March 11 2018 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
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WIA NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING MARCH 11 2018.
This week we have the following stories:
Board Comment from Brian VK2GCE
VK8 QSL Manager Appointed
WIA & ACMA at Asia Pacific Telecommunity meeting
Kosovo Activation Success and First Tunisian Licenses Issued
John Moyle Memorial Field Day
AMSAT Tee'ing Off and Amateur Anchors Aweigh
WSQ2 on 630M
Focus on QRP in June
Way low down at 17.8 kHz
Quantum computing and radio wave destruction
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA 2018 AND FOR WEEK OF MARCH 11
And now across to Brian.
WIA Board Director Comment - Brian VK2GCE
Hello. Brian, VK2GCE, here. How do newcomers become radio amateurs?
At the 2002 WIA Convention, a visitor from the RSGB, Geoffrey Booth G8DZJ as I recall, described the RSGB's new education system. At that time, the Australian system had 5 levels. Morse was on its way out world-wide; without Morse, the Australian system would devolve to three levels. The RSGB system had three levels, and its lowest level was below Australia's entry level - a ready-made, new, entry course, Woo Hoo!
Education in the UK is based on the Education Act of 1870, which was really a way of saving children from death by factory. It is a competitive system, based on Teaching Objectives. Your achievement was measured by closed-book responses in a fixed time - so, it measured recall and literacy, rather than technical knowledge. You got graded outcome levels, like FAIL, PASS, CREDIT
In 1990, TAFE was pioneering Competency-based Training (CBT); it was another form of competitive education, this time with only two outcomes - Competent or Not Yet Competent. Assessment did not require a fixed time. Competence was demonstrated by your getting a certain percentage of the Learning Outcomes correct.
Note: Teaching Objectives are what the teacher wants to achieve; Learning Outcomes are what students want to achieve. They're seldom the same.
Ron Smith, VK4AGS (now SK) was also at that 2002 Convention. He was the WIA Federal Education Co-ordinator and ran the Education column in AR mag for several years till his untimely death. As a senior lecturer in engineering at UCQ, Ron had hands-on experience with Problem-Based Learning (PBL). He sent me many PBL research papers from teaching colleagues around the world - I found strong resonance:
For my motor vehicle racing licence, my peers, on the track at the same time as me, assessed me.
When doing my MBA at UNSW, my fellow students assessed me in some subjects.
During my research in hospitals, I saw budding clinicians assessed by their peers.
While training to be a Lawn Tennis coach, once again, I was assessed by my peers.
Under PBL, the 'teacher' is really a facilitator; students decide their own learning outcomes and methods, and their peers assess them - hence, the Learning and Assessment go together; PBL is a co-operative system. Research shows that students set and attain higher levels of competence than in the monolithic-classroom model. Another beauty of PBL is that students can choose their own areas of expertise - whether EME, ATV, SatComms, SDR, FT-8, JT65, Morse, RTTY, construction ... or ... camouflaged back-hand top-spin lob??
By 2004 we had three models - the RSGB's, TAFE's CBT and PBL. Whether due diligence was done on any, I don't know, but the WIA bought the RSGB's system and persuaded the ACA, it was a 'good thing'. The WIA set up a Registered Training Organisation to administer this new system of Education and Assessment - allegedly along CBT lines, but with the UK notion of knowledge questions answered closed-book within a fixed time.
Any modern-day teacher can tell you that the present syllabus - really just lists of teaching plan topics - is not equivalent to CBT Learning Outcomes.
The present three-tier, linear model offers a single path to a hilltop that few new radio amateurs seek. Just look at the conversion rates from Foundation to Standard or Advanced. Some believe that 3 levels provide an incentive for candidates to access more bands and use more power. Did anyone ask candidates whether they saw graded levels as an incentive, or wanted the extra bands and power??
The 'theory' in the present Foundation learning material pre-dates Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg and Planck - but who needs atomic theory anyway? Is a radio amateur going to design a BJT, a FET or an IC? And there is not a skerrick of computing or digital comms at any AOCP level.
