June 7 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
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NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING JUNE 7 2015.
IN OUR 20TH YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
The ANZAC spirit in WIA commemorative events.
WIA online news and information for all.
ACMA defers its licensing shut-down.
Reciprocal Licence Review Date:
Onno walks the "Grey Line."
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA 2015 AND FOR WEEK OF JUNE 07
"Electra" Back on Air
Marconi's yacht "Electra" will be activated on June 6th and 7th in conjunction
with the Museum Ships Weekend celebrating Marconi's contribution to radio.
The special event callsign is II4MB.
Another Aussie balloon circumnavigates the earth
The party-type foil balloon PS-46 from Melbourne Australia has shown that
going around the southern hemisphere is no fluke - although it does need
A very excited but humble Andy Nguyen VK3YT, who launched the balloon carrying
an Amateur Radio payload, expressed a big thank you to everyone assisting with
its tracking across the continents.
These solar power helium filled balloons use a 25mW transmitter with WSPR,
JT9 and sometimes Olivia signals on the 30m and 20m bands.
The PS-46 flight did an s-shape over the Pacific to South America, traversed
the South Atlantic to Namibia, tracked above South Africa, crossed the Indian
Ocean to Cape Le Grand near Esperance back here in Australia.
Earlier balloon PS-41 was the first to circle the earth, and on its second
time around visited the Antarctic region, but disappeared in the Southern
Ocean around April 21.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
The ANZAC spirit in commemorative events
The Northern Tasmanian Amateur Radio Club through the VK100ANZAC callsign
paid fitting tribute to the British Empire's most decorated soldier in WWI.
The WIA ANZAC 100 program commemorates all who served their country in times
of war and conflict, and the enormous losses suffered.
The NTARC club with audio visual presentations and photographs, used
VK100ANZAC from March 31st to June 2nd, in honour of Lieutenant Colonel
Henry William Murray, born near Evandale.
He was in the Gallipoli campaign, and among other occasions on the Western
Front, in the Battle of the Somme - and was given the Victoria Cross for
attacking an enemy position in 1917.
This grazier later fought in WWII and was further decorated.
The VK100ANZAC event by NTARC also gained local media exposure and the WIA
News from VK7RAA Callback was held at the Harry Murray Memorial, Evandale
Tasmania for the Vk100ANZAC link with Anne, Harry Murray's Grand Niece at
Deloraine and drew some 36 participants checking in with Tony Eagling Vk7YBG.
For a more recent theatre of conflict, yesterday Saturday June the 6th,
VI5ANZAC was at the Elizabeth RSL for the 50th Anniversary of Australian
Forces at Vung Tau, Vietnam, landed by the Royal Australian Navy.
The Elizabeth Amateur Radio Club was on both the 40m and 80m bands on this
occasion for Vietnam War Veterans and the service community. Very well done.
The callsign VK100ANZAC is now doing a great job on the HF bands in the hands
of DXer Tommy Horozakis VK2IR and others from the Hellenic Amateur Radio
Association of Australia, who will be on air until June the 10th.
Beginning last Friday and for nine days, the Yarra Valley Amateur Radio Group
commemorates D-Day at Normandy in WWII, by using VI3ANZAC. It was the largest
seaborne invasion in history, regained occupied Western Europe, led to the
liberation of France and contributed to an end of the war.
For more details visit the WIA website.
If you would like to activate an ANZAC-suffixed callsign, then please make
contact with Fred Swainston VK3DAC via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The articles appearing in Amateur Radio magazine by the WIA Historian,
Peter Wolfenden VK3RV are rolling on and here's a summary of yet another.
Ted Cawthron VK5JE served in WWII and was captured to be held as a prisoner
or war, spending time working in Thailand on the infamous Burma Railway.
In Amateur Radio magazine for August 1963, E. J. (Ted) Cawthron
VK2JC/VK5JC/VK5JE was attached to the 2/1 Fortress Signals, AIF, located
When captured in February 1942 he spent many years as a prisoner of war.
Ted was associated with three undercover radio receivers at the camp for
which he was formally acknowledged by being 'Mentioned in Despatches'.
Ted had been interested in radio since 1924 and was first listed in the 1930
His earliest days as an experimenter were spent operating '2JC Concord' on
the broadcast band after the commercial stations closed down for the night.
