DCA (Dept. Civil Aviation)

Quite a few Amateur Radio enthusiasts have a connection with DCA, albeit the training they received in Radio and Electronics, Aviation or just an interest in Australian aviation history.

Richard VK6BMW did his training as a Radio technician with DCA from 1968 to 1973, later becoming a Senior Radio Technical Officer on shift at the Perth, Route Surveillance Radar station in Kalamunda.

From time to time snippets of history become available to the Website author ( Richard VK6BMW ) pertaining to the early days of Aviation and/or DCA activities in Western Australia. These will be made available for your reminiscing moments on this Website.

If you have any stories to share, please forward them to admin@grocott.family .

Here is the first from Colin Hayes ( VK6?? )

Ex WW2 Radio Equipment In DCA Service.  –   ATR2B Transmitter Receiver

ATR-2B Transmitter/Receiver ( Photo from    http://www.qsl.net/vk4kdp/raaf.html)

Another product of Radio Corporation of Australia, the ATR-2B was a transmitter/receiver for ground use, often used initially in control towers until a larger unit could be installed. This example still has the tower frequency marked in the card holder.

Covers 3 to 7.5 MHz, AM/CW/MCW. 4 Xtal channels or Master Oscillator. 
Tx lineup is Osc=6F6, Modulator=807 and Power amp=807.
Rx has 455 kHz IF.
RF Amp=6U7,Mixer=6J8,1st IF=6u7, 2nd IF/Det=6G8, BFO/AF Amp=6J8 and AF output=6V6

Note:- An ATR2B was in use post WW2 in the ex RAAF control tower at DCA aerodrome, Cunderdin, W. A.. for the DCA groundsman to communicate to Perth Tower when Perth weather did not permit night landings.

Following the laying of the flarepath, Aircraft were diverted and held till Perth weather improved. During the period, the groundsman communicated to Perth Tower per speech on 4495 Khz, advising state of Cunderdin aerodrome. Perth tower communicated with the aircraft, controlling the landings and departures at Cunderdin.

Once a month the groundsman went on leave for 4 days, leaving on site responsibility for Cunderdin in the hands of a radio technician who visited the station once per month to routine service the BC610 NDB transmitter. During this period, outside of normal daylight hours, the technician resided at the Cunderdin Community Hotel.

 It must be appreciated that in that era, phone communication was of the PMG Dept. manually connected trunk line system. Should his services be required, the routine was for Perth ATC to phone the hotel manager who alerted the technician who proceeded to the aerodrome and made contact with Perth Tower per the Cunderdin tower radio equipment on frequency 4495Khz. He was instructed to lay out and have lit the kerosene flare pots in case the Perth bound aircraft had to land and stay till the Perth fog situation cleared.

I can vouch for the above paragraph, as I was one of the visiting technicians during 1950/1951,  taking over from the aerodrome resident groundsman, Bill Sweetman.

Colin Hayes 7/1/2014..


DCA ( Department of Civil Aviation) in Western Australia in the 50’s and 60’s

Many thanks to Colin Hayes for sharing some of his photo collection of the early days in DCA.

Some great shots follow …

Editor :- I have removed some family group photos resulting in some blank spots.
Will attend to soon …