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General Information

2018 Magazines

Other years

Amateur Radio
July - August 2018

Delivery Expected from 19 July 2018


      WIA Member Digital Edition Download


Editorial

Communications and Reporting

I did not make it to the AGM in May, with several factors contributing to my decision to not make the trip. Had I been at the meeting, I would have raised concerns about some of the claims made in the Strategy Advisory Committee (SAC) report in the Open Forum Reports document, which became available on the WIA website only a couple of days prior to the AGM.

I raised my concerns regarding the content of SAC report with the Board via the President and Secretary, which initiated lots of discussion. Several days later, the SAC report was withdrawn from the Open Forum Reports document on the WIA website. Following further discussions, the SAC released a statement of clarification via the WIA website and in an email to all members. This statement is included in this issue’s WIA News column.

Whilst a volatile situation has been defused, I have significant concerns regarding the situation which led to the preparation and publication of the SAC report. SAC had been discussing this journal and its content without having made little if any effort to determine any real facts regarding Publications Committee (PubCom) and the production of AR magazine, as far as PubCom is aware. Members of SAC had been making announcements in WIA News Broadcasts about changes that were about to introduced to AR magazine. All of this occurred with no consultation with PubCom – the first time that PubCom members were aware of these foreshadowed changes was when the public statements were made. Discussions between SAC and PubCom only commenced after the issues concerning the SAC Report were raised by PubCom. At least we now have started to discuss what might occur.

I guess that some may find my attitude to be old fashioned. I would expect any organisation (or a part of that organisation tasked with the responsibility) intending to develop ideas for change to first expend a little effort in researching the current status quo. In my view, one needs to understand where you are currently situated prior to discussing future directions.

In an organisation with multiple components, understanding your current foundations is a prerequisite to any planning process. In an organisation where much of the working is undertaken by volunteers, those volunteers must participate in the change process – you cannot simply impose change from above. I am not suggesting that those undertaking the tasks are resistant to change, rather that if you engage them in the change processes, you are more likely to reach a good endpoint. The key here is something which our hobby is all about: communication!

Contribute to your journal

I often make the same request via this Editorial: please contribute your stories and projects to the magazine. Yes, it may take some time between submission and the story appearing in print, but we rarely reject articles. We can assist you in your preparation tasks. As a starting point, read through the guidelines on how to contribute, available at:
http://www.wia.org.au/members/armag/contributing/

One key factor is good quality images. We need high resolution images for the cover photo each issue: we cannot use a 500 kB jpg image for the cover – we need an image that has reasonable composition, that relates to an article in that issue and is at least 2 MB as a jpg file, with higher resolution preferred. This month’s cover again features a portable station, but at the time the decision was made, it was the best of the available images.

Remember that your article can be a report on an event or a project, through to a complete project description. Our hobby is broad, so if you want to see an article about your particular area of interest, either write something yourself, or talk with your more learned colleagues about preparing an article.

Winter is here

Winter is definitely here in Gippsland! Perhaps you will have more time at the radio or the work bench on those cold wet days. I have been watching the weather and heading out on better days to activate some Parks and thus getting a good dose of radio whilst enjoying the great outdoors – very therapeutic for the soul.

August is almost here, which means that will soon have the RD Contest, the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend and the ALARA Contest. On those weekends, the bands will likely be busier than normal. Do consider answering that CQ call, even if you have no plans to formally enter a Contest. If you do make some Contest contacts, then consider submitting your log, as it may be useful to the Contest Manager as a Check Log.

Until next issue,

Cheers,

Peter VK3PF

This month’s cover

The cover features the portable station set up by Alex VK2PRC in a park in Campbelltown for his participation in the Australian Military Radio Operators weekend. Many of the participants used ex-military radio equipment. Read all about the event in the story commencing on page 17. Photo by Alex Ball VK2PRC.

WIA President's Comment

Our future

At the WIA Radio and Electronics Convention – Beyond 2020 in May the Board presented a vision for the future of amateur radio in Australia. By placing a future and then reflecting on the achievements of the past an array of aspirations can be identified.

The future was split into four areas:
1. Regulatory Framework
2. Spectrum
3. Training and Education
4. Knowledge Economy

Under the regulatory framework heading we dreamt about the new Radiocommunication Act being in place and all amateur radio operators having a 20 year parameter based licence. One of the key opportunities of this new arrangement is greater self-determination of our hobby. Deregulation is and will be a key opportunity for the WIA and a lever that regulators can pull to lessen their administrative and management overheads. This means that we need to ready for greater responsibility and accountability in the future. This may be in the form of an amateur radio Code of Practice. The code can take many forms and it would become the key instrument that we as amateurs can demonstrate to the regulator that we can self-manage and self-determine our future.

In the spectrum space we will see the rapid development of a digitally enabled radio frequency landscape and a band plan to support that landscape. High levels of interference will be the norm and amateurs will be developing and employing novel technical solutions to overcome these limitations. We are already seeing these innovative solutions with FreeDV and WSJT. The high suburban noise levels will see virtual or remote shacks spring up everywhere. These remote shacks will be one of the main products that amateur radio clubs offer their members. The noise level in suburbia may actually mean that listening to the spectrum will become a novel past-time! The WIA will have its own frequency assigners who assist clubs and amateurs to find, analyse and register frequencies for repeaters, beacons and experimental modes.

