Nov 01 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING NOV 1 2015.
IN OUR 20TH YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA MEMNET registration is easy, are you registered? -
WIA explains those Licence letters from the ACMA. -
WIA and a look at the 1296 MHz band plan. -
WIA's Amateur Radio magazine, November issue. -
WIA to re-print its Foundation Manual.
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA 2015 AND FOR WEEK OF NOVEMBER 01
Free Wi-Fi in 'smart' cities
Western Australia's Public Transport Authority is the latest to plan free Wi-Fi
on Perth's trains, buses and ferries.
Similar initiatives are in various implementation stages for other Australian
capital cities and regional areas, in partnership with Internet Service
Around the world free Wi-Fi is catching on. To meet consumer demand it's now in
some shopping centres and accommodation places.
The ubiquitous free Wi-Fi is enjoyed by tourists on the move as they check their
email, talk on skype, and send holiday snaps to friends directly or on
TARC does the TCC International Men's Day Employee Expo
Members from The Townsville Amateur Radio Club Inc. will be putting on
a portable display of Amateur Radio by invitation of the Townsville City
Council for the TCC International Men's Day Employee Expo being held in
conjunction with Crocs Basketball training at the RSL Stadium, Murray Sporting
Complex on Wednesday 11th November.
The battery powered display will be setting up from 6am to 6-45am then
exhibiting from 8am to 2pm.
Warship and its crew honoured
The 75th Anniversary of the HMAS Maryborough has indeed been an occasion of
pomp and ceremony. The RSL, Lions Club and the community were among the many
Mike Charteris VK4QS worked hard with others to make it a success - and got
media coverage as well.
He says on the historic day, the crew of current Patrol Boat HMAS Maryborough
were granted Freedom of Entry to the City of Maryborough in Queensland.
It all started with a telephone conversation between Mike VK4QS and Darryl
Beitsch, whose father had served on HMAS Maryborough in WWII.
The vessel was built at Maryborough's Walkers Shipyard and launched on October
17, 1940. Mike VK4QS describes the event as a thank you to those who served on
WWII veterans from HMAS Maryborough - Jack Smith and Brian Bleechmore - both
95 years old - were present and enjoyed the occasion.
Well done - as we remember those who served this country well - Lest We Forget.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
WIA BOARD TALK
President Phil Wait VK2ASD firstname.lastname@example.org
V President Fred Swainston VK3DAC email@example.com
Secretary David Williams VK3RU firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer (Position Vacant)
Licence letters from the ACMA - what they mean
As a part of the new SPECTRA system, the Australian Communications and Media
Authority (ACMA) will send revalidation letters to all radio amateurs 90 days
before licences are due to expire. This letter, or email, has the ACMA licence
number - however it does not include your callsign, or callsigns.
You can easily confirm callsigns associated with licence numbers online via
the ACMA website.
A Validation Notice is sent to all licence holders, and not just radio amateurs
The purpose of this is to allow licensees to check or change their details, or
surrender a licence. If the details are correct, and you do not surrender a
licence, then the ACMA wants you to take no action, until you receive a
Renewal Notice, which is the time to pay for the renewal.
The ACMA sends an invoice for renewing licence holders, and after you have paid
a Renewal Summary will be sent out. Is it worth also mentioning that the
renewal notice will not contain your callsign, so once again you may need to
visit the ACMA website and lookup your licence number to confirm the callsign
Now here is an important reminder! If the ACMA does not have your details
correctly recorded, it cannot send these letters.
For instance, you may have changed your postal address, or failed to update
them with your current email address.
Renewal is always the licensee's responsibility!
Please check now to avoid delays, or cancellation of your licence, and your
callsign being re-assigned to someone else.
The ACMA contact details are:
Telephone 1300 850 115 and email email@example.com
A look at the 1296 MHz band plan
It has been suggested to the WIA band planner John Martin VK3KM that this band
should have a frequency reserved for information beacons - similar to the
145.650 MHz frequency on 2-metres.
There information beacons may automatically transmit club information,
WIA news items, CW practice material and so on.
The ideal frequency is in the FM simplex segment, but not too close to
frequencies used for two-way or repeater operation.
A suitable frequency for the 23cm band could be 1294.700 MHz.
Any comments would be Appreciated.
These can go to John Martin VK3KM via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
WIA to re-print its Foundation Manual
The third edition of the popular WIA publication "Your Entry Into Amateur
Radio" - the Foundation Licence Manual - is to be released in early 2016.
