WIANEWS - DECEMBER 09 - VK NATIONAL NEWS
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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WIANEWS WEEK COMMENCING DECEMBER 09 2012.
ACMA finds stolen emergency beacon
What use is an f-call
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA FOR WEEK COMMENCING DEC 9 2012.
Following two days delay caused by 11 metre swells in the Great Southern
Ocean, the team arrived on Campbell Island on Saturday the 1st. of December
and were operational using minimum equipment by 05:00 UTC. The following day
the full range of masts and antennas were installed and stronger signals off
the island were heard worldwide.
Unfortunately the stay cannot be extended so the team will be leaving
Campbell Island on Sunday the 9th. of December as planned.
Thanks goes to the New Zealand Department of Conservation as they have now
allowed the stations to operate for several hours after sunset where it was
expected that all team members would have to return to the ship at sunset.
Logs are being uploaded daily via a satellite phone link but apart from this,
communication to the team is very restricted as no cell phone coverage or
Internet access is available from the Island. Current log status can be
checked to see your contact has been recorded within 24 hours by checking
the ZL9HR.COM website. This website also lists the call signs of the various
Pilots around the world. Please check their QRZ.COM listings to get their
email addresses if you need to contact them.
(Ed VK2JI - Publicity Officer ZL9HR)
Huge Telescope To Warn Of Solar Storms
An eye on the sky in Western Australia's remote outback (VK6) could
potentially save the world billions of dollars by warning of cosmic
catastrophe, astronomers say.
The Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope just unveiled will give
a dramatically improved view of the sun and provide early warning of
explosive solar storms that can damage to communication satellites,
electric power grids and GPS navigation systems, the International Centre
for Radio Astronomy Research in Perth reported.
In addition to its solar observations, the M.W.A. will offer scientists an
unprecedented view of the entire history of the Universe, including how the
very first stars and galaxies formed.
FOX Sports will take cricket broadcasting in VK to a new level this summer
with a world first - a micro camera in helmets worn by batsmen and
The technology is to be officially introduced in the Big Bash Twenty20
The equipment consists of an HD visor-mounted camera (1080i) and transmitter
with batteries on the rear strap.
The additional weight on the helmet is 250 grams, about the weight of a bar
of soap, and can be fitted to any player's helmet during the game.
Fox Sports believes it will be the first camera attached to a player during
a cricket match at this level. Last year, the pay-tv network pioneered the
use of cameras on umpires.
Adelaide yes and Qantas no, to Wi-Fi
The first Australian capital with free Wi-Fi outdoors will be Adelaide.
The South Australian Government and Adelaide City Council will foot $1.5
million bill to provide it at all public areas, by the end of 2013.
Already a trial of free Wi-Fi is on all Adelaide Metro trams and 20 buses.
Similar public Wi-Fi initiatives are in Prague, Singapore, Chattanooga,
Wellington, Auckland, and Luxembourg.
However, our national airline Qantas has dumped internet connectivity on
its Airbus A380 superjumbo to Los Angeles and London.
When it started to charge for access, the average take up was less than 5
per cent of passengers, and Qantas felt this did not justify the cost of
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
ACMA finds stolen emergency beacon
The Australian Search and Rescue was recently alerted that an activated
emergency position-indicating radio beacon, or EPIRB had been stolen from
After narrowing down its initial search, they called in the expertise of
a field inspector from the Australian Communications Authority.
Using a Yagi directional antenna, he eventually found the errant device
hanging from overhead power lines. It was safely retrieved for evidence by
members of the Victoria Police.
EPIRBs, linked to satellites when turned on, are used by those who go to
sea and venture into remote areas.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
On the Fraser Coast of Queensland, the showgrounds at the regional and
historic city of Maryborough are currently closed. In the town that gave
birth to the creator of "Mary Poppins" and played a large part in the
building of the railways, including the first Queensland high speed train,
the Tilt Train, goods and services are being put in place for the triennial
Australian Scouts Jamboree, AJ2013.
