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2011 Magazines

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Amateur Radio August 2011

Delivery expected from July 22

Editorial

Milestones

August sees two amateurs reach a very significant milestone – their 100th birthday.

We feature one of these amateurs on the cover – Wally Green VK6WG. As you will see from the accompanying story, Wally has been an active amateur for a long time, and has held significant distance records on VHF, UHF and microwave bands. Many of these records stood for a very long time and were made with homemade equipment. Wally is still a very sought after contact, with many stations in the eastern half of the continent looking to the west when it looks like conditions may exist for tropospheric ducting across the Great Australian Bight.

I am also aware that Pierce Healy VK2APQ also “hits the ton” in the middle of August. I am aware that Peter Wolfenden VK3RV recently paid Pierce a visit for an interview, so I am sure that we will be able to publish a story about Pierce in an upcoming issue of AR. Pierce has been very prominent in amateur radio matters in VK2 over the years.

Congratulations go to both of these prominent amateurs on reaching this significant milestone.

A busy weekend

I have just returned from a local venue where around 70 amateurs gathered for a social meal prior to GippsTech 2011. The last week or so has been busy in finalising preparations for the event, for all the members of the Eastern Zone ARC committee.

We are expecting just over 100 amateurs to attend the conference this year. We have a packed program of technical presentations, but with hopefully enough breaks to facilitate the informal discussions that are an integral part of a gathering of likeminded individuals. In addition to the technical program, a number of amateurs are accompanied by their partners, who will participate in their own program.

The weather in Gippsland is looking to be bleak for the weekend – we have a series of cold fronts coming through, with strong winds coming from the far south. These conditions may impact the partners’ tour, but should not be a problem for the amateurs at the technical program – I trust that the heating system will be working correctly for the weekend!

Hopefully one of the attendees may prepare a report on the weekend’s activities so that interested readers can share the experience from a distance.

During the weekend, it will be my pleasure to present our regular columnist David Smith VK3HZ with the Al Shawsmith Award for Journalism, announced at the AGM in Darwin. David writes the VHF/UHF –An Expanding World column, focussing on weak signal communications, with support from Brian VK5BC for 6 m activity and Rex VK7MO on matters digital.

New arrangements for contributions to AR

At its last meeting, the Publications Committee (PubCom) decided that all articles, columns and Club news items should be submitted through a single gateway – via the PubCom Secretary. The Secretary is Ernie Walls VK3FM, who can be reached through the email address armag@wia.org.au

All advertising should be submitted through the Advertising Manager using the address admanager@wia.org.au

Electronic submissions are preferred for all contributions, as it reduces the workload on our team of volunteers. If in doubt, look at the guidelines for contribution to the magazine, available on the WIA website at http://www.wia.org.au/members/armag/contributing/

Everyone is reminded that all material for an issue of AR must be submitted by the first day of the month prior to the cover date of the magazine when the item should appear.

For example, for an item to appear in the September issue of AR, the material should be with us by August 1. Regular contributors have a more detailed schedule which does ask for regular contributions to occasionally be submitted a few days earlier. But the absolute deadline, if we are to maintain adherence to our production schedule, must be the first of the month prior to publication.

These details are included in the left-hand column on page 1 of each issue of AR, with the details updated commencing with this issue.

Editor changes email

Effective immediately, I can be reached through a new email address: editor@wia.org.au

The old address will continue to operate for a period, but please change your address book to the new address as soon as possible.

Cheers,

Peter VK3PF

This month’s cover

This month our feature article is a report on Wally Green VK6WG, who is approaching his 100th birthday. The main photo shows Wally’s antennas, and clearly reveals his interest in frequencies VHF and above. These dishes are permanently pointing East, in the direction of South Australia and Victoria, thousands of kilometres away. The inset photo shows Wally smiling alongside a recently constructed portable dish for 10 GHz. Both photos by Doug Friend VK4OE.

WIA President's Comment

The IARU

Recently we have stressed the importance of the ITU, the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations agency responsible, among other things, for the coordination of the radio spectrum. Most countries are Member States of the ITU, which exists by way of a treaty between the countries, and by which they generally agree to be bound by ITU decisions in respect of the use of the radio spectrum.

The ITU is divided into 3 sectors, Radiocommunication (ITU-R) which is the most important sector for us, Development (ITU-D) and Standardisation (ITU-T).

The amateur services exist by virtue of the treaty between nations that is the ITU’s Radio Regulations. It is the “amateur services” because the Radio Regulations defines both the “amateur service” and the “amateur-satellite service”. The Radio Regulations set out the basic regulations that govern the amateur services, as well as the frequency bands the amateur services can use, though it is up to each country to apply those treaty provisions through their national laws.

The Radio Regulations are reviewed and revised by the ITU’s World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRC) held every four or five years, in accordance with agendas set by previous WRCs.

Because the Radio Regulations is a treaty between countries, it is the 192 ITU Member States, the countries that are the members of the ITU, which participate in a WRC.

The process leading to a WRC is lengthy, and a little convoluted.

And, if a position is lost during that process, it is probably true to say it is not going to be recovered.

Each agenda item for a WRC is studied by one or more ITU-R Study Groups or Working Parties, ultimately leading to the formulation of the technical options that could meet the particular agenda item.

But at the same time, the Regional Telecommunication Organisations, the RTOs, such as the Asia Pacific Telecommunity, prepare through their own series of meetings of countries to adopt positions for the next WRC that are common for the countries in region.

