WIANEWS - AUG 04 - VK NATIONAL NEWS
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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WIANEWS WEEK COMMENCING AUG 04 2013.
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA FOR WEEK COMMENCING AUST 4 2013.
Submitting news items
If you would like to submit news items for inclusion in the
VK1WIA broadcasts, please email your item in text to firstname.lastname@example.org
to submit audio read "how to submit items" in the weekly news page on
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slants to keep your event 'fresh 'and always if we in the news room are to
read your item, please write in the 3rd person.
ACMA looks for a rogue signal
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that mostly
the source of rogue signals that make some car remote locks useless are traced
to a faulty continually transmitting electronic device.
For about a month now motorists have had trouble locking or unlocking their
cars, which also involves the vehicle immobiliser, when in part of Sydney.
Strangely this happens only during business hours.
While the ACMA, Southern Downs Regional Council and the Warwick Police are
unable to immediately put a stop to the rogue signal, the hunt continues.
Maybe the interference time is a clue, with checks on shop entry sensors,
and anything operated by wireless including doorbells, fans and possibly
a weather station.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
The contesters versus the others
On many weekends, somewhere in the world, there's a contest with those
involved gathering numbers or exchanges busily engaged in that activity.
Contests are very much a part of amateur radio, helping to improve rapid-fire
operation, the overall skill level, station performance, scoring or to get
new stations in the log.
VK3PC Jim Linton reminds us that one thing a contester should not do is
deliberately break into any non-contest QSO and DEMAND stations give them
an exchange or number.
This is particularly true when a clash occurs, like this month, which has
both the WIA Remembrance Day Contest and the International Lighthouse and
In most instances lighthouses are happy to give out contest numbers and generally
one activity helps the other, however there are a few who don't conform to
this accepted practice.
The rules of radio etiquette are that no-one, nor an activity, owns a frequency
Care is recommended, particularly on 80-metres on the Saturday night when
the local lighthouses try to contact each other.
Contesters, in avoiding interference, are also mindful that they share the
bands with low power portable stations.
One of these many lighthouses taking part world wide actually is in the middle
Australia is known as a very big island nation. At its geographic centre
1,500 kilometres from the coast is Alice Springs, which hosts the famous
Henley-On-Todd Boat Regatta each August - albeit on a usually dry river bed.
The Northern Territorians and many visitors take the annual iconic event
very seriously with up to 3,000 witnessing the regatta, which began in 1962.
There is an interesting story of how this location, in one of the driest
parts of Australia, deserves a registration this year in the International
Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend.
Greg Mair VK8GM explains that with the help of the Henley-On-Todd team, a
lighthouse has been built to promote the spirit of amateur radio and lighthouses.
The Alice Springs lighthouse joining hundreds of others around the world
this year is certain to attract the attention of local, national and international
If you want to register a lighthouse, lightship or marine beacon in this
year's event on August the 17th and 18th then visit the website www.illw.net
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
Online retailer Kogan noticed an increasing trend (I think one that almost
everyone will relate to), when that annoying iPhone or Android default
ringtone would go off, and nearly half the room would reach for their pockets
or handbags thinking it's their phone ringing!
Basically, many people aren't changing their default ringtone and it's
causing mayhem in public. To confirm this, Kogan did a huge survey -- 11,000
Australians -- and found that more than 1 in 3 do not change their ringtones
from when they buy their phones.
So LAST Wednesday was Australia's first "Change your Ringtone Day", and
Kogan urged all Aussies to take a few minutes to change it up.
If you don't think it's worth trying to motivate people to change...just
listen to this a few times :)
WIA BOARD TALK
President Phil Wait VK2ASD email@example.com
Vice President Chris Platt VK5CP firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary David Williams VK3RU email@example.com
Treasurer John Longayroux VK3PZ firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Hartfield VK3PH from the WIA publications committee reiminds all
he has taken on responsibility for the production of the 2014 Callbook.
It's your Callbook... and he would like to ensure that the content is as
up to date and as accurate as possible.
To ensure this is the case, can all club coordinators please check
your club details on the WIA web site. If your club details are
correct, that's great If not, please log in and update your club
details with the correct information. This ensures that we are
publishing the latest most up to date details when the data is
extracted from the web site for the Callbook. This extract will be
taken at the end of August therefore you have until then to ensure we
publish the latest details.
If you have forgotten how to update your club details on the WIA web
site, please contact the National Office for help.
If you have any other feedback or comments about the Callbook, please
contact us at email@example.com
HAMS ACROSS AUSTRALIA.
