1924 - The Braybrook (Melbourne) Transmitting Site

Project Overview
1800s - Land Telegraphy
1874 - Guglielmo Marconi - a Tribute
1895 - Wireless Telegraphy
1901 - Wireless Telegraphy
1902 - Wireless Telegraphy in Australia
1904 - Australian Coastal Radio
1906 - Wireless Telephony
1912 - Melbourne Radio - VIM
1914 - Shortwave Wireless Telephony
1920s - Commercial Shortwave Telephony Development
1920s - Receivers
1920 - The huge RCA Longwave Station in New York
1920 - Wireless broadcasting in Australia
1920s - First shortwave stations in Victoria
1921 - Discovery of Shortwave Propagation
1921 - Koo Wee Rup (Victoria) Experimental Wireless Receiving Station
1923- Longwave Broadcasting in Australia
1923 - Evolution of Australian Domestic Radio
1924 - 3LO - Melbourne's Second Broadcaster
1924 - 3AR - Melbourne's first broadcaster
1924 - The Braybrook (Melbourne) Transmitting Site
1925 - First Shortwave Stations in Western Australia
1926 - First Shortwave Stations in New South Wales
1926 - RAAF Communications - Laverton (Vic)
1927 - Beam Wireless Worldwide
1927 - Beam Wireless from Australia
1928 - ABC Lyndhurst (Victoria)
1930 - AWA Receiving Station at La Perouse (Sydney)
1930 - AWA Radio Centre at Pennant Hills
1933 (to 1969) - Shortwave Radio Clubs in Australia
1936 - Ship Broadcaster - the MS Kanimbla
1939 - Belconnen Communications Station (Canberra)
1940 - RAAF Receiving Station at Werribee (Victoria)
1941 - RAAF Frognall (Melbourne)
1941 - ABC Brisbane
1942 - Army Wireless Chain - west of Melbourne
1942 - Dutch Stations in Australia
1943 - ABC Radio Australia - Shepparton (Victoria)
1943 - Army Shortwave HF Stations in Melbourne
1944 - ABC - Radio Australia - Looking Back
1945 - PMG Receiving Station - Highpark (Victoria)
1945 - Radio Australia - DXers Calling
1946 - Radio Australia - Communications Programs
1946 - VNG Time Signal Station
1948 - Radio Australia QSL Cards
1948 - ABC Sydney
1966 - ABC Cox Peninsula (Darwin)
1970 (to 2012) - Shortwave Radio Clubs in Australia
1975 - ABC Gnangara (Western Australia)
1975 - ABC Carnarvon (Western Australia)
1978 - Omega Navigation Station - Woodside (Victoria)
1985 - ABC Northern Territory
1989 - ABC Brandon (Queensland)
2003 - Private Shortwave Broadcasters
Timeline - Part One - 1839 to 1927
Timeline - Part Two - 1928 to 2012
SPECIAL - Licencing of Shortwave Broadcasters
SPECIAL - Radio Receivers for Shortwave
SPECIAL - Radio Monitoring as a Hobby
Bibliography, References and Resources
Links to the author's personal websites

1934 - Braybrook Antenna Towers

The Braybrook Radio Centre was a large operation, located on 4 acres of land, at what is now 170-180 Ashley St, about 8 km west of central Melbourne. It included a large factory employing hundreds of people assembling radio receivers, electrical devices, and electronics equipment, and a transmitting site.  A similar AWA Centre operated from La Perouse, in Sydney.

The transmitting site occupied the western area of the land, about 660 feet (200 metres) by 600 feet (200 metres).

The transmission facilities commenced on October 9, 1924, carrying programming from the Melbourne station 3LO, which at that time operated on longwave, 174 kHz, 1720 metres. In July 1925, this was changed to mediumwave, 810 kHz

Programs were sent to Braybrook via PMG equalized landlines from the 3LO Control Centre in the Cambridge Building, Collins St, downtown Melbourne.

3LO was part of the Australian Broadcasting Company, which migrated to the newly formed Australian Broadcasting Commission in 1932.


Prior to the official starting date for 3LO, a single low-powered 500 W transmitter was used for testing purposes on longwave. When 3LO officially commenced, power was raised to 5 kW.

In 1926, a second transmitter commenced from this site, carrying the Melbourne VIM ship radio, on longwave, which had been transferred from a site located in central Melbourne.

In 1927, a new shortwave service commenced, with 3LO programming, known as the Voice of Australia, intended mainly for Europe and America. The callsign for this was VK3ME, later changed to 3ME.

This shortwave service continued until 1939, when it was closed down by the Government at the outbreak of WW2.

The transmitter had six high-powered tubes, using between 8000 V and 1000 V HT, controlled by a master oscillator. Everything was enclosed in metal mesh panels, with interlocking devices on the doors. A red alarm light would be activated if there was any significant change in frequency.

There were two masts, 130 metres high, at each end of the site, 200 metres apart. These were steel lattice, weighing about 7.5 tons each. The transmitter building was midway between the masts.  There were two antennas supported by the masts – a 5-wire horizontal cage for longwave/mediumwave, and a vertical shortwave antenna for future use. The feeders for both antennas were about 60 metres ft long.

There was an artificial earth mat supported on poles beneath the masts. This was a counterpoise ground screen arrangement.

Site Ownership
From inception in 1924, the site was originally owned by AWA, and the Australian Broadcasting Company leased the transmitting facilities and antennas for 3LO programming.

In 1938, when 3LO moved to the new site at Sydenham, with 3AR, the AWA lease on the transmitter facilities was terminated.

In 1946, AWA became part of the newly formed Overseas Telecommunications Commission, which also included Cable and Wireless, and AWA factory operations at Braybrook ceased.

The transmitter site was then managed by OTC until 1950 when it was dismantled – the transmitter building was retained.

On November 28, 1950, a terrible tragedy occurred – two riggers were killed when the mast they were dismantling collapsed. At third rigger was serious injured

1950 - Collapsed tower

1930 - inside the Transmitter Building

2012 - Transmitter Building

2002 - Transmitter Building


In 1924, the site was originally in the suburb of Braybrook, but the local name was changed to Maidstone, a new suburb in the 1930s. It is at 170 to 180 Ashley St.

The land extended on the west from Ashley St, and on the south by Radio St, and part of it has been redeveloped, A factory making concrete posts Peri, now occupies the land immediately to the south of the site.

The area to the north of the Transmitter Building is now vacant land, an open paddock.

The land to the east of the site is now part of the large Medway Golf Course.

The original transmitter building remains, and is a Classified Victorian Heritage site, based on a Heritage Study carried out in 1990. The building remains unoccupied. It had been used in the 1970s as a gatehouse and store, with the rest of the site used as a storage yard.

Some insulators used for the feeder remain attached to the walls.

The building is of the Spanish Mission Style.

The remains of concrete foundations lie immediately top the west wall of the building. Other foundations exist in the paddock at the north.

The concrete pads for anchoring the guy wires can be seen and a large timber and iron store shed possibly of later date is located immediately to the south, now part of the Peri factory.

Only the concrete footings of the towers remain, partly covered in gravel.

1924 - opening of station for 3LO first broadcast

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