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2007 Magazines

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Amateur Radio October 2007

Monday 8 October 2007

Editorial

Anniversaries

The Space Age commenced 50 years ago. In October 1957, the USSR launched Sputnik, the first Earth-orbiting satellite. In this issue, Gerry Wild VK6GW gives us a brief report on receiving the “beep-beep” signal from the satellite, together with images of his Russian QSL card. Without the Space Race, one wonders if our technology would have developed as quickly as it has over the past 50 years.

2007 marks two significant milestones for the Scout movement: 100 years since it was founded by Baden-Powell and, this month, 50 years of Jamboree on the Air (JOTA). Over the years, many amateurs will have assisted with JOTA in some way. Some will have participated as Scouts or Guides.

The JOTA event has been expanded in recent years to include JOTI – Jamboree on the Internet. I believe that we should not view JOTI as a challenger, rather as another medium that complements amateur radio activity – after all, many amateurs already use the Internet to enhance their radio activities. The challenge for us all is to expose Scouts and Guides to amateur radio. At the least, their engagement might see them sufficiently interested to undertake the tasks required to earn another “badge”. Some may even become interested enough in the hobby to consider taking out a licence.

In this issue, we have two reports from the Scouts Australia JOTA/JOTI coordinator, Bob Bristow VK6POP. One reports on the activities in Perth associated with the 100th anniversary celebrations in early August. The other gives us a brief outline of the history of JOTA.

I am aware that many amateurs will be busy preparing for the JOTA weekend – 50 hours duration planned for this year to celebrate 50 years. Surely some amateurs will be sending in reports of their JOTA/JOTI activities? Given our production deadlines, any such reports are likely to appear in the December issue.

A small number of reports have been received on the International Lighthouse/ Lightship Weekend. It is anticipated that these reports will be published in the November issue, whilst some brief news is mentioned in some of the news items this month.

Preparations continue
Whilst some are preparing for JOTA, others are thinking about one or more of the upcoming contests. As the days grow longer and warmer for the southern states, November sees the first of the Field Day contests in VK – the Spring VHF/UHF Field Day. Check out the Rules elsewhere in this issue – there are some changes other than just the dates.

More importantly for the future of the hobby, many amateurs from around the world are preparing for the World Radio Conference (WRC-07) to be held in Geneva. Whilst the potential outcomes may not seem to be significant to many, it is important that we have a presence to at least preserve our current frequency allocations. As we have reported earlier this year, amateur radio in general is represented by the IARU. Many nations, including Australia, have been willing to include an amateur in their formal delegation, giving us opportunities for expressing our views in a more powerful manner. A proportion of the WIA membership fee contributes to the expenses involved in participating in these important forums. If we make any gains in privileges internationally, it will be as a result of these representations.

Further refinements of the WIA structure

October 1 sees the commencement of the new WIA state and territory Advisory Committees. If you are unsure of the membership for your area, see the WIA News column in the September issue of AR or the WIA website.

For Clubs, it is important that you have considered the new training and assessment structure, as Invigilators are about to be removed. Make sure that all your appropriate members have registered for the new system with Assessors and Learning Organisers. Again, details can be found on the WIA website.

73 Peter VK3KAI

Table Of Contents

Page 7: A RF quiet light using 1W LEDs - Dale Hughes, VK1DSH
Page 10: A simple CW audio filter - Peter Wathen VK3EPW.
Page 11: A memorable eyeball - Ron Holmes VK5VH
Page 12: A precision sheet metal bender for around $40 - Jim Tregellas VK5JST
Page 19: Mobile whip for 40 metres - Ron Holmes VK5VH
Page 21: Scouts have been talking for 50 years - Bob Bristow VK6POP
Page 22: Scouts celebrate 100 years - Bob Bristow VK6POP

Plus all the usual columns.

A memorable eyeball

Ron Holmes VK5VH

Ron relates the story of how he organised to meet with a friend made though contacts on the amateur bands whilst on a trip to the US. It turned out that his quiet, unassuming and welcoming friend was a key figure in a major corporation with an international reputation. Amateur radio can really break down perceived barriers.

Scouts have been talking for 50 years

Bob Bristow VK6POP

Now in its 50th year, Jamboree On The Air has grown in popularity and is now, along with Jamboree On The Internet, the largest international Scouting event in the world. Around 500,000 Scouts and Guides take part in this global event every year. Bob gives us an overview of the history of this event.

A RF quiet light using 1W LEDs

Dale Hughes VK1DSH

Need an efficient, battery-power light for operating portable or independent of mains power that is also quiet, in both the auditory and RF sense? Then this project from Dale Hughes VK1DSH is probably just the item for you to tackle. Simple too!

A precision sheet metal bender for around $40

Jim Tregellas VK5JST

How often have you wanted a custom-made box for that special electronic project? If you’ve ever tried to fold a piece of aluminium in a vice using a couple of bits of angle iron, a lump of wood and a hammer, then you’ll know there has to be a better method, because this is a great way to waste good material.

The better method is called a finger folder, and professional units cost well over $2000. They are designed to fold 1.6 mm steel in widths of up to one metre, and for electronic hobbyist purposes, are complete over-kill. Almost every special purpose box you’ll ever want has dimensions of less than 400 mm on any axis and can be made of either 0.8 or 1 mm aluminium. Jim Tregellas VK5JST describes a folder that addresses that need cheaply but very adequately.

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