National HF Radphone Service
involvement with VIS started in 1956 with the running of the Melbourne
Olympic Games. At that time there was only one cable to establish
contact with the outside world, so PMG/OTC established the Overseas
There were many HF point-to-point radio circuits to places such as
London, Johannesburg, Bombay, Calcutta, Port Moresby, Tarangau, Montreal,
Hong Kong, Colombo, Wau, Lae, Capetown, Honiara, several other Pacific
Islands and many more.
As undersea cables were established to major centers around the world,
the HF radio circuits were closed, with satellites being the final
death knell for point-to-point radio circuits.
By the late seventies the only radio circuits left were Honiara, Davis
base, Casey Base, Mawson Base, Macquarie Island and of course VIS
ship to shore.
At this time, Sydney VIS had the reputation of being the best HF ship
to shore in the world.
The full operation of all radio circuits were handed over to OTC in
the early eighties.
may remember this recording transmitted for frequency adjustment:
"This is Sydney Australia. The Eastern terminal of the overseas
radio telephone service, transmitting a test message for the purpose
of identification and circuit adjustment for stations scheduled for
communications with Sydney at this time".
Listen to the recording by James Dibble, ABC Announcer
the same man who lent his voice to the "Speaking Clock",
which was also maintained by the ORT. There were actually two of
them, one "on air" and one for back-up. It is believed the
speaking clock is now in a museum somewhere.
In 1995, transfer of all Radphone operations from Sydney to Brisbaneradio
VIB at Ningi, commenced and continued untill it's closure
on 28th February 2002 after more than 55 years of operation. High
and receivers were remotely controlled from the Ningi complex. Various
types of power outputs from 1kw to 10kw
as well as directional antennas and a whole range of channels from
4 - 22Mhz could be selected.