Tag Archives: New Zealand

Radio Waves: Life-Changing Song on Radio Australia, NZ Voices in the Air, NIST Test Signal on WWV/WWVH, and 1980s NYC Offshore Pirates

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Paul, Dave Zantow, Mark Fahey, Jerome van der Linden, and Phil Brennan for the following tips:


A former Chinese soldier turned artist explains how a song on Radio Australia changed his life (ABC)

It was 1979 and Jian Guo was stationed at a military camp in Yunnan, a province in south-western China bordering Vietnam, when he listened to Radio Australia for the first time.

The then-17-year-old was patrolling the base one night when he saw a group of fellow People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers tuning radio equipment on the back of a truck.

He initially thought they were intercepting enemy signals, but, as he got closer, he realised they were listening to a radio broadcast.

It was the ABC’s international broadcasting service, which was considered an “enemy channel” at the time.

“The so-called ‘enemy channels’ included almost every station outside mainland China,” Guo told the ABC.

“The biggest ones were the VOA [Voice of America] from the US, Voice of Free China from Taiwan, and Radio Australia.”

Guo had joined the PLA in 1979 during the peak of the Sino-Vietnamese War but, thanks to his talent in the arts, he was chosen to be a secretary of his company, so he could avoid fighting on the battlefield.

Apart from painting propaganda materials, he also looked after weapons and communication equipment like the radios, which was an extraordinary privilege.

He was not supposed to use the equipment he maintained, and was fearful of breaking the rules, but after seeing his comrades listening to the Australian broadcast the curiosity grew inside him.

One night, alone in his room, he turned on a radio.

It took a while for him to find the right frequency, because of the interference put out by China, but then suddenly he was listening to Radio Australia and the song that would change his life.

“It was broadcasting The Moon Represents My Heart by Teresa Teng,” Guo said.

“That was the first time I knew such music existed in the world.” [Continue reading…]

Voices in the Air: Sarah Johnston on 100 years of radio (RNZ)

Kia ora koutou k?toa. Thank you to RNZ and National Library for organising this celebration of the start of radio in New Zealand, 100 years ago tonight.

Tonight is something of a game of two halves: first I will talk about the first broadcast of voice and music by radio and the start of radio broadcasting in this country – and then I’m also going speak about a research project I am working on, radio recordings made of New Zealand’s forces overseas during World War II.

I have always been a huge fan of radio, ever since childhood listening to the Weekend children’s request sessions, and then as a teenager, eating my breakfast with Morning Report coming out of the family transistor beside me. As a radio journalist I became one of those voices and worked for RNZ and Deutsche Welle in Germany, where I experienced the power of voices coming out of the air from the other side of the world. And as a sound archivist working with the Radio New Zealand archives, I learnt that that power of the voice doesn’t diminish with time – listening to a voice from 80 years ago can transport you not just through space but also time. Sound to me, has a power that in many ways seems different to that of visual images. Continue reading

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New Zealand auction includes collection of 400 vintage radios

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jason Walker, who writes:

Dear Thomas,

I noticed a New Zealand news article that may be of interest to SWLing Post readers.

Approximately 400 vintage radios are to be auctioned in Nelson, New Zealand. Whilst I use more modern Tecsun radios, the article will be of interest for vintage collectors. Many of the Radios are New Zealand made and rare.

Links below include a video and news article.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/124587912/collectors-go-gaga-over-vintage-radio-auction

Radio and Collectables Auction
17 Hereford Street (off Songer St)
Stoke, Nelson
Saturday 10 April, 2021

AUCTION STARTS AT 11am
Viewing from 9am day of auction
and, Friday 11am – 3pm

More information: https://jwauctions.co.nz/upcomingauctions.html

Thank you, Jason. Even though this auction has been widely publicized in New Zealand, the collection is so massive, I imagine bidders will be walking away with some excellent bargains. If I lived in NZ, I would certainly be a part of the bidding. I’d love to have an NZ-made receiver.

I really like the following quote from the Stuff.co.nz article:

The widower of the man who stockpiled the radios told Walker her husband had collected the stash from all over the country.

“His wife was a wee bit disappointed she didn’t know he had half the radios because he used to keep hiding them.[“]

How many of us can relate to that last statement? Let’s face it: par for course, right!? 🙂

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Thirty Years of Radio New Zealand’s International Service

RNZI QSL

Yesterday, Radio New Zealand celebrated 30 years of service to the Pacific. Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Jason Walker and Peter Marks for sharing the following story and audio from Radio New Zealand:

On 24 January 1990, Radio New Zealand International beamed into the Pacific, on a new 100 kilowatt transmitter.

New Zealand has had a short-wave service to the Pacific since 1948. The station broadcast on two 7.5kw transmitters from Titahi Bay, which had been left behind by the US military after the Second World War.

