Wellington Radio 1970-79

1970:

Newly qualified senior technician Chris Underwood was appointed to be technician in charge at ZLW. He had begun his five years of technical training in 1965 at the same station (see The Life of a Junior Technician at ZLW).

Chief Technician Chris Underwood at Wellington Radio ZLW in 1970

Senior Technician Chris Underwood in charge at Wellington Radio ZLW in 1970. Photo taken from a Super 8 movie. Courtesy Chris Underwood

Senior Technician Chris Underwood in charge at Wellington Radio ZLW in 1970 with a Navy Redifon transmitter

Senior Technician Chris Underwood in charge at Wellington Radio ZLW in 1970 with a Navy Redifon transmitter. Photo taken from a Super 8 movie. Courtesy Chris Underwood

The transmitter I am checking in the photo above is a Redifon which was owned by the Navy and line-controlled from the old Defence Building where the Ministry of Economic Development is now housed. The Redifon was one of my favourite transmitters, it was easy to work on and very reliable.

I was not working at ZLW when the Redifon was installed but it raised a lot of interest at the time as it was the first TX that used coaxial cable instead of open wire feeders. It was unpacked and installed by an installation team, the senior member of which was keen on bonfires. With the TX in place but not yet wired up he decided that all the packing material should be burned on site and this was duly done.

Later, when the transmitter was connected to the mains and all the control cables wired up, the last thing was to install the coax feed cable and connect the TX to an antenna. The coax was run but no suitable connector to attach it to the TX could be found. The Navy was contacted and after checking their records advised that the connector had been packed with the TX. The ashes of the bonfire were raked through and, sure enough, the remnants of one very expensive connector were found.

– Chris Underwood, December 2016

Also in 1970, technician Bill Jacob was seconded from Head Office to install new JRC single sideband transmitters at ZLW.

Technician Bill Jacob during commissioning of a 1 kW JRC single sideband transmitter for small ships service at Wellington Radio ZLW in 1970

Technician Bill Jacob during commissioning of a 1 kW JRC single sideband transmitter for small ships service at Wellington Radio ZLW in 1970. Photo taken from a Super 8 movie. Courtesy Chris Underwood

Technician Bill Jacob during commissioning of a 1 kW JRC single sideband transmitter for small ships service at Wellington Radio ZLW in 1970

Technician Bill Jacob during commissioning of a 1 kW JRC single sideband transmitter for small ships service at Wellington Radio ZLW in 1970. Photo taken from a Super 8 movie. Courtesy Chris Underwood

Commissioning a 1 kW JRC single sideband transmitter for small ships service at Wellington Radio ZLW in 1970

Commissioning a 1 kW JRC single sideband transmitter for small ships service at Wellington Radio ZLW in 1970. Photo taken from a Super 8 movie. Courtesy Chris Underwood

1974:

Canadian-built Nautel single sideband transmitter installed at ZLW around 1974

Canadian-built Nautel NCH1000 single sideband transmitter (serial 101) installed at ZLW around 1974. Photo: Ralph Sanson

When ZLW was dismantled this Nautel transmitter was given to the Radio Reading Service as a standby for their 3935 kHz transmitter. The service no longer operates on shortwave, and the Nautel has found a happy home in Ralph’s ham shack.

1978:

Kelvin Brayshaw on 2182 kHz watch at Wellington Radio ZLW in July 1978

Kelvin Brayshaw on 2182 kHz watch at Wellington Radio ZLW in July 1978. Evening Post photo

Supervisor Frank O'Keefe in the operating room at Wellington Radio ZLW, July 1978

Supervisor Frank O’Keefe in the operating room at Wellington Radio ZLW, July 1978. Evening Post photo

» 1980-1993