1998 Camp Iona


Attendees, standing L-R: Basil Jamieson, Barry Jones, Toshi Ohtake, Cliff Couch, Jim Smyth, Jill Grenfell, Aisla Sutherland, Peter Grenfell, Alistair Sutherland (obscured) Arthur Finch, Risto Vahakainu, Arthur de Maine, Mark Nicholls, Gwen Aronsen, Daniel Bloomfield, Anker Petersen, Tamsyn Grenfell, Lynn Gibson (obscured) Ross Gibson. Front L-R: Bryan Clark, Paul Ormandy, Barry Williams, Chris martin & Ray Crawford.


Convention 1998 photo album 


To Sony N.Z. Limited, for their very generous sponsorship of this Convention. You will find some goodies from Sony in your Convention kit which will allow you to sample their wares. Sony have donated goods worth a very considerable sum for the auction and raffle and we ask that you bear them in mind when purchasing anything from batteries and video tapes to stereo systems and TVs. Also a big thank you to all who have donated items for the auction etc and to those who we ply money out of! As of printing, contributions are to hand from Stuart Forsyth, Tony King, Ralda Cushen (from Arthur’s estate), RNZI, FEBC, R Japan, HCJB, AWR, Radio Austria International, and we know that many conventioneers have brought goods with them too – a great big “thanks” to you all!




Alistair Sutherland is the man to see about transport arrangements both during the Convention period and if you need a lift on the Convention’s completion. Please let Alistair know of any special requests in plenty of time so travel can be co-ordinated. Ray Ferrier is in charge of the kitchen and main hall area and will help Conventioneers to “volunteer” for certain tasks, like dishwashing and preparing morning teas etc. Arthur Finch is the money-man. If you have fees to pay or would like to buy some pens, Sony shortwave radios etc, please see Arthur. Peter Grenfell is looking after the accommodation side of things. He will also hold a supply of blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, heaters, power-boards, etc, etc so give Peter a yell if you need to know something. Peter has been involved with Camp Iona for many years and knows the place like the back of his hand. Basil Jamieson will be our official videographer and Contest Judge. Paul Ormandy will help you with your electrical and aerial requirements. We have a large roll of wire if you wish to try something new.



Denmark: Anker Petersen. Finland: Risto Vahakainu. Japan: Toshi Ohtake. vAustralia: Ray Crawford and Chris & Lynn Martin. Auckland: Bryan & Sandy Clark, Barry & Alice Williams and Daniel Bloomfield. Haumoana: Jack Searle.Wellington: Arthur de Maine, Cliff Couch, Michael Pollard and Barry Jones. Nelson: Andy & Stephanie McQueen.Christchurch: Mark Nicholls, Ross & Lynn Gibson. Invercargill: Paul & Gwen Aronsen, and Arthur Williams. Locals: Peter & Jill Grenfell, Basil Jamieson, Arthur Finch, Ray Ferrier, Alistair Sutherland, Paul Ormandy



Above: Our overseas conventioneers – Standing Left to Right – Ray Crawford, Chris Martin, Risto Vahakainu. Seated – Toshi Ohtake), Anker Petersen .


Australia: Raewyn Crawford. Christchurch: Alan Stuart, Wayne Searle, Hazel and Don Reed, Dulcie and Ken Mackey,Dunedin: Jim Searle, Jack Blacklock, George & Pat Beardsmore, Murray and Joyce Lamont, Mosgiel: Jack & Anita Fox.Oamaru: Isla Sutherland, Linda Ormandy



From FEBC: Check their “DX Dial” program on Saturday night at 0940 UTC, 11635kHz for a convention call. From AWR: Adrian Petersen of Adventist World Radio will air a special edition of “Wavescan” via ZLXA on Thursday at 0830 UTC, 1602 & 3935kHz. AWR offer a specially endorsed QSL for reception reports of this broadcast. Please send your reports to Adrian at AWR, 903 Tanninger Drive, Indianoplis, IN 46239 USA. From WRMI: Jeff White of WRMI is dedicating the program “Viva Miami” at 1030 UTC on Friday the 6th to the Convention. Tune in to 9955kHz for this broadcast. Radio Marabu: This German-based pirate will be broadcasting on 6210kHz on Saturday at 1800 UTC (Sunday morning here). Their address is: P O Box 1166, 49187 Belm, Germany. Radio Blandengue: From somewhere in South America, this Argentine-based pirate is broadcasting at a time to suit NZ DXers, on Saturday the 7th from 09-1000 UTC, using 6965kHz LSB. Their address is: RB, Box 2571, Buenos Aires 1000, Argentina. Please send 2 IRCs with your report. Radio Cochiguaz: Also from South America, is using 6980kHz from 0730-0830 also on Saturday the 7th. Their address is RC, Box 2571, Buenos Aires 1000, Argentina. Please send 2 IRCs with your report. RNZ Maintenance Close-downs: Whilst these are happening after the Convention, this is probably the only chance you will get of knowing about these – unless you’re on “Greyline DX” over the Internet! At 1105 UTC Tuesday, 1YK Kaitaia 837kHz will close for maintenance – this will allow you to verify one half of what is usually a synchro operation with 1YX in Whangarei. And on Wednesday at 1105 UTC, 1YE Kaikohe 981kHz will shut down. These checks are scheduled to end at 1600 UTC.



