Manage episode 319542330 series 1304817
In 2022, one station in the South Pacific remains on shortwave, to the great delight of shortwave listeners. That station is Radio New Zealand, which as of early 2022 could still be heard with good signals. Back in the 1970’s Radio New Zealand was a prime DX target. Its sign on at 0600 UTC required staying up until 2:00 AM in summer months. For signs of good Pacific propagation, DX’ers often used VNG, the former time signal station in Australia, as a marker. If VNG was coming in well, then New Zealand and Tahiti were likely to be coming in well. It’s hard to explain the feeling a new SWL got hearing Radio New Zealand in those days. At a power of 7.5 kilowatts, the station listed on its QSL card (shown here) 9 frequencies, including 9.54 mHz and 11.780 mHz where I used to hear them. Other frequencies in 1971 were 15.280, 17.770, 6.080, 9.620, 15.220, 6.020, and 15.110 mHz for ZL2/3/4/5/7/8/10/20 and 21 call letters. The verification signer was H. Taylor-Smith at NZBC Broadcasting House in Wellington. Hearing this 7.5 kilowatt signal, with its characteristic fading as the signal made its way the many thousands of miles to Pennsylvania, was a real thrill. Here is the 1971 recording of Radio New Zealand, from sign on with its “Bellbird” interval signal and BBC news relay.