WIANEWS - AUG 17 - VK NATIONAL NEWS
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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WIANEWS WEEK COMMENCING AUG 17 2014.
To commemorate ANZAC 100 a series of articles is to appear in Amateur Radio
magazine by the WIA Historian, Peter Wolfenden VK3RV. Here's a summary of
one of them.
A continuing effort has been made to record information about all radio amateurs
who served their country during all wars and campaigns.
This will probably take years. The WIA Remembrance Day Contest perpetuates
those 26 radio amateurs who lost their lives in the service of this country
during World War II.
But who were all the others serving during the war? Wartime Amateur Radio
magazines finds early VK2 and VK3 lists. Enlistment in other states was also
A rough initial count puts it at about 300. Further investigation of wartime
ARs revealed that a column by Jim Corbin VK2YC entitled "Slouch Hats and
Forage Caps" contained more information, enabling another 150 or so to be
added, taking it to 460.
Then an editorial in AR magazine in June 1940 mentions that over 700 amateurs
Whichever way you look at it, the Amateur Radio response to the call to serve
If we take the lesser figure of 460, discount those too old, or in the essential
services, it is probably fair to suggest that over 50 per cent of available
radio amateurs became involved directly in the war effort.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
VK2, HOME OF THE GOOD GUYS
The Variety Club's "B to B Bash" which this year follows a course from
Brisbane to Sydney, were given access to Armidale District Amateur Radio
Club's rooms to provide a vital communication link during the current B
to B event. Mr Peter Humphreys, communications officer for Variety Club
has said "Communications is vital to safety in an event like this". Mr
Humphreys also expressed his thanks to Rick Rodgers president of ADARC
for allowing access to the club's rooms and 160m doublet aerial during
VK4 ANZAC ACTIVITY
A note from VK4 about activations for ANZAC Weekend, 2015.
"We have contacted all the amateur radio clubs in VK4 with the suggestion
that they contact their local RSL sub-branch and offer to setup an
amateur station (possibly both HF and VHF) in their club grounds across
the long Anzac day weekend 2015, with the idea that the public be
invited to the sub-branch premises with the opportunity of talking to
other RSL sub-branches or amateurs both local, interstate and possibly
overseas depending on propagation conditions over that weekend, who are
out there helping to commemorate the Anzac Centenary.
[Alex VK4TE, via Andy VK4KCS]
WIA BOARD TALK
President Phil Wait VK2ASD firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President Chris Platt VK5CP email@example.com
Secretary David Williams VK3RU firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer John Longayroux VK3PZ email@example.com
What use is an F-call?
I once asked an amateur what the best wire was to use for an antenna. He
advised me that there are really only two kinds of wire. Free wire and Cheap
wire, with a preference for the former, rather than the latter.
In the run-up to a recent contest I spent a week building an 80m pyramid
antenna. It took around 82 meters of wire to build. I started with using a
roll of 12 gauge wire, but that was too heavy for my squid pole. I managed
to break it about 4m from the top.
I should have left it at that, but I was determined, so I went to my local
electronics store and purchased a 100m roll of light duty hook up wire. It
cost me about $25.
I managed to build myself an antenna that was perfectly resonant on 160m
- very helpful - not. By this time it had been raining for several days and
my antenna building activities were curtailed. Not because I melt in the
rain, but because it wasn't fun being in the rain. At the end of the day,
this hobby isn't supposed to be a chore, it's supposed to be fun.
I retold my story over lunch when a friend suggested that I might investigate
electric fencing wire. Comes in 200m rolls, $25, strong enough to keep a
horse at bay, built for Australian conditions.
I've spent a little time looking at this and while there are those who tell
me that it's a fool's errand, there are plenty of discussions recommending
and comparing this kind of material for use as an antenna.
So, in the arsenal of possible sources of antenna wire, I can now add electric
fence wire to my list of things to try.
It's not free, but it's pretty cheap!
What weird and wonderful materials have you used to build antennas?
I'm Onno VK6FLAB
Hello, I'm Geoff Emery, VK4ZPP, and I've been thinking.
Another year and the RD is stirring the memories, refreshing the commemoration
of those who served in war and came from VK shores. Again this year, there is
another international contest drawing amateurs to the air and that is not the
It is pertinent to ask, on the centenary of the beginning of WW1, whether there
should have been greater emphasis on the RD? Will next year, the centenary of
the ANZAC landings, see a revival of emphasis on this contest or is it a fact that
the freedom to choose is the very celebration of war service our predecessors
As amateurs we embrace the change of technology and revere our heritage.
As much as the symbolism of using collectible military radios, the RD contest
is not so much a public acknowledgement of war service as a private exercise
for the hobby. This has been it's history but should we now be looking at
a more public demonstration? Recognition of our servicemen/women is growing
and is this the time that amateur radio should join this public remembrance?
With CW being the originating digital mode, can we extend the range of things
that currently enhance our hobby in pursuing the RD Trophy? In other words,
could the RD be a public promotion, used as a field day motif, and the history
and presence of amateur radio demonstrated in the friendly contest?
