Shag Valley visit to celebrate first transworld radio broadcast

About 20 amateur radio operators, including some from the North Island, will travel from Dunedin to Shag Valley, Otago, next week to celebrate the first transworld radio broadcast, made from the area in 1924.

Amateur radio experimenter and operator Frank Bell made history on the evening of October 18, 1924, when he transmitted morse code messages from his home in the Shag Valley.

These historic short-wave signals were received and replied to by a London-based amateur operator, Cecil Goyder.

At the time, this was not only the first amateur radio contact around the world but also the first radio transmission of any kind to be sent and received at such a distance.

Mr Bell's radio gear has been preserved at the Shag Valley Station.

Monday's trip will involve some of 130 amateur radio operators who have converged on Dunedin from throughout the country to take part in the New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters Inc annual conference.

Organising committee member Mike McAlevey said staging the national event was an honour for the Otago branch.

The branch is this year celebrating its 80th anniversary, and last hosted the national conference 25 years ago.

The weekend conference, at the Southern Cross Hotel, includes talks by several speakers, including University of Otago scientists Emeritus Prof Dick Dowden and Prof John Tagg.

 

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