Back in the early 1970's various ham stations in the Melbourne area began making a habit of working crossband duplex mainly between 160 and VHF but also other HF bands and even the telephone. Some times there were numerous people in the group but most times it was limited to two or three. Due to the connivent nature of full duplex operation the topics of discussions were wide and varied and often went on for a long time, it was not unusual for things to go on till dawn.
At this time apart from main stream broadcasting there was not a lot to listen to on the air all night, only one TV channel went through the small hours,there was no Internet or home computers,no public community stations, so by default a lot of listeners would come across the transmissions, there were obviously a lot more SWLs in those days. Of course if you had a broadcast radio with poor rejection you could listen near 3UZ on the upper side of the local oscillator, or for the more technical minded just tweak the oscillator coil a little so you could cover the band. Due to the radio regulations either imagined or real (was the department listening) a lot of the conversations were carried out in a type of code so you could not get done for talking about what you were actually talking about. (Politics, commercial information, and what ever else you are not supposed to say on the ham bands) this got a bit out of hand and in the end there were a lot of invented words and words that stood for something else that were used even though the original meaning had been forgotten, but all of this added to the fun of it. To many of the first time listeners it sounded like a lot of rubbish but after a while they would get used to it and find it mmmmooost interesting.
For some reason these broadcasts were recorded and if there was no one about a test missions would be put on using tapes from previous sessions, these became quite popular.The golden age of crossbands was in the mid 70's when every one stayed up all night to listen and take part, it has however continued on till this day although in a much reduced form. So far there is about 500hrs of recorded material from the early ones through to the recent editions(there seems to be a small renaissance at the moment) mostly on 1/4 inch tape but there are plans to put them on to bordom (computerise).
Well every Saturday evening i dig out an old tape and put it on, maybe a classic from 20 years ago or it might be a recent one, some times if i feel in the mood i will do a live missions if there is any one about and add that to the archive.
Why do i do this? I guess it is a mental illness or just living in the past or whatever sometimes i think it is a lot of garbage that has no relevance any more, if one is in the right mood some of the old ones are very funny, to me anyway, most people would think it is a load crap. But now i do get a bit of feddies back via the Internet so some one must be out there. The other thing is if you have got all this broadcast equipment (even if it's ancient) it has to be used for something usefull.
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