Ted moved to Adelaide in 1935 and operated as VK5JC. The Radio Old Timers
Club of Australia magazine had him employed by the PMG department in its
On returning to Adelaide in 1946 after serving in the Army, he became VK5JE,
and developed an interest in working DX on 40 metres, where he concentrated
for 11 years, receiving the DXCC certificate number 77 in 1963. He also
published an article on a compact antenna for the band.
Ted Cawthron, another capable radio amateur who helped prove that Amateur
Radio was a good training ground in the times of need.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
WIA BOARD TALK
President Phil Wait VK2ASD email@example.com
V President Fred Swainston VK3DAC firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary David Williams VK3RU email@example.com
Treasurer John Longayroux VK3PZ firstname.lastname@example.org
WIA online news and information for all
The WIA has recently upgraded some content on its website which continues to
be well-read by WIA members. The recent change follow comments, particularly
from those looking for more information about what the WIA is doing for them.
An interesting range of online material is available under the 'For Members'
section that contains Benefits, Services and Information.
Under the section 'Promoting Our Hobby' is information in the WIA resource
material - The Calling CQ Brochure and Poster, their purpose and availability.
In 'Emergency Communications' the role played by Amateur Radio, which in
Australia is traced back to a flood in Queensland in February 1927.
Another innovation is the WIA Board Newsletter library.
Past copies are now available. The WIA Board Newsletter is sent monthly to the
radio clubs for them to email to all their members and contains a summary of
The IARU Monitoring System or Intruder Watch observations are posted,
Band Plans, Contests and other useful information appear regularly.
Additionally the 'WIA Hot Issues' section contains a list of major matters
currently being handled that affect Amateur Radio in Australia.
If you are looking for more information about what the WIA is doing, then check
out the vast material on its website at www.wia.org.au
ACMA defers its licensing shut-down
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is working to replace
and improve its ageing radiocommunications licensing and frequency processing
system, under a scheme known as Project HELM.
A team is working to implement the new system for Apparatus Licences. The
system will see all such licence processing, including issuing and renewals,
suspended for two weeks.
The shutdown was to occur in May, but due to a number of factors, including
feedback from industry about its readiness to work with the new system, it has
been deferred. ACMA said that it doesn't expect the shutdown before mid-June
2015, and will advise when a date is known.
If your licence is due for renewal, the WIA suggests this be made immediately,
even well before its expiry date. Once the shut-down occurs, please expect
delays including when the ACMA catches up with a processing back-log.
Reciprocal Licence Review Date:
As changes occur to overseas Amateur Radio Qualifications a review of
reciprocal licences is required. This review has commenced and new tables
will be available on the website and in the next addition of "the WIA call book."
The review process involved ACMA and is not expected to impede reciprocal
licence applications however there may be some changes to outcomes. These
changes are expected to be minor.
VP of your WIA, Fred Swainston will give us a report but not before the review
is completed. This will be in a couple of weeks.
Continuing Board Talk it's to ONNO VK6FLAB who spoke with our President Phil at
the AGM and asked "Can we as Amateurs leverage the LIPD frequencies and create
an independent mesh network for messaging purposes ".. And also you can read
more of this topic in the June issue of AR on Page 3."
What use is an F-call?
Much of what Amateur Radio is about relates to the planet we live on. I realise
that you might think that it's about radios, antennas, contacts and logging,
but the vast majority of our hobby relates directly to the Ionosphere, the Sun,
the Earth and all manner of other natural influences.
One of these influences happens twice a day, Sunrise and Sunset. The transition
from light to dark and from dark to light has a period during which there is
twilight. This period in amateur radio is called the "Grey Line" because if you
were to map it on a map of the earth, there's a line that travels all the way
around the globe where the separation between dark and light exists.
A funny phenomenon occurs along this line.
Propagation is very efficient along its path.
You might recall that there are several layers of the Ionosphere. Closest to
us is the D-layer, then up from that the E and F layer. You might also remember
seeing satellites in the early evening, they are still in sunlight while you're
in darkness. If you've flown a plane near dusk, it might have been light while
you're up in the air, but dark by the time you land.
Light from the sun hits different layers in the Ionosphere at different times.
The D-layer doesn't get hit when it's dusk, but the E and F layers still are,
they're light, while the D-layer is dark. This has the effect of allowing a
10m or 15m signal to travel through the D-layer without losing much strength,
but bouncing along happily following the E and F layer around the earth.