SOTA Six-month Simultaneous Summit Selebration - 11th August
The VK1 SOTA participants are planning to celebrate 6 months of SOTA in VK1
on Sunday 11 August 2013 with simultaneous activations of multiple VK1
summits commencing at 09:15 local 2315 UTC.
Andrew (VK1NAM) is coordinating the register of operator/summits.
Andrew can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
The list of SOTA qualifyinng summits in VK1 is at:
( Andrew Davis VK1DA/VK2UH )
web service:- http://www.arnsw.org.au/html/news_vk2wi.htm
VKG Roundup http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/news
FACEBOOK GROUP FOR SARC
Frank VK2FRNK has established a "Facebook Group" for the club.
FB Groups are different to pages as they are more like forums where members
can discuss and post ideas etc. They can also post pics and files so it's a
great way to integrate activity.
He will put a few files like membership application and so on in the files
Check in often https://www.facebook.com/groups/SummerlandARC/
web service:- http://www.amateurradio.com.au/news/
Amateur Radio Victoria - Foundation class
Do you know someone, perhaps a family member, a neighbour, person at work
or a friend who would make a good radio amateur?
Then tell them about the Foundation Licence quality training weekend to be
held on August the 24th and 25th at the well-equipped and conveniently located
40g Victory Boulevard, Ashburton.
To enrol please contact the Education Team Leader Barry Robinson VK3PV by
email at email@example.com or via mobile phone on 0428 516 001.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
VK4 - QNEWS
Send your stories for news. SCRIPT to firstname.lastname@example.org
send audio to http://www.wia.org.au/members/broadcast/upload/
get local audio news www.wiaq.org.au/ftp/vk4_qnews_64.mp3
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TARC WIA Exams Information
Exam sessions in the North Queensland region are held on demand with WIA
Assessors and assessment packs available for all 3 levels of licensing.
Contact theTARCinc WIA Exams Co-ordinator Ray/VK4NET on home phone 4723 4351
to have a mutually suitable date and WIA Assessors assigned to you.
Further information also available at theTARCinc website.
vk7 local news, email firstname.lastname@example.org
REAST Training, Education & Assessment
If you are interested in undertake some training or an assessment be it
Foundation, Standard or Advanced then learning organiser Reg Emmett VK7KK
would love to hear from you.
Reg can be contacted on mobile 0417 391 607
A reminder that copies of the Foundation Licence Manual - "Your
Entry into Amateur Radio" can be obtained from Clayton Reading
VK7ZCR's Caltex Service Station corner of Main Road and Amy St
Moonah for $25.
(Reg, VK7KK, REAST Education Officer and Assessor)
What use is an f-call?
The excitement of participating in an Amateur Radio event, be it social,
educational, competitive or otherwise is something that I've not seen or
experienced in any other hobby.
Every Amateur I interact with has a different history, a different bent, a
different itch that they like to scratch. Some come to the hobby to design,
build and use their inventions. Others come here to test their mettle against
that of other Amateurs across the globe. Some come for the socialising and
others for the mental agility they get from interacting with fellow
I've spent a year and a half trying to share with you what Amateur Radio is
all about, it's from my perspective to be sure, but I try and find ways of
highlighting different aspects of this all encompassing hobby.
I've yet to put my finger on it, but there is something about Amateur Radio
that other hobbies don't seem to have. Of course it's entirely possible that
I've lived a sheltered life, but this crazy collection of people from all
walks of life bring together something that is greater than the sum of its
I know that people who are not Amateurs look at me and shake their head, even
those who are do that on occasion, but what I mean is that it's hard to see
how big this field of Amateur Radio really is until you dip your toe in the
water and have a go at getting wet.
I spent a most enjoyable night recently talking about propagation, about the
grey line, about long and short paths, about hard to get countries and more
easily obtained contacts, all whilst sitting in a shack, listening to the
radio, hearing people around us talk and communicate with each other.
Perhaps it's the talking that attracts me, I've never been short of a word,
but I have to confess, Amateur Radio seems to make sense to me in ways that
other pursuits did not.
I was going to add, If Only I met an Amateur When I was younger, but perhaps
that is superfluous.
When was the last time you shared your sense of wonder with someone?
I'm Onno VK6FLAB
Operator-in-Charge of Pitcairn Radio/ZPB and amateur radio operator
VP6TC/VR6TC, Tom Christian, longtime famous ham from Pitcairn Island,
who probably gave most of us that "new one," has passed away, peacefully,
on July 7th.
