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WIA Director Marcus, vk5wtf, announces WIA YOTA involvement

WIA News Callbacks, Gordon VK4VP with a reminder about emails


Sydney to Hobart 2018 - pilgrimage to our shacks

Boxing Day, the start of a fun filled time for several amateurs in

The event? The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

For the last several years, VK's 4TMZ, 7ZCR, 7EV and 7VKT have
undertaken the role of being volunteer monitors of the frequencies
used in the Sydney to Hobart classic. They do this as an extension
of the main stream amateur hobby, a bit of fun and the odd bit of

With an array of radios and SDR devices, the frequencies are
monitored 24/7 during the race, listening out for any reports of
damage, emergency incidents, retirements and so on. Every second of
the race is recorded and uploaded to the cloud where Mark, VK4TMZ,
who spends countless hours perfecting these systems reviews each
5 minute block of audio received by each feed of each operator that
has been sent to the cloud storage for review any message that has
been sent.

Many messages are received in the first instance but confirmation of
the message is done via the recording.

Why you ask?

Well, main stream media organisations that are based overseas as well
as in Australia appreciate their efforts in providing them with the
fastest and most reliable source of news for this event, as it is
from the horse's mouth so to speak and verified by the recording.
This news is quickly put up on various websites and news feeds by
these journalist, that receive thousands of hits an hour. This year
there were around a dozen feeds from various locations being recorded.

As history has shown, a couple of sources and HF do not go hand
in hand with reliable reception. Mark has absolutely nailed it and
with Clayton VK7ZCR having perfected the art of SDR reception of the
two frequencies used being 4483khz and 6516khz, the end result has
been extremely reliable feeds providing the said organisations with
the most current news.

Not much sleep has been had but boy I'm told it's fun listening for
calls during the wee hours of the morning. Eric VK7EV has provided
the system with some fantastic audio being from the North West Coast.

VK7VKT struck gold this year with a couple of the media outlets
organising media accreditation to go out on a media vessel to
photograph the line honours battle on their behalf. Now that may
stir up a picture of some luxury cruiser making its way down to the
Iron Pot after a 3am start and being on hand in the media centre at
Mawson's Pavilion for when the boats depart to head down the river.
But you would be mistaken, Try a RHIB travelling at 40 knots heading
down the river with a southerly coming up the river.

Sitting 20 metres off the side of the big maxi yachts getting some
great images. Tony still cannot get the grin off his face.

A big thank you to Mark, VK4TMZ who puts so much work into this
that allows the mentioned VK7's to enjoy this segment of our hobby.

(vk7wi news)


VI25AJ is a special event station which will be active at the
Australian Scout Jamboree between 4th - 14th January.

Robert Broomhead, past WIA Director has some exciting news!

"On the 12th of January, Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI will establish a phone
connection from Talem Bend in South Australia to ISS astronaut
Mike Fossum KF5AQG, enabling Scouts at the 25th Australian Jamboree
to ask him questions about life on board the international space

Back home on earth now, Mike finds it easy enough to have a
conversation with these young Scouts: He is, after all, the
leader of a troop of Scouts himself in the United States.

This event will take place at 10:30 a.m. SA Summer time (00:00 UTC)
on Saturday morning 12th and will be streamed live to EchoLink and
IRLP by Bob, VK4DA and the British Amateur Television Club site By
Shane, VK4KHZ. The contact will also be broadcast live via the local
FM radio station from the Jamboree site.

The exchange will have an impressive audience locally as well: It's
expected that 8,000 to 9,000 scouts will be attending this event.
Members of the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group and the Adelaide
Hills Amateur Radio Society will be there at the Jamboree as well,
promoting our hobby of Amateur Radio.

For WIA National News this is Robert VK3DN."


WIA and Amateur Radio Newsline Newsman John Williams VK4JJW is
suffering the consequences of RECKLESS FLYING!

Into the Devil's Triangle no less (the Tasmanian Devil's Triangle,

John's (JJW) Christmas present, nothing less than a full sized drone!


