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2019 Magazines

Other years

Amateur Radio
March - April 2019

Delivery expected from 14 March


      WIA Member Digital Edition Download


Editorial

Some more radio fun in the field

I have managed a few outings to play radio in the field, despite some very hot and windy weather.

January was very hot and dry in Gippsland, so I ventured out on only a small number of occasions to activate some Parks for VKFF/WWFF. Otherwise, I did my best to hunt other activators from home when propagation allowed.

I also participated in the now annual Hotham SOTA Summit – a weekend based in a ski lodge at Hotham Heights with trips out each day to summits in the region. You can read a report in this issue from Gerard VK2IO, who participated for the first time this year. It is a very different experience being out in the field activating summits with others on the same summit and others on nearby summits compared to the usual solo activations. The camaraderie experienced whilst out activating several summits in a day and then during the evenings back at the lodge makes participation in such events very rewarding.

February also saw a couple of Park activations, one in South Gippsland and another at Point Cook following the WANDARC Hamfest.

One huge advantage of operating in the field is that one often experiences a lower noise level compared to a suburban location – a great incentive to make the effort to travel to a new Park and enjoy some “radio therapy”.

Changes in Assessment system

As mentioned elsewhere in this issue, the WIA is no longer involved in the Assessment and certification system on behalf of the ACMA. The contract has been awarded to the Australia Maritime College (AMC), part of the University of Tasmania.

As an Assessor for the WIA, I have heard little information regarding the new system other a request to indicate possible interest in becoming involved with the new provider.

Until further information is provided and the AMC starts to offer assessments through their new system, it looks as if little will be occurring for those wishing to gain, or to upgrade, an Amateur Radio qualification in Australia. I am sure that many are waiting patiently for further details to be published.

Field Day

Due to our publication schedule and postal transit times, you may have missed the John Moyle Field Day Contest, scheduled for the weekend of 16/17 March this year. Those reading this Editorial on the WIA website or in the Digital Edition of the magazine will have only a few days until the event.

The John Moyle Field Day is a fun contest which promotes setting up a station in the field and making contacts. The contest was one of my early introductions to portable operation, with the University Radio Club which would mount a multi-band multi-operator effort for the weekend on a hilltop near Trentham, north east of Melbourne.

Perhaps your local Club will be making an effort to participate? If so, consider joining them, even if only for a few hours. Alternatively, listen out on the bands and support those in the field by making contact with all the stations that you can copy. There are sections for home stations as well as portable stations. You can find the Rules on the WIA website under Members, Contests.

Until next issue,

Cheers,

Peter VK3PF

This month’s cover

This month’s cover shows a young would-be amateur operating the local Club station, under supervision, with the RadioSport RS60CF headset. Read the review of the headset on page 18.

WIA President's Comment

What a difference a month or two makes!

The ACMA has announced that the successful tenderer for the delivery of Amateur Radio licencing and administration is the University of Tasmania through the Australian Maritime College. The Board congratulates the University.

The Board is progressing the Transition-Out Plan and been able to deliver to the ACMA all the Commonwealth Intellectual Property specified by the previous Deed prior to a new Deed being signed. This supports a timely transition to the new provider.

The WIA Board sincerely thanks all WIA volunteers, assessors and learning facilitators that have been involved in the previous examination systems over the past 20+ years for their incredible contribution to the hobby of amateur radio.

This is a landmark opportunity in the history of amateur radio in Australia. It is the view of the WIA Board, the WIA Education Group and many members we have spoken with, the transition to the AMC will allow the WIA to re-focus its resources on delivering all of the objects of Institute. The WIA has a 100 year plus legacy of serving the amateur community. It will continue to do so into the future with your support.

Representation

Dale Hughes VK1DSH has recently spent two weeks at the World Radio Conference 2019 (WRC-19) Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) in Geneva. Dale is representing Australia for WRC-19 agenda items 1.1 (50 MHz) and 9.1.6 (Wireless Power Transfer). The CPM develops the final documents which contain the various ‘methods’ used to address WRC-19 agenda items at the WRC itself.

There is also preparation happening for the last Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) Conference Preparatory Group - APG 19-5 before WRC-19 and this will be held from 31 July - 6 August 2019, Tokyo, Japan. This will form the final view of the APT that will be taken to WRC-19 in October 2019.

WRC-19 is being held in Sharm el Sheikh, South Sinai, Egypt from the 28 October to 22 November 2019 and will see more than 2500 delegates from over 160 countries attending. There is a punishing schedule being finalised that will see the spectrum management agenda set for the next four years.

