THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING JANUARY 12 - 2020
IN OUR 25th YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA Director John Williams VK4JJW with WIA Board report. -
WIA IMMEADIATE PAST PRESIDENT JUSTIN GILES-CLARK VK7TW looks at the
WIA AGM IN HOBART. -
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WIA board minutes can be found on wia.org.au click
Directors heard usually as follows
Greg VK2GPK (President), Peter VK8ZZ (Secretary),
Mike VK8MA, Aidan VK4APN, John VK4JJW
G'day John VK4JJW here with this week's WIA Board report.
Well of course the first thing we have to say is what a fantastic
effort is being put in by ALL the emergency services people, and
naturally that includes those involved in shoring up and providing
communications facilities and operations in the bushfire devastated
areas of our country. It seems like everywhere has been impacted,
from here in VK6, here in VK5 and VK8, here in VK3, here in VK7,
here in VK2 and here in VK4.
A special thankyou to WICEN NSW for their sterling efforts, and this
has even been recognised in the USA by Amateur Radio Newsline who
ran a top of the bulletin story on the situation, which even made
television's "Ham Nation" as their lead item.
Reports are coming in that many Amateurs are monitoring and checking
propagation conditions on the emergency communications or "ECOMM" HF
frequencies, to provide communications help if needed by those in the
field, and to keep abreast of how the fires are progressing, and how
they're being handled to try and keep people and property safe in
absolutely horrendous conditions, the like of which our country has
never seen on such a scale.
Keep an ear on these, and if help is needed and Amateur Radio
communications are available in that region, you may be able to
Amateurs providing emergency communications and seeking to establish
contact for emergency assistance should use these EMCOMM frequencies
initially, or even VHF and UHF repeaters, if available.
There's even been a suggestion that as a National Body, the WIA could
possibly obtain funding from government authorites with the aim of
sustaining repeaters based on solar and battery power, independent of
bushfire and natural-disaster-vulnerable mains powered systems.
Next, we have to plug the WIA's AGM in Hobart next May. A special
event in many ways, but if you missed the Centenary Celebrations in
Canberra back in 2010, you'll REALLY kick yourself if the next big
one, Hobart 2020, is off your agenda. 110 years ..... pretty good
for any institution, but particularly so for an amateur organisation
dedicated for over a century to representing the interests of
Australian Radio Amateurs and their acceptance in the community.
Very few organisations last that long, especially given the massive
changes in technology. From a public perspective, it's not "those
ham radio freaks", but should be "those guys & gals who give their
all to help the community at large, particularly when commercial
communications go haywire" (and aren't we seeing heaps of that at
Sure, I'm on a mission. Let's make it a bucket list thing:
get to Hobart in May for the WIA AGM, number 110 .... you'll be so
glad you did, and the board has fully endorsed the efforts of the
organising committee, as they're arranging a ripper of an event!
Now, we have a Board Election coming up .... or do we?
The end of this month sees the nominations deadline for Board
positions, and if we get enough, an election will ensue in February.
As a democratic organisation, the WIA needs more Board members than
what we currently have, and two of the current directors, Yours Truly
included, must retire, so if you feel you can help, get a fellow WIA
member to nominate you, or dob in one of your mates (who you know
will accept) because they believe in what the WIA has been trying to
achieve for the last 110 years. Now I realise we've mentioned this
before, so if you missed it and are wondering what I'm raving about,
check out the text edition of this news.
In nominating for the Board, if you have a personal agenda, something
SPECIFIC that you want to change because YOU don't think it's right,
or you just want to fix things because YOU THINK you have the
ultimate solution, rather than the good of ALL Australian Radio
Amateurs, DON'T BOTHER. That's my opinion anyway, and as Geoff Emery
VK4ZPP says, "That's what I think .... how about you?".
We need female representation as well; this time let's make it happen
and the Board supports this wholeheartedly. Come on ladies ....
NOMINATE!! Members of ALARA .... this means YOU!
That'll do for this week.
