ZL Amateur Radio Milestones

Updated: 15 Feb 2015

This is a chronology of how radio and later Amateur Radio developed in New Zealand. It was compiled byt NZART and is on their website NZART Website

George Kemp begins wireless experiments in Gisborne.

John Cooper demonstrates wireless telegraphy at Canterbury University.

James Logan sends Morse code messages across Wellington Harbour. W. P. Huggins in Timaru and Joe Passmore in Dunedin also send messages over short distances.

Establishing an amateur radio station without official permission is banned.

Amateur stations in Dunedin send the first official wireless messages.

Amateurs operating illegally are deemed to have interfered with naval communications.

All outside antennae are banned.

First reported use of amateur radio in an emergency occurs when a ship is in distress at the entrance to Wellington Harbour and amateurs operating pick up a distress call.

All amateur activity is completely banned during wartime. Some amateurs continue to operate illegally.

Provisional receive-only permits are issued.

Ralph Slade becomes the first New Zealand amateur to receive USA amateurs (5 November).
Special telephony permits are issued and wireless telephony is used legally for the first time.

Regulations for Amateur, Experimental and Broadcasting Stations are gazetted (18 January). The minimum age for holding an amateur radio licence is set at 14. Maximum power is 50 watts.

First amateur radio contact with Australia between Frank Bell at Shag Valley in Otago (using the call sign BELL) and Charlie Maclurcan 2CM in Sydney, on 160 metres (26 April).
Frank Bell 4AA in Shag Valley and Dan Wilkinson 2AB in Motueka become the first licensed amateurs (7-8 June). 40 licences are issued by the end of the year.

New Zealand is allocated the call sign prefix Z.
Ivan O’Meara Z2AC in Gisborne and Carlos Braggio RCB8 in Buenos Aires make the first NZ-South America contact and set a world distance record (22 May).
Frank Bell Z4AA at Shag Valley and Wallace Magner 6BCP in San Pedro make the first NZ-North America contact (21 September).
First round-the-world two way radio contact held between Frank Bell Z4AA at Shag Valley and Cecil Goyder G2SZ in London on 92 metres (18 October).

A single license replaces the previous two grades. Maximum power is now 100 watts. The number of licences issued reaches 100.
Representatives from twenty-three countries meet in Paris to form the International Amateur Radio Union (18 April). Frank Bell Z4AA is elected as a member of the Executive Committee.

The New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters (NZART) is formed in Auckland (16 August). Annual subscription fee is set at five shillings (50 cents).
Joe Johnson Z2GA obtains the first portable licence.
Gordon Smithson Z1AF makes the first NZART Official Broadcast.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Conference in Washington establishes internationally-agreed frequency bands. NZ is allocated the prefix OZ.
The Sangster Shield contest for low power operation starts.

The first issue of ‘Break-In’ is published (January) and provided free to NZART members.
First crystal-controlled transmitter is built and operated by Gordon Brown OZ4AE and Arnold Grubb OZ4AL.
The first overseas 10 metre contact is conducted between Hilton Arthur OZ1AN and OA3CP in Melbourne (23 September).

Provisions of the Washington Radio Telegraphic Convention of 1927 come into force restricting the frequencies available to amateurs.
NZART is admitted to International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).
NZ is allocated the prefixes ZK to ZM. It opts for ZL for mainland stations.
The NZART QSL Bureau is established.
NZART negotiates a reduction in licence fee from £2/2/- to £1/10/- ($3).

World record 10m contact held between Norm Edwards ZL1AA and F8AW in France.
Myrt Earland ZL3AG becomes the first woman licensed (YL) operator.

Hawke’s Bay Earthquake occurs (3 February) and it becomes the genesis of the formation of the Radio Emergency Corps (later AREC).

The Radio Regulations are gazetted. The Morse test is increased to 12 wpm. All amateurs are allowed to use the 160m and 80m bands.
Radio Emergency Corps is formed (6 March). The first national REC field-day is held.

NZART log book is made available at 1/6d (15 cents).
Official broadcasts are resumed at 15 wpm.

First contact between aircraft and a ground station is established by “Casey” Harris ZL4CA and Ray McConnell ZL4BV in Otago, on 5 metres (60 MHz).
NZART becomes an Incorporated Society.

The first NZART Call Book is published.
TV experiments are authorised on the 5m band and below 1m.
Norm Laugesen becomes the first NZART Honorary Life Member.
The VK/ZL/OC contest is started.

The number of amateurs reaches 1000.

Dave Brown ZL1HY is the first ZL to be awarded the DXCC.
The first TV article is published in Break-In.

Amateur radio activity is banned for the duration of World War II. Amateur equipment is used in war effort. Amateurs serve as wartime radio operators.
Break-In published is in cyclostyled form throughout WWII (1939-1945).

Wartime ban on amateur radio is lifted (“H-Night” 8 December). Amateur operations resumes on 3.5 to 3.96 MHz and 58.5 to 60 MHz only.
Morse test is increased to 15 wpm for HF permit holders.

