AUG 6 2017 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
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NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING AUGUST 6 2017.
IN OUR 22nd YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
Minutes from the WIA Board for July are available for members now. -
WIA trial exams undergo further development. -
WIA DIRECTOR Marcus, VK5WTF and 'What a busy month!'
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA 2017 AND FOR WEEK OF AUG 06
The historic Project Earhart flight ends
After a two month commemorative flight taking in 20 countries pilot Brian Lloyd
WB6RQN was to finally reach Texas where it all began.
Piloting a single engine plane called 'Spirit' he received praise at tracing
a similar route taken 80 years ago by the famed aviator Amelia Earhart.
Earlier a problem with the plane's fuel flow system caused a turn back to
New Zealand. A faulty magneto and poor weather further added to the pilot's
WB6RQN aeronautical mobile made hundreds of QSOs.
He landed at Oakland California on Monday July 31, then Cameron Park also in
California, flying to the Amelia Earhart Museum at Atchison Kansas, and ending
the epic flight at Kestrel Airpark Texas - the pilot's home airfield.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
Fisher's Ghost Amateur Radio Club
The Club has recently commissioned a new website and discussion forums.
The new website is fgarc.org.au where you can find detailed information
about the Club and its activities, and a link to the discussion forums.
All HAMS and anyone with an interest in Amateur Radio are welcome to register
on the forums.
Felix will have more from Fishers Ghost in his operational segment including
results of the Ted Powell Memorial DX Challenge and details on a new repeater.
(Peter VK2PR Fisher's Ghost Amateur Radio Club)
Minutes from the WIA Board for July
The WIA Board, in the spirit of openness, issues the minutes of its monthly to
members via the website.
The draft July minutes have been posted and they join those of May and June.
The WIA Board of Directors meets to discuss a range of matters and has given
each item a security classification. All unclassified items appear for members,
but occasionally there may also be a summary of some other matters.
Although rare, an example would be items classified as Commercial-In-Confidence,
such as those involving competitive bids - details of such items would not
normally be released during negotiations.
WIA trial exams undergo further development
The WIA trial theory assessments available online since May this year requires
a simple registration process, and the feedback has been that they exceeded the
expectations of those who have used the exams.
Organised by WIA Trainer Fred Swainston VK4FE/VK3DAC and following feedback
and comments, the trial exams these will be converted to tutorials and left
The trial theory papers at the Foundation, Standard and Advance level are
similar to those used in the actual multi-choice exams. These were a
'proof-of-concept' exercise and a move closer by the WIA towards enabling
WIA Nominated Assessors to use online exams for candidates needing a remote
Fred VK4FE / VK3DAC says a test of their use in remote assessments has been
greatly helped by the feedback received. Quite a few requests were made to
provide some additional material and answers to these trial examinations.
Two Standard licence trial papers are being converted to tutorials where the
answers are provided. Then will come the Regulations trial papers.
To access the trials you need the latest version of the flash player, and
log on to the Silvertrain website www.silvertrain.com.au clicking on the
Amateur Radio tab.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
Hello everybody, this is Marcus, VK5WTF
What a busy month!
We have advertised for:
A Privacy and Complaints Officer position,
Two national QSL processing positions, and
A Media Sales Manager position.
And we have received over 60 applications!
The framework was also established for the creation of the Media and
And Trainsafe is also trialling online exams, with the final system will be
written in HTML5. It should also be noted that the online exams will still
require two assessors or one assessor and one learning facilitator, so nothing
will change there, it will simply make the processing of the exam papers quicker
from the WIA's end.
But this week, I wanted to talk about one particular area, something that is
close to my heart, training and licencing.
The Foundation licence, how did we get here?
About 14 years ago, with the change of minimum qualifications for Amateur radio
by the IARU, in Australia we went from five, to two licence categories. The then
ACA, now ACMA raised the possibility of adding an entry level licence class. The
public consultation came up with a handful of recommendations, and here's a
- Make it easier for those who found the Novice exam difficult,
- Commercially manufactured equipment only,
- 80, 40, 15, 10, 6 and 2m, and 70cm, and not where interference could be caused,
- 100W PEP,
- Re-examination on renewal, and
- Telephony and hand sent Morse only.
