WIANEWS - FEBRUARY 23 - VK NATIONAL NEWS
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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WIANEWS WEEK COMMENCING FEB 23 2014.
OUR 19TH YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA MEMBERSHIP FEE INCREASE JULY ONE 2014
WIA DRESS RIGHT FOR PR4AmatureRadio expo
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA FOR WEEK COMMENCING FEB 23 2014.
TRENDING ON VK1WIA TWITTER ACCOUNT
#ARISS contact with the Australian Air League - South Australia Wing,
Elizabeth, South Australia, Australia on Friday, February 21.
Acqusition of Signal (AOS) is anticipated at 08:36 UTC
EchoLink *AMSAT* (101377)
IRLP Node 9010 Discovery Reflector
Streaming Audio at: https://sites.google.com/site/arissaudio/
#WIA FRONT PAGE NEWS White House Maker Faire 2014 http://wia.org.au
#WIA Finances, Digital AR Option and Member Survey
#WIA Congratulates ARRL on 100 years
VK3 Mildura MF beacon heard in Tasmania (VK7)
The new 630 metre band CW beacon at 473 kHz, run by its builder Noel Ferguson
VK3FI at Mildura in Victoria's northwest, has been heard throughout Melbourne,
in Victoria's Latrobe Valley and even a good trace in Southern Tasmania.
Among the reports from Greater Melbourne was Steve Bushell VK3HK at Ferntree
Gully, who used an un-tuned inverted-L antenna feeding an ICOM 7600 receiver.
Drew Diamond VK3XU at Wonga Park in Melbourne's north-east, had the beacon
peaking at signal strength nine with a slow fade to an S2.
However further afield at Morwell, it was heard by Michael Binz VK3ALZ who
also reported it being received by his friend Ralph Edgar VK3WRE at nearby
There was later a report from David Barrow VK3DB also in Morwell, and another
from Longford in eastern Victoria. Those reports make a distance of more
A good trace of the beacon, that emits a carrier during its identification,
was reported on the Spectral Lab software user and listener, Edgar J. Twining
at Moonah, in Southern Tasmania.
That report indicates a signal about -30 dB was displayed. Noel VK3FI has
described as amazing.
The Sunraysia Radio Club meeting was held at Nichols Point last weekend,
with the beacon project the subject of a small presentation.
The beacon's presence was announced on this VK1WIA broadcast, put on several
websites, and the forum pages of the VK Logger. It has certainly stimulated
activity on the 630 metre band.
The beacon is turned on around 1100 UTC during the local night-time when
VK3FI is present. Many more reception reports are most welcome and can be
emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
(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 image of Amateur Radio
The trend in our everyday lives seems to be casual, dressing down with denim,
short tops, and sloppy footwear.
But the old adage of 'the first impression counts', does determine how some
people assess the person and what they have to say - so why should Amateur
Radio be any different?
This is something to be thought about by those directly involved in April's
WIA Expo, held through clubs and organisations to showcase the best of modern
I don't know about you; but the casually dressed person with unruly hair
and dirty shoes cannot confidently give me an important message.
There's nothing wrong in greeting the audience smartly dressed, considering
wearing the suggested t-shirt to be part of the team, creating a very good
overall image, with the important messages of Amateur Radio getting through.
It all fits in with promoting Amateur Radio, overcoming the general community
lack of awareness about us, or even to re-activate a former radio amateur.
It needs the right people, and the right messages.
With six weeks to the PR4AmateurRadio Expo, held during the period of April
the 11th and 13th, check out the What's On section of the WIA website for
details and on-line registration.
WIA Finances, Digital AR Option and Member Survey
Those who read my President's Comments in AR magazine will already know that
the financial situation of the WIA has been on top of the Board's agenda for
some time, with trading losses occurring over 2012 and 2013.
Although the losses so far are not large, they are certainly tenacious, and
the WIA Board has been grappling with this issue for some time.
We have already made as many savings as we can without cutting member services,
or cutting the international representation at the ITU and the IARU. Both are
critical to our future. However, the printing and distribution costs of
AR magazine, last year, amounted to about $105,000, so that is the obvious
place to look for more savings.
If the WIA moved to a digital download-only magazine we would save those
printing and postage costs, and avoid any membership fee increases for quite
a few years. However, the WIA board simply does not know how moving to a
digital AR magazine would be viewed by members, or how many people could even
download it, so the board considered that that was not a good way to proceed
in the immediate future.
