WIANEWS - NOVEMBER 9 - VK NATIONAL NEWS
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WIANEWS WEEK COMMENCING NOVEMBER 9 2014.
HEADING TOWARDS OUR 20TH YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA plans for 2015 commemoration of ANZAC Day.
WIA 9 cm band is safe, for now hear from Roger Harrison VK2ZRH
ARISS program and Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI retires.
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA FOR WEEK COMMENCING NOVEMBER 9 2014.
WIA via Fred Swainston VK3DAC, has released the first draft of plans
for 2015 commemoration of ANZAC Day.
The plan is quite extensive and is in a nine page document which can be
You really do need all nine pages if you want to be part of it.
TONY ABBOT A RADIO HAM?
NO BUT INDONESIA'S NEW LEADERS ARE!
Indonesia's new national leaders are both amateur radio licensees.
Amateur Radio Newsline are reporting that the ARRL are saying that
President Joko Widodo, YD2JKW, holds a General class license and
Vice President Jusuf Kalla, YC8HYK, is an Advanced class licensee.
Jokowi and Kalla were inaugurated on October 20th in Jakarta.
Our neighbour, Indonesia, is the world's third-largest democracy, with
a population of approximately 250 million.
Subsea cable route woos US speed traders to Australian futures
US-based high-frequency traders can buy and sell Australian equity futures
two thousandths of a second faster after the Australian Securities Exchange
in Sydney opened a direct link to CME Group in Chicago.
The new route shaves 50 kilometres off the distance between ASX's data centre,
less than 10 kilometres west of Sydney's Harbour Bridge and CME in Aurora,
Illinois, some 14,900 kilometres away.
The subsea cable cuts the round trip for a computer signal to 181.5 milliseconds
from 183.5 milliseconds, a service that benefits traders with strategies that
rely on reacting to price moves more quickly than other investors.
Adam Bradley, head of sales for technical services at ASX said "Microseconds
count to these customers. If you can reduce by milliseconds, you are certainly
(sourced to SMH)
Electrofishing underway to rescue stranded native species in far west VK2
Fisheries staff are working to salvage native fish threatened by low water levels
at Menindee Lakes in far west New South Wales.
Total storage levels in the lakes have dropped to 16 per cent capacity and
Department of Primary Industries staff have been on site since Tuesday.
The team is using an electric pulse to stun fish in the lakes in order to
transfer native species to fresher water
South Australian takes leave from top ARISS job
After a long time Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI, the mainstay of Amateur Radio on
the Space Station or the ARISS program, is taking a well-earned break from
the daily grid to enjoy spending more time with his family and some travel.
His involvement so far spans 21 years and includes being the ARISS Coordinator
for the Asia Pacific Region.
After 46 years farming Tony and his wife Jill moved to Kingston to retire.
While taking a break in arranging school contacts with International Space
Station astronauts, he doesn't intend to leave the job completely, and will
continue as a well-equipped telebridge station, when at home.
Tony VK5ZAI completed four terms on the Kingston District Council which
serves the Limestone Coast of South Australia's south-east.
This has included committee membership on helping assess building applications
among other things, the Town Improvement Committee and the Kingston Tourism
He has some 12 years on the coastal base station of the Volunteer Coast Guard,
and with his wife Jill carried out other worthy community work.
His efforts have been acknowledged by NASA, AMSAT and the WIA. Tony has
featured in newspaper articles, in Amateur Radio magazine and on television.
The ARISS program will continue in 2015 with Shane Lynd VK4KHZ, who has already
done a fantastic job as a telebridge station.
Tony VK5ZAI and Jill will now take a break of 12 months to enjoy his family
and travel by road to many conservation parks in South Australia. You may
hear him portable on the 40-metre band.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
Another Pico balloon test flight
The latest in a series of Pico balloons went up on the Melbourne Cup Day
last Tuesday mainly to test out its HF capabilities.
Andy Nguyen VK3YT has been making and flying Pico's, or strong foil party-type
balloons for a while now.
