Amateur Radio July 2011
Delivery expected from June 24
Another successful Annual Conference
From all reports, the WIA Annual Conference in Darwin was a success. Congratulations go to all involved. You will find several articles outlining the events and key outcomes in this issue, including a sample of photographs from the event.
There was not much time between the events in Darwin and the production deadline for this issue – only a few days. Many thanks go to all who have contributed material so that we could publish some reports.
Personally, I am sure that many members will be pleased with the decision to announce the following year’s conference venue and dates during the current year’s event. So everyone can now pencil the dates in your diary for next May and consider if there is a means of making your way to Mildura. I can assure you all that the local amateurs are a very friendly and hospitable bunch. A few years ago I was in Mildura for a couple of days for work. I was browsing the local tourist information centre and ran into an amateur who had made the trip to Churchill for GippsTech a year or two earlier. We exchanged a few words – he was in the middle of a job – and then said our farewells. Before I had made my way back to the hotel, I had been called on the mobile phone and invited out to dinner with a small group of amateurs. The invitation was a surprise, and the dinner most enjoyable.
We have been able to prepare a review of a new radio for this issue – the IC-9100. I must thank Michael VK3KH for accepting the invitation to “have a go” at something very new for him. I am sure that he was attracted by the prospect of playing with a new radio, especially one including all the bands to the 23 cm band. I certainly found the radio to be an excellent performer – I also had the pleasure of exploring the transceiver’s performance. It was certainly tempting to not return the radio! As noted in the article, we sincerely thank Icom Australia for allowing us to borrow the radio.
I trust that you, the readers, find the review of interest. We shall keep our eyes and ears alert for opportunities to review other equipment. Of course, you are most welcome to prepare a review and to submit it for publication.
Update on QSLing
We have finally been able to print an article about how to exchange QSL cards in VK, prepared by the previous National QSL Manager, Neil Penfold VK6NE (SK). We were preparing to publish the article last year when news of Neil’s death arrived. The article was withdrawn and we have waited until all the required changes for the processes had been made and Geoff VK3AFA checked the article. Neil’s article required only very small changes, so it is terrific that we can finally publish the article.
Articles and cover photos
We are slowly catching up with our publication backlog, so the number of articles on our Articles Register is growing smaller.
Please do prepare an article on your latest project and submit it for consideration. We rarely reject articles and only occasionally require extensive reworking of an article. Sometimes we have delays when following up some details that may not be clear, but the technical editors do their best to help an author to prepare the item so that it is ready for publication.
Depending upon the topic of the article, it may be published quickly, or may take a number of months until we have completed all the preparatory work and can find space in the magazine. Almost all articles submitted will eventually be published.
In addition to articles, we also need excellent photos for the cover – preferably accompanying an article. For publication, especially on the cover, we need good photographic composition and exposure and adequately high resolution.
Anyone considering preparing an article and/or photos should look at the AR magazine section of the WIA web site and follow the link to the page on Contributing Material.
The main photo this month does not need explanation – it shows the IC-9100 transceiver. Thanks go to Icom for supplying the high resolution image. Also included are two inset images of events at the WIA Annual Conference in Darwin. The upper photo shows Michael Owen VK3KI and Spud Murphy VK8ZWM during a break in proceedings. Photo by John Longauroux VK3PZ. The lower photo is a view of some of the participants at the Darwin Trailer Boat Club. Photo by Dianne Ashton VK3FDIZ.
WIA President's Comment
The WIA Annual Conference
I am writing this email just after the WIA Annual Conference, Darwin 2011 and a weekend at Upper Hutt, near Wellington, New Zealand attending the NZART Conference.
So, it makes sense now to write about our WIA Annual Conference. Actually, what we call it has not been all that consistent, sometimes the AGM, sometimes the AGM/Open Forum but we are now standardising on “WIA Annual Conference”.
I think we now have a very clear basic format, developed originally by Robert Broomhead for the Parkes Conference in 2007 and developed by him since then. I think we also know what many of our members want.
Let me run through what I understand to be the basic ideas that we now have for this event.
First, our members look for our annual event to be held somewhere interesting in its own right, not a capital city. Parkes, Churchill, Broken Hill and Darwin filled that requirement.
Then, they ask that we tell them as soon as possible where and when, so they can arrange holidays, or even just a few days break to attend.
When we hold our Conference is rather restricted by the fact that it is also our Annual General Meeting, and we need to hold that within five months from the end of our financial year. Our financial year ends on 31 December, and then we have to have an audit completed, reports written and printed and circulated with this magazine.
That all means that we cannot move very much from “some time” in May!
The program, while not cast in granite, is pretty clear, too.
Friday night is usually a dinner, built around either an interesting speaker (the Lord Mayor of Darwin talking about the ecology and FrogWatch in Darwin) or an interesting venue (the Telstra Tower and Alto Restaurant on Black Mountain in Canberra).
Saturday is the Annual General Meeting and Open Forum. We treat the AGM as what it is, the statutory meeting, and then use the Open Forum for the consideration of reports covering all aspect of the WIA, encouraging discussion on any topic anyone wants to raise, and because it is informal, we do not have to worry about relevance, words in motions or procedure.
One important feature of the day is the announcement and presentation of WIA merit awards. Some are very special, such as Honorary Life Membership or the GA Taylor medal and only given occasionally, others are annual. They are important because it is the way we recognise those who do much for amateur radio and the WIA.
Saturday afternoon has been a symposium, and quite a few people are telling us that they would like more technical subjects covered next year.
