WIANEWS - JANUARY 13 - VK NATIONAL NEWS
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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WIANEWS WEEK COMMENCING JANUARY 13 2013.
Bushfires throughout Australia.
Australian given an AMSAT accolade.
VI 4 ASJ Wraps up.
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA FOR WEEK COMMENCING JAN 13 2013.
Bushfires throughout Australia
The wild fires in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland come
as Australia experiences its hottest temperatures on record spanning 120 years.
The fierce immense fires have even been photographed and tweeted by the
International Space Station Commander, Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield VA3OOG.
So far WICEN South (Tasmania) is the only group of trained radio amateurs
reported to be engaged by manning Tasmanian Fire Service communications.
In teams of two, WICEN is posted at the Incident Management Team headquarters
to control the busy 80MHz radio traffic to crews at the massive blazes on
the Tasman Peninsula and in the Derwent Valley.
Lots of people including tourists were trapped. Aerial and ground crews have
worked on those two fires that saw houses, out-buildings and a school lost.
Fires had burnt elsewhere in Tasmania.
In Victoria houses were burnt by a grass fire at Snake Gully near Ballart
including an historic homestead.
A similar situation existed in New South Wales with fire near Bega, Cooma,
Wagga Wagga and Nowra in the Shoalhaven region.
Queensland has had numerous fires. South Australian fire-fighters are being
kept busy too.
Despite some respite in a few areas with cooler weather, including reports
of a little snow on Hobart's Mount Wellington on Wednesday gave fire-fighters
some help, but severe hot weather is forecast to return to most areas.
In Victoria, authorities are mobilising fire fighting fire trucks, aircraft
and resources to the north-east region fearing the worst there by this weekend.
(Jim Linton VK3PC, Chair of the IARU Region 3, Disaster Communications Committee)
Australian given an AMSAT accolade
It was a very humble Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI who received an award from AMSAT
North America for the voluntary work he has done for the Amateur Radio on
the International Space Station (ARISS) program.
In accepting the award, Tony VK5ZAI said it was a very nice honour which
made him feel humble.
"I look at it as a combined effort for all those that have helped over the
last 20 years because I couldn't have done it alone," he said.
In praise of ARISS, Tony VK5ZAI said, "They're a great group to work with
and he has made many friends through it and amateur radio."
He is the Australian ARISS Coordinator and a Telebridge Earth Station involved
in many contacts between the ISS and schools.
The Channel 7 Today Tonight show interviewed Tony VK5ZAI in early 2012, when
he gave some great insights as to how Amateur Radio can provide support
for NASA, as well as raise public awareness through the ARISS schools program.
The segment has been posted to YouTube and NOW features as a prelude to many
Australian school contacts with the ISS.
To view it visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?V=fUsoo_oaNkw
WIA BOARD TALK
President Phil Wait VK2ASD firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President Chris Platt VK5CP email@example.com
Secretary David Williams VK3RU firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer John Longayroux VK3PZ email@example.com
Phil Wait VK2ASD our WIA President writing on WIA Front Page News (wia.org.au)
says the Society needs an Assistant Treasurer to assist John Longayroux VK3PZ
in looking after the financial affairs of the Institute.
Ideally you would live in the wider Melbourne area, have some corporate or
not-for-profit experience and be proficient in MYOB or other computer based
accounting systems, and naturally have some spare time to devote to the WIA.
If you are able to assist John in the preparation of our yearly budgets and
quarterly financial reports, and also happy to attend occasional meetings, we
need to hear from you.
WIA President went on to say "I would like to say that this is a paid position
and full of all sorts of perks and benefits. Sorry! but you will be involved
with a great group of people all working for Amateur Radio and, although
deadlines have to be met, the position is not too demanding."
If you believe you can help the WIA in this aspect of its work, please send an
Email with a brief outline of your qualifications and experience to
Learn - 13 January 2013
Have you prepared for the last weekend in May; the 2013 WIA AGM and
With access to Amateurs from all levels of experience, you'll participate in
sessions about and related to Amateur Radio. With so much expertise in one
place we offer a platform to tap into the assembled knowledge and experience
and give you front row access to it all.
The 2013 WIA AGM and Conference, it's all about Engaging, Learning,
Appreciating, Socializing and Discovering.
