Weekly news from the WIA:
MP3 edition of news available at: http://www.wia-files.com/podcast/wianews-2015-01-04.mp3 Text edition:
WIANEWS - JAN 04 - VK NATIONAL NEWS
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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WIANEWS WEEK COMMENCING JANUARY 04 2015.
IN OUR 20TH YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA and ANZAC 100 will be everywhere in 2015
WIA Office Closed until January 19th.
WIA How do you keep up with news from the WIA?
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA FOR WEEK COMMENCING JANUARY 4 2015.
An Australian man and his 12-year-old son are hoping to make history with the
development of the smallest spacecraft able to re-enter Earth's atmosphere and
Robert Brand is the developer of the craft, named ThunderStruck, a small
winged re-entry vehicle capable of leaving Earth's orbit and flying around
the solar system, at least as far as Mars or the near-Earth asteroids.
What makes ThunderStruck unique was that it could fly up and back for basic
experiments without going into orbit or it could fly into orbit on board a
rocket then re-enter, something that was not being done anywhere else.
Project ThunderStruck has the backing of Australian government bodies and
universities and is on the cards to be a fully working spaceship in about
Another unique aspect of Project ThunderStruck would be the involvement of
Mr Brand's 12-year-old son Jason in the first phase of testing, scheduled for
April, the transonic testing phase would attempt to test the 2.5-metre craft
at speeds close to Mach 2, faster than the speed of sound.
Mr Brand said his son worked with him releasing and bringing back
high-altitude balloons from the stratosphere and had considerable expertise
in space technology, in spite of his young age.
Mr Brand said if the project came together it would be unique and give
Australia a much-needed boost in space development
(abc via 7news)
Latest VK pico balloon travels eastward
Speaking of what goes up, that solar power HF pico balloon we told you of here
in the text edition of WIA news last week did lift off from Melbourne at 7am
December the 27th and has been tracked to New Zealand and beyond.
The helium filled party-type balloon was launched in Melbourne by Andy VK3YT
carrying a QRP transmitter on WSPR, JT9, with telemetry and tracking.
Recent reports had it travelling east for several days, and arriving and
leaving the southern end of New Zealand on New Year's Eve, and into the Pacific.
It was last tracked by Bob Sutton ZL1RS at the international dateline, an
altitude of 10,255 metres and travelling 50 kilometres per hour.
Andy VK3YT says that due to propagation conditions, JT9 and WSPR reception
from the balloon has been very localised to ZL and VK stations.
If the balloon follows the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
forecast it could travel further, reaching South America and beyond.
ANZAC 100 will be everywhere in 2015
The WIA has joined the community commemoration of the ANZAC 100 milestone
with its own ANZAC Centenary Award, special callsigns and other activities.
Also involved are the NZART New Zealand and the TRAC Turkey, with some other
IARU member societies showing interest.
The Australian Department of Veteran Affairs has approved the WIA's use of
the word 'ANZAC' in its rostered special callsigns. These will be popular
with on-air contacts made during the year.
Earlier, the start of World War 1, and the First Shot Fired by Australia
movement invited participation on August 5 last year from the Geelong Amateur
Radio Club at Fort Queenscliff on Port Phillip Bay, who used VI3ANZAC.
Another event was the first ANZAC troop ships in November and Albany's role
in Australia's ANZAC history, that had the Southern Electronics Group use
However, the ANZAC 100 event officially opens on April 25 this year with
a special WIA broadcast from Canberra. Clubs and groups can register on a
roster basis for the WIA assigned ANZAC callsigns.
Already registered are the RAAF Secret Mission, The Somme, Kokoda Track and
the Evacuation of Gallipoli - among others.
The ANZAC 100 event in Australia runs until December 20, 2015 the day when
ANZAC troops left the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Suggested calling frequencies are made for Digital Modes, CW and SSB. An
online log is provided to locate ANZAC stations, gauge propagation paths
and enable eQSLing.
We remember the sacrifices made by our service personnel over the last 100
years. More information will be on later VK1WIA broadcasts.