Seems it went to High - to Far - To Quick

VERY sad indeed. We're going to have to sign that fellow up for some
piloting lessons.

Not sure the warranty covers "wandering off to points unknown" as
reason for replacement...........I hope Baci his Wonder Dog
has the ability sniff it out for him.......

Meanwhile I do wonder if we should seek the deployment of bloodhounds
and top detectives in the never-ending search for a rogue drone in

Has anyone checked out 'Crash Converters ? '

You recall the famous "Twilight Zone" created by Rod Serling?
Well this device could well be the..........'TWILIGHT DRONE!"

( Written, with apologies, to VK4JJW by VK3DN / VK4BB / KU2GUT )


Hello, this is WIA Director Marcus, vk5wtf!

Welcome to the new year!

Another year gone, and it was a big year me, what about you?
It was the year I first played with DMR, went back to a QRP shack
and built a fully self-contained balloon tracking computer
cluster made up of 4 Raspberry Pi class computers.

And of course, none of us are getting younger!

But what about engaging and connecting with those who are younger
in this amazing hobby. Many of us saw something magic about radios
before we turned 18, but many didn't get their licence until later
in life; and this shows in the rough numbers of amateur licences in
Australia. There was something else that stuck out, the numbers
below the age of 30 are quite low.

What can we do?

The WIA is getting ready to support the younger members of our
community, through events like December YOTA month. YOTA is now
a well-established community in region 1. The WIA has put its
support behind, and voted for seed funding to establish YOTA in
region 3.

This is where we need your help!

Are you listening to this and under the age of 30?

Do you know someone who isn't listening and is under the age of 30?

Do you work with those under the age of 30 who have an interest?

Do you know someone interested in electronics and tinkering?

Well, we want to hear from you! You can contact myself or the WIA
secretary by email, a number of social media
channels or any other creative means. This is not a call for
volunteers and you don't need to be a member, this is a call to get
in contact with that demographic and build something amazing. You
can also pass on my details to those not listening.

My email address is

73, this is vk5wtf, signing off.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club,
the WIA.


Special prefix

The Swiss national radio society Union Schweizerischer Kurzwellen
Amateure (USKA) is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year (2019)

Throughout the whole year:-
HB9-stations may use the prefix HB90, together with their suffix;
HB3-stations likewise the prefix HB30.


AM stations fall silent

Chris Greenway has tweeted about the closure of AM Medium Wave
stations in Belgium and the Netherlands on December 31

Just a few days since the last Belgian AM (mediumwave) transmitters
went silent. Years ago in SE England, one could easily listen, in
daytime, to AM radio from a number of neighbouring countries
(Belgium, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway) on an ordinary

No longer!

Though listeners in all of those countries continue to be able to
listen to the many AM stations still active in the UK.

Along with the last two Belgian AM stations (621 & 1125 kHz), the
only remaining high-power AM station in the Netherlands (1008 kHz)
also closed December 31.

Spain and the UK have become the only countries in western Europe
with a substantial presence on the AM band. The band is also still
used to some extent further east. The most powerful AM transmitter
in Europe is in Hungary (1,000 kilowatts on 540 kHz).

Follow Chris Greenway on


The UK regulator, Ofcom, have recently started issuing G5 + 3 letter
callsigns to radio amateurs

In the last century, from 1966 until 1981, G5 + 3 letter calls were
issued to foreign citizens as Reciprocal licences:

From 1981 reciprocal callsigns no longer had a separate Prefix,
instead they were issued from the standard Class A (G4) and
Class B (G6) call blocks.

In this century, Ofcom has, when requested, reissued a few of the
old G5 + 3 letter callsigns to their previous holders, but recently
have started issuing new calls from the G5 block.

One of the beneficiaries has been the G-QRP Club, which is devoted
to Low Power operation. That club now have the callsign G 5 LOW


A Silicon Valley startup that caught the FCC's attention in January
2018 after launching four experimental satellites from India has been
fined $900,000 by the United States agency, a civil penalty for the
unapproved launch and operation of the ultra-tiny so-called

The SpaceBEES were launched barely a month after the FCC denied the
company's application to deploy the quartet of satellites.