11,000 scouts, their leaders and limited support workers will enjoy a range
of activities whilst living under canvass. Amongst the amateur radio
fraternity and scouts with amateur radio qualifications, the interest level
is rising with offers of support coming from far afield interstate. Latest to
offer is the Fisher's Ghost Amateur Radio Club who wish to provide amateur
radio access to scouts from VK2 area who are not attending the Jamboree.
You will remember that Fishers Ghost AR Club hosted the amateur radio
activity at the last Australian Jamboree. Their experiences were publicised
in Amateur Radio magazine. On behalf of the members of the Maryborough
Electronics and Radio Group, I say "Welcome aboard".
As this item is being prepared, the donated HF Radio from Icom Australia is
making its way north from Melbourne.
Of course things always take a few turns and we heard of the storm damage to
Albert, VK4POW's antenna and now our local ATV guru looks like he may be kept
from the Jamboree because of work commitments.
To the several interstate amateurs who are attending AJ2013 and who have
contacted MERG, we thank you and we hope that our combined efforts will bring
success for VI4ASJ.
Reporting for WIA National News, I'm Geoff Emery, VK4ZPP on behalf of MERG,
HAMS ACROSS AUSTRALIA.
A couple of items this week attributed to SouthGate News in the UK relate to
VK activity.. Mmmn are the VK's shy about telling their Aussie Mates,
slipping it into OS pubs? HiHi
Even though the WIA News seldom get's to hear about our own WIA activity seems
it's kosher to file stories on Southgate even about our own AGM rather then
send it to ourselves!! Graeme Wilks G8DVJ who is Chairman of Southgate is
to be conratulated and at least we manage to find some things out
eventually courtesy of SG!
Another story was on on how a University will be involved with the Wyong Field
Day, later with Felix that one, and this an Aussie Ham's spacecraft mission.
The Inner West Courier reports that Robert VK2URB is hoping to break new
ground with two space missions he is part of.
The Sydney newspaper says VK2URB is involved in the communications system
for the Team Stellar lunar mission scheduled for 2014, as part of an entry
in the Google Lunar X Prize.
In addition he is working on a UK-based Mars mission, scheduled for 2020,
that aims to sniff out biological methane.
Well done Robert!
And thanks to G4
web service:- http://www.amateurradio.com.au/news/
Mark VK3PDG is on the ball!
Already he has announced NEXT YEAR'S Southern Peninsula Amateur Radio Club
(SPARC) Rosebud RadioFest 2013'S date as November 24.
A with last week's event, Rosebud RadioFest returns to the Good Old Days of
Ham Radio Fests.
Forums, displays, new/pre-loved gear, great prizes & more.
Enquire on 0407844063
John Ross VK3BJR President of SPARC has sent thanks to the sellers who booked
tables and successfully sold all manner of gear inside the large auditorium.
Secondly, he thanks the many interested people who attended the event from
various parts of Victoria. The crowd exceeded the Club's expectations.
The level of support provided by forum presenters and "Show and Tell"
exhibitors also contributed to the success of the event and the excellent
catering provided by the Parents and Friends of the school was a great
attraction. And lastly the excellent job done by the members of SPARC in
planning, setting up and running the RadioFest which drew accolades from most
Again Rosebud RadioFest 2013'S date is November 24.
VK4 - QNEWS
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TARC Xmas Lights Tour
Get out your Santa Hats, flashy pins and glad rags and get ready for a
magical mystery tour of the light fantastic !
The famous TARC Xmas Lights Tour is on again, happening Friday evening
It's a Drive Yourself Dazzling Spectacular and all mobile shack chariots will
need to monitor 146.5MHz during the tour to hear instructions from the guide
Embarkation point will be outside the VK4FR DX Complex Rangewood, 7-30pm.
Tour Event Host Gavin would especially like to know if you know of any HAMS
putting on a light spectacular so their QTH can be included in the tour.
Andrew McMichael VK5FMAC has posted on the WIA Bully Board details of
WICEN SA's SES SOCU Training & XMas breakup on the 13th.
