WIANEWS - JANUARY 26 - VK NATIONAL NEWS
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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WIANEWS WEEK COMMENCING JAN 26 2014.
OUR 19TH YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA AGM AND CONFERENCE MAY 17 and 18 2014 to be held in VK4
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA FOR WEEK COMMENCING JAN 26 2014.
AX for Australia Day
Under a permanent agreement with the Australian Communications and Media
Authority (ACMA) all Australian radio amateurs may use the alternative
AX callsign prefix instead of VK on Australia Day, today, Sunday January 26.
The day marks the First Fleet's arrival in 1788 at Sydney Cove, the
establishment of a European settlement at Port Jackson, with the raising of
the British flag by Governor Arthur Phillip.
But we know the Dutch were here well beforehand and now maybe another of
our European Cousins even beat them!
You see it's come to light that a tiny prayer book could upend the
conventional wisdom about the European discovery of Australia.
New York City's Les Enluminures gallery recently acquired a medieval
Portuguese manuscript that appears to contain a drawing of a kangaroo
curled into the letter "D."
The manuscript was thought to be owned by a nun, and is believed to date
between 1580 and 1620, which means it just might predate a 1606 Dutch voyage
to the island continent that's long been considered the first European visit,
the Guardian Newspaper has explained.
The theory that Portugal beat the Netherlands to Australia has been floating
about for years, fuelled by Portugal's medieval reputation for maritime secrecy
"It is not surprising at all," a historian who has been a long-time proponent
of the theory told The Age Paper; he believes Portugal charted the continent's
coast in 1521-22
(various press reports jan 2014)
Great Melbourne Telescope Restoration Project
Astronomical Society of Victoria
''I think of it as a nine-tonne Meccano set,'' Jim Pollock told the SMH
when speaking of the vast and weather-beaten collection of pieces that once
comprised the biggest steerable reflective telescope in the world.
It was called the Great Melbourne Telescope (GMT) and, thanks to a $70,000
grant, the grand project of the Astronomical Society of Victoria - to restore
this ancient window to the heavens - is going full speed ahead into 2014
When the telescope was completed in late 1869, it was set in place first, and
then the four walls of the GMT House were built around it, with the novel
roll-off roof - itself a historic artefact - being added last.
When the telescope was moved to Mount Stromlo, near Canberra at the end of
World War II, the two piers were demolished down to floor level. To return
the telescope to the GMT House will therefore involve rebuilding the two piers
before the mounting and the telescope itself are replaced
BEES HAVE CHIP ON SHOULDER
A world-first CSIRO study will fit the insects with e-tags that monitor their
CSIRO scientists are putting thousands of tracking devices, the size of a
grain of rice, on Australian bees.
The sensors will work like an e-tag, telling scientists where the bees are
It will help farmers boost the bee's productivity, ensure the insect
populations are healthy and the impact of changes in their environment.
It is also hoped the research will provide vital information on what is
causing the dramatic decline in bee populations around the world.
MOVE OVER JOBS AND GATES
Brisbane duo Ken Macken and Hugh Geiger are counting on a rush to buy their
CloudPhone, a one button cell phone.
It won't hit the marketplace until August at the earliest, but confident
of its success particularly with the aged they are.
CloudPhone has been touted as a life-saving device.
CloudPhone - which has one button and doesn't have a screen - is a
voice-controlled phone worn around the neck.
It has a 10-day battery and can make calls to designated contacts, track the
movement and location of wearers, and detect if they have taken a tumble.
If that occurs, the CloudPhone asks the user if they are ok, and if the
person says they are injured or doesn't reply, the device sends an emergency
alert to saved contacts' smartphones. If that fails, it can be programmed to
PENALTIES for WA landowners who fail to maintain their private power poles
have been flagged by the Emergency Services Minister and WA's fire boss.
Sunday's devastating blaze, which destroyed 52 homes, is believed to have
been started by a fallen power pole on a private property.