THE BEST, to all our emergency services people .... firies,
WICEN personnel, volunteers that are out there just to help save
other people's lives and property .... that's what our country is
Let's not forget that.
And the WIA National Office reopens after NEXT weekend, on the
Keep an eye out for AR magazine .... I've just seen the cover and
it's pretty fantastic!
I'm WIA Director John, VK4JJW.
Thanks John and Happy New Year from the WIA 2020 Conference
The WIA Annual Conference will be held in Hobart Tasmania over the
8th to 10th May 2020 and registrations are open and selling fast.
On the Saturday afternoon we have a fantastic range of presentations
organised to showcase our conference theme which is “Antarctic
Following lunch we have two streams setup which can be loosely
categorised as the “Antarctic” stream and the “Radio” stream.
In the “Antarctic” stream we have confirmed the following presenters:
Rex Moncur VK7MO who will talk about his period as Director of the
Australian Antarctic Division between 1988 and 1999.
Dr Andrew Klekociuk from the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) will
take the audience through some history and the past and present
atmospheric studies being conducted in Antarctica by the AAD.
Dr Roland Watzl is Deputy Chief Medical Officer with the AAD and will
outline what is involved with Polar Medicine in Antarctica.
Peter Yates VK7PY and Kim Briggs VK7KB will provide an Antarctic
Communications Review entitled from Mawson to Satellites which will
look at the different radio technologies used in Antarctica over the
last 100 years.
Brian Rieusset formerly a radio amateur who will be providing
recollections of Antarctic Amateurs in 1968.
And finally in this stream Roger Harrison VK2ZRH will present his
time at Casey Station in 1970 where he operated AX0GR.
In the “Radio” stream we have the following presentations confirmed:
Steve Adler VK5SFA will be presneting on his DXPedition 4 Square DX
Antenna Systems and may even include some info about his amazing
transmitting magnetic loop antennas.
David Minchin VK5KK, Tim Dixon VK5ZT and Iain Crawford VK5ZD will
give a presentation on the second Epic VK Microwave Tour and the
involvement of some European Amateurs who came along for the ride!
David Minchin VK5KK again will provide an update on the amazing
122GHz Transverter which uses the 122GHz radar chips.
Jamie Campbell VK2YCJ with his continuing experiments with the
KiwiSDR and Noise and Interference Reduction and finishing off the
radio stream will be Phil Tompson VK7SS who runs the very successful
company - Novaris that makes Lightning Protection Systems and
installs them all over the world.
A quick reminder of the fantastic deal from the Spirit of Tasmania
with discounted fares and accommodation on the ship for the two weeks
before and after the conference weekend. We have also been given
permission to operate 6m, 2m and 70cm handhelds maritime mobile on
the Spirit for this period. This is a unique opportunity to operate
Maritime Mobile on your travels.
We finish off today with a reminder that we have negotiated a great
deal from the Conference venue " Best Western Hobart with $149 per
night rooms. Check out the WIA website to see what to do to take
advantage of this discounted rate.
73 and happy new year from Justin VK7TW on behalf of the WIA2020
Conference organising committee.
Hello to all F call amateur radio operators in the Melbourne and
metropolitan area and also any listeners who may wish to study
for the Standard Amateur Radio Licence.
Amateur Radio Victoria will be running a Foundation to Standard
conversion course commencing on Wednesday Jan 29, 6.30 " 9.30 PM.
The venue will be the Amateur Radio Victoria rooms at 40G
Victory Pde. Ashburton. The assessment evening will be Wednesday
The tuition fee will be $50.00 which is payable through the
Amateur Radio Victoria website. Charges made by the managing body
of examinations, the Australian Maritime College are:
An examination fee of $90.00 and a callsign allocation fee of $25 -
$60 depending on options taken. If you will take any callsign given
the charge is $25.
There is limited seating for training comfort so if you wish to
enrol, first check with Peter VK3BFG to see if there are places
available and then pay the $50 via the website. The contact is
Peter will be the Instructor for the course and he possesses both
professional electronics and current TAFE teaching qualifications.
