January 7th 2018 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING JANUARY 7th 2018.
THIS IN OUR 23rd YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA 2018 AND FOR WEEK OF JAN 7th
WIA BOARD COMMENT 7 January 2018
Hi, I'm Peter VK8ZZ, a member of the Board of the WIA.
The WIA recently announced the commencement of the WIA Associate's program.
The Associate Program is free of charge and is open to Amateurs and non-Amateurs as well
as Short Wave listeners and Overseas residents. It is specifically open to both the
licenced and non-licenced people who have an interest in wireless and electronics
technology experimentation and who wish to become an associate of the national body
for Amateur Radio in Australia.
The Associate Program is a category that lacks the benefits of membership. Members
have the right to have a say and to attend general meetings and the AGM. Associates
do not have access to Memnet, Amateur Radio Magazine nor QSL Bureau Access, etc.
Whilst associates are not granted access to the AGM, they will be granted access to
the non-formal AGM activities on the day.
As David VK4MZ explained in his broadcast on 17th December:
"The associate program will provide the backbone for sharing our hobby with the
emergent groups such as the maker movement. The program will also assist with the
first steps into the hobby and cater to those that haven't yet been through an exam. "
The Associate Program is now up and running. So if you're interested, sign up at
the URL in the text version of this broadcast.
Once you sign up you will receive periodic email information about
* Amateur Radio,
* the Wireless Institute of Australia,
* Study for licences and Licencing procedures, and
* Access to various forums, which are still being established.
The WIA Associate website will be developed to become a pointer to forums for
electronic and technology information more relevant to specific individual interests
Associates will also receive periodic electronic bulletins to update them on the work
of the WIA in its negotiations with the Australian Communications and Media Authority
as well as on the international scene leading up to the World Radio Conference later
The World Radio Conference or WRC is the international forum that makes decisions for
Band Planning for the entire radio spectrum worldwide. The WIA and the ACMA have
representation on the WRC.
The WIA also represent all Australian Radio Amateurs - not just WIA Members - on
the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) the peak organisation for amateur
radio worldwide. Indeed a WIA member chairs some of the IARU committees.
Existing WIA members can also sign up for the Associate Program to get direct
emails and bulletins.
The Board are also keen to hear what additional aspects might be considered for
inclusion in the Associate Program.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to speaking with you again throughout
This is Peter VK8ZZ and I wish all a happy and prosperous New Year from all of
us on the WIA Board
ACMA Five Year Spectrum Outlook
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) in its forward planning
has a Five Year Outlook mapping out the spectrum priorities.
It gives all stakeholders, including the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA),
an opportunity to input into the ACMA spectrum management work program.
The WIA consulted the entire Amateur Radio community in five consultations in 2017.
The WIA Spectrum Strategy Committee is assisted greatly by the survey results to
produce an evidence-based view that represents the Amateur Community in Australia.
In summary, the WIA's input to the ACMA Five Year Outlook will include:
Seeking harmonisation and extension of 1.8 - 2.0 MHz, and the 3.8 - 4.0 MHz bands
New secondary allocation at 5.3 MHz that is already in many countries
Primary allocation in the 50-52 MHz band following the digitisation of television
Secondary allocation in the 70 MHz band
Allocation at 803-804 MHz for LIPD class licence for STEM educational programs
Seeking retention of amateur access to 3.575 - 3.600 GHz outside of the specific
geographic areas where future licensed services are deployed.
On next week's VK1WIA broadcast will be a recap of the WIA Licence Conditions
Determination (LCD) submission following its three consultation surveys in June 2017.
The WIA will submit both the ACMA Five Year Outlook the LCD submission soon.
End of the telegram service
After 171-years the commercial telegram service in Belgium has ended.
It was operated by the state-owned telecommunications company with the last telegram
sent on December 29. A lot a seasonal greeting traffic was generated to take advantage
of the nostalgic occasion. Earlier it was announced that India farewelled its telegram
service in 2013 after 162 years of service. Belgium had still offered the service while
around the world it had been replaced.
Australia ended its publicly provided telegraphy service in 1993. Firstly the dial-up
Telex service made big inroads, then came fax and email. The telegraph used to carry
Morse code across nations and linked countries via submarine cables, and was much faster
than the mail. The telegram has long been overtaken by modern faster technology,
which gives the ability to get an almost instant reply, let alone cheap smart phones and
computers that have both voice and visual communication.
Battery powered 'smart bags' raise safety concern
Remember the hazards caused by hover-boards, dodgy chargers and exploding mobile phones,
all associated with lithium batteries and fires. Now a new type of travellers' luggage
known as 'smart bags' are starting to get attention for their built-in lithium batteries.
