Sunday, July 16, 2006

VZX Australia to Cease Voice Services 9/30/06

Penta Comstat, aka Firefly Radio, in New South Wales, Australia, is a private coastal radio station providing HF radio services (mostly ship-to-shore phone patching) for yachtsmen and small vessels. The callsign is VZX. The station has announced on its web site that all HF voice services will close on 30 September, 2006.

VZX stopped accepting new memberships for the voice service some time ago. It will maintain a limited service until that date for existing members.

The decision was likely influenced by the growth of cell phone networks close to shore, and government HF weather services from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), which made Penta somewhat redundant. Also, it is a small station, and the owner wants to cut his work load after 30 years.

Full details are here.

This affects only the voice radio, not the HF e-mail service which is offered in affiliation with the SailMail Association. This service will continue as before.