January 3 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING JAN 03 2016.
IN OUR 20TH YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA Director calls for a new project for 2016: let's call it - Bring Them Back.
WIA to improve MEMNET in 2016
Onno gets stuck into Raspberry Pi
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA 2016 AND FOR WEEK OF JAN 3
Boy unconscious after hoverboard accident
A teenager is in a Sydney hospital after falling off his new hoverboard.
The 16-year-old was knocked unconscious while trying out the board and had
to be rushed by ambulance to a waiting rescue helicopter at Elanora Heights
on Sydney's northern beaches.
These new tech-hi tech hoverboards look like skateboards but with larger
wheels and are designed to mimic the levitating boards which featured in
the smash hit Back to the Future II.
They've been a popular item for youngsters this Christmas and can cost up to
$2000... but they don't actually hover..or do they?
In the USA seconds after Dumitru Popescu first levitated about a foot off
the ground at his aerospace company's warehouse, he fell to his knees and
screamed. "We've really done it."
He and his colleagues at Arca Space Corporation had built a mattress-shaped
vehicle that hovers in midair and, when its stabilizing features are switched
off, allows riders to surf on the thrust of three dozen high-speed fans.
These fans spin at 45,000 rotations per minute, the board levitates vertically
off the ground much like a Harrier Jump Jet. Like the other so-called
hoverboards, it's powered by a lithium ion battery.
No it's not the first actual hoverboard. But unlike the concept device
unveiled by luxury automaker Lexus in June -- until now, the closest anyone
had come to a levitating board -- this one is for sale.
Slated for delivery in April, the company is taking pre-orders for the nearly
$20,000 US device.
(published news reports)
During a Dr Google search on DX and dogpiles up popped this "dog gone" story.
A British couple who paid more than $137,000 to clone their dead dog has just
celebrated the birth of two puppies born using Dylan the boxer's DNA,
the Guardian reports.
It's a pretty controversial occurrence, hi tech to the utmost but the
two puppies, Chance and Shadow, were born on Dec. 26 and Dec. 28 in Seoul,
South Korea, with the help of Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, an
organization that claims to have cloned the world's first dog in 2007,
according to its website.
Now to 'clone' that long dead FT7 !
Aussie balloons a delight for trackers
The high altitude pico balloon PS-57 launched from Melbourne on December 12,
is expected over South Africa, with stations there already tracking the flight.
Meantime Andy VK3YT reports that the earlier PS-56 balloon has now completed
its second circumnavigation of the Southern Hemisphere, despite a catastrophic
failure of its GPS tracking, and is still floating. For information on how it
is being done - see the text edition of last week's VK1WIA broadcast.
A lot of interest is being attracted by the PS-57 balloon with its solar
powered payload of a 25mW transmitter on WSPR and JT9, as it journeyed across
the equator while over South America. Its movement was closely tracked and
reported at more than 9-thousand metres in altitude by data transmissions
heard in the USA and Canada.
The tiny party type balloon slowly floated over Colombia and Venezuela, then
the Atlantic Ocean around the northern end of South America going parallel to
the coast until Rio De Janeiro. By last Wednesday it had turned east heading
for South Africa, closely watched by at least four trackers in ZS-land, where
it is expected to exit on its final circumnavigation leg to Australia.
The latest launch by Andy VK3YT is PS-58 that has taken an inland route over
Eastern Victoria and is now off Queensland over the Coral Sea.
Meantime, Project Horus had floated a Japanese-made red coloured weather
balloon over Adelaide, with its up-and-down flight to test telemetry, before
really hot weather returned. Mark VK5QI and David VK5DGR deemed it a success.
Others helped in the tracking it too.
When it came down landowners disabled electric fences, opened gates, and a
mob of sheep looked on curiously as some direction finding of the RTTY
payload found it perched 2-metres up in gum trees.
Another Project Horus flight was expected in this round of tests, reported on
the Australian Radio Experimenters Group website (www.areg.org.au).
Both the pico balloons by Andy VK3YT and Project Horus, are to be the subject
of a two-part feature article in the WIA journal Amateur Radio magazine.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
HAMS ACROSS AUSTRALIA.
A greatly expanded broadcast team has been announced in VK1 for 2016.
Broadcast originators on 2M are Amanda VK1WX, Gil VK1GH, VK1WN Wayne and
Canberra also have on board VK2DIG Didge (Graham), VK1OC Owen, Robert VK1ARP
and Bob VK1MCK who will conduct call-backs on the Mt Ginini 70cm repeater.