Tom's wife, VP6YL/VR6YL, Betty Christian, says his health "deteriorated all
too quickly," and the last few months were "especially cruel."
Tom was buried July 8th in the cemetery on Pitcairn.
Sadly lack of available transportation prevented most of Tom and Betty's
children making it back for the funeral.
Tom was known as the "Voice of Pitcairn," was a Member of the British Empire,
and served on the Pitcairn Island Council as the Governor's Representative
for 40 years.
(sourced to Lyn VK4SWE)
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART, ARVictoria and the WW sources of the WIA.
Yasme supports developer of ViewProp
The Board of Directors of The Yasme Foundation is pleased to announce that it
has made a grant to support further development of ViewProp, a new utility
for propagation visualization developed by Rick Kiessig, ZL2HAM.
ViewProp integrates information from the Reverse Beacon Network and worldwide
spotting networks with station location information from QRZ.com and mapping
through DXAtlas. The result is a real-time, worldwide view of amateur radio
signals and operation. ViewProp also supports a "playback" function to review
historical data and provides the user with a number of options to configure
both the input data stream and the way in which the information is displayed.
Currently in beta testing by a global user's group, the Yasme grant will
enable ZL2HAM to complete development with appropriate networked software
tools and release it for public use.
The Yasme Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation organized to conduct
scientific and educational projects related to Amateur Radio, including DXing
and the introduction and promotion of Amateur Radio in developing countries.
Three Ham Radio heroes do state proud
The Hindu newspaper reports on three radio amateurs who have been recognized
for their efforts in the Uttarkhand flood relief operations
The three are reported to be Girish VU3GDS, Vishwas VU3HVD and Rahul VU3HBT.
SARL TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP IN 5 MHZ PROPAGATION RESEARCH
The SARL will activate a beacon on 5250 kHz by the end of August.
One of the HF transmitters at the NARC will be programmed to send signals at
regular intervals and radio amateurs who have the relevant software will be
able to record these signals automatically on their computers.
The software that will be used is ALE, which is a complex communications
standard also known as MIL-STD 188-141 and USA government standard
In the past usage was limited to expensive military and commercial equipment
with built-in ALE controllers. Fortunately all of that has changed with the
development of software that runs on a PC and makes use of the sound card.
ALE is now in regular use by radio amateurs all over the world.
ARRL CEO DAVE SUMNER K1ZZ ON SPECTRUM PRESSURE
Spectrum Pressure is the title of an editorial appearing in the August issue
of QST magazine. One that details the reasons that ham radio must remain
vigilant as pressure grows to make more spectrum available to other services.
Unlike other articles and news stories we have seen on this topic, this is not
a piece meant to convince the reader that the sky is falling. Rather it is
an honest and very easy to understand kook at the needs of wireless
communications in the years that lie ahead.
As many scholars say, knowledge and understanding are always the first line
2ND INTERNATIONAL YOUTH MEETING FRIEDRICHSHAFEN
IARU Region 1 reports that the 2nd International
Youth Meeting was held on Saturday, June
29th. The event featured several lectures
including one by Tommy Degrande, ON2TD. He is
the Belgian Youth Coordinator of that nations
national Amateur Radio Society the UBA. He spoke
about youth activities in Belgium
Other presenters included Remko Welling,
PE1MEW, who servers as the Scouting Jamboree on
the Air Coordinator in the Netherlands and Mari
Nikkila, OH2FPK, who is the Finnish Amateur Radio Youth Coordinator.
More can be found on the web at www.iaru-r1.org
WESTERN ELECTRIC AND THE 300B TRIODE RETURN
The Western Electric name has been resurrected
for a new vacuum tube manufacturing venture here
in the United States. With its headquarters are
in Rossville, Georgia operation will make vacuum
tubes mainly for use in high-end audio components.
While tubes or valves as they are known in Europe
were once the mainstay of the world's
electronics, they were eventually supplanted by
transistors and integrated circuits. Soon
afterward most United States based manufacturers
deserted the manufacture of tubes to follow the
solid state trend. In recent years vacuum tube
manufacturing has become the domain of specialty
companies mainly in Russia and China, but even
they only manufacture the most popular tubes like
the venerable 12AX7 and 6L6. These are used in
high end specialty audiophile gear and portable
amplifiers preferred by some musicians.
The new incarnation of Western Electric is headed
by Charles G. Whitener Jr.. Initially it will
sell only a handful of different tube types that
are exact reproductions of Western Electric
"classics," such as the 300B. The latter was a
power triode audio output tube that was
originally designed to be used in movie theaters sound installations.