He has been an active amateur radio operator for many years.
He is also available to conduct examinations via video link if an
country operators or persons wish to study independently.
If there are any listeners who would like to study for the
Foundation or other levels of Amateur Radio Licence you can
register interest through email@example.com
Just repeating that Amateur Radio Victoria will be running a
Foundation to Standard Conversion course open to all commencing
Wednesday Jan 29th. Register interest via the Amateur Radio Victoria
website or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
( sent by email@example.com )
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club,
ARRL, RAC, NZART AMATEUR RADIO NEWSLINE & the World Wide sources of
NONPROFIT GROUP THAT DISTRIBUTED RADIOS IS SET TO CLOSE
Ears to Our World, a non-profit organisation providing self-powered
shortwave radios to teachers and children in developing nations,
is ending its operation. Its founder and executive director
Tom Witherspoon, whose call signs are K 4 SWL and M 0 CYI is stepping
down and announced the charity's closure on his website.
He wrote, however, that the partner organisations that have shared in
the mission will continue serving the impoverished communities of the
world and he will offer his services as a volunteer consultant and
technical adviser. For more than a decade, the organisation's work
has assisted educational bodies by providing teaching technologies
for visually impaired youngsters and it has also helped those
involved in disaster relief work.
That nation has just released the first batch of #ChangE4 science data
from the first ever mission to land on the far side of the Moon.
This is actually a really cool and user friendly website.
To access in English visit the url in our "proud to be in print'
text editions of the news.
Work is going "smoothly" on the Chandrayaan-3 mission to put a rover
probe on the moon's surface, Indian Space Research Organisation
chairman K. Sivan told a press conference.
India is seeking to become only the fourth nation after Russia,
the United States and China to put a mission on the moon's surface
and boost its credentials as a low-cost space power. The country's
Chandrayaan-2 module crashed on the moon's surface in September 2019.
US tests ways to sweep space clean of radiation after nuclear attack.
The U.S. military thought it had cleared the decks when, on 9 July
1962, it detonated a 1.4-megaton nuclear bomb some 400 kilometres
Orbiting satellites were safely out of range of the blast.
But, in the months that followed the test, called Starfish Prime,
satellites began to wink out one by one, including the world's first
communications satellite, Telstar.
There was an unexpected aftereffect: High-energy electrons, shed by
radioactive debris and trapped by Earth's magnetic field, were
fritzing out the satellites' electronics and solar panels.
And so, without fanfare, defence scientists are trying to devise a
cure for the future.
Three space experiments -- one now in orbit and two being readied for
launch in 2021 -- aim to gather data on how to drain high-energy
electrons out of the radiation belts. The process, called radiation
belt remediation (RBR), already happens naturally, when radio waves
from deep space or from Earth -- our own radio chatter, for example,
or emissions from lightning -- knock electrons trapped in Earth's
Van Allen radiation belts into the upper atmosphere, where they
quickly shed energy, often triggering aurorae.
USA TO THE WORLD - 2019 DX Sound Bites!
Tom, K8CX, has done it again. He has provided DXers with 130
memorable rare DX sound clips in MP3 format from Ohio during 2019.
This brings the total number of MP3 sound clips on Hamgallery to
a staggering 2,741.
Visit Tom's famous "HAM GALLERY" Web site on:
While there, also check out some of the other features on his Web
page, such as: 22 years of "Rare DX Sound Clips" of the past as well
as some clips from the 1960's and 1970's which includes all the
major DXPeditions and rare DX heard on the bands, QSL Card Museum,
Dayton Photo Galleries and Tribute to Silent Key Ham Operators.
Tom states, "If anyone has any old HF recordings, I would be
interested in hearing from them." Especially sound clips pre-1998
to add to the site
His E-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
HAM RADIO OPERATIONAL NEWS - IT'S A CONTACT SPORT
Ross Hull Memorial VHF/UHF Contest is taking place ALL of January 2010
VHF - UHF SUMMER FIELD DAY - Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 January.