Minister Joe Francis and Department of Fire and Emergency Services
Commissioner Wayne Gregson said given the speculation of cause of the blaze,
it could be time to start looking at measures to enforce landowners to
maintain private power poles, possibly introducing penalties.
Laws to regulate the upkeep of those poles will be scrutinised when the
bushfire is reviewed by authorities.
Mr Gregson said if an investigation confirms a pole started Sunday's fire, it
would be the third incident started in such a way.
He said it could be time to review the responsibilities placed on homeowners
to maintain poles on their land.
Still in WA, we have previously mentioned the early January Linux Conference
in Perth well one of their presenters has been dubbed "Australia's geekiest
man and as a cyborg-in-progress."
Enter, Radio amateur Jonathan Oxer VK3FADO
Jon has been hacking on both hardware and software since he was a little
As part of his "SuperHouse" home automation series, Jon has taken keyless
entry to an all new level by embedding an RFID tag into his arm using a
vet's chipping tool.
HAMS ACROSS AUSTRALIA.
Hi, here's my promised update on traders at Wyong Field Day.
Not all are fully registered as yet but the ones that are, are as follows:
And as mentioned before ICOM Australia will also be at Wyong.
Our current exhibitors list includes the following (in no particular order):
The Summits on the Air group
The Historical Radio society
The Australian Radio DX Club
The Hornsby & District ARC
and the WIA QSL Bureau
Seminars on the Sunday are:
Starting at 9:15am Andrew VK2UH and Andrew VK1NAM will present a lecture on
Summits on the Air in Australia.
Following this at 10am we have Ray Robinson from the Historical Radio Society with a special lecture on the AWA Centenary
entitled "100 years of Military Radio Production."
At 11am Brian Clarke VK2GCE will give an in-depth lecture on Electro-magnetic
The VHF-UHF Weak Signal Group have their annual meeting over lunchtime from
12 noon to 12:45
and at 1pm David Burger VK2CZ finishes up the days program with a lecture on
Gigantic Yagi Antennas.
Please refer to the Wyong Field Day page on the club website at CCARC.ORG.AU
for everything you need to know about the Wyong Field Day, how to get there
and what you'll find when you get there.
One last point, positions are filling fast for the foundation licence course
on Saturday 22nd February at Wyong so get your application in as soon as you
can - details you've guessed it - on the club website.
Whether it's seeking that bargain from the flea market, grabbing that
discounted new item from the traders stands, educating yourself at the
seminars and exhibitors stalls or even taking that licence upgrade assessment.
The place to be on February twenty three is undoubtedly - The CCARC Field Day
73 'til next week.
This is Ed VK2JI, Publicity Officer of the Central Coast Amateur Radio Club.
Redcliffe and District Radio Club
Hi everyone, its Ray, VK4CF with audio news from the Redcliffe Club.
The Club will be hosting a Microwave test/tune day. And by microwave, that's
anything above 1GHz. Put an entry in your diary for a 9am start on 23rd of
February, at the Redcliffe & Districts Radio Club house MacFarlane Park in
Klingner Road, Kippa Ring.(UBD Map 91 Ref G 1). No matter where you are from
in VK pop in if you are driving past.
Available on the day is spectrum analysis up to 26GHz, weak signal source up
to 18 GHz, return loss measurement up to 26GHz, noise meter to 2GHz, sweepers
up to 18GHz and much more. This is your opportunity to test your 1GHz up
projects using the right equipment and most importantly, the people will be
there to drive them properly and help you. We are combining the day with a
1.2GHz shootout in the adjacent park after lunch. Even if you don't have any
gear, are slightly interested it's worth a look to see some homebrew creations
up close. The BBQ will be fired up for the traditional "slugs in rugs",
please drop in for a look and a chat.
The car boot sale is on Saturday 1 Feb 2014, starting at 08.30 am at the
clubhouse car park, MacFarlane Park in Klingner Road, Kippa Ring.