Tjis will take the form of SAGRN generator deployment training &
XMas breakup with SES SOCU.
Full Details :
Please see http://www.sa.wicen.org.au/calendar/calendar.php
What use is an f-call?
A little while ago I made a commitment to myself to achieve the DXCC.
Since then I've received a few questions asking what it's all about.
It's an award for the DX Century Club, or said in another way, it's a
recognition of making long distance contact with one hundred countries.
This achievement award has a long history. The DXCC was first awarded in 1937.
Before then, in 1932 discussions started on how to determine what constitutes
a country. For example, are Tasmania and Australia separate or together, what
about Scotland and England, or Alaska and the United States. Suffice to say
that a definition was arrived at after much discussion and you can read up on
it on the ARRL web-site.
In case you're wondering, things change all the time. In 1935 Tasmania and
Australia were separate because of geographical division, Scotland and
England are two countries and Alaska and the USA are separate also because of
geographical division. Most of that is the same today, except that Tasmania
is no longer on its own. Countries come and go, Czechoslovakia,
Dutch New Guinea and Sumatra have all been deleted over the years, South Sudan
with a Z8 prefix is new as of July 14, 2011.
As I started looking into this further, it transpires that there are many
versions of the DXCC, specific bands, modes and combinations of both. 2012
represents the Diamond Anniversary of the DXCC and there is a special award
for that as well.
I've found that there is a QRP or low power version of the DXCC which fits in
nicely with my Foundation License and my own views on the level of power
needed to get the job done. So, QRP Portable DXCC is what I'm shooting for.
Now all I need is some spare time to actually turn my radio on.
I still need to learn more about the QSL process, set-up a logging system,
get a plan together for finding the best way to get contacts in different
areas, learn more about propagation, learn CW and make sure that my home life
doesn't suffer while I'm doing this.
As I said the first time around, I don't know if I am going to take a month,
a year or a decade to do this, but it's a really nice way for me to focus
my attention on a particular aim and has the added benefit of making me
an active operator, which ultimately is what this is all about, actually
turning on the radio and using it.
How have you gone about developing your skills and motivating yourself?
I'm Onno VK6FLAB
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART, ARVictoria and the WW sources of the WIA.
'End of the World' transatlantic balloon attempt.
The South Texas Balloon Launch Team has joined the N 0 D End of the World
Special Event and will launch a high altitude 'floater' balloon December 15
with hopes of reaching Europe before the End of the World
Titanic radio signal man inspires new stage show
UK's Western Mail reports that the man who picked up the distress signal
from the Titanic over his amateur radio from his garden shed in
Pontllanfraith has inspired a new stage drama.
Whispers On The Waves is being staged by Odyssey, the inclusive community
drama group from Cardiff-based Hijinx Theatre.
Read the story at
DANGERS ASSOCIATED WITH REPAIRING YOUR OWN RADIO
A Peoria man was robbed at gunpoint while fixing his radio, police say.
Officers responded last Friday and there, they spoke to the 35 year-old
victim and a witness.
The second person said that the victim came to his house after being robbed.
The victim said that he was fixing his car radio when he was approached by
three males, one armed with a handgun.
NEWS FROM ARNEWSLINE USA
MEXICO ZETA DRUG GANG BLAMED FOR KIDNAPPING ENGINEERS
If you are an Information Technology or two-way radio technician and planning
a trip to Mexico, you might not carry an H-T on a belt clip where it can be
seen. This is because at least one drug gang seems to be kidnapping and
enslaving those who know two-way radio to build and keep their private
system going. Amateur Radio Newsline's Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, takes a look
at the situation south of the border:
According to a report from Mexican news site Animal Politico, at least
three dozen engineers and technicians have been kidnapped in the past
four years. And Felipe Gonzalez who is the head of Mexico's Senate Security
Committee told Animal Politico that none of the engineers who disappeared
have ever been found.
