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Thursday Island

07 Feb 17
Peter Bull

In 1975 I was transferred as SRO from Townsvilleradio/VIT to Thursdayislandradio/VII.

At that time OTC on T.I. was the only CRS station left manning a Flight Service (FS) Unit on behalf of D.C.A.

At VII, CRS and FS units had separate operation rooms, divided by a large glass window.

In 1977 Weipa took over the FS function from OTC.

1) Does anybody have a photo of the CRS and Flight Service Unit console on T.I.

2) I remember that the DCA RX and TX equipment was ancient. Does anybody know what type of RX and TX were used by DCA on T.I.

Thank you and regards,

Herman Willemsen,

Employed by OTC & Telstra Coast Radio Services



  1. Peter Bull February 7, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    I used to do two maintenance trips a year to TI in the 60s/70s overhauling the OTC Rxs and the OTC TXs around the back of the island. I don’t recall working on the DCA gear. I am sure I have some old photos somewhere and still have all my old technical diaries which may have some info. Ray Hookway may also recall some of the details.

    The wife and I rode pushbikes from Cairns up to Bamega/TI/Horn Island some 10yrs years ago. The old RX station is now a housing estate however the TX station was still in use by someone – maybe broadcast. Harry Hicks (ex Willis Is fame) was the manager in the 60s.
    The old fort on top of the hill behind the station now has a museum in it and I recall some of the OTC stuff is in there.
    Its a bit like the Broome CRS where the original 1913 station is the local bowling club and the replacement stn out of town is now a private residence. There are signs and a P5J Tx in the local museum.


    Ron Lukin

  2. Peter Bull February 7, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I was on TI from 87-89 however by that time the Flight Service radio had been removed from OTC, presumably moved to remote control by Brisbane Flight Service. Sorry I couldn’t assist

    Graham Hansen

  3. Peter Bull February 7, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Wish I could be more of help – I was there 1973/75.

    No photos.

    The DCA position was in one room and the CRS console the next with a
    sliding glass window in between so that either operator could go for comfort
    break or fridge etc.

    The HF Tx/Rx’s were fixed frequency, but I can’t remember whether they
    were at the receiving station or racked at the Tx stn. The HF was
    mostly used for comms with Cairns Flight Service – Aircraft work was
    99.5% VHF on the standard aircraft freq 121.??MHz. I cannot remember
    whether it was at the station or remoted from Millman Hill – Met
    station. All I do remember was that there was never any problem with
    the DCA equipment during my time there and cannot remember anyone ever
    coming to service it.


    Roger Boyden

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