Further pre-war bands are released and overseas contacts resume. 50 to 54 MHz made available for use.
The Memorial Contest starts.
ZC1 army surplus transmitter/receivers are sold for 20 pounds ($40).
NZART Official Broadcasts recommenced by Doug Gorman ZL2IY.

First article on SSB (nee SSSC) is published in Break-In.
First contacts on 2400 MHz conducted by Bill Collett ZL4BP and Jeff Walker ZL4DH.
Worked All Pacific and Worked All Branches awards are introduced.

The Maori language is allowed on air in addition to English.
REC is re-named Amateur Radio Emergency Corps (AREC).
144 to 148 MHz is made available for use.
World record 50 MHz contact held between Maurice Wills ZL4GY and K6BF.

World record 144 MHz contact over 1340 miles held between Dave Buchanan ZL3AR and VK2AH.

National Field day and Frequency Measuring Contests start.
First SSB contacts held between Jack Mason ZL1QS and Maurie Walker ZL1AU.
21.0 to 21.45 MHz is made available for use.

Old Timers’ Club is formed (31 May).
Minimum age to obtain an amateur licence is increased to 16.
New Zealand reportedly has more amateurs per capita than any other country.

First two-way contact on 10 GHz held between Jack King ZL2AKP and Ron Morgan ZL2GQ.
First transistor article appears in Break-In.
Roy Pottinger ZL4GP makes the first transistor transmitter contact in and sets a world distance record transistorised contact with a Christchurch amateur.

First two-way RTTY contact held between NZ and USA, by ZL1WB and WØBP.

On-air demonstration of 405-line TV on 420 MHz conducted by ZL2APC.
First Boy Scout Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) held.

50 to 51 MHz withdrawn for amateur use to allow use by commercial TV.
First NZ-GB RTTY contact held between Alec Hyndman ZL3HJ and G3CQE.

Jock White ZL2GX achieves the world’s first DXCC300.

OSCAR-1 (Orbital Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio) is launched (14 December). Trevor Kendrick ZL2HP is the first NZ amateur to hear it.

Women Amateur Radio Operators’ club (WARO) is formed.
Maximum power limit is raised from 100 watts to 150 watts final anode input.
Minimum age for amateur licence is returned to 14.

Doug Gorman ZL2IY is awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to Amateur Radio and to Search and Rescue.
A non-Morse Technician licence grade is introduced for operation above 144 MHz.

First hand-held 2metre band solid-state transceiver is demonstrated by Harry Burton ZL2APC.

First all-electronic scanning receiver demonstrated by Harry Burton ZL2APC.

Integrated circuits are first mentioned in Break-In.

The establishment of beacons on 144, 432 and 1215 MHz is approved.
The use of slow-scan TV on HF bands is approved.
The Reciprocal Licensing Scheme starts.

NZART attends the foundation meeting of IARU Region 3 Association in Sydney.

ZM prefix is permitted for first time to celebrate the Cook’s Bi-centenary.
World record 144 MHz moon-bounce (EME) contact held between John Morgan ZL1AZR and Kjell Rasmusson SM7BAE.
Bruce Rowlings ZL1WB is appointed command station for OSCARs 5, 6 and 7.

New Radio Regulations are introduced, with Grades I, II and III replacing the former two grades and the HF permit system.
Christchurch amateurs commission the first amateur beacon and the first VHF repeater.

Roy Needham ZL1KG is the first amateur outside USA to receive the US Counties Award.

All grades of operators are allowed to work through OSCAR-6 and subsequent satellites.

Morse speed test is reduced to 12 wpm.

ZM prefix permitted for use during the Commonwealth Games, Christchurch.
First full-colour ATV test-pattern transmitted by Doug Ingham ZL2TAR.

Wellington VHF Group set a 3300 MHz world record contact between Mt Murchison and Mt Ruapehu.

Golden Jubilee of NZART is celebrated with Sir William Pickering as guest speaker.
Use of 1803 to 1813 kHz is authorised.
First full-colour cover for Break-In is published.

Novice grade licence is introduced.

40 metre band is extended to 7.3 MHz on a non-interference basis.
The first ATV repeater is operational at Wellington.
First two-way contact on 24 GHz is conducted by Peter Williams ZL2ARW and John Yaldwyn ZL2TRV.

The term of office for NZART President and Council is extended to 2 years.
50 to 50.15 MHz is introduced for use as a shared-use arrangement.
First 432 MHz E-M-E contact held with USA by ZL2BCG and K5JL.
Jim Jackson ZL2BCG and Graham Alderson ZL3AAD set the 432 MHz EME world record when contacting I5MSH.
The Tasman Sea is first crossed on 432 MHz by ZL1TAB and VK2BQJ.
Chuck Rademacher ZL1ADI wins the IARU Radiosport Championship.

World record EME contact held between Graham Alderson ZL3AAD and DL9KR on 432 MHz.
Frequency Management Working Group established.
Call signs are now retained when amateurs move between radio districts.

