APRIL 24 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
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NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING APRIL 24 2016.
IN OUR 21st YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA Submission to ACMA - In-Home BPL/PLT Standards. --
WIA Submission to ACMA - Future amateur licence conditions. --
WIA and alternative AX prefix for use ANZAC Day. --
WIAs Harry Angel 80 mtr sprint Saturday 7th May.
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA 2016 AND FOR WEEK OF APR 24
First and last Wireless ANZAC
Most military historians don't know in April 1915 a small number of Australians
landed with the BRITISH forces at the fateful point of Cape Helles, and again
at Suvla Bay.
The official histories were written from official War Diaries, by the
Commanding Officer of the 1st Signal Troop, Bert Billings, later to
self-publish two books.
An article written by Jim Gordon VK3ZKK, Retired Signal Corps Major and former
manager of the Australian Army Signals Museum at Macleod in Victoria, sheds
further light on those times.
The Billings books are proudly held both by the Australian War Memorial in
Canberra and the Australian Army Signals Museum.
Jim VK3ZKK in his article for the WIA describes Bert Billings XJP, as a skilled
man of many talents, some resulting from his interest in experimental wireless
telegraphy from 1912 - arguably the First and Last ANZAC Wireless Operator.
Bert Billings was a Wireless Experimenter with the callsign XJP at Brighton
Beach, in Melbourne southern bayside suburbs.
He enlisted in the 21st Signal Engineers in 1912 and the following year sent
the first army wireless message in Victoria.
Then Billings enlisted in 1st Signal Troop of the Australian Imperial Forces
on the 19th August 1914, when Australia entered WWI, and sailed to Egypt in the
largest convoy of ships to have ever sailed from our shores.
He served on the Gallipoli Peninsular as an ANZAC from the landing on April 25,
until the evacuation on December 20, 1915.
Bert was the first wireless operator to communicate Gallipoli to the British
On being one of the last to evacuate Gallipoli, he returned to Egypt to serve
with the Desert Mounted Column in the Sinai Desert.
Billings then transferred to the Australian Flying Corps, and served in England
and France, servicing the earliest army aircraft wireless transmitters.
More of the Bert Billings XJP story can be expected in a later VK1WIA broadcast,
in fact on NEXT week's broadcast listen for part 2 of the Bert Billings ANZAC
story, along with the WIA Exam Service report of its activity, the contents of
Amateur Radio magazine for May, and an Amateur Radio balloon launch for the
WIA annual general meeting held on Norfolk Island.
Something else rather special will be a voice repeater VK9RNI for Norfolk
Island for two-weeks. Yes the Wireless Institute of Australia plans to have a
70-centre metre band voice repeater at Norfolk Island and its annual general
meeting to be held there in late May.
A site of VK9RNI is Mount Bates, the highest point of Norfolk Island sitting
at 319 metres above sea level is being proposed. The repeater is expected to
have an excellent coverage. It will have an output on 439.300MHz and input at
434.300 MHz. The device is now under an operational test.
This will be help those who have hand-held transceivers, with contacts through
it also qualifying for the Norfolk Island Award
(Rules - www.wia.org.au/joinwia/wia/2016agm/)
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
WIA BOARD TALK
WIA Submission to ACMA - In-Home BPL/PLT Standards
In a submission on behalf of all radio amateurs, the Wireless Institute of
Australia has urged several actions against in-home powerline telecommunications
(PLT) devices, known also as 'in-house BPL', that do not comply with the
CISPR 22 standard.
CISPR is International Special Committee on Radio Interference, and its work it
support by the International Amateur Radio Union.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is reviewing the
regulation for the PLT or BPL devices. These devices use high frequency signals
transmitted over mains powerlines to distribute broadband access, including the
internet, throughout a home or building.
The WIA has been very active drawing attention to the potential for the
technology to cause interference to radio users.
You may recall some Australian electricity provider's trialled BPL in Australia,
mainly in Tasmania between 2004 and 2007. The technology was not adopted in
Australia due to various issues which made it non-commercially viable, including
the problems associated with interference.
However in-home PLT has continued to be marketed.
The ACMA has asked whether it should use an alternative standard EN50561 which
allows higher limits for PLT but also includes signal notching for some, but not
all, HF amateur bands.
The WIA has called for the ACMA to continue to require the CISPR 22 standard for
in-home PLT devices, to ensure the protection of existing and future
radiocommunication services from radio noise pollution or interference.
If the ACMA chose to adopt the alternative, the WIA wants it modified for
Australian conditions, so notching for protected frequencies cannot be removed
or deactivated and also be provided over the 50MHz band.
