JUNE 19 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING JUNE 19 2016.
IN OUR 21st YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
The WIA AGM is now On-Line
ANZAC Centenary moves to the Western Front
WIA Award for Norfolk Island
WIA Directors gives presentations in VK4/5/6
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA 2016 AND FOR WEEK OF JUN 19
ANZAC Centenary moves to the Western Front
The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps centenary at Gallipoli last year had
many ANZAC-suffixed callsigns activated in Australia, New Zealand and
coordination with events overseas.
The WIA program run over eight months, starting on April 25 and ending with the
departure from Gallipoli on December 20, resulted in more than 30,000 contacts.
In July this year VK100ANZAC will see the Geelong Amateur Radio Club
commemorate the 100 years since the ANZACs were at Fromelles and Pozieres on
the Western Front. The same Geelong club was an active part of the
commemoration of WWI for the anniversary of the first shot fired by the
British Empire that stopped a German ship leaving Port Phillip Bay. The
artillery headquarters at Queenscliff had received the order to stop or sink
the SS Pfalz, resulting in its surrender.
Now, the Geelong Amateur Radio Club has been granted, by the WIA, the callsign
VK100ANZAC on July 19-21 and is be part of the commemoration of the Western
The club is to have an excellent article in the July edition of the WIA
journal Amateur Radio magazine entitled 'Memoirs of a Signaller', with extracts
from Harold Charles Hinkfuss, a Signals Officer of the 26th Battalion AIF.
The story by Barry Abley VK3SY, which will be well worth a read, tells of the
Lance-Corporal on the Western Front, and is an opportunity us to remember with
gratitude those who served this fledgling nation.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
Aviation worried about the Square Kilometer Array
The giant S-K-A radio telescope chosen to be in both South Africa and
Western Australia has created fears that its spectrum silence zone could see
jet aircraft being redirected.
It will be 100 times larger than any current radio telescope and may
revolutionise our understanding of the universe.
While its South African end is still being built at Karoo, the local aviation
industry is concerned about the restrictions it will bring to some radio
frequencies. To function it will need to be protected from interference, thus
it has a designated radio quiet zone.
There does not seem to be a problem with the project quiet zone about 80km from
Carnarvon in Western Australia. However aviation in South Africa is concerned
it could affect communication between pilots and air traffic control.
The S-K-A in a draft proposes a ban on frequencies from 100 MHz to 25.5 GHz
which include those used by aircraft. Both the S-K-A and the aviation industry
are discussing the matter to find a possible solution.
HAMS ACROSS AUSTRALIA.
Wednesday the 22nd is the monthly meeting of the Canberra Region Amateur
Dale VK1DSH will give a presentation on Slow Scan TV (SSTV) using Arduino
As usual doors open 1930Hrs for an 2000hrs start.
In less than 12 weeks the Annual Westlakes Amateur Radio Club Field Day will
be here. Sellers and Buyers definitely welcome!
Go for a look, a chat, take your chances with the famous Westlakes Auction
where you can grab an absolute bargain! Also they say the best BBQ and cooks
that money can't buy!
Cold drinks, hot drinks, shelter from the sun and protection from the rain.
Start saving some cash, or cleaning out the shack, all roads will lead to
Westlakes on the 18th of September 2016.
All and any enquiries can be addressed via email to
firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Club telephone 24/7
on 02 4906 0456
Gippsland Gate Radio Club HamFest
State: VK3 - Victoria
The Gippsland Gate Radio & Electronics Club will be conducting their annual
HamFest on Saturday July 16th, at Cranbourne Community Hall which is on the
corner of Clarendon and High St, Cranbourne - Melway reference 133 K4.
There will be 41 undercover tables presenting a mixture of new and used
Electrical, Electronic and Amateur Radio Equipment so there should be something
for everyone. Doors will open at 10.00am. Entry fee is $6 and includes a
ticket in the Door Prize which will be drawn around 12:45pm.