After much consideration, the board has made three decisions which affect all
Firstly, the Board has decided to introduce a digital download option for
AR magazine alongside the paper edition. That is - AR magazine will still
be delivered to your letterbox as it is now for at least several years,
but a digital edition will also be available for members' download from
the WIA website.
Naturally, this does not solve the financial problem immediately, so -
secondly - the Board also decided to increase membership fees from 1st July
this year. Full membership will now be $95 per year and Concessional
membership will be $80 per year. All other membership categories will rise in
the same proportion, except for student membership, which - at $35 a year -
will not change. To ease the burden for those of you who may wish to do so,
the WIA will also introduce the OPTION of quarterly membership payments by
direct debit from your bank account.
In the event that any of you are concerned that fees for exams and callsign
recommendations will rise, let me assure you - WE'RE NOT DOING THAT. One of
the problems the Board faced when making the decisions about AR and membership
fees is that we have really no idea about your ability to download and read
large data files. Many members, especially those of you living in remote areas
may not have the required internet speed, or some (like me) just like to have
a paper publication to read. Also, we really don't know how many of you
participate in WIA activities and access WIA services, or what you think of
So - thirdly - in the March issue of AR magazine, the Board has published a
survey which is intended to give us a better understanding about you, and what
you think about the Institute's activities and services.
A much more detailed explanation of the coming changes precedes the membership
survey in March AR. Both are also placed on the WIA's website.
Please do take the time to complete the survey, do it on-line if possible, or
otherwise fill out the paper survey form in the centre pages of your copy of
AR and send it to the WIA office.
This is President Phil Wait, VK2ASD, for the WIA.
Hi this is Lorraine
Come and join us for the WIA Annual conference on the Sunshine Coast.
We have a wonderful partners programme planned for Saturday,
you will need your shopping bags for our tour of the hinterland and world
famous Eumundi Markets
In the evening we have an entertaining surprise guest speaker for the dinner,
and an action packed day on the Sunday that will be of interest to amateurs
and their partners
see you on the Sunny Coast
HAMS ACROSS AUSTRALIA.
VK4 - QNEWS
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This is Stuart, VK4MSL with news about our beloved Mt. Glorious repeater,
Those in the Brisbane Area will have noticed a few changes.
Since the Redcliffe Radio Club took over maintenance, the repeater hardware
has undergone major refurbishment, with the old repeater being retired after
some 40 years of active service.
The new repeater delivers much clearer audio, and a slightly better transmit
power. There is now also EchoLink and IRLP available. A few overseas contacts
have already been made.
One of the things that went however, is the repeater's tail. This got lost
with the move to the new repeater.
When you key up, you will not hear a tail on the transmission.
You might see the tail on the S-meter, if your eyesight and radio are quick
Your best way to find out if you're getting in is to put a call out and see
It is understood that this will be fixed next time maintenance is undertaken
at the repeater site.
For those outside Brisbane, try giving IRLP node 6403, or EchoLink node 888046
If you're in Brisbane, try giving a shout on 147MHz; negative offset, no tone,
and narrow deviation.
This has been Stuart, VK4MSL.
News from the Brisbane Amateur Radio Club
The Brisbane Amateur Radio Club wish to advise that there has been a change
of venue for the 2014 BARCFEST. This year it will be held on Saturday 10th of
May at the Salvation Army Church Hall at Calamvale.
The address is the corner of Beaudesert Road and Kameruka Street, Calamvale.
There is ample parking available. Start time is 9.30am.
I'm Ann VK4FAHF for the Brisbane Amateur Radio Club.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART and the WW sources of the WIA.
HAM VIDEO COMMISSIONING POSTPONED
The European Space Agency has postponed the commissioning of the new Ham Video
system until at least March 8th. According to Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, this is
a multi-step process with the possible dates being March 8th for step 1,
March 9th for step 2 and March 16th for step 3.
These dates are all on weekends.
While the agenda is still to be finalized Bertels notes that there will be a
week of blank transmissions as a part of the commissioning process. Once in
operation the Ham Video system will expand the experience of those
participating in the Ham Radio in Space classroom contacts.
