A recent reception report from Robert Chester in Adelaide, South Australia, tells an interesting story regarding his involvement with a special once-in-a-lifetime radio broadcast from a ship. Robert was commenting on a previous edition of Wavescan in which we presented the story of “Radio Broadcasting from Ships in Australian Waters”.
It was back around the year 1961 and Robert Chester was the panel operator for the commercial radio station 5DN with its studios in North Adelaide. The 5DN mobile studio was placed aboard the local steamer, “Troubridge” (TRUE-BRIDGE), which made a regular run from Port Adelaide on the mainland to Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, a little over 100 miles.
The morning announcer, Mel Cameron, was in the mobile studio on the ship and he was in communication with 5DN by radio. For this special broadcast, Mel Cameron on the ship made all of the announcements, and Robert Chester back in the studio played all of the musical recordings and commercial advertisements, using as many as five different turntables.
Although there were difficulties with the radio link at times, yet nevertheless they successfully completed this unusual remote broadcast. Robert Chester states that he understands this was the first radio broadcast by a commercial station from a ship at sea in the waters off the coast of South Australia.
From: Wavescan 387, May 26, 2002 (SR10: Listener Report – Ship Broadcast in Australian Waters)