Amateur Radio November 2014
Delivery expected from October 23
WIA Member Digital Edition Download
Conflict in the hobby? What, again?
I seem to have caused some to be upset with my comments last month. From many of the comments that I have seen, it is clear that most have not read my Editorial carefully; rather they have conveniently ignored not just words, but entire sentences.
Part of this furore was precipitated by someone who, one would have thought, should know better. Just prior to the content for the October issue going to press, I received an Over To You (OTY) contribution. In my view, I thought that some of the statements being made were being made from a biased position. I responded to the correspondent noting that I proposed to publish the contribution with a very few words deleted and some added Editor’s comments reflecting my view that the content showed bias. My response was sent to the author within hours. The very same evening, the author responded with an email indicating that he would revise his contribution. The next morning, I received an email from the author indicating that I should not publish his contribution at all. No further discussion, simply a statement that he did not wish his item to be published.
I was willing to publish the contribution, either as I proposed, or as originally submitted but with some Editor’s comments added at the end of the contribution. The author gave me no opportunity to discuss such options.
You can imagine my surprise when in very late September (just after the digital edition of AR was released) I saw some email traffic via one of the Yahoo groups indicating that I had “refused to publish” the author’s contribution. This statement is at least stretching the facts – the author requested that I withdraw the item in any form. He did not discuss the issue at all, simply asked that the item be withdrawn. I am not happy and still believe that the author owes me a public apology via all forums to which he published that statement. He does not believe that he is in the wrong. I strongly disagree. So be it.
It has been very interesting to read some of the traffic following on from the contributor’s missive to one forum to which I subscribe. Some of the responses clearly indicate that the traffic has also been circulating on at least one other forum.
What does it all mean? I have no objection to people expressing their personal views. If they wish to express such views in this journal, then they can expect that I as Editor will add comment if I believe that some form of moderation is warranted. This should be obvious to most who read this magazine: whilst this is the official journal of the WIA, the role of Editor has a degree of independence to the WIA Board. My Editorial and my comments are simply that – my personal view, not any official view of the WIA.
It is also clear that many readers of other forums have very limited views of the world. Their comments on those forums clearly indicate that they have limited willingness to consider the position of those that are not totally “in to” their segment/interest area of our broad hobby. Such is life, unfortunately!
One contributor to one on-line forum suggested that this journal had become “the ILLW and SOTA monthly”. I cannot see how has he reached that view: simply because we now have a monthly column covering SOTA, and we had a lighthouse on the October cover? This is a very jaundiced view of the magazine. After all, the Publications Committee can only consider the material submitted for consideration to actually be published! If no one contributes material, either as individual articles, or as contributions to the Contests column, how can the Publications Committee, and me as Editor, show that other aspects of the hobby have information to share? After all, we are a committee of volunteers, all of whom have other things to which we must attend during any given month. The work for this journal is but one aspect of our lives. If you have an idea that you believe should be published, then get to the task and prepare an article for consideration! Similarly, if you have a good quality, high resolution that might be considered for the cover, then submit it! I can only publish from the material that I have available to consider.
Of course, all of this was started because of a simple OTY contribution, with a follow up from another individual. It seems that we all missed the point! Ian VK3LA responds this month. I urge ALL of you to read his contribution. The substance is about the face that we as amateurs present to the rest of the public. Hopefully we can find a way that is better than a quick contest exchange.
The ILLW clarification
My apologies to all concerned: in my Editorial last month, I implied that Kevin VK2CE was the local co-ordinator of the ILLW. It is more appropriate to describe Kevin as the co-convenor of the ILLW. He certainly does most of the background organisational work. Keep up the good work, Kevin: it is appreciated by many amateurs around the world.
Another volunteer needed
Everyone should note that Luke VK3HJ has indicated that the December DX News column will be his last. If readers are interested in having such a column included in this magazine, then we need someone else to “step up to the plate”. Expressions of interest can be sent direct to me.
A call for more ANZAC 100 articles
For several months now on this broadcast we have summarised material from the ANZAC 100 series to appear in the WIA journal, Amateur Radio magazine.
These include many individuals who served the country in times of war, and their other exploits as a radio amateur.
Most have been written by the WIA Historian Peter Wolfenden VK3RV, and Lloyd Butler VK5BR. The role of women in war has come from the ALARA Historian Jennifer Wardrop VK5ANW VK3WQ.
These illustrated articles are well worth a read, as Australia and the WIA commemorate ANZAC 100 - the Centenary of our involvement on the Gallipoli Peninsula on April 25, 2015.
More contributions are welcome about WWI and WWII. Particularly sought are stories on Australian radio amateurs who served in the Korea and Vietnam wars.
If you can assist with an article or contribution of material to the WIA Archive, please contact the WIA Historian Peter Wolfenden VK3RV at email@example.com
Until next month,
This month’s cover:
Our cover shows the FLEX-6700 and Anan-100D Software Defined Radio transceivers, each with a screen shot of the control software. See the review beginning on page 14. Composition by Sergio Fontana VK3SFG.
