Note: This Chapter is an abridged version
of stories in the author's on-line autobiography "Looking Back - the Autobiography of Robert V. J. Padula, OAM - 1939 to 2011"
The commercial magazine “Wireless Weekly”, which started in 1922, later
be coming the monthly “Radio and Hobbies” in 1938, published a vast amount of information about radio in all its
forms, including shortwave, medium wave and long wave.
The Listener In Magazine
was a weekly publication, sold across Australia, which first appeared in 1927. It was small format, about half A4, and by
the late 1930s had grown to over 60 pages! It contained details of daily mediumwave radio programs from Auistralian stations
for the following week, and was published by the Herald and Weekly Times, Melbourne..
A shortwave section was introduced in 1930.
Details about daily shortwave transmissionschedules were also given, in order of language:
listings of May 23 1937 showed broadcasts from the German station DBA in various languages, and from Czechoslovakia OLR.Italian
programs from RO were also provided. I think RO was the Italian Radio! Broadcasts from the French station TPA were provided
The magazine had many features, including constructional articles for
receivers, crystal sets, antennas, amplifiers, adverts for Melbourne-based firms selling radio and electrical equipment, ads
for cough medicines, books for home mechanics, Ju-Jitsu schools.
was a special "Junior Section". An article of May 23 1937 was titled "DX Listening and Reporting - how to tune in distant
stations and how to get verifications of reports".
1933, the magazine started a listeners' Club, know as the "Australian DX Club".Membership was 1/- annually, and people joining
received a Membership Certificate and Badge, and allocated membership numbers based on their States of residence.
In 1938 the Melbourne ADXC members set up a newsletter, due to the limitations
of space allocated in the "Listener In". This was offered for 3/6 annual subscription. This was orgiinally mediumwave, but
was extended to include shortwave.
A shortwave section
was introduced in the early 1940s.
I was a keen reader of the LI, which I had started buying in 1947.
The "Listener-In" ceased publication in 1954. TV had started
in 1956, and a new magazine for Melbourne readers appeared in 1957, known as "TV Radio Week", the name being later changed
to "TV Week", which survives to the present day.
of the "Listener In" are on file in the Serials Section of the State Library of Victoria, Swanston St, Melbourne, where they
may be viewed and copied..
Following the collapse
of the Australian DX Club in 1949, there was no national hobby organization in Australia dedicated to people interested
in monitoring distant radio stations on shortwave and medium wave for the next two decades.
in Australia could join one or both monitoring clubs based in New Zealand - the New Zealand DX Radio Association ((NZDXRA
- founded in 1933 closed down in 2008) or the New Zealand Radio DX League ((NZRDXL - still active at the present time). I had
joined both Clubs.
The Victorian Branch of the NZDXRA had its inaugural meeting
in Melbourne on August 29, 1957, and other
Branches were formed in Perth, Hobart, and Sydney.
During 1963 a large and rapid increase in Australian memberships
for both New Zealand clubs had occurred.
At around that time, general purpose communications receivers
were appearing on the Australian market, as were good quality, relatively inexpensive receivers from disposal/war surplus
The first general purpose receiver to go on sale in Australia in that era was probably the Lafayette
HE30, with its direct and band spread tuning dials, with good sensitivity and selectivity
There was a short-term boom with the “CB Radio”
madness, and the Wireless Institute of Australia's
Youth Radio Scheme encouraged youngsters to move into active radio as hobby.
Radio construction was attracting large and sustained interest
for younger people in the mid-1960s, and the hobby of "DXing" was seen as a logical and natural progression for many youngsters
in their teenage years.
of New Zealand DX Clubs in Australia
On December 5, 1964, the Sydney Branch of the New ZEALAND RADIO DX LEAGUE had its first
meeting. It had been set up specifically for later conversion into a re-born all-Australian Club.
In Melbourne, a Branch of the NEW ZEALAND DX RADIO DX ASSOCIATION was operating,
for similar reasons to the Sydney Branch of the League.