These small but high capacity batteries are a power source for charging external devices
or to provide power to the wheels of the bag. Passengers trying to check them in as
carry-on bags are warned by two Asian airlines that if they are fitted with non-removable
lithium batteries, they will be banned from flights.
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race - Amateurs on the receiving end.
This year several amateurs continued a tradition that is a few years old now, in
being receiving stations for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. VK7's ZCR, EV and
VKT participated which involved having several pieces of software running on a PC
connected to the radio to stream the received signals, saving the received signals
in 5-minute blocks and uploading it to shared cloud storage.
The saved audio files are all hand checked by an editor based in Queensland, file by
file, to detect any radio traffic that may be newsworthy. This is then passed on to
a sailing news website who appreciate our efforts. A great deal of time is put into t
he tuning of the systems before Christmas, where audio levels for each receiving
station is tweaked to get as close as possible to a flatline happening on the radio
spectrum during times of no speech, with obvious peaks during speech.
This is so the editor can drop each file into Audacity editing software and easily
see any activity on each saved file that is uploaded. The primary frequency used
this year was 4483khz with Clayton, VK7ZCR also being a receiving station for VHF
It is noteworthy that the radio relay vessel "JBW" had difficulty receiving yachts
on HF as they neared the east coast of Tasmania while the amateurs had little trouble
in receiving. The same applied to Race Control where they too had difficulty in
receiving signals that were quite clear at our stations. At 5 minutes past midnight,
7.35am 12.05pm and at 5.35pm we ensured that our systems were "ship shape" for the
position reports, where pertinent information was also passed regarding any damage
In this world of modern whiz bang digital doo dahs a huge emphasis is still placed
on HF comms where if a competitor does not have sufficiently good HF comms at a
location called Green Cape they do not get authority to cross Bass Strait as a
competitor and must drop out of the race.
All of this was done purely on a voluntary basis, however a lot was gained, as
was in previous years, extending the hobby to outside of its normal limits and
achieving the best-received signals possible using the full array of digital
signal processing and onboard noise reduction that our various radios had to offer.
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.
Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation funding problems
The Solomon Islands station has been cut off the grid by Solomon Power due to
an $8,000 unpaid electricity bill. The poor financial situation was the direct
result of a critical cash-flow problem with the government that mostly funds
the Solomon Islands broadcaster. It operates on 1035 kHz in the AM band and
on shortwave at 5020 kHz. The station is now running solely on generators
and has stopped its AM services in favour of shortwave that covers the whole
country, including outlying islands.
The IARU watches WPT developments
Widespread interest continues in Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) technology, reflecting
the considerable concern about its potential to cause radio frequency interference.
Studies continue ahead of the World Radiocommunications Conference 2019 with its Agenda
item 9.1.6 - Wireless Power Transmission (WPT) for electric vehicles.
WPT applications are expanding to mobile and portable devices, home appliances and
office equipment. The automotive industry looks to it for electric vehicle applications
in the near future. Power levels range from milliwatts to hundreds of kilowatts and
typical transmission ranges are up about 30 centimetres. But news from India is that
scientists using a nanogenerator can harvest mechanical energy such as people walking
on a footpath, and convert it into electrical energy. The electricity is transferred
wirelessly over a distance of three metres to a storage device like a battery.
Radio users are concerned that while the intended distance can be small, it is
inevitable that some energy will be coupled into other conductors acting as unintended
antennas. This may cause harmful interference to incumbent services through the radiation
of harmonics. WPT is recognised as having potential advantages but must develop in such
a way that prevents harmful interference to incumbent services in the frequency band or
bands to be considered. Protection of incumbent in-band radiocommunication services
as well as adjacent and harmonically related bands from spurious and out-of-band emissions
must also be ensured.
IARU membership is being sought
An IARU membership application has been received from the St. Kitts Nevis
Anguilla Amateur Radio Society to represent radio amateurs of the Federation
of St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis. It does not claim to represent the
radio amateurs of Anguilla, although for historical reasons Anguilla is included
in its name. Anguilla is already represented in the IARU by the Anguilla Amateur
Radio Society, and it has no objection to the admission of the St. Kitts Nevis
Anguilla Amateur Radio Society. It began in 1973 and has 32 licensed members
out of a total amateur population of 50. The St. Kitts Nevis Anguilla Amateur
Radio Society admission will be put to a vote of the 167 IARU member-societies
including the Wireless Institute of Australia.