And digging further into the archives, there was at least one major group who
advocated for digital modes for Foundation licences.
The ACMA at the time decided to restrict Foundation licences to 10W PEP in line
with the UK Foundation licence, as well as to limit interference potential and
EMR exposure and also for reasons of limited technical knowledge. It was also
decided to not give Foundation licences 6m.
There was no desire from the ACMA to add digital modes, and even in 2007 the WIA
formally requested for Foundation licencees to have access to D-Star, but the
suggestion was rejected.
More importantly, the Foundation licencees would not require re-examination every
time the licence was renewed. The ACMA accepted at the time, that some operators
would prefer to stay at the Foundation level, and if they wanted higher
privileges, that the new Standard and Advanced licences would provide an
incentive to upgrade knowledge and skills.
So the decisions for the basis of the Foundation licence was not put together on
a whim, there was extensive consultation with the community and a few large
groups, including the WIA.
And remember, most of what I have said is the words of the regulator, not my own.
There is a lot to be said for an entry-level licence to be given a taste of what
Amateur Radio is really is all about, and in some ways it's like a video game.
Some people are happy with getting 50,000 in Galaga, you've probably beaten most
of your friends.
But if you want to the to 4 million, it takes time. Find a friend, find a group,
a club that will help you out, someone who has time work out where your up to and
will help you. Someone who can show you how they do it and is willing help you
even if you take a different path. And remember, one day you might be able to
help someone else, and they might even be better at it than you, and you know
what, that's OK.
73 from VK5WTF.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART, WIA Local News Service VK7, VK3PC and the WW
sources of the WIA.
New spectrum measurement and interference tracing equipment has been introduced
by RSM, the Radio Spectrum Management, for a program of licence audits that
have started across New Zealand. The new equipment can also assist industry
locate interference sources.
It allows RSM to view radio spectrum from 18 GHz to 43 GHz, where previously
they could only conduct measurements up to 18 GHz. It has already been used
to determine train radar interference sources and interference from water tank
level indicating devices.
To measure the signals, RSM needs to be in the beam of the microwave signal.
At 40 GHz, the measurement of microwave signals is proving very easy primarily
due to the short distance between sites. The signals penetrate though foliage
and reflect off buildings.
Hawaii Ham shows that homelessness is no barrier
There once was a saying to describe those engaged in Amateur Radio.
It was: 'From Kings to Newspaper boys'.
Now a homeless man in Honolulu very much enjoys SSB QRP DXing.
Alex, KH7CX is one 7,900 people homeless in Hawaii, but he prefers to talk
about Amateur Radio than his personal circumstance.
He sleeps on a bench, gets his mail and showers at a local church, and does odd
jobs to provide food and clothing. On air since 2008 his main radio has been a
Yaesu FT-817ND powered by a lithium battery.
He has logged a number of notable DXpeditions through his low SWR antennas
For logging or to check propagation he finds computers at a public library are
No doubt about it, radio amateurs come from all walks of life.
A LOAD OF HOT AIR - OR IS IT HOT WATER?
The South African Radio League, ICASA Regional Office and the supplier of
geyser load controllers have resolved the problem of interference experienced
in areas of the Western Cape.
The controller supplied to the Groot Drakenstein municipality by Strike
Technologies meets the specification as measured against the type approval
specification. The interference problem is created when the geyser is some
distance from the mains board where the controller is installed.
The problem can be solved by installing a filter. Strike Technologies have
agreed to supply filters free of charge to households who report interference
on the HF spectrum.
This is now a matter between ICASA and Strike Technologies.
New radio spectrum licence fees from October
Radio Spectrum Management announced that the date its simplified fee regime
will take effect is 1 October 2017.
Most ZL amateur licence users won't need to do anything for the move to the
new fee structure. Licensees will automatically be moved into one of the four
new fee categories and will see this change reflected on invoices and the
Register of Radio Frequencies.