The new system has one benefit - new candidates for all levels must demonstrate practical ability to connect up a radio, and proper communication protocols. However, along with these safety-style items are open-book Regulations knowledge items that pen and paper, multi-guess could test, rather than invigilated surveillance of page turning.
In summary, I believe that we need to change the Learning Outcomes and the modes of Learning and Assessment:
the present antediluvian syllabus needs flexibility and relevance
Learning and Assessment must go hand in hand.
73 from Brian, VK2GCE.
New VK8 Inwards QSL Bureau Manager Appointed
A warm welcome is extended to Greg Winterflood, VK8KMD, who has been selected as the Inwards QSL Bureau Manager for the Northern Territory. Greg was first licenced in 1988 as VK8NRX, and has lived in Alice Springs for nigh on 40 years. Now retired, he served central Australia during his working career as a Flying Doctor, District Medical Officer, Emergency Department Director, Anaesthetist and General Medical Practitioner. He is an accredited WIA Assessor, and can be found most days on the ANZA DX Net.
And that comes to us from John Seamons, VK3JLS the National and Inwards QSL Manager.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL, Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART, Local News Services Vks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9 and the WW sources of the WIA.
Australia hosts international spectrum meeting
Enabling the use of future communications technologies across the Asia-Pacific region will be the focus of the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) Preparatory Group to be held from 12 to 16 March in Perth.
The APT aims to build regional positions on radiocommunications spectrum allocations to take forward to global forumsin particular the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19). This is the third of five regional summits in the lead-up to the International Telecommunication Union World Radiocommunication Conference in 2019 (WRC-19).
'The Australian Government is proud to be hosting the third meeting of the APT and is expected to attract more than 350 radiocommunication leaders from over 25 Asia-Pacific countries.
Representatives from the ITU and other regional groupsincluding the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations and the Inter-American Telecommunication Commissionwill attend the five-day meeting.
The event will also see a sizeable Australian delegation, including representatives from the Department of Defence, CSIRO, Airservices Australia, Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Bureau of Meteorology, Wireless Institute of Australia and industry technical experts.
More information on the APT Preparatory Group is available at the link on the email edition of the broadcast.
Dale Hughes VK1DSH on behalf of the WIA will be attending this meeting.
(Sourced from the ACMA Mailing List)
Kosovo Activation Success
Over 80,000 QSOs were logged for Z60A's first activation. The initial operation has now closed with delegates from ten different countries taking part. DXers from across North America, Asia and of course Europe were all busy making contacts. Local station Z61DX is now a regular on the bands with many more Kosovar voices expected to be heard on the radio spectrum.
First Tunisian Licenses Issued
In late 2017 the Tunisian Ministry of Telecommunications approved amateur radio licensing and has just recently issued the first licences to the ten who passed the licence exam. A very special ceremony was held with both the Director of the National Frequencies Agency (ANF) and the President of the Amateur Radio Association of Tunisia (ARAT) in attendance. With a prefix of 3V, Tunisia is 192nd on the DXCC most wanted list.
ARRL Requests Expanded HF Privileges for Technician Licensees
ARRL has asked the FCC to expand HF privileges for Technician licensees to include limited phone privileges on 75, 40, and 15 meters, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters.
The ARRL is looking to make the Technician Class licence the principal entry-level license class in the Amateur Service.
The ARRL petition points out the explosion in popularity of various digital modes over the past 2 decades and under the ARRL plan, the maximum HF power level for Technician operators would remain at 200 W PEP.
The ARRL sees this as a much needed re-balancing of the licence privileges. The survey responses that the ARRL received were more than 8000 which amounts to 1.1% of the amateur population in the US.
The revised Technician Licence would also provide an opportunity to refine examination preparation and training materials aimed at STEM topics, increase outreach and recruitment, work with Amateur Radio clubs, and encourage educational institutions to utilize Amateur Radio in STEM and other experiential learning programs.
The FCC has not yet invited public comment on the proposals, which stem from recommendations put forth by the ARRL Board of Directors' Entry-Level License Committee, which explored various initiatives and gauged member opinions in 2016 and 2017.