The WIA also wants a warning notice on all PLT devices that state such devices
may be responsible for radio interference, and that in the case of interference,
the device should be removed from use.
Suppliers have imported a large number of PLT devices that are not compliant
with CISPR 22. The WIA believes there should be more effective compliance
measures for all imported devices, together with frequent random checks and
The WIA believes that strong measures must be taken to avoid spectrum pollution,
especially when our modern society is increasingly dependent on wireless
The full submission can be read on the WIA website wia.org.au
Phil Wait VK2ASD
This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH with news on the Institute's
submission to the ACMA concerning future amateur licence conditions.
At 22 pages and around 7,500 words, I have to admit there's quite a bit to
I recommend that every one - I repeat, every one - read the preamble - the
first three pages.
This sets out the sociological context in which amateur radio exists in today's
digitally connected world, the role of the Amateur Service in relation to
spectrum management and how an interest in amateur radio has in the past, and
continues to now, motivate young Australians to take up technical careers.
This is important - right now - when the Commonwealth Government is promoting
innovation throughout commerce and industry, hand-in-hand with fostering
science, technology, engineering and mathematics in education - or STEM. An
active interest in amateur radio provides exposure to every element of STEM.
These issues are drawn out in the submission's preamble and placed in context
with community and society today.
A key purpose of the submission - I'd like to emphasise - is to enable greater
self-determination for the amateur service, to reduce the burden of regulation
on both licensees and the ACMA, or what regulator we get from the outcome of
the government's Spectrum Review now under way.
Many of the proposals in the submission - for all licence grades - are designed
to ensure amateur radio remains relevant in the digitally connected age.
There's something for everyone in it - existing and prospective licensees alike.
However, getting down to the nitty-gritty, I beg your indulgence in
concentrating on proposals for Foundation licensees for now.
I'll go into proposed conditions for Standard and Advanced licensees in another
In summary, the WIA proposes that Foundation operators be permitted:
- use of a range of digital modes, including image transmissions
- access to more bands across the spectrum
- increased power to 50 watts
- relaxed restrictions on transmission bandwidths
- relaxed restriction on the use of commercially manufactured rigs, and
- to assemble and use commercially available receiver and transmitter kits.
It is anachronistic in this era, when digital communications is the underlying
infrastructure to daily life, that Foundation licensees are denied the
opportunity to learn and experience for themselves the use and applications of
The submission points out that the entry-level licence conditions in a number
of other countries have included digital modes and image transmissions since
Australia can't be all that innovative if our Foundation grade amateurs lag
that far behind !
The WIA submission calls for Foundation operators to be able to use more bands
across the spectrum.
The six bands Australian Foundation operators are currently allowed looks
decidedly mingy when compared to other entry-level licence conditions around
the world - with the exception of Malaysia, but that country is in the midst of
upgrading its amateurs' licence conditions.
On the matter of power, the WIA submission calls for this to be lifted to
50 watts to better cope with urban noise levels in Australia and prevailing
in other countries.
Relaxing the restriction on Foundation operators using only commercially
manufactured transceivers, and also permitting them to build and use kits,
meets the objective of broadening the availability and range of learning
experiences - in keeping with the official definition of the Amateur Service
quote - for the purpose of self-training . . . and technical investigations -
end of quote.
And that's not all. I won't detail everything here, because you really should
go to the WIA website, download the submission and read it for yourself
- right through.
This has been WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH for VK1WIA News.
HAMS ACROSS AUSTRALIA.
web service:- http://www.amateurradio.com.au/news/
Amateur Radio satellite contact in a VK3 National Park
Well, last Sunday the Show and Tell event at Brisbane National Park west of
Melbourne was well attended including those into portable operation from
VK2 and VK5.
Among the highlights was a contact made with Geoff VK2ZAZ through amateur
satellite FO-29 by Joe VK3YSP, and arguably the first such QSO to be logged
within the VKFF Australia Parks Program.
Checks have been made and it appears, subject to confirmation, that it was the
first VKFF satellite contact from a park.
More about satellite communications and a nifty antenna rotator for portable
satellite operation is to appear from Julie and Joe Gonzales in the May edition
of Amateur Radio magazine.
The Show and Tell day had several mini-presentations and demonstrations
including the operational VK3WI station, was well attended by the enthusiastic
Among the 17 radio amateurs, there were John VK2AWJ of Gol Gol New South Wales,
and John VK5BJE of Stirling South Australia.
After the Show and Tell, as part of the Keith Roget Memorial Award activity
there was a free BBQ with a lot of sharing of information about portable
operation and award chasing.