CQWW 160M CW CONTEST
February 16-17 International DX CW Contest
March 2 - 3 International DX Phone Contest
WIA John Moyle Field Day 2020
Weekend of 21-22 March from UTC 0100 on the Saturday to 0059 Sunday 22.
March 28-29 the CQ World Wide WPX Contest
The provisional date for the next Harry Angel Sprint will be Saturday
May 2nd 2020. 10:00 - 11:46 UTC.
The VK SHIRES the June long weekend, which is the weekend prior to the
second Monday of June each year.. making it June 6 - 7 in 2020
IARU HF World Championship July 13-14
TRANS TASMAN LOWBAND CONTEST
Next contest - 17 JUL 2020 - and has the aim of encouraging
Low Band activity between VK and ZL on 160 80 and 40M using
SSB, CW and RTTY OR PSK
RD or Remembrance Day Contest will be August 15 - 16 this year.
VOICE from 0800 UTC Saturday October 3 to 0800 UTC Sunday October 4
CW from 0800 UTC Saturday October 10 to 0800 UTC Sunday October 11
December 6 - 8 160 Meter WW
DECEMBER 14 - 15 10 Mtr World Wide
THE 2020 CQ DX MARATHON
This a year-long DX hunt, with participants competing to see who
can work the greatest number of countries and CQ zones during this
calendar year. The 2020 edition started at 00:00 UTC on 1 January
and ends at 23:59 UTC on 31 December.
Complete details can be found at www.dxmarathon.com/
TED POWELL MEMORIAL DX CHALLENGE
4 award periods, each of 3 months starting in January of each
calendar year and 2 categories in the contest,
MOST WANTED and TOP 5.
Top 5 you try and work the 5 most wanted DXCC entity's
Most Wanted you work the most wanted dxcc entity.
The dx entity's in play are those most wanted DURING those
3 month windows.
Complete details can be found at http://contest.fgarc.org.au/
All major AUSTRALIAN contests, rules and results, are on the
Contest Section of the WIA website.
THROUGH THE DX WINDOW
ARI Fidenza will use a series of special callsigns throughout 2020
to commemorate twelve major events and achievements in Marconi's
life. This month, January, the callsign is II 4 BRN to commemorate
Marconi's birth in 1874.
Caye Caulker Island
Robert, will be active as V 31 CO from Caye Caulker Island
(NA-105) starting February 1st, for 3 weeks on various HF bands using
CW, RTTY and FT8.
Robert bought a condo on the Island of Caye Caulker in October of
2019 so now plans on being active on a fairly regular basis
throughout the coming years.
QSL via his home callsign W0YBS.
For more details and updates, see: http://w0ybs.com
SP3PS is active as C 5S P from The Gambia until the 17th of
January. He will operate SSB and FT8/FT4.
Sergey, RX 3 AMY will be active holiday style as 8 Q 7 BS from the
Maldives, IOTA reference AS-013, until the 23rd of January. He
operates SSB and some CW on the 40 and 20m bands.
Jon, EA 1 VE is active on the wireless as HC 2 JKT from Puna Island,
SA-034, in Ecuador till the 30th of January. He is on SSB on the
40 to 6m bands.
Ted Powell Memorial DX Challenge
The October - December period of the Ted Powell Memorial DX Challenge
for 2019 has now closed and entries are open until THIS Tuesday
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.fgarc.org.au website.
All Australian amateurs are eligible to enter and entering is easy.
You don't need to be a serious DXer.
If you worked any DX during October - December 2019, head over to
contest.fgarc.org.au 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.
WORLD WIDE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP NEWS
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - FINAL FRONTIER
AMSAT-VK Secretary - email@example.com
WERE THEY KLINGONS OFF THE STARBOARD BOW?
That was the story Col VK3GTV reported on here on WIA National
news last week, with the December 18 collision between the
Meteor M2-2 meteorological satellite and an item of space debris.