We have set up six listening sites. One in the Lodge (Building No. 1), two in the Sports Hall No. 10) one in the Jimmy Allan Hut (No. 5), the Main Hall (in the Library) and the Bunk House (No. 4).



Thursday 5th

3:00 pm Welcome and afternoon tea.

4:00 pm Keynote address – Risto Vahakainu, “DXing from Finland”.

6:00 pm Evening meal

7:30 pm Quiz Night – comperes, Jill and Peter Grenfell

9:00 pm Supper

9:30 pm Convention Greeting – from AWR via ZLXA on 1602 & 3935kHz


Friday 6th

7:00 am Breakfast

9:00 am Official opening & photo

9:30 am Keynote speaker – Toshi Ohtake, “DXing in Japan and the Japan Shortwave Club”

Alternate: Garden tour to “Chutney & Charm”, Otepopo Gardens, Mill Cottage Gardens & Muldrew’s garden. Devonshire tea at “Chutney & Charm”.

10:00 am Morning Tea

10:30 am Keynote speakers – Anker Petersen & Risto Vahakainu, “The European DX Council”

11:00 am Discussion Group – “The Future of the Hobby” – hosted by Barry Williams

12:00 am BBQ lunch

1:30 pm Scenic Tour – Trotters Gorge, Horseshoe Range Road,

3:30 pm Afternoon tea in Palmerston Option of FM DXers climb up Puketapu Hill (good walking shoesrecommended) or Shag Point to view seals, dolphins, sea-birds, and hopefully yellow-eyed penguins.

5:00 pm Putting Contest

6:00 pm Dinner

7:00 pm Cricket on the Glencoe Domain Alternate: cards, Trivial Pursuit, DXing

9:00 pm Supper Alternate: Visit Oamaru’s Little Blue penguin colony

11:30 pm Convention greeting – WRMI 9955kHz


Saturday 7th

7:00 am Breakfast

8:00 am Radio Sprint briefing

8:30 am Radio Sprint begins – (details will be kept secret to the last moment!)

10:30 am Morning Tea and results of Radio Sprint contest

11:00 am “Infomercial” Michael Pollard of Burnett-Pollard Books

12:00 am Depart for Anniversary Dinner at the Boulders Park Restaurant, Moeraki.

1:00 pm Anniversary dinner and speeches Welcome – Jack Fox, Patron, Old Timers Roll Call, Greetings – Barry Willams, NZRDXL President,


“Early Days Recalled” – Part 1

Main Course

“Early Days Recalled” – Part 2


“Early Days Recalled” – Part 3


4:00 pm Afternoon tea at Camp Iona, free time for chat.

4:30 pm Keynote speaker – Bryan Clark, “Past DX Conventions”

6:00 pm Auction goods on display

7:00 pm Evening meal

8:30 pm Auction

8:30 pm Special Broadcast – Radio Cochiguaz, 6980kHz (tape-recorder job!)

9:30 pm Contest results and prize-giving

9:45 pm Supper

10:00 pm Special Broadcast – Radio Blandengue, 6965kHz LSB

10:40 pm Convention Greeting – from FEBC over “DX Dial”, 11635kHz

Sunday 8th

7:00 am Special Broadcast – Radio Marabu 6210kHz

7:30 am Breakfast

9:00 am Farewells

10:00 am Morning Tea and packing up camp.


Breakfast is a strictly “help-yourself” affair with a selection of cereals, toast spreads and drinks. Biscuits and drinks are supplied for morning and afternoon teas and supper. The local Association of Presbyterian Women are cooking our meals on-site.


Everyone will be “placed” into a team for the dishwashing/kitchen rosters, as well as for the competition being run right through the Convention period. The team with the most points at the end of the contest be rewarded!