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.
Now across to Denis.
John Moyle Memorial Field Day
This Denis VK4AE, WIA coordinator for the John Moyle Memorial Field Day 2018.
This year the contest will occur over the weekend of Saturday the 17th to Sunday 18th March, 2018, the duration of the contest will be from UTC 0100 Saturday to 0059 on Sunday.
The aim of the field day contest is to encourage familiarisation with portable operation and to provide training for operations in emergency situations.
During the contest the field (portable) stations appreciate the support from home stations. However, in order to make the whole event a lot fairer, those field (portable) stations actually take part in effectively a separate event to home stations. In this way home stations are not given an unfair advantage, when compared the portable stations that do not have the advantages of a permanent antenna installation, mains power and the comfort of operating from their own home QTH. Home stations are single operator stations and
Club Stations operating from their club premises are not operating portable. Last year we had a number of club stations wanting to claim portable operation from the clubrooms as it was likely to be raining during the contest and they were not keen to actually operate portable. In addition, there were club stations who felt that operating in the local caravan park using mains power was also 'portable' operation. Of course, none of these club stations were operated according to the rules or to the spirit of the contest.
No matter how you plan to take part in the contest, after the activity is all over and the radio equipment has been packed away, there is one task that must be completed by all stations. They must submit their log for the contest for the validation of those contacts for the other stations.
There is sufficient time allowed after the contest to actually complete and submit their log to the WIA, as paper logs will be accepted as long as they are post marked 18th April and electronic logs up until midnight 25th April 2018. So there are not many excuses today for not sending in your as it can be kept electronically while the contest is under way using one of the many logging programs such as VK Contest Log by our own Mike VK3AVV. Then you simply have to submit the print file from this program to me via one of the e-mail addresses shown on the contest page on the WIA website.
Of course by submitting your log you automatically enter the contest and you never know you might even get a certificate?
Now is the time to carry on with your planning for the field day as there are only a few weeks to go before the event. There is still time to make sure that everything is in order and operating and all of the little bits and pieces that are needed to put your station onto the airwaves are all in the desired place.
Make sure that the location you had chosen is still accessible after the summer onslaught from flood and bushfire and the roads into the place have not been closed - in the interests of public safety - and that the trees that were so useful for string aerials and tent ropes in the past are still in good condition and safe to be around.
Best of luck to all in the field day and I look forward to working a few of you on the day and most of all receiving your log entry after the event.
VK SPECIAL INTEREST - EVENT NEWS
Anchors Aweigh Amateurs
Waverley Amateur Radio Society is today hosting a field day on the harbour. From 10am for six hours, mobile operators using handheld transceivers are encouraged to make as many contacts as they can from the ferries and wharves. Home based stations are invited to work the harbour stations. The Opal Card maximum fare on a Sunday is $2.60 and with the forecast of mostly sunny and light winds, things seem set for a perfect day on the water.
The 2018 Wyong field Day is the 60th Field day held by the Central Coast Amateur Radio Club, and it's the 25th to be held at Wyong Racecourse.
Held on Sunday the twenty fifth of February, the Field Day attracted nearly eight hundred visitors from all over Australia.
The Field Day program saw a combination of Field Demonstrations and Seminar presentations, along with Exhibitors, Commercial traders and Car Boot Sales.
For those who arrived early in the morning, there was a demonstration of a live contact via an amateur radio satellite. The demo was conducted by CCARC Club president, Bob VK2AOR; we caught up with him later in the afternoon;
[Bob VK2AOR 22s]It's been a while since there's been a live satellite demonstration. I put a single sideband transceiver out in the paddock with batteries to support it we did have a contact with CAS 4-B which was with Bob VK3MQ, I talk to Bob on a regular basis on the Satellites, I had quite an audience there listening in to the conversations.
This year's seminar program included a return visit from Space Weather Services, after a very popular presentation last year. Copies of the presentation materials will be uploaded to the website, https://fieldday.org.au.