First ZL-European 50 MHz SSB contact held by ZL1MQ and ZB0T sets a new world record (18,250 km).
144 MHz bandplan changes from 700 kHz to 600 kHz offset for FM repeaters.
First 2m linear repeater established in Dunedin.

NZART membership peaks at 4397.
NZART Headquarters opens in Astral Towers, Upper Hutt.
10.1 MHz band is made available fir use.
Grade 3 operators are permitted to use the 51 to 53 MHz band.
Tasman Sea crossed on 1296 MHz by ZL1AVZ and VK2BDN.

World Communications Year, with ZM prefix able to be used.
Tom Clarkson ZL2AZ receives MBE in Birthday Honours List for services to Amateur Radio.
New Frequency Allocation List gives an extended band at 1.8 MHz, new bands above 47 GHz, and Grade 2 and Novice use on 28 MHz.
Band-plans are transferred to the Amateur Service to self-regulate.
Packet radio first used in New Zealand by ZL1AOX, ZL1WN and ZL1UFK.
World record 28 MHz packet radio contact held between Ian Ashley ZL1AOX and Tom Clark W3IWI.
World record 1296 MHz EME contact held between Graham Alderson ZL3AAD and Jan Ottens PAÆSSB.
First 610 MHz contact held by ZL2AQF and ZL2ARW (3 December) between Mt. Kaukau and Kakanui.

Review of the Amateur Service completed by NZ Post Office.
Morse transmission is authorised for use by Grade 3 operators.
QSL Bureau becomes a free service to NZART members, non-members continue to pay 10 cents a card.
Chatham, Kermadec, and Auckland/Campbell Islands became ZL7, ZL8, and ZL9 respectively.
First radio operation from the top of Mt. Cook conducted by Robin McNeill ZL3TIG.

18.068 MHz band is made available for use.
Sixth IARU Region III Association Conference held at Auckland, hosted by NZART, with visits by the IARU President and the ITU General-Secretary.
Bob Knowles ZL1BAD is appointed IARU International Intruder Watch Coordinator.
Ian Ashley ZL1AOX appointed command station for OSCAR 10 and OSCAR 13.

NZART’s Diamond Jubilee year. Annual Conference at New Plymouth is opened by Governor-General Sir Paul Reeves.
NZART Official Broadcast is simulcasted by Jim Meachen ZL2BHF on 3900 kHz and on Amateur TV for the first time.
Amendment to Radio Regulations establishes new General, Limited, and Novice Licence grades. Power measurements are changed to mean/PEP output power rating. Logbook is not now obligatory but recommended.
First six-metre packet radio contact to VK held by ZL2BKC and VK2YME.

Amateurs are allowed to choose any vacant call sign.
New Zealand Post Office replaced by the New Zealand Radio Frequency Service as the NZ administration.
24.89 to 24.99 MHz band made available. 610-620 MHz band extended to 622 MHz.
National Link repeater system Wellington-Auckland is opened.
Official broadcast first networked on VHF repeaters.
World record 2304 MHz E-M-E contact held between John Shorland ZL2AQE and Tom Clark W3IWI.
Guy Kendall ZL2BIV becomes the first amateur to communicate from an airborne hang-glider, and depicted on the 1987 Callbook.
Tom Clarkson ZL2AZ receives the IARU Region 1 Roy Stevens Memorial Trophy.

New Radio Regulations are created. The 14-year age limit for Amateur Licence is abolished. Amateurs are allowed to handle third-party messages within New Zealand. Non-amateurs are allowed to speak on air.
World record 50 MHz E-M-E contact held between Graham Jonas ZL2BGJ and Ray Rector WA4NJP.

ZM prefix permitted for use for XIV Commonwealth Games in Auckland.
Dan Wilkinson ZL2AB receives QSM in Birthday Honours List for services to Amateur Radio.

NZART Examination Division is established and runs amateur radio written examinations for the first time.
ZM prefix permitted for use for New Zealand’s 150th Year Celebrations.
Novice Grade operators granted access to the 144-148 MHz band.
Access to all HF bands is made immediate on gaining a General Grade licence.

Provisions introduced for visiting operators from countries having no formal reciprocal agreement with New Zealand to operate here.

Ron Kingston ZL4MK is awarded QSM for services to Search and Rescue and to Civil Defence.
Dave Brown ZL1HY becomes the world’s top DXer, having contacted all 323 countries on current DXCC list and 375 out of 377 on the all-time list.

NZART runs Morse testing for the amateur radio qualification for the first time at Conference at Pukekohe.
New Zealand General and Limited licences are recognised by CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations), the first non-European country so recognised.

The number of amateur radio licences peaks at 6613.
Society For The Preservation Of Amplitude Modulation (SPAM-NZ) holds its first annual general meeting held in New Plymouth.
New Zealand amateurs compete at ARDF World Championships in Sweden.
Fred Johnson ZL2AMJ is appointed as Chairman of Directors, IARU Region 3.