The contents of the 108 page manual are receiving necessary, but minor changes.
The book is not only essential for anyone interested in getting their
Foundation Licence, but is also a useful reference for anyone interested in
learning about Amateur Radio.
The WIA Exam Service reports a healthy number of new Foundation Licences being
issued, however stocks of the Foundation Licence Manual are getting low, so a
re-print has been ordered.
MEMNET registration is easy - are you registered?
Among the WIA membership benefits is access to the secure Members Net - or
It enables you to update personal details, receive a subscription renewal
notice, news, and the digitised monthly Amateur Radio magazine.
WIA member Steve ZL1TPH has expressed his thanks to the WIA Board for this
valued-added membership service. In his words:
"It was easy to register and download three years of AR - a real plus."
Are you registered with MEMNET, does it have your correct details, or want to
get the digital version of Amateur Radio magazine? Then visit the WIA website
where all the simple steps needed to register are explained.
Amateur Radio magazine - the November issue
The monthly WIA journal is full of interesting reading this month.
The annual ACMA licence fee has been a hot issue, seemingly raised infrequently
in the past decade, but the WIA again spells out its reasoned and firm
opposition to paying nothing for access to the spectrum.
This topic is well covered in the WIA Comment column by the President Phil Wait
VK2ASD, and gets a run elsewhere in the magazine.
The two feature stories are: 'Disaster recovery helped by radio amateurs' that
looks at the Nepal earthquake, and in the ANZAC 100 series, how the WIA
installed a state-of-art radio receiver, at an ANZAC Hostel.
Technical articles include a cheap frequency counter by Jim VK5JST, an
introduction to PCB design from Erich VK5HSE, and Peter VK3YE has a 7 MHz wind
Regular contributions are from ALARA, Contests, CW Today, DX Talk, SOTA & Parks
and Robin VK7RH with a 'Spotlight On SWLing', and VHF/UHF An Expanding World.
It also reveals that the Remembrance Day Contest Trophy winner is VK5 - with
Alan Shannon VK4SN reporting on all of this year's results.
Amateur Radio magazine is sent monthly to WIA members - helping to keep them
informed about what is happening, in this diverse modern activity.
What use is an F-call?
In our hobby we come across terms and names that we use and commonly understand
that is, we think we understand them. I mean, what's a velocity factor and
what is a dielectric?
The velocity factor is something to do with coax and the dielectric is
something to do with capacitors. Next.
Let's have a little closer look at this. The velocity factor is the wave
propagation speed, or the velocity of propagation, relative to the speed of
light. That is to say, it's a percentage of the speed of light. In a piece of
RG58, the velocity factor is anywhere between 66% and 73% of the speed of
You already know that the wavelength of a frequency is dependent on the medium
it's traveling through, so when you calculate the wavelength of 21 MHz, you do
some maths and out drops around about 15m. If you want to make a resonant
antenna, it has to be some part multiple of that wave length, so a piece of
wire 15m long will be a single wave length.
The velocity of a wire will in effect slow down the radio wave, thus it will
mean that the resonant length is the velocity factor of the wire times the
wave length, or in our first example, 66% of 15m.
Yes, I've not taken into account end effects and all manner of other things,
but it's a good first approximation. One thing to note that a piece of wire
with a low velocity factor can be shorter, thus likely take up less space and
perhaps even be cheaper, since copper is not a cheap element.
So if metal is metal, and we ignore the hyperbole about $200 HDMI cable, how
does one piece of copper get a higher velocity factor than another?
That's where the dielectric comes in.
Another term for dielectric constant, is the relative permittivity. It's the
measure of resistance that is encountered when forming an electric field in a
medium. We start with vacuum, which by definition has a permittivity of 1.
Teflon has a permittivity of 2.1, Polyethylene is 2.25 and for comparison,
paper has a permittivity of 3.85 and water at room temperature is 80.1.
Each of these materials resists the creation of an electric field in different
If you create coax with a dielectric that has a high relative permittivity,
you end up with a low velocity factor which means a shorter antenna or coax
This is a simplified version of what's going on, since I've not talked about
the thickness of the dielectric, the thickness of the copper, the spacing of
the centre core and outer shield, but the basic take-away is that everything
is related to everything else.
A simple term like velocity factor or dielectric hides a myriad of other
concepts. Have a look around next time you think you know what something means,
a surprise is sure to be waiting around the corner.
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.
IARU gears up for the WRC-15
Delegations are heading to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
World Radiocommunications Conference, and there will be a strong team from
the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).