His latest launch of solar powered PS-24 had a payload weighing 13 grams
with a GPS receiver, computer, APRS, a 10-milliwatt transmitter, battery
It was designed to test the WSPR and JT9 modes, transmitting on 30m and 20m.
The Pico flight was tracked by VK2, VK3, VK5, VK6 and ZL1 stations. The balloon
came down near Tasmania.
Earlier flights had reached Queensland, New Zealand and even Brazil in South
Andy VK3YT, a master of miniaturisation, has a few more such small balloons
ready when he finds the winds are favourable.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
Men's Shed and Portable Emergency Communications.
Bendigo Amateur Radio and Electronics Club are inviting the public to their
November meeting on the 21st as the evening will feature two presentations.
One part of the evening will be all about 'Men's Shed', where you will be
able to find out more about the fantastic opportunities available at the
local Men's Shed.
Darren Tolley, VK3MMX, will also provide a presentation on Amateur Radio and
Portable Emergency Communications. Requiring no need for conventional mobile
phone or internet connectivity, Amateur Radio equipment can be set up
anywhere at a moment's notice to provide valuable emergency communications.
Darren will discuss various aspects of portable operation, such as what
equipment is required and how to ensure set up time is minimal. Find out how
you too can become a licenced Amateur Radio Operator!
The evening commences at 7.30 pm, Friday November 21st, at the First Bendigo
Scout Hall in Vine St.
A gold coin donation would be appreciated. Tea, coffee and biscuits available.
For more information, contact Kevin Crockett on 5439 7434.
theTARCinc Annual General Meeting 2014
The Annual General Meeting of The Townsville Amateur Radio Club will be
happening on Sunday November 23rd 2014.
Whoop-de-doo you say - but wait, what is that delicious smell you can
detect from 10 weeks into the future ?
This is what it is !
The event is starting with a pancake breakfast from 7am to 8-30am
with the goop made from Lex's secret recipe, slightly modified by
Rob/VK4RB and then slightly further modified and put together by
Kooka/VK4FRJG and cooked up by the Iron Faraday Cage Chefs.
After the sumptuous pancake feast the nuts and bolts of the Annual General
Meeting will take place.
Where do you go to ?
Area 2 - Rossiter Park Aitkenvale via Kimball Street of course !
There is a Plan B if they are lucky enough to get rain on the day -
from 7am at the Club Rooms, SES HQ, Green Street West End for the brekkie
followed at 8-30am for the AGM.
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
THE NINE CENTIMETRE AMATEUR BAND IS SAFE - FOR NOW
This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH
Use of the 3.4 to 3.6 GHz band, including Amateur access, will remain 'business
as usual' for the time being.
This has been the fortuitous outcome following the recent consultation on future
arrangements in the band, conducted by the Australian Communications and Media
Authority over June to September this year.
The consultation process began when the ACMA released a discussion paper -
Transitioning the 3.5 GHz band for future opportunities
on 18 June this year.
The ACMA sought to identify licensing arrangements in the band that might
". . . maximise regulatory flexibility for both licensees and the ACMA".
The 3.4 to 3.6 GHz band had a mix of Apparatus and Spectrum licensees at the
time, and the ACMA proposed extending Apparatus licensing across the band for
Responses to the discussion paper closed on 30 July, the ACMA receiving 24
submissions. As you may be aware, the WIA put in a strong submission.
Eight were from individual amateurs along with one from the WIA. The ACMA notes
that there was lack of consensus on the best way forward for the 3.5 GHz band
among the 24 submissions received.
On 30 October, the ACMA wrote to all those who made submissions, explaining its
". . . to retain the existing mix of apparatus and spectrum licensing
arrangements in the 3.5 GHz band", the ACMA said, adding that:
"The current embargoes will also remain in place, at least in the short term,
although we intend to review those arrangements as use of the band develops."
