WIANEWS - FEBRUARY 9 - VK NATIONAL NEWS
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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WIANEWS WEEK COMMENCING FEB 09 2014.
OUR 19TH YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA CALLS NOMINATIONS FOR AWARDS hear Dirctor Bob Bristow VK6POP
WIA PR4AmateurRadio APRIL ACTIVITIES
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA FOR WEEK COMMENCING FEB 2 2014.
Police warning over old emergency beacons
A messy rubbish tip search for an errant signal from a discarded emergency
beacon is a reminder that all such devices need to be disposed of responsibly.
Police in Tasmania's north used a rescue helicopter to locate an older model
Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, or EPIRB, in a tip at Railton.
Then a ground crew had to dig and disable it. The beacons need to be disposed
of properly - and that means removing the battery or returning them to a
From February 2010, analogue beacons on 121.5 MHz are not detected by
satellite and only 406 MHz EPIRB signals are monitored.
The radio beacons are a safety measure used by people mostly while at sea
or travelling in remote areas.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
Stop polio now - Rotarians on air
To celebrate the birthday of community service organisation Rotary International
and highlight its involvement in eradicating the disease polio, it will be
on air on February the 22th and 23rd with a number of special event stations.
All participating Rotarians on Amateur Radio throughout the world will call
'CQ Polio' to commemorate the founding of Rotary International in 1905, and
educate the public about Rotary's End Polio Now campaign.
Here is ROAR President Bill VK4ZD
"As the ROAR International President for 2012 - 2015I am encouraging ROAR
members to participate in a yearly on air event using special POLIO
call signs (where possible) to help celebrate Rotary's birthday by
highlighting Rotary's goals and achievements in the fight against polio.
Birthday = February 23.
In 2014 this will be a worldwide event with ROAR members operating
stations with special POLIO call signs from many countries around the world.
In Australia we expect the following stations active; VI2POLIO (Noel
VK2IWT), VI3POLIO (Peter VK3KCD), VI4POLIO (Diane VK4KYL and Bill
VK4ZD), VI6POLIO (Wally VK6YS) and VI7POLIO (Reg VK7KK).
So far, other ROAR members who have indicated that they wish to
participate are W9UHL, VE3BGG, KB6NU, OH6SM, YO9BC and YO9BGR. Many more
are expecting to obtain special event call signs for the event."
The polio eradication program is a joint effort between Rotary, the WHO and
the Bill Gates Foundation.
(Bill Maine VK4ZD and Jim Linton VK3PC)
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
The Expo to show what we are about
The first registrations for the PR4AmateurRadio Expo in April have been
received as we head rapidly towards this important event.
The WIA believes the Expo, run by its many affiliates, showcases the benefits
of modern Amateur Radio and engages all ages in the community.
For the best image a display must be neat, tidy, and always safe. This is
an excellent opportunity to expose the public to the many diverse positive
elements of Amateur Radio and how it fits into the community.
Part of the effort should be designed to get people interested in and taking
up Amateur Radio.
It helps to have Foundation Licence training and assessments ready to go
after Easter, giving those attending the Expo, or reading about it in the
local newspaper, a chance to give us a try.
All ready for the Expo are the following:
- The RadioActives in Ruffey Park, Doncaster in Melbourne's northeast.
- Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society at Belair National Park.
- And Summerland Amateur Radio Club in the Lismore New South Wales central
Others have indicated they will be playing their part in the vital role of
promotion during the Expo held during April the 11th to the 13th.
Details of the PR4AmateurRadio Expo were emailed to clubs and organisations,
published in Amateur Radio magazine and regularly promoted in the VK1WIA
Do you know someone who has made a significant contribution to Amateur Radio?
The Board of the WIA at its discretion makes awards to members for their
contribution to the hobby or the Institute over a period of time.
These awards are usually announced and presented at the WIA's Annual
Conference and AGM in May.
The Board is now calling for nominations.
The nomination form is available for download on the WIA website. Look in
the news section for the article, which will include a link to the nomination
When completing the survey, you are not required to suggest which award
should be made. The Board will assess each nomination, and decide which
awards, if any, it will make.
Clearly it's best to include as much information as you can so as to inform
the Board, and please do keep it in some sort of chronological order. Also
include information about any other awards they may have received.
It's important to recognise the work done within the hobby, so please do give
some thought to nominating someone you know of.
Nominations close on 31st March, and awards will be announced and where
possible presented at the WIA's 2014 AGM and Conference on the Sunshine Coast
on May 16-18.
