Delivery expected from 16 May
May - June 2019
WIA Member Digital Edition Download
Democracy in action
This issue is due for delivery in south east Australia a few days before a major opportunity for all eligible to exercise their duty: to vote in a Federal election.
For members of the WIA, that responsibility did not need to occur this year, as the number of nominations for Director was less than the number of vacancies. Thus all nominees were declared elected unopposed. A statement of this outcome is elsewhere in this issue.
Your next chance to exercise your rights as a member of the WIA is at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held in Sydney on Saturday 25 May. Those members of the Board who did not nominate and whose term ends this year will be able to step down after the conclusion of the AGM.
In addition to the AGM, an Open Forum will be held. In the Open Forum, members may raise questions for the Board to answer.
All WIA members are able to attend the AGM and Open Forum.
Many attending the event will also be paying the registration fee which includes lunch and access to the Conference sessions in the afternoon, plus the events at ARNSW in Dural on Sunday.
There will be optional Partners’ Tours and the Conference Dinner on Saturday evening.
I look forward to meeting up with many of you at the events.
I have answered the call for volunteers to help with a SOTA information table at Dural on Sunday. I understand that the table is to be a meeting place for all interested in SOTA and Parks activity. Feel free to drop by the table and discuss any questions that you may have about either or both programs.
Contributions to your magazine
We are always looking for contributions to the magazine: articles or even a column. A column might not appear every issue, so if you have any ideas about a new column, feel free to send in a proposal. If you do not wish to commit to preparing something every second month, then consider an article or series of articles.
We see that in some states, the Clubs contribute their local news to a state scribe who collates a summary document for the state. In other states, we have some Clubs who forward their own news direct for publication – some regularly and some occasionally. It is good to see a contribution from VK1 in this issue.
You can find information on how to contribute material on the magazine pages on the WIA website: http://www.wia.org.au/members/armag/contributing/
All articles are reviewed prior to publication. Technical articles are also reviewed by the Technical Editor team in addition to the normal review process. Given that we are limited in the space available, some articles will need to wait until space is available. Technical articles may need additional time for processing. Authors need to be patient.
When you submit an article, you should receive acknowledgement with a registration number. You may not hear from the Publication Committee team again – the article may simply be processed and then await publication. It is a case of no news is normally good news.
We currently have a number of technical articles being processed, but have very few general articles. So your contributions would be appreciated – tell us about your latest notable Amateur Radio activity.
Until next time,
This month’s cover
The new IC-9700 all-mode software defined radio for 2 m, 70 cm and 23 cm bands. Read the review commencing on page 13. Image courtesy of Icom Australia.
WIA President's Comment
Happy birthday, farewell and update
Happy significant birthday to Waverley Amateur Radio Society (WARS)! WARS turns 100 in 2019 and I am looking forward to the Friday night celebrations that kick off the WIA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Conference weekend.
This is my last Board Comment as I step down as President and Director at the May AGM. I hope to catch up with many of you at the AGM Conference weekend. It has been a wonderful two years and I encourage people to become actively involved in running your National Representative Body. As a Board member you get to shape the hobby in small (occasionally larger ways) and this can be extremely satisfying.
As a volunteer organisation the WIA is only as good as those that volunteer and the leadership that guide and support them. When I came onto the Board two years ago it was during a period of considerable negative sentiment toward the WIA and Board. The 2017 election resulted in new Board members being elected except for one returning member. The new Board took on the task of rebuilding and stabilising the WIA and this has been successful from a finance and administration perspective. We have delivered a small surplus in 2018 and the 2019 budget indicates a small deficit in the 2019 year, even though we are spending over $40,000 sending delegates to the World Radio Conference.
The Board has been actively working on a technology refresh in the organisation and committee revitalisation both are and will deliver better outcomes for members. The WIA is moving to cloud hosting of administration and support systems and this further reduces the overhead costs for the organisation. The committee revitalisation has seen the refresh of a number of committees with new blood. The revitalisation is ongoing and has now turned to the technical committees.
Membership, however, is still a work in progress, as the WIA only attracted 191 new members in 2018 and only represents 150 affiliated clubs and using the insurance coverage that the WIA facilitates only represents one third of the amateur radio population in VK. To enable the WIA as the National Amateur Representative body to approach and work with the government and the regulator to the benefit of the hobby, we need strong representative membership. This is a continuing challenge for the new Board.
As a scientist - when confronted with an issue, a hypothesis is formed and I look to the evidence to support or not support it. It is then a cycle of hypothesis adjustment and evidence re-run. When I started in the new Board two years ago the hypothesis presented to me was of an organisation on its ‘last legs’. The evidence gathered over the last two years certainly does not fit this hypothesis and I have been regularly adjusting the hypothesis with ever more positive outlooks and I am sure the new Board will continue testing and adjusting.
As President you become a ‘lightning rod’ for the organisation and you experience the best and the worst behaviour of the amateur community along with needing to balance time and resource pressures. I thank the amateur radio community for the opportunity to serve as President and Director for the last two years and look forward to continuing my involvement in a number of areas.
What has the WIA been up to over the last two months?
Dale Hughes VK1DSH has attended the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) - Australian Radiocommunications Study Group 5, Terrestrial services meeting and presented on Agenda item 1.1 (50 MHz). The meeting covered the new Department of Communications and the Arts (DOCA) arrangements in preparation for World Radio Conference 2019 (WRC-19).