(UBD Map 91 Ref G 1).
It will cost $3 for each seller. There will be quite a few bargains to be
Tech talks start at 7.30 pm at the club house the third Monday
night of each month. Next month Paul, VK4FPPR, will be presenting listening
on HF bands using software defined radio, one not to be missed.
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
Chatting through the week with Dale VK4DMC (and Dale will join us a little
later) and he dropped a bombshell right in the middle of the WIA editing
He has told us that this year's WIA AGM (2014) will be held a little
west of the Sunshine Coast, at the Ettamongah Pub Palmwoods.
Now one might rightly say "why wasn't the WIA news told?" but that's just
"old" and "sour" grapes.. So after a search on the Sunshine Coasts Web page,
that's presuming SCARC are hosting, we couldn't locate anything, a search on
our own wia.org.au has a brief date claimer in the calendar, but nothing
further, so to trusty Google and BINGO
bright and bold on VKHam we found it!
CLAIM THE DATE 17/18 May 2014
The WIA AGM 2014 will be hosted by the Sunshine Coast Amateur Radio Club
just 100km north of Brisbane, the capital of the state.
The Conference will be held over the weekend of 17th and 18th, a week after
BARC Fest but the same weekend as Dayton so some may miss out
Look forward to catching up with as many as possible.
Also writing on that post was Jack VK2AXL / MM0AXL who asked "is there a
timetable of events/activities worked out yet?"
The reply? " Yes there is Jack the format of the conference is
Official AGM and Members forum Saturday AM. Lunch then
speakers Saturday PM - Dinner Saturday night and
Local sights Sunday - there are several "events"
in the week prior.
So there we be WIA Conference May 17/18, can see we will have to get SCARC
to carry on the tradition of presenting and handling the news for Sunday 18!
(GraHam VK4BB Ed.)
What use is an F-call?
A little while ago I had a conversation about the difference between Amateur
Radio and CB radio. This distinction is obvious to most Amateurs, but much
less so to the rest of the community.
On the face of it, there are people with radios that you can talk into and
someone else can hear it. There are different frequencies involved and
antennas come into play. Pretty much the same thing.
There is one fundamental difference between Amateur Radio and CB radio. This
basic difference is simple to explain, but the implications are that the two
are different animals.
Here it is:
The fundamental difference is that in Amateur Radio, it's the person that is
licensed, in CB radio, it's the radio itself, a so-called type approval.
So, to legally participate in CB radio, you need to purchase a licensed radio.
To legally participate in Amateur Radio, you need to obtain a personal amateur
There are many other subtle differences and implications. A typical approved
CB radio has a specific set of pre-defined channels and power.
In Amateur Radio, the power and frequencies you're allowed to use are
determined by your license.
There's much more than I can cover in a minute and a half, but that's the
I'm Onno VK6FLAB
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART and the WW sources of the WIA.
Cyber-security: Small satellite dish systems called ripe for hacking
Thousands of small satellite dish-based computer systems that
transmit often-sensitive data from far flung locations worldwide -
oil rigs, ships at sea, banks, and even power grid substations - are
at high risk of being hacked, including many in the United States, a
new cyber-security report has found.
Read the full Christian Science Monitor article at:
Japan to test 'magnetic net' that can fish out floating space junk
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) is teaming up with a
company that manufactures fishing equipment to create a net that
will sweep the heavens of the man-made debris orbiting our planet.
See story at
The biggest Hamfest in the Caribbean, the 2nd ARRL Puerto Rico State
Convention is on this weekend, January 25-26, 2014.
ARRL President Kay Craigie - N3KN is there as will many other Dignitaries.
Even a visit to the world famous Arecibo Observatory.
We hear many USA hams are escaping the frigid Winter to attend.
RUSSIAN OVER THE HORIZON RETURNS WITH A VENGEANCE
The IARU Region 1 Monitoring System electronic newsletter
reports a new Russian over-the-horizon radar
signal has been heard loud and clear in the 20 meter band.
