From the archives of Merv Branks, here is a glimpse into the NZ DX Club back in 1946. Kindly scanned by Bill Marsh (Jnr) in 2013.
Vol 54 – No. 15 – July 13 1946
THIS column is being supplied by the Southland branch of the New Zealand DX Club for the benefit of readers interested in tuning in overseas stations. N.Z.-time is used throughout unless stated otherwise.
DX is an abbreviation used in radio telegraphy, and signifies distance, and listeners whose hobby it is to listen to distant stations are known as DXers.
The N.Z. DX Club, Inc., the oldest organisation of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, caters for these radio enthusiasts by supplying information on the schedules and special broadcasts from overseas stations, offering advice as to when and where to look for stations, and is always ready to assist in the identification of strange signals. Any inquiries regarding unidentified stations may be forwarded care of The Southern Cross, stating the time, approximate frequency, and any particulars which might be of help in tracing the station.
The basis of the DX hobby is the verification card or letter. Radio stations are interested to know where and how well their signals are being received, and in return for correct reports issue cards or letters verifying reception. These verifications are collected, and the smaller the power and the greater the distance away of the station, the more prized the verification. Competitions are held by the club for the most and best verifications.
Originally, all DX was done on the ordinary broadcast band, and this band still holds pride of place. However, with the advent of household short-wave receivers some years ago, DXing also became popular on short-waves. Although short-wave signals are designed for distance, while broadcast signals are more or less for local consumption, it is often hard to identify the short-wave station, because many of them, are foreigners. Indeed English-speaking countries also transmit in foreign languages for propaganda purposes. ……. (Station information not scanned)
At the monthly meeting of the Southland branch of the N.Z. DX Club, Mr W. S. Milne was successful in winning the best-of-the-months on both broadcast and short-wave. The broadcast verification was WALB Albany, Georgia, U.S.A., which operates on 1590 kc with 1000 watts. This station was heard at midnight last February. Other good verifications included B2 Bari, Italy (an Armed Forces station on 1249 kc, 3500 watts, in February); ZOH, 700kc, 5000 watts, Colombo, Ceylon; CKRM, 980 kc, 1000 watts, Regina, Sask., Canada, and KMYR, 1340kc, 250 watts, in Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
The short-wave contest was won with Radio Algiers, French North Africa, 12,000 watts on 1212O kc. Others tabled were CXAIO, Montevideo; Jaffa, Palestine; HCJB, Quito, Ecuador; CKNC Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada; Kuala Lumpur, Malaya; Singapore, Malaya; and XEBT, Mexico City.
Arrangements were made for an inter-branch competition with Otago. Business was finalised for the annual meeting at the end of July.
Friday, July 19, 1946.
The New Zealand DX Club was formed in 1931 and is the oldest organization of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. In 1927 readers of The Radio Record began to report in the columns of that journal reception of overseas stations, while soon afterwards these listeners began writing to the stations heard and to their delight received cards and letters acknowledging their reception. Word was received of the formation of a DX club in America and by popular demand The Radio Record sponsored the inauguration of the New Zealand DX Club. In September 1939 the club was taken over by the DXers themselves and is now an amateur body rum by DXers for DXers. There are branches in the main cities of New Zealand and the Southland Branch publishes a monthly bulletin, The N.Z. DX-tra, on behalf of the club. Each branch holds regular meetings where the latest DX information is available. Competitions are held for the best and most verifications. Anyone interested in joining the Southland Branch should contact Mr George Goodsir, 45 Mary street, Invercargill. ……. (Station information not scanned)
Friday, July 26, 1946.
N.Z. DX CLUB.
The annual meeting of the Southland branch of the New Zealand DX Club will be held in the U.F.S. Hall on SATURDAY, July 21, at 7.30 p.m. At this gathering the trophies won during the year will be presented, and following the business a social will be held.
Vol 54 – No. 18 – August 2 1946
ANNUAL MEETING OF SOUTHLAND BRANCH.
The annual meeting of the Southland Branch of the New Zealand DX Club, Inc., was held in the U.F.S. Hall, Invercargill, on Saturday, July 2, when Mr A. T. Cushen presided over a good attendance.