Apply a little soothing balm, the ACMA's letter added that it
"no longer considers that increasing the extent of apparatus licensing is
But the 9 cm band landscape took a dramatic turn on 22 August this year when the
Minister for Communications, the Honourable Malcolm Turnbull MP, issued a Draft
Direction to use 3.5 GHz band spectrum for the NBN spectrum gap, with submissions
in response to be received by the Department of Communications no later than
The Direction called for the ACMA to complete arrangements by 30 April 2015 to
licence two spectrum blocks - 50 MHz at 3400 to 3425 MHz, and 25 MHz at 3492.5 to
3542.5 MHz - for NBN purposes under Apparatus licensing.
Both blocks cover actively-used portions of the 9 cm amateur band. The WIA
objected to the proposal in our submission to the Department of Communications
The Direction was registered on 24 October 2014 and expires on 24 October 2015.
The two spectrum blocks are currently embargoed to the issue of new licences.
The Department of Communications received ten submissions. Three were from
individual amateurs along with that from the WIA.
The ACMA's letter of 30 October advises that:
"In line with the ACMA's decision to maintain existing licensing arrangements in
the band, the ACMA will soon commence reissue considerations for the 3.4 GHz
spectrum licences, which expire on 13 December 2015."
Further, the letter advises that some sections of the 3.4 to 3.6 GHz band that
remained unsold in a spectrum licensing round previously, have "lapsed" and
become available for reallocation.
The ACMA advises that it expects to commence consultation shortly on a proposal
to the Minister that this unallocated spectrum be designated for spectrum
licensing. How long that will take, we don't know.
Rest assured that the WIA will be in there fighting for continued amateur access
across the 3.4 to 3.6 GHz band.
So, amateur access to the 9 cm band remains "as is" for the time being, but we're
not out of the woods.
Keep a watch on the Hot Issues page of the WIA website, which is linked from the
home page, wia.org.au
This is Roger Harrison VK2ZRH for VK1WIA News.
Ahead of International News, over the last two weeks WICEN NSW, as part of the
NSW Volunteer Rescue Association response, has been actively supporting the
search for a missing 21 y/o Belrose man, Sevak Simonian. So far WICEN has
contributed hundreds of man hours to the effort. The search has been based
around the extremely rugged terrain in the Kanangra Walls area SE of Oberon NSW,
about 3 hours from Sydney. Members of WICEN have been providing safety and
management communications support for sister VRA organisations, the Bushwalkers
Wilderness Rescue Squad and the NSW Cave Rescue Squad, who have been playing a
major role in the search.
In the last week WICEN has also handled communications for the SES, NSW
Special Operations, Police Dog Squad, and helicopter air to ground.
Base to search team communications are primarily using WICEN supplied equipment
on high band VHF with a fall back to commercial HF where dictated by terrain.
Communications between amateur manned relay points is mostly on 2m. A link to
Sydney for logistical support has been established via a 2m repeater.
WICEN operators pass messages between the search managers at base and the search
teams in the field and at times have been deployed by vehicle and by foot to
remote relay points to maintain contact with the search teams.
Regular, reliable communications to field search teams are essential for the
management of the search and the safety of the searchers.
The skills, knowledge and dedication displayed by the searchers is astounding.
Amateur radio operators, through their membership of WICEN, have contributed by
allowing the search managers and teams to focus on their core search task and
leave the solving and handling of the communications issues to WICEN.
In closing, we all hope for a successful outcome.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART and the WW sources of the WIA.
Loggers suffer LED lighting interference
New Zealand's Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) has identified serious cases
of interference to radio communications at log hauler sites in Marlborough
from the operation of vehicle mounted LED lighting
The interference is so severe that in darkness hours radio systems have
become inoperable. Site management called RSM to look at the issue due to
serious safety concerns.
A common solution was to separate the lights from the radio antennas as much
as physically possible.
A recent audit of emergency lighting suppliers was undertaken by RSM and it
was generally found that suppliers were not aware of the need to ensure their
equipment met the necessary EMC specification AS/NZS CISPR15.
A further finding was that various other electronics fitted to the diggers
and haulers caused radio interference. In this case most instances of
interference can be minimised by placing the radio antenna centrally on the
RSM urges users to ensure they pay attention to the separation of antennas
from other electronics and only fit approved AS/NZS CISPR15 LED lights.
