Category Archives: History

Denis O’Callahan’s Personal History Of Radio Hauraki

It started for me when I was living in New Caledonia, having washed up there on a yacht and got a job with a local radio repair shop and a guy called Stan Clinch, who ran an outfit called Key View Radio. He’d been a wartime radar technician and had gone back to New Caledonia where he had been stationed during the war, to set up a radio repair shop.

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

This article relates to a Mr Frank W. A. Barnett owner of 4ZO Dunedin and builder of its transmitter. It has been scribed by Bill Marsh (Jnr) with all historical background information supplied by Frank’s son Bruce formerly of Wanaka and now of Taieri Beach near Dunedin. It is a small world as it is understood that Frank introduced my dad Bill (Snr) to the hobby of DX around 1935 and when I was restoring my dad’s first ever DX receiver chassis (1934 Patterson 185AW) it was son Bruce who was able to supply a missing cabinet and knobs along with a spare chassis. This first meeting between Frank and Bill (Snr) most likely had some connection with the Dunedin Branch of the NZDXRA.

Some early “Insights” into Dunedin’s “B” Stations.

A GRATUITOUS SERVICE

From the “Otago Daily Times”, 3 August 1935, page 22.

FILLING THE SILENT HOURS

WORK OF THE  B  STATIONS

FIRST MEETING SOUTHLAND BRANCH NZRDXL

FIRST  MEETING  SOUTHLAND  BRANCH  NZRDXL

From the Branch Minute Books – Transcribed by Bill Marsh – Christian names added ( )

The first meeting of the Southland Branch of the New Zealand Radio DX league was held at the residence of Mr R. DUFF (Roland), 22 Jackson Street (Invercargill) on Tuesday 31st August, 1948.

Members present: Messrs. Warburton (Lloyd), Branks (Merv), Cushen (Arthur), Goodsir (George), Allan (Alex), Perkins (Harvey), Tombs (Evan), Frampton (Des), Duff (Roland), Mercer (Graham) and Carter (Dudley).

Moved Mr. Tombs 2nd Mr. Frampton that a branch of NZRDXL be formed.

Election of Officers;

An International Log from a NZ DXer.

From; THE AUSTRALIAN RADIO WORD, Page 46, September 1, 1937.

DX  News and Views *** A page for letters from DX readers.

An International Log

Bill Marsh (Snr.)

A few words about dxing in New Zealand. VK’s on 20 metres have been coming in well for the last three months, and very seldom were signals less than Q5, R8-9. A few of the best were VK’s 4JU, 2XU, 2ADE, 2HF 2MH, 3AL, 2IQ, 3ZL, 5GM, 5AW and a few others, the best tone for  music being VK5GM and 3AL. VK2XU and 4JU have the best all-round transmitters. My set does not go down to 10 metres, but I can receive VK2GU, 3WB and a few others on harmonics. There are a few ZL’s on 10 and 5 metres, but have not beard any yet.

4XG Gore 1548 kHZ – Radio New Zealand

I am currently in Invercargill visiting family. Whilst going through some of my sister’s old photographs the other day I came across a verification card addressed to my mother. 4XG Gore was operating on a temporary warrant at this time. The year 1979 is way past my dad (Bill Marsh Snr) interest in sending out reports. I can only suspect the transmission by this station has some important significance as I am not aware of a call 4XG. I am assuming that my dad realised the significance of this transmission and my mother wrote the report and she received the verification. Can anybody provide some history on this station as it has me completely puzzled.

The Wirelss World from 1930

THE WIRELESS WORLD.

By Magna Vox.

NEWS AND NOTES. (Part)

From the Otago Daily Times , Issue 20993, 4 April 1930, Page 5.

RADIO EXHIBITION.

Hearing KGO in 1924

LISTENING IN.

AN INITIATION CEREMONY.

HEARING K.G.O. (By MASKEE.)

From the Auckland Star, Volume LV, Issue 179, 30 July 1924, Page 8.

“Come round to-night.”‘ said Jenkins, as I swung on a neighbouring strap in our morning tramcar. “You will have a real treat; you will be able to hear K.G.O.”. Who or what K.G.O. was I had not the faintest idea. The cryptic letters conveyed to me merely a sense of my inferiority, mill I was loath to seek explanation under the gaze of many envious eyes turned in the direction of our conversation. To display ignorance of radio terms in these enlightened days is tantamount to being unable to recognise a Ford car, either by eye or by ear. So, in a fit of misguided enthusiasm I declared that nothing would keep me from hearing K.G.O.

Radio Notes from 1934

RADIO NOTES (Part)

Prepared for the Guardian by STENTOR.