Wolfgang Hadel, DK2OhM, is the International
Amateur Radio Union's Region One Monitoring
Service Coordinator. He says that this latest
Over The Horizon radar signal was about 10
kilohertz wide when it was heard and recorded on
14.305 MHz. And that it kind of sounded a lot
like the infamous Russian Woodpecker radar system of days gone by:
Russian Radar audio from DK2OM
But that's not the only place this new
woodpecker-like interference has been
heard. Other reports say this latest incarnation
of the Russian Woodpecker has also shown up on 15
and 10 meters making a pest of itself on those bands as well.
And if that were not enough, DK2OM says that
another growing problem out of Russia is the
unchecked proliferation of taxicabs being heard
on 10 meter FM. While he did not post any sound
file of this one, he did put up a spectrum
display photo taken on December 15th. It shows
10 Meter Contest activity between 28.0 and 28.55
MHz with many Russian taxicabs operating
narrowband F-M just above. All and all, not a
very good situation for hams living in Europe and other near-by nations.
You can download and read the full DK2OM report
in the English language at
The document does require the free Adobe Acrobat or
a similar PDF reader program to display the text and photos.
RECORD ATTENDANCE AT CES 2014
The Consumer Electronics Association, which
sponsors the Las Vegas based Consumer Electronics
Show says that year's CES hosted 3,200 exhibitors
and covered a record two million net square feet
of exhibit space. Also there were about 150,000
attendees of which some 35,000 or 23 percent were
from outside of the United States.
As to the technology shown, in general, the 2014
event featured devices that seamlessly marry
technology and lifestyle in ways mainstream
consumers can appreciate. Major trends this year
at this year's show included wearable devices and 4K smart televisions.
As to what would be of interest to ham radio
operators, shortwave listeners and other
electronics hobbyists? Gordon West, WB6NOA was
there and covered this in episode 130 of the TWiT
TV program Ham Nation. You can see and hear it
on the web at twit.tv/HN
2014 CONTEST DINNER TO BE HELD MAY 17 IN DAYTON OHIO
The 22nd annual Contest Dinner will be held in
conjunction with the Dayton Hamvention and will
take place on Saturday night, May 17th. The
venue will be the Presidential Ballroom of the
Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Dayton,
Ohio. This year's Master of Ceremonies will be
Contest Hall of Fame member John Dorr,
K1AR. Doug Grant, K1DG who is the co-Chairman of
WRTC 2014 will be the featured speaker. Tickets
for the 2014 Contest Dinner tickets are on sale
exclusively via the web at contestdinner.com
WEIRD AND WONDERFUL
It's one small step for man - but a giant leap for antkind.
Around 800 common ants, have been sent to the International Space Station
to teach scientists how they move in low gravity. Eight colonies each about
the size of a tablet computer have been set up to teach experts how to build
robots which interact with each other.
It is because ants inside colonies move according to internalised rules,
judging how many other ants are nearby by touching antenna and using their
sense of smell. Working together, the ants cover a piece of ground
comprehensively to find food and supplies.
When their area expands they change from moving in small circles to scuttling
in straighter lines, covering more ground.
But in the micro gravity of space, the ants' rules are confounded and they
have to develop a new set of innate principles by which to work. These
flexible principles could then be adapted to instruct robots to work together
in the same way, for tasks like searching a burning building.
Video cameras are trained on the experiment and images of the ants, are being
beamed back to Earth.
Read more The full story (with pictures) at the Daily Mail.
OPERATIONAL NEWS - DATELINE 2014
WIA John Moyle Field Day weekend March 15-16
WIA VK Harry Angel Memorial Sprint May 3
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 2 - 3
WIA REMEMBRANCE DAY (THE RD) CONTEST Aug 16 - 17
Manly-Warringah Radio Society's Flagpole contest September.
Amateur Radios International Air-ambulance Week, 9 days from Sep 28.