Brazil to extend FM broadcast band
The FM Radio Data System (RDS) site reports that some countries are planning
to extend the FM broadcast band
It appears that Brazil intends to extend it down to 76 MHz while Beijing is
considering a lower limit of 64 MHz.
SARL 5 MHz propagation research project
The 5 MHz propagation research project show unexpected results.
One of the most interesting findings is the inconsistency in the results of
Near-vertical-incidence sky wave propagation (NVIS).
Comparing a communications path between two amateur stations, ZS6KN and
ZS6KTS (a distance of 51 km) it is interesting to note that in June 2014
there was a good communications path from just after 05:00 until
approximately 16:30 after which the signals disappeared. The pattern for
July was the same, but signals were considerably stronger than during
August and September.
During September, a strong dip in signal strength can be seen. The other
interesting observation from the graph is that propagation "opens" earlier
and closes later as we go into summer which indicates variations in the
ionisation of the D layer of the ionosphere as the sun rises earlier and sets
Not enough data has been collected to make any meaning full conclusions.
If the path was a pure ground wave, the signals would have been more or less
constant throughout the day and night.
The article will be published in the November/December edition of
EngineerIT and is already available on the web.
www.sarl.org.za, click on propagation research.
GPS back-up: World War Two technology employed
In the UK, the General Lighthouse Authorities (GLA) have announced that they
have installed a system called eLoran in seven ports across Britain.
The new system, which is ground rather than satellite-based, is designed
to be used in the event of a GPS failure.
Testing for eLoran has taken place in Felixstowe, the busiest container port
in the UK.
Read the full BBC News story at:
Russian air tankers use Morse code
The Aviationist reports on Morse code transmissions when two Russian air tankers
were deployed to Egypt Oct 30-31, possibly in support of strategic bombers
The Russians still use quite a lot of Morse and especially for these extended
out of area missions. They send the same short 3 figure tactical messages back
to their control in Russia using Morse and Voice. Radio enthusiasts were busy
logging the activity last week.
Read the full story at
A recently discovered vulnerability lets the average Android phone pick up
transmissions from a nearby computer using only an FM radio receiver, no
Wi-Fi, mobile connection or Bluetooth required.
Security researchers from Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, Israel
presented their findings at the MALCON 2014 security conference in
Puerto Rico last week.
They had engineered their own app, known as AirHopper, to bridge the
"air gap" that protects non-networked computers from spies and malware.
AirHopper receives data through radio signals emitted from a computer
monitor including keystrokes logged by spyware on the PC.
Read the full and intriguing story on "Toms Guide."
INDONESIA HAMS MAY BE CALLED ON IF EBOLA HITS THAT NATION
Ham radio operators in Indonesia could become part of a
response team if the Ebola virus were to hit that nation.
This as researchers from a study program of the University
of Gadjah Mada School of Engineering introduce guidelines
for anticipating and preventing the spread of the deadly
disease in that nation.
According to a professor of physics engineering at the
college, Indonesia lacks both the knowledge and the adequate
health equipment needed to detect Ebola early. Using a
simulation created for such an event and in cooperation with
the Yogyakarta branch of the Indonesian Amateur Radio
Organization and the Indonesian Red Cross the three will
work together to formulate a standard operating procedure
for tackling Ebola infections. This will be submitted to
the governor for his consideration.
According to the Jakarta Post, it is hoped that the proposal
could provide basic guidelines for an Ebola mitigation
procedure on the national level. The complete story can be
found at tinyurl.com/hams-vs-ebola-part-1
KC9HYY/WSL3 COMMEMORATES SINKING OF HMHS BRITANNIC
Special event station KC9HYY stroke WSL3 which will
operational in remembrance of the 98th anniversary of the
sinking of the HMHS Britannic.
The Britannic was the third and largest Olympic-class ocean
liners of the White Star Line. She was launched just before
the start of the World War One and soon converted to use as
a hospital ship. On the morning of November 21st 1916, the
Britannic was shaken by an explosion from an underwater mine
in the Kea Channel and sank 55 minutes later. There were
1,066 people on board of which 1,036 survived.