Stall Holders can book their tables by emailing email@example.com or
via the website, full details at ggrec.org.au
(IN TEXT EDITION ONLY THIS WEEK)
vk7 local news, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Radio Propagation (or "Why can't they hear me") has become quite a science
and if you are interested in any sort of radio contacts, it is quite
fundamental. Is there way to predict whether trying to contact a particular
location is going to be possible, or should you just pack the radio up and go
and keep warm by the fire on a winter's afternoon?
Rex VK7MO and Ben VK7BEN will team up to give you the low down on the high up!
If you are around Hobart Town and have ever complained that the bands are bad,
then you will want to see this presentation scheduled for Wednesday July 6th
@ 7.30pm at the REAST clubrooms
WIA Award for Norfolk Island
A number of applications are in for the limited edition Norfolk Island Award
for contacts made during the recent Wireless Institute of Australia annual
general meeting and events.
It required contacts with the DX-entity over the two weeks of late May and
Among the early DX applications are those from Marc VK3OHM, David VK3JL,
Chris VK3AWG, Simon VK3SIM, and Steven VK7CW - congratulations.
The Award generated many contacts and more claims are expected.
At the last minute a few who were on Norfolk Island busily exchanged on
air contacts so they too could qualify.
WIA BOARD TALK
The WIA AGM is now On-Line
The recording of the Wireless Institute of Australia annual general meeting
held at the Paradise Hotel, Norfolk Island, is now available for WIA members
Access is available to WIA members who are registered with the Memnet
membership service, and the video had almost 300 views in the first 24 hours
after it went up last Sunday night.
A LiveStream server and dedicated Internet service were used to stream it in
real time from the AGM, and 150 members from all parts of Australia were
Some people have commented that they could not view the original LiveStream at
the time, but have viewed the video later from the WIA website. One member
said "well done, this is exactly what the WIA needs". Another described it as
being a great idea, which showed the WIA as being professional and transparent.
The WIA Board has received favourable comments about this use of the technology
and has resolved, where possible, to stream future Annual General Meetings.
However there is really no substitute for actually attending an AGM weekend.
The AGM weekend is much more than just a corporate meeting. Those attending
get to be part of the Open Forum where ideas are raised, and during the
Saturday afternoon there are speaker sessions on various topics.
This year speakers covered portable Amateur Radio, the future opportunities
with STEM, chasing storms, history and DXpeditions.
The traditional WIA annual dinner on Saturday night is a must and there is
also a lot of Amateur Radio, general tourism and social activity.
The WIA Board has decided that the 2017 AGM will be held in Adelaide. Don't
miss it. More details on it later this year.
This is Phil Wait VK2ASD, President of the WIA.
WIA Director gives presentations in South Australia
The Wireless Institute of Australia is making presentations with the latest
being at the South East Radio Group Queen's Birthday annual convention and
National foxhunting championships.
This followed WIA Directors being at club meetings or events in Queensland,
New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.
The Brisbane Amateur Radio Club BARCFEST on June 4, saw Director Ewan McLeod
VK4ERM there, and he will be presenting at the Townsville Amateur Radio Club
on June 21.
Director Andrew Smith VK6AS is to be at the Northern Corridor Radio Group
HamFest on August 7. He intends to visit VK6 clubs too during the year.
In October, Director Fred Swainston VK3DAC will be the Tablelands and Cairns
Amateur Radio Clubs.
Last weekend WIA Director Paul Simmonds VK5PAS gave a presentation in
Mt Gambier before about 75, that was generally well-received. In fact, this is
the second time such a WIA presentation was given by him, the earlier
occasion was to the South Coast Amateur Radio Group on June 9.
Paul VK5PAS combined his WIA duty with portable visits in parks, that this
time included dodging a few kangaroos on the road.
What use is an F-call?
Last week I spent a little time talking about lightning. I discussed how
lightning can affect many different things, not just by being a direct hit,
but by having a nearby hit, that is, something that is in some way electrically
connected to you or your station.
