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SARC at the GREAT EASTERN FLY-IN January 12-13

Summerland (that's Lismore region vk2) club is again be at the
Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome for the annual fly-in.

Their main task is to record the air traffic and they also will be
promoting the club and amateur radio. The local CTAF is 124.2 MHz AM.

Weather permitting, this event attracts big crowds and provides
joy flights and lots of private aircraft to look at close-up.

A bonus feature is a display of vintage and veteran cars, and you
can also visit the Aviation Museum in the historic Bellman hanger.

For further information including a site map, go to the fly-in

CQ CQ Contest, this is VK1A, VK1A calling CQ contest.
That's right, VK1-ALPHA."

A group of Amateurs recently met with the ACMA and discussed several
topics. One topic that received positive feedback was the possibility
of 2*1 callsigns for use during contests.

Until such time as the ACMA tender outcome has been made public this
proposal is on hold. It is likely that a committee will be formed to
review options at that time.

More information is available at

Tropospheric Ducting Event hits NBN Fixed Wireless Services

The NBN fixed Wireless Services in Northern Tasmania, South and East
coast of Victoria suffered from a tropospheric ducting event in
recent days and it is being handled as a major incident.

The interference ranges from the north coast of Tasmania to the
south and south east of Victoria and if you take a look at the
Hepburn Charts for the recent period you will see some interesting

These NBN services run on 2.3 and 3.4 GHz and can deliver up to a
50 Mbps service.

Justin VK7TW said the NBN media release labelled the event as
"thermal ducting" and has the possibility of affecting approximately
30,000 to 40,000 users. The disruption can be in the form of
speed degradation, voice clipping, or potentially a complete
loss of service.


Happy new year!

This is Aidan, VK4APM for this week's board comment.

2018 was a year dedicated to righting the ship and dealing with sins
of the past.

As the dawn rises on 2019 we look forward to an exciting and future
focussed year for Amateur Radio in Australia. Over the coming
months we expect:

A new qualification system to be implemented and regardless of who
the ACMA selects this promises to positively change the landscape of
Amateur Radio in Australia.

We will begin delivering a number of new services of value to both
Amateur Radio and the wider community. The IT Team will be bringing
online a range of upgraded information technology systems. Several
new teams will be introducing themselves to the amateur community.

But first up for 2019, we are happy to announce a change which,
frankly, has been a long time coming.

Many of you belong to clubs and associations which provide
discounted or free membership for a period of time after an operator
has passed their foundation course to encourage the new operator to
be part of the community.

At a recent meeting the WIA board voted to provide a level of
complimentary WIA membership to all operators who receive new
qualifications. During discussion on this matter the issue of
"fairness" to those who have recently completed qualifications was
robustly discussed with a further decision being taken to begin this
program from the first of January, 2018.

So what does this all mean I hear you ask.

If you receive an AOCP (Foundation, Standard or Advanced) at any time
since the first of January, 2018 and are not a member of the WIA you
are eligible for a complimentary 1 year WIA membership.

If you are already a WIA member (now, or when you receive your
qualification in the future) you are eligible to receive a 1 year
membership extension or a $100 discount off a 5 year membership.

If this is you, or someone you know all that is needed is a
completed WIA membership form and a copy of the relevant AOCP
qualification showing the date of qualification being later than the
1 January 2018 email it to

I hope everyone has a fantastic 2019, until next time, that's all
from me, VK4APM.

Renewing Amateur Radio Licences - A Reminder

It can happen to anybody - you forget to renew your licence and it
lapses. When you ask the ACMA, they tell you that a WIA callsign
recommendation is needed after which you make a new licence

Although the ACMA sends licence renewal notices, that's not an
obligation under the Radiocommunications Act. The ACMA sends the
notice as a courtesy, but if the renewal notice doesn't arrive for
some reason, it's still your responsibility to renew on time.
In fact, it's always the licensee's responsibility to ensure that a
licence is current.

So check: do you know your licence expiry date, and are your address
details correct? What about your callsign? Well, your callsign needs
to be protected too if you're attached to it. Your callsign
indicates that you hold a valid licence, but if your licence lapses
and is not renewed, your callsign is released and will be put on the
WIA Public List 60 days after the lapse date. After 7 days the WIA
will issue a Callsign Recommendation to whoever wants it - with
ballot provisions applying to 2-letter callsign in some states. So
the message is: if you don't want to fight to get your call back,
keep your licence current.