Fully licensed in 57 days
There's little doubt that gaining the Full UK amateur radio licence is a
proud moment - and Cathy Colless has every reason to be very proud she took,
and passed, all three licence levels in just 57 days with no prior amateur
Cathy M 0 RTW is currently a Senior Systems Architect at Anglia Ruskin
Cathy passed her Foundation exam with CARS in October 2013, and whilst
attending the CARS advanced course in November, took her Intermediate exam
with the Bromley and District Amateur Radio Society. With the Intermediate
successfully under her belt, she was able to sit the Full exam session with
CARS on the 6 December 2013.
"The Advanced exam in December was tough and I was shocked when I passed it
(with merit to boot).
Cathy is also a member of Essex Ham, the online community of amateur radio
operators in Essex and beyond:
Cathy was keen to get her full licence so that she can operate from outside
the UK and better understand radio theory.
Keep an ear out for Cathy M0RTW, a success story for amateur radio training
in Essex, and possibly a record breaker too!
Industry Canada approved access by Canadian radio amateurs to the Low
Frequency (LF) band 135.7 -137.8 kHz, subject to certain conditions in
This was a direct result of implementing changes from the
World Radiocommunication Conference 2007, which added amateur use of this
spectrum on a Secondary basis.
This has now been included in the newly updated RBR-4 Standards for the
Operation of Stations in the Amateur Radio Service in Canada.
DAYTON AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED
The Dayton Hamvention has announced the winner of its 2014
Radio Amateur of the Year.
KD8JZR: "The 2014 Amateur of the Year is Dr. Larry Price,
Bill Pasternak WA6ITF:
"That was Dayton Hamvention General Chairman Charles Kaiser,
KD8JZR, announcing on the TWiT TV podcast Ham Nation that
Dr. Larry Price, W4RA, had been chosen to receive one of ham
radios most prestigious honours. Dr. Price served as
president of the IARU from 1999 to 2009, and prior to that
as ARRL president from 1984 to 1992. The Hamvention's
Awards Committee said that Dr. Price's leadership had
significant and direct impact on the development of Amateur
Radio throughout the world.
Among his many achievements, the panel cited the protection
of frequency allocations; the adoption of an ITU
Recommendation on the minimum qualifications of radio
amateurs; the expansion of the 40 meter band in ITU Regions
1 and 3, and the allocation of new Low Frequency spectrum
for use by radio amateurs."
CHURCH IN PUERTO RICO FINED FOR TOWER VIOLATION
The FCC proposed a $7,000 monetary forfeiture
against the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman
Catholic Church in Puerto Rico. This for it's
alleged failure to have an effective locked fence
or other enclosure around the tower for its WKVM
A-M radio station in San Juan.
The story goes back to April 2nd of last
year. That's when an agent from the San Juan
office of the Enforcement Bureau inspected the
station's three-tower array and saw that the
perimeter fence was not locked and one section
was lying on the ground. Also, the individual
fence around one of the towers was partially on
the ground and the gate was open.
In its response the station management told the
FCC that a storm had damaged the fences in the
fall of 2012, however the fences around each of
the three towers was still intact. It also said
someone had damaged the perimeter fence in the beginning of 2013.
The station said it had the individual tower
fences repaired and was planning to have the
perimeter gate fixed. However the FCC countered
by noting that the station had still violated its
rules and that the proposed fine is justified.
As is usual station was given 30 days pay or to file an appeal.
WEIRD AND WONDERFUL
BILL POSTERS WILL BE IMPRESSED
Any fears you might have that Big Brother is watching you can now be
officially confirmed. Come March, he will be.
Next month the Australian advertising industry will be employing new
technology known as Anonymous Biometric and Objects Data Sensors (ABODS).
Put simply, sensor cameras are placed behind or close to the screen frame
of a digital billboard, biometrically sizing you up as you walk past.
ABODS can tell age, gender and colour and also the number of people in front
of a digital screen. This is advertising gold.
It will be able to tell your age range, sex and the colour of your clothes.
The Sydney Morning Herald when reporting on this said " Armed with this
information, it will throw the ads at you that best fit your demographic. If
an advertiser wants to target a 20-something female, the first suitable
passer-by will be served up an appropriately aligned ad."
ABODS has already been trialled in a Melbourne shopping centre and deemed a
What use is an F-call?
Over the past month or so I've had some limited HF capability at my QTH in
the form of a wire loop that runs around the ceiling in my office. It's not
pretty and it doesn't really work that well. Across most bands, most of the
time, I find an S8 or S9+ noise floor which makes hearing other stations a
challenge. I've been at a loss to determine what's going on.