Progress Made Toward Goal of 50 MHz Region 1 Allocation
Significant progress was made in preparing for the World Radiocommunication
Conference in 2019 (WRC-19) at a two-week meeting at the International Telecommunication
Union (ITU) in Geneva in November 2017. However, much remains to be done before the
reservations and concerns of regulators and spectrum users are adequately satisfied.
The team representing IARU in Working Party (WP) 5A of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector
(ITU-R) consisted of amateurs from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan,
Norway, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States.
For IARU the main focus was on the WRC-19 agenda item which will consider a frequency
allocation for the amateur service in Region 1 from 50 to 54 MHz similar to Regions
2 and 3. The current, mainly secondary, allocation 50-52 MHz in most European
countries is a regional agreement. During the meeting input documents from IARU,
France, the Russian Federation and Switzerland were considered with the following i
A rough consensus was achieved on the text which will provide the technical basis
for discussions concerning the access to 50-54 MHz for the amateur service in Region 1.
A method for calculating the spectrum needs of the amateur service in 50-54 MHz
was proposed by IARU and has been accepted by some administrations. However, more
information to justify the requested bandwidth will be required.
For sharing studies, particularly in relation to the land mobile service and
radiolocation applications in 50-54 MHz, a mutually agreed propagation model
emains to be determined.
No major objections to sharing with analogue television broadcasting in 50-54 MHz in
Region 1 remain, provided that a time limited field strength limit is applied.
In addition to an amateur allocation in Region 1 at 50 MHz other key issues for the
amateur service at WRC-19 include securing protection for amateur service primary
allocations at 24 GHz and 47 GHz and minimising possible interference arising from
Wireless Power Transmission for the charging of electric vehicles.
Following the meeting of Working Party 5A and other meetings related to the work of
ITU-R Study Group 5 the ITU hosted the first of three planned Inter-Regional Workshops
on WRC-19 Preparation. IARU Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, who also attended
the WP 5A meeting, represented the IARU at the workshop to hear reports on progress
by the regional telecommunications organizations.
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.
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
VHF UHF WIA FIELD DAY CONTEST DATE For WINTER
23-24 June 2018
The VK SHIRES Contest is always held on the June long weekend, which is the
weekend prior to the second Monday of June each year so make a note June 9/10
Starts: 06.00 UTC Saturday 9, Ends: 06.00 UTC Sunday 10.
IARU HF Championship event on 15 and 16 July.
TRANS-TASMAN LOW BAND CONTEST
The contest is held on the Saturday night of the third full weekend of July,
making it July 21st, Start Time is 08:00 UTC and finish time is 14:00 UTC
11-12 August is WIA Remembrance Day (the RD) Contest.
The 21st International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend is on
August 18 to 19, 2018
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
VHF UHF WIA FIELD DAY CONTEST DATES For Spring 2018
Spring 24-25 November
MORE VHF UHF WIA FIELD DAY CONTEST DATES For Summer/Winter/Spring
2019 Summer 12-13 Jan Winter 22-23 Jun Spring 23-24 Nov
2020 Summer 18-19 Jan Winter 20-21 Jun Spring 28-29 Nov
2021 Summer 14-15 Jan Winter 26-27 Jun Spring 26-27 Nov
In the world of DX, be listening for lots of signals coming from
Vietnam. Dirk, DF2XG, is active as 3W9XG from Hai Phong where he is
working as a project manager for an industrial venture. Listen for him
on 40 meters through 10 meters. He will be running 20 watts and
operating CW. For QSL information, visit QRZ.com.
Also in Vietnam is John KB4FB, who will begin operating as 3W9FB from Da
Nang sometime in early January. He will then move on to Laos and operate
as XW4FB before returning to Vietnam in February. He will be on a number
of different HF bands throughout. Send QSLs via LoTW. QSOs will be
uploaded to LoTW in March 2018.
In the Gambia, Przemyslaw, SP3PS, will be active as C5/SP3PS between the
30th of December and the 12th of January. Listen for him on 40, 20 and
10 meters. Send QSLs via his home callsign.
EI 5 AOM remembers the Tuskar Rock air tragedy
Fifty years after the crash of an Aer Lingus Viscount airliner in the Irish Sea
still the largest single loss of life in Irish civil aviation history - special
event station EI 5 AOM remembers this tragic event and honours the 61 lives
Many people on the ground, on their way home from church, witnessed several
spiral dives as the pilot tried desperately to keep control of the stricken
42 minutes after takeoff EI-AOM crashed into the sea near the Tuskar Rock
Lighthouse. All 61 crew and passengers from Ireland, Britain, Switzerland,
Belgium, Sweden, the United States and the Netherlands lost their lives
Rumours of an errant missile strike and cover-ups by the Irish and British
governments abounded. The first inquiry in 1971 answered few questions but a
second inquiry in 2002 found that the Viscount had lost part of its tail
through fatigue or maybe a bird strike which led to a progressively
uncontrollable situation that ended in a dive into the sea.