Full information of the process and forms needed can be read at
'All about Callsigns' and 'New licence or expired licence, or
reclaiming a former callsign' - on the WIA website at


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


China's new antenna is five times the size of New York City, but
some fear it could be a cancer risk

The project took 13 years to build but researchers said that it was
finally ready to emit extremely low frequency radio waves, also
known as ELF waves. Those waves have been linked to cancer by the
World Health Organisation-affiliated International Agency for
Research on Cancer.

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.

The project follows the construction of China's first military-grade
Super Low Frequency transmission station in 2009. But the Chinese Navy
is eager to expand its capacity and has been pouring resources into
the more advanced ELF radio technology, which allows submarines to
communicate with the command centre from a greater depth and is
harder to disrupt.


A very successful year at the NRC

The RSGB's National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park welcomed 55,232
people through the doors in 2018, introducing the vast majority of
them to amateur radio for the first time.

Well done to Martyn, G0GMB and his team of volunteers who keep the
NRC running. Volunteers look forward to welcoming visitors seven days
a week.

RSGB members can download a free entry voucher for Bletchley Park
from the RSGB website.

Special 80M News Bulletin on Sunday 20th January

50 years ago on the 19th January, the first IRTS Radio News
broadcast was made by Bill McIlwaine EI9F (SK), who read the
news bulletin using AM.

The same bulletin was broadcast on SSB later that day on 80M by
Jim Bartlett EI2BB.

The first broadcast on VHF was made by Shane McNamee EI2A (SK).

To mark this important anniversary, Jim Bartlett EI2BB will read the
80M news on Sunday 20th January, at the usual 80M news time of
12:00 noon on 3.650 MHz.

For this special broadcast Jim will read both the News bulletin from
that day 50 years ago and also the current News bulletin.

Jim will then take the call-in after the news to complete this
special broadcast.


MIT Radio Society, EE and Computer Science Department Hosting
Radio Technology Lectures

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Radio Society (W1MX)
and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
are hosting a series of public lectures on "everything radio,"
presented by academics and industry professionals.

The series began Tuesday, January 8 and sessions live-streamed via

Each self-contained talk addresses a different facet of radio,
ranging from modulation, propagation, and Amateur Radio, to radar,
radio astronomy, space-based applications, and cellular and 5G

Registration Opens for 70th International DX Convention

Registration has opened for the 70th meeting of the International DX
Convention April 12 - 14 at the Convention Centre in Visalia,

The convention will include Contest Academy training, seminars,
keynote presentations, contest and DX forums, and dinners.

DXCC QSL card checking will be available.

Some three dozen exhibitors will attend. More than 700 avid DXers
and contesters looking to improve their skills and reconnect with
their peers are expected to attend.



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


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

This weekend sees the popular VHF-UHF Summer Field Day for 2019.

The field day aims are:
to encourage more activity on VHF and microwave bands;
to encourage people to work greater distances than usual
by operating portable, and
to provide opportunities for people to activate or work
into new grid squares.

However the overriding aim is to get away for the weekend and have

Want to participate?

The Field Days have separate sections for single and multiple
operator stations. The duration of the Field Day is 24 hours
but there are also 8 hour sections for operators who may not be able
to camp overnight. Most club stations prefer to operate for the
full 24 hours.

The Field Days also generate plenty of activity from home stations,
so there is also a separate Home Station section.

All contacts must be simplex: contacts through repeaters or
satellites are not allowed. There is plenty of FM activity
but one feature of the Field Days is a high level of SSB activity.

It is possible to do very well with only modest antennas if you pick
a good hilltop.

Another option, if your station is easily transportable, is to
operate from more than one location during the contest period.

Good luck and good DX this weekend.

W.I.A. John Moyle Memorial Field Day 16-17 March 2019

John Moyle Annual Field Day is a contest to encourage as many
stations as possible to participate in portable station operation.
The contest is conducted in many categories and most bands on,
HF, VHF, UHF and SHF. Club stations are encouraged to operate as a
portable station.


20th Harry Angel Memorial Sprint May 4

Trans-Tasman Low-Band Contest July 20

VK Remembrance Day Contest is August 17-18


SD Contesting logging App now free

With effect from January 1, version 21 of the logging App SD by
EI5DI is free and unrestricted

SD supports hundreds of contests worldwide.

SD runs on Windows, and on Linux with Wine, and on Raspberry Pi 3
with Wine and Exagear (from

No registration or key file is required. SD will continue to be
supported and updated, and users can request help by emailing

Further information on SD is at


Italian wireless pioneers award scheme

ARI Fidenza and the Guglielmo Marconi Foundation has announced an
award scheme based major Italian pioneers in wireless and radio
technology, or the main artifices of those fundamental discoveries
and practical achievements that have made possible the birth of
wireless communications and subsequent progress in radio technology.

