Radio Australia’s final day broadcasting on shortwave

Listening to Radio Australia on 12,065 kHz with the TitanSDR Pro.

As I write this post, I’m listening to Radio Australia on 9,580 and 12,065 kHz. Other than the sports reports and weather, world news is chock-full of stories–many of which are quite sad.

This will likely be the last morning I listen to Radio Australia on shortwave.

SWLing Post contributor, Phill Brennan–who has done a fine job keeping us up-to-date with RA developments–shares the following message:

On the local ABC news tonight it was mentioned that the NT transmitters were going to be shut down at midday local time or 0230 UTC on 31 January. I cannot confirm this, but it may be useful to alert listeners who wish to hear the end of the broadcast. I have no information on RA’s shutdown but it may be the same.

Apparently there will be a gathering at the Katherine transmitter by local listeners tomorrow to mark the end of the broadcasts.

Political pressure continues. A South Australian Senator (Xenophon) is going to introduce a private members bill into the Australian Parliament which will mandate that the ABC must provide a SW service to the NT. I don’t think I would back this in succeeding, but it’s worth a try.

The whole exercise has been a public relations disaster for the ABC as it has been a major news story nationally for weeks now. Not enough damage to change the ABC management’s mind on the matter though.

Thank you for the update, Phil, and for following this story as it developed.

Again, if I understand correctly, for those of us in North America, today is the final day we’ll hear Radio Australia on shortwave (9,580, 12,065 and 12,085 kHz).

I feel I should mention that I did receive a tip that the shut for some of the Radio Australia shortwave services might be as early as 11:00AM Tuesday local time Shepparton (00:00 UTC).

Spread the radio love

26 thoughts on “Radio Australia’s final day broadcasting on shortwave

  1. Shaun

    I used to listen to Radio Australia in the early mornings in Northern Ontario, Canada. By 0930 Eastern, the signal on 9580 would fade into the noise, as the sun rise higher in the sky.

    I listened on an old (now) JVC receiver, with an extendable aerial. Not very sophisticated, but it worked!

    I remember the presenter, a pleasant-sounding chap, who would play music, conduct interviews, and expertly back times to the news. Does anyone remember his name!

    Sorry to hear the transmitter went dark.


    Shaun Browne

  2. Wayne Markman

    In the early 80’s, while stationed aboard the US nuclear missile submarine, USS Thomas A Edison (SSBN-610) on patrol in the western Pacific, I used to tune into Radio Australia while on duty in the radio room. I often piped the broadcast into the crew’s lounge so others could also hear. It was on an RA broadcast where I first heard the new group, The Tom Tom Club. I have been a Ham Radio operator since I was 13 years old, and an avid SWL listener before that. I miss the days of those HF broadcasts from RA, Radio Moscow, Kol Yisrael, VOA, AFRTS, and others.

  3. Dave Carr

    Have listened to RA since 1975 and sad to see that Australia loses its voice in the world of short wave radio.

    Vale Radio Australia December 1939 – January 2017

  4. Luke Perry

    I was listening last night and it was coming in good (4835) in the Portland, Oregon area. It usually comes in faint but very audible most nights and I like to listen while drifting off to sleep. Hopefully they can pull off a miracle and get it back on the air.

  5. Jason

    “South Australian senator Nick Xenophon says he will introduce legislation to Parliament to force the ABC to reinstate its shortwave radio service, which ended today.”

    Nick X is well known for getting things done and is one of our country’s (I’m Australian) more respected politicians. I welcome him forcing the ABC to look into this.

    Even technology experts, focused on the internet of everything, have been in the local media last night and this morning agreeing the ABC should reinstate this service as they know better than anyone the internet isn’t available everywhere.

    1. RonF

      As much as I respect Nick Xenophon for having the courage of his convictions, and generally agree with almost everything he says, his campaigns & private members bills only work when he has some political leverage.

      Unfortunately, at the moment he has almost none. At best he might get a concession to revive one or two of the NT SW services, but RA as we know it is probably gone forever…

  6. billmcf

    It’s over. At 0100 they played the old “Waltzing Matilda” interval signal a few times and then powered off. I was listening to 15240. 17840 shut down at the same time.

    To quote a certain politician: sad

  7. RonF

    And … it’s gone.