The recently upgraded Wyong Racecourse Facilities meant more space undercover for traders and sellers this year, as Bob explains;
The car boot sales in the concourse was a winner, a few people were disappointed they didn't get to go up on the hill and setup but they were undercover. Another innovation that we've had is the air-conditioned marquee where the traders were all assembled today, it was certainly very comfortable with ninety five percent humidity today
And despite the cloudy conditions earlier in the morning, the rain held off until late in the afternoon when most people were packing up.
So, this year's Wyong Field Day appears to be another success for the CCARC. With a few changes this year, there are plenty of ideas and feedback to go into planning for 2019, and the sixty-first event.
Such an event takes much planning and hard work from all involved, and the Central Coast Amateur Radio Club would like to thank all those contributed to the day's success. And with some final words, here's Bob;
I'd just like to thank everyone who turned up today, to all the traders, thank you to all those that participated, just joined us, and had a good time.
Bob, VK2AOR there from the Central Coast Amateur Radio Club. I'm Mathew VK2YAP.
(Credit: Mathew VK2YAP/ ARNSW News)
Victorian D - Star Users Group
Hello to Fellow Amateurs,
My name is Allan VK3SLR Secretary of the Victorian D - Star Users Group inc, Just a quick note to remind all D - Star Members, Friends & Interested Amateurs who might like to learn about D -Star & the world of Digital.
We are holding our first Technical Day for 2018 at the Eastern Zone Amateur Radio Club in Morwell, We welcome anyone to come along we are hoping to have members present items of interest that they are using for Digital Modes, even if you need help programming radios, Advice, Tips & Tricks. We hope to have a range of members who are using various items, Radios & Hotspots so the answers your searching for should be found.
Date & Time:
24th March @ 10.00am
Eastern Zone Amateur Radio Club
The Youth Room
39-49 Well Street,
At Lunch time Tea & Coffee will be avail be along with a BBQ, we would appreciate that interested people could please RSVP myself details in the text edition of the news so that we can get a number of people to allow for catering.
So, 73 from me Allan VK3SLR
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - FINAL FRONTIER
Melbourne University Student Space Program Update
The Melbourne University Student Space Program is on the move and we thank
Gabriel VK3EXO for the following information.
From the RF perspective project personnel have successfully transmitted
packets between the ground station and the satellite radio and interfaced
the satellite radio with the flight computer and the satellite antenna has
The ACMA recently approved the frequency allocation request and will be
taking the application to the ITU on behalf of the project team. This is a
huge achievement, particularly for an entirely student led organization.
A major milestone has been passed with power-up test of everything to be
included in the satellite all laid out on a flat surface called a FlatSat.
The next step is to perform extensive software and hardware testing. The
testing will be performed over the next few weeks.
The Mission Operations website development is going well and the team is
on track for launch at the end of this year / early next year.
(Sourced from WIA News)
The www.amsat.org site has all you need to take your amateur radio interests in to space. NASA has just recently announced AMSAT's Golf-Tee and Golf-1 Cubesats have been recommended for the ninth round of the CubeSat Launch Initiative. The target date for the launch of Golf-Tee is late 2019. Other AMSAT satellites Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1E are scheduled for launch in 2018. And for DXers, there are plenty of rare grids and satellite QSOs to be found in orbit.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- YLs AROUND THE WORLD
Australian Ladies Amateur Radio Association (ALARA) was formed in 1975. Membership now sits at over 200. There are a range of membership options for joining ALARA or receiving the ALARA newsletter. You can even sponsor overseas friends into ALARA. Check out www.alara.org.au
YL's Win Awards
Radio Club of America Young Achiever Award
Last week we introduced Ruth Willet, KM4LAO, This week we bring you the news that Ruth has been awarded the Radio Club of America's Young Achiever's Award. Willet is a sophomore at Kettering University, in Flint, MI, majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Physics. She alternates academic terms at school with a co-op job at Textron Specialized Vehicles in Augusta, GA. Willet, an Extra class operator, volunteers at many community events and has received several operating awards and college scholarships.