Polar Prince News
The Polar Prince has been making its way northward along the Labrador
Coast visiting communities and places of interest.
While daytime propagation at this time is limited, the CG3EXP beacon
receptions are being uploaded by the receiving stations at a rate of up to
800 in a 12-hour period. Some of these stations have requested QSL cards
and TCA columnist Robert Mazur, VA3ROM, has volunteered to be the CG3EXP
To join the stations that are using WSPR to track the Canada C3 Expedition
in the remaining 95 days of the voyage, you only need a standard SSB HF
receiver, an inexpensive USB sound adapter and a PC running WSPR 2.0
You can download the software free from
eQSL cards are available via the online eQSL service or on
request via direct email sent to email@example.com.
It is interesting to access the live camera feed to observe the coastline
at https://canadac3.ca/en/expedition/live-feed .
Who and Where are our broadcast stations?
HAM RADIO OPERATIONAL NEWS - IT'S A CONTACT SPORT
All major Australian contests, rules and results, are on the
Contest Section of the WIA website.
Jan 1 - Dec 31 The Victorian Local Government Award 2017 Challenge
WIA's Flagship contest the Remembrance Day Contest 12th & 13th August
Aug 19-20 ILLW the 3rd full weekend in August since 1998
Aug 26 ALARA Contest Start Time 1600 this is a 24 hour Contest for YL's
Aug 26 FISTS CW Contest 1000 - 1159 UTC
IARU High Speed Telegraphy world championships are 8th to 12th September.
October CQ WW DX / SSB CONTEST (always Octobers Last full weekend)
November CQ WW DX / CW CONTEST (always Novembers Last full weekend)
The SSB weekend is October 29-30. The CW weekend is November 26-27.
Running ALL year 'til Dec 31 Victorian Local Government Award 2017 Challenge
John Moyle Memorial Field Day will be held over the weekend of the 17th-18th
March 2018 and will run from UTC 0100 on the Saturday until 0059 on the Sunday.
IARU HF Championship event on 15 and 16 July 2018.
FISTS Down Under announces its inaugural contest
The International Morse Preservation Society FISTS Down Under Chapter that
covers Australia and New Zealand proudly announces that it will hold a contest
FISTS VK Secretary Garry Cottle VK2GAZ says the inaugural FISTS Down Under
contest is for its members and all radio amateurs to make as many contacts
as possible within a two-hour period, using CW only.
It will be on 80m and 40m, single operator only, and run for two hours
1000 - 1159 UTC Saturday, August 26.
Among the certificates is one for the overall winner, one to recognise
Foundation Licensees, and another in making 5 or more QRP contacts.
All power levels may be used with QRP at 5 watts or less.
The full rules are found in the text edition of this broadcast.
Inaugural FISTS Down Under Inc. contest
Summary of Rules
Date / Time: Saturday, 26 August 2017 / 1000 - 1159UTC
Band: 80M & 40M
Categories: Single Operator ONLY
Mode: CW only.
Power: All power level may be used. QRP is 5watts or less.
Exchange: A three-digit serial number starting at 001 and incrementing
by one for each new contact. Signal reports are not required in your submitted
Repeat Contacts: No repeat contacts.
The contest times are defined in UTC. So everyone is back on a standard time
when this contest is run.
Score two (2) points for all QRP contacts and one (1) for all other power levels.
No multipliers apply.
Special certificates may be awarded- see details under Certificates below.
Logs must show the following details for each QSO:
Time (UTC) QRP (Y/N) Callsign Worked Name Serial # Sent Serial # Received
A Summary Sheet showing operator's callsign, name, if QRP station and total points claimed, plus any other information about your station you may wish to submit, must accompany the Log.
The preferred method of sending the log is email.
A sample Summary Sheet and Excel log file will be available to all entrants.
Send Logs and Summary Sheet to, Garry VK2GAZ - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or via snail mail: Garry Cottle 96 Luttrell Street, Richmond NSW 2753
Emailed logs must be date-marked no later than 2359 AEST on Friday 15th September, 2017; snail mailed logs must be postmarked no later than Friday, 15th September, 2017.