Running from the 1st of January to the 31st of December 2019, twelve
commemorative radio stations with special callsigns will alternate
throughout the year. Each month is dedicated to a specific scientist.

Further details can be found on



V47UR is on the air from Calypso Bay, St Kitts Island, NA-104,
8th to the 20th of January.
Activity on the 160 to 6m bands using CW and SSB.
QSL via Logbook of The World.

T2AR is on the air until the 31st of January on the HF bands,
including 160m. QSL to his home callsign 3D2AG
In addition T2AT is on the HF bands using FT8.
QSL via N7SMI.

S79AA from Mahe, AF-024, is on air until the 2nd of February.
Activity is on the 160 to 10m bands, plus 6m as conditions permit,
using CW and SSB. QSL via Logbook of The World.

On air is 9 M 2 MRS from Penang Island, IOTA reference AS-015,
until the 15th of February. Activity is on the HF bands using
CW, RTTY, PSK and FT8.
QSL to his home callsign PA 0 RRS

In South Sudan, Diya, YI 1 DZ, is active for the next six months as
Z 8 1D. He will be on 80 through 10 meters using SSB and some
Digital modes. QSL via OM 3 JW. He will also use ClubLog and LoTW.



VK2WI News wishes to advise that the evening news session resumes
today - the 13 th January. There has been a three weeks break over
the holiday period when there was a morning only transmission.

The evening session is at 7.30 pm EAST.

(Tim Mills)

Back-scatter turns 50 years young this month

The Magazine of Renown, Back-scatter, was first published by the
Townsville Amateur Radio Club in January 1969 with George Smith
VK4GS as Editor.

To commemorate the 50th birthday of Back-scatter this month, a
special anniversary edition of the magazine has been produced.
Some lucky readers already have their copy, while everyone else
who is a member will receive theirs via the post during the week.

Enjoy the anniversary issue and marvel at how previous TARCadians
toiled over fume producing, stencil ink emitting, rotating
hurdy gurdys just to get an issue out.

theTARCinc have thanked previous editor, Peter Renton, for the
work he did in preserving the heritage editions that make this
anniversary edition possible. Back-scatter, the Magazine of Renown,
keeping Townsville Radio Amateurs and Support Crews informed since
January 1969 !

National WIA News and QNEWS in VK4 also would like to say 'well done'
and since 1995 when I started editing QNEWS then WIA National News
we have never missed an issue... Thanks TARCadians.




D-STAR-ONE, telemetry received

German Orbital Systems reports a successful telemetry downlink has
been received.

DSTAR-ONE beacons were received during her first orbit in the US,
Germany, Czech Republic and Belarus, confirming the successful
separations of the satellites on their target orbit.

A D-Star voice message beacon transmits once a minute. All modules
are operated in a power save mode. This means that they are in idle
for 40 seconds and then in receive mode for 20 seconds.

Once a signal has been received, the modules switch to receive mode
for five minutes. So it might be necessary to "ping" the satellite
a couple of times until an answer is received.

The telemetry format is documented at:

A telemetry decoder is available at:

Technical details for radio amateurs is posted at:




YLs in England are getting ready for a party and a special event
station that's been 40 years in the making, as we hear from
Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

"JEREMY: In an amateur radio lifetime, 40 years isn't an especially
long time but arriving at that milestone as a group is still cause
for celebration. As it reaches the age of 40 in April of this year,
the British Young Ladies Amateur Radio Association is marking the
occasion throughout 2019. The YLs are holding a rally in Blackpool
on the April anniversary date and there will be a year-long special
event station that includes international participation.

BYLARA's Jenni Jones M0HZT told Newsline that YLs in Britain were a
little late to the game in forming their own group, following the
U.S., Australia and Canada. The desire for YLs to contact other YLs
on the air is what draws many into its growing membership. Jenni,
who got her ticket in 2000, said the search for other YLs on the air
is what spurred her to join almost nine years ago.

JENNI: What I wanted to do was work as many YLs as I could. When I
joined BYLARA and heard about the awards I thought "hmmmm ok" and
that got me thinking. I had counted at the time how many YLs I had
worked and at that point it was about 30. Now it is more than that,
now. Literally!

JEREMY: YLs like Jenni are calling YLs all the time, particularly
on the weekly BYLARA Net on Thursdays at 1830 UTC on 3688 kHz.
Meanwhile, as the call sign for the special event station still
awaits final approval, the BYLARA organizers are preparing for the
big weekend party on the 28th and 29th of April at the Norbreck
Hotel. In the U.S., YLRL and BYLARA member Ria N2RJ has been
working on a call sign for American YLs to use in a show of support.
This big celebration will also raise BYLARA's profile and accomplish
something else:

JENNI: To encourage more members to get on the air and get them
active. It has always been my wish to get our members active.