The teams are named after some famous receivers:

Lynn Martin Sandy Clark
Anker Petersen Jill Grenfell
Bryan Clark Risto Vahakainu
Barry Jones Daniel Bloomfield
Peter Grenfell Andy McQueen
Alice Williams Stephanie McQueen
Toshi Ohtake Ray Crawford
Jack Searle Arthur de Maine
Mark Nicholls Ross Gibson
Arthur Finch Ray Ferrier
Lynn Gibson Gwen Aronsen
Chris Martin Barry Williams
Cliff Couch Michael Pollard
Paul Aronsen Basil Jamieson
Alistair Sutherland Arthur Williams


Early February is not the greatest time of the year for DX though with the very low level of background noise at Camp Iona, late-night listening on the MW band could well be very rewarding! Check out the expanded-band in particular, with US stations KXBT 1640, KGXL 1650, WJDM 1660, and WCMQ 1700giving some indication of what DXing was like in the 1940’s! And if you’re up around 1700 UTC, Vatican Radio 1611 is one to watch for, along with TWR Monte Carlo 1467, DW Trincomalee 1548, AIR Nagpur 1566 etc. On SW, Latins will abound on the tropical frequencies from 0900 onwards – look for reactivated “Radio Mí” from Honduras on 5890kHz around 1200 UTC, and Africans from 1700 through to breakfast time. Check the 31 and 25mb Brazilians during the afternoons, especially 9650 mid-afternoon for Radio Ciudad de Montevideo for their live coverage of the annual festival and look for those 49, 31 & 25mb Brazilians early evenings too. And don’t forget LRA36 Argentine Antarctic around 1930 UTC on 15476kHz. Other targets include Radio Tanzania-Zanzibar 11734kHz from 1700 prior to RNZI’s sign-on at 1850 UTC, Radio Africa 15185kHz and Radio Hargeisa 7061-7071v.kHz between 1600-1800 UTC.

To record what you’ve been hearing and to help compile a trail of Convention DX for later publication, could you please make a list of your loggings on the “Convention Trail” form in the centre of this program.


In Herbert township there is a well-equipped store which also contains a post- office and has a card-phone outside. The garage provides hot food as well as the usual service-station lines. Maheno & Hampden both have a garage and pub with bottle store. Hampden has two stores and a “take-aways” which has award-winning “Fish’n’chips”. The Mill House at Waianakrua,for those of you who may wish to visit this historic building and gardens, the Mill House also has a first-class restaurant and a bar. Tourist Information if you intend to spend a little longer in North Otago, there is a Tourist Information Centre in Oamaru. It is located at the Southern end of Thames Street, on the corner with Itchen Street near the historic precinct.


In 1930 the Radio Record (later incorporated in the present ‘Listener’ magazine) founded the New Zealand DX Club to cater for the growing number of DXers. In it’s first year, there were 500 members. Six years later, the Club’s membership rocketed to 1,721 including many from overseas. By 1940 the Club claimed 2,500 members in all parts of the Globe. Branches were set up by groups through-out the country and later the Club separated from the control of the Radio Record to run it’s own monthly magazine.

In the mid-forties DXing was particularly strong in the South Island and the lack of active DX interest in Auckland headquarters led to a split. So it was that the New Zealand Radio DX League was formed at Invercargill an August the 15th, 1948, when prominent Southland and Otago DXers got together to form the new organization. The League was governed by a board of directors, five in Southland and five in Otago. The Southlanders had the responsibility of producing the monthly magazine “The New Zealand DX Times” and Otago did the administrative work.

This arrangement lasted until September 1958, when Otago took over the running of the entire League, including the magazine. Four years later, Otago was hit by the drift North and Canterbury gained leading Otago DXers. As a result, the League became based in Christchurch. In 1966, the administration of the League was again being handled by Otago. Forced through lack of experienced young DXers, the “old faithfuls” in Dunedin found that they could not carry on with running the organization. Christchurch members, who had successfully handled the DX Times for 10 years, were in a similar position.

In 1972, Southland took the administration and, for the first time, a North Island Branch became responsible for the magazine. With this change, Wellington DXers introduced a much brighter presentation of the magazine in it’s present offset form. Whilst the Wellington Branch has gone into recess, the League has been fortunate to have a number of dedicated individuals in the capital city to carry on the DX Times production. After a stalwart tenure of 20 years, the Southland Branch handed over the Administration to the Auckland Branch in 1992.


Aussie DXer Chris Martin


Daniel Bloomfield and Lynne Martin


Paul Aronsen, Arthur de Maine & Paul Ormandy in Beverage discussions


Risto Vahakainu introducing us to ‘Finlandia’


Pre-Convention activity – aerial installation… plenty of “supervisors” here! Left to right: Basil Jamieson, Arthur de Maine, Arhtur Finch, Daniel Bloomfield, Jim Smyth and Alistair Sutherland with Paul Ormandy up the ladder… and the only one actually working…


The auction is always a highlight… in 1998 we were very fortunate to have several portable receivers, noise-cancelling headphones and other gear kindly donated by Sony NZ Ltd, plus a large number of itmes from the late Arthur Cushen’s estate.


Arthur Williams, Barry Williams and Michael Pollard tune in…


Founders of the New Zealand Radio DX League 50 years after the event. Left to right: Jack Fox (League patron), Jack Blacklock, Murray Lamont, Ken Mackay, Jack Searle, George Beardsmore, Ross Gibson, Don Reed.

And so to the next 50 years…….

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