ZL VHF/UHF/SHF DX Weekend Contest reminder:
All bands 6 m and up on Saturday the 1st and Sunday the 2nd of February.
For all ZL contests, the operating periods are 5 pm to 11 pm on the Saturday,
and 7 am to 1 pm on the Sunday, NZ local time.
The contest rules are available on the NZART website:
All contest logs should be sent, to arrive within two weeks, to:
Or by mail to: Contest Manager, PO Box 10138, Dominion Road, Auckland 1446.
(sourced to Stephen Hayman - ZL1TPH via HQ InfoLine)
SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS, DX, BEACON REPEATER AND NET ADVICE
Onno Benschop, VK6FLAB, got to interview many of the members of the
Amsterdam Island DXpedition as they were ready to sail off to activate FT5ZM.
This is a DX community funded operation with a $450,000 yes 450 THOUSAND
All of the VK6FLAB interviews are in mp3 format, are licensed under
"Creative Commons" and can be downloaded from
A club that for many a year used to retransmit this the National News in VK2
is Westlake's who, coming up in April this year celebrate their 50th birthday.
No mean feat for a club to be going that many years!
In recognition they have been granted the special call sign, VI 2 ATZ 50,
which they will be using during april.
(sourced to vk2wi news)
International Marconi Day is listed as April 26. Hornsby And District Amateur
Radio Club (HADARC) will operate VK 2 IMD on that day.
G'day from the Atherton Tablelands this is Dale AX4DMC for the Tablelands
Radio and Electronics Club, TREC, in Far North Queensland.
Let's go back in time to 1914. Some of the events of the time were:
World War I - Australia enters the war on the 4th August.
Henry Ford introduces an assembly line for Model T.
The first military aircraft in Australia are flown.
Only a few short years earlier than this Heinrich Hertz and Guglielmo Marconi
were experimenting with wireless communications.
Wireless experimenters were in most Australian states by 1897.
In 1908 in New South Wales and Victoria 3 experimenters applied to the Navy,
then the authority for wireless, for a licence to transmit.
In Far North Queensland two wireless enthusiasts, Marcus Brims and Andy Couper
living in Mareeba, were conducting experimental transmissions and applied to
the Post Masters Generals department, by then the Australian licensing
authority, for a licence to transmit.
The very first Queensland Amateur (Experimental) Radio licence was issued to
Marcus Brims on the 7th of February 1914 His call sign was XQA!
X=experimental, Q=Queensland, A=first issue in the state.
In 2014 to celebrate 100 years of licensed amateur radio in Queensland TREC
intends to run an award program from the 7th of February to the 6th of August.
Due to World War 1 all amateur radio equipment had to be surrendered to the
government by the 6th August 1914. After the war Marcus Brims pursued other
interests and his spark gap wireless equipment remained in storage.
TREC member Ron Goodhew VK4EMF managed to acquire the station, which is in
pristine condition, and arranged for it to be on permanent display at the
Mareeba Heritage Museum.
TREC has been issued with the call sign VK4XQA!
In addition to the award TREC will be operating from Mareeba on 7 and 8 of
February using the call sign VK4XQA. We will be operating from the Mareeba
Heritage Centre about 10 metres from the original XQA spark gap transmitter
that Marcus Brims used exactly one hundred years ago.
Frequencies to listen out on will be 28.488, 21.188, 14.188, 7.188, and 3.588
Full details of the award are available at www.qrz.com/db/VK4XQA
Well that's your lot for this week.
Oh and don't forget to visit the TREC website at www.treclub.org.au
for club information and news.
This has been Dale AX4DMC and you are listening to the WIA National News.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- FINAL FRONTIER
RETIRED ASTRONAUT VA3OOG CALLS FOR MORE SPACE COOPERATION WITH CHINA
Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, VA3OOG, is
calling for more co-operation with China in future space
exploration. He also says that he wants this cooperation to
be part of any international effort to return to the moon.