Now, in remembrance of this event, callsign KC9HYY stroke
WSL3 will be taking to the ham radio bands from November
21st to the 24th operating 40 through 10 meters using SSB
and some of the digital modes. More information including
QSL routing is on QRZ.com under the callsign listing for KC9HYY.
CELEBRATION MARCONI EXPERIMENTS FROM YACHT ELETTRA
Keep an ear open for special event station IY1IEY to be
on the air between November 1st and December 31st to
commemorate the experiments conducted by Gugliemo Marconi
from his yacht Elettra between 1919 and 1936. Operations
will be on all of the High Frequency bands including 30, 17 and 12 meters.
HAM RADIO PAYLOAD ON ITS WAY TO CIRCLE THE MOON
China has launched its robotic moon circling mission that
carries a ham radio payload. The main purpose of this
flight is to test of re-entry technology for the country's
future lunar sample-return mission. Complete details on the
role of amateur radio can be found beginning on page 14 of
the mission outline at tinyurl.com/lux-space-moon. The file
is in PDF format.
A wed-based report on the actual launch provided by NASA is at
Special Callsign for ISS
Ofcom has confirmed that the callsign GB1SS will be made available for
issue to UK astronauts who wish to operate from the ISS.
After a gap of 24 years it looks as though two more UK astronauts may be
flying to the International Space Station in 2015. In September 2015
singer Sarah Brightman hopes to become the second UK astronaut, flying
on a 10 day mission, and Tim Peake hopes to go to the ISS in November 2015.
OPERATIONAL NEWS - AWARDS WITH VK4FUQ.
Record number of Victorian National Parks on air
With the annual Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award activity period
in VK3 less than a week away, 30 unique parks have already registered with
a couple more possible.
Support also comes across the border from VK2 and VK5, who between them will
be in nine Victorian National Parks.
Award Manager Tony Hambling VK3VTH is very pleased with the growing portable
operation spread right across Victoria, giving both those in the field and
the hunter plenty of opportunity.
The activation starts on Thursday November the 13th with Gunbower by John
VK2AWJ and concludes on Monday the 17th November with Paul VK5PAS in the
Little Desert, John VK2AWJ Burrowa - Pine Mountain and Allen VK3HRA in the
Snowy River National Park.
Tony VK3VTH says most activity is on 40 metres, while some will be active
also Long Path Europe on 20 metres.
They will offer both the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award and satisfy
the European demand for the World Wide Flora and Fauna Award.
The Parksnpeaks website has all activations listed and will announce any
late ones, so monitor it for updates and 'spots'. The URL for it can be found
in the text edition of this VK1WIA broadcast.
Remember, the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award activity period by
Amateur Radio Victoria is from November the 13th to the 17th - that is this
Thursday, through the weekend and ending on Monday.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS, DX, BEACON REPEATER AND NET ADVICE
W 9 L CELEBRATING VETERANS DAY NOVEMBER 11
Members of The American Legion Amateur Radio Club will
operate station W9L on November 11th which is Veterans Day
in the USA, or Remembrance day here in VK.
W 9 L will be on the air from 1400 to 2100 UTC from the clubs
national headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The High Frequency operation will take place on 14.275 MHz.
There will also be An interconnection via IRLP node 4816.
Hams who make contact with W9L or shortwave listeners who
hear the station are eligible to receive a full colour
More about this operation including QSL routing is at
VIETNAM BY KM 0 O NOVEMBER 25 TO DECEMBER 24
3 W 3 O from Vietnam between November 25th and December 24th.
His main activity will be the CQ World Wide DX CW Contest November 29 and 30
but expect him to be on 160 and 80 meters before and after the contest.
QSL via the bureau
TENERIFE FROM DECEMBER 9 TO JANUARY 8
IK 1 PMR and PA 3 LEO will be on the air signing portable EA8 from
Tenerife Island between December 9th of this year and January 8th of 2015.
Activity will be on 160 through 6 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY.
