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WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH and GPS Locked Beacons. -

WIA ANZAC 100 commemoration in the news. -





Two Australian pico balloons head east

Pico balloon PS-48 launched from VK3 on Saturday August 8 has been heard over

South America, albeit with a suspected fault, and another, PS-49 put up last

Saturday is tracking behind it.

Both carry Amateur Radio payloads transmitting HF data that includes

altitude, position and temperature, with solar powered 25 mW transmitters.

Launched by Andy VK3YT, one recently floated 110,800km going around the

southern hemisphere twice. Its third circumnavigation bid ended in inclement

weather over the Indian Ocean.

Meantime, PS-48 left Melbourne headed to Queensland leaving the mainland at

the Gold Coast, then it turned southerly over New Zealand's north island to

drift over the Pacific.

After days of silence William Schauff PY2GN reported it from his Brazilian

farm famous for Atemoya, or custard apple fruit.

Andy VK3YT thinks that balloon's payload may have a damaged antenna, although

there is a small chance of it making the flight to Australia, where the

balloon may be heard again.

Its sister balloon, PS49 has taken the path of Melbourne to Sydney, then

across to the South Pacific Ocean, to be tracked by John AK4AT in Virginia

USA and Warwick E50W on North Cook Islands.

It was due to have reached South America.

Good luck with the longevity and successful tracking of both Aussie balloons.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)

Still in flight, this time in VK6 where, it seems the team at Perth radio

station hit92.9 have got themselves a drone!

Industry publication Radioinfo.com.au says the hit92.9 "Pleasure Drone"

will be up in the air around Perth taking pics of their hit92.9 Jeep in

different locations. Listeners simply have to check out the snaps,

listen for clues, and identify the jeep's location.

Each winner will then go into the draw to win $10,000, which will be

delivered by the hit92.9 Pleasure Drone herself!!

The drone is up, up and away as we speak.

Read more at:

WIA ANZAC 100 commemoration in the news (follow link in story to ABC)

The August Offensive at Gallipoli 1915 was commemorated by the Western

Australian Amateur Radio News team as VK100ANZAC over six days from

different significant locations, and scored some media publicity along the


The Mount Hawthorn Progress Association eagerly supported the event that

included the ANZAC Cottage, built in February 1916 by the community as a

home for a wounded soldier and his family, and a memorial for those who lost

their lives in that war.

Among the other locations were Blackboy Hill that was a training camp for

WWI. There, news photographers and reporters showed up, resulting in two

newspaper stories.

Glynn Davies VK6FVGD told the journalists that the VK100ANZAC event

commemorated all ANZAC battles, especially those of August 6-10, 1915.

The August Offensive held then was the last major attempt made by the

Allied forces at Gallipoli to break the stalemate that had persisted since

the landings on April 25, 1915.

Mr "What use is an F-Call" himself, Onno Benschop VK6FLAB, was interviewed

then by ABC South West Radio, giving details of the event activities and

Amateur Radio publicity.

As Bob VK6POP said "It goes to show that there are ways for a Foundation

Licensee to be on air with fifty kilowatts."

Have a listen at this link for the on air material courtesy VK6POP and

the ABC. http://www.wiaq.org.au/ftp/vk6pop.mp3

VK100ANZAC was also at the Mandurah War Memorial and King's Park, with a team

of 15 volunteers setting up, operating and pulling down the station.

Onno VK6FLAB said visitors to the station were put behind a microphone. The

log showed that VK100ANZAC made contacts throughout Australia, Europe, the

Middle East, Asia and the USA.

Casey Station at the Australian Antarctic Territory is due on air as VI0ANZAC

in the WIA ANZAC 100 commemoration program on August 29 and 30 - that's next


Earlier a blizzard caused some damage and a rescheduling. Hopefully Antarctic

weather won't disrupt it this time.

Doug VK0DMV is anxious to use the VI0ANZAC callsign with a 50 watt SSB

transceiver on the 80m, 40m, 20m and 15m bands. Times and frequencies are

on the qrz.com and wia.org.au websites

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


President Phil Wait VK2ASD

V President Fred Swainston VK3DAC

Secretary David Williams VK3RU

Treasurer John Longayroux VK3PZ

This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH.

Beacons on the VHF, UHF and microwave bands are invaluable assets to the

amateur radio community. They serve as reliable local signal sources and

propagation indicators for stations further afield.

The development of weak-signal digital transmission modes that necessitate

high frequency stability in transceivers has motivated many amateurs to

install GPS-locking of their rigs, leveraging the high frequency accuracy

and stability of the GPS satellite technology.

