90th Anniversary

Shag Valley Station

4AA and the 90th anniversary of Frank Bell’s contact with the Cecil Goyder in the UK.

11th to 18th October, 2014

Otago Branch 30 of NZART, who incidentally have long recognised this achievement with the club call sign ZL4AA, having been planning a special event station at Shag Valley Station since last year. We also have a Memorial Cairn at the gates of the station to further commemorate the historic event.

Z4AA F.D.Bell

Club members have recently visited the station and met with the current landowners, 6th generation Bell family, and descendants of the original operator, Frank Bell. The family have been enthusiastic in supporting Branch 30 in setting up a commemorative station on the site for the week leading up to the 18th October, 2014. They have agreed to our use of their shearer’s quarters for accommodation for the period.
The site is in a hollow in a rural area with high surrounding hills making VHF, UHF and mobile phone communication difficult or impossible.
Therefore, initial plans have focused on installing a vertical mast for 80m operation, close to the original frequency, 92.5 metres, or 3.243 MHz approximately.
However, we are also exploring VHF and UHF options to get contact back to Dunedin’s Mt Cargill amateur installations which open up the means to access the National System and a Dunedin based IRLP which would offer further worldwide contact.
We are applying for the special call sign Z4AA for the week, 11th to 18th October, to be used from Shag Valley Station as 4AA is not available being the current prefix for Mexico.
The British with the support and help of RSGB are mounting a number of operations with a major effort from the site of the original contact, Mill Hill School, using the original call sign 2SZ from the 11th to 18th October.
We would like to have more bands operational, but even manning 80 and VHF/UHF will stretch our resources so we invite any other amateurs or amateur groups wishing to be a part of this unique event to contact us at president@zl4aa.org.nz. If any group is prepared to come complete with all the gear to operate other HF bands, we would be delighted to welcome you. We are also exploring the options for campervans to be parked on site for the duration.

And where and what is Shag Valley Station now – this links gives you some history and current information about the station.

And this link is an interview with Frank Bell’s sister, Brenda Bell.


More Links


Press release update 31-August

For contacts with ZL4AA Shag Valley Station October 2014 Qsl via M0OXO (OQRS preferred) – Your Qsl Cards are not required, please do not send via the bureau.