Mexican authorities blame the notorious drug running gang the Zeta's for
the kidnappings. The Mexican military is trying to dismantle an extensive
radio network built and operated by the drug cartel but to date authorities
have not had much luck shutting it down. Not only is much of the equipment
super-easy to replace, but the drug runners have apparently found some
unwilling assistance by kidnapping and enslaving technicians to help build
it. Among them is at least one IBM employee and several communications
technicians from a firm owned by Mexico's largest construction company.
Last year the Mexican military found and dismantled one such drug runners
radio network spread across north-eastern Mexico that included 167 radio
antennas sites. As recently as this past September, Mexican marines found
a 295-foot-high transmission tower in Veracruz State.
The bottom line: It seems the drug gangs have discovered that two-way radio
is a tool that they will not be without but the Mexican government is doing
all it can to take these clandestine operations off the air.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, near Zion, Illinois.
One of the best stories in the English language that explains in depth the
safety issue to engineers and technicians in Mexico is on the World Disaster
Report website. Its on-line at tinyurl.com/enslaved-technicians.
INCREASING EFFICIENCY OF WIRELESS NETWORKS
Professors at the University of California,
Riverside Bourns College of Engineering have
apparently developed a way of doubling the
efficiency of wireless networks. According to
researchers Yingbo Hua and Ping Liang it appears
the doubling of efficiency could be achieved by
using full-duplex with "time-domain transmit beam
forming." They say that the latter digitally
creates a time-domain cancellation signal,
couples it to the radio frequency front-end to
allow the radio to hear much weaker incoming
signals while transmitting strong outgoing
signals at the same frequency and same time.
Wireless Design says scientists Hua and Liang see
applications in cognitive radio. They say that
this is a type of wireless communication in which
a transceiver can detect which communication
channels are in use and which are not, and move
into vacant channels while avoiding occupied
ones. You can read the Wireless Design Online
article at tinyurl.com/highly-efficient-radio.
RAYNET called out for floods
Available members of Mid Severn RAYNET group were tasked by
the Worcestershire County Council County Volunteers
Emergency Committee, or CVEC, during the afternoon of Sunday 25th November.
This was very short notice for the volunteers. Due to the
rising waters of the River Severn, the Emergency Planning
Officers were concerned at the potential for flooding of
adjacent residential properties in parts of Worcester city
centre, some of which had been constructed after the floods
of 2007. Multi agency teams from CVEC were tasked with
notifying homeowners of the threat, issuing warnings advice
and leaflets, and reporting back to the Social Services
details of residents who might be unable to self-help and
evacuate, and those who could require rest centre assistance.
Tony, G8WOX, Paul, G6DQM and Max, M0VNG deployed with the
teams. The teams completed the task into the early evening
and stood down, with residents most appreciative of the
efforts made to alert them.
New data mode for Chinese text
If you look at the data modes in use today you may notice that the vast
majority can only be used to communicate using the English language alphabet.
That presents a real problem for countries such as China where the language
requires graphical characters.
This shortcoming is critical when using amateur radio to support emergency
and disaster relief operations. To overcome this, the Chinese Radio Amateur
Club has devised an ingenious new mode that uses a 16 by 16 dot matrix to
send each character. Known as CP-16, the system uses sixteen 17Hz spaced
tones that allow the transmitted characters to be displayed by any receiver
that uses a waterfall display.
So, if you spot Chinese characters on your waterfall whilst tuning around,
you're seeing CP-16 in action.
New name for Luxembourg national radio society
The national amateur radio society of Luxembourg, Reseau
Luxembourgeois des Amateurs d'Ondes Courtes, has changed
its name to Radioamateurs du Luxembourg.
The address and other details remain unchanged. Please update your records
OPERATIONAL NEWS - DATELINE 2012
WW ARRL 10 m Contest December 8- 9
Wyong Field Day - Mini Contest University open for registrations for
According to SouthGate News in the UK, our own VK Wyong Field Day Group
are calling for registrations to attend a (free) Mini Contest University
at the Wyong field day in February 2013.
SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS, DX and BEACON AND NET ADVICE
BC.DX. NET CELEBRATES ITS 24th ANNIVERSARY
The weekly 40 meter BC DX Net from South India has celebrated its
24th anniversary. This Net began operation on Sunday, November 27, 1988
The BCDX Net is now held on Sunday morning's at 03:00 UTC on 7.085 MHz
Lower Sideband for the advantage of those who are keenly interested in
Broadcast Band DXing. According to its operators, the unique thing about
this net is that it's helped hams to become SWL DXers, and SWL's to get
their amateur licenses.
The current net control station is VU3SIO
SPECIAL EVENT STATION TM1TARA
On the air, keep an ear open for special event station TM1TARA to be on air
between December 8th to the 10th. This to commemorate the scientific
voyages of French polar vessel the Tara.
Tara Expeditions has been organizing missions aboard this research schooner
for the past 9 years. The goal is to learn more about the impact of so
called climate change on the planets ecosystems.
So far Tara has accomplished eight successful expeditions including voyages
to Greenland, Antarctica, Patagonia, southern Georgia, and the Arctic.
For this special celebration operations will be conducted by F8DVD and F8IJV
from Paris, France during the Tara exhibit. Look for them on 20 through
10 meters on SSB. A special colour QSL card will be printed and will be sent
via the Bureau or direct.
QSL with a self-addressed envelope and 2 IRC's - if you can still get them --
VK5VF Adelaide 6m, 2m and 70 cm beacons back on air.
Just in time for the VHF DX season, the 6m, 2m, & 70cm beacons have been
serviced and put back into operation at Mt Lofty near Adelaide in VK5.
As the VK5 Mt Lofty 6m beacon has been off air for some time, in restoring
the operation of the beacon it has also had a frequency change in accordance
with the WIA band plans. Part of the rebuild included referencing the
6m and 70cm beacon frequencies to the GPS.
The VK5VF beacon frequencies are,
The new 6m frequency is now 50.320 MHz
The 2m frequency is 144.450 MHz and
The 70cm frequency is 432.450 MHz
So those who are into VK VHF DX, these beacons are again available.
Copy of this information may be found in the text edition on www.wia.org.au
I am Ben, VK5BB for the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group Inc. VK5
INTRUDER WATCH - ENFORCEMENT ZONE
Region III IARUMS Coordinator Peter Young VK3MV
VK IARUMS reflector email to subscribe email@example.com
Friday 0730 UTC 7.065.5 with VK4CEU David.
Amateur exclusive frequencies where any non-amateur signal is definitely an
Amateur HF Spectrum world wide
7.050 to 7.100
14.000 to 14.250
14.250 to 14.350 No broadcasters
21.000 to 21.450
24.890 to 24.990
28.000 to 29.700
IARU Region 3 Monitoring System Newsletter
The IARU Region 3 Monitoring System notes an increase in the number of
intrusions in the higher frequency bands, particular from Over The Horizon
Radars on 15 meters.
In the newsletter Peter Young VK3MV reports:
"Some OTHR emissions into northern Australia are very strong and a report
has been filed with the Australian Regulator, seeking information and their
removal. With propagation on the improve there are more detection of
intrusions on 10 meters from low power commercial like services.
Again this month, further reports of HF Man Pack emissions are being logged,
but due to the random nature of these emissions a possible location source is
difficult to determine. Further reports are requested to determine a
The Burmese broadcast station operating on 7110 kHz, is still operational
and has been reported to the Australian Regulator.
See the September newsletter at
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- CW
FISTS Club - East Asia www.feacw.net
FISTS Club - Australasia www.fistsdownunder.org
FISTS Club - UK & Europe www.fists.co.uk
FISTS Club - Americas www.fists.org
ARRL SAYS MORSE CODE PLAYS ROLE IN NEW SPIELBERG MOVIE
Producer Steven Spielberg has used Amateur Radio or Morse code in
three of his last four movies: Super 8 (2011), The Adventures of Tin
Tin (2011) and Lincoln (2012). Members of the Morse Telegraph Club --
an association of retired railroad and commercial telegraphers,
historians, radio amateurs and others with an interest in the history
and traditions of telegraphy and the telegraph industry -- played an
integral part in the production of Lincoln.