HAMS ACROSS AUSTRALIA.
The 2014 Annual General Meeting is to be held on Wednesday 26 February 2014
at the Mount Mugga Scout Hall, 17 Astrolabe Street, Red Hill, ACT.
The meeting will commence at 8.00 pm, and the doors will be open at 7.30 pm.
(sourced to Murray de Plater VK1MdP CRARC Secretary)
web service:- http://www.amateurradio.com.au/news/
Class enrolments to close
Do you know some who could make a good radio amateur? Then tell them about
the next Foundation Licence training class run by Amateur Radio Victoria.
Quality trainers prepare for the written and practical assessments - all
at 40g Victory Boulevard, Ashburton on February 15th and 16th.
To enrol be very quick by contacting the Education Team Leader Barry Robinson
VK3PV email@example.com or 0428 516 001.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
VK4 - QNEWS
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G'day from the Atherton Tablelands this is Dale VK4DMC for the Tablelands
Radio and Electronics Club, TREC, in Far North Queensland.
On Friday and Saturday TREC held a very successful event at Mareeba where the
centenary of the first amateur radio station in Queensland, XQA, was
A station was set up at the Mareeba Heritage Centre about 10 metres from the
original XQA spark gap transceiver that Marcus Brims used exactly one hundred
years ago. Club members made many contacts around VK and worldwide using the
A special award commemorating the 100 years of amateur radio in VK4 is
available to those who work the VK4XQA callsign which will be operated by
club members over the next six months.
Full details of the XQA award are available on the TREC website
www.treclub.org.au and also at www.qrz.com/db/VK4XQA
Well that's your lot for this week.
Once again for club information and new don't forget to visit the TREC website
Oh and Felix VK4FUQ will have more on these activities later in this bulletin.
Sunday 9th March, 2014, a VK5 SOTA & Parks symposium will be held at the
Guides Hall, Hannaford Road, Blackwood. This is the location of the
Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society shack.
The purpose of the symposium is to allow like-minded amateurs to get together
for the day, who have an interest in the Summits on the Air program, the VK5
National and Conservation Parks Award, the World Wide Flora and Fauna program,
the Keith Roget Parks Award, and portable operation in general.
Doors will open at 8.30 a.m. with the symposium commencing at 9.00 a.m. sharp
with a welcome by the President of the Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society.
Four guest speakers will then talk on topics including SOTA's progress in VK,
tips for activators & hunters of the VK5 Parks Award, an overview of the
World Wide Flora & Fauna program, and using lithium phosphate chemistry
Morning tea including coffee, tea, cake & biscuits will be held at 10.30 a.m.
Following morning tea, there will be a further 5 presentations by guest
speakers, on topics including home brew antennas, SOTA for the beginner, the
parksnpeaks spotting site, prominence as related to SOTA, and a comparison
between some portable HF equipment.
This will be followed by a short round table, general questions session and
the closure of the symposium.
The presentations will conclude at 12.40 p.m. and this will be followed by a
A charge of $4.00 is asked to cover for the cost of the BBQ and morning tea.
As parking is limited at the venue, please consider parking up the street and
walking the short distance down to the hall. If possible, please leave the
parks at the hall free for those who are delivering presentations and bringing
equipment with them.
If you do intend to come along to the symposium, please RSVP to myself,
Paul VK5PAS, no later than 1st March, 2014, so that suitable catering can be
organised. RSVP either via mobile phone 0410 687 998 or via email
For more information, please see the AHARS website at www.ahars.com.au
Again the date is Sunday, the 9th March, 2014, which is the weekend of the
Adelaide Cup long weekend. We hope to see you there.
Thanks for listening, I'm Paul VK5PAS, on behalf of the Adelaide Hills
Amateur Radio Society.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART and the WW sources of the WIA.
Radiocommunications over the internet compromises safety
A commercial pilot recently reproduced local air traffic radiocommunications
over the internet, without the consent of the parties concerned or the
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) in New Zealand received a complaint from the
airport, concerned of a likely compromise to the safety and integrity of
airport operations resulting from unwanted publication of the communications.
Articles 17 and 18 of the International Telecommunication Union
Radio Regulations apply to secrecy of radiocommunications, by both licensees
and the general public. New Zealand gives effect to those requirements in the
Radiocommunications Act 1989.