You can read the entire story of the return of
Western Electric tube manufacturing on the web at
OPERATIONAL NEWS - DATELINE 2013
Remembrance Day Contest August 17th and 18th
Fast approaching is the RD contest on the 17Th and 18th of August.
The 24 hour contest starts at 0300z or 1pm eastern time. This will
give you 2 half days of contesting and 2 half days doing your own thing.
Remember to team up with your mates and email me your team
name and members prior to the start of the contest.
Receiving your log is most important and it adds points to your
state total. If you have problems sending your log, please don?t
hesitate to call or email me so I can help you with it.
Have a look the logging examples for portable and interstate
operators, as shown on the WIA RD website. Correct logging will
make it easier for the Cabrillo checker and won't score zero points
when logged incorrectly. For example, one may log VK4XX/M1 for mobile
in vk1, but really it's vk4xx portable in England. England scores
The International Light house weekend will be sharing the bands
with us and in the true spirit of Amateur Radio, it is great to see
that some of these stations are participating in the RD as well as
the Lighthouse weekend.
I have also been informed that some ILLW stations will not be
giving out numbers for the RD as they wish to remain 100% ILLW.
So remember your etiquette and have a great time in the RD.
This is Alan VK4SN Remembrance Day contest Manager.
Thanks Alan VK4SN, continuing on from the Remembrance Day contest in operational
news it is the ALARA Contest August 24 and 25
Then the next big WIA contest we are informed of is not until May NEXT year,
Harry Angel Memorial Sprint happens May 3 2014.
Also in 2014
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 2 - 3
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 1 - 2
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 6 - 7
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 5 - 6
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 4 - 5
Your listening to VK1WIA and the National News Service I'm Felix VK4FUQ
AND THE Colvin Award grants have been announced
Yes ARRL has announced that they have made Colvin Award grants to help
support three upcoming DXpeditions.
Recipients are the K9W Wake Atoll, T33A Banaba Island, and FT5ZM
Amsterdam Island DXpeditions.
The K9W DXpedition is scheduled for September-October 2013
the T33A DXpedition for November 2013 and the FT5ZM DXpedition
for January-February 2014.
More details, see:
VK3 ANR 50 for club anniversary
The Geelong Radio and Electronics Society celebrates its 50-years with a
special callsign VK3 ANR 50 and QSL card between August 25 to 31.
Founded in 1963, its celebration will be at the well-equipped club rooms
237a High Street Belmont.
The group of enthusiasts is active in amateur radio, computers and electronics.
VK3ANR50 will on air 7-days using HF, VHF, UHF as well as IRLP nodes around
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
TN 5 MS
4 operators will be on air as TN 5 MS from the Congo September 28 thru Oct 11.
They will be active on H-F Bands.
QSL via PA 3 AWW, either direct, or Logbook of the World.
British Railways Amateur Radio Society GX 4 LMR over the rest of the year
will be marking the 45th anniversary of the end of steam on the British
railways network. This will be taking place thanks to BRARS member
Mark Procter who will be transmitting from his home qth near Preston,
which was the very last bastion of steam in August 1968.
Obviously a VERY Special qsl card has been produced for this event.
V G 6 Yap Island September 8th to 15th on 40 through 10 meters using CW only.
QSL via PG 5 M.
EA 4 GBA, is operational as C 91 GBA from Mozambique until December 15th.
Activity will be on all H F bands using SSB with 100 watts into a dipole.
QSL direct via EA 4 GBA.
TU 5 DF is on the air from the Ivory Coast until October.
TU 5 DF operations are 40 through 6 meters using CW with some SSB and PSK31.
QSL to his home call F 5 SWB
UK/EU FISTS ANNOUNCES A NEW AWARD
The FISTS Spectrum Award will be issued for working 100 different FISTS
Members on any one band, i.e. all QSOs listed in the log must be on the same
The award Start Date is 1 July 2013; all logged QSOs must be made on or after
the start date.
Spectrum Award Endorsements available for 100 FISTS Member contacts made on
additional bands, other than the original band the award is issued for.
An award certificate will be issued for the first log of 100 contacts on the
same band. For each log submitted thereafter, endorsement stickers for the
appropriate band will be issued. This endorsement sticker may be attached to
the original certificate.
For more information, see http://fists.co.uk/spectrum
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
BROADCAST TRANSMITTER CREATES SPURS IN AVIATION BAND IN NEW ZEALAND
A recent investigation of interference to
communications between pilots and the control
tower for aircraft approaching Auckland airport
in New Zealand, highlights the risk of unintended
signals being generated as an unwanted side
effect of radio broadcasting.