JEREMY: With the celebration soon in full swing, it is hoped that
level of activity will last at least another 40 years.

I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

(Amateur Radio NewsLine)


PW-Sat2, the second Polish student satellite, launched on the SpaceX
Falcon 9 SSO-A flight with AMSAT Fox-1Cliff, is a student project
with the goal to test a new deorbit sail.

Its sail has now been deployed.

Amateur radio operators are invited to take part in this mission.
PW-Sat2 transmits on 435.275 MHz using 1k2 and 9k6 BPSK AX25.
Dashboard software to receive, decode and upload PW-Sat2 frames
to the PW-Sat2 cloud is available on their website:

The team has posted additional information at:


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


The ninth Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) summer camp will be held in
Bulgaria, with the Bulgarian Federation of Radio Amateurs (BFRA)
hosting the event. Individual IARU Member Societies will select
candidates aged 15 to 25 for the summer camp, which will take place
from 11 to 17 August near Sofia, the Bulgarian capital city.

"In this YOTA Camp, we will be continuing with our train-the-trainer
program, which will be the main theme of the week," IARU Region 1
Youth Working Group Chair Lisa Leenders, PA2LS, said in announcing
the annual event. "Participants will be working on the future of
Amateur Radio and will be involved in workshops where they gain
skills to start similar Amateur Radio youth events back home. With
this, we are aiming to create a snowball effect to inspire more and
more YOTA events all over the world. This also allows other
youngsters and newcomers to enjoy Amateur Radio."



VK2ELH Rattles The Record Books!

The recent spell of hot weather has yielded heaps of DX for those
working the higher bands but VK2ELH snagged the biggest of all.

Summerland's Robbie VK2ELH worked New Zealand on 23cm!

The contact has yet to be confirmed but Robbie VK2ELH worked
Wayne ZL2BKC on 23cm. That's a distance of about 2419Km.
The 23cm Australian record is just that little bit longer at 2455.1 Km.

Both stations were running about 120Watts.

(SARC News)



This rewind item is just back one day!

It's an item supplied to our news via Robert Broomhead VK3DN and
no doubt you'll recall Roberts story last week on the contact planned
for a hook-up between an Astronaut in Texas and the Australian
Scout Jamboree station VI25AJ.

Although a dated item, take a listen.

"Ground Control calling Major Tom, well maybe calling Colonel Fossum:

Good Morning all, this is Bob VK4DA with information on a
Special Event within a Special Event. Between 4 -14 January 2019,
8400 Scouts from every Australian state plus representatives from
18 nations will converge in Tailem Bend in South Australia to
participate in the 25th Australian Scout Jamboree. Their special
event station will be active using VI25AJ. They are expecting to
showcase Amateur Radio to approximately 8000 scouts over the
duration of the Jamboree.

During this event, ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space
Station) are facilitating a contact between a select number of
Scouts and Astronaut Colonel (Ret) Mike Fossum, KF5AQG. This
particular contact is not with the Space Station but with Colonel
Fossum somewhere safely on the ground. The select Scouts will have
an opportunity to talk to Colonel Fossum asking a number of
questions. The scheduled contact is for Saturday 12 Jan 0000 UTC.

This contact will be broadcast (live) via EchoLink/ IRLP by the
ARISS - VK team. To listen in, select the *HAM* conference server
on EchoLink or connect your local IRLP node to 9556 and enjoy.

After the contact, I am sure the team at VI25AJ would like to put
you in their log, contact details for them can be found on

This has been Bob, VK4DA for ARISS.


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)

VK2 - Wyong Field Day Feb 24 (vk2kfu)

Are you ready for the largest gathering of radio amateurs in the
southern hemisphere to take place again in Australia in February?

Of course you are! You're heading to the Wyong Field Day, run by
the Central Coast Amateur Radio club which is happening again for
its sixty first time on February 24th at the Wyong race course.

This is not only the longest running and largest gathering of
amateurs in the southern hemisphere it also has the largest covered
radio flea market area in Australia and commercial traders have the
luxury of a large air conditioned marquee as they have had for the
last couple of years.

Licence training will take place at the same venue on Saturday with
the exams and the rest of the event happening on the Sunday. As
usual there will be lectures in the main race club building along
with representation from the WIA, local clubs and groups including

For full details go to the club's website on and
click on the "Wyong field day" tab or button or follow the event
details on Facebook as "ccarcwyongfieldday".

73 Ed DD5LP (VK2JI).

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.

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