Ham radio exam success in Cuba

The FRC report a 96.95% pass rate in the amateur radio exams held
in Cuba, December 22.

The exams were taken by 263 people of whom 255 passed.

137 passing Category 3
60 Category 2 and
58 the highest license exam, Category 1



All major Australian contests, rules and results, are on the
Contest Section of the WIA website.

Ted Powell Memorial Dx Challenge

The October to December period of the Ted Powell Memorial DX
Challenge for 2018 has now closed and entries are open until
14 January.

The objective of the challenge is to work the most wanted
DXCC entities based on their ranking in Clublog's "Most Wanted" list,
which is published on the contest website.

All Australian amateurs are eligible to enter and entering is easy.
You don't need to be a serious DXer. If you've worked any DX during
October to December, head over to and submit an entry.
The website is tidy and easy to understand. Scroll down to the
"Entry Submission" section where you will find a number of simple
ways to submit your entry.

This is a fun and relaxed challenge where you work DX in your
own time over a 3 month period. It's easy, and submitting an entry
only takes a few minutes.

The website again...

(Peter VK2PR on behalf of the Fisher's Ghost Amateur Radio Club)


ARRL RTTY Roundup January 5 - 6
This contest will, for the first time, permit the use of FT8 as well
as traditional RTTY.

Summer VHF /UHF Field Day. Saturday 12 Sunday 13 January

John Moyle Field Day is March 17 and 18

20th Harry Angel Memorial Sprint May 4

Trans-Tasman Low-Band Contest July 20

VK Remembrance Day Contest is August 17-18



Masada Fortress special event THIS weekend

Members of the Holy Land DX Group will operate from the heart of
'Masada Fortress' as 4 X 0 M between January 4-6th, 2019.

Built by King Herod the Great, Masada, was designated a UNESCO
World Heritage in 2001. From its strategic perch in the Judean Desert
overlooking the Dead Sea, this historically famous palace fortress is
one of the most visited tourist sites in all of Israel.

For more info, see:

Activity will start on Friday, January 4th, at 0730 UTC, and close
down on Sunday, January 6th, 0600 UTC.

80-10 meters using CW and SSB.

QSL Manager is Antonello, IK2DUW


Columbian Special Event

Look for special event station 5 K 6 RM to be active during the
Manizales Fair between January 5-12th.
QSL via Bureau
For more details, see:

Michael OE 6 MBG is in the Seychelles signing S 79 AA from
5th January until 2nd February QRV on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m
running 400w.
Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.


Roland F 8 EN is back in Gabon until mid-March.
He is using his TR8CR callsign on 40 - 17m on CW and SSB.
QSL manager is F6AJA.


DF13, German special event

Look for special event stations with Prefix's DF13 to be active
until June 30th, 2019.

This to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the maiden flight of the
Junkers F-13, The first all-metal built airplane, was introduced
to civil aviation and is the mother of all commercial aircraft.

All QSOs will be automatically confirmed after July 15th, 2019, with
a QSL card via Bureau. If you do not need a QSL card, let them know.

Send direct QSLs via DM2TO -- shipping starting after August 1st,

For more details and info on awards, see

Alexei RD 1 AV is now QRV as RI 1 ANV from Vostok Research Station
in the Antarctic. This callsign replaces RI 1 ANC which expired on
Christmas Eve. QSL manager is RN 1 ON.


Peter, DC 0 KK is QRV as 4 S 7 KKG from Moragalla, IOTA AS-003, until
April 1, 2019. Activity is on the HF bands using mainly CW and various
digital modes.

Andre ON7YK is active from his station in Gambia using the callsign
C 5 YK. He will be there until early March 2019.
QSL to his home call ON7YK



Paul Gaskell G4MWO, Editor of the 5 MHz Newsletter advises the
latest edition, No 22 - Autumn/Winter 2018 is now available for
free pdf download from the 'External Links' section of the Wikipedia
60m Band page

or the RSGB 5 MHz page

This edition includes 5 MHz news from 10 countries, features the
latest number of CEPT countries on 5 MHz, Exercise Blue Ham 100
and an article on Taking Care on 5357.

