Makara Radio 1960-1969

Some of these photos are undated, but believed to be from the period 1960-1969.

Staff of Makara Radio around 1960

Staff of Makara Radio around 1960. Photo: Jim Coyle

If you can name any of the people in the above photo, please contact the editor. Thanks!

Ray Sayle | George Askey, Chief Tech | Peter A Graham | Ralph Fisher | Dave ?
Ron Pemberton | Dave Chittenden | George King | Ashley Webb | Brian McCleary
Ron Picking | ? | Ernie Martin
John Gray | Clive Reeve | ?

Main equipment room at Makara Radio, with Marconi receivers on the left and Hammarlund receivers on the right.

Main equipment room at Makara Radio, with Marconi CR150 receivers on the left and Hammarlund SP-600 receivers on the right. Date unknown. Courtesy: Chris Underwood

Technicians Ralph Boshier (seated) and George King at Makara Radio

Technicians Ralph Boshier (seated) and George King at Makara Radio. Date unknown. Courtesy: Chris Underwood

Control console at Makara Radio.

Radiotelephone console at Makara Radio. This appears to be a major upgrade of the desk in the previous photo, complete with a highly prized colour telephone of the type made by GEC in Elsdon Porirua. Other changes include: an additional rack containing another HR11 dual diversity FSK receiver in the row to the left rear, and two telegraph test generator, receiver test sets in Bay 1 behind the telegraph desk at far end of room. Date unknown. Courtesy: Chris Underwood

Technician Peter A Graham, with Hammarlund SP-600 receivers behind him and at the far left what appear to be RCA AR-88 receivers.

Technician Peter A Graham, with Hammarlund SP-600 receivers behind him and at the far left RCA AR-88 receivers. Date unknown. Courtesy: Chris Underwood

In the photo above, those AR88s had the AM broadcast band fitted (as distinct to the low frequency version used for listening to lower frequency beacons as purchased by Civil Aviation). These receivers were used during the 1970’s for monitoring NZ broadcasting stations for the Broadcasting Tribunal. They were VERY good receivers, and would work well in triple diversity for long range receiving of AM stations (such as North American west coast broadcasting stations after the New Zealand stations were switched off at 10:00 pm/12:00 Midnight). As installed, they must have been used for the reception of Morse Code.
– John Warriner

Servicing triple diversity single sideband receivers at Makara Radio. These appear to be Marconi CR150 receivers. L-R: Peter Graham, Tinny Hogan?, Bert Wiggens

Servicing triple diversity Marconi CR150 single sideband receivers, which were used until 1971, at Makara Radio. L-R: Peter Graham, Tinny Hogan?, Bert Wiggens. Date unknown. Courtesy: Chris Underwood

A CR150 was used for the Chathams service. It was modified with a 1600Hz filter to remove the tone generated by the “third method” SSB transmitter at Chatham Islands. I removed the CR150s and installed the MST receivers in either 1969 or 1970. Later these were overtaken by the Harris receivers.
– Peter Moore

Makara Radio.

Liu Atoa, a trainee technician from Samoa, tunes one of the Philips 8RO 501 receivers for the “Islands” services. Date unknown, but no earlier than 1963 which was the first year of production for this receiver. Sadly, Liu died in a road accident while training at Himatangi Radio in the 1960s. Courtesy: Chris Underwood

In the photo above, the three Marconi CSR5s in the “Shipping” rack were probably the 2182, 2196 and 2045 receivers fed through to Wellington Radio on land lines (utilizing the “quiet” receiver site at Makara versus the RF noisy site at Wellington Radio.
– John Warriner

Two racks of Canadian Marconi CSR5 receivers (probably providing triple diversity reception), with Hammarlund receivers on the left and RCA on the right.

Two racks of Canadian Marconi CSR5 receivers, plus Hammarlund SP-600 receivers on the left and RCA AR-88 receivers on the right. Date unknown. Courtesy: Chris Underwood

In the photo above, the six CSR5s were the Pacific Islands telegraph service for the reception of Morse Telegraphy, fed down land lines to the Operators in the International Telegraph Office at the CPO (such as Apia on 5WB22 on 14625).
– John Warriner

The Governor-General, Sir Bernard Fergusson, visits Makara Radio, 11 December 1964

The Governor-General, Sir Bernard Fergusson, visits Makara Radio, 11 December 1964. Telecom NZ Archives

Technician George King at the aerial matching panel, Makara Radio.

Technician George King at the aerial switching panel, Makara Radio, with Marconi diversity receivers at the right. Date unknown. Courtesy: Chris Underwood

In the photo above, the Marconi HR13 receiver to the right (partially shown) was a triple Diversity FSK receiver which was used as part of the Compac Cable restoration scheme, and provided a 192 baud TOR signal through to the International Telegraph Office for four telegraph circuits to London. Two of the four circuits were used by the NZPO, and I assume the others were used by other places like Sydney.
– John Warriner

Technician Roger Hay, Makara Radio

Technician Roger Hay adjusts a Marconi HR11 dual diversity FSK receiver at Makara Radio. Date unknown. Courtesy: Chris Underwood

Technicians Clive Reeve (standing) and Allan Asky, Makara Radio.

Technicians Clive Reeve (standing) and Allan Askey at the radiotelephone console, Makara Radio. In the background are two of three Marconi single diversity ISB receivers. There was a dual diversity HR24 ISB Receiver added later as part of a multi channel ‘DTMF’ Tele-signal telegraph system which was fed to the ITO in Auckland. Date unknown. Courtesy: Chris Underwood

George King at the frequency measuring console, Makara Radio.

George King at the frequency measuring console, Makara Radio. This system was removed from service around 1972. It used valve flip flops to count the local oscillator, that was used to ‘beat’ with the incoming RF signal. Courtesy, Chris Underwood

Richard Kerr servicing Marconi diversity receivers at Makara Radio

Richard Kerr servicing a Marconi HR24 dual diversity receiver at Makara Radio. The racks were fitted with tilting slides for easy access. Date unknown. Courtesy: Chris Underwood

Feedlines from the new vee aerials at Makara Radio receiving station in 1960

Feedlines from the new vee aerials at Makara Radio receiving station in 1960. Courtesy Chris Underwood

The far ends of the vee aerials were actually connected to coax running down the supporting pole and the resistor terminated at ground level. This was to avoid skewing of the beam due to radiation of the grounding wire.
– Ralph Sanson

» Makara Radio 1970-1979