It is an offence for anyone to disclose the contents, or to reproduce, or to
make use of radiocommunications not intended for that person. The
Radiocommunications Act 1989 provides for a penalty of up to $30,000.
In consultation with the CAA, who were concerned that the internet streaming
breached International Civil Aviation Organization principles, and with
assistance of airport staff, RSM was able to quickly locate the offender and
visited the property. The pilot, who co-operated with an inspection, was
CUBA GIVES HAMS ACCESS TO 60 METERS
Cuba's the Ministry of Communications of Cuba has given hams in that island
nation what amounts to strictly controlled access to the 5 MHz or 60 meter
The rules gives Cuban Novice class operators a power limit of 50 watts while
high class license holders can run up to 100 watts maximum power out in
emergency conditions as needed for a reliable link establishment.
Getting on the new allocation will require a request to the related authority
and the agency's approval before hams in Cuba will be able to fire up in the
new spectrum. As to whether this will be a spot frequency or continuous
allocation was not mentioned.
Late news suggests that the Regulatory Agency (ACS) has made a clarification
on the law.
The ACS make it clear, the band is for emergencies and experimentation on
the national territory, and only with Cubans hams, no contact is allowed
with other countries "until further notice"...
NEW PROPAGATION PREDICTIONS FOR FIRST QUARTER 2014
The strange cat and mouse propagation of the current solar cycle continues
and now there is some important new information available for those on a
Amateur Radio Newsline's Norm Seeley, KI7UP, reports:
Steve Nichols, G0KYA, who is the Chairman, RSGB
Propagation Studies Committee has now updated his
High Frequency propagation prediction charts for
the first quarter of 2014. This to take into
account the latest predicted smoothed sunspot numbers.
It is generally thought that we may now be at or
past the second hump of this sunspot maximum, but
according to Nichols the sun continues to throw
some surprises. For example, the observed
sunspot numbers for the last six months of 2013
were 57.0, 66.0, 36.9, 85.6, 77.6 and 90.3, which
shows the great variation.
The current predicted smoothed sunspot number is
about 61 to 62 for the next three months. This
equates to a 10.7cm solar flux index of about
110. A flux over 100 suggests that 10 meters
will continue to open on a fairly regular basis
and the next few months should throw up some good
opportunities for DX on the higher
bands. However, the longer-term trend may be downwards.
G0KYA notes that on the downward side of the
cycle we may also experience more unsettled
geomagnetic conditions due to flares and coronal
mass ejections. These may cause short-term
D-layer absorption especially on routes over the
poles or depletion of the F layer with
corresponding poor conditions on the upper High
Frequency bands. Looking on the bright side it
may also give raise to some good aurora propagation.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Norm Seeley,
KI7UP, in Scottsdale, Arizona.
If you want to produce your own detailed
point-to-point propagation calculations G0KYA
recommends you try voacap.com/prediction.html
FTC SAYS FREE SMARTPHONE FLASHLIGHT APP GAVE AWAY PHONES LOCATION
If you have ever wanted proof that you never get
anything for nothing, then here's the
evidence. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Davis,
W2JKD, tells us about an app that secretly told
marketers where you were:
The maker of a popular Android mobile app that
turns a smartphone into a flashlight has agreed
to settle the Federal Trade Commission's charges
that the software secretly supplied cellphone
locations to marketers. This even when consumers
rejected its terms of service.
According to the FTC, the Brightest Flashlight
Free app made note of a phone's precise location
and its unique code that identifies every such
device. The company would automatically pass
that information along to third parties,
including advertising networks, even though its
would not be shared outside the company.
The FTC says it didn't seek financial restitution
because the app was free. A key part of the
settlement is a requirement that, if the
developer wants to collect and share geolocation
data, it must send a prominent disclosure notice
when the app launches. The company also has
agreed to get a consumer's consent before
collecting or sharing the information.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Davis, W2JKD.
This particular case came to light because of the
diligence of tech savvy customers who questioned
why a flashlight app would be interested in a
phone's geolocation. The Federal Trade
Commission said consumer concerns posted online
helped to tip off the agency.
More on this amazing discovery is on the web at
tinyurl.com/new-waterworld-discovered. A NASA
artists rendition of the planet and its home star is at
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.
AMSAT SKN Best Fist Winners
Thanks to all who participated in AMSAT's Straight Key Night on OSCAR 2014,
held in memory of Robert Morris, W2LV.
The following each received one or more nominations for Best Fist:-
AA 5 PK, N 5 AFV, W 5 ACM, WA 5 KBH, WB 7 QXV, K 9 CIS, W 9 EN.
