©   2014-2024 Offshore Radio Museum

Home Basement Ground Floor 1 Floor 2

Voice of America - Technical


2 x Collins 207B-1  35kW shortwave transmitters

1 x RCA BTA-150A 150kW medium wave transmitter


For the first year of transmissions a 150,000 cubic foot helium balloon aerial, flying at an altitude of 900’ above Courier was used.

However, after this broke away from its moorings on a number of occasions an inverted delta aerial system was installed between the ship’s two masts.

Four inverted pyramid ‘Trylon’ aerials situated on the foredeck of the ship were used for the shortwave transmissions


The Courier had a small studio and control centre for use if programme announcements or originations were needed.  Otherwise pre-recorded programmes were played.

Programme material was sent to the ship via a VHF (FM) link from a receiving site south of Rhodes City.

Programme control room on Courier

Above: the programme control centre on board Courier. The unit on the right was used  to playback the pre-recorded programme material.

Courier with balloon aerial Transmitters on Courier One of the helium balloons used for the early aerials Shortwave aerial on Courier

Top: two views of the Collins short wave transmitters on board Courier

Above:  the RCA medium wave transmitter on board Courier

QSL Card

Radio station engineering departments issue QSL cards to verify reception reports received from listeners

Where       next ?


Key Dates

Ship and Location



Key Dates Ship and Location Staff History

Above: Courier flying the original balloon aerial

Top right: one of the helium balloons being prepared for launch

Bottom right: one of the ‘Trylon’ shortwave aerials on the foredeck of Courier

Click images to enlarge

Back to Voice of America

Voice of America

Back to Rest of the World Gallery

Rest of the World

Right: Shortwave aerials on the foredeck of the Courier and, at the stern, an unsuccessful attempt to shield receiving equipment from extreme RF radiation voltage from the powerful transmitters