It was on this day that a small 2 kW shortwave transmitter was officially inaugurated at Liverpool in New
South Wales under the Australian callsign VLI. A few days earlier, local radio listeners noted test broadcasts from
the new transmitter on several different channels in the international shortwave bands.
The large ABC radio station
located at Liverpool on the southern edge of the city of Sydney was established in the year 1938 for mediumwave coverage of
Australia's largest metropolis. The two main transmitters carry the national and state service for the ABC, and these
have been on the air under the callsigns 2BL and 2FC.
A few years ago, the historic
callsign 2FC was relinquished and the national programming for the Sydney area is now on the air under the generic callsign
2RN. Two other mediumwave callsigns have been in use at Liverpool: 2JJ, which is now identified
as Triple J on FM, and 2PB, which carries parliamentary broadcasts and news relays.
The new shortwave unit was implemented
for coverage of coastal areas north and south of Sydney where mediumwave coverage was poor at the time. Initially, two
channels were in use and these were scheduled as follows: VLI2, 6090 morning
and evening, and VLI3, 9500, daytime
June 1 1951
numeric designators were changed and VLI2 became VLI6 and VLI3 became VLI9. Two years later again, the 9 MHz channel
was dropped and the transmitter was on the air full time on just one channel, 6090.
October 7 1983
Quite suddenly and unexpectedly, at 1402 UTC on this day,
the VLI transmitter malfunctioned and left the air abruptly. The official cause was stated to be the failure of the main
The small transmitter was soon
afterwards removed from its location against one of the big 50 kW mediumwave transmitters, and all of the wooden poles, all
painted white, that carried the feeder line to the rhombic antenna system were also removed.
During its 35 year history,
station VLI carried a composite relay from both 2BL and 2FC, and its signal was heard quite reliably well beyond the coastal
areas. Many QSL cards were issued to confirm the reception of VLI, and they were always the regular ABC QSL cards that
were in use at the time.
Just as a matter of interest,
the callsign VLI was in use back in the year 1919 for the New Zealand ship "Aorangi." Then
in January 1943, the VLQ transmitter at Pennant Hills that was on the air with the programming of "Australia Calling" was
re-designated as VLI.
Two years later, Radio Australia
dropped the usage of the station at Pennant Hills, and the callsign VLI was deleted. However, three years later again
the call was taken up for the 2 kW, transmitter located at Liverpool.