GPS-locked beacons better serve their function as a propagation indicator

because you know exactly what frequency it will be on, but they also provide

local amateurs with a highly accurate frequency reference.

Up to mid-2014, very few VHF, UHF and microwave beacons were GPS-locked.

Now, thanks to the special grants program jointly run between the WIA and

Alan Devlin VK3XPD over 2014-15, there are now an additional 23 beacons on

the VHF, UHF and microwave bands across Australia that are locked to the GPS

satellite network, ensuring frequency accuracy and stability to within a few


Beacons on the 2m, 70cm, 23cm, 13cm, 9cm and 3cm bands across VK3, VK4, VK5,

VK6 and VK7 are now GPS-locked following this project.

You have to say that the project has been an outstanding success that

benefits the Australian amateur radio community.

Keep a look out for the coming announcement of expressions of interest for

the next WIA special grants for 2015-16.

This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH for WIA National News

WIA AGM on Norfolk Island

The Wireless Institute of Australia annual general meeting in May 2016 on

Norfolk Island continues to attract a lot of interest and more bookings have

been received.

The AGM not only takes advantage of the good transport and accommodation

package obtained by the WIA, but also has tourist holiday activities on offer.

The WIA has talked with the travel agent and now implemented a plan for any

additional bookings. All who want to attend the WIA AGM should not miss out.

For partners, a half-day tour is available while the WIA holds its AGM and

open forum. The program has a dinner with a guest speaker, the ANZAC 100

program callsigns in action creating worldwide attention, Summits On The Air

activity at rare peaks, and a lot more.

To make a booking deposit for the WIA 2016 AGM May 27, 28, & 29 on

Norfolk Island, please visit the full details and application form on



What use is an F-call?

Recently I received an email from an Amateur who has had their license for

over 30 years and been in the electronics field for more than 40. He shared

with me an experience that goes to the heart of why it pays to share, even if

this particular experience left his mates with sore bellies from laughing so


Without going into too much technical background, the devil is in the detail.

Our amateur, was working on a project which required a particular part. He

was a little short, so after a quick check of the specs, substituted for a

part with similar performance.

The parts were duly soldered onto the board - bit of a mammoth task, 1.5mm

separation, 21 components in a double row next to each other.

A little later, more parts were needed. At this time our friend discovered

that there was a difference between the two parts, one was an NPN Darlington

transistor, the other a PNP Darlington transistor.

If you don't know what that means, think of it as two identical devices that

work in reverse, not the same, but similar to installing a diode back to


So, the next task was to remove all those diligently soldered parts - without

destroying them - since they were needed elsewhere.

The morale of this story is: "Act in haste, regret at leisure." In this case,

a quick read of the specs was the cause of the incorrect substitution, which

resulted in extra soldering, belly aches for his mates and embarrassment for

our friend.

How does this affect you?

It doesn't.

But next time you're building a project you might think twice about quickly

substituting parts and protecting your friends from hurting themselves when

they laugh too hard.

The German language has a wonderful word for this: "Schadenfreude" - pleasure

derived from the misfortune of others. You know you shouldn't laugh, but you

can't help yourself.

No matter how experienced, how senior, or how junior. We all make mistakes.

Share them with your mates, so they can learn and tell the story a couple of

times, so you can learn.

Tip for young players, a BC517 is an NPN Darlington transistor and a BC516

is a PNP one.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,

Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART and the WW sources of the WIA.

The recently constituted SARL Antenna Defence Fund Initiative sub-committee

met last week with the deputy chairman of the South African Local Government

Association at the Council Chambers of the West Rand District Municipality.

The committee made a presentation on various important aspects of Amateur

Radio and in particular on how Radio Amateurs support disaster and community

communication. The SARL delegation also highlighted the problems

Radio Amateurs experience in erecting antenna structures in residential

zoned areas.

At the meeting it was said they "understood the restrictions created for

Radio Amateurs by the zoning regulations and said that it would raise the

issue with the Minister of Cooperative Governance at their next meeting.

It was also said it would be proposed to the Minister that the issue be

placed on the agenda of their next meeting and that the SARL be invited

to make a presentation in this regard.

A £6 billion project to replace radios used by the 999 services in the UK

with a system that uses the 4G mobile phone network has been condemned as

'reckless' and 'short-sighted' amid fears it could put lives at risk.

The Home Office is planning to overhaul communications for emergency teams

within two years. But police chiefs and industry experts say that the

project is being rushed through to save money.

The Mail on Sunday revealed that:

Civil servants are insisting that police forces start moving to the new

system by next year - even before there is full coverage across the country,

despite warnings by Chief Constables.