For details and to register, please check out the WIA website www.wia.org.au
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
WIA BOARD TALK
President Phil Wait VK2ASD
Vice President Chris Platt VK5CP
Secretary David Williams VK3RU
Treasurer John Longayroux VK3PZ
WIA Office Closed
Reading on WIA Front Page News we learn that the WIA office will reopen
10:00am, Monday, 19th January.
During this period any urgent enquiries should be directed to the WIA Manager,
Mal Brooks VK3FDSL, via email address
or, for very urgent matters, via mobile 0413 179 347.
How do you keep up with news from the WIA?
Members receive a monthly magazine both in hard copy and electronically if
they choose to use it.
The WIA website ( wia.org.au ) has loads of useful information for you as
well as the latest news about what the Institute is achieving for all
Amateurs in Australia. In order to be informed and up to date on what's
happening you should visit the website frequently.
The WIA is conducting a review of the Australian Amateur Radio Band plans.
Band plans are a way of trying to give everyone a fair share; an aim which
becomes increasingly difficult as spectrum becomes crowded. For instance,
in the case of 2-metre and 70cm repeaters on the east coast, the number of
available frequencies is very limited and it has become necessary to reduce
channel spacing or channel re-use distances, or both.
Additionally, in May 2014, the WIA made a submission to the
"Remaking of the Human Exposure Standard", highlighting that, in the ITU
definition of the Amateur service, amateur radio is an experimental personal
pursuit and the WIA does not wish to see Radiocommunications legislation or
regulation unnecessarily restrict or otherwise trammel the individual or
collective interests and activities of radio amateurs. That WIA submission,
together with an outcome of the consultation process, can be viewed online
at the WIA website.
Other membership benefits include:-
A monthly high quality magazine delivered to your home, and now also
available to members free on line as a pdf if you choose to use it.
Free use of the WIA QSL Service
Weekly national news service
Discount access to the WIA Bookshop, including the Annual Callbook
and knowledge that WIA help support your local club.
I see a lot of scepticism about the WIA, most of it based on what the
organisation did or didn't do a decade or more ago.
I challenge those sceptics to make an honest inquiry into what today's WIA
offers Amateurs. I challenge them to seriously think about what our
operating conditions would be like without the voice of Amateur Radio being
heard in the halls of Government. There is no other body, nor is there any
individual who can or will effectively represent our needs to Government and
go into bat for Amateur Radio.
Bear in mind also that the WIA isn't a monolith ensconced in Melbourne soaking
up your membership fees by their very existence. I really hope that nobody
actually thinks this way about the Institute. The reality is that the WIA has
two employees, and by far the majority of the work of the society is done by
volunteers, most of whom have a day job also.
So please do consider your position if you're not a member. Join the willing
few and sign up as a member. You can do this online. Finally, speaking of
online, when's the last time you logged into Memnet and updated your
information? It's all there, on the website.
WIA website is at www.wia.org.au
(vk6pop via NewsWest)
HAMS ACROSS AUSTRALIA.
web service:- http://www.arnsw.org.au/html/news_vk2wi.htm
Next weekend, January 10th to 11th, Summerland Amateur Radio Club will be
at the Great Eastern Fly-In, on the beautiful north coast of New South Wales.
This annual event is held at the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome and this year
it celebrates the 75th anniversary of the No.1 Bombing and Gunnery School,
set up by the RAAF during World War 2. The school also trained personnel for
roles including Air Observers, Wireless Operators and Navigators. Over 5000
personnel were trained there, including many who were then, or subsequently
became radio amateurs.
SARC will have a working display of historic and modern radio equipment,
information on the club and how to get a ham licence, and a monitoring
station for visitors to listen in on the aircraft frequencies. We will also
have a working world war 2 morse practice for those game to test their skill.
The fly-in programme is jam packed, featuring warbirds, ultralights,
gyrocopters, model aircraft, astounding aerobatics and more. Entry is free
and there will be plenty of parking and food stalls. Joy flights are available
for the more daring visitors.