The RCA Young Achiever Award is presented to students in high school, or younger, who have demonstrated excellence and creativity in wireless communications and who have given a presentation at the annual RCA Technical Symposium.
YL Wins ARRL Amateur of the Year
YL Valerie Hotzfeld, NV9L of Crescent City, IL has been chosen as the 2018 Amateur of the Year by the ARRL. Valerie became a ham in 2006 and is an Extra Class. She was a member of the team of ham radio operators who went to Puerto Rico to help the Red Cross in their hurricane efforts last year. Congratulations, Valerie.
YLs Doing Fun Stuff
Introducing Kimberly Jansen ZL2KEJ and her Arduino based CW Trainer. Kimberly likes the idea of working portable from a summit and CW is a great way to heard if you want to operate QRP portable. She wanted something that she could practice both Straight Key and Paddle on but, also have the ability for it to decode CW from the radio while she honed her own transcribing. She also wanted something that she could take to a summit rather than need to take a laptop. So she built her own. You can check out her build and even build your own at the link in the text version of this broadcast.
I'm Kimberly Olsen VK2KMI for the WIA National News
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP NEWS - LOWDOWN & DIGITAL
630M group playing WSQ2
Recently the 630metre group has been very active on a new mode called WSQ2. This mode was developed by Murray Greenman ZL1BPU/ZL1EE and Con Wassilieff ZL2AFP/ZL2EE.After these two experienced some frustration with the weak signal non-QSO WSPR mode and slow QSO modes like Jason so, they decided to create their own and fast enough for a QSO functionality.
Enter WSQ or Weak Signal QSO mode - it uses Incremental Frequency Keying (IFK), making it moderately drift-proof and easy to tune. It has not error correction and even though it's baud rate is slower than Jason each symbol carries more information. It is equivalent of typing about 5 wpm.
There is a new sensitive waterfall display is used for tuning and you can see signals on the waterfall down to -25dB. It uses long integration to defeat impulse noise and uses phase coherent keying so you can transmit it using a typical LF/MF Class C, D or E (non-linear) amplifier without distortion.
WSQ uses 33 tones, spaced 1.953125Hz apart, resulting in a signal bandwidth of 64.4Hz, including the keying sidebands.
Couple that with being able to run the software on a low range notebook and you have a weak signal QSO mode down to -30dB that is definitely worth a look.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- QRP and WEAK SIGNAL COMMUNICATION
IARU R3 QRP Day - June 17
Ken Yamamoto JA1CJP who is the Secretary, IARU Region 3 reminds us of the IARU QRP Activities day on June 17 each year.
The interest in QRP activities is everlasting in the amateur radio community worldwide. QRP radio communications demonstrate high ability of radio amateurs, and offers advantages like the reduction of QRM on the amateur bands and more efficient use of the radio spectrum.
Back in 1997 the 10th IARU Region 3 Conference held in Beijing has resolved to support and promote the QRP day, foster regular activities and publications, ensure QRP sections in national contests and assist societies with promotion and development of QRP.
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - LOW DOWN
Sub 9 kHz Yahoo Group:- https://groups.yahoo.com/group/sub9khz/
There was an interesting posting on the Very Low Frequency mailing list in the last week about signals on 17.8 kHz (yes high audio!) which come from TACAMO aircraft. These are Boeing E-6B Mercury aircraft fitted out with a wide range of communications including a VLF transmitter capable of some 200kW.
In order to transmit at VLF, the aircraft circles slowly in a tight orbit at high altitude and runs out a trailing wire antenna. The antenna is a pair of wires: a long wire about 8km trails almost vertically and forms the counterpoise to a shorter wire, about a km long, which is the transmitting wire and which follows the aircraft more closely.
These are used for submarine communications and some experimenter's in the group were measuring the phase of the 17.8 kHz signal and determining some of the parameters of the aircraft's orbit.