How, in this long running and complex process, do the radio amateurs protect their interests?

The answer is, in fact, in two ways.

Critical to the representation of the amateur interest is the International Amateur Radio Union, the IARU. The IARU was formed in 1925 and its members are the national amateur radio societies in each country. It is a federation of national radio societies, with an International Secretariat provided by the US national amateur radio society, the ARRL.

The IARU is a recognised international telecommunication organisation, and as such is Sector Member of the ITU-R, and also the ITU-D.

As a Sector Member, the IARU participates in the various ITU-R and ITU-D meetings that affect directly, or could indirectly affect the amateur services. The IARU participates in ITU-D meetings because that is where emergency communications are addressed and ITU-R meetings because they directly lead to a WRC, including the ITU-R Study Groups and Working Parties that deal with agenda items for a WRC that directly or indirectly affect the amateur services.

The IARU includes the three IARU Regional organisations of IARU member societies in each of the three ITU defined Regions.

The three IARU Regional organisations represent the amateur services to the RTOs in their region, and also provide two members each of the IARU’s Administrative Council, which meets annually and which formulates broad IARU policy.

Because it is not a “country”, the IARU is an observer at a WRC, where its role is to inform and, to an extent, coordinate.

It is through the regional IARU organisations that the national radio societies participate directly in the IARU, in our case through the IARU Region 3. The WIA contributes to IARU by paying a subscription, currently 65 Yen (around 75 Australian cents) for each “transmitting member”. In addition, the WIA participates in the IARU Region 3 Conferences held every three years, which is the opportunity to contribute directly to IARU policy, involving the costs of its representatives.

The other way that amateurs protect their interests is directly through their own national amateur radio society.

Many countries, including Australia, accept the national amateur radio society as a participant in the national preparation process for a WRC or at least take into account the representations of their national amateur radio society in formulating their position for a WRC.

Some countries, including Australia, accept the nomination of their national amateur radio society of an appropriately qualified amateur as member of the national delegation to the RTO’s meetings, the ITU preparatory meetings and a WRC.

Only some countries take this position, and only some national radio societies can afford to meet the quite high costs involved, because it is the society and not the government that meets the costs involved.

It is obvious that the national amateur radio societies cannot each put a position that is different from each other society. To succeed, in this whole long and complex process, national societies must put common positions, and it is through the IARU that common positions can be developed, and through the IARU that these positions can be put to the Study Groups and Working Parties and to the different RTOs.

The WIA nominates its representatives for the Australian national preparatory processes and on Australian national delegations and meets its representative’s travel and accommodation expenses.

That expense would not be justified if our representatives were working in a vacuum, without having a basic position consistent with the position being put by the amateurs in other countries.

Its Constitution defines the primary role of the WIA as being “to promote, advance and represent in any way it thinks fit Amateur Radio and the interests of Radio Amateurs”. The WIA could not effectively do that in the forum that ultimately matters most, a WRC, without the IARU, as collectively we can best protect our existing spectrum access and develop common position on new spectrum allocations.


Table Of Contents

GENERAL

Wally Green VK6WG Wally Howse VK6KZ
G’day Old Timer! What’s in a name - plenty or nothing? Ian Godsil VK3JS
Parkes Radio Club and VK2BPK are back Phil Derbyshire VK2FIL
CCARC at Mersey Bluff Lighthouse Keith Winkler VK7KW
Six months on Willis Island David Burton VK4DAV/ VK9WBM
Gridsquare Standings at 17 June 2011 49 Guy Fletcher VK2KU

TECHNICAL
Foundation Corner 16 – Test equipment (for the F-call) in the 21st century: Home brewing revisited! Geoff Emery VK4ZPP
Home brewing a mobile HF antenna John McLean VK2KC
Building an 80 metre magnetic loop antenna for your attic - part 2 Jim Tregellas VK5JST

Plus all the usual Club news and columns

Wally Green VK6WG

Wally Howse VK6KZ

One of Australia’s leading proponents of UHF and above (far, far above) Wally Green VK6WG, turns 100 years of age this 11 August, 2011.

The article is a tribute to his life in general, and in amateur radio in particular, highlighting his many genuinely world class exploits over very many years, from the relatively ‘obscure’ location of Albany, in Western Australia.

You will enjoy the read about one of this country’s truly great amateurs.

Parkes Radio Club and VK2BPK are back

Phil Derbyshire VK2FIL

Radio clubs are often described as the lifeblood of amateur radio, places where people of like mind and hobby can congregate to exchange views, teach and be taught, and have fun.

This article is a short contribution on the reforming of a radio club in central west NSW, and of their first adventure, in the JMFD.

Good luck to them into the future.

Building an 80 metre magnetic loop antenna for your attic Part 2

Jim Tregellas VK5JST

This month we conclude the article on building a magnetic loop antenna for the 80 m band, by well-known author Jim VK5JST.


Foundation Corner 16 – Test equipment (for the F-call) in the 21st century: Home brewing revisited!

Geoff Emery VK4ZPP

This is another article in the series Foundation Corner , articles directed primarily at Foundation level licensees but generally of interest to all amateurs because they quite often recall fundamental facts that may have become ‘fuzzy’ in one’s mind with the passage of time.
This article looks at constructing a modest but effective homebrew spectrum analyser, utilising the shack computer, to enable the operator to visually inspect his transmitted signal and, if considered necessary, to make changes that will show some improvement.

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Page Last Updated: Wednesday 27 July 2011 at 21:8 hours

 

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