Raoul Island Dxpedition, ZL8RI, organised from New Zealand by Ken ZL4HU and Lee ZL2AL.
NZART web page established by Jamie Pye ZL2NN and Steve Davis ZL2UCX.

AREC re-named Amateur Radio Emergency Communications.
Rebecca Butcher ZL3URB becomes the youngest licensed amateur, aged 8.
World record 10 GHz EME contact held between Greg Storz ZL1GSG and Joe Fehrenbach DJ7FG.
NZART publishes the NZ amateur radio history book “Ham Shacks, Brass Pounders & Rag Chewers”.

NZART Radio-science Education Trust is established.

The size of NZART Council is reduced from 17 to 9 Councillors.
Break-In changed from eleven issues per year to six per year.
Campbell Island DXpedition, ZL9CI, organised from New Zealand by Ken ZL4HU, makes a world record of 96,004 contacts.

Amateur Radio examinations ‘by-appointment’ commence using computer-selected public-domain questions developed by ZL1AN.
Study Guide for examination preparation written by ZL2AMJ is made available.
ZM prefix is permitted for the Millennium celebrations.

NZART celebrates its 75th Anniversary Year.
Headquarters Info-Line commences with Editor Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.
New 50 MHz world record contact held by ZL3VTV/1 and EH7KW.
NZART 75th Anniversary Conference held at Auckland, with Lester Earnshaw (ex-ZL1AAX) as guest speaker.
New Radio-communications Regulations are issued. Novice grade is removed and 5 words-per-minute Morse speed introduced for the General grade licence.
Amateur Frequency Allocation Chart is reviewed and the spectrum limit extended from 400 GHz to 1000GHz.

AREC receives the inaugural National Search and Rescue Award.
First trans-Tasman 2-metre band contact by meteor scatter propagation is conducted by Bob McQuarrie ZL3TY Greymouth and Rex Moncur VK7MO Hobart (1950 km).
Fred Johnson ZL2AMJ awarded MNZM for services to Amateur Radio.

The MED Radio Spectrum Management group introduces direct on-line access to its licensing database.
Two-way 80 metre SSB mobile-to-mobile QSO held between UK and NZ between G0DKM/m at Weston-super-mare UK and Winton Bell ZL3AO/m at Christchurch, with both vehicles moving.

A two-way contact on 137.70 kHz on sets a world LF distance record between ZM2E Quartz Hill (operators ZL2CA and ZL2BBJ) with UA0LE (10,311 km).
Amendments to the New Zealand Radio Regulations arising from the WRC-2003 bring extensive changes. There is now only one grade of licence with all Limited Licensees becoming General Licensees. Competency in Morse code is no longer mandatory for any NZ licence.
NZART Headquarters opens its new office at 19 Main Street, Upper Hutt.

World record 50 MHz EME contact held between Rod MacIntosh ZL3NW and M0BCG, an equivalent earth distance via the moon of 19,001 km.
New annual licence fee provisions came into effect (1 July). Amateur operators will no longer pay an annual fee.
World record 144 MHz EME contact, between ZL1IU and EA5SE, an equivalent earth distance via the moon of 19,453 km.

World record 50 MHz EME contact, between Rod MacIntosh ZL3NW and F6FHP, an equivalent earth distance via the moon of 19,441 km.
The General User Radio Licence for Amateur Radio Operators (GURL) commences (1 July). It provides for a ZL/ZM call sign prefix facility with ZM use decided by individual operators for contests and for special events.
RSM authorises the use of the ZK prefix by AREC stations (3 September).
The new on-line issuing of amateur operator’s “Certificate of Competency” commences.

NZART email lists and reflectors becomes a members-only service.

All NZART-sponsored internet reflectors are closed indefinitely.

First two-way digital TV contact on 23cm held between Grant Taylor ZL1WTT and Ralph Sanson ZL2TV, over a 33km path from Whangaporoa Peninsula to Pakuranga.
Fourteenth IARU Region 3 Association Conference held at Christchurch, hosted by NZART (October).

Access approved on a temporary non-interference basis to the band 505 to 515 kHz for New Zealand radio amateurs (1 March).
First two-way voice EME contact held between Ralph Sanson ZM2TV and VK3NX on 5760 MHz SSB.
Callbook issued on CD in addition to the printed version.

AREC provides more than 8000 man-hours of emergency communications after the 22 February Christchurch earthquake.
ZM prefixes are encouraged to be used during the Rugby World Cup.
Tasman Sea crossed on 2403 MHz, Brian Ryall ZL1AVZ to VK4OX and VK4JMC, and Stephen Hayman ZL1TPH to VK4OX.

The first NZ Amateur Radio Day is promoted (10 March).
ZL#E, ZL#X and ZL#Y call signs released for amateur allocation.
Permitted power output is increased to 1000 watts PEP (30 November).

Channel 39 ATV is closed to amateurs for use by digital TV. 50 to 51 MHz is made available as a result of the closure of Channel 1 analogue television. 472 to 479 KHz band is allocated to amateurs (6 December).
NZART Council meetings began to be held on Skype.

