Wednesday, November 6, 2019

100 years of Dutch (broadcast) radio

It is 100 years ago that dutch radio engineer Hanso Idzerda made his first official "commercial" radio broadcast with his call PCGG. One of the first that didn't transmit only morse code but entertainment programmes like music and even the weatherforecast after a while. Not only for a dutch audience but also for the english.  I can tell the whole story but you better read it yourself on wikipedea. Hanso's station was populair and he received not only reports from all over Europe but also from Iceland. The station was funded with money he earned from selling radiotubes which were made by Philips with colaboration of his own business NRI (Nederlandse Radio Industrie). NRI also made their own radioreceivers. However when 2MT, 2LO and later the BBC came with entertainment transmissions the interest from great britain was greatly reduced. Besides that several issues made him bankrupth and he lost his license. He restarted later on with another company NV Radio Idzerda callsign PF1IDZ. Unfortunately he could only transmit at Saturday night. In 1935 he finished all his radio activities. He bought a lodge and had a new job. Strangly enough he was forgotten for many years. I got an old Radio encyclopedia from 1949 in which you cannot find anything about Hanso at all. However he was still interested in the newest tech info. In the WW2 he was caught by the germans when he carried parts from a V2 rocket, they shot him immidiatly on suspicion of espionage. A tragic end....

Very interesting for dutch readers is a 4 part dutch podcast about the life of Hanso Idzerda. It is made around a find of four 78tpm vinyl LPs (fictional) and includes Hanso's voice. It might not be so interesting for foreign readers except if you understand Dutch. You can find the four podcasts here:

PCGG transmitter

I found many items and recordings on youtube about Idzerda as well. Including recordings of his first official transmission. Below a series from the Dutch Institute for Sound and Vision. It has english undertitles and some of it is english spoken:


  1. Ik blijf het een bijzondere naam vinden: Hans Henricus Schotanus à Steringa Idzerda

    1. Ja Ron, een bijzonder man. Zijn eerste naam was Hanso overigens en hij had er een hekel aan....ik denk dat hij een hoop plezier heeft beleefd met het radio maken. Jammer dat het allemaal zo tragisch afloopt. 73, Bas


Thanks for your comment. Bedankt voor je reactie. 73, Bas