In the late 1980s, following growing political pressure to take a more active role in the Pacific area, the New Zealand government upgraded the service.

A new 100kw transmitter was installed and, on the same day the Commonwealth Games opened in Auckland, the service was re-launched as Radio New Zealand International.

“What we were able to understand was how important radio was and still is in the Pacific, where as here radio had become a second cousin to television… different thing in most of the countries we worked with,” said RNZ International’s first manager was Ian Johnstone, from 1990 to ’93.

Mr Johnstone said news of a dedicated Pacific service into the region was welcomed by Pacific communities.

He also said it was important for New Zealanders to remember that New Zealand is part of the Pacific.[…]

Continue reading the full article and listen to embedded audio at Radio New Zealand.

Audio:

Click here for the audio links.

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New Zealand gov’t might replace RNZ & TVNZ with new public broadcaster

(Source: Radio New Zealand)

The fate of RNZ and TVNZ may soon be in the hands of Cabinet ministers, with a proposal to disestablish both broadcasters and create an entirely new public media entity.

The coalition government has been grappling with what to do with public broadcasting in New Zealand, and now there’s a greater sense of urgency with the media industry under real financial threat.

Labour campaigned on RNZ+ with annual funding of $38 million in 2017, but that was canned after the resignation of Clare Curran as Broadcasting Minister.

The portfolio was handed to Kris Faafoi, who has signalled a different approach to public broadcasting.

An advisory group, with representatives from both media companies and a range of public service agencies, was set up to look at future funding options.

RNZ understands there were three options: merge the RNZ and TVNZ newsrooms, put more money into New Zealand On Air, or the third, preferred option now heading for Cabinet – most likely in early December.

The advisory group concluded the status quo was “unsustainable” and “collectively recommended the government agree to disestablish TVNZ and RNZ and to establish a new public media entity”.[…]

Click here to read the full article at Radio New Zealand.

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1917: First wireless transmission from New Zealand to London

(Source: New Zealand History via Andrea Borgnino)

First trans-global radio transmission to London

From the family sheep station in Shag Valley, East Otago, amateur radio operator Frank Bell sent a groundbreaking Morse code transmission received and replied to by London-based amateur operator Cecil Goyder.

Frank and his older sister Brenda were radio pioneers. Invalided home from the Western Front in 1917, Frank revived a boyhood interest in wireless communication while recuperating. He helped pioneer the use of short radio waves to communicate over long distances, initially through Morse-code telegraphy. He achieved a number of firsts, including New Zealand’s first overseas two-way radio contact with Australia and North America. But it was his radio conversation with London that made world headlines.

When Frank turned his attention to running the family farm, his sister Brenda took over the wireless station, becoming New Zealand’s first female amateur radio operator. In 1927 she was the first New Zealander to contact South Africa by radio. After the Second World War, Brenda Bell moved into professional radio as a writer and broadcaster for Dunedin station 4YA.

Click here to view this article and a photo of Frank Bell at New Zealand History.

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New Zealand prohibits unrestricted two-way radios

(Source: Southgate ARC)

New Zealand’s regulator RSM reports:
In August, we mentioned creating a prohibition notice for unrestricted two-way radios. This was to limit the availability to the general public for radios that don’t meet the Radio Standards.

The prohibition notice is ready to gazette and will come into effect on 18 October 2018.

The notice will affect the supply of two-way radios like Baofeng, Pofung and Wouxun to the amateur market, but not equipment factory locked to the Amateur bands.

Amateur radio operators or suppliers need to hold a ‘Licence to supply radio transmitters’ to import and supply this equipment.
When you’ve received your Licence to supply number, email us at supply@rsm.govt.nz. We’ll add special conditions to your licence to allow the import and supply of this equipment.  You’ll need to supply us monthly returns of your imports and sales, including nil returns.

Application for licence to supply radio transmitters – Individual

Application for licence to supply radio transmitters – Organisation

Click here to read a similar announcement by FCC Enforcement.

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New Zealand invests in free-to-air broadcasts to Pacific

(Source: RadioInfo via William Lee)

NZ gives $10 million for Pacific Broadcasting

While Australia’s ABC is cutting shortwave Radio Australia broadcasts to the Pacific, the New Zealand government has just announced a NZ$10 million grant for an enhanced free-to-air Pasifika TV service across the region.

NZ foreign minister Winston Peters announced the plans at the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru, with the money to be spent over the next three years to improve both quality and access for free-to-air broadcasters.

The expansion of the Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Ltd service will also include a comprehensive training programme to support broadcasting and journalism across the Pacific, including equipment, internships and cross-regional training.[…]

Click here to read full story.

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