ZKnE call signs released for AREC use.
John Walker ZL3IB steps down after 18 years as Editor of Break-in.
Barry Steward ZL2RR became silent key after serving 24 years as QSL Manager.

Please notify any errors, ideas or suggestions to Craig Crawford ZL3TLB at [email protected] Last Updated: January 2015

Ian – ZL1OGX



Having been licensed since 1987, just a new comer, I was issued the call GM1XOG. I worked mostly on 6Mtrs.  Being very close to the magical DXCC with 15w for a long time out of a Yaesu FT690r plus a small linear and a HB9CV for the antenna.  I managed the VUCC with relative ease after all there was a big lift what with the upcoming solar max.

After several years of playing on 50Mhz a few of my friends whom I had gone through the RAE with pushed me into doing the morse assessment, after passing I held on to the GM1XOG and got MM3XOG to go with it.

Coming to ZL land in 2003, I just brought the VHF/UHF handy, all the rest of the kit was due to be packed into the container and shipped off.  Once the gear arrived I set about getting a proper ZL call.  I applied to the MED with all my documents from the UK and asking for ZL1XOG, only to be told that the ‘X’ series was not issued, at that time, so they moved the ‘x’ to the rear and gave me ZL1OGX.

Once all sorted I set about getting a G5RV up and digging out the radio from the container stuff, the XYL was a bit miffed that the station was almost the first thing unpacked.

I have to say that operating from ZL has been interesting, you don’t quite have 50 – 60 DXCC countries on your door step, band conditions are totally different to what I experienced in GM land, it’s been a learning curve.

The Diamond CP-6 Multiband Vertical

The Diamond CP-6 Multiband Vertical

So today I still use the rig I brought over an Icom IC-706Mk2 with its ATU the AT-180 added a Heil mic to it.  The antenna has changed to a Diamond CP-6 vertical, the wife was complaining about the number of wires about the section.

Currently I’m sitting at 176 worked countries, yes not a lot but not too bad with 100w and a vertical and having to go to the office.  Also I’m playing about with digital modes at the moment, it’s fun working EU on 20-30w.zl1ogxQSL

Also in some of my spare time I look after the website of Branch 29 – NorthShore, www.qsl.net/zl1ab if you want a wee look.

QSL Direct, Bureau or LoTW

73 Ian, ZL1OGX


ZL2CC Mike Mather – Gisborne

Mike, ZL2CC at the ZM4T Contest Site

I was born back in 1945 in Nottingham England, my interest in radio started when I was about 5 years old. My father bought me a crystal set kit for my birthday. It didn’t work so was sent back. (lots of my experimental/home brewing has ended up like this) HI. My next brush with radio was when I was about 14. I joined the Army Cadet Force. Our regiment was the Royal Gloucester Hussars, and besides shooting for the regiment at Bisley, I also trained as a radio operator. I loved it and became quite efficient at ‘netting’ (zero beating) the No19 set well before the ‘net now’ was given. I wasn’t so keen on operating the No9 set. This was a portable???? backpack set that with batteries weighed a ton. Then as always with young lads other things came along, like girls and cars. Emigration, marriage and family then meant that until the 1980’s radio never came back into my life. That was when the family went to the UK for a working holiday.

CB radio came to the UK in the 80’s and after a dabble with this very restricted (in those days) form of communication and experimenting with antennas for CB, I looked at becoming a Ham. I took the City and Guilds Radio Examination in 1983 and took out a licence in 1984, when I could afford a rig. I was licenced as G1NFD and restricted to above 30 MHz. No problem. I had fun with RTTY and SSTV on vhf mainly mobile, along with DFing until I took the CW test and obtained full privileges in 1989. I then became G0LBP and had all bands covered from home, until I met Phil, now ZL2RVW. Phil was by then a DXer and contester and persuaded me to give it a try and after a visit by members of the local club to Germany, we formed a contest club with a few others. Phil has emigrated to ZL and we are now back in friendly competition. With the skills Phil taught me and from reading books on DXing, I find I can crack most pileups if they are running split. An efficient station now became the priority. Most antennas came down and I concentrated on the 15M band from home and the contest club tried most contests but concentrated on 160M and VHF contests. By choosing the contests we stood a chance in, we did win or become highly placed in a lot of contests and formed relationships with several good contesters.

Upon returning to New Zealand in 1996, I was given the call of ZL2CC and when my ex-wife (a Gisborne girl) returned to the UK, I took up radio a bit more seriously. After meeting and marrying an amateur friendly woman, things started to move. I found that a mono band antenna is 10db better than a tri-bander and there is no substitute for height. I now run a 3 ele mono for 20m, a 2 ele mono for 17m and a 160m Carolina Windom for 40 thru’ 160m.
Radio interests are DXing, Contesting and antennas. Station is capable of HF psk31, rtty, SSTV, JT65as well as ssb and a little cw. Also UHF, VHF packet and APRS. You may see me on PSK31 on 30m, or JT65 any band including 160m.

