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"Wavescan" is a weekly program for long distance radio hobbyists produced by Dr. Adrian M. Peterson, Coordinator of International Relations for Adventist World Radio. AWR carries the program over many of its stations (including shortwave). Adrian Peterson is a highly regarded DXer and radio historian, and often includes features on radio history in his program. We are reproducing those features below, with Dr. Peterson's permission and assistance.

Wavescan 447, July 27, 2003

Early Shortwave Stations in Australia

Regular radio broadcasting on mediumwave got going in the United States about the year 1920, and soon afterwards in Europe, New Zealand and Australia.  Over in Europe and Australia, longwave broadcasting was also introduced around the same time, though in Australia a few years later all of the longwave stations moved into the standard mediumwave band.

In the second half of the 1920s, experimental broadcasting on shortwave was introduced in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.  In Australia there were three different organizations that were on the air shortwave in that era, and they were:

On previous occasions we have covered the story of the AWA stations with the callsigns VK2ME, 3ME and 6ME.  Next week we will take a look at the shortwave operations carried out by some of the commercial stations in Australia, and on this occasion, we delve into the story of the ABC shortwave stations, or, more correctly, the ABC stations and those that were subsequently taken over by the ABC.            

During a three year period running from 1926 to 1928, Australiaís first radio broadcasting station, 2BL in Sydney, ran a series of shortwave broadcasts using the amateur transmitter 2YG.  The amateur station 2YG belonged to the chief engineer at 2BL, and he ran these experimental relays from his home in suburban Coogee.  Soon afterwards, he transferred the transmitter to the empty home of a relative in another suburb, Roseville.

The two major stations in Sydney, 2BL and 2FC, were amalgamated in 1928.  The shortwave broadcasts from 2BL were then carried for a very short period of time by the well known VK2ME at Pennant Hills, after which they were then discontinued.

However, a new series of broadcasts began from the Pennant Hills transmitter using the programming from the other mediumwave station 2FC. These were on the air for a couple of years, in 1927 and 1928.

Down in Victoria, the programming of the mediumwave station 3LO was on the air shortwave from a 3.5 kw unit co-sited at outer suburban Braybrook.  These broadcasts were on the air for about three years, stretching from 1927 to 1929.

Then there was the ABC experimental station VK3LR which was on the air during scheduled hours with a relay from mediumwave 3LO and 3AR, and outside scheduled hours with test programming as VK3XX.  This was a 600 watt unit at Lyndhurst which was later increased to 2 kw and subsequently absorbed in 1939 into the new network for "Australia Calling."

Over in Western Australia, similar experimental broadcasting on shortwave was carried out by Wally Coxon, using his amateur transmitter 6AG.  He began in 1925 at Maylands, and moved in 1927 to Mt. Lawley, and in 1928 he co-sited the shortwave transmitter with the mediumwave unit on the rooftop of the downtown building of Westralian Farmers.

Four of these stations, 2BL and 2FC in Sydney, 3LO in Melbourne, and 6WF in Perth, were subsequently absorbed into the ABC network, and, of course, 3LR-VLR was established as an ABC relay station.    

The programming of all five of these stations was heard at times in Europe, North America and throughout Oceania.  QSL cards were issued by all of these shortwave stations, and cards known to be in existence are from 2FC shortwave and the old VK3LR.

All India Radio 76th Anniversary [also AIR Hyderabad and AIR Warangal]

With information provided by our Wavescan reporter in India, Jose Jacob, VU2JOS in Hyderabad.

Next Wednesday, All India Radio is celebrating the 76th anniversary of its founding. Back in the year 1926, the Indian Broadcasting Company was formed and it entered into an agreement with the government of India to set up two stations, one in Bombay and the other in Calcutta. The new station in Bombay was inaugurated on July 23, 1927, and the new station in Calcutta was inaugurated later in the sane year, on August 28. The official beginning of radio broadcasting in India is therefore tied to the opening of the station in Bombay, July 23, 1927.

Since that time 76 years ago, Bombay has become Mumbai, Calcutta has become Kolkata, and the Indian Broadcasting Company is replaced by All India Radio. The current trend in radio broadcasting in India is to vacate mediumwave in favor of FM, to let the Home Service shortwave transmitters die when they fail, and to allow commercial organizations to rent time on idle mediumwave transmitters.

The first radio broadcasting station in Jose's own city, Hyderabad, went on the air from a dwelling in Chirag Ali Lane in 1933. The transmitter for this pioneer station was set up by a postal clerk, and it was a very small unit that radiated just one watt. Perhaps this small station could almost be described as a "toy."

From this early and small beginning, radio has developed over the years into a flourishing communication medium throughout the area. In 1938 a new radio station was established in Hyderabad by the ruling Nizam, and this went on the air as Deccan Radio. On April 1, 1959, this station was merged into the nationwide network of All India Radio.

Currently, All India Radio Hyderabad can be heard on mediumwave and shortwave as follows:

Hyderabad A 738 kHz 200 kW
Hyderabad B 1377 kHz 10 kW
Shortwave 4800 kHz 50 kW
  7140 kHz 50 kW

Jose also tells of his visit to All India Radio Warangal, the 17th station in the AIR network that he has visited. Warangal is a District Headquarters city in the state of Andhra Pradesh, in south India. It is located 150 kM north of Hyderabad, and it was the capital city of a flourishing empire in the earlier days of Indian history.

It was a mighty hot day when Jose visited this city with temperatures up around 44 degrees Celsius. The two important tourist attractions in Warangal are the Indian Fort and the Temple of a Thousand Pillars.

The studios and transmitter of AIR Warangal are co-sited on the edge of Warangal in an outer suburb. They operate two FM transmitters at 5 kW on 103.5 MHz in mono reproduction. The antenna stands 100 metres tall, with a range of 70 kM.

This station was officially opened on February 17, 1990. Most of the programming is in the local Telegu language, though relays are taken from Hyderabad, Bombay and Delhi.