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By Dr. Adrian Peterson

The following series was originally published in the Radio News Bulletin, published by the Special Projects section of Adventist World Radio.) The articles appear here with permission of the author.


(The following piece originally appeared in the March 28, 1994 issue - Volume 2 No. 3 - of the Radio News Bulletin.)

It was back in 1935, on May 6 to be exact, that His Majesty King George V of England celebrated his royal jubileee. The Empire Service from the BBC in London broadcast a special program worldwide in honor of the event and this was picked up and rebroadcast on the ABC network throughout Australia.

At the time, wireless was little beyond the experimental stage, and many homes did not yet have a receiver. My father rented a wireless receiver for the event, and I sat up, as a little kid, to hear the BBC broadcast on relay over the local ABC station. At the time we lived in a suburb of Adelaide in South Australia; and this was my first introduction to radio.

However, I date my first real interest in the world of international radio to the year 1938, just three years after the royal broadcast from London. An uncle who was just a little older than myself came to stay in our home, now in a country area, while he was in transit from one place of employment to another. He invited me to listen on a pair of earphones to the program coming from a radio receiver that he had made.

My uncle also showed me how to make a radio and soon afterwards I began to make my own, all battery operated, and using the old bulbous Cossor valves from England. The tuning coils were hand wound on the base of an old burned out valve.

All of this was back in the days when the MV "Kanimbla" was plying the Australian coastal waters. Radio station 9MI, aboard the "Kanimbla", was on the air in the 49 metre band and frequently their programs were relayed off-air over commercial radio stations located in nearby coastal cities.

Back in those days, amateur radio operators were permitted to broadcast programs on allocated channels in the MW band, usually on Saturdays and Sundays, though sometimes in the midweek evenings as well. These amateur stations issued QSL cards for their program broacasts in the MW band.

Many years later, when my father bought a motor garage in suburban Adelaide, he found some old QSL cards dating from the amateur broadcast era, which he gave to me.


(The following piece originally appeared in the May 2, 1994 issue - Volume 2 No. 4 - of the Radio News Bulletin.)

During the hard times of World War 2, it was impossible to make a casual visit to a radio station in Australia. However, as the war was coming to its end, and national security was relaxed, then groups of visitors were sometimes permitted to make tours of the various radio stations in the capital cities. The first radio stations I visited were all located in the city of Adelaide, South Australia's state capital. This was in the days when the studios and transmitters of each MW station was located in the same building, all in the one mile square that contained the main city.

I remember to this day, the visits that I made to the newly revived radio station 5KA. it was originally established in 1927 by the Jehovah's Witnesses, but, in the interests of security during the war, this station, along with three others elsewhere in Australia, were all suddenly closed. Towards the end of the war, this station was bought by a commercial organization and relocated in the Methodist Church building located almost in the center of Adelaide. Other stations in the same area were:- 5AD in the Advertiser newspaper building, 5DN at the top of an insurance company building, and the two ABC stations, 5AN & 5CL, on the edge of a garden square.

During this same era when the old South Australian Radio DX Club was revived in the times of Ern Suffolk, Jim Paris, Rex Gillett and Wally Young, the club meetings were held in one of the studios at 5KA. In fact, on the day when they switched over from a long wire antenna running up the church steeple to the self-supporting mast, we were there!

Since that time, all of these radio stations have moved (and so have I!). And over the years, I have had the opportunity of visiting many hundreds of radio stations, large and small, located in many major areas of the world. From those early days, just beyond the experimental era, radio propagation has become a worldwide instantaneous method of mass communication.


According to Radio News for December 1922, the first radio broadcast from an airplane was made at Detroit on October 9, 1922. It was the occasion of the National Airplane Races and a flying boat, the "Wilber Wright" flew above the aviation display and broadcast a running commentary of the events. The transmitter was a 50 watt GE unit tuned to 507 meters, 590 kHz.

Incidentally, while flying from Chicago to Indianapolis on United recently, I was pleasantly surprised to hear for the first time the flight deck radio communications on one of the audio channels in the passenger cabin.


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DXer of the Year for 1995

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