Look for SARC at their "radio room" in the marquee directly opposite the main
apron. The local air frequency is 124.2 MHz, AM of course.
For more information, see the club website or go to
(Chris VK2ACD - SARC treasurer)
The Central Coast Amateur Radio Club are looking forward to welcoming
all interested in Amateur Radio to their annual Field Day event at Wyong
Race course, Sunday Feb 22nd, 2015.
it's easy to forget that February will be rushing up on us after the
New Year so make your arrangements early.
Whether you are staying in the area and need accommodation or if you are
travelling in from interstate now is the time to make those bookings if
you haven't already done so.
CCARC are expecting a really big event this year and remember .... The
Wyong Field Day starts at 6:30am for the Flea Market and 9am for the
Traders and Seminars - and it all goes ahead RAIN, HAIL or SHINE !!
For those of you going to the Wyong Field Day on the train, there will
be a free shuttle bus service to the event.
Also CCARC wish all of those taking their Foundation licence or upgrade
assessments the best of success.
Whether it's seeking that bargain from the flea market, grabbing that
discounted new item from the traders stands, educating yourself at the
seminars and exhibitors stalls or even taking that licence upgrade
assessment. The place to be on February 22 is undoubtedly - The CCARC
Field Day at Wyong!
For full details about the field day, please go to the website
(Dave VK2DLS, Publicity Officer Central Coast Amateur Radio Club.)
Silent Keys are best sent to AR Magazine and your local state or club news
rather than this WIA National News Service.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, Kentucky Star and Sputnick on line newspapers,
VK3PC Jim Linton and the IRTS PLUS WW sources of the WIA.
We start 2015 with what could be 2014'S BIGGEST BRIGHTEST news story.
It's just been bubbling along now and then making page 7 of the daily's and
it comes from Google X , the R&D unit within Google.
They have certainly challenged our thinking of what's possible with the
announcement in back in October last of a project to create a smart pill
packed with tiny magnetic particles designed to circulate in the human body
looking for signs of cancer and other diseases. While still in the
experimental stage, the cancer-detecting pill would be able to travel through
a patient's bloodstream, searching for malignant cells and reporting its
findings to a sensor device that you wear.
The Google cancer-detecting pill would represent an important breakthrough
in health powered by Silicon Valley's biggest technology companies.
A recent issue of the IARU Monitoring System newsletter shows that a Russian
OFDM-112 station operating in the amateur radio 7 MHz band splattered over
23 kHz of our spectrum.
Iran has also been reported operating in the amateur 7 MHz band, the
German PTT have filed a complaint.
Theunis Potgieter, ZS2EC, of PEARS will be the first station to use the
callsign ZS90SARL to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the SARL.
Originally known as the South African Radio Relay League, the National Body for
amateur radio in South Africa, was formed in May 1925, shortly after the
formation of the International Amateur Radio Union Paris.
It is fitting that the first transmission of ZS90SARL will be made from
Port Elizabeth as it was there that the first radio contact in South Africa
It was Edward Alfred Jennings, a telephone technician in the city who through
experimentation to improve the performance of the telephone mouth piece
detected its coherer properties. He also noticed that the electric tram
passing his house a little distance away caused crackling. Later that year,
it was 1896, he carried out an ambitious experiment to send signals over
nearly a kilometre distance between his house in Sherlock Street to a
primitive receiving station at Copper 's kloof.
A flag was hoisted if his signals were received and indeed they were.
Malaysian floods get MARTS Emcomm help
Severe flooding described as the worst for a long time in the north of
Malaysia during the monsoon season, has taken five lives with about
160,000 people evacuated.
Johnny Tan 9M8DB of the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters' Society says
EmComm operators are active on 7.110 MHz, with 3.600MHz likely to be tested
for late night links to maintain links to handle disaster traffic.
MARTS asks all to avoid causing QRM of these centre-of-activity emergency
He reports that stations in Kuala Lumpur, Kuantan, Kemaman and Bachok with
50 watts are using NVIS propagation.
