Looking Back - 1939 to 2011 - the Autobiography of Robert V. J. Padula, OAM

1959 - The move to Mont Albert

1941 - Bikes and Cars
1943 - Hiking - Hills and Coasts
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 1
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 2
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 3
1945 - Auburn schooldays - Part One
1945 - Auburn Schooldays - Part Two
1945 - Auburn Schooldays - Part Three
1945 - Upwey and the Puffing Billy
1945 - Gramaphones and Record Players
1946 - Flinders St Station
1946 - Astronomy
1946 - Beach and Swimming Adventures
1946 - Going to the Pictures
1947 - Adventures at the Altona Bungalow
1947 -The Listener-In Magazine
1947 - Balwyn WIldlife Sanctuary
1948 - Fishermen's Bend Aerodrome
1948 - Radio Australia QSL cards
1948 - Excursions
1949 - Australian Rules Football
1949 - Radio Monitoring at Auburn
1950 -Trains and Ships
1950 - Radios for Communications
1950 - Radio Listening Clubs in Australia
1950 - World Radio TV Handbook
1950 - Shortwave Radio Propagation Research
1950 - Medium Wave Radio Propagation Research
1950 - Radio and Hobbies Magazines
1950 - Discovering shortwave radio at Auburn
1951 - Photography
1951 - Competitions on local radio stations
1952 - Camp Buxton - YMCA Shoreham
1952 Tennis and Ten Pin Bowling
1953 - Stamp Collectiong
1953 Camberwell High School
1954 - Royal Visit to Melbourne
1954 - Shortwave Radio reception at Auburn
1956 - Melbourne's Olympic Games
1956 - Trainee Telecommunications' Technician
1957 - Trainee Technician - field work
1957 - National Service Registration
1958 - Laverton Air Show
1958 - MOOMBA Parade
1958 - Trainee Technician - field work
1959 - The move to Mont Albert
1960 - Working at Deepdene Telephone Exchange
1963 - Trade Unions, Staff Associations, Industrial Relations
1964 - Senior Technician work in the Melbourne CBD
1964 - Project support for Radio Australia
1964 - Project support for Radio Australia
1964 - Amateur Radio
1964 - Media Writing
1964 -Travels
1964 - Engineering Support for International Broadcasters
1965 - Professional Employment with PMG/Telstra
1967 - Professional Qualifications - Institution of Engineers Australia
1967 - Australian Radio DX Club Photo Gallery (to 1979)
1972 - Wireless Institute of Australia
1972 - Natural disasters in Melbourne
1980 - Australian Radio DX Club Gallery (to 1995)
1981 - Award of the Medal of the Order of Australia
1995 - Padula Books
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Oldtime Australian Radio Drama from the 1930s
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Radio Monitoring Clubs in Australia - 1920 to 1949
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Melbourne Picture Theatres - History - 1906 to 1970

AR8 receiver



In 1959 I was in my fourth year of the Trainee Technician course, stationed at the Deepdene Telephone Exchange,  a typical suburban 2000-type exchange, parented on Hawthorn exchange.

I turned 18 in September of 1957, and quickly obtained my car driving licence and bought a small second-hand car in October 1958. This was a 1948  Ford Anglia Tourer.


In 1959, I disposed of the Anglia and bought a secondhand Austin A40 sedan. I had the A40 until 1961, when I bought my final second hand sedan,  an Austin Cambridge A55, which lasted until 1969!.

In November of 1959 we moved house from the shop in Auburn to the "country" in the beautiful tree-lined street of Mont Albert Rd, Mont Albert, 15 km east of the Melbourne CBD.


Oh yes, our hound "Terry" came with us!


Our house was a 1924 Californian bungalow, of which thousands were built in the 1920s across Australia, mostly conforming to a standard design, with a front verand, a centre passageway, external weatherboardxss, tiled roof, a garage, and on a large piece of land 110 ft by 35 ft, huge!


It had a lawn at the front, and a big garden at the back, with many fruit trees, and a Hills rotary clothes'  line!.


Immediately to the rear were public tennis courts! There was a driveway and garden, and an outdoor laundry and toilet.


The house has remained in the family ever since, and it's my place of residence.


It has been extensively modernised, and has had several facelifts, but its still the same house!  


In May of that year I purchased my first general coverage communications

receiver to support my passion for shortwave radio monitring and high freqeuency propagation research.


I bought this from A,C.E Radio in Sydney fior 34 pounds, 17 shillings and sixpence, which was a lot of money in those days.


The AR8 receiver was a communications receiver made by AWA (Amalgamated Wireless Australia) during World War 2 for use in aircraft. They ere used in locally made aircraft like the Wirraway and imported aircraft like the Hudson. The AR8 is part of a set that consists of the AR8 receiver, the AT5 transmitter, and an Aerial Coupling Unit. 

All units are in the shape of a cube and can sit on top of each other. These are connected to a Junction Box and a power supply. There are two power supplies for this radio set. A dynamotor set for 12 or 28 volt DC use, and a mains powered unit for 240 volt use.

The receiver is a unique design as it has 2 RF front ends, and a common IF and Audio section, similar to the English R1116 receiver. The RF sections are an LF unit and a HF unit and have independent controls, making it easy to switch between 2 stations. 


There is a red pilot lamp on the top right hand front panel, to indicate the receiver is on, and a dial light behind each scale, which is turned on for the appropriate RF section, indicating which section is in use.


The valve heaters and pilot lamps are arranged in a series/parallel fashion to enable either 12 volt or 24 volt operation. The receiver weighs 31 pounds. It has a sensitivity of better than 3 microvolts below 9.5 MHz and better than 10 microvolts above 9.5 MHz. The frequency coverage is 140-740 MHz and 0.765-20 MHz.


I erected a 60 metre half-wave centre fed dipole antenna in the back yard - this is the same antenna I use today, which is connected to the receiver via a Pi-section antenna tuning unit/coupler! 


Septye,ber 1958 - Radio & Hobbies mag - advert for ACE Radio, Sydney, showing the AR8 receiver

1959 - the Anglia car on the road to Upper Yarra Dam. I am at the rear! Dad at front, brother left

1959 me and Terry Dog in back yard at Auburn

2011 - Mont Albert Village shops

1919 - Steam Train at Mont Albert Station

2011- Washing Board found in our Mont Albert home in 1959!

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