I was discussing my plight with some amateurs over lunch one day and someone
hit on the idea that I might see if I could determine the source of the noise
by way of elimination.
So, with that in mind, I plugged my radio into my battery pack, as if I was
portable, and then went to the meter box and turned off the house power.
Back to the radio and at first I thought the battery had run out, but no, the
radio was fine, the battery was at 12.5V and everything was working. One thing
was missing, the noise.
I used my now quiet radio to have a look across the bands and found all manner
of activity. I settled on a CW signal, turned up the volume and then went back
to the meter box.
One switch at a time, I switched stuff back on.
When I heard noise, I switched it off and moved to the next switch.
By doing this, I located two fuse groups that had noisy stuff on them. One
of them was the ducted air conditioning system, the other was a generic power
By switching everything else off, and just the noisy power circuit, I could
walk around the house looking for things that were still on. One at a time I
would switch them off at the wall and low and behold, the biggest culprit was
the little power supply for my ADSL modem, the one that had blown up twice
before and by the sound of it was creating a veritable HF storm on my radio.
So, now I can replace the power supply for my modem, and when I want to play
on HF, I can turn off the air conditioner and actually hear the remote
At some point I'll have to figure out if it really is the air conditioner, or
just one of a few things on that circuit, but I'm a lot closer to HF bliss.
All I need now is some contacts.
I'm Onno VK6FLAB
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.
SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS, DX, BEACON REPEATER AND NET ADVICE
URAO PARTY TO INTRODUCE DIGITAL VOICE TO THE HF WORLD
The European Radio Amateurs' Organization has
announced a new High Frequency on the air
gathering that it's calling "Experiencing Digital
Voice." Its purpose is to help introduce this
new mode to a wide as possible ham radio audience
while having fun and meeting other hams on the air the world over.
The event is slated March 1st and 2nd from 00:00
to 24:00 hours UTC each day. The mode used will
be Free DV which implements both Codec 2 and the
FDMDV modem neither of which is patent protected or restricted.
This is not a contest but rather just a radio
meeting but it does have a few simple
recommendations to follow. Recommended
frequencies for this fun technology gathering and
all other needed information is on the web at
It's the second item down on the page.
(EURAO via ARNewsLine)
Hispanic Technology Net
Today February 23rd at 16:00 UTC, a group of friends from the Hispanic
community from all over the world will start for the first time on
The purpose of that net would be to integrate the Hispanic world into
technology sharing about DSTAR and different uses that hams operators are
doing in countries like Mexico (XE3RA) and Spain (EA5HJX) are doing with the
integration of mototurbo into DSTAR, and much more all related to digital
communication specially DSTAR.
This net will be accessible on Ref XRF007B, ED8ZAB B, IRLP:EXP0063,
ALLSTAR:27684 EchoLink: on ED8ZAR-R node1017.
This net is in Spanish.
(Jose, EA8EE via SouthGate)
CELEBRATING THE HAMANAKO FLOWER EXPO
On the air, keep an ear open for special event station 8 N 2 HHH active on
all bands and modes between March 1st to June 16th.
This in celebration of Japan's Hamanako Flower Expo on the island of Honshu.
When you make contact, please QSL as directed on the air.
(JJ1WTL/AC6IM via ARNewsLine)
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- DIGITAL
Boffin dreams up smart battery gizmo for Raspberry Pi fiddlers
Raspberry Pi-packing makers who are devising mobile projects or seeking to
set up stationary Pi-based devices that operate beyond the reach of the
240v mains will get a big jolt of help in May if a new "doo-hickey" wins
sufficient backing on crowd-funding site Kickstarter.
MoPi is a T-shaped board that drops onto the tiny computer's GPIO pins to
provide smart input from DC power sources.
Driving a Pi on battery power is nothing new, of course, but the MoPi,
designed by Sheffield University computer science boffin Hamish Cunningham,
provides solutions to the most common problems encountered when constructors
run Pi's away from the mains.
Read the full story:
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- FINAL FRONTIER
Brown University LED CubeSat
The EQUiSat CubeSat will have an LED beacon visible to the naked eye
at night and will transmit data about its health and position.
EQUiSat, being built by a team of students at Brown University in
Providence, Rhode Island, has been cleared for launch.