    A story about urbex / walking around cities, a promo for Pacific Beat, a few rounds of the ol’ “Waltzing Matilda” theme – then a sudden cut and dead air.

    You will be missed…

    1. Guy Atkins

      Yes, I heard the same thing, Ron, as they pulled the plug. I was listening on 15140 which had a fairly good signal as the final minutes approached. I had forgotten about 17840 kHz, though! That frequency might had made for a clearer recording.

    2. John

      I was listening to 17840 kHz on a receiver in New Zealand, really touching to hear the Waltzing Matilda interval signal one last time.

  8. DanH

    I just finished listening to RA on 17840. They did the 00:00 UTC ID. Top of the hour newscast included a story about the SW shutdown. Also mentioned was a biil to be introduced next week to reinstate the service. RA is still on the air with a brilliant signal on 17840 as I post this.

  9. Eric

    I haven’t been able to listen to RA over breakfast with a portable receiver in several years due to increasing EMI levels in the house and neighborhood. I sure wish I’d remembered that today was the final day and eat breakfast in the hamshack and listen to RA one last time with the KX3 and 135′ doublet. Now it’s too late.

  10. SLBrant

    Was able to finally hear 4835 for the first (and only) time this morning, could just hear a carrier on 2325 and 2485, some faint audio if I switched to LSB or USB, but 4835 was coming in well enough to listen to (best if you listened on SSB) and WWCR on 4840 was weak which made it even easier to hear (band conditions must have been exceptional). For the last couple of months my wife and I have been listening to Radio Australia on 9580 every Saturday morning , will still listen online now but its not the same.

  11. 13dka

    I really thought they’d close down at midnight local time like anyone else, not noon. That pretty much minimizes the chance of picking it up here, I also just took down my loop so there’s no way I could hear them on 60 meters. 🙁 Good bye, RA, I’ll be missing you, spent quite some afternoons to listen to your after midnight music programs.

  12. Kire

    For all you old timers, this has got to be kind of tough, for me this is my first big signoff. Its like a healthy friend dying, but they just pulled the plug because they were tired of him/her Anyhow, i’ll keep listening to shortwave. Most mornings I get 11735 Zanzibar pretty well, on the west coast. Maybe i’ll travel there someday. 73’s ABC!

  13. DanH

    I would rather continue listening to RA but on the bright side this frees up 18 SW memory slots on the 909X. I get good reception of RNZI here on the US west coast but not during the breakfast hour.

    1. Guy Atkins

      Dan, I agree with your USA west coast reception comments on RNZI. However, I’m also a west coast listener (near Seattle) and have found the 7355 kHz frequency to be quite good recently around 1600 UTC (8:00 a.m. local). Maybe you eat breakfast earlier than I do :^)

      Back on topic, I too will miss ABC/Radio Australia… a lot! At least those of us near the Pacific beaches have opportunity to chase Australian medium wave DX if we want. Does that provide “easy listening” level of reception though? Occasionally, but not always.

  14. Israel

    It was a memorable day in the late seventies that I used to start my day at 1 UTC on range of frequencies at 15 and 17 mhz to South Asia and SEA. I enjoyed RA programs all these years. Excellent stories presented by excellent presenters. Regret that I am going to loose all that. I’m listening you now on 12065. Let your Parliament does something at the last moment. I pray God to save RA on shortwave. Live streaming is not that much charm.
    shortwave listener
    Pollachi, Tamilnadu INDIA

  15. Thomas

    I hope someone records the final hour for the Shortwave Archive as the recording will be a piece of history if it is that many people may want to listen to that missed it due to bad listening conditions or just not being of age when it happened to think long term.

    The Shortwave Archive is at that I mention for those that may be new to shortwave and missed the news.

  16. Dick

    I remember listening to Radio Australia before leaving for school in the morning in upstate New York. 1955-1957. I was even mentioned on their “Mailbag” program and received a printed transcript of that broadcast. The Kookaburra was delightful to hear. My receiver was a S-38. RA was a long, long way from my little home town. Wonder if it and other stations might have contributed to my desire to travel. I spent some time in Australia with the USAF. Sort of a good-will mission.

    Internet streaming has no thrill for me. No magic.

    73 Dick


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.