This means that if you're on-air during this time, you'll suddenly hear
stations from all over the place. This phenomenon might last no more than
10 minutes, but it's absolutely magical if you are there to hear it, and it
happens twice a day!
From a technical perspective, the evening grey-line works around 10m and 15m,
the morning grey-line around 15m, 20m and sometimes on 40m and 80m.
So turn your radio on before dusk or dawn and sit around with a warm beverage
having a listen - or a coldie if the temperature is better suited to DX with a
I'm Onno VK6FLAB
Silent Keys are best sent to AR Magazine and your local state or club news
rather than this WIA National News Service.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART and the WW sources of the WIA.
HAMS HELPING HAMS
Don Wallace ZL2TLL will attend the WRC 2015 conference in Geneva on behalf
of the ZL's, furthermore thanks to NZART members generosity, and a resolution
passed at the AGM, money is available from donations to finance one delegate
(Don ZL2TLL) and Terry Carrell ZL3QL as an observer to the IARU Region 3
conference in Bali in September.
The American Radio Relay League published proposed changes to the US HF band
plan for comment in the April edition of QST. Being proactive, the RAC Band
Planning Committee reviewed their proposals for potential impacts on Canadian
On 40m and 20m, the proposed changes would negatively impact DX phone
operations throughout the Americas, and the rest of the world.
RAC has formally communicated concerns to ARRL with the request that they
include these concerns in their consideration of any changes to the US
29 MHz - the forgotten frequency for amateur radio satellites
Hans ZS6AKV writes in the EngineerIT magazine about the potential for 29 MHz
as a satellite uplink band as universities and other scientific research
institutions are using portions of the amateur spectrum for their CubeSat's
which has caused the 145 and 435 MHz amateur-satellite band segments to be
very crowded, leading to an increasing number of satellite builders to
IARU satellite frequency coordination process has now opened another
alternative: 29 MHz uplinks.
Read the EngineerIT article at
IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination http://www.iaru.org/satellite.html
At the recent ZL AGM, Daniel ZL4DU being the youngest person (17 years old)
to pass the amateur exam in 2014 received not only a certificate but a
VHF/UHF FM Transceiver hand held radio!
Honour for Morse code interceptor
Marion Booth has received the Bletchley Park Commemorative Badge for her work
in intercepting Japanese Morse code radio messages during WW2. She joined
the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service in 1944, did basic training in Galt
and in the spring of 1945 in Victoria, British Columbia, intercepted Japanese
radio messages in Morse code.
Ofcom permit Spark transmission for Marconi anniversary
The Penarth Times reports on the historical recreation of the first wireless
transmission over open sea by Guglielmo Marconi from Flatholm Island to
Lavernock point, 118 years ago
The newspaper reports:
Although the wireless signal was sent on May 11, 1897 it was on May 13 when
Wales and England were linked by wireless, from Lavernock to Brean Down in
The event on Monday, May 11 used a 'spark gap' transmission. Although it is
illegal, it was allowed by Ofcom after much discussion as long as it was on
A camera team representing the TV station S4C, along with historical and
technical adviser Glyn Jones GW0ANA chairman of the Barry Amateur Radio
Society, gathered for the event while another team stationed on Flatholm
island with the spark plug were watched by Ofcom.
Read all the written words at
Who and Where are our broadcast stations?
OPERATIONAL NEWS 2015
This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH
The Winter solstice will soon be upon us - and it also brings the Winter
VHF-UHF Field Day.
Saturday June the 20th and Sunday the 21st - from 0100 UTC on Saturday to 0100
Sunday, except for VK6, where the start and finish are at 0400 UTC.
"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things . . .", starts a
verse from author Lewis Carroll's famous novel, Through the Looking-Glass, and
What Alice Found There.
As a consequence of the past year's experiences, the online discourse and
feedback received, the Winter and Spring 2015 events will operate under some
changes to the rules.
The objective here is to try and attract more people to participate in the
Field Days, and to encourage more operators to submit logs. In other words, to
reduce the barriers to entering the Field Days
There are now four Sections, reduced from six in the previous rules, and
four Sub-sections, up from two in the previous rules.
And, yes - there are still two Divisions - Division 1 based on grid-square
scoring and Division 2 for distance-based scoring.