Now comes word that according to NASA’s most recent Orbital Debris
Quarterly News, NASA calculates about 17.6 million pounds of objects
are in earth orbit.
How do we counter these unwanted aliens?
Build a fence of course!
That’s where the U.S. Air Force’s Space Fence will play a crucial
role. Using advanced solid-state S-band radar technology, the
Space Fence radar located in the Marshall Islands, will play a
critical role in the everyday lives of we mortals who are becoming
more dependent on space-based technologies for everything from
weather forecasting, banking, global communications to GPS navigation.
The US Air Force Space Surveillance Network currently tracks about
25,000 objects. When Space Fence is fully operational, it will
will be the world’s largest and most advanced radar system, providing
unprecedented space situational awareness.
Space Fence is currently in a trial period and expected to become
fully operational by years end.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- IOTA
Jean, FG8NY, will be active with the special callsign TO 10 CWO
from Basse Terre Island, Guadeloupe, between January 17-31st
celebrating the 10th anniversary of the CW Ops Club.
Operations will be on various HF bands on CW. QSL via FG 8 NY.
Our next story comes from South Australia and will be of interest to
ATVers the world over... VK5BD Bevan joins us
Good morning Listeners of the WIA Weekly News Service, or should I
say good Evening Viewers in the Upper Spencer Gulf Region of
South Australia via the VK5RDC Amateur Television Repeater.
The VK5RDC repeater was the first digital ATV Repeater in
South Australia, originally developed by Dave VK5DMC, and has been in
operation since 2014. Having been through many upgrades, it has been
HD capable for over a year now, and recently a DVB-T Input was added
as an option to complement the existing DVB-S input, this with a view
to make entry into ATV more budget friendly.
The repeater is made use of on most nights of the week with local
amateur operators presenting information to fellow hams for
approximately 1 hour generally starting at 7pm, followed by a
discussion of what has just be presented via either the ATV repeater
or the local VHF Uhf Repeaters.
For the past 2 years, I have been creating a video based on the text
and audio versions of this Weekly WIA National News, broadcasting the
result on the VK5RDC repeater on Sunday nights at 7pm local time. It
can be quite a lengthy process researching the topics being discussed
and finding suitable material to put the video together, for a fairly
limited audience locally, and while we do stream the output of the
repeater, that is mostly used by local amateur radio operators that
are unable to directly receive the output of the repeater.
To make the video more accessible I have started uploading the video
to YouTube so that others can view or make use of the videos. I try
to have the video version completed by the earlier hours of Sunday
morning, however like most of us, we all have busy lives, I cannot
guarantee that the video will have been uploaded until later Sunday
So if you miss the local audio broadcast of the WIA Weekly news, you
can catch up by either watching the stream at
batc.org.uk/live/vk5bd on Sunday nights, or when it best suits you by
viewing the video by searching YouTube for WIA News, or by the audio
and text versions on the WIA website.
This has been Bevan VK5BD
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RESCUE RADIO
IARU REGION 3
Emergency Centre of Activity (CoA) frequencies
3.600, 7.110, 14.300, 18.160 and 21.360 MHz
IARU Region 1 3760 7110 14300 18160 21360 kHz
IARU Region 2 3750 3985 7060 7240 7275 14300 18160 21360 kHz
Although no reports to the WIA News services from WICEN, the USA
Society, ARRL, are reporting these Australian Bushfires are still
Causing Major Telecommunication Outages, and Hams have been Asked to
Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) President Greg Kelly, VK2GPK,
says the bushfires in Australia have caused significant disruption
of telecommunication services in the states of Victoria and
New South Wales.
“The scope and range of these impacts is unknown at this stage but
are predicted to cover all internet and phone (fixed and mobile) and
other commercial radio services,” Kelly said.
