Adventist World Radio

Wavescan  program #521 -- 53/1



Main Script for Wavescan, Edition number 521 for airing on Sunday12/26/2004. 


Host 2

From the studios of Adventist World Radio, This is Wavescan.

Host 1

Our programme for shortwave listeners and radio hobbyists from around the world.   And wishing you a very blessed Christmas period, this is ___________ (Host 1).

Host 2

Along with  ____________ (Host 2).


Bring music up and then down. 

Host 1

In today’s edition of Wavescan we celebrate a radio anniversary in Australia looks at the transmitters at Carnarvon.


We'll take a trek over to the Czech Repubic to find out how they celebrate Christmas.

IC DX report

From South America Horacio Nigro will be sharing his Christmas News and tips.

2nd DX report

We’ll be looking forward to Wavescan 2005


And The night before Christmas -- Ghanain style -- a story of hope in the midst of despair.


PAUSE HERE  . . .  with music fade in.

Host 2

So let’s start in with our Wavescan topic for this week.  Here’s Steve Hamstra.


WAVESCAN TOPIC  (5 minutes)  Normally read by Student Volunteer


Play Wavescan topic: This is Christmas weekend, and we trust that you are enjoying a pleasant occasion, perhaps with family & friends.  In our Wavescan program today, we take a look at two events in the radio scene that occurred around the Christmas season way back many years ago.


          It was on Christmas Eve thirty years ago, December 24, 1974, that Cyclone Tracy destroyed 80% of the city of Darwin in northern Australia.  The modern transmitter base for Radio Australia at Cox Peninsula was disabled and it was very apparent that a new station would be needed, at last on a temporary fill-in basis. 


          Site studies were conducted in Western Australia and test transmissions were conducted from Gnangara (NAN-GAH-ra) near Perth, using two transmitters at 7.5 kW each.  At this stage, three possible locations, all vacant at the time, were given serious consideration, and these were:- 


Gnangara   (NAN-GAH-ra)    

          OTC station established for NASA as a satellite relay station


Dalwallinu   (DAL-WOLL-i-NEW)

          Disused American Space Station


Carnarvon - (ca-NAH-v'n)

          NASA Satellite Tracking Station


          Finally the facility near Carnarvon was chosen, due mainly to the fact that it was located closest to the desired target areas.  Work commenced in mid 1975 on reinforcing the main building against possible cyclone damage and modifying it for use as a shortwave relay station.


          New transmitters were also needed quickly.  A 250 kW transmitter manufactured in Switzerland by Brown Boveri was installed in the new radio station as the first unit.  The second transmitter was a 100 kW Harris from the United States.  This unit was already in storage in Adelaide at the time and it had been procured originally to begin a shortwave service for the Northern Territory.       The third unit was a 300 kW Thomson transmitter made in France, by essentially the same company that made the first transmitter.


          The low, undulating hill on the side of the transmitter building was bulldozed and five towers were installed in the leveled area of red sand to support the four curtain antennas.  The entire antenna system was designed so that it could be lowered and tied down in order to minimize damage from an approaching cyclone.


          Preliminary test transmissions began from the 250 kW transmitter early in December 1975 and official test broadcasts began a couple of weeks later on December 20.  This date was the anniversary of the original launching of Radio Australia 36 years earlier, back in the year 1939.   Five years later this unit was taken off the air for a few weeks for design modifications and one of the transmitters at the partially restored facility near Darwin was re-activated temporarily on a fill-in basis.


          Programming at this stage came by broadband carrier from Melbourne to Perth, and by ordinary landline up to Carnarvon.  A low powered shortwave transmitter at Lyndhurst was also available as an emergency back up for the program feed.  When the broadband carrier was finally extended to Carnarvon the programming line feed for this transmitter was designated as VLK.


          The second transmitter was the 100 kW Harris and this unit began test broadcasts on February 15 in the following year, that is 1976.  Strangely, just two weeks later, the station was closed temporarily and the antenna system was lowered as a precaution against an approaching cyclone.   Three weeks later again, this same transmitter was taken out of service for modification and it did not return to regular service again until November, a period of nearly nine months.  This unit was on the air with the program feed designated as VLL.


          The third transmitter, rated at 300 kW and designated as VLM, was taken into regular service on May 6, 1984 and it was officially opened a few weeks later. 


          With the changing winds of fortune, the decision was made to close this so called temporary station at Carnarvon after it had performed 21 years of on air service.  The station was finally closed at 1430 UTC on July 31, 1996.


          And what happened to the transmitters?  The first two transmitters, the 250 kW BBC unit VLK and the 100 kW Harris unit VLL, were removed and sold for scrap.  The third unit, the Thomcast VLM at 300 kW, was removed and re-installed at the Darwin radio base where it returned to the air as VLT.