It looks like this will now become an annual event following another successful
day of "Portable in the Parks".
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
SPY V SPY
How school children exposed Soviet secret
BBC News reports on the Kettering students who monitored Soviet satellites
and discovered a secret launch site
The Kettering Group consisted originally of staff and pupils at the Kettering
Grammar School. It was originally styled "The Kettering Grammar School
Satellite Tracking Group".
The teachers involved were radio amateur Derek Slater G3FOZ and Geoff Perry,
who in the 1990's gave several presentations about the groups work to the
AMSAT-UK Colloquium. Geoff was fascinated by satellites and wanted to use them
to teach his pupils about the Doppler effect.
This led to them tracking a number of Soviet satellites and the discovery that
the Soviets had a previously unknown launch base in Plesetsk.
Read the BBC News story on the interweb
HAM RADIO 1,000 MILE CONTACT USING POWER GENERATED BY HAMS VOICE.
Many of us tried the old "Two tin cans connected by a string" experiment as kids.
Michael Rainey, AA1TJ never quite forgot it.
He "El Silbo", a ham radio transmitter powered entirely by his voice.
El Silbo is a Double Side Band transmitter for 75 meters. While voice is used
to excite the transmitter, it doesn't actually transmit voice. El Silbo is a CW
affair, so you should bone up on your Morse Code a bit before building one.
Like many QRP transmitters El Silbo's circuit is rather simple.
A junk box loudspeaker is installed at the bottom of the can to convert voice
power to electrical power. The signal is passed through a step up transformer,
and used to excite a 75m crystal. Two NPN transistors pass the signal on through
a second transformer. The signal is then routed through an LC network to the
No truth to the rumour to 'repeat' the contact AA 1 TJ used baked bean cans.
Ham Radio and the Ecuador earthquake
A magnitude 7.8 Earthquake struck Ecuador at 23:58 UT on April 16 causing at
least 400 deaths
The IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-ordinator Greg Mossop G 0 DUB
Power and telephone systems are also reported as affected.
The earthquake was also felt in neighbouring countries and
a Tsunami warning was issued but has now been removed.
Cesar Pio Santos, HR 2 P the IARU Region 2 Emergency Communications
Co-ordinator reports that the Echolink node HC 1 BG was still in operation
but the quality was not good.
Big Ecuador earthquake - keep frequency clear request
7.060 MHz was being used as radio amateurs handle emergency traffic.
Serious problems have occurred with normal communication systems and hams in
the HC4 district have used their mobile stations or battery power.
Moves to get generators and solar panels to them is affected by disruption
of roads some made impassable by the earthquake.
Jim Linton VK3PC, IARU Region 3 Chairman, Disaster Communications Committee
has been told relief groups and the army had moved to provide humanitarian
assistance, as aftershocks continues to be felt. Meantime the earthquakes in
Southern Japan has seen no major involvement by radio amateurs providing
emergency communications. This deadly magnitude-6.5 earthquake rocked Japan
just a few days earlier, on Thursday, April 14. Those tremors, near the city
of Kumamoto, were considered the strongest since 2011.
More information about Earthquake Ecuador is available in the following link:
OPERATIONAL NEWS 2016
Our alternative AX prefix available on ANZAC Day
For ANZAC Day Monday April 25, all VK radio amateurs may use the alternative
AX callsign prefix. The WIA recommends that those using the AX prefix issue
a special QSL card particularly for prefix and card chasers, these can be
sought after as proof of working an AX station.
The WIA thanks all who used the AX prefix last year and registered on its
website. The registration for the centenary of ANZAC was only for 2015, and
no online registration is sought this year.
Please join the ANZAC Day 2016 commemoration through local events, and on air
via Amateur Radio.
Among the many ANZAC Day activities will be the traditional dawn services,
honour gatherings at war memorials, street marches, special functions at
RSL clubs and sporting events. The Australian Football League will again hold
its ANZAC Day Clash at the MCG between Collingwood and Essendon.
Also the School Amateur Radio Club Network and the Melbourne Region Scouts will
hold tomorrow the ANZAC Day Amateur Radio Special Event. This is the family
event organised by Julie VK3FOWL and Joe VK3YSP
It is for schools, scouts and aspiring young radio enthusiasts. It will be at
the 1st Bentleigh Scout Hall, 21 Patterson Road Bentleigh in southern Melbourne
tomorrow the 25th of April from 9am to 4pm.
Much more detail is available from the School Amateur Radio Club Network
website - the URL is on the text edition of this broadcast.
Harry Angel 80 mtr sprint (WIA) Saturday 7th May.