We all know that the ground has some level of conductivity, just like air does
the lightning that you see during a thunderstorm is the visualisation of the
conductivity of air.
In the earth, you don't really see it that clearly, but the same thing happens.
Conductivity is measured in Siemens per Meter. Deionised water has a
conductivity of about 5.5 micro Siemens per meter, sea water is about 5 Siemens
per meter, so, sea water is approximately a million times more conductive than
Since Siemens is a measure of conductivity and Ohms a measure of resistance,
you can convert one into the other as their inverse. A resistor made of 1 cm of
seawater at 20C has a resistance of 2 milli Ohm.
Ground conductivity is in the order of 1000 times worse than sea water and is
typically expressed in milli Siemens per meter.
As we're talking about the ground, the conductivity is seasonal, since rain
comes and goes, and to add to the mix, this conductivity is frequency
So, In Australia, for a frequency up to 30 kHz, the conductivity varies from
1 to 10 milli Siemens per meter, or 1 cm of ground has a varying resistance
between 1 and 10 Ohm. If you look at 1MHz, the conductivity varies much more,
from 2 to 50 milli Siemens per meter, depending on where you are, how far you
are from the ocean, a river or lake or what the ground is made up of.
Back to lightning.
Imagine an earth stake next to your shack for your radio and another stake next
to your antenna. In a circuit diagram, both of them would show as being
connected to earth and you could just look at that and think that all was well
with the world. Both are earthed, so you're safe.
Unfortunately that's not the case.
If you drew the circuit diagram properly there would be a resistor between the
two earth stakes. There would also be a conductor, namely your coax between
the radio and the antenna. So you have a path of low resistance, the coax, and
a parallel path of high resistance, something like 10k Ohm for 10m, between
the earth stakes. No points for guessing which one the lightning will take.
But the coax is capable of handling that, isn't it?
If you have coax rated at 3kV, like RG213, a direct lightning strike will only
exceed its capacity by a million times. So, no, coax is not a good earth path.
As an exercise, you can use 300kA as the current for a direct lightning strike.
Based on the ground conductivity of 10 milli Siemens per meter, you can work
out how far lightning needs to be in order for your RG213 to survive if your
earth stakes are 10m apart and not bonded.
So the lesson is, bond all of your earth stakes together. Connect the coax
shield to the tower and create a Single Point Ground by connecting them all
There are several online lightning maps showing real-time lightning activity
which can also help. Weatherzone incorporates the Bureau of Meteorology Radar
images and superimposed lightning strikes. Of course you can also use lightning
data to check to see what the noise level might be like at a DX station you're
trying to work.
I'm Onno VK6FLAB
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART and the WW sources of the WIA.
Transatlantic VHF digital beacon
On the 19th May, antennas were erected and the VHF SDR turned on to
inaugurate the VO1FN/b Transatlantic VHF Digital Beacon Receiver Site.
This is a joint project sponsored in part by the Society of Newfoundland
Radio Amateurs, Baccalieu Amateur Radio Club and the Upper Trinity Amateur
Radio Club. The VHF Digital Receive site is now operational and ready for
experimentation by beacon operators and well-equipped VHF stations in Europe.
The antennas, two InnovAntenna 5 element LFA Q High Gain VHF Yagi's, can be
rotated to point to stations that are located in southern regions of Europe.
Secret WWII radio station given heritage protection
A radio relic from the Second World War has just come out of the shadows.
It's a wireless station just outside Norwich that operated in obscurity,
its access hidden behind a fake bookcase. The station also had a nearby
escape tunnel. Civilian volunteers were dispatched there to transmit and
receive messages for the Army, trading information to help ward off an invasion.
The station, which finally came to public light in 2012, was recently
granted Heritage Protection by Historic England. It is known as the
Pinebanks station and is located at Thorpe St Andrews near Norwich, one of
three similarly protected underground wireless stations.