Operators can enter a log for either 24-hour operations, or 8-hour operations.
This breaks the nexus between 24-hour and 8-hour operations that prevailed
previously, where stations could submit a log for 24-hour operations and select
the best 8 hours to submit another log for that.
Now, operators need to decide their strategy beforehand for either 24-hour or
Of course, Murphy and the weather might curtail what was to be your 24-hour
operation, in which case you can recover something by submitting a log for
The four Sub-sections introduce a new approach, with Single-band, Four-band,
All-bands and Digital operations.
Part of the purpose of the four sub-sections is to provide something for
newcomers to amateur radio as well Field Day newbies and to cater specifically
for Foundation and Standard licensees.
Marshalling the requirements for a single-band operation, or perhaps two, three
or four bands, is not a daunting task.
A founding principle of the Field Days is to go out and have fun, so these
categories can provide a taste of that.
To up the Field Day pace a little, the repeat contact period has been reduced
to two hours, from three hours previously.
Note that contacts now require exchanging 6-character locators for all contacts
including for Division 1. However, Division 1 scoring and Rover operations are
still based on Squares, that is - four character locators.
One last thing - only electronic logs in ASCII text format will be accepted.
Online log uploads proved popular with participants in recent contests.
After some two and fro discussion on aspects of the rules, a couple of
adjustments have been made to clarify things.
The FINAL word on the rules can be found on the WIA website.
This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH for VK1WIA News and it's to Felix
to continue operational news.
Thanks Roger, looking at July, it's the
Trans-Tasman contest 18th July from 0800utc
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 1 - 2
Remembrance Day Contest August 15 and 16
Oceania DX contest Voice First full weekend in October
Oceania DX contest Continuous Wave Second full weekend in October.
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 6 - 7
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 5 - 6
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 4 - 5
SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS, DX, BEACON REPEATER AND NET ADVICE
Pipe-line to VK for DX
We know long distance HF band communication depends on the Ionosphere
condition - there's also an enhanced Greyline propagation along the
night and day path as Onno has pointed out to us today.
DX Talk columnist in Amateur Radio magazine Nick Hacko VK2DX, reports that
the propagational mid-season period on HF this year has yielded some amazing
contacts - via 'pipe-line' openings.
Nick VK2DX says from mid-March to early April, stations from West, Central
and Southern Africa were booming in, especially on the 15m and 10m bands.
The beauty of the 'pipe-line' phenomenon is that a distant station can have
no real propagation to any part of the world, other than Australia. Nick
VK2DX as an example, had the Western Sahara Sahrawi Amateur Radio S 01 WS
make endless CQs on 15m band via long path, to be only answered by VK2 and
He suggests that beaming to Europe via long path can produce echoes of your
own signal as it travels around the globe. This often indicates you are heard
well over South and Central America as well as West Africa. Give it a try,
its real fun and can catch some DX, even if you use QRP.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
Sunraysia 2m propagation beacon now GPS frequency controlled
The WIA and Alan Devlin VK3XPD one-off grant for GPS locked repeaters, which
has now closed, saw the timely restoration of the lightning-hit 2-metre beacon
Thanks to the hard work of the Sunraysia Radio Group Repeater and Beacon
Officer, Peter VK3JUG, it has been re-installed at the Merbein water tower
in north-west Victoria.
The system runs 35 watts into a horizontal folded dipole, with FSK keying.
GPS frequency control has now also been included thanks to the grant available
only until the end of June.
Reports indicate that the frequency of VK3RRU is within one Hertz - but
additional reports via the VKlogger would be appreciated.
Unfortunately, Peter VK3JUG has found that the 1296 MHz beacon may need a
complete re-build and this will take some time.
Most VK beacons have a crystal oscillator or from a phase-locked loop system,
and can drift and therefore be inaccurate. GPS locked beacons are a highly
accurate frequency reference.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
3 A 90 IARU is the special callsign for the Association of Radio Amateur of
Monaco to use until 30th of this month in celebration of the 90th anniversary
of the IARU.
QSL via 3 A 2 ARM.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ATV (Every pixel tells a story) - Video
WRTC 2014 DOCUMENTARY RELEASED
James Brooks, 9V1YC, has made available a video about the amateur radio
World Radiosport Team Championship 2014.