The investigation took several weeks to complete
because of the low signal level and intermittent
observations of the interference. Locating it
involved considerable staff resources from the
New Zealand Radio Spectrum Management agency as
well as their renting an aircraft and pilot to locate the source from the air.
When found the problem proved to be an unwanted
spurious emission from an FM broadcast
transmitter in a community to the north of
Auckland. The problem was quickly repaired by the broadcaster.
In this case the interference was not considered
to be an immediate safety risk because of the
availability of alternative aircraft radio
communications channels. It did however present
a significant annoyance and distraction to pilots
flying into and out of the city.
A recent study by the New Zealands's neighbor
across the Tasman Sea confirms the same problem
exists in VK land. According to the Australian
Communications and Media Authority about 28% of
the transmitters it checked showed the production
of unwanted emissions with many radiated in the
aeronautical radio-communication band. As such
these spurs do hold a potential risk to the safe operation of aircraft.
Thanks Felix, and another item of "intruder" interst cam in this week
from listener Adrian Pin VK2VHF. The full story can be read online at
mashable.com but in short it tells of a group of research students from
the University of Texas recently setting themselves a challenge to experiment
with GPS signals.
Their unique and courageous task was to attempt to hijack an $80m yacht using
false GPS signals to change the course of the vessel - and they succeeded!
They developed a GPS spoofing device that created false civil GPS signals to
gain control of the vessel's GPS receivers and autopilot system.
The team conducted the experiment using an $80 million private yacht sailing
in international waters off the southern coast of Italy.
A student "attacker" commanded the spoofing device and sent faint civil GPS
signals toward the ship's GPS antennas. The spoofing signals were increased
to the point that they were stronger than the legitimate satellite signals.
This way, the "attacker" could take control of the ship's navigation system
The research team took control of the ship without alarm and changed its
course, revealing vulnerabilities with the system.
It's comforting to know this was simply an experiment; the yacht's crew knew
about the mission. But it uncovered the potential of spoofing, which the
University says must be addressed.
The full stroy can be read at www.mashable.com
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ATV (Every pixel tells a story) - Video
North West Tasmania ATV Group
The next general Meeting of the Club is scheduled for Saturday 10th August.
The venue will be the Home of Tony VK7AX, 5 Kywong Crescent, Ulverstone.
As usual an open invitation is extended to all to attend.
(Tony, VK7AX, President - NWT-ATV Group)
ATV QSO Party this month
Another Digital Amateur Television QSO Party will be held through the
Melbourne-Geelong repeater VK3RTV plus other Australian and USA repeaters,
via the British Amateur Television Club streaming and Skype.
The concept, initiated by Peter Cossins VK3BFG for the Amateur Radio Victoria
centenary in 2011 has been a growing annual event since.
This year's date is Friday the 20th to Saturday the 31st of August. A
contributor is expected to be Melbourne's Eastern and Mountain District Radio
Club which acknowledges that its digital television project is funded through
the WIA Club Grants Scheme.
The Digital ATV QSO Party transmissions are relatively short, often in a
show-and-tell format to explain personal involvement in the visual medium.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- FINAL FRONTIER
Free Ham Radio Satellite Tracking App
Tom Doyle W9KE has released a free satellite tracking App
'Satellite Explorer Pro' for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch
The App can be downloaded from the iTunes store
STRaND-1 Heard After 113 Days of Silence
Mike DK3WN has reported hearing STRaND-1 and decoding telemetry.
The spacecraft has been silent since March 31st so this is really good news.
Project leader, Dr Chris Bridges, would be really pleased to receive any and
all reports fromr amateurs around the world.
STRaND-1 transmits on frequency of 437.568 MHz (+/- 10 kHz Doppler)
Please send your reports to C.P.Bridges at surrey.ac.uk
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- INTERNET --- THE HAMS DOMAIN
Sked group on Facebook
A new group has been formed on Facebook for amateurs
wishing to schedule contacts with other amateurs.
So if you need a particular contact for an award, or just a
chat, then go to
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ILLW
The Hellenic Radio Association of Australia will be participating at the
upcoming Light House weekend on the 17th and 18th of August, also competing
at the Remembrance Day contest with club call VK2CL They invite all
hams to visit on the day and even help with the event.
So where will they be?
The Hellenic Radio Association of Australia will be at Nobbys Head Lighthouse
in Newcastle VK2.