May the best division win!
I'm Geoff Emery and that's what I think....how about you?
ILLW on air now
Around Australia and New Zealand are portable stations taking part in the
annual International Lighthouse and Lightship weekend.
The Light Vessel 55, on-air as GB0CCC, is the 500th registration. It once
provided navigation for the treacherous Bristol Channel and was built in
The annual event helps promote awareness of old maritime navigation structures.
The new countries this year are Barbados and Kuwait. The USA is in the lead
with an all-time high of 86 registrations, following are Australia and Germany
on 65 each, with England having 35.
For a full list of registrations see the website illw.net.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART and the WW sources of the WIA.
Software developers at the RSGB Convention
The RSGB Convention takes place on 10th to 12th October at
Kent's Hill, Milton Keynes and there are some very exciting
lectures and workshops planned.
On Saturday, a workshop and show-and-tell session for
programmers developing logging software, data modes,
computer control systems, SDR, remote control and other
innovations in radio software has been arranged. All are
welcome, and to DX stations contact RSGB for details.
Weekend packages that can be tuned to the individuals are
available from the RSGB website at
SARL IN TALKS WITH REGULATOR
South African Radio League representatives met with ICASA on Friday for
a workshop to discuss various licensing issues. The discussion included
reciprocal licensing, expansion of the 160 metre band, increased power on
HF and some VHF bands, repeater planning and coordination and updating of
the memorandum of understanding which covers the radio amateur examination
and other administrative issues.
The South African Radio League tabled a number of documents covering these
subjects. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa will now
look at the various proposals and provide feedback to the South African
Radio League over the next few weeks on how these issues can be addressed
as expeditiously as possible.
The workshop was attended by South African Radio League President Geoff
Levey, ZS6C, Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, Nico van Rensburg, ZS6QL, and
Colin de Villiers, ZS6COL.
Mark down November as being when LW 9 EOC will be operational from
San Andres Island, November 26th until December 9th, also to take part in
the CQ World Wide DX CW Contest as well as the ARRL 160 meter CW Contest
during his stay.
No callsign for this operation has been announced, but there is the possibly
it could be 5 JZ 0 T.
QSL via LW 9 EOC, his home callsign.
OPERATIONAL NEWS - DATELINE 2014
WIA REMEMBRANCE DAY (THE RD) CONTEST THIS WEEKEND Aug 16 - 17
ALARA CONTEST Aug 30 - 31
Manly-Warringah Radio Society's Flagpole contest September 20.
Amateur Radios International Air-ambulance Week, 9 days from Sep 28.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP - SPACE
* US aerospace firm outlines New Zealand-based space program
A United States aerospace company is aiming to make New Zealand one
of the exclusive group of countries with a space program by promising
a revolutionary new satellite-carrying rocket for a fraction of the
current satellite launch costs.
Rocket Lab announced Tuesday that it had developed a light- weight,
carbon-composite rocket, named Electron, at its Auckland plant and
hoped to offer small satellite launches for less than 5 million U.S.
dollars, compared with a current average price of 133 million U.S.
The company, which has received research and development funding
from the government, was being backed by Silicon Valley venture
capital firm Khosla Ventures, Rocket Lab founder and New Zealander
Peter Beck said in a statement.
The lead-time for businesses to launch a satellite would be cut from
years to just weeks and the company already had commercial
commitments for 30 launches, said Beck.
At 18 meters in length, 1 meter in diameter and weighing more than
10 tones, Electron would be the first vehicle of its class capable of
delivering payloads up to 100 kg into low Earth orbit at an altitude
of about 160 km.
Businesses faced a severe barrier in launching satellites as rockets
had remained prohibitively large and expensive, despite the trend for
satellites to become smaller, more capable and more affordable, he
"Along with benefits for commercial enterprises, cheaper and faster
space access has the potential to lead to more accurate weather
prediction, global high speed Internet access, as well as real-time
monitoring of the impacts of human development," said Beck.
New Zealand was in an ideal launch position for a variety of
different types of orbits and plans were underway to build a space
port at several potential locations.
Powered by liquid oxygen and kerosene, Electron would have a lift-
off mass of 10,500 kg and a possible top speed of 27,500 km per hour.
[ANS thanks space-travel.com for the above information]
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS -- ARISS
France Will Now Allow Students Third Party Communication With The ISS
On July 16, 2014 the French State Secretary for Digital Affairs, Axelle
Lemaire, responded to a request by the Deputy of Haute-Vienne Province,
Daniel Boiserrie, authorizing French students to participate directly in
ARISS educational school contacts under the supervision of a licensed
operator. Until now, the French administration was very restrictive. For
direct school contacts, the operator read the questions prepared by the
students. Even this is "third party", but was tolerated by the French
Most European countries allow students to participate directly in ARISS
school contacts under the supervision of a licensed operator. Permission
to do so requires varying procedures from country to country, but the issue
of enabling "third party" communications can generally be solved. Until now,
the only exception was France. Notwithstanding years and years of efforts,
French schoolchildren had no access to the mike for direct amateur radio
communications with the ISS. The letter from the Secretary of State in
charge of telecommunications now changes the game.
