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2011 Magazines

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Amateur Radio May 2011

Delivery expected from April 18


May 2011 AR

AGM approaching fast

This issue of the magazine is being prepared in early April and will hopefully reach most members just prior to the Easter break. This will give anyone not yet committed to attending the WIA Annual General Meeting in Darwin at the end of May only a short window to decide and to make all their arrangements.

I am sure that the program will be very interesting and am somewhat disappointed that I will not make the trip. The semester timetable at work will have me extremely busy with teaching related tasks which makes the timing impossible for me personally. I am sure that everyone involved with the AGM will have a good time and I look forward to reading reports of the event in due course. We may be able to include some news in the July issue, but such reports will need to be submitted immediately after the event, as our nominal deadline for submission of material for that issue is the very start of June.

Local radio club activity

At the local club, we have started detailed planning for our annual GippsTech Technical Conference, to be held at Monash University Gippsland Campus in Churchill over the weekend of 9 and 10 July. We will soon have more detailed information available on the club website ( A registration form will be available as soon as we have confirmed all costs and catering arrangements.

The conference is a great place to catch up on all things related to weak signal communications on the VHF, UHF and microwave bands. Not only will you be exposed to presentations on various aspects of such communications, you will also have plenty of opportunity to talk to many experienced operators involved in such communications – we usually have around 100 amateurs attending the conference. The informal discussions are as important to many as the more formal presentations, as is evidenced by the difficulty that we have in breaking up the various groups at the end of a break to get them back into the lecture theatre for the next formal presentation.

Presentations vary from short practical ideas or techniques through to detailed presentation illustrating the coming together of theoretical considerations to produce practical results or to predict what may be possible.

The conference program has only just started to form, with only a small number of speakers committed at this time, but we usually have a packed program. The program information will be published on the club website once it has a little more detail. You can also keep an eye on the discussion board on the VK LOGGER site.

WIA office formal opening

Only last weekend (as I prepare these notes) the WIA formally opened its premises in Bayswater, with the building named Andersson House.

The event is featured on the front and inside back covers of this issue, with a report of the formalities in President Michael Owen’s Comment.

The event was telecast live via the Melbourne ATV repeater and to potential viewers around the world via the BATC website. A video clip can also be found on the WIA website – look under the News section for April 2011. The clip is just under 10 minutes long.

I did not make the trip down to Bayswater, as I had been in hospital the day before to undergo a minor surgical procedure. Nothing serious, it was just a follow up to a positive screening test result. With all such screening results, it is always better to have all options checked as soon as possible. In my case, all was declared to be normal, so no worrying for me for the immediate future. So instead of travelling to Bayswater, I spent the day recovering at home and preparing material for upcoming teaching tasks.

Well, that is all for this month.


Peter VK3PF

Cover photo

This month our cover shows Michael Owen VK3KI, President of the WIA, following the unveiling of the commemorative plaque during the formal opening of the WIA offices and the naming of the building as Andersson House. Photograph by Robert Broomhead VK3DN.

WIA President's Comment

Andersson House

The naming of the WIA’s premises in Bayswater, Victoria to honour Henry Andersson VK8HA had a very special meaning for me.

Not that I knew Henry personally, but as a result of his bequest to the WIA I had visited Darwin, visited his house and talked to his friends about him.

It was all very soon after the WIA restructured in May 2004. Henry died on 5 October 2004.

I wrote about Henry, his bequest and the people from Darwin who had helped me so much in this column in the July 2005 issue of Amateur Radio. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I am looking forward to returning to Darwin at the end of May this year for our Annual Conference.

I concluded what I said in July 2005 by saying that we must make sure that we do not forget Henry Andersson, and of course, now I know we will not.

May I repeat what I said at this important event on 2 April this year? It is, after all, a focus of this issue. And it is my tribute to someone I did not know in life, but as a result of visiting his home and talking to his friends, someone I felt I did know in a different way.

And let us not forget that the generosity of Henry Andersson is so important, as without that bequest we would not have our own premises, and without our own premises we would forever be constrained in what can do.

Henry Gustaf Andersson VK8HA died in Darwin on 5 October 2004.

By his will Henry left his “house and lands” to the WIA.

In the July 2005 issue of Amateur Radio magazine, after saying that I had never met Henry Andersson, I said this of his bequest to the WIA:

“His generous bequest during this period of change, as we work to create a single national body, gives us great hope and great confidence, because it means that we now have some reserves that at least give us confidence.