The public will be left struggling to call 999 in a disaster, as they will

be using the same 4G networks as emergency services, who will take priority.

Police insiders are concerned that the new system may not work on the

London Underground, as was required after 7/7.

Read more:


Plans for New Amateur Radio Station for ISS Columbus Module

Another "radio gear update" is under way, this to develop a new,

higher-power Amateur Radio station for the ISS Columbus module.

The current radio is a lower power unit that sometimes results in

weak signals during ISS-to-Earth educational contacts. A new radio system

will improve communication capability for students scheduled to participate

in ARISS educational contacts and related activities.

The new system also would allow greater interoperability between the

Columbus module and the Russian Service Module. ARISS said that integration

of the equipment into the ISS infrastructure and the necessary testing

and certification require hours of engineering resources that it cannot


So the call has gone out for financial contributions from we 'earth bound


Individuals may donate to ARISS online via the AMSAT website.

Individuals contributing $100 or more will receive the new ARISS

Challenge Coin.

Full duplex! Bristol boffins demo TX and Rx on the same frequency - at the

same time.

This remarkable achievement has been demonstrated by the UK's University of

Bristol in a new YouTube video.

The system being used is running 900MHz and 1800MHz with exactly the same


There are a number of companies working on this technology, called

full duplex radio, a technology traditionally viewed as being extremely

difficult to implement - if not impossible.

However, what has now seemingly made it possible are improvements in

processing, which allows the noise of the transmitted signal to be

subtracted from the received signal.

One of the first patents on full duplex was filed by UK-based electronics,

defence and telecoms company Plessey in 1980, for a combat radio repeater

using the tech. This was called "Groundsat" and was used by the British Army

There was also a patent filed by Bristol University in the 1990s.

Read more and watch the video here


For the past five years, Danish radio amateur Thomas Andersen,

OH-ZED-1-A-A/K-9-D-X-X (OZ1AA/K9DXX), has focused on a cycle that

has nothing to do with sunspots. The cycle that carries him in this case

is the two-wheeler he's been riding around the globe. His travels have most

recently found him headed northbound along Route 1 on the East Coast of the


Andersen has spent most of his overnights with American hams but, oddly

enough, his travel gear has not included a radio because, he says, he wished

to avoid carrying too much weight. He has since changed his mind, as he notes

on his QRZ.COM page. Andersen writes: "I have come to the conclusion that I

would like to add a small HF rig to my setup. Having a radio in my bag simply

seems worth it." Having cycled through India, Turkey, Syria and Australia

and now making his way through North America, he is ready to head home to

Denmark for a spell.

For this world traveler, having a ham radio license has probably served him

far better than having a deal with a travel agent. Become a ham, he says,

and you will have friends all over the world. Says Andersen: "I can't

honestly think of any other hobby where you can show up in any town in any

part of the world and be welcomed like I have been."


For British Amateur radio operator Adrian Lane, a recent QSO with the

International Space Station was not just a watershed moment, but a garden

shed moment too.

That's the backyard building where the former truck driver was sitting when

the voice of an American astronaut some 200 miles overhead, responded after

Lane gave his call sign, 2-E-ZERO-S-D-R (2E0SDR). The QSO ended less than a

minute later - but not before the astronaut assured Lane that yes, it was

indeed "very dark" out there in space, just as he thought.

Working the space station is the kind of thrill well-known to students around

the world who formally apply for scheduled contacts with astronauts. That

program is known as as Amateur Radio on the International Space Station.

But because these communications occur within a very narrow window of

opportunity, and timing is everything, unscheduled contacts such as Lane's

are less common.

But despite the fact that Lane found luck in a shack converted from an

outdoor shed, the last way he'd describe the experience is garden variety.



Saturday 29th August 0400 UTC - 1359 UTC

Sunday 30th August 0400 UTC - 1359 UTC

Oceania DX contest Voice First full weekend in October

Oceania DX contest Continuous Wave Second full weekend in October.


Harry Angel 80 mtr sprint (WIA) provisional date Saturday 7th May.


WIA Spring VHF-UHF Field Day the weekend of 14th and 15th November.

No doubt about it Region 1 certainly look after their youth!

This year IARU Region 1 will start a new Youth Contesting Program (YCP).

Youth members from IARU R1 member societies are invited to select youth

members to take part in a contest from so called "Top-Gun" stations. These

young people will learn how to operate the contest station, improve their

contest skills and aim for the best results together as a team.

Participants will probably be coming for the first time to the host country

and will get the chance to experience the country and share amateur radio

knowledge with local youngsters.


Volker, DL 1 ZB will be active until 29 September as SV5/DL1ZB from Kos,

Dodecanese, IOTA reference EU-001. He will operate SSB, RTTY, SSTV and

PSK63 on 20-6 metres.

