Amateur Radio March 2007
Almost at the end of February and weather continues to be a hot topic. In Gippsland and North-Eastern Victoria, the large “Great Divide” ﬁres appear to be out and the clean up has commenced. Other states have also had signiﬁcant ﬁres. Unfortunately, the southern states face at least another month of high ﬁre danger, with much of the country looking extremely dry. On the other hand, we are seeing extremely high rainfalls in the north, as the wet season progresses.
These weather extremes present challenges for all, including amateurs. The more extreme events are likely to cause signiﬁcant damage via either ﬁre or ﬂood and it is possible that emergency communications support may be required. This issue has reports on such involvement – one on recent WICEN involvement in the Great Divide ﬁres and another on the fortieth anniversary of amateur involvement in support of the ﬁght against ﬁre in Tasmania in 1967. As the Scouts say, we should all “Be Prepared”.
AGM & Elections
With this issue is a comprehensive set of information and reports for the Annual General Meeting, to be held in Parkes in May. Members will need to consider the reports. You can still be involved in the meeting, even if not physically present, through an open or a directed proxy.
I understand that an election for Directors is to be held. I urge members to consider carefully how they exercise their vote. How do you decide who should receive your support? I suggest that we should be looking for those that have the time, skills and experience to contribute to the WIA. These attributes must be present in a candidate, if we are to elect him or her to the Board. It is all too easy to simply consider geographical location or area of interest. But in the long run, will this produce a Director who will give maximum beneﬁt to the hobby?
The Publications Committee is attempting to plan out a series of equipment reviews. Our approach may be a little different to those that we have conducted in the past – we may not necessarily conduct a suite of technical measurements, as modern methods tend to produce a product that meets the claimed speciﬁcations. As well as considering transceivers, we intend to consider other items such as antenna “tuners” and other station accessories. If you have any suggestions, advise the committee through its Secretary, Ernie Walls VK3FM, at firstname.lastname@example.org
In this issue
A large part of this issue is devoted to an article on the on-line IPS Propagation Prediction Tools, by Stephen Arnold VK2SJA. Stephen has put in considerable effort and received signiﬁcant assistance from staff at the IPS. I reinforce our collective thanks for the assistance freely given. While he has good computer skills, Stephen was a newcomer to the on-line prediction tools. I trust that those of you who need propagation predictions ﬁnd the article useful in exploring these excellent on-line tools. Many local libraries provide free access to the internet; with a little effort, you can have an up to date set of predictions using the latest data.
I also thank Roger Harrison VK2ZRH for supplying the excellent cover photograph and description, in response to my approach for suggestions for something suitable to support Stephen’s article. As noted elsewhere, the photo was sourced from NASA.
Neil Sandford VK2EI describes a simple method for the production of printed circuit boards for that next project. Paul Stampton VK3IH presents a review of the latest edition of Radio Theory Handbook by Fred Swainston VK3DAC. Among the reports from our regular club contributors and columnists, we see the results for the major VHF/UHF contests for the year – the Ross Hull Memorial VHF/UHF Contest and the Summer VHF/UHF Field Day. I must say that I was very pleasantly surprised with the outcome of the Ross Hull – you never know what can happen if you submit your log as an entry!
Do not forget the John Moyle Memorial National Field Day on March 17 and 18 – go out somewhere and have some radio fun, even if only for a few hours. Then take the small extra effort to complete the entry for the Contest and submit your information to Denis Johnstone VK4AIG/VK3ZUX.
Table Of Contents
Page 5 - Review of Fred Swainston’s Radio Theory Handbook Paul Stampton VK3IH
Page 14 - WICEN: The voice of the bushfire fight Graeme Scott VK2KE
Page 17 - Our friend and foe Roger Harrison VK2ZRH
Page 23 - Visit “The Dish” Robert Broomhead VK3KRB
Page 27 - Mountains of Fun! Andy Sayers VK2AES
Page 40 - QSLs of the WIA National QSL Collection Ken Matchett VK3TL, Hon Curator
Page 47 - What would you have said? Jinkin (Jay) Frame
Page 6 - Ionospheric Prediction Service (IPS) Tools Stephen Arnold VK2SJA
Page 19 - Simple production of printed circuit boards Neil Sandford VK2EI
Review of Fred Swainston’s Radio Theory Handbook
Author: Paul Stampton VK3IH
A teacher and radio amateur involved to introducing newcomers to amateur radio, Paul reviews the second edition of the "Radio Theory Handbook" by Fred Swainston.
You can read Paul's thoughts on this textbook by downloading the article - see the link below.
WICEN: The voice of the bushfire fight
Author: Graeme Scott VK2KE
As an active WICEN member, Graeme Scott (aka "Scotty") describes his experiences when he was called out to assist with communications support at one of the fire control centres during the horrific Alpine fires during the 2006/2007 summer.
Ionospheric Prediction Service (IPS) Tools
Author: Stephen Arnold VK2SJA
Stephen Arnold took up a challenge from the Editor: he learnt how to use the excellent on-line tools available at the Ionospheric Prediction Service in Sydney and then sat down to write a detailed set of notes describing the tools and how you can use them.
Simple production of printed circuit boards
Author: Neil Sandford VK2EI
Neil describes a method for reproducing high quality printed circuit boards that is relatively easy.
Starting with the artwork from you favourite magazine or web-site, all you need is a photocopier (or scanner and laser printer) and some extras, plus some time to access the oven in the kitchen. After that, into the laundry (or outside) to etch the board. Almost done! Just drill the holes, then you are ready to start building the project. Neil explains it all, showing that even a reasonably critical Low Noise Amplifier board at 2.4 GHz can be produced in the kitchen and laundry.
Australian Enterprise Industrial (One Man Tower)
Andrews Communications Systems
G & C Communications
Hamak Electrical Industries (RM Products Italy)
Jackson Brothers (Components)
Jenlex - filters
Newtek Electronics (Amidon Ferromagnetic Cores)
TTS Systems Communications Equipment
Vertex Standard - Yaesu
Files For Download
Page Last Updated: Saturday 2 February 2008 at 15:35 hours