DEC 31 2017 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING DECEMBER 31 2017.
Office closure for the Christmas New Holiday
A reminder that the WIA office in Bayswater closed on December 22 and will re-open in the
New Year at 11am (AEDT) on Tuesday 22 of January 2018.
WIA Board News
The Election of WIA Directors
Three WIA director positions are ending their term and the vacancies are open under the WIA
Constitution through a postal ballot. These directors retire at the end of Annual General
Meeting the 19th of May 2018 on the Gold Coast Queensland. Each retiring director is eligible
for re-election. Returning Officer John Marshall said candidates must be a WIA voting member
and hold an Australian amateur radio licence. The deadline for nominations is the 31 January 2018.
Formal notification of the election is in the December issue of the WIA journal Amateur Radio
magazine and on the WIA website.
WIA Board Talk
This is Marcus, VK5WTF with this week's board comment.
This week I'm coming to you from old pelion hut, it's out on the overland track down
This hut just celebrated it's 100th birthday, so it's a actually a couple of years
younger than the WIA itself.
I suppose, like anything this old, everything needs a bit of work, a bit of
repairing around the sides; and they've done a bit of work in here and it looks great.
But there are still memories of the old here as well, with people that have signed
their name on the walls from times like 1945, 1936 and even 1923 I can see.
And some of the new additions are memories of the old, a copy of the original log
book and a new log book for people to put their new memories into.
And I suppose that's something that the new board is dealing with, still keeping
the old organisation, but fixing up around the sides.
Under the amazing leadership of Justin, VK7TW, with assistance of course, from
the vice president, David Ford, VK4MZ.
Now a lot of you out there might think, "we haven't seen a lot", but that's the
thing with the board, the board sets up the rules for the rest of the organisation.
What you as a member should be seeing, is the committees, the new rules for the committees, the new standards that we set. Setting a new baseline for the organisation
that we've done in the last seven months, that's what you guys see. And we are
hoping that that for the future, will set new up foundations, a new baseline f
or the WIA.
It was 12 months ago, again, on a hike, that I had time to think about whether
I wanted to nominate for the WIA board, and well you can see what happened there.
And it's probably about this time that maybe a few of you are out there thinking
about to myself, "should I nominate?" All I can say is, go for it.
We need a nice wide range of experience. Knowing everything about radios is not
what you need to be on the board. Being an expert in tropospheric propagation
is not necessary to be on the board .
What is needed is a generalist knowledge in radio, but also experience with
being involved with running an organisation, that helps a lot. And if you
think that that's you, put that nomination together and put it in, because
like this old hut that's still standing, we want to WIA to still be standing
in 50 or even another 100 years.
This is VK5WTF, going clean.
WIA relies on functional WIA committees
The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) relies on the work of its various specialist
committees to deliver services, and to consider requests or changes in their areas.
The WIA board has taken a number of steps towards restructuring the committees, and has
found that some no longer exist while there is a need for some new ones.
These steps included consultation that lead to introduction of the Volunteer Charter,
a two-year tenure for new leaders, and the advertising of any vacancy.
Each committee was asked to explain how it operates, its structure and membership,
and future planning. There was also an expectation they would report their activity
frequently. Publicising the committees and encouraging broader participation of
suitable qualified people in them is part of the reform process.
For any committee vacancy, or a need for additional resources, a public i
nterview process including the applicant's curriculum vitae has been introduced.
This addresses any concern that membership is closed or filled internally by
the committee itself. It has also been highlighted that committees can be
misunderstood. The long established WIA Technical Advisory Committee is prime example.
The TAC is not so much a committee as an umbrella for a group of jobs and the people who do them.
In other words it's a pool of experts in various technical aspects of
Amateur Radio that can be drawn upon when needed to lead discussion on particular areas.
The TAC technical panel consists of advisors in VHF-UHF, microwaves, EME,
satellites, repeaters, beacons, band plans, packet, APRS, ATV, D-Star, and digital DX modes.
Its regular clerical jobs are repeater and beacon data bases, VHF-UHF
distances records, and technical data compilation for WIA Callbook.
