A3BQ (VK3BQ) a Very Historic callsign.


The national library of Australia has a 45min interview with Max , you can listen to the interview on the NLA website using this linkĀ http://nla.gov.au/nla.oh-vn2239852

This week marks a very important milestone in global communications for Australia. No prizes for guessing that it was a major achievement of radio amateurs.

The first direct two-way radio communication from Australia to the United States occurred 90-years ago on the third of November, 1924.

Max (Walter Francis Maxwell) Howden, A3BQ, in the callsign series before the national VK prefix was introduced, contacted a Mr Williams U6AHP of Tecoma in California, using Morse code wireless telegraphy.

A3BQ used a wavelength of about 83 metres running 130 watts into a single Z4 valve transmitter at his home in the eastern Melbourne, Australia suburb of Box Hill. The antenna consisted of six wires, 65 feet long and 80 feet above ground.

The first trans_Pacific QSO was a very significant achievement at a time when radio amateurs were seeking to prove that long distance communication was possible on short wavelengths that governments had considered to be useless.

Nine days later on the 12th of November 1924, Max Howden achieved the first Australia to Great Britain two-way wireless telegraphy contact with G2OD at Meadow Lea, Gerards Cross in Buckingham, England.

The testing continued and another breakthrough came on the 10th of February 1925 when A3BQ made the first two-way radio telephony or voice communication with G2OD in England. Another world first.
The efforts of the late Max Howden VK3BQ and many other pioneering Radio amateurs of that era, both the southern and northern hemispheres, significantly added to the knowledge of communications.

It led to the rapid development of radio in terms of inter-continental and global communications and opened up the shortwaves for broadcasting, international wireless telegraph and many other uses over long distances.

*i have received a very important callsign and it does not pass me by how significant this is. I really don’t live up to the pioneering efforts of Max, but hopefully can contribute to the hobby at some point with even a fraction of the impact max left on modern two way communications.

Some more information on Max can be found at this PDF Article from the WIA

And Max and his early exploits also get a mention in this Book “When radio was the Cats Whiskers”

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