You'll find all the information online at the VK6 conference site,
HAMS ACROSS AUSTRALIA.
Shane VK6ZW has been 'doing' the 80mx relay Sunday eves of this the WIA News
for a number of years, and reports he has had to QSY from 3.564 up to ANYWHERE
between 3.610 - 3.635 due to local QRM.
The local 2 meter repeater advises frequency on the night of broadcast.
web service:- http://www.arnsw.org.au/html/news_vk2wi.htm
VKG Roundup http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/news
The day is fast approaching for the largest Amateur Radio gathering in the
Wyong Field Day - Sunday 24th February 2013 - Mark this date in your calendar,
or you may be disappointed
Free shuttle bus from Wyong station
Gates open 6.30am - Traders and Exhibitors 9am
For more information, got to the website, fieldday.org.au
Proudly brought to you by the Central Coast Amateur Radio Club
Wyong field Day - Amateur Radio's Big Day Out!
VK4 - QNEWS
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The one subject that is mentioned every day on Amateur Radio Nets around
Australia is the weather.
The Gold Coast Amateur Radio Society, VK4WIG, will be hosting a presentation by
well respected local Meteorologist and Storm Chaser, Anthony Cornelius.
He will be answering all of those nagging questions, like how do meteorologists
forecast storms, what are the best instruments to use at home, and what's' with
all this crazy weather we are having right now.
Anthony will be at the Molendinar clubhouse at 10am on 19 January and everyone
A bar-b-Q will follow at approximately 12noon. See you there - I'm Bryn
VK4GF GCARS Secretary"
web service:- http://www.amateurradio.com.au/news/
The Centre Victoria RadioFest
This major event will be at the Kyneton Racecourse, only an hour from
Ballarat, Bendigo and Melbourne on Sunday February the 10th, tickets
on sale from 9am and the doors open at 10am.
A feature will be a Homebrew Competition judged by Drew Diamond VK3XU.
There will be a bustling Traders Hall, a second-hand seller market, club
displays including vintage equipment and the ever popular mini-lecture
Presentations are by Alan Devin VK3XPD and Michael Coleman VK3XH on the
Millimetre Wave Bands, Wayne Merry VK3WAM about 'Summit on the Air',
Drew Diamond VK3XU home brewing, and Kevin Forbes VK3UKF on things in orbit.
See you at the Centre Victoria RadioFest, on Sunday February the 10th.
I'm Barry Robinson VK3PV and you are listening to VK1WIA.
What use is an f-call?
Over the past year I've come to see and experience some of the different
achievements that amateurs have made in this hobby. It's not immediately
obvious what the scale or range of those things are.
Just scratching the surface reveals that the amateur radio news is broadcast
every week, there's likely a repeater within range, if not several, there are
clubs and associations, contests, training services, websites, magazines,
on-air nets, technical talks and seminars, educational activities,
promotions, sponsorships and emergency services.
I've had the opportunity to participate in most of those activities, some
as a receiver of services and others where I was an active contributor.
Recently I was struck by the invisibility of the edge. What I mean by that is
that there are single points of failure in many of those services.
The news that you're listening to right now for example is put together by
amateurs like you. The news has been here every week and you've been able to
listen to it. The reason that's possible is because there is a large group of
people across the world making it happen.
You could stop there and leave it at that, but if you did, you'd lose the
point I'm making.
The edge that I'm talking about is for example, one single person is
responsible for broadcasting the produced news file on my local repeater.
Similarly, one single person is responsible for doing the same on 160m.
Across the country, and across the world for that matter, are single
individuals who are providing an essential service. Each individual
representing a single point of failure.
I know that I am one of those single points of failure - not a critical one
by any stretch of the imagination, but none the less. I didn't plan to be,
in-fact, the opposite is true - I offered to help another amateur with the
aim of sharing the load and found myself holding the baby. This is not a
unique story, in fact, it's played out all over the hobby every day.
You could construct a list of all of those individuals and laud them with
accolades, but I know for myself, that's not what I want - and I doubt others
do either - of course, it's not for me to say, so instead, I'll ask this
What things in Amateur Radio are you taking for granted, and what
could you do to contribute to them?
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.
In the USA their FCC has formalized rules to help speed the deployment of
Internet services on board planes.