So in theory each team will only have to originate or do call-backs once a
month. A big thank you for your efforts over the years CRARC
WIA BOARD TALK
President Phil Wait VK2ASD firstname.lastname@example.org
MEMNET to be enhanced in 2016
The WIA's online membership management system MEMNET introduced in 2014 is to
be further improved to make it even better and easier to use.
Members who are registered with MEMNET are able to receive news and information
bulletins, download the digital edition of Amateur Radio magazine, participate
in the WIA awards program and more.
The WIA has received some useful feedback from members who have shared their
experience using the membership management system, as well as a number of
helpful suggestions to further streamline MEMNET to make it even more efficient.
Improvements such as allowing members the choice of log in using either their
with callsign or WIA membership number, are on the list of software
Work will start early 2016, and after being thoroughly tested, will go live.
WIA members will get an email notification when the new release of MEMNET is
The new callbook out now
A very popular annual update is the Australian radio amateur callbook. It also
comes with a searchable CD of useful reference material.
The 2016 edition has the listings of callsigns issued to amateur stations, both
induvial, repeaters and beacons. The latest band plans in graphical display
along with explanatory text are in there too.
With ACMA licensing and regulatory material it makes an ideal reference source
for any radio shack, whether it be at home, mobile or portable.
So pick-up your copy today.
Busy time for the WIA Exam Service
The month of December before the WIA national office closed for the summer
holidays has seen the processing of many assessments and the issue of callsign
WIA Vice President, Fred Swainston VK3DAC said: "The good news for those eager
to get on air, is that the time taken by both the WIA, and the ACMA which now
invoices using its SPECTRA system, has been reduced.
"In a four week period the WIA Exam Service issued 73 certificates of
proficiency, all needing a new callsign, plus 11 more to returning former
radio amateurs wanting to resume Amateur Radio with its modern and diverse
He told the WIA Board that during the holiday period further streamlining is
planned on the work of our volunteer assessors.
More news about the minor, but important changes, is expected to be announced
by the WIA within three months.
The WIA office and WIA Exam Service re-opens on Monday January 11.
And what a good thing the WIA did get onto this processing before the Christmas
break as the ACMA radiocommunication licence database appears to have developed
a fault which has impacted the WIA's provision of the available callsign
listing on the WIA website.
The WIA callsign listing relies on an accurate nightly data feed of licence
and data from the ACMA Spectra licence database system.
As a result of the fault, regrettably the WIA has had to suspend the available
callsign listing on its website.
This problem occurred during a normal summer holiday quiet period for the ACMA,
and the problem also evident via the ACMA's online public licence search
facility. Work is being carried out to restore the services as soon possible.
This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH - Happy New Year !
As this is the season of Auld Lang Syne, it set me thinking about friends and
acquaintances in amateur radio from years past.
Auld Lang Syne is a Scots expression loaded with meanings that most of us
forget, or have only a hazy recollection of. Wait a minute ! - Harrison
doesn't sound Scottish at all, because it's English, and Roger is of
Norman - that is, French - origin - 1066 and all that. However - my family has
connection with the MacEwen clan through my grandparents' marriage.
Simply put, Auld Lang Syne translates to "times gone by" and is about
remembering family, friends and acquaintances from the past and not letting
them be forgotten - "should auld acquaintance be forgot", as the song goes.
From the ACMA's register of amateur licensees, it is clear that there are many
amateurs who pay their licence fees year-in and year-out, but are not heard on
the air, and are rarely seen at hamfests or club meetings.
It is apparent though, that they maintain an interest in the hobby, but choose
to be, or perhaps have to be, inactive for one reason or another. Likewise,
there are those who let their licence lapse, and have no current callsign, but
their interest in amateur radio smoulders beneath the surface nevertheless.
It occurred to me quite some time ago that, if these amateurs could be
encouraged to revitalise their once-burning interest, the hobby would be all
the better for it.
WIA Vice President Fred Swainston's stint as administrator in the National
Office over recent months has revealed a steady stream of one-time amateurs
applying for callsigns as the first step in returning to the hobby !
If you think about it, there are many situations where you know, or discover,
a colleague or acquaintance once held a callsign - they may well be amenable
to being encouraged to return to amateur radio.
Personally, I am in the habit of reading Amateur Radio magazine - print
edition - on my daily train commute to and from the Sydney CBD. On one
occasion, I happened to be sitting next to a fellow traveller who saw me
reading AR and struck up a conversation. Before I got off the train, I gave
him my copy of AR and encouraged him to take up his hobby once again. Did he
do it ? I don't know, for sure.
On another occasion, at a business event, a fellow recognised who I was from
my days editing electronics magazines and he struck up a conversation - mostly
reminiscences about the "good old days". He went and applied for a new
callsign and is now back on the air.
