90 years of UK-NZ contacts

| August 12, 2014

Mill Hill School celebrates the anniversary of the dawn of mass global communication.

In 1923, tests were conducted to span the Atlantic with radio.

Then, in 1924, as both transmitter power and receiver sensitivity improved, the dream was to span the globe by radio.

After some false starts, on 18 October 1924, two-way communication was finally established between Frank Bell, call sign 4AA, a sheep farmer in South Island New Zealand, and Cecil Goyder, callsign 2SZ, a former pupil of Mill Hill School, operating from the School in North London.

To commemorate the 90th anniversary of this historic contact, radio amateurs at stations in Mill Hill School and Shag Valley will recreate the first Goyder-Bell contact, hopefully on a wavelength close to that used in 1924.

The unique callsign 2SZ will be aired from 11-18 October from Mill Hill School. Pupils will be able to visit the radio station, speak to the operators, and pass messages over the air. Whilst the station won’t be open to the public, on 18 October there will be a live webcam at the School covering the communications and celebrations.

In New Zealand, a special station, using the callsign ZL4AA, will be operating from Shag Valley in South Island during the same week.

In addition, other events in both countries will be happening to celebrate this special anniversary.

GB2NZ will be operated from 20 September to 18 October 2014 from a number of UK locations and all bands from 10m to 160m. Radio amateurs in New Zealand will continue to operate ZM90DX on all bands.

Members of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) will be providing the station at Mill Hill School and much of the supporting documentation.

The School will be using the facility provided by the RSGB as an interactive learning tool for the pupils.

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