ARRESTS MADE FOR FLYING SMALL DRONES OVER GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE
Radio remote controlled drone aircraft flown by members of the general public
are in the news again and not in a very positive light. This with word that
New York City police recently arrested two men for operating a pair of small
drone aircraft over the George Washington Bridge on Monday July 7th one of
which nearly hit a police helicopter.
The New York Police's Aviation Unit helicopter was on patrol around 12:15 a.m.
when it spotted one of the unmanned aircraft near the bridge. The drone
continued to circle forcing the chopper to swerve to avoid it. Police said
that one of the drones which were operated by remote control came within
800 feet of the police aircraft.
The Aviation Unit followed the drones north as they landed near Fort Tryon
Part a few miles north of the bridge and overlooking the Hudson River.
Police on the ground then arrested two men and charged them reckless
The Federal Aviation Administration has not yet set standards for certifying
the safety of civilian drones. As previously reported that agency is
currently looking into creating regulations for their use, but there is
very strong opposition coming from many sectors that believe these devices
are a menace to public safety. (Various published news reports)
SOCIAL SCENE 2014
Sep 13 VK4 Sunshine Coast AR Club's SUNFest, Woombye School of Arts
Sep 14 VK3 Shepparton and District AR Club Hamfest kicks off at 10am.
Sep 28 VK3 Melbourne Amateur Radio Technology Group Hamfest Keilor East.
Oct 3 VK4 Townsville Amateur Radio Club's Cardwell Gathering 4 day event.
Oct 25 VK4 HAMFEST on the Gold Coast. ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Nov 2 VK5 HamFest Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society
Nov 9 VK3 Yarra Valley AR Group Hamfest 10am Gary Cooper Pavillion.
Nov 15 VK7 Miena Hamfest (My-enah)
Nov 30 VK3 SPARC HamFest at Rosebud ( email@example.com )
NEW WIA NEWS BROADCAST FEEDBACK
Name : Alan
Callsign : M1AFQ
"Hi I try to listen to the news weekly if I can usually through
VK4TPT-L but on the occasion I cannot I go to the web site and listen,
and this last week i have to say it did sound very nice I prefer listening
to your news to my own. very nice thank you.
-- Very Nice to hear from distant listeners, and in following up on this
piece of feedback we wanted to thank Ray VK4TPT for making the news
reliably available to hams around the world on 'the Echolink'. Interestingly,
Ray's online profile shows this retired two-way radio technician to be an
interesting character who both plays and teaches the didgeridoo!
Ray's also involved with the Maryborough Electronics & Radio Group run the
Fraser Coast "F Troop" net.
So, thanks again Ray for making the broadcast available, and 'G'day' to our
new friend Alan M1AFQ!
We close this weeks Broadcast feedback with an interesting thought from
one of the team who 'vibrates the vibratables in the ether' and brings the
broadcast to the ears of our listeners every week:
Name : Barry
Callsign : VK6WF
"Morning to all, trust you're all well.
38 callbacks this morning. From Onslow in the North to Esperance in
the South East.
Best 73 - VK6WF Barry"
Barry's email signature says:
"Light travels faster than the speed of sound. This is why some people
tend to appear bright, until they decide to speak."
THAT FINAL ITEM: ELON MUSK PLEDGES 1,000,000 TO TESLA
And finally this week, it looks as if the creation of the
Tesla Science Center and Museum in Shoreham, New York, has
gotten another step closer to reality. This thanks to a
well known entrepreneur who truly believes in celebrating
the past as well as planning the future. Amateur Radio
Newsline's Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, has the details:
The effort to build a science center and museum in honor of
the legendary scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla has
received a special gift. This after it was announced that
Elon Musk, the entrepreneur and inventor behind electric-car
company Tesla Motors and the aerospace company Space X had
pledged $1 million to the Tesla Science Center Museum in
Shoreham, New York.
The back story goes this way. Matt Inman is the originator
of the web-comic The Oatmeal. In 2012 he created a tribute
to Tesla titled: "Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who
ever lived." Inman also started the fundraising campaign to
purchase the Shoreham Wardenclyffe Tower which was Tesla's
former laboratory in New York, and convert it into a museum.
The campaign raised $1.37 million in 45 days, far surpassing
the $850,000 goal.
The land to build the museum was successfully purchased in
2013 by Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe. This is a
nonprofit group that had been trying to acquire the property
for 18 years. But getting the property was only the first
This past May, Inman did a cartoon review of the Tesla
Motors Model S automobile. At the conclusion Inman referred
to the company's namesake and included what he called a
teensy request to Elon Musk. While Musk had contributed to
first fundraiser, monies were still needed to perform the
extensive renovation of the land and build the science
center and museum itself.
Within hours of the comic being posted, Musk sent Inman a
message on Twitter that simply said that he would be happy
to help. Ironically, Musk's donation came just in time for
the celebration of what would have been Nikola Tesla's 158th
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK,
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