Think about this - if each of us who have been in the hobby for some time took
the opportunity, wherever it arose, to encourage a "lapsed" amateur to return
to the hobby, the number of licensees would increase and so would the number
of those active on the air.
Here's a project for 2016: let's call it - Bring Them Back.
There are more situations where individuals may have let their interest in
amateur radio lie dormant, and I've only outlined a few. Look out for the
opportunities - you'll be doing something positive for the hobby
This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH for VK1WIA News.
What use is an F-call?
I've just built myself v1.0 of a Raspberry Pi SDR.
It still has some way to go until I can show it off - needs a touch screen,
a power supply that runs on 12V, some user interface elements, but the
functionality is there.
If you're unfamiliar with the nature of a Raspberry Pi, it's a single board
computer, the size of a credit card, has Ethernet, USB, HDMI, audio, video
and a MicroSD card slot. My version comes with 512Mb of memory. It's 17mm
high. This is a tiny fully functional computer.
From a geek perspective, it's running a version of Debian Linux, called
raspbian. It's the same version of Debian as my main computer, Wheezy,
which means that everything you have on your main computer, you could
theoretically use on a Raspberry Pi.
I've plugged in a USB Television Dongle, one that allows it to be
reprogrammed into a versatile receiver. After a little bit of programming,
nothing too complex, I can now see wave forms and spectrograms of 2 MHz of
I'm aiming to make this enclosed and self-contained, so I can take it with me
in the field and use it as a pan-adapter with my Yaesu 857d.
So far it's cost me $38 for the Raspberry Pi, $15 for the SDR dongle.
I'm waiting for a screen to come back in stock, but in the mean time
I've just plugged it into my monitor on my desk.
It's only a little hack, but it was fun to do.
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.
New Ham Bands popping up around the globe.
The Irish regulator ComReg is considering additional spectrum allocations to
the amateur services in the bands 30 to 49MHz and 52 to 70.5MHz. The intent
is to facilitate propagation beacons, digital amateur television repeaters
and to align current allocations with those in the European Common Allocation
The 2015 Applied Electromagnetics Conference (AEMC 2015) was held at Indian
Institute of Technology, Assam, India during 18 -21 December.
The conference was organised by IEEE Student Branch, I.I.T. Guwahati in
association with IEEE AP/MTT Chapter and others.
As part of the program there was an Amateur Radio Panel Discussion on
"How to communicate when conventional means fail" in which Mr.S.Ram Mohan,
VU2MYH EVC & Director, NIAR made a presentation on usefulness of Amateur
There was also a demonstration station of Amateur Radio with the special
callsign 8 T 5 APS operated by VU2MYH and VU2JOS.
The ARRL has again complained to the FCC to allege illegal marketing of
electronic RF lighting ballasts.
Letters went out this week to the FCC Enforcement Bureau and its Office of
Engineering and Technology claiming Part 18 marketing regulations violations
by Lowe's and by Walmart stores. At issue is the sale of non-consumer
RF lighting ballasts to consumers who, in several instances, were told by
store personnel that it was okay to install these in a residential setting.
In addition, non-consumer and residential-class ballasts are intermixed in
store displays with inadequate signage to direct consumers to the correct
Both letters asked the FCC to investigate and commence enforcement proceedings.
HUMANITARIAN FUND LAUNCHED BY DX ASSOCIATION
It looks like the giving spirit of the holiday season is going to last
quite a bit longer, thanks to a new fund known as "Hams with Hearts."
The fund is being launched by the International DX Association, with a
starting contribution from the fund's founder Zorro Miyazawa, JH1AJT.
"Hams with Hearts" aims to provide funding to humanitarian projects
undertaken by DXpedition teams and expects to begin providing these
grants in just a few weeks - as early as mid-January.
DXpeditioner's who apply for the grants are being asked to provide a
detailed and clear plan of what project they plan to undertake, and must
substantiate the benefits the project will create for the local
population. But the applicants must meet certain standards. Projects
that simply leave behind radio equipment, teach Amateur licensing
classes or create a video will not qualify. Projects that provide First
Aid equipment, water purification and medical supplies, as well as
educational materials and clothing are more suited for grants from "Hams
Releasing its announcement this month, INDEXA cautioned that startup
will be gradual. The announcement said, QUOTE "In the early years of
this fund, it is likely that grants will be modest. We therefore will be
seeking low-cost but high-impact projects." ENDQUOTE.
