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An Article in Old Danish Publication


Someone from Denmark just sent me an email. Her name is Lise Bock. She said currently she’s working on a book about Danish Radio Factories, and I suppose her browsing has hit this website somehow. She also sent me some page scans of a book containing an article about Radio Malabar. It’s sure in Danish, but she promises me to send me an English translation.

For the sake of documentation, I put all the stuffs here :

Larsen 1950 front pageLarsen 1950 page 183Larsen 1950 page 184

Larsen 1950 page 185Larsen 1950 page 186Larsen 1950 page 301last

I wonder, does the name Absalon Larsen have anything to do with the Larsen Antenna ?

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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 :

eohl03

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.

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.

A Curious Youtube Video


This is the only findable video on youtube that contains ‘Radio Malabar’ in it. Turns out that it’s a trailer for a documentary movie about RM. The creator is an art student named Efan Kusuma Putra and he is on Facebook! Strangely, it’s Evan. Not Efan as in the trailer. However I believe it’s the same person as the supporting profile is matched. I have contact him. I hope he has done the final, full version of the movie.

A Video Trailer by Efan Kusuma Putra
Categories: Supporting Infos Tags: , ,

Mr. Bombeeck: The Last Dutch Soldier of Radio Malabar


Prajurit 3I should have met him, but now it’s too late. When I came to Gunung Puntang (A sub district where RM is located) a week ago, I was told by an officer at the gate that there used to be a Dutch man in wheelchair who came there regulary. Unfortunately, he passed away in December 2011. He wasn’t sure about his name and said it could be ‘Josef’. One thing that crossed my mind was that I could ask some people where ‘Mr. Josef’ lived, see his family (he was married with a local woman), and If I was lucky I could get some infos and photos of him and anything to do with RM.

I did asking around. A clue was that he lived near a gateway down the road from Gunung Puntang. After some strange bad rapport from ojek drivers (motorbike transportation) in Palalangon, I and two friends who were with me in the trip, were led to a house about a half kilometer away by one of the driver who knew him as ‘Bombek’. Sadly, nobody in the house but the servant. Even the servant (an old woman) didn’t know a thing about Mr. Josef. She said that the lady of the house went out of town.

My search has found a website that contains this :
Prajurit-COh yes. I recognize that white metalwork for the house fence. I believe I have visited the right house back then. Turned out that his name was Josephus Franciscus Nicolass and Bombeeck was his nickname. I feel indebted to the website owner and have sent a message to him thru Facebook.
The next time I go to Gunung Puntang, I’ll make sure I pay a visit to his family.

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