Special event station EI5AOM - fifty years after the crash of EI-AOM - has
been licensed to operate January through March 2018 to remember this tragic
event. The station will devote one day beginning 22 January to remember each of
the four crew and 57 passengers who died, with operations culminating on the
fiftieth anniversary of the crash, 24 March 2018.
INTRUDER WATCH - ENFORCEMENT ZONE
Region III IARUMS Coordinator Peter Young VK3MV
VK IARUMS reflector email to subscribe email@example.com
SUBMITTING a report? go to
Friday 0730 UTC 7.065.5 with VK4CEU David.
Amateur exclusive frequencies where any non-amateur signal is definitely an
Amateur HF Spectrum world wide
7.050 to 7.100
14.000 to 14.250
14.250 to 14.350 No broadcasters
21.000 to 21.450
24.890 to 24.990
28.000 to 29.700
Odd Signals on 2M
If you live in Canberra's Weston Creek area, have you heard what appears to be
Chinese language with music on these frequencies? 144.415MHz, 144.475MHz and
144.565MHz on narrow and wide band FM.
The program was slightly distorted.
Such signals may occur for a variety of reasons, so the committee at CRARC
would like to know if other Amateurs in the region have heard them.
Contact the committee on
World Wide Special Interest Groups.
Interstellar asteroid checked for alien technology
A project searching for intelligent life in the cosmos is going to check the
first known interstellar asteroid for signs of alien technology.
The odd-shaped object was detected as it sped towards the Sun on 19 October.
Its properties suggested it originated around another star, making it the first
such body to be spotted in our cosmic neighbourhood.
An initiative backed by billionaire Yuri Milner will use a radio telescope to
listen for signals from it.
The team's efforts will begin with astronomers observing the asteroid, which is
currently speeding away from our Solar System, across four different radio
The first set of observations at the Robert C Byrd Green Bank Telescope in
West Virginia is due to last for 10 hours.
The latest proposal for the space graveyard
What to do with dozens of dead satellites in space is a puzzle.
Some want to harvest them, other say they should be left alone as part of our
history. Now the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency hopes to use
robots that could turn the graveyard into a workshop. It wants to build a
fleet of robots to inspect, refuel and repair satellites, keeping them operational
well beyond their expected lifetimes. The proposal makes sense because the satellites
can cost millions of dollars, but unlike anything else are not inspected, serviced and
repaired. The graveyard or a remote parking orbit has spacecraft at the end of their
lives, either in need of a repair or fuel.
ARISS in Morocco
News comes to us of a stellar contact with the National School For Computer Science
in Rabat, Morocco, also known by its French language acronym ENSIAS.
The contact with astronaut Mark Vande Hei, KG5GNP, was facilitated by our own Tony
VK5ZAI and garnered some exceptional news coverage across Northern Africa and the
With Moroccan Minister of Higher Education, and the Royal Moroccan Radio Amateur
association in attendance, the 350 seated in the audience and were joined by the
3 Moroccan National TV stations and more TV and print jounralists from across the
region including BBC Arabic, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.
The Q&A with ande Hei was simultaneously translated into Arabic and broadcasted live.
This solid contact with the ISS allowed time for for 16 superb questions and enough
time to send a rousing round of applause up to Mark before LOS was lost.
Young Washington radio ham debuts her call sign on HF
January 1 was the opening day for the ARRL International Grid Chase 2018 (IGC), and
newly minted General-class operator Katie Thompsen, KI7HCX, of Mt Vernon, Washington,
used the occasion to embark on the chase and to get on HF for the first time using
her own call sign.
The ARRL reports:
The 11-year-old comes from a ham radio family. Her dad, Todd, is W7TAO, while her
older brothers are Mason, K7MWT, 15 who upgraded to Amateur Extra at the
examination session where his sister upgraded to General and Tanner, K7TMT, 13.
"She called CQ Grid Square Chase on 20 meters and very quickly made 44 contacts,"
her dad told ARRL. "She was very excited to work her first pileup and even had two
Japanese stations QSO with her. She's anxious to continue participating in the
grid square chase." Todd Thompsen said all three young radio amateurs are looking
forward to participating in Rookie Roundup in April.
