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Weekend full of ANZAC commemorative activities

Date : 27 / 04 / 2015
Author : Jim Linton - VK3PC

The Centenary of Gallipoli tribute by Amateur Radio on both Saturday and Sunday had plenty of stations on air, and the ANZAC 100 event continues until December.

The WIA had its national station VK100ANZAC (pictured right) on Mt Ainslie in Canberra at dawn, then followed all state and territory issue ANZAC-suffixed callsigns. About 100 VK radio amateurs also used the alternative AX prefix for up to 48 hours. Some were enjoying the ANZAC spirit portable at the local RSL. Worked in Australia on air were a commemorative station in Turkey and also ZL100ANZAC in New Zealand.

It began early on Saturday April 25, ANZAC Day, on top of a very cold Mt Ainslie at an elevation of 843m looking down to the Australian War Memorial. It took nearly two hours to set up and test the well equipped station. The crew included WIA President, Phil Wait VK3ASD, Directors Fred Swainston VK3DAC and Roger Harrison VK2ZRH, Amanda Hawes VK1WX and support from the Canberra Region Amateur Radio Club.

Proceedings began at 4.30am with the broadcast of a message from the Australian Governor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, and WIA President Phil Wait VK2ASD, with that transmission lasting almost five minutes. They then began using the VK100ANZAC callsign, mainly on the HF bands of
20m and 40m, although other bands were occasionally activated.

A good crew of operators were present with a number of Foundation Licence holders partnered with an advanced operator to experience DX for the first time. In all VK100ANZAC had about 300 contacts with all other ANZAC-suffixed stations. Among the initial DX were contacts with Spain, Italy, New Zealand and Japan. Roger VK2ZRH activated 10GHz using VK100ANZAC. Also Mt Ainslie is part of the Summit On The Air program, and Andrew VK1NAM as able to put it on air as VK100ANZAC.

The Canberra ARC put in a lot of effort to make that VK100ANZAC had a very good beginning, and are thanked for helping make it possible. The Canberra club also has VI1ANZAC all week, look for it on the bands. Similar success was had by VI3ANZAC at Lake Boga in north-west Victoria.
It began at 1000 on Saturday April 25, with a re-play of the commemorative broadcast from the Catalina Flying Boat Museum Communications Bunker to kick off its activation.

VI3ANZAC was mounted by Amateur Radio Victoria with lots of help from the Sunraysia Radio Group. Two HF stations were set up, one in the underground bunker on 40m, and HF from an outside location. In all about 500 contacts were made. The main HF station used 20m, 15m and 10m. It worked into Europe, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, USA and Canada. One of the highlights on 15m was a contact with TC100KT at Gallipoli, with reports of 5 x 5 both ways.

Foundation Licence holders had a learning experience in portable station set-up, logging and operating. The news media rang articles about VI3ANZAC and visitors to the station were told what is was all about. On air reports indicated plenty of weekend activity was had by the other ANZAC-suffixed stations throughout Australia. All are permitted to remain on air this week, and about 40 similar activities will take place until December 20.

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