NASA has announced that EQUiSat is among 16 small satellites
selected to fly on rockets to be launched over the three-year period
beginning in 2015. EQUiSat has not been assigned to a particular
rocket, but the announcement assures that the student-led project has
a ticket to ride.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- INTERNET --- THE HAMS DOMAIN
APPS FOR HAMS AND SWLS AT SWLING POST
Hams looking for amateur radio related apps for
their smart phones or tablets now have a place to
go to learn what's available. The on-line SWLing
Post has printed a rundown of some of the
amateur radio apps that are currently
available. Apps for Shortwave Listeners are
there as well.
To get there, simply go to tinyurl.com/ham-radio-apps.
(SWLing Post, Southgate via ARNewsLine)
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
The Wombat 100 bike ride is to take place in the Wombat State forest on
Sunday the 13th April 2014 and I require 8 operators to assist me on this
event. The Mt. Macedon repeater (439.825Mhz -ve 5Mhz offset and 91.5hz access
tone) will be used. Any assistance you can give would be greatly appreciated.
I may be contacted on email or phone numbers below.
JOHN WEIR VK3XD Mob 0427 316 431
GAREC 2014 heads for Alabama USA
The Global Amateur Radio Emergency Conference (GAREC) in August is hosted
by the ARRL South-eastern Division and the Alabama Huntsville Hamfest - a
Regional ARRL Centennial Event.
All Emergency Communication minded radio amateurs and professionals are invited
to attend - and it's expected to attract participants from around the world.
GAREC-14 will he held on 14-15 August, and be followed the annual Huntsville
Hamfest on Saturday August 16th and Sunday 17th at the Von Braun Convention
Centre in Huntsville, Alabama.
The Embassy Suites Hotel which will hold GAREC-14 is connected to the Hamfest
by a sky bridge. The Space and Rocket Centre and home to the famed Space
Camp, are just a short drive away.
The first GAREC was in Tampere, Finland in 2005. It has been held each year
with an organising committee working on an interesting agenda with the local
host, and participation by representatives of the International Amateur Radio
The conference agenda, full information and a website are currently being
(Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee).
REWIND a look back at history
AMATEUR RADIO PIONEER JOHN S. STREETER FO-A4Z (A1A, ZS1W)
Our modern amateurs have a lot to be grateful for to our early radio amateur
pioneers, who experimented, persevered and laid the foundation of amateur
radio in this country against all the odds.
One notable name in the history of radio in South Africa is John Samuel Streeter
who became interested in radio in 1909 but owing to an unfavourable letter from
the then postmaster-general it was considered best to lie low, and it was not
until after World War 1 in 1919, that a fresh start was made with crystal sets
and spark transmitters.
The first valves were used in South Africa in the early 1920s such as the type
M-OR that heralded experiments with AM telephony on long and medium waves. John
Streeter used the call sign A4Z and was the first amateur on phone, and made the
first music broadcasts in South Africa to the public in Cape Town who listened in
on their crystal sets. John Streeter became Mr Radio of the time with regular
headlines in the local newspapers. He also made the international news headlines
when he established the first "wireless" contact on 20 metres between South
Africa and the USA. The Radio Informer, a Canadian publication wrote in its
December 1925 edition: "South African radio amateur talks with the US for the
By the way our first radio amateur and pioneer was W. E. Dixon Bennett FO-A3V
(ZS4F, ZS4W, ZS5EG) who completed his coherer receiver and spark transmitter in
1903 and became the first licensed radio amateur in 1904 while resident in
Pretoria, i.e. 110 years ago. Dixon Bennett had to wait another year before he
made his first spark contact with a new amateur, named Ensor, in Pretoria. All
the above events occurred long before the discovery of propagation modes on VHF.
You can read more in "The Dawn of Amateur Radio in South Africa" in the "Radio
Amateurs and Events of bygone days forum" as posted on the SARL General Forums.
(audio courtesy sarl)
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 (email@example.com)
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
May 2- 4 VK4 Clairview Gathering ( 0429 632 815 )
May 10 VK4 BARCFEST: Salvation Army Hall Calamvale.
May 16-18 VK4 WIA Conference presented by SCARC ( email@example.com )
Nov 2 VK5 HamFest Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society
Nov 30 VK3 SPARC HamFest at Rosebud ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
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