Promotion

The RSGB’s Commonwealth Contest is one of the oldest radio contests in existence starting back in 1931. All British Empire countries would participate and in 1935 the contest became the 24-hour British Empire Radio Union or BERU and then the Commonwealth Contest in 1976.

The contest took place on 9 - 10 March 2019, from 10:00 to 10:00 UTC. All operation is on CW and you can find the rules at the RSGB HF contest site at: https://www.rsgbcc.org/hf/rules/2019/rberu.shtml

There are two Australian teams participating along with six Wireless Institute Australia headquarters stations: VK2WIA, VK3WIA, VK4WIA, VK5WIA, VK6WIA and VK7WIA. Thanks to Steve Ireland VK6VZ who is the Australian team coordinator.

The WIA IT team has been working on transitioning our IT systems to more contemporary arrangements. The WIA is pleased to announce that this service will be expanded to include a G-Suite account (including E-Mail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Drive and many other applications in the Google portfolio) for those members who would like it.

To clear the backlog of repeater assignments the WIA Board has decided to engage commercial frequency assigners to undertake this work on behalf of the WIA. Once the backlog is cleared, the WIA will review effectiveness of the external assigner pilot process as input for longerterm repeater application process improvements, both to WIA processes and also the ACMA processes.

The WIA Board has decided to offer complimentary reward memberships of the WIA for amateurs who are newly qualified. If you received an AOCP (Foundation, Standard or Advanced) at any time since the first of January 2018 and are not a member of the WIA, you are eligible for a complimentary 1 year WIA membership. If you are already a WIA member (now, or when you receive your qualification in the future) you are eligible to receive a 1 year membership extension or a $100 discount off a 5 year membership. If this is you, or someone you know all that is needed is a completed WIA membership form and a copy of the relevant AOCP qualification showing the date of qualification being later than 1 January 2018 and email it to support@wia.org.au

The WIA Board is also working with ALARA to align its complimentary reward membership program with complimentary membership of ALARA for female amateurs. Contact ALARA for details of this program: treasurer@alara.org.au

Education

The WIA met with the Department of Communications and the Arts (DOCA) to discuss radio amateur representation at the forthcoming WRC-19. It is the job of WRC to review, and, if necessary, revise the global Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum & geostationary-satellite and nongeostationary-satellite orbits.

During the meeting the WIA presented information on the amateur and amateur-satellite service that is relevant to Australia’s preparations for WRC-19. The information included details of the WIA, the IARU, the advocacy work undertaken by both the WIA and IARU, the range of activities that amateurs undertake in pursuit of their interests and how amateurs are involved in various community activities. The IARU is the International Amateur Radio Union, of which the WIA is a member society representing Australia. It was a productive and informative meeting and the WIA thanks DOCA for making time to meet and discuss core amateur service issues.

Finally, huge congratulations to both Phil Byrne VK2MCB and Raffy Shammay VK2RF on both being awarded a 2019 Order of Australia Medal for services to the community.

Justin Giles-Clark VK7TW

Table Of Contents

GENERAL

Notice of Annual General Meeting WIA Board
19th IARU World ARDF Championship Jack Bramham VK3WWW
TAC Notes John Martin VK3KM
Mills On The Air 2019 Tony Falla VK3KKP
A blast from the past Tony Boddy VK6DQ
SOTA Hotham Summit Weekend 2019 Gerard Hill VK2IO
70th Urunga Radio Convention 2019 Ken Golden VK2DGT

TECHNICAL

A 35 to 4400 MHz Scalar Network Analyser Jim Henderson VK1AT
Review: RadioSport RS60CF headset Peter Freeman VK3PF
6 metre optimised 4-element Yagi Jack Albers VK2TUT
Junk nostalgia and dangerous projects Peter Parker VK3YE

Plus all the usual Club news and columns

19th IARU World ARDF Championship

Jack Bramham VK3WWW

The author describes the events and experiences of the Australian team at the 19th IARU World ARDF Championships, held in September 2018 in South Korea.

SOTA Hotham Summit Weekend 2019

Gerard Hill VK2IO

The article gives an account of the efforts of all who participated in this annual gathering based at Mount Hotham, where the amateurs head out to activate nearby SOTA summits.

A 35 to 4400 MHz Scalar Network Analyser

Jim Henderson VK1AT
The author describes a Scalar Network Analyser built using low-cost modules to assemble a useful item of test equipment.

Review: RadioSport RS60CF headset

Peter Freeman VK3PF

The author reviews the RadioSport RS60CF headset.

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