(Peter Garoufalis VK2NN Secretary HARAOA)
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RADIO AMATEUR OLD-TIMERS
Hallo everyone, this is Clive VK6CSW.
Have you ever wondered what it must have been like to crew an open
Fairey Swordfish torpedo carrying biplane flying from a tiny Merchant
Aircraft Carrier in the middle of the Atlantic during WW2? You can get some
idea by listening to the Radio Amateurs Old Timers Club of Australia's
bulletin scheduled for tomorrow, Monday August 5th.
The RAOTC bulletin is transmitted throughout the day at various times and on
various frequencies, but the principal HF transmissions are on 20 metres
on 14.150 MHz USB, The first is at 0100 UTC beamed north from Melbourne for
eastern states listeners while the second is an hour later at 0200 UTC beamed
westward for WA listeners. Also at 0200 UTC Chris VK6JI will be transmitting
from Perth on 40 metres on 7060 kHz LSB, mainly for listeners outside WA's
linked repeaters coverage but could also be heard in South Australia too.
To find a local HF, VHF or UHF transmission for your area, please visit the
RAOTC website at www.raotc.org.au
Everyone, RAOTC members and non-menbers alike, is cordially invited to listen
to this interesting half-hour bulletin and to call back afterwards.
Once again, the RAOTC monthly bulletin for August can be heard tomorrow,
Monday August 5th.
73 from Clive VK6CSW.
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- SUMMITS ON THE AIR
The Summits on the Air or "SOTA" award programme is continuing to
generate interest and activity on the amateur bands in
Australia. SOTA originated in the UK and has spread throughout the
world, reaching Australia a few years ago when a small group of
enthusiasts in VK3 started the process of identifying and listing the
summits that met the SOTA requirements of prominence over the
How does SOTA work? Activators have to enter the top 25m of the
summit using non-motorised means. That usually means walking on foot
but it can also be done riding a bicyle or an animal. They also have
to carry all their equipment, including their radio transceivers,
power supply and antenna, then get on the air and make at least 4
contacts from the summit to qualify for the points for that
summit. Their power supply may not be a fuel based
generator. Batteries and solar are the recommended power sources.
Summits are given points values ranging from 1 to 10. Awards are
available for activators and chasers. Activators scoring 1000 points
qualify for the Mountain Goat Award and chasers scoring 1000 get the
Shack Sloth award. There are certificates for reaching intermediate
goals such as 250 and 500 points too.
What if you don't want to walk up hills? Those portable stations on
hills need to contact someone and that could be you. In SOTA
parlance, if you are not on a summit as an activator, you are a
chaser. Simply exchange signal reports with an activator and you
have made a valid SOTA contact. You can log it on the SOTADATA
website. No QSLs are required.
What about other states? SOTA in VK2 is well advanced and within a
few weeks we hope to be able to submit an application for
registration of VK2 as a SOTA association. On current information
the VK2 list will have over 800 summits for activators to walk
up. The timing is not guaranteed but we expect VK2 to be "on the
air" by summer if not earlier.
VK7 and VK4 are likely to be lodging their summit lists soon
too. There is discussion in VK6 and it will be quite interesting to
hear contacts being made between activators in VK6 and either
activators or chasers in the east. As power levels are typically
low, extra attention is paid to antenna efficiency by
activators. There is intense discussion about the best power
supplies for various radios. Weight vs. battery capacity is the trade-off.
The summits on various VK9 islands are few, but they have been
registered already, so the recent VK9NT operation from Norfolk Island
caused quite a stir among the SOTA enthusiasts.
The VK1 SOTA association is organising a simultaneous activation of
as many summits as possible today Sunday 11th August. Operators on 2m
FM and 40m SSB will find a sudden increase in activity that morning in VK1.
For more information about SOTA, see sota.org.uk and join the
SOTA_Australia group on Yahoo Groups to keep up with the SOTA scene
Submitted by Andrew Davis VK1DA/VK2UH Coordinator for VK2 SOTA
AUG 11 VK2 SARCFEST 414 Richmond Hill Rd near Lismore
AUG 17-18 WW ILLW
SEP 14 VK4 Sunshine Coast Amateur Radio's Sunfest 9am.
Oct 3- 7 VK4 North Queensland Amateur Radio Convention Charters Towers
Oct 5 vk4 REDFest by Redcliffe & Districts Radio Club St Michael's
College, Caboolture, 9am
NOV 2 VK4 Gold Coast ARS HamFest at Albert Waterways Hall.
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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