UNSA-SAT1 - The first 3.4 GHz CubeSat
UNSA-SAT1 hopes to be the first CubeSat to make use of the 3400 MHz ITU
Amateur-Satellite Service allocation.
Built by students at the Instituto Astronmico y Aeroespacial Pedro Paulet in
Peru, UNSA-SAT1 is a 2U spacecraft (20x10x10cm) which will be part of the
QB50 constellation of 50 CubeSats.
The aims of this CubeSat include:
upper atmosphere science;
radio communication experiments;
education, training and outreach.
The team are proposing a 435 MHz transceiver using BPSK and additional
transmitters on 2.4 GHz,and 5.8 GHz. They also hope to have a 230 kbps
BPSK downlink on 3.4 GHz - this will only operate in Region 2 when the
spacecraft is overhead the ground station in Peru.
The ITU Amateur-Satellite allocation at 3400-3410 MHz is available in ITU
Regions 2 and 3 but not currently in Region 1 (Europe/Africa) although it is
believed Denmark and Norway have allocated the band to the Amateur-Satellite
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RADIO AMATEUR YOUNG TIMERS
A Youth Net meets Saturdays at 0100 UTC on IRLP Reflector #2.
Young Hams Net 3.590 - 7:30pm Victorian time.
Youngsters On The Air (YOTA) 2014 takes place July 15-22 in Finland. During
the week teams of young radio amateurs from 15 different European countries
will be participating in different activities such as presentations,
competitions, visiting radio stations, workshops, ARDF etc.
As the three previous events in Romania, Belgium/Netherlands and Estonia have
shown, for the young radio amateurs it will be a great experience they will
So how are the Youngsters picked?
Well in the UK, all three hundred-odd of the RSGB's young members (aged 15-25)
should be receiving a personal invitation to apply for a place on the team.
Also it's interesting to note that UK radio amateurs aged 25 and under and
in Full Time Education are entitled to Free RSGB membership.
Youngsters On The Air (YOTA)
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
In the USA members of Georgia's fourth CERT or Community Emergency
Response Team graduating class have graduated.
Jay Jones is the County's Emergency Management Agency Director.
He says the county has trained fifty CERT team
members in the past two years, with another class
anticipated for the spring. He adds that the goal is to
have CERT members in every major neighbourhood in the county.
Formed to provide assistance in times of disaster and
community emergencies, members of the new CERT team are also
licensed amateur radio operators.
More about this story
(Citizen.com via ARNewsLine)
SOCIAL SCENE 2014
Jan 24-27 VK4 TARC Australia Day Long Weekend Family Radio Camp
at Girl Guides Campsite Bluewater. (email@example.com)
Feb 01 VK4 Redcliffe Radio Club "Car Boot Sale" 9 am.
( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Feb 23 VK2 Wyong Field Day and it is on come rain hail or shine.
Apr 13-15 VK PR4AmateurRadio Expo.
Apr 18 WW Amateur Radio Day: Your Gateway to Wireless Communications.
Apr 25 vk3 ANZAC Day event Ballarat Showgrounds email@example.com
May 2- 4 VK4 Clairview Gathering Clive VK4ACC 0429 632 815
Nov 2 VK5 HamFest Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society
Nov 30 VK3 SPARC HamFest at Rosebud (firstname.lastname@example.org)
K3LP, has announced that he will be on an Australian Get-Away Trip
between January 30th and February 16th.
Look of Dave to sign VK/K3LP (VK2/VK3/etc etc) from the following locations:
January 30th - Sydney, Australia
February 1-4th- Cairns, Australia - Great Barrier Reef trip
February 4th - Voyager of the Sea; Royal Caribbean
February 6th - Melbourne, Australia
February 9th - Adelaide, Australia
February 10-11th - Hobart, Tasmania
February 13-15th - Sydney, Australia
QSL via K3LP.
For more details and updates, visit Dave's Web page at:
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