The ARRL reports the US regulator the FCC has turned away a Petition to permit
very low power Experimental Operation on amateur radio bands
James Edwin Whedbee N0ECN sought to amend FCC Part 97 Amateur Service rules to
let radio amateurs conduct experiments on all amateur radio bands, subject to
certain limits on duration, power, and bandwidth.
N0ECN has submitted a number of petitions to the FCC seeking to change aspects
of the FCC Part 97 regulations. It might appear that rather than tinkering
with Part 97 what is needed is a complete rewrite.
The FCC did attempt a major modernization of the Part 97 regs. 40 years ago
but this was defeated by the amateur community.
Researchers turn Smartphone vibration motor into microphone to spy on you
Two researchers from the University of Illinois have devised a method for
turning vibration motors, like the ones found in smartphones, into makeshift
microphones, capable of recording the sound around them.
Their method doesn't yield perfect results and also needs physical access to
the device, but it puts in place the theoretical details needed to carry out
and refine such attacks in the future.
The attack, named VibraPhone, is based on the idea that any vibration motor is
technically a speaker. Vibration motors translate electrical current sent into
sound waves by moving a coil. In this case, the coil generates vibrations and
low humming sounds in the phone.
Since a microphone is basically a reversed speaker, taking incoming sounds and
converting them back into electrical waves, the researchers decided to attempt
an experiment during which they turned a phone's vibration motor into a
The researchers say they had to rewire the phone's vibration motor, which makes
this highly unlikely to be an attack usable in the real world unless the
attacker has enough time to break the phone apart and rewire its vibration
In the experiment attempted by the researchers, they said they were able to
record sounds, but that the sound's quality was very poor.
This was because the vibration motor was not optimized for recording audio and
was able to record sound waves of maximum frequencies of up to 2 kHz, the lower
end of the spectrum, leaving out high-pitch noises
OPERATIONAL NEWS 2016
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
Operators Wyatt/AC0RA and Dave/KG5CCI will activate Santa Rosa Island
as K6R on a Satellite Expedition between September 16-18th.
The Santa Rosa Island is in the Channel Islands National Park.
Operators have secured permissions, arranged to get to the island and will
spend 2 nights camping, and operate on a number of satellite passes - as well
as some terrestrial and HF operations too.
Look for updates to be posted on the K6R QRZ.com page over the coming months
with FAQs, pictures, and more information.
EURO 2016 Award:
Football and ham radio
While the UEFA European Championships are being held, June 10-July 10,
our member association in France, Union des Radioclubs et radioamateurs, F8URC,
organizes this Award you can get in pdf format.
Each contact (countries, stadiums, cities, departments) reports a certain
number of points. The Award has several categories.
Translate rules, to English from French and go for it!
see the text edition on wia.org.au
Russian Arctic's Legent DXpedition
Looks like the members of the Club Station Yang-Inform Ltd. are planning their
DXpeditions to the Arctic to activate four rare IOTAs as RT9K/9 starting
February and March 2017.
The expedition is dedicated to the 120th anniversary of the expedition on the
ship 'Fram' led by Fridtjof Nansen.
Activity will be on 40-10 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes
(PSK, APRS, Paktor). They will have 3 stations on the air. Operation will
depend on the weather and ice conditions.
QSL via RX 9 KM.
Look for more details and updates to be posted on their QRZ.com page
Bouvet Island Activation Planned for 2017 or maybe 2018
Three proven and experienced DXpedition leaders of a large team of operators
have announced plans to activate Bouvet Island, the number 2 most-wanted DXCC
entity, in late 2017 or early 2018.
Ralph K0IR, Bob, K4UEE, and Erling, LA6VM, have been working on this project
since returning from Peter I (3Y0X) some TEN YEARS AGO.
They must have gotten wind of another set of visitors as they have said, and I
quote "We are making this announcement now, so that other DXpedition teams that
may be considering Bouvet as a DXpedition target can redirect their time and
efforts elsewhere." the trio said in the announcement.
