Daly Waters Aeradio - 1940s
Daly Waters Aeradio

Daly Waters Aeradio is typical of many outback Aeradio Stations established in the period 1940-42 Situated in the north-central Northern Territory about 270 NM (400km) south-east of Darwin, in the late 1930s and early 1940s it was little more than an isolated outpost - though valuable as a refuelling stop on the Adelaide-Darwin air route. This route had scheduled services by Guinea Airways and was increasingly being flown by RAAF aircraft.

In contrast to the permanent Aeradio stations established on the east coast and on the east coast to Darwin routes in 1938-39, the Aeradio stations established on the Adelaide-Darwin route were all extemorised from whatever equipment was to hand. Daly Waters was typical of these.

The station was initially established in the Post Office (above) - an unlined, corrugated iron shack. The operator's workstation (below) comprised an AWA AS9 aircraft transmitter sitting on the operator's desk with a commercial reciever next to it. The whole apparatus was powered by batteries, charged by the generator under the table. Note that the table is resting on stumps protruding through holes cut in the plank floor for termite protection!

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Daly Waters Aeradio
Daly Waters Aeradio accommodation 1942

Left: Sleeping Accommodation at Daly Waters for the Aeradio staff was equally primitive, as this 1942 photo shows.

The living and working conditions in these buildings, especially during summer, can only be imagined. It was a hard life!

(Photos: Top and middle-CAHS/Ivan Hodder collection; bottom-CAHS collection)



Daly Waters







Click to see a recreation of the Daly Waters Aeradio Station at the Airways Museum



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HF receiver antenna mast HF receiver antenna mast Post Office & Aeradio Station 500 V motor-generator for tansmitter AWA AS9 HF transmitter unknown commercial HF receiver loudspeaker Bureau of Meteorology cloud type recognition chart 135 V HT dry-cell batteries 6 or 12V lead-acid battery microphone for radiotelephony Morse key earphones battery