From the Ellesmere Guardian, Volume LV, Issue 64, 14 August 1934, Page 2.

Mr D. N. Adams, of Timaru, has been the successful competitor in the DX Cup competition, logging 546 verified stations. This competition originated some years ago, and each year the advance made in the number of stations logged has been amazing, indicating not only the worldwide growth of radio, but the great advances made in the construction of radio receivers. In 1931, 291 stations were logged, 366 the next-year, 416 in 1933, early this year 500, and now 546. Another remarkable feature of the competition is that on all four occasions the coveted trophy has been won by the aid of a Majestic receiver, a splendid tribute to the high standard of quality maintained by this well-known instrument.

Radio Notes from 1933

RADIO NOTES

(Written for the Guardian). By “Screen Grid.”

From the Ellesmere Guardian, Volume LI, Issue 39, 19 May 1933, Page 3.

STATIC ELIMINATION from 1925

WIRELESS NEWS.

STATIC ELIMINATION. A NOVEL METHOD.

(specially written for “The Press.”)

(By “Electra.”)

From the Christchurch Press, Volume LXI, Issue 18533, 7 November 1925, Page 6.

One of the greatest problems of present-day radio reception is static, which is sometimes known as atmospherics. Since wireless communication was first put into practice engineers hare striven and tried all possible methods and means to overcome this obstacle.

AMERICA’S CROWDED ETHER from 1928

AMERICA’S CROWDED ETHER

From the Evening Post, Volume CV, Issue 86, 12 April 1928, Page 7

America’s chief problem in connection with broadcasting is that their are too many broadcasters. They run into hundreds, and they cause serious interference. In connection with this difficulty it is frequently suggested that the shorter wave-lengths should be used. Those who, having a limited knowledge of the matter, bring this simple solution forward, overlooking a number of facts. One of these is that short waves are not suitable for transmission over short distances. Another “crash” is thus discussed in’ “Radio Broadcast”:

PORTABLE RADIO HOLIDAY SET from 1931

PORTABLE RADIO HOLIDAY SET.

From the Ellesmere Guardian, Volume XLV, Issue 3179, 23 December 1927, Page 6.

Broadcast Band Log from 1931

BROADCAST BAND LOG.

From the New Zealand Herald, Volume LXVIII, Issue 20938, 30 July 1931, Page 15.

SIXTEEN AMERICAN STATIONS — FOUR-VALVE BATTERY SET USED.

With reference to DX loggings Mr. S. Beard, of 239, Great North Road, Grey Lynn, writes as follows:-

I was particularly interested in the radio notes published on July 16, especially the log submitted by Mr. A. Satchell, of Northcote, which he states was received on an eight-valve set. My aerial is 80ft. in length and 40ft. high. I am using a locally-built four-valve battery set (no screen grid) and my log for four months comprises the following American stations:— “KGO, KFI, KPO, KNX, KFAR, California; WTAM, WLW, Ohio; KMOX, St. Louis, Missouri; WABC, New York City; KVCO, Tulsa, Oklahoma; WHDH, Boston, Massachusetts; WFAA, WOAI, Texas, WENR, Chicago, Illinois; KJR, Seattle, Washington; and KZRM, Manila, Philippine Islands.

D.X. with 2-Valve Set in 1928

D.X. WITH 2-VALVE SET.

From the Ellesmere Guardian, Volume XLVI, Issue 3222, 25 May 1928, Page 6.

EXAGGERATED DX RECORDS from 1925

WIRELESS NEWS.

EXAGGERATED DX RECORDS

(By “Electra.”)

From the Christchurch Press, Volume LXI, Issue 18419, 27 June 1925, Page 6

RADIO NOTES from 1924

Radio Notes

Bay of Plenty Times, Volume LII, Issue 8645, 28 July 1924, Page 2

By Rheostat

A new radio principle has been introduced in the latest American receiving set, known as “Unidyne.” The valves are operated without ‘B’ batteries, or without high tension current of any description. The invention is described as one of the greatest advances in radio matters within recent times.

LONG HIGH AERIALS from 1927

LONG, HIGH AERIALS.

From the Ellesmere Guardian, Volume XLV, Issue 3174, 6 December 1927, page 6

Letters to Editor & Introduction of SW to NZ

SHORT-WAVE BROADCASTING STATION

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

TO THE EDITOR OF THE PRESS.

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.

OVERSEAS APPRECIATION from 1934

OVERSEAS APPRECIATION

From the Evening Post, Volume CXVIII, Issue 118, 15 November 1934, Page 23

In “Radio News and the Short Wave,” an American publication appeared, in a recent number, a paragraph expressing warm appreciation of the New Zealand DX Radio Association:—