The Flood

 

When the station was acquired by South Queensland Broadcasters Pty Ltd 

The station was operating at a new site off Hanlon St at Bundamba on the banks of the Bremer River.

the coverage was greatly improved, not only in Ipswich and the west, but in the southern suburbs of Brisbane .

At that time the station was permitted a power of 2000 watts .

1974

Unfortunately the floods in December inundated the site.

Despite valiant efforts by the 4IP management and staff the transmitters were well and truly flooded .

In the true spirit of broadcasting , those that were rivals "ON AIR" were all part of the club when disaster happened .

Frank More approached Keith McDonald , Managing  Director of Queensland Press the owners' of 4BK . He at once agreed to make 4BK's old transmitter site on Jesmond Rd Figtree Pocket available.

 4IP Chief Engineer, Ainsley Judge, was able get the station back on air as  the managing director Frank Moore(FT) and the General Manager Alan Brandt (AB) had rescued the vital 1010Khz crystals by wading through the flood waters with them above their heads.

The water came up so fast that they could not get the car out and it was swept away. The last part of their journey was by a small boat that just happned along and took them to the railway bridge - AB was very alarmed that the boat was floating above the power lines.

 Ainsley Judge “Juddie” as he was known had built Australia’s first directional AM Transmission array at 4BH on 1390 Khz at Landers Pocket - now part of Brisbane airport.

The aerial feed system at the 4BK site was under water as it was on the banks of the Brisbane river. A long wire aerial was strung to a nearby pole as a temporary measure .

The old 4BK transmitters were tuned to 1300Khz and were very inefficient at 1010Khz. The electricity supply was very intermittent and a generator was supplied by the Army for when the power went off .

A new STC Su105 Transmitter and co-axial cable were delivered by Fred Hoe & Sons in record time.

 As the water receded the cable was installed by the 4IP announcers rowing a boat from the Transmitter building out to the base of the tower , towing the cable behind.

4IP was back on the air.

 The Broadcasting Control Board required that the station move back to Bundamba but it was quite obvious that the Bundamba site was not the place to be.

1975.

It turned out that 4KQ was looking for new transmission site and an accord was struck and both stations moved to St Helena Island in Moreton Bay and share the facilities.

 4KQ was owned by the Labor Party at that time.

 It was unfortunate that Ainsley Judge ( Network Chief Engineer) died at the start of the project and the project was progressed to fruition by Van Richards-Smith ( Chief Engineer 4IP) with assistance from Al Price (Chief Engineer 4KQ).

 To obtain an increase in power to 5000 watts , both stations were required to operate in directional mode . Two 400 foot towers were erected on the island. This project was contracted out to Fred Hoe & Sons

The towers were designed by Noel Medlin and constructed by Good Engineering Pty Ltd. The ” Medlin Towers” were unusual in that they have four loading coils that increased their electrical height to 5/8 of a wavelength for 4IP and ½ wave for 4KQ. The 5/8 towers gave the maximum coverage for 4IP (1010Khz) and 4KQ’s lower frequency (700Khz ) gave both stations fantastic coverage. The final tuning was conducted by Ye Chen (STC).

 This was Australia’s 1st duplexed –directional antenna array for AM stations.

For more information on St Helena St Helena

 

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