March 10 - VK5 - RSGB Commonwealth Contest - VK5WIA
March 10 - WW - Summit to Summit Event - EU-VK
Today - March 11 - VK2 - Sydney Amateur Radio Ferry Contest - Waverley ARS
March 12 - ARNSW 2018 Upgrade Course
March 17 & 18 - VK7 - Meet The Voice Event - Ross Tasmania
March 17 & 18 - VK - John Moyle Memorial Field Day Contest
March 24 - VK3 - D-Star Technical Day Eastern Zone ARC
March 24 - VK2 - Club Auction / Sale Day - Wagga ARC
March 25 - VK3 - EMDRC HamFest Great Ryrie Primary School Heathmont
March 31 - Apr 1 - VK4 - Urunga Radio Convention - Urunga
April 7-8 - VK3 - Antennapalooza 2018 - EMDRC, GGREC, MDRC & FAMPARC at Drouin in VK3
April 18 - WW - World Amateur Radio Day - IARU
April 22 - VK6 - Hill Amateur Radio Group HARGFest Swapmeet 10:00-14:00
April 22 - VK5 - South Coast Amateur Radio Club Annual Buy, Swap and Sell 10:00-15:00
May 4 -7 - VK4 Clairview Gathering ( between Rockhampton/Mackay )
May 18 to 20 - VK4 - WIA Radio & Electronics Convention & AGM weekend
June 9 & 10 - 2018 South East Radio Group's Convention and Australian Fox Hunting Championship - Mt Gambier
Jun 9 & 10 - VK2 - Oxley Region ARC Field Weekend - Oxley Radio ARC
June 17 - IARU R3 - 2018 QRP Day Region 3
July 7 & 8 - VK3 GippsTech 2018 - The 21st annual Gippsland Technical Conference vk3bez.org
August 11 & 12 - VK - Remembrance Day Contest
August 18 & 19 - WW - Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend
October 6 - WW - Oceania DX contest
Nov 11 VK5 - Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society HamFest
WEIRD AND WONDERFUL
This week's big news from the ICT industry was Google announcing their new quantum processor - Bristlecone, a new quantum computer chip with the record-setting power of 72 quantum bits (qubits).
Traditional computers perform their calculations in binary, so every bit of data is represented as either a zero or a one. Thanks to the quirky science that is quantum mechanics, a qubit can be in a superposition of both, effectively representing both a zero and a one at the same time. That means the power of a quantum computing system scales exponentially - two qubits can represent four states at once, three qubits represent eight, and so on.
As a result, quantum computers are great at performing simultaneous operations, processing all of these states at the same time where classic computers would have to run through each in turn.
Bristlecone, boasts a staggering 72 qubits. These are arranged in a square array, and get their quantum nature through superconductivity, which allows them to represent multiple states by conducting current in two directions at once.
Qubits are notoriously fragile, and outside fluctuations can introduce memory errors that undermine the whole calculation. To get around that problem, a few years ago theGoogle Quantum AI Lab developed a quantum error correction (QEC) technique, and demonstrated it in a system with nine qubits.
What does this have to do with radio I hear you ask - well there are many radio applications that use large complex mathematical arrays to calculate say - electromagnetic fields around antennas or fourier transforms for weak signal work. Quantum computing would see the calculation times fall dramatically. Exciting times ahead.
(Sourced from New Atlas - https://newatlas.com/google-research-bristlecone-quantum-processor/53695/)
Circuits self-destruct in response to radio waves
Perfect for spies behind enemy lines - an electronic device that can be remotely disabled. That's why scientists from Cornell University and Honeywell Aerospace have developed a method of vaporizing electronic circuits, without laying a hand on the actual device.
The Cornell researchers have created a silicon-dioxide microchip packaged within a polycarbonate shell and in the shell are microscopic cavities filled with rubidium and sodium biflouride.
When exposed to a certain frequency of radio waves, tiny graphene-on-nitride valves between the cavities open, allowing the chemicals to mix and react. The reaction releases heat and hydrofluoric acid to etch away the electronics.
This process does not need water like the previous "transient electronics,".
Possible applications include data protection and environmental sensors that can be remotely vaporized once they're no longer needed.
(Sourced from the New Atlas WebEzine)
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