Please include information about your station equipment and antenna, how you found band conditions and comments on what you liked, what you'd like to see included or improved, etc.
Certificates and Awards
Certificates will be awarded to the FISTS Member who has the highest score and the FISTS Member who has the second highest score, together with prizes.
Certificate will be awarded to the NON FISTS operator who has the highest score.
Merit certificates will be awarded for any station running 1 watt or less (output power) and making 5 or more contacts.
Merit certificates may be awarded to Foundation licensees entering the contest. Please indicate if this is the case for you.
A merit certificate may be awarded to an operator making QRP contacts in this contest from a SOTA Summit, a WWFF park or from a beach.
Operators who believe their station is unique in some way, such as all home brew, using a magnetic loop antenna, extra low power, using a tube or other antique radio or other unique aspect should include this information in their log submission. Go ahead and try something different - it could earn you a merit certificate!
The Fisher's Ghost Amateur Radio Club is pleased to announce their
70cm FM & C4FM repeater, VK2RFG, is now on air. The repeater is located at
Gregory Hills, NSW, and while it is still in its testing phase, all reports
The output frequency is 438.650MHz with a negative 7MHz input of 431.650MHz.
A 91.5Hz CTCSS tone is required to access the repeater in FM mode, and it also
transmits a 91.5Hz tone. The repeater operates in auto/auto mode, meaning
analog in = analog out, or digital in = digital out. It is also WIRES-X enabled.
The repeater's node is VK2RFG-RPT and room is VK2RFG-ROOM.
Results of the Ted Powell Memorial DX Challenge have now been released.
Congratulations to VK3JLS for winning both the Most Wanted and Top 5 categories.
Full results can be found on the Club's contest website, vk2au.org
To get involved in the current period of the Ted Powell Memorial DX Challenge,
simply log at least 1 QSO with any DX station, (or even VK), between July to
September, then head over to vk2au.org during the entry submission period and
send in your entry.
(Peter VK2PR Fisher's Ghost Amateur Radio Club)
VI4ALARA July 1 to September 30 to gain recognition for the ALARAMeet in
Cairns, VK4 from September 8 to 12. Lyn Battle VK4SWE has been giving a good
fist on CW to those wanting VI4ALARA
Who and Where are our broadcast stations?
'Magic of Ham Radio'
A new book by writer Don Keith N4KC employs short fictional stories to
demonstrate what the author calls the 'magic' still inherent in the
century-old hobby of Amateur (or 'Ham') Radio
"Some claim that our hobby is old-fashioned when compared to cell phones
and social media," Keith says. "That is not true. Amateur Radio is in the
midst of a resurgence and offers more excitement than ever to anyone
interested in technology, communications, competition, public service,
experimentation or just plain having fun."
Among the stories are a tale of a new licensee making a first contact with
a rather interesting operator on a distant island, learning he is a part of
a historical event. Another story is about a relatively new female Ham operator
who takes on a bold challenge from a crotchety old-timer.
"Many prospective Hams still don't know about how well our hobby ties in with
their other interests," Keith notes. "Or how diversified our membership is
nowadays. It can be as technical as someone wants, or can require very little
technical knowledge or interest. That is what I hope to show in these stories.
Some are funny. Some are heart-tugging. I hope all are entertaining."
Further information at
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ATV (Every pixel tells a story) - Video
146-147 MHz digital TV progress
Slides and video are now available on the Ofcom website from the latest
RSGB and BATC presentation to Ofcom's Business Radio Interest Group. The
meeting was held on 30th June.
Ongoing advances in Reduced Bandwidth TV by radio amateurs at 146 to
147MHz were presented by VHF Manager John Regnault, G4SWX. The video clip
shows robust reception of colour digital video transmissions over 15km on
146.5MHz with a reduced bandwidth of just 470kHz.