Since 2001, the commission has authorized a number of companies to operate
earth stations on aircraft communicating with Fixed-Satellite Service
geostationary-orbit space stations.
Installed on the exterior of the aircraft, the satellite antenna carries the
signal to and from the plane, providing two-way, in-flight broadband services
to passengers and flight crews.
The commission's recent Report and Order formalizes earth stations aboard
aircraft ESAA as a licensed application in the Fixed-Satellite Service
Fixed-Satellite Service and establishes a framework for processing
applications while ensuring other radio service operations are protected from
Airlines will be able test their own systems to prove they meet FCC standards,
establish that they do not interfere with aircraft systems, and then get
A proposal to embed bar codes and radio-frequency ID tags in Virginia license
plates is currently 'on the table.'
Proponents say the first-in the-nation surveillance program would aid
law-enforcement agencies and could even "unclog traffic."
But civil-liberties groups see a more sinister agenda, and ulterior motives.
"RFID (radio frequency identification), in particular, is often cited as a
key offender of privacy and, in fact, Virginia statute 46.2-323.01 prohibits
the use of RFID tags in driver's licenses. DMV reports that similar concerns
have been raised for bar codes," the report stated.
Morse Code as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage
On December 12th, the Cabinet of Germany ratified the UNESCO Convention
for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which brings us one
step closer to the goal of the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC) and IARU
to have Morse Code added to the list of Intangible cultural heritage.
This should be achieved by November 2014.
BILL PASTERNAK, WA6ITF, HONORED BY CEDARS SINAI ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Amateur Radio Newsline producer Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, was recently honoured
with a Certificate of Appreciation for his volunteer work to the
Cedars Sinai Medical Centre Alumni Association.
No, Bill never worked at the medical facility. However since his retirement
from Fox Television in 2009 he has been the volunteer Videographer for the
monthly social gatherings of the group.
The award was presented to Bill during a break in an evening's program while
he was video recording a presentation by famed Hollywood Producer Director
Paul Mazursky. Mazursky was the featured speaker talking about the
production of his 1984 film Moscow on the Hudson that starred Robin Williams.
THE QNEWS WORK BENCH - the nuts and volts report - Measure Twice cut Once.
The Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized computer that has taken the internet
tinkerers set by storm. Running a 700Mhz ARM11 type CPU it promises a cheap,
powerful embedded Linux platform with USB for keyboard and mouse, and a
High-Def HDMI video output capable of BluRay quality playback; a seemingly
impossible feature for such an inexpensive and generally available device.
It runs on 5v and exposes a bunch of GPIOs for interfacing with homebrew
projects and has a composite video out and 3.5mm analogue audio output to make
sure there are no excuses in getting this thing to talk to the outside world.
The first model released boasted Ethernet jack and 256mb of RAM, which has
since been doubled in a revised hardware configuration and more recently a
cheaper version without the network connection is on sale.
The operating system is written on SDcard media, the same media used in most
digital cameras and a variety of flavours of Linux are officially supported
by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and others by the user community.
Originally envisaged as a primary and secondary school level educational
platform to teach software programming, the Raspberry Pi went on general sale
to attract a community and ensure economies of scale would keep the price low.
Over 500,000 units were sold in its first 6 months, to September 2012. What
makes this more impressive is that the 'Arduino', a microcontroller platform
that was the previous 'darling of the internet', took 5 years to reach the
300,000 mark. You'll see the penetration of Arduinos at your local
electronics parts retail stores, right alongside the PicAxe and Basic Stamp
Raspberry Pis of both flavours -- pardon the pun -- are available from the
'big two' mail-order parts suppliers in Australia. I'm sure you can find them.
The 'Pi is a little underpowered to be used as a day-to-day home computer for
most people, but with some technical assistance it could be a very
inexpensive introduction to computing and general web-browser connected to a
television for a complete novice. You're probably better off pulling out a
few 'Crinkly Mawsons' from under the mattress if you're looking for a general
The price: performance ratio and its low power consumption makes the Pi an
excellent platform for Ham experimenters and home brewers. We Amateurs have
really taken to the Raspberry Pi with a range of projects reimplemented to
take advantage of the much improved user-interface, over your traditional
microcontroller based project.
