Wireless Progress in Australia
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Beam Wireless Service


The science of wireless has advanced by leaps and bounds during the last few years. Its commercial application has been a veritable triumph, annihilating distance and bringing the most distant parts of the world into wireless contact with the centres of civilisation. In that triumph Australia has not only played a very great part, but in the development of many phases of wireless, has led the world.

Less than two years ago, the only Australian wireless communication services available to the public were the Marine services to and from ships, and the Island services between Australia and Papua, and Australia and New Guinea. To-day, step into the Beam Offices at Sydney and Melbourne, or enter any Post Office in the Commonwealth, and you may send a message, via Beam, to some of the remote places of the world - to Esthonia or Greenland in Europe; Yukon or Alaska in North America; to Porto Rico or San Domingo; in the West Indies; Guatemala or Costa Rica, in Central America; to name but a few of the traffic destinations in these particular countries. By day and night, messages are being despatched to Great Britain, Europe, Canada, the United States of America, and South America, via Beam.

The Beam wireless service between Australia and Great Britain and the Continent of Europe, owned and operated by Amalgamated Wireless (A/asia.), Ltd., was opened for commercial traffic on April 8th, 1927, and almost immediately leapt into public favour.

Additional Beam facilities were made available on June 16th, 1928, by the opening of the service between Australia and North and South America, thus providing not only direct communication with the New World, but also a second link with the Old World, via the Montreal-London Beam circuit.

Considering the excellent service rendered to clients - a service unknown to international telegraph users prior to the advent of the Beam-and the lower rates quoted to the public, together with the speed and accuracy of the Beam System, it is not surprising that to-day the majority of the messages between Australia and Great Britain, the Irish Free State, Europe, Canada, United States of America, and South America are transmitted "VIA BEAM." The service has been the means of effecting a saving to the Australian business community of many thousands of pounds per annum.

The greatest long-distance direct telegraph service in the world, the Beam service, is operated entirely without re-transmission or relays. It is by far the most speedy method of communication yet devised, the speed of working being limited only by the mechanical limitations of the manipulating and recording instruments at each terminal.

Beam wireless signals travel at the rate of 186,000 miles per second, and the sending apparatus handles the messages at the rate of 1,250 letters per minute.It Will be seen that a message of 125 code words could be in London one minute after transmission commenced in Australia.

The Beam Offices of Sydney and Melbourne are open for traffic day and night. The doors are but ornamental-they have never been closed since the inauguration of the service. Messages may be lodged at any time, or on receipt of a telephone call - in the case of Sydney BW 2211 and in Melbourne F 4161 - a Beam messenger will gladly be sent to collect messages within the city area. Messages are accepted at the A.W.A. Offices in Sydney and Melbourne, and at all Postal Telegraph Offices in the Commonwealth, but be sure to mark your message "VIA BEAM."

Beam Stations

The Beam wireless transmitting centre in Australia is located near Ballan - about 50 miles to the N.W. of Melbourne, and the receiving centre is at Rockbank - l8 miles from Melbourne in the same direction. Both stations are connected by special telegraph lines with the Beam Wireless Office, 167 Queen Street, Melbourne, and with the Beam Wireless Office, 47 York Street, Sydney. At Ballan there are two transmitters - one of which is used for sending messages to London, whence they are distributed through the United Kingdom to Europe, and the other transmits to Montreal all messages for the North and South American Continents.

The transmission of messages originates at the Beam Offices in the heart of Melbourne or Sydney, and the telegraph operators there, by means of the special telegraph lines to the Beam stations, automatically cause the great transmitters at Ballan to radiate the messages, and likewise messages from London or Montreal are received at Rockbank and automatically passed on to the telegraph centres in Sydney or Melbourne, where they are recorded on tape. The whole of this work was carried out under the direct supervision of Mr. E. T. Fisk, Managing Director of A.W.A. Ltd., who, for the last decade had not only visualised a direct trans-ocean wireless communication between Australia and Great Britain and Australia and the other Dominions, but had consistently advocated and educated the powers that be to a realisation of the needs for such services, and had demonstrated to them the technical means and methods by which it could be carried out.

To-day Mr. Fisk has the satisfaction of seeing his cherished idea of a direct wireless service successfully in operation.

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