The World Radiosport Team Championship better known as WRTC is a competition
between two-person teams of amateur radio operators testing their skills to
make contacts with other Amateur Radio operators around the world over a
24 hour period. Unlike most on-the-air competitions, all stations are
required to use identical antennas from the same geographic region,
eliminating all variables except operating ability.
The show, produced in high definition, runs an hour. It's on line at
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- FINAL FRONTIER
A remote controlled mission to the red planet has been a long time priority
for NASA. Now the space agency has revealed that they will start working on
an asteroid relocation mission first. Amateur Radio Newsline's Heather
Embee, KB3TZD, has the details:
[Heather] NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot says that the
Asteroid Redirect Mission or A-R-M will provide an initial demonstration of
several spaceflight capabilities that will be needed to send astronauts
deeper into space, and eventually to Mars.
As the agency tries to find select the best asteroid for the mission, it will
study the candidate asteroids regarding their size, rotation, shape and
precise orbit. The main candidates so far are asteroids Itokawa, Bennu and
The agency expects to have a selected asteroid by 2019 and then place it into
a stable orbit around the moon they study it. To move the asteroid into
moon's orbit, NASA plans to use new trajectory and navigation methods. NASA
said it will be picking up a small asteroid that will burn in space if it
attempts to get into Earth's atmosphere before reaching us.
According to NASA, the A-R-M robotic spacecraft will test several
capabilities that will be needed for a long term human mission.
For example, it will test the advanced Solar Electric Propulsion or S-E-P
technology. S-E-P will basically be used to harness sunlight power and
converts it to electrical power using solar arrays that will be used to
propel spacecraft engine. And that's only one of the research projects that
will be an integral part of the Asteroid Redirect Mission.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Heather Embee, KB3TZD in Berwick,
NASA plans to launch the Asteroid Redirect Mission in 2020. It says that it
is expected to take six years before it can place an asteroid into lunar
orbit using radio remote control.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ILLW
Honours for the ILLW, our prime fun-event
The Ayr Amateur Radio Group began activating maritime navigation beacons in
1993 with its biennial Scottish Northern Lighthouses Award Weekend. The rest
of world joined in 1998 as the annual International Lighthouse and Lightship
The prime drivers in the early days of this now popular portable activation
were John Forsyth GM4OOU and the late Mike Dalrymple GM4SUC.
A letter invited participation from down-under. It struck a responsive chord
with Kevin Mulcahy VK2CE, who activated the Green Cape Lighthouse as VK2SEA,
and a few others also joined in.
Then a long association and promoter of the lighthouse event was borne. Kevin
VK2CE has, since the passing of Mike GM4SUC in 2005, been a heavy-lifter for
the August event, that now attracts more than 500 registrations from
In memory of Mike GM4SEC, the Ayr Amateur Radio Group activates the Turnberry
Lighthouse as GB2LT each year.
During a family visit to Melbourne, Tony Devine GM6BAO met up with Kevin VK2CE
to express the club's sincere appreciation for the work done in this growing
event. Presented to him was an inscribed pewter traditional Quaich Scottish
drinking cup from the highlands - in appreciation of his 17 years of dedication.
The International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend is held this year on the
weekend of August 15 and 16.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
SOCIAL SCENE 2015
June 5- 7 VK4 Central Highlands ARC & Theresa Creek Campout, Clermont.
June 6- 7 VK2 Queens Birthday 40th annual Oxley Region Field Day
June 6- 7 VK5 51st South East Radio Group Convention / Australian
July 1 VK4 Caboolture HamFest
July 11-12 VK3 GippsTech 2015
July 18 VK3 Gippsland gate Radio & Electronics Club HamFest @ Cranbourne
July 25 VK3 ALARA 40th Bday Lunch, Novotel Glen Waverley email@example.com
Sept 12 VK4 SUNFEST Woombye
Sept 25-27 VK4 CHARC AGM Weekend Camp Fairbairn near Emerald
Oct 2-5 VK4 Cardwell Gathering, Beachcomber Motel and Tourist Park
Oct 25 VK3 Ballarat Amateur Radio Group Hamvention Greyhound Track
Oct 25 VK4 Gold Coast HamFest Broadbeach
Nov VK3 QRP By the Bay details from VK3YE held 2nd Saturday
Feb 28 VK3 EMDRC HamFest Great Ryrie Primary School Heathmont.
Ap-May 29-2 VK4 Clairview Gathering check Mackay ARS website
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