Short history of the Metropolitan Fire brigade Medium Wave Radio
   system Melbourne Victoria Australia - By Lionel VK3NM/VK6DC

VKN8 was the callsign used by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade  dispatching fire trucks to
various jobs on approx 1620 Khz at the top end of the AM broadcast band with replies from
the fire trucks back to base on about 83 Mhz FM.
The station operated with a power output of about 1000 watts into a loaded " T " vertical
with a ground plane on top of the Eastern Hill fire station just east of Melbourne CBD a
quarter wave ground plane was mounted on one of the poles for reception of replies
on 83 Mhz from the fire trucks.
A carrier with some power supply hum was transmitted continuously 24 hours a day with
a beep every 30 seconds and sometimes when you hear the base operator giving out
jobs you could hear the fire truck replying due to leak through from the VHF receiver
on to the MF carrier.
In the evenings VKN8 could be received interstate and I have heard the station in New
Zealand , It was very rich in harmonics with the 2nd heard many miles from the
On Sunday mornings VKN8 conducted radio checks with all the fire trucks usually
with Henry VK3EN as the operator conducting the tests, Henry designed and maintained
the station for many years up his retirement, Henry is now a silent key after many years
being very active on 160 metres AM.
Because of the frequency used VKN8 could be received on any AM radio including
car radios and many years before Victoria Police also used MF before moving to VHF
and VKN8 closed down on MF in 1972 and are now on UHF.

 Photo of Henry at the controls of VKN8