          As we mentioned at the beginning of this feature, there are two significant radio events that we are remembering at this season of the year.  One was the damaging cyclone in 1974 that disabled the Radio Australia relay station near Darwin in the Northern Territory, and the other was the opening of the replacement station at Carnarvon in Western Australia in 1975.


          Interestingly, the Carnarvon station is now gone, and the Darwin station was sold to Voice International and it is now on the air with Christian programming to Asia and with a program relay for Radio Australia.  One political party in Australia announced recently that they would plan to buy back the Darwin station and return it to Radio Australia.

Host 2

You’re listening to the Christmas edition of Wavescan and if you’d like to write or comment on any of the issues arising in today’s programme – or any future editions of Wavescan, we have a new mailing address for you: AWR, 798 Thompson Road, Singapore 298186 Republic of Singapore.  That’s AWR, 798 Thompson Road, Singapore 298186 Republic of Singapore.    Or e-mail  Those details again at the end of the programme.


Travelogue  (5 minutes)

Host 1

Over the last three weeks we have brought you a taste of Christmas from various parts of the world.  And we continue today with a special Christmas treat. We travel to the Czech Republic for a taste of Christmas Czech style. Here's our International Correspondent, Olga Budarova.


Play Travelogue: 2199:Christmas in the Czech Republic:


IN: "SFX. . I'm walking down the Oxford Street. . .."


OUT: ". . Personally. . .Music UP and OUT"

Host 1

Thank you for that very colourful Travel Log Olga. I felt as if I was there enjoying all the delights of Christmas from a very beautiful and historic country.


P A U S E    H E R E    P L E A S E


DX Report (IC and/or programme hosts)  (4 minutes IC and 2 minute host tips.  Total 6 minutes.)

Host 2

You’re listening to Wavescan, Adventist World Radio’s programme especially for shortwave listeners and radio hobbyists.  Christmas greetings now to Horacio Nigro as he brings us our South American Our DX report:


DX Report

Host 2

Thank you indeed, Horacio.  In a few moments, News about the new Wavescan scheduling for 2005 with an “All New” programme coming to you from Singapore.


Feature  (5 minutes) 

Host 1

But first, We all love a Christmas story -- but here's one with a difference.  Rev Peter Addo comes from Ghana.  He is a Methodist minister currently residing in North Carolina.  He writes poetry and collects folktales from his homeland.  But he has one Christmas story printed indeleably on his mind.  Printed there because it is his own.  {Pause}  His story is read by Kwarteng Ampofo Kwadwo.


Play Feature 519: Night before Christmas - Ghana:

IN: It was the night before Christmas

OUT: Christmas came even to our villiage that night.

Host 2  ---

And the spirit of Christmas can be equally in our hearts too -- whether surrounded by all the luxouries and the trimmings -- or in the more dire circumstances that Peter Addo found himself in.  A story there that certainly touched my heart.

Host 1

Your listening to Wavescan – and sadly, it’s the very last time that you will hear our voices coming to you from London, England.  For the last ten years Wavescan can been produced here, with the scripts written by Dr Adrian Peterson in Indianapolis, in the USA.  It’s been our pleasure to serve you the last ten years – and we’ve enjoyed all your reports, letters and comments.  We’ve had fun, and we’ve learnt a lot together.


Now the time has come to change.  From January 1 the English Language Service of AWR will be changing to a regional service – and as the vast majority of our DX community live in the Asia Pacific Region we are moving production of this programme to Singapore. 


In order for this to happen efficiently Wavescan will be taking a three month break and will come back to you when the frequencies change at the end of March.


You will hear different voices – but some of the old favourites will still be there with regular reports still from around the world, as well as consultative contributions from Dr Adrian Peterson.  There will also be a new address to write to – we’ll give you it in just a second.


1  Host 2

And so we come to an end of this week’s edition of Wavescan – and indeed of an era.  Next week we will be:






2  Host

Your reception reports, tips and comments are always welcomed.  Here’s our address:

3  Host

AWR, 798 Thompson Road, Singapore 298186 Republic of Singapore, or e-mail us at  

4  Host

That’s also the address for your Bible questions or free Bible Guides:  AWR, 798 Thompson Road, Singapore 298186 Republic of Singapore, or e-mail us at  

5 Host

Wavescan was written and produced by Adrian Peterson and Steve Hamstra.  You can find it on the web at:  On behalf of our whole production team, our correspondents and advisors around the world and our headquarters team and office, I’m . . . (Me)

6 Host

. . . and I’m . . .  (You) Wishing you a very happy and blessed New Year.  Good bye, and Thanks for joining us.

