Weekly news from the WIA:
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Aug 23rd - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING AUG 23 2015.
IN OUR 20TH YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS.
WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH and GPS Locked Beacons. -
WIA ANZAC 100 commemoration in the news. -
DATV WORLD QSO PARTY - ALARA CONTEST - VK3 PARKS AWARD and much much more.
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA 2015 AND FOR WEEK OF AUGUST 23
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
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)
WIA BOARD TALK
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
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
How does this affect you?
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
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.
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
Full duplex! Bristol boffins demo TX and Rx on the same frequency - at the
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
AMATEUR RADIO NEWSLINE - DXING WITH WHEELS
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."
AMATEUR RADIO NEWSLINE - LONG DISTANCE CALLER
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.
OPERATIONAL NEWS 2015
ALARA YL CONTEST
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.
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 6 - 7
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.
SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS, DX, BEACON REPEATER AND NET ADVICE
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)
BROADCAST MONITORING SWL AND SCANNER NEWS
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,
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)
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- CW
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
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- FEMALES IN RADIO
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"
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- FINAL FRONTIER
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.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ILLW
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
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
(sourced to vk3pc)
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- MEDICAL
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:-
SOCIAL SCENE 2015
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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