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

SPECIAL CHAPTER - Radio Monitoring Clubs in Australia - 1920 to 1949

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

1923 - Listeners to the wireless

1925 - 3LO studio




Hobby radio monitoring clubs emerged worldwide during the early days of radio broadcasting, from as far back as the early 1920s.


They were created to support the activities of people who had developed an interest in tuning in to distant and overseas radio broadcasting stations on the mediumwave and longwave bands, and, later, on shortwave.


Their purpose was threefold: to provide news and information about broadcasters and their operating schedules, to facilitate members tuning in to these stations, and to create “listening targets”.


The term “DX” was originally an amateur radio abbreviation for “distance“, and the terms “DXing” “DXer” and “DX Clubs” evolved for use across the shortwave, long wave and medium wave listening community by people who were mot necessarily amateur radio operators.



Radio enthusiasts had banded together in the early 1920s to form the Listeners’ League of Australia, which was to develop into the Wireless Institute of Australia in later years.


Branches of this early club were formed in many States, with regular meetings, and its area of interest was mediumwave, (regular shortwave broadcasting had not yet begun!)


To inform listeners as to what could be heard, a weekly national publication began appearing on Australian newstands. This was the “Listener-In”, and was basically a program guide, providing details of all broadcasts to be heard on mediumwave from across Australia in the following week. The LI was published by the Herald and Weekly Times, in Finders St, Melbourne, and included constructional information and amateur radio.


commercial shortwave broadcasting had started, and the activities of the League moved into amateur radio.



The Listener-In started to publish news about SW broadcasting, 1n addition to its regular mediumwave notes.



A new Club was announced, sponsored by the “Listener In”, titled “The Australian DX Club” (ADXC). This was mediumwave only, with a membership subscription of one shilling annually.


The Listener In of August 19, 1933, carried these headlines:




There was no physical newsletter, and people who joined were allocated a membership number, based on their State of residence. News about the ADXC was published in the LI.


A membership fee of 1/- was required, and Melbourne members met at the Wireless Institute of Australia rooms in Queen St, later in members’ homes. The fee entitled members to recei9ve a Memberaship Cedrrticate and Badge



In March 1938, this mediumwave Club started its own magazine, and subsequently introduced a shortwave section.


Initially, its newsletter was a four-page publication commercially printed. Then, it became foolscap size, ink duplicated. By 1946, commercial advertising filled the front cover, from the Magrath’s electrical parts company in Melbourne, to assist in printing costs.. The format was half-size A5.


In February 1942, the bulletins were suspended due to the War, but resumed in 1946.;


Many ADXC members chose not to subscrtiobeto the bulletin, preferring to buy the weekly Listener In at newsagencies or bookstalls for hobby news.


The ADXC started a monthly radio program over Melbourne's only all-night commercial broadcaster 3AK, 1500 kHz, at the convenient time of 2 am! 3AK used to come on the air at 6pm, and was owned by the Mack's furniture company. This was abandoned in 1939 due to ill-health of its producer.



ADXC produced special one-off programs over various mediumwave stations in Victoria, NSW and Queensland, usually late at night.


Station 2CA Canberra began a weekly ADXC program, which was discontinued after a few months.


A program, entitled “All DXers” over station 2HD Newcastle was also closed down.


In September 1939, the ADXC had its 300th member joining.


In that eras, there was substantial iterest in social events orgnized by the Club, which included cricket matches, picture nights, excursions, dances, One of these dances was held in July 1940 at Smokey Dawson's Dance Hall, Elizabeth St, Melbourne, with admission being 1/6, which included supper. Over 100 people attended!


The Club also conducted competitions, such as its Amplifier Contest



The Second World War impacted heavily on the activities of the Club, and by 1949 the bulletins had ceased and Melbourne meetings had been abandoned.


The weekly column in the Listener In was quite small, only a few paragraphs, mainly devoted to station schedules.

At that time, the reactively small band of radio monitoring enthusiasts in Australia had the following outlets available to them for news and information

  • The weekly program over Radio Australia (DXers Calling – commenced in 1946)
  • The weekly column in the Listener In
  • The section in the national commercial magazine Radio and Hobbies covering shortwave
  • Membership of the New Zealand DX Radio Association and the New Zealand Radio DX League.

From 1950 until mid-1957, interest in long-distance radio monitoring activities was at its lowest ebb across Australia, as there was no national hobby organization.



The final monitoring column was published in the “Listener-In” – when the magazine became “The Listener In TV”.


The pictures below are scanned enhanced images from the ADXC's newsletters, and a page from the Listener In!



All editions of the "Listener In" are on file in the Serials Section of the State Library of Victoria, Swanston St, Melbourne, where they may be viewed and copied..


October 1947 - Skyrider - front page of ADXC bulletin

First edition of the ADXC bulletin,April 1938

1925 - 3LO control room

1925 - 3LO transmitter

1935 Girl listening to radio

July 23 1938 page from Listener In

Page from "Skyrider" April 1946

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