Mike Looking for Multipliers at ZM4T

My antennas consist of three element mono band beams for 20m and 17m at approx 50ft, a Carolina Windom for 160m thru’ 10m at 50ft plus 80m single loop quad SW/NE and 40m single loop quad SW/NE. Rigs are FT757GX for data and FT1000d for main HF with an Ameritron AL811 amp. IC725 for portable/back up use. I am a member of ARRL, NZART, CDXC and the Pacific DXers. Ex-writer of the DX section of the NZART magazine ‘Break-In’ and a proud member of the East Coast Contesters ZM4T. I was honoured to be a member of the ZL7T DXpedition to Chatham Island 2009. I also run a local LPFM radio station. “Radio Waihora” on 88.3 MHz.
While I still tell newcomers to concentrate on a good antenna and forget the linear, I do run a small 811 linear sometimes.

I have been Chairman of the Loughborough Radio club in the UK and President of the Gisborne club. I was an exam tutor and registered novice tutor in the UK, and have strong views on the old novice system and the new UK and VK foundation licence. I believe that when we dropped CW as the gateway to HF, we should have replaced it with a staged examination.

As I said at the start, I am a part time DXer. Radio is just one of my hobbies. I am also a member of the local pistol club and American Car club. My skills are also varied being an A grade motor mechanic, heavy truck driver, building services design engineer and alarm technician. I am always willing to learn something new or different, and run PSK, RTTY and pactor However, I very rarely work local stations other than the local repeater, but who knows? Maybe I’ll hear you on top band one Sunday night as I chat to ZL2RS, a local ham on 1855.

DXCC count still climbing.
Te Karaka, nr Gisborne.

ZL1DD Barry Kirkwood PhD

Barry (Baz) is an old timer with a wealth of knowledge from the “Old days” Most old timers have. He was born in New Zealand in 1935 and has been a ham for most of his life with a wide range of interests including HF CW DXing and contesting. boat anchor vintage radios, home building gear especially antennas. He collects morse keys and headphones and is a member of FISTS#9026, Other interests :Food & wine, music,literature,aviation, travel. He has sailed the South Pacific extensively, also US West Coast, Western Mediterranean. He has two adult daughters (fine arts graduates) one in Chiangmai, other in London.

For many years Barry operated from his Homestay on Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland. His wonderful location known as “Signal Hill” was a superb DX location as shown below.

Signal Hill looking out over the Hauraki Gulf

BArry, ZL1DD looking for DX

He was first licensed in 1953 but the pressures of family and work kept him from being very active on radio much of his life. Moving to Waiheke gave him the opportunity to set up his dream radio station and he enjoyed sharing it with others. He had a Yaesu FT1000D, Viewstar 2x 3-500z Linear amplifier and a Toshiba laptop.

The Giant Force 12 Antenna

The antennas were a Force 12 C-4SXL rotary beam, two elements on 10,15,20, and 40m with15m tower. Site is 90m above the beach and the station got out very well. 80m used a dipole at 20m fed with 450 ohm ladder line to antenna tuners so he could work all HF bands with this antenna.

Barry had a dedicated radio shack with a bed and an extensive radio library,
including QST collection back to 1928. There was a well equipped home workshop for radio and general construction, repair and maintenance. He worked mainly HF CW and Waiheke Island (OC201) and it was in demand from DX stations. He entertained many overseas visitors during his stay there including Bob Whelan, the President of RSGB in 2002 G3PJT alias ZL4CC working the 2001 Commonwealth Contest. He came sixth overall, best score from Oceania.

Overseas radio visitors to date include: Jukka OH2BR, Hans SM3TLG, Bill K6KM, Bob G3PJT, Kevin VK3DAP, Nico PA0MIR, John W1CU (ZL1/W1CU) Barry operated overseas with calls such as G4COP, GW4COP, A35CN, ZK1CM, ZM1BN/A as well as ZL1BN/W, ZL1BN/VE etc. For much of his radio life his callsign was ZL1BN. When his old friend Bert ZL1DD went SK his family asked him to take the callsign Bert’s family have been on the island since pioneer days and his father before him was the first ever holder of the callsign.

Barry has been in Thailand since 2006. Unfortunately there is no reciprocal license in HS so he has operated from RAST club station HS0AC in Bangkok That station was destroyed in floods but a new station will hopefully be operational again soon. He has been helping to build the HS0ZIA new super station out of Chiangmia and also on team working contests from there. In 2011 he got call XU7AEL and operated from Sihanoukville for 3 months in 2012. Rumour has it that Barry may try Vietnam 2014. He will be returning to ZL in 2013 to stay with his old mate Ken at ZL1AIH/ ZM1A.

73 de Baz

ZL2AFT Bryan Anderson – Palmerston North


Over 60 years ago I heard about Amateur Radio while attending the PN Boys’ High School where I met the late Phil Howell (ZL3 ?) then science master, who introduced a small group of keen young students to the hobby after school one afternoon a week in the science lab. It was around that time local hams were receiving their gear back and permission to operate after World War 2. I was particularly thrilled to hear them on my home built “Hiker’s Two” with plug-in coils for the short wave bands. Later to be replaced by a 4 valve TRF receiver.

