Launceston Temporary Aeradio Station - 1938

neon light beacon for night flyingobstacle lightprime-moverAeradio Station - former truck body on stumpsHF radio antennae


DCA
Radio Inspector Ivan Hodder was involved in installing the initial stations of the new Aeradio network in 1938-39. He recalled that the temporary Station at Launceston/Western Junction, callsign VZLT, ...was the first Aeradio station operated by the Department's own personnel. The equipment had been installed at Launceston/Western Junction on the occasion of the England-Australia Air Race, won by Scott and Campbell-Black in a DH88 Comet in 1934. Its installation was a precaution against the possibility of radio-equipped aircraft in the race overshooting Melbourne and, as an additional safety measure, a Direction Finding (D/F) receiver was provided. Fortunately, no overshoot occurred and the equipment which had been provided by the R.A.A.F. was decommissioned."

"The 250 watt transmitter was located in a military-type tender complete with its own power supply and prime-mover. This can be seen up under the tree in the middle distance. The receiving and D/F equipment was installed in a trailer - the wheels having been removed and the hut placed on stumps. The transmitter was remotely operated from this position. This equipment was taken over by the Civil Aviation Board - still attached to the Defence Dept. - some time before June 1938. The O.I.C. was Jock Sutherland and his assistant Ted Davies. Although the equipment was rather antiquated, they claimed that it served the purpose - their only criticism being that the building was a hot-box in summer and a cool-chamber in winter. This station was superseded by a permanent one in 1939.

"The two members of staff boarded in an old farmhouse building a short distance down the Launceston-Hobart highway. The building was over 80 years old at the time, was of massive stone construction and boasted the only two-holer privvy I have ever seen!"

 

(Photo: CAHS/Ivan Hodder collection)

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