The 2016 Harry Angel Memorial 80m Sprint Contest will be held on Saturday
7th May from 10:00 UTC.
The contest was established in 1999 commemorates the life of Harry Angel
VK4HA who at the time of his passing was the oldest licenced radio amateur
The contest runs for 106 minutes, one year for each year of Harry's life.
Full contest details were published in the March edition of AR magazine and
are available on-line in the contest section of the main WIA website
Entry is open to all grades of licence in one of four sections phone, CW,
mixed and listener. The contest rules and scoring are very simple and is
suitable for new and experienced contesters alike.
"Dust off the microphones and Morse keys and we look forward to hearing you
on air on Saturday May 7th".
Kevin VK4UH - Contest Manager Harry Angel Memorial 80m Sprint
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 6 - 7
Remembrance or RD Contest August 13-14
36th ALARA Contest is on the last full weekend in August, Aug 27-28.
SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS, DX, BEACON REPEATER AND NET ADVICE
International Marconi Day activities
Marconi was born on 25th April 1874 and amateur radio operators around the
world again are taking part in International Marconi Day on Saturday, 23rd
April. The 24-hour-long event has drawn participation by as many as 60 stations
from around the world.
GB4IMD will be operating from the Stithians Showground in Cornwall.
For a list of confirmed stations visit
The CubeSat Team of Politecnico di Torino invite the amateur radio community
to participate in a competition to receive signals from their new satellite
They say they have prizes for the first to receive the e-st@r-II signal and
for the one who will provide them with the highest number of packets received
in the first month in orbit!
All details of the competition can be found on interweb
9-year-old in CQ World-Wide WPX Contest
Hope KM4IPF achieved over 50,000 points in the CQ World-Wide WPX contest held
Among the stations she worked were 5 E 5 E in Morocco and YW 4 D in Venezuela.
Ham Radio lets you talk to the world!
I'm Felix VK4FUQ in Ingham.
Thanks Felix, Jason and Graham... Robert VK3DN here and I'll finish off todays
news as Graham heads on a break... Then for the next few weeks Bryan VK3GR and
myself will bring you each weeks WIA News Service
So first to Special Interest Groups, Then a story well-kept for not only
when our News Editor Graham is away but for ANZAC Day as well and I'll
finish with the Social Scene.
So first it's to WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ARDF
ARDF Championship to break record
Don Beattie G3BJ posts on the IARU Region 1 site that the World Amateur Radio
Direction Finding Championship 2016 is expected to have a record breaking
number of participants when they gather in Albena, Bulgaria September 3-9.
Albena is the resort on the Black Sea coast where the last IARU Region 1
General Conference was held.
So far 374 participants from 33 countries in 4 continents have declared their
intention to take part in it.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ATV (Every pixel tells a story) - Video
New UK Amateur Radio video
Amateur radio is a hobby with so many aspects it can be hard to describe
and difficult to know what to try first.
The RSGB's new video gives you a taster of just some of the many exciting,
challenging and fun things you can do. You can see the video on the RSGB
website via www.rsgb.org/main or via the RSGB's YouTube channel.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- FINAL FRONTIER
5,751 km is the new claimed distance record for a QSO on AO-85.
Betrand, FG8OJ, in Guadeloupe (FK96ig) worked Jose, EB1FVQ, in Spain (IN52pe)
on April 14, 2016.
A recording of the QSO is available here:
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- INTERNET --- THE HAMS DOMAIN
This week the auDA Board decided to accept the recommendation of the 2015
Names Policy Panel to introduce direct registrations in .au - for example,
This will make
domain names which are shorter, more appealing and more memorable
respond to market demand
be more attractive to natural individuals than the current option, id.au
strengthen the ".au brand" in a globally competitive market
It's not in place yet but no doubt YOUR ISP will be advising you of this.
(sourced to vk3dn)
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- IOTA
Active will be 9 M 8 RC from Satang Besar Island between April 29th and May 1st.
Activity will be on the HF bands.
QSL via 9 W 8 KIF
Rewind, a look back on our history
(play intro snippet from MP3)
Australians at war get a radio station
As Australia gets ready for ANZAC Day April 25, which is tomorrow, we reflect
on how radio broadcasting was used by the Australian Logistic Support Group at
Vung Tau in South Vietnam during the Vietnam war.
The Australian soldiers were felt somewhat comforted thanks to a radio station
that brought them news and music from home.