WICEN (Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network) in New South Wales
reports it has been active assisting in a number of multi-agency
activities during the bushfire emergency, in its role as a support
squad of the NSW Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) operations centre
WICEN and other VRA squads continue to support the Rural Fire
Service (RFS) at various Fire Control Centres and the Bushfire
Kelly has asked radio amateurs in International Amateur Radio Union
(IARU) Region 3 to monitor the emergency communications frequencies,
per the IARU Region 3 band plan, whenever possible, as well as
repeaters. “Amateurs seeking to establish emergency communication
should use these EMCOMM frequencies in the first instance, or
repeaters if available,” he said in a statement posted on the
IARU Region 3 website.
South of NSW, here in the state of Victoria, WICEN VIC reports that
the amateur repeater network is largely off the air, possibly due to
a lack of power. “Some sites may have been directly affected by
fire,” WICEN VIC reported on January 4. “It could be some weeks
until the sites can be reached for inspection. The Mt Taylor UHF
repeater, which is currently linked to the Carrajung UHF repeater,
is still operational, although Mt Taylor has been under direct
threat a few times.”
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - VHF AND ABOVE (The Plumbers Delight)
First 10 GHz QSO from VK to ZL
Back last year, December 30, Rex VK7MO operating portable at
Crescent Head in NSW worked Roger ZL3RC operating portable about
15 km North of Greymouth in the South Island of New Zealand.
The initial QSO was on the QRA64-D digital mode with solid signals
peaking -12 and -11 db. An SSB QSO was also completed with reports
of 3/1 both ways. The distance was 2040 km.
The SSB contact is a NSW 10 GHz record.
Rex was using a 76 cm dish and running 60 watts.
Roger was using a petal 113 cm dish and also running 60 watts.
It appears that the 10 GHz band was open to ZL for 3 days from VK
with the Hepburn chart showing an intense duct coloured Red to Pink
for the three-day period.
(sourced to vk7news)
2020 Social Scene
VK4 - TARC Australia Day Long Week Family Radio Camp Thursday
afternoon 23rd to Monday afternoon 27th January 2020 at
Girl Guides Association of Qld Campsite and Training Centre,
VK2 - WYONG FIELD DAY 23rd February 2020 (vk2ji)
Ed here and as promised, I now have the current list of talks
that will be presented at this year’s Wyong field day.
Richard Collins will describe the collapse of the giants of the
Australian electronics industry. The reasons for their failure
and the way forward, with examples of current successes.
Ray Robinson, VK2NO, from Tube Radio, needs no introduction and
will give another stimulating explanation and demonstration of
historic and interesting equipment of days gone by.
Brian Clarke, VK2GCE, will explain transmission lines and
terminations, (usually related to antennae) and may explode
some myths showing us how to get those extra S points.
Rakesh Panwar from the Australian government’s Bureau of
Meteorology " space weather Service will provide a practical
guide to using their website. This is a must for all serious
HF operators and DX chasers.
And last but not least, as every year, Roger Harrison, VK2ZRH,
and the Weak Signal Group will convene to discuss their
VHF & UHF and up activities along with associated topical and
emerging issues in their area of the hobby.
For the most up-to-date information about the Field Day please
visit fieldday.org.AU on the web and click on the
Wyong Field Day button.
Until next week, this was Ed Durrant VK2JI for the Central
Coast Amateur Radio club, 73.
VK7 - Meet the Voice event, Ross Recreation Centre Sun 22 March (vk7tw)
VK4 - REDFEST 2020 18th April. St. Michael's College
Old Toorbul Point Rd from 8am (vk4tfn)
VK - WIA Annual Conference, Hobart 8-10 May. (vk7tw)
VK5 - South East Radio Group Annual Convention and
Australian Fox Hunting Championships. June 6-8 (vk5hcf)
VK4 - Caboolture Radio Club HamFest July 11 (vk7jea)
It will be held adjacent to the Club house at Scouts Den,
169 Smiths Road Caboolture.
It all happens Saturday 11th July with canteen open before
first light and the hall opens at 8am for sales.
VK - ALARAMEET 2020 Bendigo October 2 - 5 (vk5yl)
VK7 - VK7 biennial HamFest November (vk7tw)
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