Radio Australia - Carnarvon





Year     Date        Event                                                                                                           Reference


1964                    Space Tracking Station Carnarvon built for Gemini flights                                       Paper

1964    Jun          Opened for communication purposes as Space Tracking Station                          Paper

1974    Dec 24    Darwin base disabled by Cyclone Tracy                                          R&H 77.14 5-75 102

1975    Feb 25     Test broadcasts commenced from Gnangara NASA-OTC station                ADXN 4-75

1975    Mar 10     Last day of test broadcasts from Gnangara                                                    ADXN 4-75

1975    May          Estimated cost for two transmitter, new station $2.5M                                ADXN 6-75 1

1975    Apr 21      Govt announces approval for RA Carnarvon                                                   ADXN 9-77

1975    Apr 21      Four slewable curtain antennas 347-009 degrees                                          ADXN 9-77

1975    Dec Early Unofficial test transmissions began from 300 kW VLK                                  ADXN 1-76

1975    Dec 20                Official test transmissions began from VLK                                                    ADXN 1-76

1976    Feb          All 4 antennas finally completed                                                                 ADXN 2-78 17

1976    Mar          Antennas lowered few days after completed, cyclone                                    ADXN 9-77

                            Program feed microwave Perth landline Carnarvon                                  ADXN 2-78 17

                            Also via 5 kW STC concentric rhombic Lyndhurst                                    ADXN 2-79 17

                            Carnarvon with Shepparton & Lyndhurst on same channels                                 DDXM

1996    Jul 31       Carnarvon station closed at 1430 UTC                                                      BDXC 9-96 39



Radio Australia - Carnarvon





kW       Call      Year     Date                  kHz                QSL                                                                 Holder 


250      VLK     1992    Mar 30             13605              Form letter, medium size print                       AMP

                        1992    Sep 21             13755              Form letter, medium size print                       AMP

                        1993    Jan 25               9645              Form letter, medium size print                       AMP

                        1993    Jun 15             15170              Form letter, medium size print                       AMP

            VLT      1996    Jun 24             13605              Card, VLK relocated = VLT Darwin                AMP    


100      VLL      1992    Feb 18               9560              Form letter, medium size print                       AMP

                        1992    Jun 30             15575              Form letter, medium size print                       AMP

                        1992    Nov 16               7260              Form letter, medium size print                       AMP

                        1994    Jul 27                 7240              Form letter, large size print                             AMP


300      VLM     1990    Aug 29             15465              Form letter, medium size print                       AMP                             1992    Oct 10               9540              Form letter, medium size print                       AMP

                        1992    Nov 11               9510              Form letter, medium size print                       AMP

                        1993    Jul 3                   6000              Form letter, medium size print                       AMP

                        1993    Jul 4                 21525              Form letter, medium size print                       AMP

                        1994    Apr 6                11660              Form letter, medium size print                       AMP


QSL cards & letters verifying Radio Australia Carnarvon, more than 100; too many to list.


Transmitters at Radio Australia - Carnarvon






kW       Call      Year     Date                Event                                                               Reference


250      VLK     1975    Dec Early        Unofficial test transmissions began                                ADXN 1-76

                        1975    Dec 20                        Official test transmissions began                                    ADXN 1-76

                        1979    Late                 BBC unit off air for modifications, Darwin fill in            ADXN 6-79 9

                        1996    Jul 31               Carnarvon station closed at 1430 UTC                      BDXC 9-96 39

                        1996                            Removed & sold as scrap                                          RA document


100      VLL      1976    Feb                  Harris Gates expected on air                               ADXN 1-76 & 9-77

                        1976    Feb 15             Test broadcasts began                                               ADXN 2-78 17

                        1976    Feb 22             Test broadcasts in Indonesian                            SCDXers 2-3-76 1

                        1976    Mar                  Test broadcasts, cyclone interrupted, antenna lowered ADXN 3-76

                        1976    Mar 7               Began regular service                                                 ADXN 2-78 17

                        1976    Mar End           Taken off air for modification                                      ADXN 2-78 17

                        1976    Nov                  Returned to regular service                                        ADXN 2-78 17

                        1996    Jul 31               Carnarvon station closed at 1430 UTC                      BDXC 9-96 39

                        1996                            Removed & sold as scrap                                          RA document


300      VLM     1982    Apr 4                Announcement, additional 250 kW for Carnarvon                  ADXN

                        1984    May 6               New $1.7M unit officially comes on line                                     DXM

                        1984    Jun                  300 kW Thomson officially opened                              ADXN 7-84 1

                        1996    Jul 31               Carnarvon station closed at 1430 UTC                      BDXC 9-96 39

                        1996                            Transmitter removed & re-installed as VLT Darwin   Hodgson letter