Kiwi DXer Beats Professor’s ZLT7

This is a tale of what a DXer did to boost the morale of New Zealand Armed Forces during World War II.  By Jack Fox.

Unlike the American AFRS our effort was pitiful. Each evening a 10 minute broadcast of “news “ which was in the main, government handouts, was transmitted from a Post Office transmitter which overlooked Wellington. This radio telephone station, ZLT7 on 6715 kcs, was not particularly powerful.

When in Wellington, I called on the Director General of Broadcasting, Professor Shelley, and suggested why the NZBS could not broadcast a forces concert over ZLT7. This program would be relayed from the local broadcast station 2YA. Typical Public Service answers were dished back at me, but strangely the program began to be heard on shortwave.

Later I was based in signals at the RNZAF station in Nausori, Fiji. There I had available when not in use, four RCA AR88 receivers as well as a Bendix which proved great for Dxing. I decided these sets could be put to better use on Saturday nights and so arranged a system whereby we could get New Zealand sports results for our chaps.

At that time the four YA stations broadcast local sports results at 7 pm, and so with the help of another colleague we copied down the results. I took the South Island 3 and 4 YA’s, while the other chap did the two North Island YA stations. I then compileD the results and sent them out on our teleprinter network around Fiji where they were displayed on camp notice boards.

Some time later news filtered through to RNZAF Headquarters in New Zealand and they decided to arrange sports results from throughout the country were to be sent out by Morse from Waiouru on Sunday nights. This gave a wide coverage to New Zealand forces on islands throughout the South Pacific.

To me it was an accomplishment and achievement l had over the top man in radio who regarded broadcasting as a sacred trust.

Prologue by Barry Williams

Although NZ did not establish a shortwave service till after the war, NZ could be heard on shortwave as a utility. In the August 1938 issue of Shortwave and TV magazine ZLT2 was noted on 7390 kcs working VLZ. In the January 1939 issue of Radio and TV, there was an interesting entry of ZZB Wellington being heard on 6960 kcs. I suspect this was ZLT relaying 2ZB for some reason. ZLT7 did appear in the 1944 and 1945 issues of the Lamphouse Annual’s list of shortwave stations compiled by Arthur Cushen. All it listed was the news at 9,30 pm.

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