The TAC does not meet behind closed doors, but consults and explores various
issues as they arise using its panel of expertise.
Currently it is looking at a clash between the new digital FT8 mode on 6-metres,
as well as the IARU project harmonising band planning worldwide.Each proposal for
change is publicised and any input is welcome. The WIA committees appreciate all views,
and work collaboratively to achieve the best outcome for all.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
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.
Selling of non-compliant drone AV-transmitters stopped
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has acted decisively and imposed a
$180,000 fine on a Florida company that had been marketing audio-visual transmitters.
These devices were advertised as AV transmitters capable of operating on both Amateur
Radio and other frequencies reserved for government use.
The IARU member society the ARRL made an urgent complaint to the FCC to begin an inquiry.
The FCC noted that to use the AV transmitters required an Amateur Radio licence and also
needed comply with all applicable laws for such operation.
Logbook of The World to add support for CQ WAZ Award
Participants in CQ magazine's Worked All Zones (WAZ) award programme will soon be able
to use the Logbook of The World (LoTW) system of ARRL to apply for the WAZ award and
Amateur Radio operators will be able to use LoTW logs to generate lists of confirmed
contacts to be submitted for WAZ credit. Standard LoTW credit fees and separate
CQ award fees will apply. Implementation, documentation, and internal testing of the
link between LoTW and WAZ is complete. The ARRL and CQ are now assembling a team of
external beta testers to assure that the link is ready for widespread use. A separate
announcement will be made when LoTW's support for CQ WAZ is available to everyone.
LoTW has supported the CQ WPX Award program since 2012. The Worked All Zones is the
second-oldest active Amateur Radio award programme, behind the International Amateur
Radio Union's Worked All Continents (WAC) award
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.
2018 CONTEST DATES INCLUDE:-
VHF UHF WIA FIELD DAY CONTEST DATE For Summer
13-14 Jan 2018
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
Harry Angel Memorial Sprint:- Saturday May 5th 10:00 UTC - 11:46 UTC
11-12 August is WIA Remembrance Day (the RD) Contest.
PH - First full weekend in October, ( 6/ 7th) 0800 UTC Sat to 0800 UTC Sunday
CW - Second full weekend in October, (13/14th) 0800 UTC Sat to 0800 UTC Sunday
Antarctic milestone being celebrated
The commemorative callsign VI 70 HI has been heard on the 70th anniversary
of the first of the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions
(ANARE) to Heard Island.
A group of 14 men set up on Heard Island in the Southern Ocean about
4,000 kilometres south-west of mainland Australia in 1947.
Among them was Arthur Campbell-Drury VK3ACD portable at Heard now a silent key.
The Heard Island base closed in March 1955 when ANARE moved to Mawson Station.
To mark the first expedition that anniversary, the callsign VI70HI is on air
until February 28 with the website QRZ.com noting all activity is from mainland
Australia, and not Heard Island.
The activity will be on HF from 160m to 10m, SSB, CW, RTTY and possibly digital modes.
A commemorative QSL card will be available via the QSL manager Charles Zero OXO.
He states that no QSL Cards should be sent via the bureau, as they will not be answered.
Any inquiries to either Lee VK3GK or the VK Contest Club.
Australian broadcaster on shortwave
There is wide interest in the radio broadcaster 4KZ in Northern Queensland,
usually on the AM band, but now with a transmission on 5055 kHz being received
at the Top End of Australia and overseas as well.
NQ Radio General Manager Al Kirton has confirmed the transmission, which is
part of the 50th celebrations.
In January 2017 the Australian Broadcasting Corporation exited Shortwave Radio
transmission to the Northern Territory and Radio Australia international services.
Unfortunately the 4KZ 5055 kHz signal which began on December 20 is only
500 watts or half power until one of the RF boards can be repaired.
The shortwave broadcast is from a site at east Innisfail in Tropical North
Queensland, using a USA-made 1.2 kW transmitter into an Inverted-V antenna.
The program from the 4KZ and 4AY AM band transmitters was designed to cover
the Cape York area and the northern outback. However the 60m band signal
has been heard further away.