QSL via HB 9 FKK or each operators home callsign via the bureau.
VK Club Bulletins http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aarnie/
VK2 CCARC news ccarc.org.au/wp/2012/09/ccarc-news-12-31/
UK-NZ contact on TV news
TV's One News featured the 90th anniversary of the first contact between
radio amateurs in the UK and New Zealand
On October 18, 1924, the first radio communication contact between the
two countries took place between 2SZ at Mill Hill School, the station
operated by 18 year-old former pupil Cecil Goyder, and 4AA in Shag Valley,
South Island, New Zealand, operated by Frank Bell.
To commemorate the 90th anniversary of this historic contact, radio amateurs
at stations in Mill Hill School and Shag Valley recreated the first
The TV station interviewed the President of the Otago Amateur Radio Club
Dave Mulder ZL4DK, London student Max Sachdev and Frank Bell's great-grandson
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- FINAL FRONTIER
Mysterious piece of Russian space junk does manoeuvres
What was first thought to be a piece of debris left over from the launch of
three Russian military communication satellites has turned out to be a
fourth satellite capable of manoeuvres:
This fourth unidentified object was detected orbiting the Earth a few
kilometres away from 'routine' Rodnik satellites. Moreover, an analysis of
orbital elements from a US radar by observers showed that the 'ghost'
spacecraft had made a manoeuvre between May 29 and May 31, 2014, despite being
identified as 'debris' in the official U.S. catalogue at the time.
"On June 24, the mysterious spacecraft started manoeuvring again, lowering
its perigee (lowest point) by four kilometres and lifting its apogee by
This is the second time a Russian piece of orbital junk has suddenly started
to do manoeuvres. The first time, in early 2014, the Russians finally admitted
five months after launch that the "junk" was actually a satellite.
It is likely they are testing new CubeSat capabilities. Once you have
these kinds of orbital manoeuvres you can then apply it to CubeSats with any
kind of purpose, from military to commercial applications.
Read more at slashdot:
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- IOTA
IOTA TO FREEZE ALL ACTIONS DEALING WITH THE CRIMEA
The Islands on the Air management has decided that due to
the unresolved political situation in Crimea, it has no
course open to it except to freeze certain actions connected
with Crimea for a an initial period of one year. This, in
the routine management of the Islands on the Air program.
This means that it will not accept or issue credit for EU-
180 operations taking place after March 17th 2014 that use a
non-Ukrainian callsign. Nor will it accede to any requests
from program participants for update of their records,
changes of callsign and/or checkpoint that involve a change
of DXCC entity.
The Committee says that it will review the situation after
one year in the light of developments.
The original announcement made on October 21st can be read
REWIND a look back at history
Radio ham helps Science Museum
RSGB RadCom Editor Elaine Richards G4LFM has helped produce a video for the
Science Museum which tells the story of how the British Broadcasting Company
began, powered by the UK's biggest radio transmitter 2LO
On a foggy November night in 1922, the words 'This is 2LO calling' announced
the arrival of the BBC. 2LO transmitted the BBC's first radio programme,
marking the beginnings of official, state broadcasting, and a new era for
listeners at home.
See the 2LO radio transmitter on display in the Science Museums' new
Information Age gallery, which tells the story of how our lives have been
transformed by information and communication technologies over the last
SOCIAL SCENE 2014
Nov 8 VK3 Chelsea beach, near Longbeach Lifsavers 3pm it's the
Melbourne QRP Day gathering.
Nov 9 VK3 Yarra Valley AR Group Hamfest 10am Gary Cooper Pavilion.
Nov 9 vk3 VHF / UHF and Microwave experimenters
Nov 15 VK7 Miena Hamfest
Nov 21 VK3 Bendigo AR & Electronics Club Men's Shed public meeting.
Nov 23 VK5 "Welcome to AR Day" Blackwood 8:45am ( 0410 687 998 )
Nov 30 VK3 SPARC HamFest at Rosebud ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
June, Queens Birthday weekend 40th annual Oxley Region Field Day
July 11-12 VK3 GippsTech 2015
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