Another planned DX-Pedtion which is planned following that surprise
"demonstration" operation from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
in December, Polish DXer Dom Grzyb, 3 Z 9 DX, is eagerly awaiting the call
that will allow him to return to the number 1 most-wanted DXCC entity for
another brief activation.
Just when could be anytime, however. DX-World and The Daily DX report that
Dom has received confirmation that North Korea will authorize a 5-day operation,
and he is ready to roll as soon as he gets word, which will be on short
notice just enough time for him to book his flight, grab his gear, and head
There are other conditions:
He will only operate on SSB and on one band, 20, 15, or 10 meters.
No decisions will be made until Dom gets to the DPRK, however.
(sourced to arrl)
THE QNEWS WORK BENCH - the nuts and volts report - Measure Twice cut Once.
IF YOU ARE STUCK WITH A VERTICAL ANTENNA, THEN ADD A HORIZONTAL LOOP
The SARL have pointed out many Hams who are townhouse dwellers are often
restricted to a vertical antenna on 144 MHz and limited to repeater and mobile
RCA has proven many years ago that horizontal VHF radio waves travel much further
and with less loss over the curvature of the Earth than vertical waves. So if you
could mount a small loop antenna at the bottom of your vertical, then you could
really extend the range of your 2 metre activity and make the best of both
Most long distance stations including the VHF DX are all horizontally polarized
and located at the bottom end of the 144 MHz band as well as all the beacons.
A small loop antenna with a diameter of about 30 centimetres and fed with a gamma
match could be mounted on the side of your metal mast.
Alternatively, if your vertical is mounted on a length of PVC pipe above a metal
mast, then the loop can be located around this pipe and will look less conspicuous.
Full details of VHF loop antennas are available on the Internet or Amateur Radio
You COULD stack two loop antennas above each other and realize a gain of 3 dBd or
5,15 dBi in all directions on 144 MHz.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- FINAL FRONTIER
NASA Astronaut Scott D. Tingle has just earned his Amateur Radio license,
passing his exam on June 3, 2016. The FCC issued the call sign, KG5NZA, to him
on June 8.
In January, as he began some NASA training in Russia he requested the license
study material. He had heard about ARISS during his astronaut training, and
in January, decided to study on his own.
CubeSat LightSail-2 will transmit Morse code from space.
Jason Davis reports that during last year's LightSail-1 mission (call sign
KK 6 HIT), dozens of radio enthusiasts around the world wrote in to say
they heard solar sailing CubeSat chattering away in low-Earth orbit.
Every few seconds, LightSail automatically transmits a beacon packet. These
packets can be picked up by ground stations and decoded into 238 lines of text
telemetry that describe the spacecraft's health and status. Everything from
battery current to solar sail deployment motor state is included.
Organisers still plan to better support the worldwide radio community's efforts
to help capture those packets; that work is temporarily on the back burner
while the engineering team focuses on getting the spacecraft ready for
Many off-the-shelf CubeSat software packages also have an option to transmit
Morse code beacons, and for the LightSail 2 mission, they'll be activating this
Every 45 seconds, the spacecraft will transmit "L-S-2," and radio operators
tuned in to the spacecraft's 437.325 megahertz frequency should be able to
(sourced to SouthGate)
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- IOTA
VK6NX, will be active as VI 6 DH 400 from Dirk Hartog Island between
August 14-18th on 40/30/20/17/15 meters using CW and SSB.
Due to the significance of the event - commemoration of 400 years of Dutch
explorer Dirk Hartog landing at Western Australia coast, ACMA have allocated
this special callsign.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ILLW
International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend update
So far there have been 240 registrations from 32 countries in this annual
The latest include Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, India, Italy, Malaysia
Currently having the most registrations is Germany on 48, followed by Australia
35, and the USA with 32.