After High School, a carpentry and joinery apprenticeship, motorcycling, cars and social activities took precedence and it was 1954 before I finally managed the Ham ticket on my second attempt, CW and the eventual HF permit followed as did the home construction of receivers and transmitters from original AM into the SSB era. Many hours were spent in construction and I guess the separate SSB receiver and homebrew filter transmitter was the greatest challenge. I worked over 200 DXCC countries with this equipment. It was 1975 before I picked up a trashed Drake TR3 and after a week was on the air with that which started a ‘love affair’ with Drake gear which I still use daily. I must acknowledge the helpful advice I got during the homebrew AM years from the late Gary McDonell ZL2SO and in SSB from many groups who gathered in the evenings in those early years on 80m to help one another.

Bitten by the incurable DX chasing disease, required better antennas, operating all hours just to accumulate piles of QSL’s and a few more awards on the wall.

After 28 years of carpentry and back trouble I went back to night school for advanced qualifications, which opened new job opportunities, became a building inspector for a short period then finished my working years as a Polytech lecturer in Construction for 19 years.
48 years ago I married my wife Jill we have four boys who are all married and working in different parts of the world.

I have always tried to keep the hobby in perspective and not let it interfere with the more important things in life, none of the family have really been interested in the hobby as such. I think they feel one is enough. All but the first 3 years of my life have been spent at the same address, here antenna erection has not been a problem but who can guess what is ahead in the next sun spot cycle.

73, Bryan ZL2AFT

ZL1MT – Ted Minchin (SK)

Ted Minchin ZL1MT

Back in the 1970s, RTTY was a hot subject on the ham radio scene as commercial interests dumped their metal monsters and went “glass” That’s how I first met Ted. A mutual friend Dick Boulton, ZL1FL was a great fan of the green keys and had a Selcal system operating on 3545 khz 24/7. Once a week the NZ Amateur Radio Teletype Society had a weekly net of 20 or 30 ZLs where ideas were exchanged and plots were hatched. Ted was ZL1BOY then and in league with Dick to liberate as many machines as possible from the Post Office.

Ted just loved the machinery and could really make the old Creeds hum. Or should I say rattle and hum. Not only was Ted into the Teletype machines but he also had an interest in all things mechanical, electrical or electronic. Eventually RTTY was overtaken by technology and the teletype group folded and we all went our separate ways. Over many years we always used to compete for bargains at the various junk sales and Ted and I enjoyed each other’s company often over a cup of coffee. When I became quite ill in 2001 Ted rang me and said “Hey no worries Lee, I had the same thing many years ago and have undergone the same treatment as you. You’ll be fine.” I needed that and Ted gave me a call every now and then to see how I was doing and offer encouragement. Ironically, his illness came back during the last 18 months and it I was able to offer encouragement to him. We last met on the day of the Cambridge Junk sale at his home and he was desperately ill but still thinking about ham radio and interested in what was on offer. We will miss him. He was one of the “nice guys” of ham radio and will be long remembered. Ted passed away on 27th May, 2006

ZL2US Rob Leicester – Napier

Rob – ZL2US

I was born in New Zealand in 1950 and now live near Napier at Pakowhai in Hawke’s Bay on the East coast of the North Island. The area is one of the best fruit and wine growing regions in the world and the climate is great with summer temperatures around 25C daily and over 2300 hours of sunshine a year. Life is good with at least 40 wineries in the area

The equipment at ZL2US currently consists of an Icom 756 Pro, Icom 746 Pro, an Ameritron amplifier with Icom VHF and UHF radios. Antennas include a TH6DXX, TH3, 6M yagi for HF on a 70′ foldover mast, a full wave 160 metre horizontal loop and dipoles for LF. The antenna farm is shared with my sheep on 2 acres.

Antenna System at ZL2US

Licensed as ZL2RFL in 2005, I recently changed to ZL2US. In 2012 In managed to place a new DXCC certificate up on the wall and currently am working towards 200 countries. Although I do work DX when it’s around the majority of my amateur radio contacts are casual ragchewing and socializing with my friends. I belong to NZART Hawkes Bay Branch 13. The sea not too far from us is a good place for my other hobby of fishing out on my 26′ Bayliner in Hawke Bay. My wife Sue is also a ham ( ZL2DC ) and we have 2 sons in their early 30s and 4 grandchildren.

73 es Happy DXing


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ZL2DX – Chris Hannagan, Martinborough

Chris ZL2DX has been an active DXer and contester, originally with the ZM2K team.  He has operated under his own call from ZL7, ZL8 and ZL9 from his postings with the Department of Conservation to these islands in the 1970s and 1980s. 

Chris is a member of the ARRL A-1 Operators Club, a founding member of the ZM2K Contest Team and was a team member of the ZL8RI DXpedition to Raoul Island in 1996.  He is currently very active on EME with more than 60 countries worked on 2 metres“off the moon”.