An honorary nomination goes to W2LV, whose distinctive bug fist was always
easy to copy. Bob preferred a bug to a keyer because he was active on
American Morse, which uses both short and long dahs. He could switch
effortlessly between the American and international Morse codes.
Congratulations to all, and see you next year!
SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS, DX, BEACON REPEATER AND NET ADVICE
In this the WIA National News, over the past few weeks we have made mention
of "The Great Melbourne Telescope" to give you an idea of the size of this
Victorian monster is about 30 ft. long, almost 5 ft. in diameter.
What has made the restoration more difficult is that there are no engineering
drawings of the bits and pieces as these were lost in the bushfires of 1952
at Mt Stromlo.
All interested in Astronomy should listen "up" now.
Clint, VK2CSJ, runs the Radio Astronomy group.
He runs a net at 22.00 local VK2/3 time on 3.543 kHz Friday nights using the
ASV's call sign VK3EKH.
Everyone is welcome to join in.
The Astronomical Society of Victoria is gearing up to become more active
in radio astronomy and moon bounce work and to that end have acquired a 28ft
(8.5 metre) diameter dish which will be on an alt-azimuth mount so it can
point to any part of the sky and be able to track objects as the Earth rotates.
Jim VK 3 OX says it will also be able to point right down to the horizon.
VK 4 XQA - celebrating the 100th anniversary of XQA - the first licenced
amateur radio station established in Queensland by Marcus Brims.
As Dale, VK4DMC mentioned at the top of the news, members of the
Tablelands Radio and Electronics Club have been operating VK4XQA
special event style with the first activation happening and official
opening on Friday 7th, and yesterday, a public activation from the Mareeba
Heritage Museum Saturday. Now rostered operations continue until Wednesday
For further details surf to http://www.treclub.org.au
TE 6 U APPROVED FOR DXCC CREDIT
Word from Bill Moore, NC 1 L at the ARRL Awards Desk that the current TE 6 U
operation from Afghanistan has been approved for DXCC credit. That operation
will continue through May 3rd of this year.
CELEBRATING COSMONAUT YURI GAGARIN'S 80th BIRTHDAY
Keep an ear open next month, March, for Russian special event station UE 80 HS.
This operation is being held to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Russia's
first astronaut Yuri Gagarin who was born on March 9th 1934.
Gagarin was the first human to journey into space when his Vostok spacecraft
completed an orbit of the Earth on April 12th, 1961.
When you work UE 80 HS, please QSL via RW 6 HS.
EuCW launches Snakes and Ladders. Now as much as we know you hate hearing
URL's and web addresses etc. write this one down now, I'll repeat it shortly.
The European CW group, EuCW launches Snakes and Ladders, a new on-air game,
on 1 April 2014.
For CW operators the game runs through from this April until the 31st of
March 2015 on all HF bands.
It is designed to promote activity on all bands and to encourage friendly
contacts. It's not a contest; it's a game.
The Snakes and Ladders board is made up from a Maidenhead locator map of
Europe and the position of each station after QSOs can go up thanks to a
ladder or down when a snake bites.
Full rules are available in English from the Snakes and Ladders web page
VK Club Bulletins http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aarnie/
VK2 CCARC news ccarc.org.au/wp/2012/09/ccarc-news-12-31/
HF broadcasts return to the VK3BWI network
This broadcast of news and information from VK1WIA at 10.30am and 8pm each
Sunday by Amateur Radio Victoria has now restored its HF outlets on 80 metres,
40 metres and 30 metres.
Land to the northwest of Melbourne, previously used for the HF transmissions
was lost, while at about the same time the former VK3BWI hut in Waverley
became a new educational facility.
While reliable VHF and UHF repeaters were quickly re-located to Victory Boulevard,
Ashburton, the Waverley site owner was very keen on keeping the good long-standing
A new area was found and with government funding of around $100,000 it was
able to be re-established. The work was done with the help of St John Ambulance
and WICEN (Victoria).
VK1WIA can now also be heard on 3.615, 7.158 and 10.130 MHz.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
THE ARRL AT 100: A CENTURY OF AMATEUR RADIO
The ARRL has released a preview of its new 100th anniversary video aptly
titled the ARRL at 100: A Century of Amateur Radio.
Running 25 minutes, the show was written by former ARRL PR Manager Allen Pitts
W1AGP. It is hosted by QST Magazine's Managing Editor Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY.