The announcement also said QUOTE "With this new fund we hope to benefit
humanity and enhance the image of Amateur Radio around the world." More
details can be found at www.indexa.org
NEWSLINE ALUM MERT GARLICK, N6AWE - SK
One final sad note. Long-time Newsline listeners will remember the voice
of Mert Garlick, N6AWE. We're saddened to report that Mert became a
silent key Wednesday December 23rd. Mert was an engineer with Fox
Television in Los Angeles from 1966 until his retirement in 2003. He
worked with the late Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF at Fox 11. Over the years he
did every job a broadcast engineer could perform at a television
station. From manning the transmitter atop Mt. Wilson to microwaving
signals back from the scene of a breaking news story to covering the
annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Mert did it all and then
some. The funeral will be held December 30th in Long Beach, California
and he will be buried alongside his late wife in Wyoming. Sadly, she
just passed 4 months ago. He is survived by 3 children, 2 of which are
also hams. Mert Garlick, N6AWE was 75.
Students to speak to spaceman Peake
Students at Sandringham School, St Albans are expected to speak to Tim
Peake aboard the International Space Station sometime during the period
of 5 to 10 January, using the special event call sign GB1SAN.
This is the first of several planned schools contacts in the coming weeks.
Three of the students have been trained by Verulam Amateur Radio Club to
qualify them for their Foundation licences. This contact should be the high
point of the school's four-day Festival of Space.
As part of the festival, members of the Verulam club will be running a
station from the school using the club's call sign GX3VER.
The station will operate on all bands and with various modes.
Who and Where are our broadcast stations?
OPERATIONAL NEWS 2016
Jan Fri 1st to Sun 31st WIA Ross Hull Memorial VHF-UHF Contest
Jan Sat 9th and Sun 10th WIA VHF/UHF Summer Field Day
"All aboard" the Sydney Ferries. VHF/UHF 'contest' Sunday March 13.
WIA John Moyle Field Day 19-20 March 2016
Harry Angel 80 mtr sprint (WIA) provisional date Saturday 7th May.
The ARRL RTTY Roundup over the January 2-3 weekend is a veritable digital
festival, so dust off those keyboards!
In addition to conventional Baudot, RTTY Roundup ops may use ASCII, AMTOR,
PSK31, and Packet. It's very easy to get on RTTY and other digital modes,
and some late-model transceivers even have RTTY and other digital capabilities
built right into the radio.
Participation in this annual operating event has grown along with the
enthusiasm for digital modes, and newcomers are always welcome to join
The 2016 ARRL RTTY Roundup runs from 1800 UTC Saturday, January 2
through 2359 UTC Sunday, January 3, with operation on 80, 40, 20, 15, 10 mtrs.
Participants may operate 24 of the 30 available hours.
US and Canadian stations send a signal report and state/province, while DX
stations send a signal report and consecutive serial number,
starting with 001.
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
Coventry ARS, has GB 4 BLC on the air from 1 to 10 January for Bedworth Lions
Club Awareness Month. This is to mark the work of Bedworth Lions Club and
Lions Clubs International.
GB 4 BLC will mainly operate on 40m SSB and 2m FM.
Whilst "at the 'zoo'"
Hunting Lions in the Air is the annual event allowing members of the Lions
organisation to make contact with fellow Lions via amateur radio.
The event takes place on 9 and 10 January and commemorates the birth of
Melvin Jones the founder of Lions Clubs International on 13 January.
Contact your local Lions Club and invite them to participate in this event.
As part of the Scotsman in Steam event, Bury ARS will be operating GB 0 ELR
from Rawtenstall Station on the 9, 10, 16 and 17 January. The two weekends
will be the first opportunity for the general public to preview the Flying
Scotsman engine in its wartime black livery following its restoration.
GW 4 DVB will be active as V25GB from Antigua, NA-100 from 6 to 14 January
with 100 watts into a vertical and a multiband dipole. He plans to operate
SSB only on the 40 to 6m bands. QSL to his home call sign GW 4 DVB.
V 25 LK also from Antigua until 10 January on 20m to 10m with emphasis on CW
QSL to the home call OM 3 AG.
E 51 TLA Rarotonga Island (OC-013) through January 9th on the HF bands,
mainly CW and RTTY on 30 and 20 meters. QSL via home callsign OZ 6 TL
F 6 ITD, will be active as FG/F 6 ITD from Guadeloupe and two of its islands
between January 20th and March 28th.
These include main island, between January 20th and February 2nd and
La Desirade Island (between March 3-8th). He will work all HF bands, both on
SSB and in digital modes. Listen for the callsign TO 6 D.