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ZL4PW – Paul Ormandy, Oamaru

I developed an interest in electronics/electrics around 10 yrs old… dissecting perfectly functioning torches and radios… became a ham at age 26 years and 44 before obtaining an HF licence. Slow learner… huh…

I have two mentors, ZL4OW Stan and W0WOI (ex-W5USM) Bill. Both offered great encouragement and always had time to talk thru my silly questions. My first contact with ham radio came when I visited ZL4OW at his shack at about age 14. He even let me talk to an Aussie. I followed the SW/MW listening version of DXing for almost 30 years. Then fellow MW/SW DXer and correspondent of mine for several year, Bill Smith stayed with us for a week. He convinced me to learn CW and get on HF.

I began practicing the arduous 5 wpm and was in the throes of making a date with the Otago Branch boys to sit the test when word came out that the CW requirement was to be dropped… I thought it would be a shame to waste all that practice so went ahead and passed to test anyway.

First VHF set-up as ZL4TFX was an Icom IC22A and a home-brew 4 element yagi, later progressing to a damn good 5/8 colinear. First HF set-up was a Kenwood TS830S and Supreme (yuk!) 3 element monobander. Now, I have a pretty good set-up, an Icom IC746PRO, 3 element Steppir up 10m and a 12m vertical combined with an SGC coupler.

Future plans are dictated by solar events. An 80 metre long centre-fed dipole from a portable operation sloping down from a convenient clifftop approx 60 m high… I figure that with the sunspot cycle declining, the higher freqs will become deserted so I need to spend more time on the top band etc. The cliff-top operation is a temporary solution and I might get to use it for a week a time at most.

My interest is the challenge of working towards goals, e.g. DXCC, contesting etc but nothing beats when a DX station answers your CQ call… e.g. 7Q7BP calling me on 30m!

I’ve only been seriously hamming for a couple of years and my very tolerant wife hasn’t called in the lawyers… yet. Seriously, the hobby answers my passion for radio and there are many branches an interested hobbyist can go down to find some enjoyment. You can even find something enjoyable related to the hobby without even owning a radio.

My contemporaries are anyone who works DX first and ragchews later… much later…

I have two boys, 13 and 16, and a partner who have no interest whatsoever in ham radio. If I wasn’t into radio, I’d be playing lots of golf… and I guess they prefer I was totally absorbed with the  former. At least, with ham radio, I am at home and can be prised away from the set for fatherly/husbandly duties.

73, Paul ZL4PW

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ZL2VS – Dusty, Marton

I was born in Lincoln, England in 1934 and at the age of 15 I joined the Royal Navy and trained for 16 months as a Telegraphist  and passed out at 25wpm before going to sea this was very handy as some of the area broadcasts reached 30-35 wpm depending on the amount of tfc they had. At this time , morse was the only means of communication at sea except for a small amount of VHF close range voice so CW became a second language. During my time in the Navy, apart from shipboard operating, I spent 3 years at Capetown Radio/ZSC and 18 months at Singapore/GYL  mostly ship/shore operating 100% cw. When I finished with the Navy I came to NZ and worked for a while with NZPO and then moved to Waiouru at HMNZS Irirangi as a civilian operator and it was during this time that two of my workmates Rex/ZL2ASM and Bill/ZL2VS coaxed me into taking the exam, I passed and received a Grade 1 certificate in 1970 as ZL2AQK.

My first rig was an old ZC1 11 watts of chirp and it took me 3 hours to get my first DX, a VK2, rst 33? if I remember correctly but the seed was sown. I did graduate to an EICO720 40 watts CW TX with a Collins 51J4 RX and a G5RV before I was posted to Melbourne and became VK3AYO with a TS820s and a vertical. Apart from award hunting I got the VKDXCC certificate. I returned and settled in Marton where I at last got a beam and started DX’ing seriously and received my  ARRL DXCC award in 1982.  My original call was re-issued whilst I was overseas but I was lucky that Bill was transferring to ZL1 and I was able to get ZL2VS. I spent many sleepless hours working the rare ones and finally got #1 on the Honor Roll. I then turned my attention to IOTA and before I pulled the big plug for good I received the coveted 750 Plaque from RSGB only the second one in NZ  (Ramon/ZL1ARY was first) and 89th issued in the world. I finished with almost 900 confirmed. I did a solo dxpedition to Chatham Island as ZM7VS clocked up almost 6,000 QSO’s in 10 days 75%cw. I was very happy to give some EU’s their first Chatham contacts. The highlight of my time as a ham was my solo participation in the Cyclone Val affair when I was the only comms in and out of Apia for about 5 days, a very exhausting but rewarding experience. I was very proud to receive the Certificate of Merit from NZART for this operation.

73/88 de Dusty was ZL2VS

Note from Lee ZL2AL: Dusty achieved No. Honour roll and has now given up Amateur Radio and is into breeding and keeping songbirds

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