WIA President's Comment
The role of the advisory committees
With President Wait attending an electronics fair in Taiwan in his private capacity, this month it falls to me to write the President’s Comment.
I would like to touch on the topic of the WIA Advisory Committees.
At the time the Federal WIA was formed, the architects of the Constitution determined that each of the pre-existing State and/or Territory Divisions would initially be replaced by an Advisory Committee. It is interesting too that the use of the word initially in the Constitution provides a level of flexibility for the redefinition of the coverage of the Advisory Committees. It appears that it was contemplated that these Committees may not always be aligned to the areas governed by the pre-existing Divisions. Other geographical or interest based definitions could be applied in the future.
The membership of the Advisory Committees is determined by an election with the term of three years, plus one additional member which may be nominated by the WIA Board. I don’t have any recollection of Advisory Committee elections in the time I have been on the WIA Board, particularly with respect to my home state of VK5.
The work of each Advisory Committees is to advise the Board on matters relevant to their area and assist to promote amateur radio. In recent times I cannot recall receiving any advice from an Advisory Committee: it appears that the provision of advice and promotion has largely devolved to the Club level and individual submissions by interested amateurs.
This leads me to question the ongoing role of the Advisory Committees as they are presently constituted. I would have expected that State (or Territory) based Advisory Committees would be a suitable forum for Club representatives to meet and coordinate activities relevant to their geographical area. This might include repeater coverage, maintenance and support, coordination of hamfests, club projects (or kits), Foundation and upgrade courses and promotional events such as field days, maker faires, etc.
In my view, State-based communication and planning (in my home State at least) would be of benefit. It would ensure that our efforts are focused on those matters which will provide the greatest return and clubs work to increase overall participation in the hobby rather than cannibalising each other’s membership.
It also means that the smaller clubs can work together with the larger clubs to provide support for community based activities which they would not otherwise have the resources (intellectual and physical) to support. One example here was the recent provisions of Communications Services to the River Murray Marathon by Adelaide based AREG and the Riverland Amateur Radio Club.
I guess what I am looking for is feedback from the WIA membership on how you think the Advisory Committees as presently structured are working? Can they be improved, should the present State/Territory based arrangements continue? I look forward to receiving your feedback.
Talking about feedback, I must apologise for not yet having completed the detailed WIA Survey Feedback analysis. I hope to have it included in next month’s AR.
Chris Platt VK5CP
Table Of Contents
Walter King Witt XKW, Amateur radio leader, war-time contributor Peter Wolfenden VK3RV
Band plans update John Martin VK3KM
VHF UHF band plans – are they working? Grant Willis VK5GR
A long time between drinks Ross Pittard VK3CE
Remembrance Day Contest 2014 Results Alan Shannon VK4SN
Arduino based VFO Gary Gibson VK8BN
Equipment Review: SDR transceivers: Flexradio FLEX-6700 and Apache Labs ANAN-100D Peter Hart G3SJX
The UnitLoop: 7 MHz 100 watt magnetic loop for apartments and units Peter Parker VK3YE
Easy steps to working SO-50 Malcolm Pizzey VK2MAL
Plus all the usual Club news and columns
Walter King Witt XKW, Amateur radio leader, war-time contributor
Peter Wolfenden VK3RV
This is the latest article in the series about people involved in the early, developmental years of amateur radio in Australia, depicting their contribution to the hobby and, where known, tell us all a little of their private lives and attributes.
Walter King Witt was a Vice President and Secretary of the Amateur Wireless Society of Victoria. On 16th September 1914, he enlisted with the Navy as a Telegraphist. Further records leave us with questions about his war-time activities – read the story to find more about the lingering questions.
A very interesting read.
A long time between drinks
Ross Pittard VK3CE
After quite a long time the Victorian Technical Advisory Committee, charged with custodial responsibility for the VK3 repeater network as a whole, met with those responsible for their upkeep to discuss any and all issues relating to repeater operation in this state.
Given the span between meetings there was much to discuss and some planning to undertake and all agreed it was a resounding success. Reports also suggested the meeting was overdue, and ought be repeated at least bi-yearly – a decision taken by the meeting before it adjourned.
Arduino based VFO
Gary Gibson VK8BN
The author gives some brief, but succinct, advice on how to create an Arduino based VFO that provides quite high quality (stable and accurate) performance and that is suitable for many older rigs that could benefit from such an addition.
The beauty of this particular unit most notably is the ability to manipulate code to tweak performance to suit the situation.
NB: a new version of the zip file has been uploaded to the WIA server. The new zip file includes some clarifying notes from the author. File uploaded 2014/11/14.
Easy steps to working SO-50
Malcolm Pizzey VK2MAL
This article provides quite specific although simple advice on how to work the SO-50 satellite – whilst noting that the same advice will work on almost any satellite.
Any amateur wishing to try this segment of the hobby, by simply following the advice contained in this article, will almost certainly find themselves successfully working SO-50 – and maybe others.
9 Apache Labs
63 Cookson Controls
25 Ham Radio House
63 NBS Antennas
13, 63 TTS
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Page Last Updated: Monday 24 November 2014 at 14:13 hours