Among those behind this development the Field Workshops' Telecommunications
Section was Craftsman Graham Kemp, a telecommunications technician with
101 Field Workshops.
The 'Australian Army - The Soldiers Newspaper' on May 23, 1967 reported the
station, using as the headline: "One way or another, the news gets around
in the Task Force area in SVN (South Vietnam). Here's how they Get the
For nearly a year Corporal Joe Borg of the Workshops, which serviced all
Australian electronic and radio equipment, started getting taped news and music.
This was expanded by his brother, Allan, a member of a DJ club in Sydney.
That club as a project compiled a six-hour tape. It had VIP interviews, and on
ANZAC Day the New South Wales President, Sir William Yeo, gave a short address.
Building on that was Graham Kemp and his buddies, who sat down each night and
Sunday for a few hours with scrounged tapes that they pieced together for the
daily six-hour programs.
The tapes kept coming, including those from 3SR Shepparton with Ray Battesby
arranging 400 taped recordings, and Ian Portas from Greenmount Beach,
The announcement "This is Radio DJ Viet Nam - The Armed Forces Radio Station"
was heard throughout the Australian Logistic Support Group area at Vung Tau.
Let us now listen to some of its program.
(play MP3 edited)
The (pirate) station even had an outreach program that fixed radios for its
listeners when they went on the blink.
Graham explains that it operated on a centre of dial frequency 1000 kilocycles.
The station was on 1 meg because there were plenty of crystals available in the
workshop. On air 1010 it used because it had jingles from 4IP Ten-10.
Once the button was pressed at 9am, automation took over. It gave the latest
in Australian gossip, and music while everyone worked, The ingenious system had
a tape-recorder, tiny two-transistor transmitter, and power plant. For an
aerial it used telephone lines,
Technicians keeping the station on air were Craftsman Graham Kemp, Corporal
Geoff Watts, and Corporal Joe Borg.
Graham was a technical producer at station 4IP in Ipswich before his call-up.
He describes the induction system using the telephone lines as giving the
station "a giant cobweb aerial which penetrated every nook and cranny."
Graham knew what he was talking about, prior to 4IP, while at 4BH as a
technician he did a 3-year Radio and TV servicing diploma course at a technical
By using the induction system it only needed 600 milli-watts - a very low power
rate - but sufficient for good reception up to 300 yards away from any
The system did not stop normal telephone operation. The broadcasts could not be
heard without a radio receiver.
What was equally important was that the broadcasts were limited in area so its
transmissions could be kept private.
Radio DJ Vietnam kept playing tapes sent to it from commercial stations around
As Craftsmam Kemp was ending his 12 month term, there were great plans of more
recorded programs from Australia, even hopes that turntables would arrive
enabling the station to go live on Sundays.
Back in civilian life Graham Kemp VK4BB returned to his love, everything to do
with radio broadcasting.
He retired in April 2015 as General Manager of the AM-FM RadioTAB Australia
network, after a career 54 years both in front and behind the microphone.
A multifaceted man began on the technical side, then writing a bit and
producing funny voices that led him into the production side.
A Past President (Twice) of Brisbane Mid City Rotary he was awarded one of
Rotary's highest honours, a Paul Harris Fellowship.
Among his many other awards was Wireless Institute of Australia Life Membership,
then its highest honour, the G.A. Taylor Medal.
He is the anchor and producer of this WIA national broadcast. The WIAQ as a
forerunner of this weekly transmission, that still exists. WIAQ news is for
Among his many other radio-related activities included voicing or arranging
public service announcements about Amateur Radio.
The WIA is indeed very fortunate to have such a talented, experienced,
passionate and committed person holding down its weekly broadcast.
Now taking a well-earned holiday break from the broadcast, Graham |Kemp will
return in June.
We now tune in to another transmission as heard by our troops.
(play MP3 snippet).
As the national commemorates ANZAC Day tomorrow Lest We Forget (pause)
SOCIAL SCENE 2016
April 30 vk6 PerthTech (wia)
Ap-May 29-2 VK4 Clairview Gathering check Mackay ARS website. (theTARCinc)
May 7 VK3 Moorabbin & District Radio Club HamFest, Mulgrave. (VK3GL)
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 9-10 VK3 GippsTech 2016 Churchill (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Aug 7 VK6 NCRG HamFest 9am Cyril Jackson Community Hall Ashfield (vk6rk)
Sep 23-25 VK4 Central Highlands Amateur Radio Club AGM weekend
Lake Maraboon Holiday Village, near Emerald. (theTARCinc)
Sep-Oct 30-3 VK4 Cardwell Gathering Long Weekend, Beachcomber Motel(theTARCinc)
Nov 6 VK5 Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society HamFest 8am! (VK5KC)
March 26 VK3 EMDRC HamFest, Great Ryrie Primary School, Heathmont (VK3BQ)
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