The Sydney Branch of the League issued its own bulletin,
the “Australian DX News”, and the Victorian Branch of the NZDXRA published "The Victorian DX Listener".
I moved into the position of Branch Secretary in December
The Victorian Group met each month on Friday nights at members’
homes. Monitoring weekends to relatively noise-free locations were arranged, such as
to the Mornington
These became colloquially known as “DX-peditions”, borrowing the term from our amateur radio colleagues!
Day trips were also made to various technical
centres, including the Australian Army’s Receiving and Transmitting facilities at Rockbank and Diggers Rest, west of
Melbourne (in 1964), and to the Watsonia Military Base, north of Melbourne. We also visited the Lyndhurst Transmitting Station
of the then PMG' Department, south east of Melbourne.
In late 1964, I started producing
taped DXing programs for local mediumwave stations, titled “The World at Your Fingertips”.
Australian Radio DX Club
On June 19 1965 the Sydney Branch of the NZRDXL was annulled and the Australian Radio
DX Club was set up in its place, and the Australian DX News now became the printed voice of the newly formed national society.
On April 15 1966, the Victorian Branch of the NZDXRA was
wound up and became the Victorian Branch of the ARDXC, and the inaugural meeting attracted 15 people.
In that year, several trips were undertaken between Melbourne
and Sydney by a small core or members. In July, I travelled to Sydney,
to participate in a monitoring trip to the Blue Mountains with two members from Sydney. We went to Mt Victoria, near Katoomba, driving in a blizzard. We stayed in an earthen-floor
cabin, and that weekend was one of the coldest ever experienced in the area! Heating was from an old iron wood stove!
In 1966, I also travelled to Adelaide to meet the members of the South
Transfers to Melbourne
Unfortunately, serious doubts had emerged
in late in 1965 as to the long-term viability of the new all-Australian Club.
There were no Rules or Constitution, and the club was administered
by a single individual, a young bank-clerk, with one other person (a teenage student) to assist. The Club was in essence a
hand printed newsletter, produced on a Fordigraph purple-print duplicator. A second-hand ink-type duplicator, using wax stencils
was subsequently acquired.
The Victorian Branch of the ARDXC continued to publish its
own magazine, the Victorian DX Listener, which was often bigger and more timely than the parent Australian DX News, in Sydney.
The December 1966 ARDXC bulletin was the last to be published
following the resignation of the people delivering key administrative functions there.
In a desperation move, a few Melbourne members, headed by myself, following a request from the Sydney people, decided to accept the administrative
responsibility for the Club and in publishing its bulletin on a temporary basis. The
only alternative was to dissolve the club, which by that time had grown to over 100 members.
We created a Management Committee in Melbourne, mainly composed of younger
The January 1967 issue of the Australian DX News was the
first to be published from Melbourne, using
the antiquated hand-operated ink-type duplicating machine, and wax stencils, sent down from Sydney.
I was part of the ARDXC administration team continuously,
from inception in June 1965, until I disassociated myself from the organization in 2000.
In early 1967, we introduced a basic Constitution and Rules,
which stood the test of time for the next 30 years!
We also developed the first version of the QSL Competition
Points List and Radio Countries List.
I received a special award for “Service to ARDXC, in the form of a beautiful engraved cup, made possible by the generosity
of a Club Patron, Mr Fred Kluth, in country NSW.
By that year, Branches had started to appear outside of Melbourne across Australia,
including a reformed Sydney group, Brisbane,
Hobart, Launceston, Wollongong, Adelaide, Hamilton, Perth, Canberra,
and the Goldcoast. Regrettably, most of these regional groups had lapsed by the mid 1980s.
These Branches were simply groups of members in defined
geographical areas, who met informally from time to time. They had no power or authority in management of the Club’s
affairs, but were consulted for their opinions and suggestions on major issues and proposals.
Click here for a continuation of this story, for the years 1970 to 2012