Saturday night is the Annual Dinner. Usually we would look for a relevant and interesting speaker or some other interesting attraction.
More and more, Sunday is becoming a non-radio day, the visit to Dick Smith’s place, the visit to Litchfield National Park.
NZART has Sunday as their day for meetings of groups, some presentations as well as a tour for those who want to participate (usually the partners!).
What was very special about Darwin was for the first time a club played a major role in setting the program, looking after participants and making it all happen.
It is amazing what a small group of workers can do, even running a barbecue without burning the meat!
For next year, we have already announced that the WIA Annual Conference will be in Mildura, Victoria, with the Sunraysia Radio Group as the radio club supporting the event.
Early next year we plan to ask our Advisory Committees and our clubs for their suggestions as to venues and their willingness to support an Annual Conference.
That way, we would hope to announce at the WIA Annual Conference, Mildura 2012, the venue for the 2013 Conference. We would be looking for somewhere interesting and with some new ideas about some of its features. We would be looking for strong support from a club or a group of clubs.
After the Darwin Conference, some of us sat down with some of the leaders of the Darwin Amateur Radio Club, and discussed how it had all worked, and what we had learnt. That is being put together in a document, so we can give the Sunraysia club a useful guide.
Did you know that a New Zealand amateur and his wife had come to our Conference in Darwin?
Next year, the NZART Conference 2012 will be held on the New Zealand Queen’s Birthday weekend of 1 to 4 June at Nelson.
Perhaps there are WIA members who would like to be welcome at the NZART conference at a very attractive place, with local wineries, boutique breweries and many craft shops? Look at www.nelsonnz.com
Perhaps there are NZART members who would like to join us in Mildura, on the mighty Murray River, great weather and also with local wineries? Look at www.visitmildura.com.au.
Perhaps, if you are a WIA member you will always be welcome at a NZART Conference (without a vote, of course).
Perhaps, if you are a NZART member you will always be welcome at a WIA Conference (without a vote, of course).
Perhaps, even if we cannot do it next year, we should make sure that there are more than just a few days between our two Conferences?
Perhaps there are some clubs or groups of clubs in Australia that will now start working on a suggestion for a great weekend in May 2013?
Table Of Contents
QSLing in Australia Neil Penfold VK6NE
The WIA 2011 Annual Conference in Darwin WIA
Awards at the Annual Conference Darwin 2011 WIA
A G’s visit to VK 16 Ian Hollingsbee G3TDT/VK3BIH
The DXer gets back on top Jim Linton VK3PC
An improvement to the hidden 40 metre X beam Ron Holmes VK5VH
Building an 80 metre magnetic loop antenna for your attic Jim Tregellas VK5JST
Improvements to Jim’s RF volt meter Steve Mahony VK5AIM
The Icom IC-9100 – The all round transceiver Michael Coleman VK3KH & Peter Freeman VK3PF
Philips PRM80 six metre conversion Matt Bilston VK3VS/VK3SMB
The ‘DTMF’ engine Dale Hughes VK1DSH
Plus all the usual Club news and columns
QSLing in Australia
Neil Penfold VK6NE (SK)
If you are into DXing on HF, you know all about the QSL bureau system that manages to deliver literally millions of QSLs all around the world, sometimes a little more slowly than you would like, but with a reliability that is impressive, given the sheer scale of the activity.
This article gives an overview of the Australian bureau system by someone who ought to know all there is to know, the WIA’s previous National QSL Bureau Co-ordinator. It should be read carefully by all active QSLers. The excellent guidance and subtle advice given will ensure that the system has the best chance of delivering the service we all want (and some demand) and should form part of our own QSLing practice.
A thought provoking read on one of the very major benefits of WIA membership.
Unfortunately, Neil became a Silent Key last year, but we have been able to check that all processes are correct after the upheaval of Neil’s departure prior to publishing this report.
News from the WIA Annual Conference
We have several reports in this issue which feature key outcomes from the Annual Conference held on the last weekend of May in Darwin.
Also check out the selection of photos on the Inside Back Cover.
The Icom IC-9100 – The all round transceiver
Michael Coleman VK3KH & Peter Freeman VK3PF
The hobby we know of as amateur radio may still have room for the truly ‘amateur’ entrepreneur but, more and more, much of the technology is of an increasingly higher quality professional status, and thus we come to the Icom IC-9100 transceiver.
A multi band multi mode TX, with good performance on HF, VHF, UHF and, with the 23 cm option, SHF, two well versed reviewers ran the unit through its paces and found it did indeed operate to its stated parameters, and with very little extra that they would wish for in such an offering.
Well worth a read for those contemplating their next major radio acquisition, as well as for those wanting to keep abreast of what is on offer.
Building an 80 metre magnetic loop antenna for your attic
Jim Tregellas VK5JST
I think the opening preamble from the author says it all – “Short of space in your suburban backyard or retirement village? Want a good small antenna for 80 metres? Properly built and sited, this design can perform as well, or better than G5RVs, half wave dipoles, and off-centre fed dipoles, and even better, delivers this performance at the breathtaking height of two metres above ground. And if you are prepared to substitute time for dollars, then it is cheap too. Theory and details are given about how to build one to fit your space”.
As are all articles from this author, it is well written, technically sound, and most interesting. It is a recommended read.
This month we present the first part of this article, the the conclusion to be published in the August issue.
55 Cookson (Jackson Bros)
55 Hamak Electrical Industries
15, 55 TTS
IFC Vertex Standard (Yaesu)
Page Last Updated: Monday 20 June 2011 at 20:54 hours