Training and education in the future will facilitate the democratisation of amateur radio. This will mean breaking down many barriers to anyone becoming an amateur radio operator and experimenter. All assessments and training will be performed online with virtual invigilators. There will be well defined academic pathways that link amateur radio training to professional occupational paths. Amateur radio will be the stepping stone into a fulfilling technical occupation. At primary and secondary schools, student will be able to see the value that amateur radio contributes through the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum. This may translate into them considering a possible hobby of amateur radio. The WIA can tap into STEM grants to supplement main stream STEM education and training programs in primary and secondary schools. The WIA becomes a source of a broad range of education and training materials.

The knowledge economy is where growth is dependent on the quantity, quality and accessibility of information rather than the means of production. Knowledge technology where human knowledge is incorporated into machines is particularly relevant. The future sees amateur radio as a valuable contributor to this economy. Amateur radio for many years has been known for experimenters arriving at novel experimental solutions to overcome problems. Take this one step further and these novel solutions attract research and develop grants and are developed and realised into production. Flex Radio, SteppIR and MMDVM are good examples of this happening. New legislation and training programs see amateur radio qualifications being accepted by professional bodies for membership. Amateur radio is accepted as RF technology thought leaders in the Internet of Things (IoT), Makerspaces, and Hackerspaces. The WIA is actively looking to a broad cross section of vendors/suppliers to provide members with discounts for a broad range of products.

After presenting a possible future for Amateur Radio we then moved back to the present. At the end of 2017 the Board undertook a Core Purpose workshop that was facilitated by the Strategy Advisory Committee. The outcome of the exercise was Core Purpose for the Institute:
  Represent Radio Amateurs to regulators nationally and internationally
  Promote amateur radio to the community
  Promote education, research and discovery in technical disciplines
  Bring people together
  Facilitate electronics & communications experimentation
  Train and educate

If you compare these to the current Objects of the WIA, they look very similar. This was good reinforcement and showed the Board that we were heading in the right direction. These can be further distilled down to three core purposes of the WIA:
Promotion
Education
Representation

To start to build the foundation that underpin these core purposes there have been a range of improvement projects happening over 2017/2018 that include:
  Business Process Management systems to improve key business processes
  Cloud based Infrastructure providing more flexible and scalable ICT infrastructure
  Customer Relationship Management including a ticketing system
  Six volunteer digital project managers to assist the organisation with realising these projects
  Independent Strategy Advisory Committee - the ideas engine of the organisation
  Understanding the organisation with a vision of beyond 2020 – realising a future
  Necessary Change to support stability and fund future development

There are many other things that need to happen and these include testing the core purpose with members and the amateur community. Improving membership engagement. Tendering for and if successful, transitioning to the new contractual arrangements with ACMA. Improve marketing and promotion of the WIA and hobby with assistance from affiliated clubs.

Collective visions of the future for amateur radio in Australia builds the aspiration that creates the vacuum that pulls people into becoming part of a better future for the hobby.

How will we know things are improving? There will be a developing environment that:
  Creates and supports a broad community of like-minded individuals
  Ensures any regulatory obstructions are, to the extent possible, addressed in the community’s favour
  Anyone who wants to become an amateur radio operator, can
  The community it supports will enjoy the ability to learn, research, discover, experiment and socialise.

This is provided as food for thought from the Beyond 2020 presentation from the WIA AGM weekend. We encourage your feedback – support@wia.org.au

2018 will see many changes in the WIA. It is an exciting time in the hobby of amateur radio in Australia.

On behalf of the WIA Board

Justin VK7TW

Table Of Contents

GENERAL

WIA honours achievers with awards WIA Board
In the footsteps of warriors Mike Charteris VK4XQM/VK4QS
Major Tom* and Ground Control at a Melbourne Primary School John Costa VK3JCA & Archie Toy VK3FTOY
SOTA Italy Brian McDermott VK3BCM
WIA Achievement Awards WIA Board
AGM Report WIA Board
Open Forum Report WIA Board
Convention Dinner & Presentation WIA Board
Demonstrations and Traders Day Marcus Berglund VK5WTF
WIA QSL Bureau update John Seamons VK3JLS
RAOTC QSO Party 2018S Ian Godsil VK3JS

TECHNICAL

Some thoughts on implementing a 15 W EIRP limit for 60 m Ron Cook VK3AFW
Field Strength Meter Review Taro Deneve VK3TFD

Plus all the usual Club news and columns

Reports from the WIA AGM and Convention – Beyond 2020

WIA Board

This issue contains several reports from the WIA Board and its members on various aspects of the annual WIA AGM and Convention held on the Gold Coast in May. Read all about what occurred and bring yourself up to date.

Major Tom* and Ground Control at a Melbourne Primary School

John Costa VK3JCA & Archie Toy VK3FTOY

The authors report on the successful ARISS event held at a primary school in Melbourne’s suburbs in March.

Some thoughts on implementing a 15 W EIRP limit for 60 m

Ron Cook VK3AFW

The author discusses some of the factors involved in determining antenna gain and the transmitter power output that will need to be considered prior to amateurs commencing operations on the 60 m band allocation, once the band is available to amateurs in VK.

Field Strength Meter Review

Taro Deneve VK3TFD

Although the title includes the word “review”, the author actually describes the construction of a simple but effective Field Strength Meter, built using surface mount components plus a meter movement. The meter requires on six SMD devices to be soldered to a home made pcb.

Advertisers Index

 64 Amidon / TTS Systems
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 11 Ham Radio House
 OBC Icom
 7 Jaycar
 IFC Yaesu

 


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