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2007 Magazines

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Amateur Radio May 2007


WIA – structure and response times

A few instances in recent weeks prompt me to write about the structure of the WIA and its operations.

Unlike our counterparts, the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) in the UK and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) in the US, the WIA is largely run by volunteers. We have a very small paid staff manning the Institute office, who are supported by several part-time volunteers. All the other work is done by volunteers.

In the case of the paid office staff members, there is a limit to the amount of work that can be completed in their paid working week. The office volunteers assist in the volume of work that can be completed in any given week. The entire office operation does very well, in my opinion, in addressing the demands placed upon it. There may be occasional delays or hiccups, but all concerned are striving to do their best with the systems that are currently in place. I am aware that the WIA Board is striving to improve all operational systems of the Institute, but such changes take planning and time to ensure smooth implementation.

Almost all other tasks conducted “by the WIA” are undertaken by volunteers, including the Board members. Some of these volunteers may be retired, but many are still engaged in full or part time paid employment. Regardless of their employment status, members cannot expect an unlimited amount of time to be made available to undertake WIA tasks, be they planning of the next “big thing”, or answering a question received via email.

Yes, we often may be able to give a very rapid response to a query received via email. If the timing is right, a rapid response gives an answer quickly. Many now expect that the rapid response is the norm – is this acceptable? I do not think so.

I am aware, via a second hand but reliable source, that one member sent a query to our President on Good Friday. By Easter Monday, he had not received a reply, so sent an email complaining about the “slow response” to the WIA office. Of course, the office staff members were not at work on the Friday, Monday or Tuesday, as those days were Public Holidays for them.

I really think that members should think carefully about their expectations. I trust that most would agree with me that the above instance was far from reasonable. Even volunteers cannot be expected to be available to respond at all times, and will need to have some time away from this organisation.

Membership and benefits

We are hearing news of the preparations that many IARU societies are making for the next World Radio Conference. This WRC in November this year is particularly important because the agenda includes matters that directly impact on the amateur radio service. And there is always the risk of loss of spectrum. Many national amateur societies have very good relations with their national administration and are fortunate to be able to nominate a knowledgeable amateur as part of the formal government team at these conferences, if they bear the cost of that amateur’s participation.

Australia is such a country.

In between these important international meetings, our national society – yes, the WIA – constantly interacts with the ACMA. Interactions include issues such as the balance of the amendments to the Amateur LCD, Australian participation in the CEPT visitor licence arrangements, two-letter callsigns, representing amateurs impacted by the deployment of BPL systems, amongst other issues. There is an ongoing requirement for a reasonable, technically sound voice to represent the interests of amateurs to the regulator and to government.

One could easily compare the WIA to a union, in many respects. Yes, I know that our current industrial relations regime tries to minimise the impact of unions, but many workers still rely on the power of collective bargaining in many aspects of their relationship between themselves and their employer. When a collective agreement can be reached, the outcomes are usually better for all (as opposed to some) in the workplace. If a collective agreement can be achieved, the beneficial outcomes apply to all at the workplace. The same applies in this hobby – the benefits of the negotiations between the WIA and the ACMA apply to all amateurs. However, it is only the members that contribute to the costs of achieving those outcomes. This is hardly equitable, in the Australian sense of sharing and mateship. Are you a member and contributing YOUR share? Or are you on the outside, often sniping about “what should be done” and not contributing in any constructive manner? For most readers, the answer to the first question will be “yes”. What about your amateur friends? Remember, there is strength in numbers – the larger the proportion of Australian amateurs that are members of the WIA, the more powerful is its voice.


Table Of Contents


Page 5 - What, yet another ATV record attempt? Dan VK2GG and Jack VK2TRF
Page 26 - International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend Kevin Mulcahy VK2CE
Page 27 - The way we were Steve VK5AIM
Page 28 - YL Meet in India Gwen Tilson VK3DYL
Page 31 - Advisory Committees David Wardlaw VK3ADW
Page 40 - QSL cards from the WIA National QSL Collection Ken Matchett VK3TL
Page 52 - The art of QSLing Eddie DeYoung VK4AN
Page 53 - What would you have said? Jinkin (Jay) Frame


Page 6 - The VK5BUG ‘BlackBelter’ A 160/80 m hybrid vertical aerial for suburbia David ‘Doc’ Wescombe-Down VK5BUG
Page 11 - A beam position indicator project John Drew VK5DJ
Page 21 - Equipment Review Yaesu FT-2000 HF – 6 m transceiver Ron Fisher VK3OM and Bill Roper VK3BR
Page 37 - 160 metre noise cancelling AR, (April 2007, pp 14-16) Mick Hort VK2BZE

International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend

Author: Kevin Mulcahy VK2CE

The International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend, held in August each year, is becoming a popular non-competitive event for individuals and clubs.

As the local regional coordinator, Kevin explains the genesis of the event and how you can become involved. Be sure to look at the official website:

Read the story - it is available for download at the bottom of this page.

YL Meet in India

Author: Gwen Tilson VK3DYL

Gwen Tilson made the effort to attend the 8th International YL Meeting, held in Mumbai. The meeting went off very well under the direction of Sarla VU2SWS, and Gwen describes her impressions of the trip.

You can download the story at the bottom of this page.

A beam position indicator project

John Drew VK5DJ

John Drew describes a complete azimuth and elevation readout system that outputs to array driving motors. Motor movement may be initiated by either front panel switches, internal calculations of moon or sun positions, or by external computer control.

The shack unit may find use as a replacement for lost or broken rotator controllers.

This is truly an impressive system that John has developed.

Equipment Review: Yaesu FT-2000 HF – 6 m transceiver

Author: Ron Fisher VK3OM and Bill Roper VK3BR

The much anticipated FT-2000 is the replacement for the FT-1000 series of transceivers. The FT-1000 and the FT-1000 MP have previously been reviewed in Amateur Radio. This transceiver is a worthy successor.

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Files For Download

International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend
AR May 2007 - Lighthouse.pdf

YL Meet in India
AR May 2007 - IndiaYL_Meet.pdf

Page Last Updated: Saturday 2 February 2008 at 16:40 hours


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