Reports with many audio clips are from the Top End, New South Wales and
Victoria, as well as from the USA, Canada and New Zealand.
The true test will come when the full 1 kW power is able to be used
The transmission hours are about 0500 to 2300 hours UTC. All confirmed
reception reports will receive a 4KZ shortwave QSL card. No return postage is required.
Reports by email to Al Kirton (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to Radio 4KZ,
PO Box 19, Innisfail Queensland 4860 Australia.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
In the world of DX, also listen for Jacques, F6HMJ, operating as 6 W7/F 6 HMJ
from Senegal between December 21st and January 15th.
He will be active using CW with some SSB on 20-10 meters.
Send QSLs via his home callsign, F 6 HMJ
Hong Kong celebrates with VR 20 prefix
Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's reunification with China,
Hong Kong licensed radio amateurs are being allowed to use the special prefix
VR20 on a voluntary basis to 30th June 2018.
REPUBLIC OF KOREA, HL.
Special event station DT 23 WOP is QRV until February 2018 for the
23rd Olympic Winter Games. Activity is on the HF bands. QSL via HL 1 IWD.
No Sunspots means challenging propagation
Changes in the density and structure of the ionosphere affects the transmission
path at high frequencies and can even block HF radio signals completely.
The ionosphere relies on Sunspot radiation - the more there are usually the better
the propagation. The solar cycle or solar magnetic activity cycle is the periodic
11-year change in the Sun's activity and appearance.
We are still in Solar Cycle 24 which is the 24th since 1755 when extensive recording
of it began. The present cycle started in December 2008. It reached a maximum
in April 2014 with the smoothed sunspot number only 116.4, the lowest in over a
century Scientists can't explain the Sun's bizarre behaviour, being divided
between it being a fluke or a sign of a deeper trend.
In 2017 there have been more than 100 days with no sunspots. The next Cycle 25
is predicted to start by 2020 peaking about 2024-25 and forecast to be another weak one.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RESCUE RADIO
HERO network activates in storms
Typhoon Tembin has moved out of the Philippines as the death toll rose to
230 and it left a lot of damage to infrastructure and agriculture.
Many are missing or homeless. Ham Emergency Radio Operations of the
IARU member society Philippine Amateur Radio Association were assisting
authorities, and had also been activated for the storm a few days earlier.
The first was tropical storm Kai-Tak at killed about 33 people, followed
by tropical storm Tembin that swept through the southern Philippines.
Roberto Vicencio 'JoJo' DU1VHY says HERO had HF coordination through the
national emergency net at 7.095 MHz with three nets being held, 0700, 1700
JoJo says Kai-tak ravaged the Central Visayas area and maintained a stationary
position for about three days. This was almost the same entry point as the
Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. He said much rain was dumped in the Samar
and Tacloban areas of the Central Visayas region.
In situations like this, most of HERO radio amateurs in the affected areas
fold into the government's regional and provincial disaster risk reduction
This consolidates the actions of the amateur and civic groups as well as
the military and police forces.
After two days respite Mindanao faced the destructive Typhoon Tembin
that caused the most damage and 230 lives were lost. Joyo says the wind
strength and volume of rains inundated the island and the system took a
direct path from east to west of Mindanao Island. Ed Escabarte DU8EE who
was embedded with the regional disaster risk reduction management office
mentioned the desperate search for survivors and bodies.
Flooding hit houses, wiped out an entire village where people were trapped
in their homes. Bridges, roads, communications and agricultural fields were
It is only the start of the season for adverse weather in the Philippines,
with the HERO network prepared for other activations.
(Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee)
Emergency management services honoured
The 2017 US State of Missouri Volunteer of the Year award was received by
Rick Ebbesen KB Zero VZP in recognition of his outstanding work.
The Johnson County Emergency Management Agency volunteer was nominated by
agency staff for his dedication, contributions and achievements in the
field of emergency management.
He serves as the emergency coordinator for the Johnson County Amateur
Radio Emergency Services. Rick KB Zero VZP has personally funded the ARES
trailer that has multiple capabilities, including public service and
Amateur Radio. It has an expandable mast for antennas and a mobile camera
capable of tying into the 'mesh network' that he established in Johnson County.