The annual report stated, inter alia, that activities were now back to normal, with an increase in membership and more regular mail services to the location of main DX – North America. Twelve meetings were held and in April a DX party took place at The Rocks, as the guests of Mr and Mrs
A. M. Branks, when members added many new stations to their logs under the better reception conditions there. Three members of the Bulletin Committee, Messrs A. J. Allan, A. M. Branks, and A. T. Cushen, visited Auckland in January, when discussions with headquarters resulted in several important matters being finalised, including the incorporation of the club. Competitions were keenly contested, the results being very close in all sections. There is a credit balance of £6 4/6.
The election of office-bearers resulted: Patron, Mr F. R. Rose; president, Mr L. E. Warburton; honorary vice-presidents, Messrs A. Wachner, N. Carter, A. W. Jones, P. S. Robertson, and Turnbull; vice-presidents, Messrs A. J. Allan, A. M. Branks, A. T. Cushen; secretary, Mr 0. Goodsir; treasurer, Mr W. S. Milne; auditor, Mr J. McC. Thomson; committee, Mrs Grindlay, Messrs K. Robinson, L. Bell; log-keeper, Mr L. E. Warburton; records secretary, Mr D. Frampton; stationery secretary, Mr C. D. Kissell; bulletin committee, Messrs Branks, Cushen, Allan, Milne, Robertson, and D. J. Carter.
Following the annual meeting, a social was held, at which the awards were presented to the competition winners.
United States: Operated by the National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C., is station WWV, whose transmissions are a great help to the radio experimenter. Transmitting on 15000 10000, 5000, and 2500kc throughout the 24 hours a day, with a musical signal, one can calibrate the dial of any receiver by the signal of WWV. Correct to a better part of 1 in 5,000,000, WWV not only is a fine signal for checking the dial of your receiver, but each hour and a-half, voice announcements are made, giving the exact time. During the rest of the transmission, WWV is sent in Morse each five minutes, and before the hour, if need be, sunspot announcements are made.
Vol 54 – No. 19 – August 9 1946
The following were the awards presented at the annual meeting of the New Zealand DX Club, Southland Branch:
Broadcast: senior, July-December, M. Branks (156 points), 1; K. Robinson (155), 2; A. Cushen (146), 3. January-June, M. Branks (161 points) 1; A. Cushen (157), 2; K. Robinson (150) 3. Junior, G. Goodsir (140) 1, J. Lyall (132) 2, L. Bell (98) 3. Aussie three – monthly, July – September, A. Allan, J. Lyall and G. Goodsir, 1 eq.; October-December, G. Goodsir 1, L. Bell 2, A. Bainbridge 3; Most verifications, July-December, J. Lyall 72; January-June, W. Milne 32. Special Australian, L. Bell 1, P. Neilson 2. Best verification of year, K. Robinson’ with KGFW 250 watts in Kearney, Neb., U.S.A. Best of months, July K. Robinson KGFW; August, K. Robinson KWFG Hot Springs, Ark., U.S.A.; September, W. Ramsay, WNOE, New Orleans, U.S.A.; October, A. Cushen, “The Voice of the 8th Army,” Italy; November, M. Branks, CKBI, Prince Albert, Canada; December, G. Goodsir, KFMB, San Diego, U.S.A.; January, M. Branks, VUM, Madras, India; February, A. Cushen, WKBH, La Crosse, U.S.A.; March, M. Branks, WWDC, Washington, U.S.A.; April, A. Cushen, XGOD, Shanghai, China; May, M. Branks, WWSW, Pittsburgh, U.S.A.; June, W. Mime, WALB, Albany, U.S.A.
Short Wave: Most verifications for year, A. Cushen (132) ; best of year, A. Cushen with OAX2A, 200 watts, in Trujillo City, Peru. Best of months, July, W. Milne WWV, U.S.A.; August, W. Milne FK8AA New Caledonia; September, A. Cushen, Radio Andorra; October, A. Cushen, HJAP, Colombia; November, K. Robinson, CFRX, Canada; December, A. Cushen, SEAC, Egypt; January, A. Cushen, HCJB, Equador; February, W. Milne, Brazzaville, French Africa; March, A. Cushen, ZFY, British Guiana; April, A. Cushen, OAX2A, Peru; May, A. Cushen, WLXJ, Shanghai, China; June, W. Milne, Algiers, French Africa.