Johnny 9M8DB says initially VHF/UHF repeaters were used, but severe flooding
had affected power supply and batteries with the switch to HF being made.
Official recognition has been received including permission for the MARTS
EmComm operations to carry third party traffic.
Meanwhile in neighbouring Thailand, disaster zones have been declared in
eight southern provinces after floods there killed at least 13 people with
184,000 households affected.
A group from the Irish Vintage Radio and Sound Society that visited the
decommissioned RTÉ Radio station in Athlone were flabbergasted to see the
full 1932 100kW Marconi transmitter in pristine condition looking like it had
just been switched off the day before. It's believed that this is the only
intact transmitter of its type still existing on its original site anywhere
in the world.
In Britain there were about 20 stations similar to the Athlone one but
unfortunately none has been preserved. This is a very important part of
radio heritage and is a true gem that must be cherished.
Iran has built a radar tracker that is capable of detecting drugs and
explosives. This as well as humans and deceased bodies.
The device could be used by law enforcement officers, including during
accidents and disasters.
The RADAR stimulates an elements' molecular layer and releases their ions.
The receiver detects ions as well as the molecular layer, then transfers
waves back to the target to detect their essence," the radar's inventor
Seyed Ali Hosseini from Gilan Science and Technology Park was quoted as saying.
Hosseini added that the collected data from the tracked items could then be
displayed in 3D on a computer system. Furthermore, the tracker could identify
people who suffer from drug addiction at a distance of 1500 meters, as well as
determining their level of addiction.
WWI museum and radio hams team up
On December 27-28 dozens of amateur radio operators teamed with the National
World War I Museum to operate a special event radio station WW1USA for
The Kansas City Star newspaper reports the event was to commemorate the
Christmas truce of 1914.
Read the full story at
Researchers from Moscow State University plan to build a database that will
house the DNA of every creature known to man. The DNA databank will be created
at the campus of the Moscow State University. The project is expected to be
complete by 2018 and the first phase, which has been announced, will cost
"I call the project 'Noah's Ark.' It will involve the creation of a depository
a databank for the storing of every living thing on Earth, including not
only living, but disappearing and extinct organisms. This is the challenge we
have set for ourselves," said Viktor Sadivnichy, who is the rector of the
Moscow State University.
Jock White Field Day 2015
Please note carefully the date: Saturday February 28th and Sunday March 1st.
This year this primarily ZL contest (but we VKers are made to feel welcome)
is in February and March to prevent a clash with the ARRL International CW
contest. This occurs in years where there is only three full weekends in
February. This will not occur again until 2026
For the rules please see:
As always, any queries prior to the event please contact:-
(ZL2TW JWFD Manager via NZART HQ infoline)
SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS, DX, BEACON REPEATER AND NET ADVICE
TENERIFE TILL JANUARY 8
IK 1 PMR and PA 3 LEO are on air signing portable EA8 from Tenerife Island,
they started December 9th of 2014 and cease January 8 2015.
Activity will be on 160 through 6 meters using CW SSB and RTTY.
QSL via HB 9 FKK or each operators home callsign via the bureau.
PENANG ISLAND JANUARY THROUGH FEBRUARY 2015
PA 0 RRS will be active as 9 M 2 MRS from Penang Island Malaysia between
January 1st and February 3rd of 2015.
He plans to operate 30 through 10 meters CW RTTY and PSK, with SSB only on
QSL via PA 0 RRS via the bureau.
VE 7 BV will once again be active stroke TG 9 from Guatemala between
January 22nd and February 17th on 20, 17 and 15 meters CW and SSB.
QSL via his home callsign which again is VE7BV, direct, by the bureau or
electronically using Logbook of the World.
DF3FS and DL9OLI will be operating stroke 5Z4 from Diani Beach, Kenya,
between February 16th and March 8th.
80 through 10 meters CW and SSB.
QSL via their home callsigns via the bureau.
DC0KK will active as 4S7KKG from Sri Lanka through until April 10th.
