013 convention,

Very sad news. Our old mate, long-time League member, veteran of the Auckland branch and Adcom committee Phil Van de Paverd passed away on Monday evening.

Phil was a very active DXer and administrator, having served many roles in the Auckland Branch, and as secretary-treasurer and membership secretary of Adcom (the League’s administrative committee). Phil was a regular attendee of League conventions and AGMs and often met DXers around the country when caravaning with his late wife Kathleen.

REMOTELY TUNED 5 inch FSL ANTENNA

REMOTELY  TUNED  5 inch  FSL ANTENNA

of “Gary DeBock” Design

FM DX Season Is Here

We have prepared an Introduction to FM DXing.

Articles on FM DX receivers and FM DX antennas have been updated.

 

Enjoy!

Australian AM Station List from 1932

New Zealand MW Station Listing from 1932

 

Some 100 Watt North American Verifications from the 1930’s.

The following verifications are from the estate of Mr Frank W. A. Barnett owner of 4ZO Dunedin and a one time DX champion.

Something of the life of a “one-time” DX Champion from the Dunedin Area and some early NZ Radio station cards.