QSL via his home callsign, F 6 ITD.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ATV (Every pixel tells a story) - Video
That SSTV image we told you of here last week was likely a prank
That Slow Scan TV (SSTV) image that a Brazilian radio amateur reportedly
receiving on 13 December from Fox-1A (AO-85) was most likely a prank, not any
sort of official test of the satellite's SSTV capabilities.
AMSAT Vice President for Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, said the Robot 36
image, which depicted a cartoon fox and the legend "Testing Fox-1A/AO-85
AMSAT satellite," was of terrestrial origin and transmitted via the AO-85
"I do not know who uplinked the signal, but it was a ground-satellite-ground
contact, nothing that originated on AO-85."
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- FINAL FRONTIER
ARISS Postpones Anniversary SSTV Event:
The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Slow-Scan
TV event set for December 26-27 has been postponed due to "complications
in planning," ARISS has announced.
ARISS now is targeting mid-January as the next possible opportunity.
This marks the 15th anniversary of continuous Amateur Radio operations on
the International Space Station. The first ISS crew conducted its inaugural
ham radio contact from NA1SS in November 2000. The first Amateur Radio on the
International Space Station (ARISS) school contact took place the following
month. ARISS will post more information as it becomes available.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RADIO AMATEUR YOUNG TIMERS
In one school in a remote Alaskan Eskimo village, ham radio has
graduated with honours.
With support from the local district, the Pilot Station School recently
made amateur radio an integral part of its curriculum. The Pilot Station
School Radio Club, WL7CXM, is now moving from simply being an
after-school program to a serious during-school offering.
The club was created by fifth grade teacher, Donn Gallon, KL7DG, with a
variety of goals: to teach geography, to help students' command of the
standard English language, to give them confidence by expressing
themselves on a microphone, and also to help them read and be more social.
Gallon said QUOTE "Many of the kids have trouble imagining the world
beyond our region or Alaska as a whole. They are excited to pull down
the globe off the shelf and find the places we are talking or listening
to. This has helped them in social studies as they are getting their
world view expanded by radio." ENDQUOTE
The club, which began as an informal, after-school activity, now is a
district-sanctioned educational program. The club has already
participated in the School Club Roundup, where it achieved its Worked
All States award by landing its 50th contact - an amateur in Oklahoma.
Gallon said his next goal is to set up a team to work with the Amateur
Radio Emergency Service. That would put Alaska's youngest amateurs, not
just in the classroom itself, but unquestionably at the head of the class.
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
TARC Communications Support
There is a full programme of Communications Support events that Townsville Hams
can get involved with and have some radio fun !
28 March - WRERA Euri Gold Farms Easter Carnival of Horse Endurance Rides
Bowen Region Then WRERA again in June and August.
April, May, July and September - TCAC King of the Hill Hillclimbs Mount Stuart.
And in June- Kennedy Region Scouts Nighthawk activity
Great to see some communications help coming out of VK4, well down
Townsville, and don't forget, Sunday mornings the WICEN QLD Net with
VK4IQ Net Control happens on 7075kHz from 2230 UTC.
NEW TOOL FOR DISASTER COMMUNICATIONS
It's still more than a year away, but researchers at the Hume Centre for
National Security and Technology are very excited about the 2017 launch
of an amateur radio transponder with a special disaster mission.
The geosynchronous satellite amateur radio payload is being dispatched
to assist in emergency communications, according to the centre's
Director of Research, Bob McGwier, N4HY. McGwier described the ambitious
goals for the payload by saying QUOTE "It will allow rapid deployment to
disaster areas and support long-haul communications for first
responders," ENDQUOTE It would become the first amateur payload in a
The Hume Centre has been working with Federal Emergency Management
Agency officials on the project. We expect to hear more over the next
year as efforts go forward.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RADIO AMATEUR OLD-TIMERS
Hallo everyone, this is Clive VK6CSW.
On behalf of the Radio Amateurs Old Timers Club of Australia I trust that you
all had an enjoyable Christmas and that the New Year will bring you good
health and every happiness. Just a reminder, too, that there is no RAOTC
bulletin tomorrow. Our first bulletin for 2016 goes to air on Monday February
Once again, best wishes to you all and we look forward to catching up with
you in February.
73 from Clive VK6CSW.
SOCIAL SCENE 2016
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)
May 27-29 VK9 WIA AGM this year on Norfolk Island (wia.org)
June 3- 5 VK4 Central Highlands Social Gathering Theresa Creek dam (wia)
June 4 VK4 BARCfest Mt Gravatt Showgrounds. (vk4atc)
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
Lake Maraboon Holiday Village, near Emerald. (theTARCinc)
Nov 6 VK5 Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society HamFest 8am! (VK5KC)
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