The ACMA released their Draft Five Year Spectrum Outlook and millimetre wave planning document and the WIA Spectrum Strategy Committee is preparing a submission from the WIA. The document has provided an indicative timetable for reforming the LCD and getting access to 60 m as well as reforming the amateur qualification system by making it part of the Australian Qualifications Framework. This will have significant impact on the delivery of amateur radio training within Australia.
The WIA will be attending the last meeting of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) Conference Preparatory Group - APG 19-5 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 Preparation - WIA will be spending about $40,000 on sending representatives to Egypt to represent amateurs in VK at that world forum. This is a significant outlay for an organisation that has an operating budget of $500,000. 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.
I encourage members to read the 2019 Open Forum Report from Dale as this outlines the huge contribution that is being made to represent amateur radio at these national and international forums.
The WIA has met with the ACMA a few times to discuss the future of amateur radio licencing, the implementation of the new Radio Communications Act, implementation of the new parameter based licencing and the formation of the Syllabus Review committee.
The relationship with the ACMA is a precarious one - on the one hand the ACMA is divesting itself of everything administrative and this provides opportunities. This appears to be due to resourcing constraints placed on the organisation and this creates a shift from an organisational culture of prescriptive technical regulation to an organisation that runs and promotes enabling legislation and policy with industry driven self-managing frameworks. This ACMA divestment represents a real challenge and risk for the amateur community. This manifests itself in what appears to be the regulators decreasing responsiveness to all things amateur radio when in fact this is due to the amateur community’s lack of acceptance of a self-regulation trajectory. This needs to change and it will be painful!
By the time this goes to print the WIA IT team would have transitioned a number of IT services and this is the start of a complete refresh of IT infrastructure in the WIA. This will see improved membership services, website and social media interfaces and the automation of many existing and future membership services.
The pilot of the new ticketing systems has proven successful and the Board has voted to roll this out to all areas of the WIA. All incoming and outgoing communications, requests, incidents, etc. will eventually go through the ticketing system. This becomes the platform for the automation of many services.
The focus on reducing the backlog of repeater assignments is paying off with the work being undertaken by commercial frequency assigners on behalf of the WIA as a pilot process. The learnings from the pilot process will inform the long-term process that the WIA will adopt.
The WIA continues to provide complimentary reward memberships of the WIA for amateurs who are newly qualified. If you received an Amateur Operators Certificate of Proficiency (AOCP) (Foundation, Standard or Advanced) at any time since 1 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. It is great to see the Australian Ladies Amateur Radio Association (ALARA) come on board with this initiative offering complimentary ALARA membership for newly licenced female amateurs.
Given the turnover of staff at both DOCA and ACMA - the WIA at all meetings that amateur radio representatives attend are educating the attendees about the hobby and heritage of amateur radio. Reminders like amateur radio service and the amateur radio satellite service is embedded in the International Radio Regulations (International treaty signed by the 190+ United Nations member states that includes Australia) - Section 25:
1.56 Amateur service: A radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, by duly authorised persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.
1.57 Amateur-satellite service: A radiocommunication service using space stations on earth satellites for the same purposes as those of the amateur service.
Another facet that the WIA reminds the decision makers about is that there is a global federation of national associations of radio amateurs in more than 150 countries, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) that has been providing frequency coordination services for the amateur service and satellites free of charge for many years. The WIA will continue to vigorously advocate and educate regulators to ensure that they are fully aware of their obligations in the amateur service space.
Finally, I would like to announce that the WIA will be introducing the Brenda Edmonds WIA Education Award at the AGM in Sydney. Brenda’s family has given permission to create an award in her name with a focus on education to the amateur radio community. The WIA looks forward to receiving nominations for this award for the 2020 AGM.
On behalf of the WIA Board
Table Of Contents
“No one replies to me”: The secrets of successful CQ calling Peter Parker VK3YE
WIA Election Declaration John Marshall
Amateur radio assists in mountain rescue Phil Shields VK2CPR
Book Review: Getting Started in EME (Earth-Moon-Earth transmissions) Kevin Johnston VK4UH
Profile for new WIA Director Mike Alsop VK8MA Mike Alsop VK8MA
IC-9700 VHF UHF all mode transceiver Peter Freeman VK3PF
Use of the IC-9700 on Weak Signal Digital Modes Rex Moncur VK7MO
Circuit Simulation for the Homebrewer Phil Hutchings VK4PG
Australis OSCAR 5, the ABC’s Conversations & 8.4 million cane toads? Peter Wolfenden VK3RV
Plus all the usual Club news and columns
“No one replies to me”: The secrets of successful CQ calling
Peter Parker VK3YE
The author outlines strategies for success when calling CQ.
Amateur radio assists in mountain rescue
Phil Shields VK2CPR
The article gives a brief account of the roles played by amateur radio operators of the Lake Hume Amateur Radio Group in the rescue of a mountain runner from high on Mount Bogong during a competitive running event.
IC-9700 VHF UHF all mode transceiver
Peter Freeman VK3PF
The author reviews the much anticipated IC-9700 VHF UHF all mode transceiver.
Circuit Simulation for the Homebrewer
Phil Hutchings VK4PG
The author outlines the use of the circuit simulation program LTSpice as a useful tool for all who homebrew circuits.
64 Amidon / TTS Systems
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