1904 - Australian Coastal Radio

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

First Stations

The famed Marconi had been very active in the experimental development of wireless as a tool for distant communication, beginning in 1894.

Ten years later, the Marconi Company in Australia established two temporary wireless stations, one in coastal Victoria and the other on the northern edge of Tasmania, as a public demonstration of the usefulness of wireless communication between the Australian mainland and Tasmania.

During the years 1910 and 1911, four temporary interim wireless stations were established in Australia, and these were on the air as ATY and AAA in Sydney, AAM in Melbourne, and VZE on the small King Island close to Tasmania.

However, during this same time period, the government was actively involved in planning and preparing for an extensive network of coastal wireless stations that virtually ringed the entire continent. Each of these stations was designed with a spark gap transmitter and a tall tower, with a simple crystal set as the receiver.

During the year 1912, a total of eight of these new wireless stations were installed; five on the continental mainland, one in Tasmania, and two in distant island territories. The two largest stations, Sydney and Perth, spanned the continent, and the other regional stations were intended for more local coverage.

The two stations in Sydney and Perth were designed and installed by the German company Telefunken using a 25 kW quenched spark transmitter that delivered 8 kW into the antenna system. The other stations at this stage were installed by the Maritime Wireless Company using locally made equipment rated at either 2.5 kW or 5 kW.

February 8 1912
The very first of these new wireless stations was officially inaugurated in Melbourne under the callsign POM. This station was located on Kings Domain, adjoining the main surveyed area of Melbourne city, and it gradually replaced the earlier temporary station AAM.

April 30 1912
The second station in this new network of coastal wireless stations was inaugurated, with 5 kW, in Hobart, and it was in use for communication with continental Australia, the Antarctic territories, and shipping in coastal waters.

August 19 1912
The third station was inaugurated with the callsign POS, indicating Post Office Sydney. This was the first of the two larger stations and it was officially opened on August 19, at Pennant Hills,  and the antenna tower stood at 150 metres. The projected callsign for this large new station was actually POP, standing for Post Office Pennant Hills.

New wireless stations were installed at three more state capitals, and these were:

  • POB Pinkenba, 8 miles from Brisbane, Queensland
  • POP Applecross, near Perth, Western Australia, projected as POF
  • POA Rosewater, near Adelaide, South Australia

In addition to communication with shipping in local waters, the Brisbane station was also in use for communication with New Guinea. Thusly, the large station near Perth in Western Australia was also in use for communication with wireless stations in Asia; and interestingly, the smaller station located near Adelaide at the southern edge of the continent was often the first station that was able to communicate with shipping that was nearing the Australian mainland from the north.

A whole slew of these early coastal wireless stations were subsequently installed in additional localities on the Australian mainland as well as throughout the islands of the South Pacific.

Each of these wireless stations was inaugurated under a three letter callsign beginning with the two letters, PO, which stood for Post Office, and this was the government entity that had the oversight of all of these stations. The third letter in each of these callsigns was the first letter of the city, nearby to each station. In this way, POA was near Adelaide, POB was near Brisbane, POP was near Perth, etc.

However, due to an international radio conference a while before these events, the initial letter V was allocated to all wireless stations located in the countries of the British Empire, and this was in honour of the illustrious Queen Victoria, who had died a few years earlier.

Right at the end of the year 1912, the V series of callsigns was implemented in Australia by government action. In this way, station POA in Adelaide was re-designated as VIA, POB became VIB, POH became VIH, right down through the list to the Sydney station POS, which became VIS.

However, all of the subsequent stations, erected from the beginning of the year 1913 onwards, began their existence under the new regulations, and they were all allocated callsigns beginning with the two letters VI, until, in actual reality, the entire alphabetic list was used up, from VIA (Adelaide) to VIZ (Roebourne in coastal Western Australia).


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