Oliver Road Transmitters

Undated, pre-1961 photo. "The right hand rack has a double panel of alarm 'grasshopper' fuses near the top, then a storage unit for the HRO's coil sets. The next rack to the left has line monitoring and patch panels. The next rack has an HRO monitor receiver and speaker, plus what I think is the intercom to the receiving station. In the next rack is a control panel for a Collins auto-tune transmitter. I cannot identify the other 3 racks' contents. To the left of the racks is the oldest of three Collins 231 3KW auto-tune transmitters.

Undated, pre-1961 photo. “The right hand rack has a double panel of alarm ‘grasshopper’ fuses near the top, then a storage unit for the HRO’s coil sets. The next rack to the left has line monitoring and patch panels. The next rack has an HRO monitor receiver and speaker, plus what I think is the intercom to the receiving station. In the next rack is a control panel for a Collins auto-tune transmitter. I cannot identify the other 3 racks’ contents. To the left of the racks is the oldest of three Collins 231 3KW auto-tune transmitters. Photo from the collection of Jack Paton with notes by Gordon Cooper

From left: A Collier & Beale transmitter which had an HF100 in the final. Next, what I think are a couple of STC 5KW transmitters used for radioteletype. There was a third one with a modulator that could be placed on the air/ground voice circuits if needed. That looks like part of the third STC in the middle of the floor. At the far end is what looks like another Collins (a 1KW and a 300W were there somewhere).

From left: A Collier & Beale transmitter which had an HF100 in the final. Next, what I think are a couple of STC 5KW transmitters used for radioteletype. There was a third one with a modulator that could be placed on the air/ground voice circuits if needed. That looks like part of the third STC in the middle of the floor. At the far end is what looks like another Collins (a 1KW and a 300W were there somewhere). Photo from the collection of Jack Paton with notes by Gordon Cooper

Gordon Cooper adds:
“Sometime in the 1950s, CAA installed two new Collins Type 231D-20 3KW auto-tune transmitters for the voice air/ground service. Neither of these are in the photos above. The transmitting station needed a change of layout to fit these into the floor space, so this picture and the control racks photo were probably taken before that happened. Those possible STC transmitters do not quite fit my memory of them. Collier & Beale made something that looked similar with lots of square holes in the front doors to help cooling.”

Transmitters for Auckland Radio in 1946

Transmitter hall on 29 August 1946, showing at least some of the same transmitters as in the photos above. Photo: Whites Aviation

Two unidentified men checking transmitters Auckland Radio, 29 August 1946. Photo: Whites Aviation

Two unidentified men checking transmitters Auckland Radio, 29 August 1946. Photo: Whites Aviation

Transmitter Hall at Auckland Radio ZLD

Transmitter Hall at Auckland Radio ZLD

The transmitting station comprised a main transmitting hall (approx. 17 metres by 13 metres) an engine room (approx. 4 metres by 3 metres), a technician’s workshop (approx. 5 metres by 3 metres), kitchen, storage room and toilets.

Transmitters at Auckland Radio

Transmitters at Auckland Radio’s Oliver Road transmitter site: L-R: RCA 1301, Collier & Beale 873, Dansk and two JRCs.

MPRG member Paul Chamberlain ZL1BBR, who was a technician at Auckland Radio ZLD, recalls that the following MW and SW tranmitters were in use up until the station’s closure in 1993.

“When weather and other main broadcasts were being made, all three SSB transmitters were in operation simultaneously, covering various frequencies,” says Paul.

“The operators could use either of the MCW transmitters. Both were always kept functional.

“The advantage of the Nautel was that if any of the 16 power supplies or power amps failed, the others carried on. That was good for technicians.”

The Harris transmitter, being fairly new, was sold when Auckland Radio closed in 1993. All of the other transmitters are now in the Vintage Transmitters collection of the Musick Point Radio Group.

Members of MPRG move equipment out of the Auckland Radio Oliver Rd transmitter building.

Members of MPRG move equipment out of the Auckland Radio Oliver Rd transmitter building.

Rescuing a Nautel transmitter

Members of Musick Point Radio Group rescued this 500 kc/s Nautel transmitter from the Auckland Radio Oliver Road transmitter site before it was demolished.