1966 - ABC Cox Peninsula (Darwin)

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

1969 - QSL from Radio Australia Darwin showing curtain antenna arrays


Radio Australia Darwin - that modern state-of-the-art international shortwave broadcasting station as it once was, is gone, gone forever! It is no longer on the air, it has been dismantled, and the property has reverted to its original inhabitants, the Belyuen Aborigines.

In the early part of the year 1942, Darwin was largely destroyed in double bombing raids on the same day, and ultimately, a total of 64 bombing raids were made on the town. The coastal maritime station VID was destroyed in the first raid and the radio service was quickly transferred to the airport radio station on the edge of town.

Darwin was rebuilt after the war, and it was largely destroyed again by Cyclone Tracy on Christmas Day 1974, and it has again arisen for the third occasion, this time as a beautified modern city.

Likewise, the Radio Australia shortwave station underwent three different and separate eras.

In this year, work commenced on the station at a location on Cox Peninsula, 12 km across the harbor, or 150km around the unmade road. Three Collins transmitters rated at 250 kW were installed and these were activated progressively beginning in December 1968, though full usage was not implemented until nearly three years later.

Initially, programming was taken off air on shortwave from Lyndhurst and Shepparton and also from Brisbane, though three program lines became available three years later when the microwave link to Darwin was completed from Mt. Isa in western Queensland. The three program lines from the studios in Melbourne were designated as VLK, VLL and VLM.

However, the station was rendered inoperable as a result of the Christmas cyclone in 1974, and that was the end of its first era of operation, after just three years of full time on air duty.

During this interim period, a new, and supposedly temporary, shortwave station was installed into a vacant American NASA building on the edge of Carnarvon in Western Australia. In the meantime, consideration was given as to whether the Darwin station should be renovated, or re-erected further inland.

Almost ten years after the station was damaged in the cyclone event, the Radio Australia transmitter facility was re-activated at its original location with a regular schedule, using two transmitters on air and a third in hot standby. That was in September 1984.

In this year, two new Thomson transmitters were installed; and soon fterwards, the 300 kW Thomson at Carnarvon, VLK, was taken to Darwin, where it was installed as VLU, but never taken into active service for Radio Australia. 

June 30 1997
The station was again closed, on this time due to budget restrictions. That was the end of its second era of active service, lasting a dozen or so years.

In this year, a lengthy series of short test broadcasts began from Darwin with the use of several different transmitters and aerial systems. These tests were performed to keep the station alive in anticipation of possible coming events.

During this interim period, several other international broadcasting services, such as the BBC London, Deutsche Welle Germany, and the Voice of America in Washington DC, and others as well, made overtures to the Australian government requesting the usage of the Darwin station as a relay facility.

However, none of these requests were granted, and instead, the station was sold to Christian Voice in this year.

During the ten year period under Christian Voice, two Continental transmitters formerly in use with Adventist World Radio as KSDA3 and KSDA4 on the island of Guam were installed at Darwin and taken into regular service. The 300 kW Thomson from Carnarvon was also activated by Christian Voice. During this third era of on-air performance, the Darwin station again carried some of the Radio Australia programming for coverage into Asia.


Just before mid-year in this year, the station was again closed, quite unceremoniously, and this time dismantled. Some equipment went to Shepparton for subsequent installation at Radio Australia, and some went to the new HCJB station at Kununurra, just across the state line near the northern coast in Western Australia. The building and the property at Cox Peninsula has already been given back to the Aboriginal Belyuen Community who inhabit the area.

There was also a receiver station located ten miles distant from the transmitter station and that was closed back in 1974 when the microwave broadband link was extended to Darwin, thus providing the program feed from the Melbourne studios.

Darwin station 1973

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