The story line itself is simple. It plays out as a timeline in the history
of the League from its earliest days right up to the present.
design by Kevin O'Dell, N0IRW.
DVD's suitable for group showing are available at
(sourced to ARNewsLine)
New TX-Factor online TV show announced
Bob McCreadie, G0FGX, Mike Marsh, G1IAR and Nick Bennett, 2E0FGQ will be
hosting a new, streamed TV show, TX Factor, which goes live on Friday
The show aims to explore all aspects of our diverse and fascinating hobby.
The free-to-view programme can be seen via www.txfactor.co.uk and should be
compatible with phones, tablets and smart TVs.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- DIGITAL
Radio ham detects GPS in YouTube video
Finnish radio amateur and electronics hacker Oona Risnen OH2EIQ, heard a
mysterious digital signal when she listened to the audio on a YouTube video
of a police chase being filmed by a helicopter
"The signal sits alone on the left audio channel, so I can completely isolate
it. Judging from the spectrogram, the modulation scheme seems to be BFSK,
switching the carrier between 1200 and 2200 Hz. I demodulated it by filtering
it with a low pass and high pass sync and comparing outputs.
Now I had a bitstream at 1200 bps."
"The bitstream consisted of packets of 47 bytes each, synchronized by start
and stop bits and separated by repetitions of the byte 0x80. Most bits stay
constant during the video, but three distinct groups of bytes contain varying
The data was location telemetry from the helicopter, so she analysed it to
extract coordinates. When she plotted them and compared the resulting curve
to the route taken by the fleeing car in the video, it was a match.
See the full story on her blog at
Watch the video on YouTube "Police Chase Ends In Front Of KC Police HQ"
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ILLW
TALLY TALLIES UP
So far 25 countries have registered for the 17th annual International
Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend in August.
In the lead of this 48 hour fun-event is Germany on 38 followed by Australia
with 33, United States of America 14, England 11 and Argentina 7.
The aims are to increase public awareness, preservation and restoration,
plus promotion of Amateur Radio and to foster goodwill.
It's not a contest activity - although contesting as an activity does have
a major role in gaining skills and measuring individual station performance.
With 6 months to go, start planning now to set up portable at a marine beacon
under guidelines, and register on-line for August the 16th and 17th by
visiting the website www.illw.net
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP --- MILITARY
KC5FM / NNN0LAC NEW PIC FOR NAVY - MARINE MARS
Some names in the news. First up is Lloyd Colston, KC5FM, of Oklahoma.
Lloyd, who also holds the MARS call NNN 0 LAC has been selected as the new
Public Affairs Officer for the Navy and Marine Corp Military Auxiliary Radio
He is an experienced journalist and also services his City as their emergency
management director. He received his bachelor's degree in journalism and
speech from Northeastern Oklahoma State University and has print and
broadcast media experience.
REWIND a look back at history
Rewinding to the early Gosford / Wyong field days, here is Ed VK2JI
As with all great events, The CCARC Field Day started small and grew and grew.
We believe it started in the mid 50's as a small event at Woy Woy for two or
three years, moving then to the Sailing Club where it stayed for several years
before finding a home at the Gosford Race club for a couple of years.
Following the Race Club it moved up the road a little to the Gosford Show
ground in the early seventies which was its home for many years before
eventually moving to its current location at the Wyong racecourse.
It appears the event has always been close to the last weekend in February
So where will you be in just two weeks' time - February 23rd. this year?
Why not come along and join the biggest gathering of radio amateurs in
Australia at the CCARC Field Day at the Wyong racecourse?
Just a reminder, if anyone still hasn't registered and wishes to take the
foundation licence class on Saturday the 22nd at Wyong, or a licence
assessment on the Field Day itself, all the details you need are on the clubs
website. Be quick or you'll be too late!
For full details about the field day, please go to the club website at
ccarc.org.au and click on the Field Day graphic on the main page.
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.
SOCIAL SCENE 2014
Mar 23 VK3 EMDRC White Elephant Sale 10am ( 03 9005 9251 )
Mar 28-30 VK4 Bunya Mts&District AmCom camp Somerset dam (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 ( 0429 632 815 )
May 16-18 VK4 WIA Conference presented by SCARC ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Nov 2 VK5 HamFest Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society
Nov 30 VK3 SPARC HamFest at Rosebud ( email@example.com )
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The purpose of "WIANews" is to rapidly provide news of interest to
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