QSL via DL1ZB, bureau preferred.

Another DX station to look for but be warned, QSL via his home callsign

ON 7 WP direct only.

C5WP is active from The Gambia to 1 September.

Operating from the village of Buntu, with a focus on the WARC bands, then

the coastal area, where he will focus on the low bands.

QSL via his ON7WP home callsign, direct only.

Jim W 2 JHP will operate as V 31 TA from the Turneffe Atoll in Belize,

Central America from 23rd August to 4th September. This island counts as

NA-123 for the Islands on the Air Award.


Portable stations ready for Victorian National Parks

With 12 weeks to go attention is being focussed on the 5th annual Keith

Roget Memorial National Parks Award activity weekend.

A list of activations are now on the Amateur Radio Victoria website Award

section. All inquiries to Tony VK3VTH

Meantime, husband and wife duo Julie VK3FOWL and Joe VK3YSP now have a

Grand Slam Plaque in their name, having reached 45 National Parks. The pair

were at the inaugural Grand Slam presentations made to Peter VK3PF and

Peter VK3ZPF, at the Portable Operation Master Class in July last year. The

Grand Slam plaque is not an impossible target, but as Joe says, it just

takes a little time and you need a lot of help along the way.

For the first time the weekend involves a free participation certificate.

To qualify, operate within a VK3 National Park and make five contacts.

So far 18 National Parks are listed involving 10 activators in the activity

period on November 13-16.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


When will the FM radio signal in the UK be switched off?

The UK Minister of State for culture, Ed Vaizey, has told the

Today programme that whatever the government's decision on the

switch from FM to digital radio, it will not negatively affect listeners.

When asked whether this parliament would switch off the FM signal,

Mr Vaizey did not rule it out.

"What I am going to commit to is to get the signal as good as FM and as

cheap as radios," the Conservative MP told the programme.

"We will not do anything that impacts on radio listeners," Mr Vaizey said.

"I know how much people care."

However, the BBC may want to make their own decision about the future of FM,

he said.

Listen to the interview:


VK Club Bulletins http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aarnie/

VK2 CCARC news ccarc.org.au/wp/2012/09/ccarc-news-12-31/

RSGB letter in PC Pro Magazine

RSGB President John Gould G3WKL highlights Amateur Satellites, FUNcube and

the RSGB Youth Committee in a letter which appears on page 30 of the

October issue of PC Pro Magazine

See the full text of John's letter at

The letter was a follow-up to an article in the August issue of

PC Pro Magazine by Jon Honeyball G 1 LMS

WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ATV (Every pixel tells a story) - Video





Last week we heard from the DATV WORLD QSO PARTY Convenor Peter VK3BFG, well

this week Peter has been making his final preparations for the 5th annual

Party that starts on Friday night - Australian Eastern Standard Time.

Based on the Melbourne-Geelong repeater VK3RTV that has a number of

television exponents, it includes USA and England inputs. Anyone may join

via a local television repeater or by Skype.

For the first time there will be live streaming via high quality YouTube,

as well as the British Amateur TV Club streamer.

The event starts this Friday night with repeaters VK2RFM and VK2RTV in

Sydney, Brisbane's VK4RMG, VK5RDC in Port Pirie VK5RDC and VK3RBO Bendigo.

Remote stations will Skype the net controller Peter VK3BFG. Saturday morning

has WR8ATV in Columbus, Ohio, then the Southern California television

repeater network. On Saturday night the Home Counties Repeater GB3HV will

take its turn.

The QSO Party will have many video presentations. Questions about the event

need to be quick by contacting Peter VK3BFG at

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


FISTS Club - East Asia www.feacw.net

FISTS Club - Australasia www.fistsdownunder.org

FISTS Club - UK & Europe www.fists.co.uk

FISTS Club - Americas www.fists.org

Mikes Morse Mania Display

Do you really appreciate really well preserved radio equipment ?

Well here is a chance to view 60 plus exquisitely restored morse keys and

other heritage radio gear which is just a part of the collection of Mike


The next Mikes Morse Mania display will be happening at the Cardwell

Telegraph Museum - The Bush Telegraph - in conjunction with the Cardwell

Gathering on Saturday 3rd October from 9am to Midday.

Mike hopes that you can make the journey and see the collection and at

the same time take in the other communication wonders on display at the

Bush Telegraph.



It's across to Lesley, VK5LOL, the Alara Contest Manager.

"Just letting you know that our YL contest is coming up at the end of this


Saturday 29th August 0400 UTC - 1359 UTC

Sunday 30th August 0400 UTC - 1359 UTC

two 10 hour slots.