He operates mainly using CW and the digital modes.
QSL via DC0KK via the bureau.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ATV + VIDEO
Russian ISS School Contacts
Both Dmitry R4UAB and Michal SQ5KTM have released videos of ISS school
contacts by cosmonaut Yelena Serov operating with the callsign RS0ISS which
took place Sunday, December 21.
The amateur radio station in the Russian Service Module was used and
the Kenwood D710 operated on 145.800 MHz FM. The power setting used
is not clear but may have been 25 watts.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- DIGITAL
MacLoggerDX Version 5.57 released
This is a free update for all Version 5 customers!
Organizing and filtering the spots from your favourite DX Cluster for DXing,
Contesting or casual rag-chewing.
It supports close to a hundred radios, automatically tuning to the spots you
are interested in and optionally swinging your beam around.
MacLoggerDX can also email you when the Bands are open or that rare DX
Remember the update is free, but ONLY for Ver. 5 clients.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- FINAL FRONTIER
Worked All USA Grids Via Satellite - #488 for Doug Papay, KD8CAO
Congratulations to Doug Papay, KD8CAO for working grid #488 of the
488 USA grids. Doug worked N2COP/p, in FM13, for his final grid. The
contact was via SO-50 and was logged on 15/Dec/2014 @ 1252Z.
For his efforts he has been granted GRID MASTER award # 2.
Doug said of his accomplishment, "...it certainly would not have been
possible without the help of the many individuals that went to extra
effort to activate so many rare grids.
The Star Comm Group sponsors the Grid Master Award. To qualify for
this award you must make a satellite contact with all 488 grids in
AND GET CONFIRMATION.
Oh and Grid Master Award #1 ??
This had been awarded to Doug's father, John Papay, K8YSE.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- INTERNET --- THE HAMS DOMAIN
Repeaterbook.com unveils Worldwide Search
Check their home page. Now, you can search for repeaters across the majority
of the world!
>From the map on the home page, countries in blue are repeater listings.
Stop by and give it a try.
(Garrett, KD6KPCS Repeaterbook.com via SouthGate)
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RADIO AMATEUR OLD-TIMERS
Hallo everyone, this is Clive VK6CSW. On behalf of the Radio Amateurs Old
Timers Club of Australia. I wish all our listeners a very happy, healthy
and safe New Year.
Now, just in case you've forgotten, traditionally there is no RAOTC bulletin
broadcast in January, so our first bulletin for 2015 will be on Monday
February 2nd, and we look forward to catching up with you then.
Once again, the first RAOTC bulletin for 2015 goes to air next month on
Monday February 2nd.
73 from Clive, VK6CSW.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RADIO AMATEUR YOUNG TIMERS
A Youth Net meets Saturdays at 0100 UTC on IRLP Reflector #2.
Young Hams Net 3.590 - 7:30pm Victorian time.
Youngsters On The Air, YOTA http://www.ham-yota.eu/
Extremely young YL "does good" with her Intermediate pass.
2 girls, Summer McCormick previously MI 6 YLT and Grace McCormick previously
MI 6 YLG have passed their intermediate radio exams, Summer has just turned
14 and Grace is only Eleven!
They sat the exam with Carrickfergus Amateur Radio Group.
Their home club is Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club and they are both members of
Their new callsigns are Summer 2 I 0YLT "Young Lady Transmitting" and
Grace is 2I 0 GYL "Gorgeous Young Lady" HIHI
That story from a very proud dad, Graham McCormick GI7PWQ
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - VHF (50 MHZ) AND ABOVE
SSSP on 50 MHz around Summer Solstice
SARL News reports: The Short-path Summer Solstice Propagation (SSSP) was
discovered by Han Higaso, JE1BMJ, when he contacted European stations on
50 MHz from Japan in the month of June around the summer solstice in the
We VK and ZL amateurs have also exploited this new mode of propagation when
working South American stations during the southern hemisphere summer
solstice in December.
Last Year Bob ZL1LS ran skeds with South African VHF amateurs, and traces of
his signal were heard by Paul ZS6NK.
