Farewell to Radio Australia

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

It's official: Radio Australia are no longer on shortwave and only time will tell of all the implications of what I feel is an incredibly short-sighted decision.

Having heard that they might switch off their transmitters at midnight universal time on  January 31st, I monitored their 17840 kHz signal remotely via a KiwiSDR server located in New Zealand (there is no night-time propagation path from their Shepparton transmitter site to the UK at this time of the year). I was encouraged to find that they were still on the air after midnight UTC and thought this meant they would go on until midnight Sydney time, in which case I might be able to record their sign-off from my usual outdoor shortwave listening and spectrum capture spot.

However, I hadn't seen the most recent updates informing listeners that transmissions would be cut at noon Australian Eastern Standard Time (0100 UTC). I thus missed their sign-off on the KiwiSDR, but I was able to record their last news bulletin from it, which gave me some faint hope that we might see them back on the air one day:

I made my last personal recording of their shortwave signal out in the park on January 30th, using my portable spectrum capture set-up. The signal was a lot weaker than normal at this time of the day but still perfectly intelligible.

Three and a half years earlier, I tuned into them for the very first time, while on a trip to Moscow, Russia:

Fairwell, Radio Australia. You will be missed.

About the author

This blog is written by a shortwave radio enthusiast based in London, UK. You can follow him on Twitter at @LondonShortwave


  1. Sad to hear of this...

    1. Thank you for sharing your fascinating story! 73s, LS

  2. I am very disappointed at the closure of RA. It was one of the few international broadcasters still providing us with good program content. Besides, it was the first station to which I had courage to send a reception report 45 years ago in my teen age. Now I have lost a reliable friend, sigh.

  3. Sad times indeed. I listened to SW in the 80s and 90s and as an Aussie I was always proud of RA reaching out to the world. Very short sighted; not everyone has the internet or a good enough connection to listen to streams. I wonder if the domestic shortwave has also gone? It used to serve the outback well...73 2E0OZI Scott.

    1. Hi Scott, unfortunately the domestic service has also been shut down. 73s, LS