As I say, I never met Henry.

But we must make sure that we do not forget Henry Gustaf Andersson VK8HA, SK.”

Today we make good that commitment.

Today we name our national headquarters in honour of Henry Andersson.

Henry Andersson was born in Sweden and had come to Australia many years ago.

Henry built his house at 30 Trippe Road, Humpty Doo in about 1988, on some five acres of land. Humpty Doo is on the Arnhem Highway, a few kilometres from the Stuart Highway, in all some 40 minutes or less drive from central Darwin.

Henry erected three antenna towers on his land.

There were two other amateurs in the Northern Territory who had come from Scandinavia and with a similar background to Henry and who were among his real friends. One was Karl VK8CAW from Darwin, and the other was Len VK8DK, from Tennant Creek. I have met them both, and we have talked of Henry.

Henry was a passionate CW operator, and became a member of the First Class Operators Club (FOC) in 1970.

Henry was an Honorary Life Member of the WIA, his QSL card proudly proclaiming that he was the first Honorary Life Member of the WIA “in VK8”.

Henry had set up and ran the VK8 QSL Bureau for some 38 years.

He was the first Federal Intruder Watch Coordinator, and was appointed National Intruder Watch Coordinator when the WIA Board met in May 2004.

Henry Andersson was a unique person, supporting amateur radio and the WIA over many years, contributing significantly in that most important but often frustrating role of coordinating Intruder Watch, now called the Monitoring System, a task that requires skill to identify the intruder and patience to persist when there is not much response to the reports.

It is fitting that in the year we are holding our Annual Conference in Darwin we honour this great radio amateur from Darwin, without whose generosity we would not have our own national headquarters.

It is my privilege to unveil our recognition of Henry Gustaf Andersson’s contribution to amateur radio as we now name our national Headquarters Andersson House.

Table Of Contents


Ipswich & District Radio Club partnership with Vertex Standard Australia (Yaesu) Michael J. Charteris VK4QS

Western Victoria JOTA/JOTI weekend Ash Clark VK3SSB

Amateur radio, bush walking, photography and fishing in the central highlands of Tasmania Brian Morgan VK7RR

Presentation of Long Service medals for WIA members of Rockhampton & District Amateur Radio Club (RADAR) Les Unwin VK4VIL

2011 WIA Urunga Radio Convention Ken Golden VK2DGT


Foundation Corner 15 – Nostalgia or better engineering? Making and using parallel line. Geoff Emery VK4ZPP

A great old antenna, for not-so-great locations: the end-fed Zepp revisited (without the nasty RF issues) Wayne Pickard VK2ACY

An introduction to stepper motors Jim Tregellas VK5JST

Murphy’s emergency communications Bill Isdale VK4IS

Plus all the usual columns and Club news

Western Victoria JOTA/JOTI weekend

Ash Clark VK3SSB

This is a brief report of one scout experience during JOTA/JOTI 2010, from western Victoria.

The article notes that, whilst conditions may have led to a lesser involvement this year, plans and expectations for 2011 are well advanced, and very positive.

Presentation of Long Service medals for WIA members of Rockhampton & District Amateur Radio Club (RADAR)

Les Unwin VK4VIL

As part of the WIA Centenary celebrations, one club, the Rockhampton and District Amateur Radio Club (RADAR) presented several of its members, who had been very long term members of the WIA, with Long Service medals in recognition of this feat.

Several accompanying photos offer readers a sense of the occasion attended, as it was, by WIA President Michael Owen VK3KI.

Foundation Corner 15 – Nostalgia or better engineering? Making and using parallel line

Geoff Emery VK4ZPP

This is the latest in our Foundation Corner offerings, articles that are directed principally at Foundation level licensees but are of interest to all amateurs as they often re-introduce us to electronic or radio basics sometimes long forgotten.

This one deals with the merits of home brew ladder line – and will be of interest to all those who still like to tinker with their antenna systems.

An introduction to stepper motors

Jim Tregellas VK5JST

Another article from one of the country’s better known amateur radio authors and, as usual, based around something wonderfully practical for the ham, this time, the stepper motor, best known for turning antenna rotators with quite some precision, but as the author points out, good for very many other tasks as well.

The author presents some simple, albeit quite detailed advice on how to best utilise these motors, in their various configurations, to whatever task best fits and, again, makes for very interesting reading, especially for those among us who are the building type.

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