The mesh network serves as a conduit for two signals from four cameras
located on elevated tower sites during severe weather.
The network is capable of sending data, text messages, and Voice over
Internet Protocol at key locations in the near future.
He is currently helping the Emergency Management Agency transition
from the simplex radio to a repeater system to provide better countywide
Rewind - a look back at our history 60 years ago
The year 1958 was the International Geophysical Year and saw the start of
many technical things we have today. During that year the Earth's magnetosphere
was discovered plus a number of other notable milestones. The year was important
in the development of Amateur Radio and electronics generally.
On January 4, Sputnik 1 fell to Earth having been launched on the previous October 4.
The first successful American satellite, Explorer I, launched on January 31.
The space race had begun. In July the US created the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration or NASA. The Soviet Union was first in space, but the USA
launched the world's first communications satellite on December 18, and planned to
go to the moon.
On February 11 we had the strongest solar maximum, based on records of 400 years.
Sunspot Cycle 19 was enjoyed by those of HF and 6-metres. Meteor scatter and
stacked yagis on VHF had grabbed the imagination of radio amateurs as they
explored both the meteor scatter and the ionosphere on 6-metres.
SSB was starting to emerge. The development in the 1960s combining the
receiver and transmitter in the one box certainly helped SSB to become the
dominant phone mode on our bands. The Advanced Research Project Agency began to
link research organisations with each other. Little did those involved realise
that their work would lead to the now ubiquitous Internet we have today.
On September 12, Jack Kilby demonstrated the first integrated circuit, and
the principle of optical lasers was set out by researchers at the Bell Laboratories
We have certainly seen since a shrinking in size with a boost in power from a
plethora of devices. The Citizens Band began in the United States, where the 11-metre
band was taken from Amateur Radio - that started a global trend for that industrial,
scientific and medical band. Although technology has exploded, modern Amateur Radio
has too, it's still nice to reflect that a radio amateur using 1958 sets can still
communicate with those made 60 years later.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
ON NEXT WEEKS NEWS
On next week's VK1WIA broadcast we will bring you the latest from the International Amateur Radio Union as it watches developments with Wireless Power Transfer in preparation for the World Radio Conference in late 2019.
FEB 18 VK3 9am WANDARC HamFest Italian Sports Club, Werribee (VK3VKT)
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/Mackay ) (TARC)
July 7 GippsTech 2018 (VK3PF)
The 21st annual Gippsland Technical Conference. Focus is
primarily on weak signal VHF, UHF and microwave communications,
plus any other relevant topics. Commences with a social dinner
on Friday evening, presentations all day Saturday with Conference
Dinner in the evening and Sunday morning presentations.
A New Year's Resolution that brings a result
Some will be reflecting on making at least one resolution for 2018 - I know mine,
but here comes another worthy undertaking for the New Year
Why not promote modern Amateur Radio and what it now has to offer.
It is a very diverse learning and recreational activity enjoyed by people of all
ages and interests. Another description is that it's a technical hobby with
life-long learning and exploring.
Virtually everybody has had exposure to a computer and the Internet, and radio
amateurs can combine that ability with a transceiver. The WIA has surveyed the
Amateur Radio community ahead of next year's expected review by the ACMA into
our licence condition determinations. Amateur Radio is now open to everyone,
of all abilities, and doesn't cost a fortune to participate. From experience
there's great fun to be had, and plenty of good friends to be made on air.
Now here's where the New Year's Resolution kicks in.
As a radio amateur, explain the hobby without jargon, how you enjoy it and are
willing to help. Then get someone to begin studying for the Foundation Licence.
That can be a challenge, but establishes the ground work for technical concepts,
safety, regulations and on-air protocol.
You are likely to find a lapsed radio amateur who can, with the right encouragement,
be activated again after learning how the hobby has changed over the last decade
or longer.vWhy not make it your New Year's Resolution to promote modern
Amateur Radio and recruit new people to it.
I know I will, how about you?
WIANews - we've reported...YOU decide.
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National News compiled by VK4BB on behalf of the National WIA.