The ITU conference is in Geneva, Switzerland on November 2 to 27. In a book
the ITU describes WRC-15 as a new landmark for the radiocommunication world
and the use of satellites.
The ITU has acknowledged the close cooperation it has with the IARU - founded
in Paris 1925, and the recognised spokesman for the Amateur Radio community.
The IARU-team has 18 members - about 10 of them are with their WRC-15
country-based delegation (for example Dale Hughes VK1DSH Australia, and
Don Wallace ZL2TLL New Zealand).
As co-lead are the IARU President Tim Ellam VE6SH and Vice-President
Ole Garpestad LA2RR. VE6SH said there had been enormous preparation by the
IARU, and its member societies, which includes being active at numerous
preparatory meetings held throughout the world.
The IARU team will make their best effort for a possible allocation to amateur
service near 5 MHz, and watch other developments that may impinge on the
amateur service and amateur satellite service. The IARU describes the
potential new band as being "a high priority for the amateur service", but is
not over-confident of getting the new secondary allocation, as there is some
The IARU will host a function on November 10 with all at the WRC-15 being
invited to attend.
It will also have an emergency communications display trailer on November 8-14,
with IARU International Coordinator for Emergency Communications, Hans
Zimmermann HB9AQS. The trailer-mounted display will have equipment showing the
voice, text and image mode capabilities for emergency communications, plus a
Specialist German club 'Notfunk Deutschland' (Emergency Radio Germany), in
agreement with the IARU Member Society, Deutscher Amateur Radio Club),
will have posters and other material.
Hans HB9AQS, with help of the three IARU regional emergency communication
coordinators, has produced a single page in various languages as a hand-out at
UK regulator, Ofcom, announces auction of former ham radio spectrum
Ofcom has this week confirmed plans for releasing valuable new airwaves that
could be used to meet the growing demand for mobile broadband services.
An auction is planned to take place in early 2016 for the spectrum, which has
been made available by the Ministry of Defence as part of a wider Government
initiative to free up public sector spectrum for civil uses.
A total of 190 MHz of high-capacity spectrum is being made available in
two bands - 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz.
And the reserve price? would you believe a total of 70m for the spectrum.
The spectrum to be auctioned comprises 2350-2390 MHz, 3410-3480 MHz,
Election updates via Ham Radio
The New Indian Express reports on amateur radio involvement in local elections
in Kerala state
The newspaper says:
There won't be any difficulty in getting the election updates from even the
most remote polling station in the district, as a 30-member group led by a
ham radio and disaster management society would transmit the poll news for the
government as well as the district administration.
For the same, a central control room has been opened at Vazhathoppu, said its
custodian Manoj Galaxy and vice president P L Nizamuddin.
The ham radio would definitely help coordinate the election works in areas
which lacks any information and communication facility.
It was with the help of the ham radio that the news from the first tribal
panchayat was gathered by the district administration and the media when it
went to polls for the first time in 2010.
Last time, when wild elephants attacked the election officials who were
trapped inside the forests with polling equipment, it was from the control
room set up at the Collect orate that the then collector contacted the
officials and gave directions.
A 'FIRST' FOR NEPAL
Ham radio is involved in yet another safety project -- this one in Nepal,
which has just received its first 2 meter repeater with a newly installed
The repeater and node were created by the Bay-Net amateur radio club in
California working with a University in Kathmandu. They are expected to be
particularly useful following the recent earthquake that struck Nepal.
The earthquake last April killed more than 9,000, and injured more than 23,000
The Bay-Net Club, WW6BAY, is a club most active in establishing repeater
systems for use by the Red Cross and other public service organizations.
On air etiquette
Just a friendly reminder to all amateurs that your station licence comes with
certain operating conditions and your privileges can be withdrawn for violation
of those conditions.
VK7WI News are reporting "NTARC have recently been undertaking an on-going
program of monitoring NTARC repeaters, in an effort to track down the source
of LIPD type interference. That program has also inadvertently recorded a
number of instances of questionable on-air behaviour by licenced amateurs,
including an episode of very crude language followed by sounds like an
extended domestic argument.
Doubtless in this case, none of it was meant to be aired but it WAS broadcast
for all to hear.
Remember, if WE can record questionable behaviour, so can others and it would
not take much effort for the authorities to identify the culprit."
Well said VK7News.
OPERATIONAL NEWS DATELINE 2015 - 2016
WIA Spring VHF-UHF Field Day the
weekend of 14th and 15th November.
