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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 472, January 18, 2004

Shortwave Radio Denmark - Goodbye!

Last week here in "Wavescan" we presented the story of "Early Radio Broadcasting in Denmark."  On this occasion we continue with the story of "Radio Broadcasting in Denmark," and specifically in the shortwave arena.

The first radio broadcast in Denmark took place on October 29, 1922, when a ship transmitter broadcast a dedicated music program to a specific audience in a lecture hall in downtown Copenhagen.  In the following year, two transmitters were used in the broadcast of regular radio programming, and in 1925 the government took over all radio broadcasting throughout Denmark.

It was in the year 1928 that the first experimental broadcasts in Denmark were launched on shortwave.  Two different stations were involved; 7MK in Skamlebaek and 7RL in Copenhagen, though the experimental 7MK callsign was changed to the international callsign OZF some five years later.

The Danish government took up the matter of international radio broadcasting in earnest in the era just before World War II, and a 6 kw transmitter was installed at Skamlebaek in the early part of the fateful year 1939.  Test broadcasts from this new facility were noted in Australia around September under the callsigns OZH and OZF, and quite quickly a regular international broadcasting schedule was established.

Station OZH/OZF continued in service until it was silenced at the time of the German occupation on April 9, 1940.  However, a few days later, the shortwave station returned to the air.  A few months later again, programming for Radio Denmark shortwave was under the control of the Ministry of Education, and the technical facilities were under the control of the Department of Public Works.

An entry in an Australian radio magazine for June 1941 reports a very strong signal from Radio Denmark shortwave, and the question could be asked:  Was this a clandestine usage of the Danish shortwave station at Skamlebaek?  A few months later, however, OZU shortwave left the air for the remainder of the occupation era.

In February 1946, Radio Denmark shortwave was reactivated with the same 6 kw transmitter, a unit that had been manufactured locally under the designation K7.  At this stage, three callsigns were in use, one for each frequency: OZF, OZH and OZU.

Around the same era, a new shortwave facility was under construction at Herstedvester, where a new 50 kw transmitter, manufactured jointly in Italy and Denmark, was inaugurated on October 1, 1948 under multiple callsigns in the OZ series.  Programming throughout the years has been mostly in Danish, though at times English and Spanish were heard.

Over the years, proposals were made for a big new shortwave station in Denmark with two transmitters at 500 kw.  However, instead a new 100 kw BBC transmitter was installed at Herstedvester, and this was inaugurated at half power in May 1982.

When the Herstedvester facility got old, it was closed and in its place a relay was taken out from Radio Norway beginning on February 12, 1990.  Three different sites have been in use: Frederikstad, Sveio and Kvitsoy.  But the end has come, and Radio Denmark shortwave left the air forever on the last day of the old year.

The old QSL cards bearing the callsigns OXQ, OZF and OZH, together with the Radio Denmark QSL cards showing the map of Denmark, and the pictures of their station, and the painting representing their national anthem, are now treasured historic items for the dedicated collector. "Shortwave Radio Denmark - Goodbye!"