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


In the early 1990s, large Government-run international broadcasters started to close down their shortwave operations, a trend which has quickly accelerated in the years from 2000 to the present day.

It had become increasingly clear that shortwave broadcasting was a technology with  diminishing future, with no financial return to offset the continuing investment in funds, production resources, and technical facilities.

The development of direct broadcasts from satellites has reduced the demand for shortwave receiver hardware, but some international shortwave broadcasters still exist. A new digital radio technology, Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), was expected to improve the quality of shortwave audio from very poor to standards comparable to the FM broadcast band, but this has been a dismal failure, with negligible commercial interest.

The future of shortwave radio is threatened in some regions by the rise of power line communication (PLC), also known as Broadband over Power Lines (BPL), which uses a data stream transmitted over unshielded power lines. As the BPL frequencies used overlap with shortwave bands, severe distortions can make listening to analogue shortwave radio signals near power lines difficult or impossible.

Shortwave use by hobbyists and licensed amateur ham radio operators continues to decline, and some hobbyists have combined amateur radio HF with computers for experimental and established data modes that can communicate very close to under the noise floor of receivers

Shortwave radio's benefits are sometimes regarded as being outweighed by its drawbacks, including:

Electrical Interference
Shortwave broadcasts often suffer from serious interference problems because of overcrowding on the wavebands, atmospheric disturbances and electrical interference problems (particularly in cities) from TV sets, computers, mobile phones, poorly designed domestic appliances, and substandard electrical installations Even under ideal reception conditions, the audio quality of a shortwave broadcast is usually inferior to that of domestic stations, particularly FM stations, and it has always been in monophonic sound.

Electronic Platforms
As more people around the world gain access to television and the Internet, older technologies such as shortwave radio find it increasingly difficult to compete for listeners' attention. In most Western countries, shortwave radio ownership is usually limited to true enthusiasts, since most new standard radios do not receive the shortwave band. Therefore, Western audiences are limited.


Dependence of shortwave radio on atmospheric conditions (the best frequencies for hearing different parts of the world vary by time of day and season) means that it can be difficult to use by non-technically-minded listeners

Government-funded international commercial shortwave radio is rapidly becoming an obsolete technology, with closures of major broadcasters now occurring at a steadily increasing rate.  Regional shortwave broadcasting has also virtually disappeared in many countries.

International shortwave broadcasting continues to be utilised by religious organisations, where funding is generated by philanthropists, benefactors, grants, and donations.

An analysis of language usage of remaining international broadcasters reveals a sharp increase in Arabic, Farsi, Chinese, East European, and South Asian languages, with a dramatic downturn in English output. Much of this is politically and ideologically based, attempting to deliver a constant stream of pro-Western propaganda to regions judged to be of strategic importance.

The accelerated use of mobile SmartPhone telephone technology to deliver entertainment, news and information in many developing countries has been remarkable, and radio, in its various forms, has largely become redundant and of little meaningful application in some of those areas.

As is said, “nothing lasts forever”, and shortwave radio is no exception.

(I  hope you enjoyed the Project!)

Contact the author at this Email link