Some projects that have caught my eye are:
-Full featured CW-trainer that plugs into the TV
-APRS Digipeaters and Gateways
-AMSAT Satellite platform
-Field day logging and Rig control
-2-axis rotator controller with real-time satellite tracking
-Lightweight Digi-mode setup for hiking
I hope this introduction has piqued your interest and got you thinking about
OPERATIONAL NEWS - DATELINE 2013
VK ROSS HULL MEMORIAL VHF-UHF ALL JANUARY
VK SUMMER VHF-UHF FIELD DAY Sat sUN JANUARY 12-13
ZL Jock White Memorial Field Day Contest Sat and Sun Feb 23 and 24.
This event takes place this weekend (the closest to 13 January) the birth
date of Melvin Jones, the founder of the Lions organisation.
It is not a contest but merely a means for Lions to exchange greetings with
other Lions and Lions Clubs. Radio amateurs and members of the various Lions
Clubs get together and the Lions are allowed to exchange greetings with other
Lions under supervision of the radio amateur.
Normally the name and number of the Lions Club is the exchange.
SKN on OSCAR 2013 Best Fist Nominations Due
Many thanks to all who participated in AMSAT's Straight Key Night on
OSCAR 2013. If you have not already done so, please take a moment to
nominate someone you worked for Best Fist. Remember, your nominee
need not have the best fist of those you heard, only of those you
worked. Send your nomination to w2rs at amsat.org.
This year's event is dedicated to the memory of John Thompson,
W1BIH/PJ9JT, who passed away in 2012, aged 96. Although known
primarily as an HF DXer and contester, John was also active on OSCAR,
mostly on CW.
Those nominated will be recognized in an ANS bulletin in early Feb-
ruary, and in The AMSAT Journal.
[ANS thanks Ray Soifer, W2RS for the above information]
SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS, DX and BEACON AND NET ADVICE
P29NO Nao/JA2VQP East Sepic Province Papua New Guinea
on air during January 2013 to January 2015 whilst volunteer
teacher at Divine Word University Wewak.
Two German operators will be QRV from Kenya from 7 - 20 January. Callsigns to
look for are 5Z4/DF3ZS and 5Z4/DL1QW. They will be on all bands 80 - 10m on
SSB and RTTY. QSL to the home calls.
The Dakar Rally will start in Peru for the first time this year. The route
will take participants through Peru, Argentina and Chile. To mark the
occasion the Radio Club Peruano are airing a special event station with the
callsign 4T4RDP. The station will be active from 4 - 13 January. A special
QSL card will be available via OA4O.
Al W6HGF will be active from the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean from
9 - 24 January. He will use the callsign J8/W6HGF and focus on RTTY. QSLs
go via his home call.
VK Club Bulletins http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aarnie/
VK2 CCARC news ccarc.org.au/wp/2012/09/ccarc-news-12-31/
I am happy to report that the planned live relay of VK2WI's transmission
using the FreeDV digital voice mode went ahead as planned last Sunday on
7190 LSB, digital voice, with no problems.
I would like to thank those amateurs who responded not only with written
reports but also with screenshots, audio and video files to the digitalaudio
These reports have shown areas where I can improve my transmit side as well
as the effects of QSB on the received signals at various VK2 locations from
the Illawarra in the south up to Duri in the north.
The developers, who also monitor the list, have received these files and
reports and are considering what might be possible to improve low signal
performance of the mode.
Thanks to the coverage of both the ARNSW and WIA News broadcasts there have
been several new amateurs posting their interest in FreeDV on the
digitalaudio google group. During the week there have been reports on the
list from several VK amateurs testing with FreeDV for the first time and
making successful contacts.
For those who haven't joined the "band wagon" yet, can I suggest you
check out FreeDV on the web at www.freedv.org
73 and hope to work you on Digital Voice this is Ed VK2JI.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP --- NAVAL
Members of the Lake Boga Lions Club have established a Museum at Lake
Boga on the site of the No 1 Flying Boat Repair Depot that was
established back in 1942.