You can view the presentation at
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- CW
FISTS Club - East Asia www.feacw.net
FISTS Club - Australasia www.fdu.org.au
FISTS Club - UK & Europe www.fists.co.uk
FISTS Club - Americas www.fists.org
Recommended FISTS calling frequencies (MHz):
1.808 3.528 7.028 10.118 14.058 18.085 21.058 24.908 28.058
Morsum Magnificat - amazing response!
Since the initial announcement that copies of all issues of the English edition
of 'Morsum Magnificat' were available for free download from the internet there
have been over 12,500 hits on the website, demonstrating that there is still
widespread interest in Morse telegraphy!
A new addition to the downloads is a searchable consolidated index covering all
issues of Morsum Magnificat, Numbers 1 to 89. Tony G4FAI Co-founder and first
editor of the English edition of Morsum Magnificat says ' With the assistance
of the new index it is now possible to search the complete magazine archive
with comparative ease.'
All copies of the magazine together with four special MM publications -
The Story of the Key;
The MM Q&Z Codebook;
The Key WT 8A Survey;
and the new Index, can now be downloaded in a single zip file.
Copies downloaded from http://www.n7cfo.com/tgph/Dwnlds/mm/mm.htm
are copyright and are made available for personal use only.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- FINAL FRONTIER
AND THE 'HISS' JUST KEEP ON COMMING
NASA whistles up electron noise from the Van Allen belt
Sure, Goddard boffins could just analyse the signals, but why not listen
to them too?
Richard Chirgwin, writing in theregister.com.uk says NASA boffins in charge
of the agency's Van Allen Belt mission have recorded audio-frequency noise
made by energetic electrons emitting what's known as "whistler waves".
NASA Goddard says the waves shape the near-Earth space environment and also
characterise different types of plasma, making them worthy of our curiosity.
So why publish recordings of them? Because it's cool, of course.
There's the plasma sphere around Earth, relatively dense and cold, which
produces different frequencies to hotter, less dense waves in the
Van Allen Belts. Those waves (going by the snappy name
Enhanced EMIC - Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron - waves) hiss.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ILLW
ILLW ramps up for the fun event weekend
The 20th International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend is only two weekends
away with organisers expecting a further 100 or so registrations.
About 350 are listed already from 40 countries in Europe, South America.
South-East Asia, Australasia and the Americas.
The International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend is on August 19 and 20.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RADIO AMATEUR OLD-TIMERS
Hallo everyone, this is Clive VK6CSW with the usual reminder that tomorrow,
Monday August 7th the Radio Amateurs Old Timers Club of Australia's monthly
bulletin goes to air.
As well as the latest Club news, this month Ian VK3JS tells us about Metrology,
the science of weights and measurements, plus an item on the 1920 Porta phone,
probably the first civilian portable wireless set ever built.
Everyone, RAOTC Members and non-members alike, is most welcome to tune in and
to join in the call backs afterwards.
The principal HF transmission is on 20 metres at 0100 UTC by Hans VK5YX on
14.150 MHZ upper sideband, aimed mainly at eastern states listeners.
An hour later at 0200 UTC for Western Australia Chris VK6JI will transmit the
program on 40 metres on 7088 kHz together will a simultaneous transmission via
all linked NewsWest repeaters. Several other local area transmissions also take
place as well, details can be found by visiting the Club website at
RAOTC - WELCOME to the Radio Amateurs Old Timers Club ...
Correspondence: Please address all correspondence for the RAOTC and OTN magazine
to: The Secretary RAOTC PO Box 107 MENTONE VIC 3194 (You'll have to manually
Everyone, RAOTC members and non-members alike, is most welcome to listen to
the bulletin and your call-back afterwards is greatly appreciated. Even if you
can't tune in tomorrow, as from Tuesday morning you can download the audio file
from our website www.raotc.org.au.
Once again, the August RAOTC bulletin goes to air tomorrow, Monday August 7th.
73 from Clive VK6CSW.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RADIO AMATEUR YOUNG TIMERS
A Youth Net meets Saturdays at 0100 UTC on IRLP Reflector #2.
