Virtual Archive Project: Technology

Sharing the stories of radio broadcasting also means looking at the technologies used for communication around the Pacific over the past hundred years.

Even if you’re not a technical minded person, you’ll find interesting information here.


  • Why are radio dials either round or stretched out like a ruler?
  • Is a wooden cabinet better for ‘sound’ than a metal one?
  • How did the transistor radio come about?
  • When was the first car radio installed?
  • What is morse code?
  • How does a radio signal get from one place to another?
  • And much more…

If you’re into things technical, you’ll find information about valves, transistors, transmitters, receivers, towers, aerial systems and much more.

Some special interest areas you’ll find include a review of vintage radio sets which were as much works of design art as a means to hear radio signals, amateur radio ‘ham shacks’ with their eclectic collections of radio gear reflecting the personality of the individual operator, ‘inside the radio room’ on board ships and the people who traveled the world both literally and on the airwaves as marine radio operators, and tall tales from the tower’ the stories of radio engineers who keep transmitters on air and towers standing.

From spark radio to internet radio, you’ll find inspiration, entertainment and education as the technological journey of Pacific radio unfolds here.

Check out our Top 100 Ham Shacks, Top 100 Vintage Radios, Top 100 Radio Ships and Top 100 Tall Towers. Reflecting the best of radio from around the Pacific, from Christchurch to Brisbane to Nuku’alofa and Panama City, from San Diego to Guam to Saigon to McMurdo Station and more. (Coming in 2005)

And here’s the fun part. These are all your lists, and we have contests for each of them so we can collect your Top 100 Ham Shacks, Vintage Radios, Radio Ships and Tall Towers.

Yes, the get the idea, we’ll have more Top 100 lists, and if you’ve got ideas for other topics, contact us.

In the meantime, watch this site for more information about how and when you can tell us who and what should be in these Top 100 lists. Start thinking now and prepare 100 words or less telling us why your suggestion is so special and which Pacific country it represents.

We’ll have the lists sponsored by a Radio Heritage Partner and rewards for some of you who contribute names during the official contest period.