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2008 Magazines

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Amateur Radio November 2008

Delivery expected from 5 November

Editorial

Club advertising in AR

Many Clubs have come to expect that an advertisement can be placed in AR, at no cost to the Club. Some Clubs seem to expect that an advertisement can be run for several issues. Other Clubs, especially those running large events, may wish to purchase space for their promotional material. Several Clubs request loose-leaf inserts to be printed and included with the magazine prior to posting.

The preparation and inclusion of such material has a cost which is predominantly hidden in the cost of producing AR. The situation is slightly different for inserts, where Clubs currently do pay for the printing of the inserts.

Both PubCom and the Board are sympathetic to the needs of Clubs, and we feel that we should provide some clarity on the situation. Accordingly, PubCom plans to recommend a final draft “Club Advertising Policy” at its November meeting. The recommendation will then be forwarded to the Board for approval. Once approved, the policy will be circulated to all affiliated clubs and posted to the WIA website.

I believe that most members of the WIA would agree that running an advertisement of a reasonable size once per year at no cost to a Club is a reasonable provision. The Policy will clearly indicate what Clubs can expect – the maximum size, the frequency of placement, preparation costs and so on.

PubCom intends that the policy will come into effect as of the January/February 2009 issue of AR.

Those pesky faux pas

We all make mistakes occasionally, for we are all human. When one is busy, you sometimes do not check things as thoroughly as you should. Mea culpa!

I think that most readers will clearly see one example of me missing something that should not have been missed: look at the Inside Back Cover of the October issue of AR – the captions of the two lower photographs should be swapped. Yes, I made an error when sending off the material and then we missed it at proofing! Sorry folks.

And then on page 16 of October AR, we failed to recognise that the schematic (Figure 4) was not large enough to ensure that it would reproduce adequately when printed. The schematics have been available for download on the AR website since I became aware of the fault – see the October 2008 issue page.
We have been striving to improve our preparation and proofing processes and will continue to do so. But remember, we are all human!

Office move

The WIA office will be moving later this month. Details are included elsewhere in this issue and the WIA website will be updated at the appropriate time. The new premises are in Bayswater – I am told that the location is not far from “The Toy Shop” – as a well known retail amateur radio equipment outlet is fondly referred to by many amateurs in Melbourne.

I am sure that the new venue will greatly improve the circumstances for the WIA staff and volunteers. The plans include the operation of WIA Bookshop sales from the office. But more detail will come at a later time. I hope to be able to provide a story on the new premises, including some photos, in a future issue – probably our January/February issue, given that the move will occur when December AR will be in the final stages of preparation.

73, Peter VK3KAI

Cover

The West Australian DX Chasers Club (DXCC) voyaged to the little known and never before activated wildlife preserve Faure Island (IOTA OC-206) in Shark Bay about 900 km north of Perth. Overcoming cyclonic weather and flies, they made many contacts and also had time to assist with resarch into indigenous fauna. Read about it on page 27.

Photo by Jo Williams.

Table Of Contents

GENERAL

Wheelchairs are not barriers, Ian Gray VK2IGS, Nominated Assessor
Learn CW online, Stephan Forka VK5RZ
ARRL invites nominations for 2008 International Humanitarian Award
The DX pileup — how it works and how to work it, Frank C. Getz N3FG
WICEN heads south for the Oceania, Roger Nichols VK7ARN
Hills Amateur Radio Group – The first ten years, Keith Bainbridge VK6XH
DX Chasers Club - Faure Island DXpedition, 2008, John Sparkes VK6JX

TECHNICAL

A loading/tuning coil for 137 kHz antennas, Drew Diamond VK3XU
Antenna tuners – how we tested, John Morrissey VK3ZRX
A DC-DC converter, Dale Hughes VK1DSH
Modified wood-working drills for sheet aluminium, Drew Diamond VK3XU
Working with SMDs, Grant McDuling VK4JAZ

DX Chasers Club - Faure Island DXpedition, 2008

Author: John Sparkes VK6JX

Those readers who enjoy HF DXing will enjoy this story, of the DXpedition to Faure Island (IOTA OC-206) by an adventurous group of VK6 amateurs.

It is all the more interesting given the island, having been cleared of all introduced animal species, is a reservation for indigenous animals, and whilst on the island there was some voluntary contribution from members of the group to achieve some of the pressing goals of the owners of the island, the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.

Hills Amateur Radio Group – The first ten years

Author: Keith Bainbridge VK6XH

The author, with the help of information gathered by others, details in brief outline some of the highlights of the first ten years of the Hills Amateur Radio Group (HARG).

No doubt, to those who were involved, or who knew people involved, this article will drive some nostalgic memories – and why not, as successful eras within any Club or organisation are always the subject of many fond memories.

The article was driven as a result of the HARG re-creating itself recently, after a period of relative inactivity, and provides brief but interesting, ‘day to day’ detail of a proud era of WA amateur radio club history.

A loading/tuning coil for 137 kHz antennas

Author: Drew Diamond VK3XU

‘Doubtless the most significant and difficult challenge for the urban amateur intent on doing some low frequency (LF) transmission is the antenna problem. Few of us have access to a pair of 30 m masts spaced hundreds of metres apart, or a nearly ideal ground through the steel hull of a ship, for instance.’

So does Drew introduce his article, in doing so briefly discussing both the theoretical and practical challenges of developing a LF antenna of acceptable performance, in the average suburban back yard; then literally showing us how to build a reasonably efficient coil of adequate dimensions using easy to acquire materials and simple tools, to provide a level of inductance capable in order to present a resistive load to the transmitter.

As usual, Drew makes the task look relatively easy. However, as always, his methodology is exacting and his workmanship superior. This article is a recommended read for all those builders who may be contemplating LF operations sometime in the future.

Antenna tuners – how we tested

Author: John Morrissey VK3ZRX

In this article, the author explains in some technical detail the tests actually undertaken on the tuner in question, and others, the test set-ups and equipment used, and how the test equipment itself was verified.

Some of the areas discussed include the creation of the loads and impedance transformation, line length measurement, and measurement of power, and how to achieve optimum test integrity in each of these areas.

Not for the technically challenged, but for the many builders in the amateur radio hobby family, a most interesting read.

Advertisers Index

 54 Av-com
 33 WIA Bookshop
 11 City Online (G White)
 9 Com-an-tena
 OBC Icom
 54, 55 Small ads
 8 TET-Emtron
 17, 55 TTS
 IFC Vertex

 


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