Read more in "SSSP on 50 MHz to VK & ZL" on the VHF Forum.
SOCIAL SCENE 2015
Jan 23-26 VK4 TARC Australia Day Long Weekend Family Radio Camp, Bluewater.
Feb 7 VK3 Homebrew Construction Group 2pm ARVic 40g Victory Bld Ashburton.
Feb 22 VK2 Central Coast Amateur Radio Club Wyong Field Day.
March 21 VK3 Dstar Users Group 9am Woodend RSL Anslow St.
March 29 VK3 EMDRC Hamfest
May 1-3 VK4 Clairview Gathering contact RADAR's VK4ACC 04 2963 2815
May 9 VK4 BARCFEST Brisbane
June 6-7 VK2 Queens Birthday 40th annual Oxley Region Field Day
July 1 VK4 Caboolture Hamfest
July 11-12 VK3 GippsTech 2015
August 9 VK2 SARC-FEST Lismore
Sept 12 VK4 SUNFEST Woombye
Sept 25-27 VK4 CHARC AGM Weekend Camp Fairbairn near Emerald
Oct 2-5 VK4 Cardwell Gathering, Beachcomber Motel and Tourist Park
Oct 25 VK4 Gold Coast Hamfest Broadbeach
What use is an F-call?
Nobody works in isolation, and neither do I. This weekly segment has now been
running for 130 or so episodes and in that time I've received a variety of
feedback about my attempt at making a contribution to Amateur Radio.
I remember when a random stranger walked up to me when I attended the WIA
Mildura conference in 2012. He told me that he used my segment in training
new F-calls and that he was most impressed. Last week, another random member
of the HAM community told me that this segment made him return to Amateur
Radio and upgrade his license. I've received cards and unexpected Christmas
gifts, emails, phone-calls and other amazing acts of generosity which leave
me quite at a loss for words. Thank you.
On the other end of the spectrum, an anonymous group of our community uses
web-forms to write all manner of interesting comments. Let me quote verbatim
one of the tamer ones:
"When is Onno going to upgrade to Standard or Advanced licence and get rid of
his awful callsign. He is an embarrassment to the fine hobby."
This person claims to listen to the news every week, but clearly hasn't
actually heard a word I've said. My callsign was randomly assigned by the
ACMA and I'll be upgrading when I've achieved my QRP DXCC.
As I said, this was one of the tamer responses. It's been a continuing feast
ever since I got my license. I'm no shrinking violet and if you know me at all
I tend to tell it as I see it.
What concerns me is that this is the feedback I'm getting. I've spoken to
probably over a hundred F-calls since I received my license and the theme is
a recurring one. There's bullying, abuse, swearing, accusations, active
interference, emails, letters and other nastiness that this part of the hobby
seems to think is appropriate to share and it's not just happening here in my
state. I've had reports from all over the country.
Speaking directly to those miscreants is a waste of breath, but I know that
they are surrounded by people who disagree, because I speak to them on a
I'd encourage you to take these bullies to task, either in the public forum
in which they spread their bile, or directly and face-to-face if that's more
There is no place for this. F-calls are here to stay, just like Novice calls
were in a previous life and whatever the next minority was before that.
One observation that fills me with great joy. Soon there will be more F-calls
than all other licenses combined. At that point there will be more of us than
there are of them.
In case there is a potential for misunderstanding. I support the ability for
an F-call to upgrade. I will upgrade at a time of my choosing. That doesn't
mean that everyone will or should feel compelled to do so.
Got a problem with this, let me know, publicly.
I'm Onno VK6FLAB
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Thanks to our dedicated band of broadcast volunteers who utilize
their time and equipment in bringing you this weekly broadcast.
The purpose of "WIANews" is to rapidly provide news of interest to
active amateurs residing in Australia and the globe.
We strongly encourage membership in the Wireless Institute of Australia
and participation in the activities of local clubs. Opinions expressed in
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in the spirit in which they were submitted."
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WIANews wouldn't go astray...
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