Harry Angel 80 mtr sprint (WIA) provisional date Saturday 7th May.
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
Beth MW 0 VOW is back in Mozambique and signing C 91 B till 3rd November.
Oliver, W 6 NV will be on the air as ZD 7 W from St Helena, AF-022, until the
2nd of November. He will be active on all bands 160m to 10m SSB and CW.
QSL to his home call, W 6 NV.
A Sicilian station, II 9 IARU, is 'on the wireless' now until the
31st December celebrating the 90th anniversary of the International
Amateur Radio Union. Again your call to listen for will be II 9 IARU
December 20 is when the WIA program ANZAC 100 ends, timed with the departure
of ANZAC troops at Gallipoli in 1915.
To commemorate the occasion will be at least VK100ANZAC, VI3ANZAC & VI6ANZAC.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- DIGITAL
IARU Region 3 looks at 144.390 for FM APRS
Following the conference in Bali, Working Group 2 agreed that the use of a
common frequency for APRS would facilitate propagation studies and tracking
of high altitude balloons.
The Region 3 Directors are requested to consult with Member Societies and
Regions 1 and 2 as to whether the frequency 144.39 MHz is suitable for a
common APRS frequency in Region 3.
Working Group 2 report
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- FINAL FRONTIER
Astro Pi Launch Changed
Two specially augmented Raspberry Pi's called Astro Pi's were planned to fly
with UK astronaut Tim Peake KG5BVI to the ISS on December 15. It appears the
amount of cargo on Tim's Soyuz flight was overbooked so the Astro Pi's will
instead fly to the ISS on an Orbital Sciences' Cygnus cargo freighter
December 3 from Cape Canaveral.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ILLW
ILLW a stand out on the calendar
The premiere event, the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend already
has 75 registrations from 20 countries, each eager to be part of this annual
The basic aims are to promote the heritage of navigation that kept seafarers
safe, and expose modern Amateur Radio to the wider general community.
On August 20-21, a large number head for lighthouses, lightships and marine
navigation beacons, using portable Amateur Radio to put them on air.
Whether you're in the Americas, Australasia, Europe, South Africa or Asia,
there will be plenty of action.
There were about 500 in nearly 50 countries this year, and it seems likely to
be repeated in the 2016 event in August.
To see the registrations so far, perhaps make one yourself, read past reports,
or the easy guidelines, visit the dedicated website illw.net
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RADIO AMATEUR OLD-TIMERS
Hallo everyone, this is Clive VK6CSW. Tomorrow, Monday November 2nd is the
first Monday of the month , time once again for the Radio Amateurs Old Timers
Club of Australia's monthly News and Information bulletin to go to air.
This month as well as all the usual RAOTC news, we have items on the Hero Rats
of Africa, and also on how Satellites can help prevent Illness.
The principal HF transmission will be on 20 metres on 14.150 MHz upper side
band at 0100 UTC beamed north from Melbourne for the eastern states.
An hour later at 0200 UTC there will be a 40 metre transmission from Perth on
7088 kHz lower sideband plus a simultaneous transmission via all linked
NewsWest repeaters. Please note the change of the 40 metre frequency to
In addition, numerous local relays will take place. To find the times and
frequencies for your area please visit the RAOTC website at www.raotc.org.au
Also as from Tuesday you can download the audio file from the website.
Everyone, members and non-members alike, is invited to listen to this
interesting half hour of Old Timer news and information and to participate in
the call backs afterwards.
Once again, the RAOTC monthly bulletin is scheduled for tomorrow Monday
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
WICEN again assisted the Pedal Power organisation with communications during
the Fitz's challenge bike ride.
For those who are not familiar with this event, there are a variety of
different length rides available to the competitors ranging from 50km to the
longest at 255km with some pretty significant hill climbs included in these
Graham VK1GVC took on the organisational and event manager role, doing a superb
job in getting everything together and running the event - with the assistance
of Matt VK1FMDH and John VK1ET.
Glen "Mr Repeater" VK1XX again put together a great repeater package,
temporarily installing a portable 2m repeater at Isaac's Ridge and linking it
to the Mt Ginini 2m repeater which provided excellent repeater coverage over
the whole course.
Matt VK1MA from WICEN ACT says " was particularly good to see (or hear in most
instances) quite a few newcomers participating on this event this year - we
hope that you enjoyed your experience and also to see a lot more of you guys
in future events. A sincere and very big thank you to everyone involved."