Young Hams Net 3.590 - 7:30pm Victorian time.
Traditional ham radio leaves youngsters uninterested
ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, expressed his surprise when he discovered
his usual amateur radio talk didn't impress young people
In the 2016 ARRL Annual Report Rick writes:
"I prepared my usual talk about some interesting ham radio stories over my
50 years as a ham, how we can talk all over the world, and I brought some QSL
cards from rare places to show the group. I have given that talk many times,
and it usually impresses people but not this time.
I was surprised to see flat, uninterested faces."
"I realized that I had to change my approach to the presentation if I was going
to keep the attention of these young people. After all, what could ham radio
offer people who grew up in homes that had computers hooked up to the internet?
Today's young people are used to riding down the interstate at 70 MPH as a
passenger while watching high-definition videos on their iPhones."
"What we're hearing from what I call the "new-generation ham," is that they
don't view ham radio as being about talking around the world, contesting, or
traditional aspects of our hobby."
"Change generally doesn't come easy to us. But when I looked out at that group
of young faces and saw their disinterest in traditional ham pursuits, I
realized that I had to change.
We have to change.
It won't come easy, but it's essential that we get to work on it now."
When we radio amateurs speak about the hobby to potential newcomers they
frequently talk about things that took place in the last century.
For many young people even events that happened in 2010 will still be
Unfortunately we are not given the changes (if any) K5UR made to engage his
audience.. still, even his 'titillating' glimpse where he sees we need to change
is something for all of us to consider, even if there is no real answer.
OVER TO OUR YOUNGSTERS TO SHOW US WHAT THEY WANT !
Download the 2016 ARRL Annual Report from
Rewind, a look back on our history
A RADIO AMATEUR PIONEERED RADIO ASTRONOMY
In 1932, during the minimum Sunspot Cycle, Karl Guthe Jansky in the USA
accidentally discovered cosmic noise from our Galaxy, the Milky Way, on a
frequency of 20,5 MHz (14,6 metres wavelength). He was researching the cause of
interference to the intercontinental radiotelegraph service for the Bell
Laboratories. Jansky's company saw no value in this discovery and directed him
to another field of research.
Fortunately he wrote two papers where he mentioned his discovery. Four years
later Grote Reber, a radio amateur W9GFZ and engineer, came across these papers
and read them. It fired up his imagination and he decided to construct a
suitable radio receiver and dish antenna with which to continue the research.
Grote Reber discovered many other radio sources in the sky and produced the
first map of the radio sky.
Today he is referred to as the Father of Radio Astronomy.
Looking ahead to next week's broadcast
We will have news on the World Digital Amateur Television QSO Party,
the ACMA looking at how best to investigate interference,
and a dozen registrations already in for the Keith Roget Memorial
National Parks Weekend.
SOCIAL SCENE 2017
Aug 27 VK2 SACRCfest SHOW, TELL & SELL day. (vk2zdr)
Sep 9 VK4 SunFest held at the Woombye School of Arts building 09:00.(vk4vp)
Sep 9-10 VK4 ALARAMEET Cairns. Listen for VI4ALARA from July (vk4swe vk3pc)
Sep 10 VK3 Shepparton HamFest St Augustine's Hall, Orr St. (vk3fnqs)
Sep29-Oct2 VK4 Cardwell Gathering (tarc)
Oct 29 VK3 Yarra Valley Amateur Radio Group HAMFEST 10:00am at the
Gary Cooper Pavilion, Yarra Glen.
Nov 5 VK3 BARG Hamvention greyhound racing track, Ballarat. (wia events)
Nov 12 VK5 Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society HamFest 8am (vk5kc)
Nov 12 VK3 Rosebud's annual celebration of all things Amateur Radio (wia)
Feb 25 VK2 Wyong Field Day (VK2AOR)
March 25 VK3 EMDRC HamFest - Great Ryrie Primary School, Heathmont. (VK3BQ)
May 4 -7 VK4 Clairview Gathering ( between Rockhampton and Mackay ) (TARC)
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