Read the full ARRL story at
ARRL International Grid Chase
REWIND A LOOK BACK AT OUR HISTORY
Locating significant Australian Amateur Radio equipment
The WIA Historical Archives Committee has received inquiries
over the past few years about the availability of historical
radio equipment for viewing and photographing.
Some important collections are held by individuals, clubs, and
of course, public museums around Australia. The number of inquiries
has encouraged preparation of a rudimentary database of known
significant collections. WIA Historian Peter Wolfenden VK3RV
says initially sought is information about publically accessible
collections. They don't have to be major public collections such
as the Sydney Power House Museum or the Melbourne Science Museum.
However, most of their collections are not on public exhibition,
and often difficult to access.
Max Howden's 1924-25 record breaking shortwave receiver and Gil Miles'
early television experiments from the 1920s, are occasionally
displayed at the Melbourne Science Museum.
The Australian War Memorial in Canberra permanently displays Winnie
the War Winner, the famous transmitter used to raise help by isolated
army personnel. Community or Private Museums such as Ian O'Toole's VK2ZIO,
Kurrajong Radio Museum, just out of Sydney, or the Mareeba Heritage Centre
in the Queensland are two very good examples of museums with readily accessible
significant items. The Kurrajong Radio Museum has an extensive wireless,
radio and broadcasting collection including some WWI Australian Navy equipment
made at what was Shaw's Sydney Wireless Works.
Pre-WWI, amateur equipment can be seen at the Mareeba Heritage Centre.
There is the complete 1913-14, home-made station of XQA, Marcus Brimms
minus the interconnecting wires, battery and aerial.
This station was closed down in 1914 under wartime requirements and
the equipment was boxed up as instructed.
This station was not re-assembled after the war and is now all on
display in a glazed cabinet in the museum building.
This is a 'world class' amateur radio collection made by an Australian
amateur who resided in the district.
The WIA's National Amateur Equipment Register welcomes input to WIA Archive
via with WIA office.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
GET YOUR HAM LICENCE
Visit the WIA website, wia.org.au
To find A Club And Course Near You
To make a general enquiry
email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
AMATEUR RADIO NEW SOUTH WALES:-
ARNSW 63 Quarry Rd Dural, email for details on email@example.com
Bookings can be made by phoning the office on 02 9651 1490
and leaving contact details.
AMATEUR RADIO VICTORIA CONTACT:-
Amateur Radio Victoria 40G Victory Boulevard, Ashburton,
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Barry on 0428 516 001.
FEB 18 VK3 9am WANDARC HamFest Italian Sports Club, Werribee (VK3VKT)
Feb 25 VK2 Wyong Field Day (VK2AOR)
Is it in your diary ?
Have you got your travel and accommodation plans in place?
It's not long now you know!
What, you ask?
Well the 60th CCARC Fieldday at Wyong on Sunday the 25th. of February of course!
Come and help the Central Coast ARC celebrate their 60th anniversary of the Field
Day and the club. With Car boot sales now in the undercover concourse area, the
air-conditioned traders area, plenty of parking space and a free shuttle bus
running from Wyong Railway Station to the Field Day site.
The 60th fieldday promises to be the best yet - remember as always, it's on come
rain or shine.
The Bar and Bistro will be open on the first floor of the race buildings where the
lectures will be held. Come to have a coffee or a beer with your mates, including
those you have talked to or emailed but never made that face to face contact with.
Take advantage of the free tea and coffee and be sure not to miss the annual prize raffle.
Local scout groups are being encouraged to come and take a look at our "cool"
technical hobby and to see how it can fit in with scouting activities.
Training on Saturday for the foundation licence will be available in the club rooms
at Kariong and assessments for VK and US licences will take place on Sunday at the
Field Day. Please book immediately if you are interested in these to stand a chance
of getting in.
Here's some lecture program additions -
Karen VK2AKB will be running a lecture on the hot new digital mode - FT-8 and its
operation on the HF Bands.
Col VK2ZCO will be giving a lecture on "What can you do with that old Microwave
oven?" Col has stripped out the transformer and made some modifications to
make a spot welder! He has used it to make turnstile antennas for 2m and 70 cm
Check the FIELDDAY dot ORG dot AU website for all details about the upcoming Wyong
Field day 2018. "See you at Wyong 2018".
For the Central Coast ARC this is Ed Durrant DD5LP.
73 Ed DD5LP.
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.
Nov 11 VK5 Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society HamFest (VK5KC)
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