The 19th International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend is August 20 and 21.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RADIO SCOUTING
Please QSY off the calling frequency after establishing communication.
Australian voice calling frequencies:
3.650, 7.090, 14.190, 21.190, 28.590, 52.160
World CW calling frequencies:
3.570, 7.030, 14.060, 18.080, 21.140, 24.910, 28.180, 50.160
World voice calling frequencies:
3.690 & 3.940 MHz, 7.090 & 7.190, 14.290, 18.140, 21.360,
24.960, 28.390, 50.160
Calling frequencies for Slow Scan TV (SSTV):
3.630, 7.033, 14.227
Calling Frequencies for PSK31
Scouting around for new Hams
On Monday the sixth of June the Central Coast Amateur Radio club presented Ham
Radio to the Avoca Venture scouts troop in VK2.
Subjects covered in presentations were -
What is Amateur Radio? (Using material from the WIA website)
Amateur Radio and Satellites where videos were shown - including one of
Colonel Doug Wheelock using amateur radio on the ISS
Digital modes and using the Raspberry Pi in Amateur Radio - including its
use for IRLP and EchoLink
SOTA/World Wide Flora & Fauna Portable operations - this seems to be of
interest to the scouts in the troop who do a lot of hill walking.
Various radio equipment was displayed including the ft 101E, Ft 897, Ft 857
and VX-7R from Yaesu the new IC-7300 and the digital hand held ID-51A from
Satellite and portable SOTA antennas were also on display.
A link-up to a long distance member Ed, VK2JI (now DD5LP) in Germany was made
via EchoLink as HF propagation would not allow it. Two young scouts Izzy and
Sarah plucked up the courage and asked Ed some questions about the hobby.
##### Recording in here ######
Following the evenings presentations, which was well received by the troop,
two of the scouts expressed a possible interest in trying for their foundation
licences in the future. We wish them well and thank the CCARC for promoting
our hobby to the scouts.
73 Ed DD5LP (VK2JI) - now QRV in DL-Land.
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
Staying in DL land for this, as we learn of Emergency Communications at
The largest gathering of European radio amateurs involved in emergency
communications will be at the HAMRADIO 2016 event in Friedrichshafen Germany.
The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 has set aside June 24 to 26 for
a series of talks and discussions about the role and capabilities of Amateur
Radio in times of emergency.
There will be reports from the three IARU regional coordinators, an open forum
for national coordinators to report on local activities, the Global Simulated
Emergency Test outcome and ideas for this year, and the IARU Emergency Message
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - LOW DOWN
Sub 9 kHz Yahoo Group:- https://groups.yahoo.com/group/sub9khz/
Alexanderson Day, named after the Swedish radio engineer Ernst Fredrik Werner
Alexanderson and held either on the Sunday which comes closer to 2 July, is
the day of the open house at the Swedish government VLF transmitter Grimeton,
call sign SAQ, located near Varberg.
On Alexanderson Day, Christmas Eve, and at other times during the year, the
only workable Alexanderson alternator transmitter in the world is used to
transmit short Morse messages on 17.2 kHz, which should be receivable in all
The transmitter is preserved as a historical remnant of early radio technology
and as an example of VLF (Very Low Frequency) equipment.
SOCIAL SCENE 2016
July 9-10 VK3 GippsTech 2016 Churchill (email@example.com)
July 16 VK3 Gippsland Gate Radio & Electronics Club HamFest at Cranbourne
Aug 7 VK6 NCRG HamFest 9am Cyril Jackson Community Hall Ashfield (vk6rk)
Sep 18 VK2 Westlakes AR Club field day Teralba (J Green)
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)
Nov 26 VK3 Rosebud RadioFest 9:30 am till 2pm (vk3pdg)
Nov 26 VK7 Miena HamFest Saturday 26th. (vk7wi txt)
March 26 VK3 EMDRC HamFest, Great Ryrie Primary School, Heathmont (VK3BQ)
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