This is Gordon VK4VP with a reminder about the news call-back

As most people are aware at the end of the WIA news broadcast there
is usually a process to record the number of listeners that heard
the news. The number of listeners is forwarded back to the WIA so
there is a record of how many people heard the news.

The most important task is to check-in at the end of the news so you
are counted and the second most important task is to get those
numbers back to the right person via email.

This is the responsibility of the call-back co-ordinator that records
the numbers and these are then sent to

There are still a couple that come into the old email address so this
is just a reminder if you haven't sent numbers in for a while or
have an old email address in your list of contacts to update the

Once again that is

Well until next time, this is Gordon VK4VP.



Soyuz Flight Deploys DStar Amateur Radio Satellites

The Soyuz flight on December 27th carrying a pair of Kanopus V remote
sensing satellites also deployed two German Orbital Systems
D-Star ONE satellites:

D-Star ONE - Sparrow
D-Star ONE - iSat.

Beacons have been successfully received. These satellites carry a
D-STAR parrot repeater that will be available for use by amateur
radio operators. The uplink is 437.325 MHz and the downlink is
435.525 MHz.

More information on the launch and other payloads deployed can be
found at



The start of the new year is bringing a new net for participants in
the Christian Amateur Radio Fellowship:

It's a VoIP Net and it will first meet on the first Saturday of 2019
that's January 5th at 2 p.m. Central Time in the U.S.

The net is being made possible with the help of the DigicommCafe and
the Alabama Link and can be found on EchoLink, Allstar, and D-STAR.

For more details visit the website

Everyone is welcome regardless of denomination.



Spacecraft flies past most distant world ever studied by humankind.

Sky News UK reports a NASA spacecraft has flown past the most distant
world ever studied - sparking jubilant celebrations from scientists.

The New Horizons spacecraft paid a visit to the tiny, icy world of
Ultima Thule, which lies one billion miles beyond Pluto, in the early
hours of New Year's Day.

Roughly 20 miles long and shaped like a giant peanut, the mysterious
object lies four billion miles from Earth.

Clear images of the cosmic body are expected to emerge in the coming

As crowds cheered at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
in Maryland, the mission's lead scientist Alan Stern said:
"Go New Horizons! Never before has a spacecraft explored something
so far away."



A group of French and Belgian operators will travel to Sierra Leone
and activate Banana Island from 9th - 21st January.
The IOTA reference is AF-037 and the callsign will be 9LY1JM.


Philippe F 6 OBD will sign FK/F6OBD until 20th February on HF
using wire antennas. New Caledonia has the IOTA reference OC-032.
QSL via the bureau to his home call.



Hallo everyone, this is Clive VK6CSW reminding you that there is no
RAOTC broadcast tomorrow morning.

The first Radio Amateur's Old Timers Club of Australia's bulletin for
2019 will be on Monday February 4th.

On behalf of the RAOTC I wish everyone a happy and safe New Year and
we look forward to bringing you our first bulletin on Monday,
February 4th.

73 from Clive, VK6CSW.

A Youth Net meets Saturdays at 0100 UTC on IRLP Reflector #2.
Young Hams Net 3.590 - 7:30pm Victorian time.

Radio activity youngsters will enjoy

Over in the UK, the Shropshire Star's Toby Neal reports that amateur
radio enthusiasts helped youngsters beat the post-Christmas blues
with a technology and communications activity day in Wellington.

Aimed at the current generation of tech-mad children, it is called
Youngsters On The Air, and was at the 2nd Wellington Scouts' hut
Sunday, December 30.

The Wellington YOTA event - which was part of the global event -
included a live radio station where they spoke to other youngsters
around the world and used special event radio station, "GB 1 8YOTA."

The day included light beams to communicate with others, operating
a digital TV station, using hand-held radio to send signals up to
satellites to speak all over the world and also many other hands-on

Read the full article by Toby Neal

(sourced to SouthGate)

"My name is Izzy M6TZI and my videos will introduce you to
Amateur Radio. The first one is about waves, amplitude, frequency
and the range of human hearing.

