Archive for April, 2012

RM in an Old Map

I got this map when I visited Bosscha house at 17 March 2012. There’s no creation date. It’s in Dutch. Someone who have the copy of this map said that the original one was made of an unusual piece of paper; the one that is not tearable and stored in Netherland.


Focusing on RM whereabout : (the megapixel of the original file enables me to zoom in with clarity)

rm focus map

Categories: Related Trivialities Tags: ,

RM as a Tech in a Colony

eohlRudolf Mrazek has written a book entitled “Engineers of Happy Land”. I browsed inside the book in Google Books and found a part that mentions Radio Malabar. However, first of all my attention was somehow stumbled on the phrase “Happy Land”. It took me some searches to find why it was called so. It’s here, saying :

Sebagai sebuah bekas koloni, Indonesia tentu pernah dikonstruksi sebagai “Negeri Bahagia” (Happy Land) yang menjadi tempat impian bagi para pelancong dari Belanda yang ingin menghabiskan hari tuanya. Di tempat itulah, mereka dapat menikmati segala keindahan dan kemolekan sebuah bentang alam yang belum pernah dibayangkan sebelumnya. Dengan demikian, ada kenang-kenangan atau souvenir yang dapat dibawa pulang untuk dibagikan kepada anak-cucu sebagai akhir dari kisah hidup mereka yang halus dan mulus.

My translation :

“As it was a colony, Indonesia was thought to be a “happy land”: a dream place for Dutch’s travellers who want to spend their old life. It is in such place that they could enjoy all the beauty and loveliness of a natural landscape they have never imagined before. Thus, that way they could afford to keep recollection or souvenir they carry back home for their children and grandchildren, as the end of their story of impeccable life.”

Then it is not hard to digest why it was “happy land”.

It looks like the book has been regarded to have some significance. A foundation called Yayasan Pustaka Obor Indonesia, has translated the book to Bahasa Indonesia with the title “Engineers of Happy Land: Perkembangan Teknologi dan Nasionalisme di Sebuah Koloni”. Just another one to be in my list, to look for when I go to the bookstore.

Anyway, this is the part that mentions Radio Malabar available from Google Books. I suspect there could be another ones, but this is the only viewable :


While  it  provides an  interesting  description  of  the  interior of  Radio Malabar,  it also has a striking fault. Radio Malabar IS in the south of Bandung. It is nowhere near the Bosscha Telescope. Another mind catching is “Malabar Transmitter Tourist Guidebook”. So, was RM already a tourist destination in 1929 ? I wonder if the book really put the real title of the guidebook at the end of the pages.

The phrase “distance below” is suggesting the author’s own imagination. As he wrote that Radio Malabar is ‘above Bandung’, then it somehow could affords a look-below, … That’s what I could figure of Mrazek’s. If that’s really the case, then it is definitely wrong, and should lead us to suspect the other accounts on Radio Malabar might as well be less credible. However, he is paraphrasing the rest from that guidebook (containing some photographs). That’s emhasizing the importance and realiability of the source. I hope I could trace that guidebook somewhere.

First Meetup for Radio Malabar

Ever since I came to be interested on Radio Malabar, I had been doing it much virtually. I have set my mind on it, so I thought that seeing real people is a must as a proof that I am real :) It was yesterday that eventually I met with Mr. Djaka Rubijanto. He was in charge in Rancaekek receiving station as chief engineer. He was also the one who inisiated a discussion on Radio Malabar. Surprisingly, he invited Mr. Her Suganda, a senior Kompas journalist, the author of the book: “Wisata Parijs van Java” that I have written about here. It’s just so happened that Pak Djaka and Pak Her are related. They are in-law’s parents.

We had lunch at a restaurant next to Pak Djaka’s office :


We talked about Radio Malabar and some plans about it, as Pak Djaka offred me with “an opportunity”. And as we’re waiting for the rain to cease, the chit chat went beyond to everything about Bandung in the old time. Pak Her seems to be resourceful about it.

It was fun. At the same time it marked the future contents of this website with further details on Radio Malabar.

That Memorial Stone

One of the photos from Tropen Museum is about a memorial stone for its opening in 1923 :

De gedenksteen die geplaatst werd ter gelegenheid van de opening van het Gouvernements Radio Station Malabar door Gouverneur-Generaal D. Fock

It’s in Dutch of course. I try to translate it : (using Google Translate result as a reference)

On the 5th May 1923
Opened by :
Mr. Dirk Fock
Governor General of Nederland Indie
The Radio Station on The Malabar for the Public Traffic

This station was designed and built by :
Dr. Ir. Johannes Cornelis de Groot
on the Major Subdivision where under his Leadership
this Land was Built and for the First Time
the Mount Antenna, Devised by Him, was Made.

I am not sure if my translation to english is accurate, especially for the second part. I just make a guess of the sentence arrangement. However, we all should understand the meaning.

The stone was placed in the middle of the opening ceremony :

Na de officiële opening van het Gouvernements Radio Station Malabar drinken de aanwezigen, onder wie G.G. Fock, een glaasje

Anyone with fluency in Dutch, please help me for a better translation. You can do that in the comment section of this entry. Thanks.

The One and Only Indonesian Technician @ RM

This is about a book in Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian Language). It’s interesting not only because it says about the one and only Indonesian technician in Radio Malabar, but also the clue for other part in the book that discuss specifically about it. However, that part is not available for viewing.

The cover :
pvj01The mention :pvj02I try my best to translate what it says :
”Mrs. Odas Abdul Rozak, one of the announcers whose childhood name was Odas Sumadilaga said that, the first broadcast of Radio Republik Indopnesia was successfully transmitted to the outside of the country, thanks to the help of Soedirdjo who was at the moment the chief of Palasari Transmitter Station in the south of Bandung. Soedirdjo was the one and only Indonesian electronic technician in Radio Malabar when it was developed and in operation. He gave the permission because it was for the sake of the country (also read: Radio Malabar in the foot of Puntang Mountain).”
I think this book could still be available here somewhere in Bandung: it’s in my list the next time I go to the bookstore.

Another Mention on Being The Biggest

I keep wondering of how Radio Malabar should be placed in the context of history of wireless communication development. While it seems to be ignored, there are some books that do mention its existence in the past. One of them is Lewis Coe’s that I found this morning. Tried to find its full ebooks here and there, but nowhere is to be found. So at least here, I put it as a documentation that there is such book.

The cover :
wr02The part of the book that mentions Radio Malabar :


As far as the search goes on, later it might be interesting to enlist radio stations in the world along the history in term of its output power /size / capacity.
There are more books with mention on Radio Malabar. I will write about them here as different entry.

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