"Nine of the 16 telegraph stations depicted in the War Department were
fully operational," explained Morse Telegraph Club International
President James Wade, WB8SIW. "These instruments could be operated in
any combination through the use of a specialized computer program and
custom-built terminal units for the process. When necessary, a hand key
could be inserted in the individual telegraph loops so messages could
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- FINAL FRONTIER
Voyager 1 probe leaving solar system reaches 'magnetic highway'
NASA's long-lived Voyager 1 spacecraft, which is heading out of the solar
system, has reached a "magnetic highway" leading to interstellar space,
The probe, launched 35 years ago to study the outer planets, is now about
18 billion km from Earth. At that distance, it takes radio signals traveling
at the speed of light 17 hours to reach Earth.
Voyager 1 will be the first manmade object to leave the solar system.
Scientists believe Voyager 1 is in an area where the magnetic field lines
from the sun are connecting with magnetic field lines from interstellar space.
The phenomenon is causing highly energetic particles from distant supernova
explosions and other cosmic events to zoom inside the solar system,
while less-energetic solar particles exit.
"It's like a highway, letting particles in and out," lead Voyager scientist
Ed Stone told reporters in San Francisco.
Scientists don't know how long it will take for the probe to cross the
so-called "magnetic highway," but they believe it is the last layer of a
complex boundary between the region of space under the sun's influence and
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ILLW
The International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend
The 100th registration for this event is in. It comes from the Deutscher
Amateur Radio Club, Emden club station DL0EM at the Campen Lighthouse, on
the North Coast of Germany.
Active since 1891 with Germanys most powerful lighthouse lamp, in the mouth
of the Ems River, and with its lattice tower construction it stands 65 metres
or 213 feet tall.
Listen for club station DL0EM with a team of operators on the HF bands. The
International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend is an annual fun and friendly
event sponsored by the Ayr Radio Group on the third full weekend of August.
The basic objective is to promote public awareness of the historic structures
and their need for preservation, promotion of amateur radio and to foster
So far 22 countries have registered. If you would like to know more or register
online for the next event on August the 17th and 18th visit the website
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RESCUE RADIO
IARU REGION 3
Emergency Centre of Activity (CoA) frequencies
3.600, 7.110, 14.300, 18.160 and 21.360 MHz
Disaster recovery helped by amateur radio
The radio amateur community was well prepared when a super typhoon unleashed
its fury on the Philippines, uprooting trees, snapping power lines, sparking
landslides, cancelling flights and ferries sending 40,000 people to shelters.
Claiming more than 200 human lives, it was the strongest of 16 typhoons in
the country this year, as Pablo (internationally named Bopha) had heavy rain
and wind gusts up to 210km/h.
The Philippine Amateur Radio Association (PARA) had emergency communications
on 40 metres 7095 MHz and VHF as the typhoon made landfall on Tuesday at
North Davao in Mindanao. It left a large footprint of damage before exiting
PARA is disappointed that its emergency use of 7095 MHz was not honoured
by other radio amateurs, who disturbed its operation by testing equipment
on air, tuning up, sending digital signals and sometimes even trying to make
contact as if it was a DX activity.
A standard text will clearly identify emergency nets in future, as a worldwide
reminder is issued not to QRM emergencies or training exercises.
(Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee)
SOCIAL SCENE 2013
FEB 24 VK WYONG AUSTRALIA HAMFEST
MAR 24 VK7 "Meet the Voice" barbecue at Ross.
MAY 24-25 VK6 WIA AGM AND CONFERENCE IN PERTH
AUG 17-18 WW ILLW
Oct 3- 7 VK4 North Queensland Amateur Radio Convention Charters Towers
NOV 3 VK5 HamFest Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society 2 Goodwood.
NOV 15-17 VK3 Victorian National Parks Weekend
Nov 24 VK3 Southern Peninsula Amateur Radio Club: Rosebud RadioFest
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