I use a signal generator and oscilloscope and I am helped by Lily."

That's the voice of Izzy M6TZI who has produced some introductory
videos on amateur radio, two so far, one on Waves and one on AM and
FM Modulation.

The link to M6TZI's You Tube Vid's is in the text edition


2019 Social Scene

VK4 TARC Australia Day Long Week Family Radio Camp Jan 24-28 (tarc)

VK3 Melbourne QRP by the Bay (Chelsea Beach) Feb 2 at 3pm. (P Parker)

Melbourne QRP by the Bay is an occasional gathering of
homebrewers, QRPers and portable operators. Normally between
about 15 and 30 people show up for a very convivial couple
of hours.

Bring yourself, an idea and an interesting piece of equipment.

Gather at Chelsea beach near the lifesaving club. Afterwards many
go for tea at a local restaurant.

That's 3pm Saturday February 2, 2019 for Melbourne QRP by the Bay
at Chelsea beach.

More details on the Facebook event page at

VK2 - Wyong Field Day Feb 24 (vk2kfu)

VK7 - Meet the Voice event at Ross March 23-24 (vk7news)

VK4 - Redfest 2019 April 13 (vk4tfn)

VK5 - BRL Radio Group Annual Gathering, Overland Corner, S.A
April 6 (vk5la)

VK3 - Ballarat Amateur Radio Group, BARG Hamvention Oct 27 (vk3kqt)

2020 Social Scene

ALARAMEET 2020 Bendigo (vk5yl)

October 2020 in Bendigo Victoria.

Heidi VK3FHID and Jenny VK3WQ are leading the team who are planning
an eventful weekend. This team is meeting regularly and are looking
forward to seeing you in Bendigo.

Christmas Past


Next week on this WIA newscast our International Explorer Jason
VK2LAW will look into the Chines ELF.


Extremely Low Frequency radio waves, are also known as ELF waves.

China has built a giant experimental radio antenna on a piece of
land almost five times the size of New York City!

This Wireless Electromagnetic Method project took 13 years to build
but researchers said that it was now finally ready to emit
extremely low frequency radio (ELF waves.)

Although the project has civilian applications - officially it
will be used for earthquake and mineral detection and forms part
of China's 11th five-year plan - it could also play a crucial
role in military communications.

Scientists said that its transmissions could be picked up by
a submarine lurking hundreds of metres under the sea, thus
reducing the vessel's risk of having to resurface to receive

The project follows the construction of China's first
military-grade Super Low Frequency transmission station in 2009.

That and much much more in next week's edition of the news
you can trust - WIA NATIONAL NEWS.

Submitting news items

A reminder when supplying HamFest info we obviously can't plug
commercial traders "on air", but we at the WIA will put your
supporters in this text edition "no worries."

If you would like to submit news items for inclusion in the
VK1WIA broadcasts, please email your item in text to and don't JUST send url's links,
but take the time to pen YOUR contribution.

To submit audio read "how to submit items" in the weekly news page on

We would appreciate items no longer than 2 minutes in length as we
only have a half hour.

Remember the sooner you submit material the more the likelihood of it
being broadcast in the very next edition of WIA National News.
Each item will only be broadcast once, if you want a couple of
mentions, please submit different slants to keep your event 'fresh'
and always if the news room is to read your item ---
write it in the 3rd person.



WIANews - we've reported...YOU decide.


Societies and Club News Letter Editors can EXCHANGE a feed prior to
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even get a "cheerio call".

Thanks to our dedicated band of broadcast volunteers who utilize
their time and equipment in bringing you this weekly broadcast.
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The purpose of "WIANews" is to rapidly provide news of interest to
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We strongly encourage membership in the Wireless Institute of
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Opinions expressed in "WIANews" are those of the writers who submit
material and do not necessarily reflect those of the rebroadcasters,
nor the National WIA, but if broadcast, are done so in the spirit in
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