Merit certificates were awarded:— Broadcast, G. Goodsir (100 verificalions), K. Robinson (200), W. Milne (200), A. Allan (300), A. Cushen (400). Short wave, W. Milne (100), A. Allan (100 and 200).
Friday – September 27 1946
The Government’s announcement of additional stations for the Dominion is good news for the listening public, but not so good from a DXer’s point of view, as the preliminary statement shows that at least 17 additional channels will become blocked for overseas reception within the next few years. Evening American DX will be the main sufferer.
The Minister of Broadcasting has stated that further development of the New Zealand service would be directed to giving greater coverage to those areas which do not already receive first-grade reception. Approval has been given to place orders for the replacement of IYA, 2YA and 4YA. The replacement of 3YA will be provided as soon as the transmitting building has been enlarged. Three large areas not receiving first-grade coverage are Westland, Bay of Plenty and North Auckland. A start has been made to improve the position on the West Coast (3ZR to increase power) and in the Bay of Plenty, area. The present stations at Gisborne (2ZJ), New Plymouth (2YB), Palmerston North (2ZA) and Nelson (2YN) are to be reorganised. The plan also includes 17 subsidiary stations for local coverage in the larger centres, including Gore, Hamilton, Hastings, Timaru and Wanganui.
The whole scheme, however, is dependent on the allocation of building materials from the Commissioner of Works and the procuring of the necessary equipment and staff. Two short wave stations to serve the Pacific Area are nearing completion.
Friday – October 18 1946
Saturday night last was an unusual night for reception. Signals from the Australians were very poor, while the strength of some of the Americans was better than for some time. As a result many stations from North America were logged.
Friday – October 25 1946
The monthly meeting of the Southland Branch of the New Zealand DX Club will be held at the residence of Mr W. Milne, 77 Lowe street, Invercargill, on Thursday, October 31, at 7.30 p.m. All interested in radio are welcome.
Friday – November 1 1946
Happy indeed is the man or woman with a hobby, for it brings back many fold in pleasure and satisfaction, the interest and enthusiasm put into it. In that radio set of yours lies possibilities for a very interesting hobby … that of collecting the human voice from all over the world.
This hobby is known as DX-ing, and it has some thousands of followers in New Zealand. A DX-er is not necessarily concerned with the technique of radio – he is interested mainly in how many stations he can log, and picking up a distant low-powered station gives him the same “kick”, as a golfer gets out of a “birdie” or an “eagle.”
There is every probability that the signals of many broadcast stations within hundreds, even thousands, of miles, are right there in your room.
DX-ing deals with the tuning in of those stations, noting down the particulars of the programmes heard and writing and advising the station manager or chief engineer of these details. If your reception is correct, it will be acknowledged by a verification card or letter – and the verifications are the basis of the DX hobby.
The N.Z. DX Club has branches throughout the Dominion and members meet regularly and enter their respective verifications in competition. The further away the station verified and the lower its power the more points it is awarded.
DX-ers also try to collect verifications from as many different stations as possible. One Invercargill DX-er has verifications from almost 750 on the standard broadcast band, from every continent in the world; another has confirmations from 600 short-wave stations from all parts of the world.
If you have found the notes appearing in The Southern Cross interesting, why not join the New Zealand DX Club and get more enjoyment out of your radio? The local president is Mr Lloyd E. Warburton (‘phone 1388) and the secretary, Mr George Goodsir, 45 Mary St., Invercargill, to whom inquiries may be made. We hope that readers have obtained as much pleasure from reading these notes as “DX-er” has had in compiling them.
EXTRACTS above FROM THE SOUTHERN CROSS newspaper – INVERCARGILL – A Journal For All (est 1893)
Printed and published by Peter Simpson Robertson, 219 Spey Street, Invercargill, for the proprietors, Southland Printing and Publishing Company, Ltd., at the registered office of the company, 18 Esk street, Invercargill, N.Z.