There are only two more events this year: the Call of the Beasts event down at
Caloola farm on Saturday 7 November and Rally Des Femmes on the following
( WICEN ACT )
After landing on Western Mexico out of the Pacific Ocean last weekend, the
category-5 Hurricane Patricia was downgraded to a tropical storm. The remnants
of Hurricane Patricia headed north to Texas to cause flooding.
A prepared Mexican population escaped relatively well despite downed trees,
flooded streets, and buildings being buffeted.
Originally a category-5 storm, it lost strength in the mountains and was
downgraded to a tropical storm rated at category-1. However in Western Mexico
on making landfall it had rain and winds of up to 266km/h, to be one of the
strongest ever hurricanes.
Zian Aguirre XE1ATZ reported that in the Mexican state of Colima, an emergency
net on 7060 kHz was backed up by 14120 kHz and 21120 kHz, to handle traffic.
A state of emergency existed in three Mexican states. But he says the civil
protection protocols worked very well - and it did not reach the populated and
(Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.)
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ROAR
ROTARIANS OF AMATEUR RADIO
International President 2015 -2018: Dr. John Moriarty ZL2JPM
secretary: Dr Elwood Anderson, AE5EA
ANZO VP: Phil Byrne VK2MCD
0645z - 0730z Anzo Net 7.118 (varies due to propagation)
0730z - 0830z International net 14.293 (varies due to propagation)
Milestones in Japan:
ROAR-Japan celebrated a significant milestone on 8th Oct. '15 on 7.075MHz.
It was their 11,000th morning call.
The local conditions were not good that day because of a typhoon but several
stations worked the Key station and the milestone was achieved.
The morning call is held every morning on 7.075MHz (except Sunday and National
Holidays) from 7:30 - 8:15am.
This has been continuous for 37 years.
For the rest of us - it's never too late to start!
REWIND a look back at history
25 Years Ago In The Communications World
Radio Communications - Backhaul takes you on a trip down memory lane as we
look at what was happening in the critical communications field 25 years ago.
The cover of the October/November 1990 issue of What's New in Radio
Communications featured the Philips PRM80 series of mobile radios, which had
been awarded an Australian Design Award, and also became the first Australian
product to receive one of West Germany's Gute Industrie Form Awards.
The very successful units sold all around Australia and across the globe.
Elsewhere in the magazine, LW Edwards of Moonraker Australia brought us up to
date on marine mobile HF radio antenna design considerations, and we presented
a case study on the communications system used by Yellow Cabs in Brisbane.
It's also interesting to be reminded of company names that no longer exist, e.g.,
Aussat, OTC and Marconi (now part of BAE Systems) to name just a few.
(Sourced from the Critical Comms Web E-Zine via VK7WI)
Now a look at what is expected for next week's broadcast
An extension of the highly successful ANZAC 100 program,
the WIA AGM and Norfolk Island, a Perfect Storm of change faced by the WIA,
promoting our hobby and what it has to offer, plus in the ANZAC articles
published in Amateur Radio magazine, a very interesting story on radio
amateurs during WWII.
SOCIAL SCENE 2015
NOV 01 VK5 Adelaide Hills Annual HAMFEST, Rosa St, Goodwood. (WIA)
Nov 14 VK4 Gold Coast HamFest Broadbeach (vk4py)
Nov 14 VK3 QRP By the Bay details from VK3YE held 2nd Saturday (vk3ye)
NOV 29 VK3 ROSEBUD RADIOFEST 9am in Allambi Avenue Rosebud (vk3pdg)
Jan 22-26 VK4 TARC Australia Day Long Week Family Radio Camp
Girl Guides Campsite, Bluewater (vk4zz)
Feb 13 VK3 MERC HamFest 10am at Werribee Masonic Centre (wia)
Feb 28 VK2 Central Coast Field Day (vk2ztm)
Feb 28 VK3 EMDRC HamFest Great Ryrie Primary School Heathmont. (wia)
Ap-May 29- 2 VK4 Clairview Gathering check Mackay ARS website. (theTARCinc)
June 3- 5 VK4 Central Highlands Social Gathering Theresa Creek dam (wia)
June 11-13 VK5 VK Foxhunting Championship & SERG convention Mt Gambier(VK5HCF)
July 19 VK3 GippsTech 2016 Churchill (email@example.com)
Sep 23-25 VK4 Central Highlands Amateur Radio Club AGM weekend at
Lake Maraboon Holiday Village, near Emerald. (theTARCinc)
Submitting news items
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National News compiled by VK4BB on behalf of the National WIA.