by Tony Belts
Pictures by Tony Belts (right)
On the morning of August 17, 2012, the Globe Wireless Seatex service was shut down, this was the last remaining HF service at Gnangara Maritime Coast Station which has been operating in its current form for Globe Wireless since 1997, and many years before that when owned by OTC.
[ Editor: the satellite services are of course still operational ]
This marks the end of an era with some 45 years of continuous HF service at the Maritime Coast Station, a sad day for many people. OTC moved to Gnangara from their old transmitting station at Applecross in 1966, having operated from there for many years prior to that.
I have heard it said that Gnangara was once the largest commercial HF station in the southern hemisphere. In this time it has seen Seatex, Seaphone, Radio Telephone (Radphone – RTF), Radphone Direct Dial (RDD), Radio TeleGraph (Morse – RTG), Radio TeleType (RTT), Global Maritime Distress Surveillance System (GMDSS), Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS), Digital Selective Calling (DSC), Qantas and other aviation HF services, plus other services. It operated as VIP (Perth) and in later years added VID (Darwin) when that closed.
Gnangara had radio operators and staff working 24/7 for many years. The radio staff alone in 1995 had 7 staff working flat out.