Members might like to take a moment to visit their website by clicking
the following Link <http://www.flyingboat.org.au> and get a feel for
the 30 years of effort that has gone into the establishment of the
Museum. Museum volunteers are currently looking for help locating two
AR7 Radio Receivers to complete the restoration of the original
If you can help, the please contact Ross Pfeiffer from the museum by
email: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
(sourced from WIA Front Page News)
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RADIO SCOUTING
Like all events that raise a ground swell of emotion, it is time for
joining hands and a couple of verses of "Auld Lang Syne." The Australian
Scout Jamboree is wrapped up and many of the participants have
arrived home or are travelling as this news goes to air.
The antennas and cables are down from the roof of the activities building
and equipment returned to clubs and individuals. A decision has been made
that the IC-718 donated by Icom Australia, go to a special scout's radio unit,
to be formed in Queensland. No doubt part of the thinking has been after
seeing the facilities that Peter, VK3AJ, brought from Victoria. For further
information follow the link.
For the operators, it has been a demanding time with troops of 6 scouts
coming through to take part in Amateur Radio. Often there were 4 positions in
use with the logging computer pressed into service to access Echo link whilst
more scouts sat waiting, up to 3 deep. Sadly from the Fraser Coast, the band
conditions did not favour daylight operations and many scouts did not get to
experience hands on ham radio. Thankfully, the EchoIRLP, supplied by VK4KEV
allowed many DX contacts with amateurs, scouts and former scouts.
Once an operating schedule was set up for the radio scouts attending AJ2013,
night time operations resulted in dog piles of activity. To the stations who
missed a contact with VI4ASJ, we are sorry but we tried. To the stations who
have made the contact, Maryborough Electronics and Radio Group, Inc. has
accepted the role of QSL Manager. Contact details for MERG are either via
WIA affiliated clubs or follow this links
The Wireless Institute of Australia has provided sponsored use of the QSL
services so please "QSL via buro".
To the many new friends we have made during this journey, we say safe journey
home, to the amateurs at the Jamboree, 73 and meet you further down the log
and to those still working on site we wish you a speedy return home and a
good night's sleep in your own bed.
From MERG, Inc., I'm Geoff, VK4ZPP, reporting for WIA National News.
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
WICEN Victoria are involved in 2 events during the next quarter.
If you are available to participate in any of these events, please
get in touch with the contact listed for the event.
Saturday February 23rd 2013
Woods point area
Contact: Dirk Versluys VK3FPAJ phone: 03 9879 8384
Sunday March 3rd 2013
MAD Bike Ride
Woodend - Wombat State Forest
Contact: John Weir VK3XD phone: 03 9431 0667
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - VHF AND ABOVE
First 24 GHz Contact Between USA and Japan
Al, W5LUA and Shichirou, JA6CZD made the first 24 GHz EME contact between
the USA and Japan on January 2 at 1430Z. The two stations had about an hour
of common window where each had 15 to 20 degrees of elevation.
JA6CZD uses a 2.4 M offset fed dish with a 22 watt SSPA. W5LUA uses
a 2.4M offset fed dish and a TWT mounted on the feed support provid-
ing 100 watts at the feed. JA6CZD sent Al a 559 signal report and Al
gave Shichirou a 449 report.
Both stations use linear polarity and must compensate for the 70
degrees of spatial offset between their locations. JA6CZD was used
horizontal and Al used vertical polarization. The noise figure at
both stations was under 2 dB.
Al measured his Doppler Shift with his return echoes at 51 KHz at
the start of the contact. The mutual Doppler Shift placed both at
about 24048.108 MHz based on a centre frequency of 24048.100 MHz
This shifted down in frequency as the schedule took place.
W5LUA was GPS locked and JA6CZD uses an OCXO and a Rubidium standard
to control frequency.
[ANS thanks Al Ward, W5LUA for the above information]
SOCIAL SCENE 2013
JAN 27 VK3 MEET THE YLs OF AMATEUR RADIO Bundoora Park Rotunda #6
FEB 10 VK3 CENTRE VICTORIA HAMFEST KYNETON
FEB 23 VK Wyong Mini Contest University Wyong racecourse
FEB 24 VK WYONG FIELD DAY Wyong Racecourse
MAR 24 VK7 "Meet the Voice" barbecue at Ross.
MAY 24-26 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 Goodwood.
NOV 15-17 VK3 Victorian National Parks Weekend
Nov 24 VK3 Southern Peninsula Amateur Radio Club: Rosebud RadioFest
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