You can gain an extra 40 points during the contest by having 4 contacts with

either Jenny VK5FJAY or myself, VK5LOL - 10 points per contact.

ECHOLINK contacts will also be accepted.

Details of the contest are on our website - www.alara.org.au

in our latest Alara magazine

or in the latest AR magazine.

Looking forward to hearing many Yls and Oms on the last weekend in AUGUST.

73 & 33, Lesley VK5LOL"


ARISS International delegates, its Board of Officers, and international

team members have been meeting at Big Sight, Tokyo, Japan for a critical

discussion on ARISS strategy, teamwork, hardware and operations

Delegates are voting members of ARISS-I representing the 5 ISS member

regions: United States, Russia, Japan, Canada and Europe.

The Trouble with Space Junk

The BBC's Horizon programme reveals the scale of the problem of space junk.

In 2014, the International Space Station had to move three times to avoid

lethal chunks of space debris.

CubeSats get a mention too.

Watch 'The Trouble with Space Junk'


Small Satellites: Possible Future WRC Agenda Item

The CEPT CPG-PTA-8 meeting in Catania, Sicily, back in July, discussed

a number of issues related to WRC-15 among them a paper submitted by

The Netherlands - Small satellites: further aspects for the

development of a future agenda item.

Following proposals from 12 CEPT members, WRC12 decided to place the

subject of nanosatellites and picosatellites on the WRC19 agenda for

adoption at WRC15.

Considering that most bands currently used for satellite telemetry

and command such as the 2200-2290MHz SRS/SOS/EESS allocation are

heavily crowded, the growth in numbers of small satellites launched

offers new challenges which were not faced before. Therefore, the

proposal for AI 10 is to invite ITU-R in the forthcoming study period

to identify additional allocations to the space operation service

within the 137MHz-960MHz range.

This frequency range is suitable for small satellites since it offers

favourable propagation characteristics while allowing moderately complex

antenna systems and antenna pointing requirements on board the satellite.


Registrations in the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend were

higher this year from the major seafaring nations of Australia, England

and Germany, adding to growth from Bulgaria, Canada, Cuba, France, Portugal

and Scotland.

The ILLW on August 15-16 had 506 registrations, from 32 countries, the

magic number 500 registration was from Michael Sealfon WA 2 OCG at

Alki Point Lighthouse, which marks the southern entrance to Seattle's

Elliott Bay in Washington USA.

An outstanding result came from Cuba that had 13 registrations, and may be

due to the normalisation of its relationship with the USA.

A lot of good fun was had, with some participants having heightened

public interest in the history of old navigation structures and

Amateur Radio.

(sourced to vk3pc)


IHS = www.groups.Yahoo.com/group/IHSradio/

IHS = www.IHSOFMN.org

PHARMACISTS = www.malpensa.it/iphg

Medical Amateur Radio Council www.marco-ltd.org/

In Mississippi, USA, a George County hospital director wants to tap into

the amateur radio world in order to assist in emergency communication

George Regional Health System assistant safety director Harold Murphy

KG 5 HGT got his Technician license at amateur radio training hosted by

the Mississippi Hospital Association's Emergency Preparedness Program.

Amateur radio has been used by volunteers and local responders to save lives

when regular forms of communications fail.

Murphy said he knows the importance of alternative communications during

major disasters, as he has worked as a safety professional in several states

and experienced most everything that mother nature can dish out.

His experiences include devastation from snow storms, floods, hail,

earthquakes, fires, mudslides, ice storms and tornadoes. He also weathered

hurricanes Katrina and Ivan.

Read the full story at:-



Sep 12 VK4 SUNFEST Woombye

Sep 25-27 VK4 CHARC AGM Weekend Camp Fairbairn near Emerald

Oct 2-5 VK4 Cardwell Gathering, Beachcomber Motel and Tourist Park

Oct 25 VK3 Ballarat Amateur Radio Group Hamvention Greyhound Track

Oct 25 VK4 Gold Coast HamFest Broadbeach

Nov VK3 QRP By the Bay details from VK3YE held 2nd Saturday


Feb 13 VK3 MERC HamFest 10am at Werribee Masonic Centre

Feb 28 VK3 EMDRC HamFest Great Ryrie Primary School Heathmont.

Ap-May 29- 2 VK4 Clairview Gathering check Mackay ARS website. (theTARCinc)

Jun 11-13 VK5 VK Foxhunting Championship & SERG convention Mt Gambier (VK5HCF)

July 19 VK3 GippsTech 2016 Churchill

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================================================== ===========================

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