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ABC Radio Perth talks about Amateur Radio

Date : 23 / 08 / 2015
Author : Jim Linton - VK3PC

The topic of Amateur Radio had a good airing on the Gillian O’Shaughnessy breakfast program on ABC 720 Perth, that started with the International Space Station (ISS) contact made in the United Kingdom and ended in a long interview of a West Australian. On August 20 it had a report of Adrian Lane 2E0SDR who had contacted the International Space Station from his garden shed. He recently gained national newspaper, television and radio station publicity about it.

One newspaper said that the 52-year old of Coleford, Gloucestershire in England’s south spoke with a US astronaut from the comfort of his shed. In the excitement of making contact, the name of the space traveller was not recorded.
After trying to make contact for a month, he plotted its route working out a brief overhead contact window. Calling NA1SS that time last October, he was delighted when an American astronaut answered.

Adrian 2E0SDR said: "I asked him what the stars looked like from up there and he came back to me and said with no atmosphere up here the stars are really bright. But he told me when you look down on earth it’s something else - it’s just a mass of colour where everything else up here is black.”

Hoping to make another contact with the ISS, Adrian 2E0SDR has been communicating from his shed for almost 20 years, but usually only speaks to ground based fellow radio hams. Some ISS crew members who are also radio amateurs contact other hams during their free time. They also have scheduled chats with school students through the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program.

Feeding right into that piece on the ABC radio program was local radio amateur Onno Benschop VK6FLAB, who told of the ARISS contact that marked the 50th anniversary of the famous overpass of astronaut John Glenn. On February 20, 2012, West Australia celebrated the anniversary of the first American to orbit the Earth in the Friendship 7 spacecraft. On that mission, Glenn flew over Perth and the people turned on their lights to acknowledge him, and it became known worldwide as the ‘City of Light’. Onno VK6FLAB told of the excitement the anniversary event created, which involved Amateur Radio talking to modern day space explorers. The highlight was the opportunity for young people to speak with and ask questions of the astronauts on board the International Space Station.

With his factual informative style, plus broadcasting and technology experience, he also took the opportunity to promote some of the history, and diverse nature of Amateur Radio today, in an interview that lasted more than 7 minutes. Onno VK6FLAB spoke how the activity began with spark gap transmitters, how it had many aspects to it including portable activations like the Summits On The Air and the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. He explained how others make radio contact with far flung weird and wonderful places and interesting people. They all explore the hobby that includes the common AM and FM radio, but also use other digital techniques, including the new narrow-band digital voice FreeDV technology.

If you want to hear read more and hear the radio segment, then visit ‘Pilots of the airwaves - ham radio in Perth’ on the ABC 720 Blog Post at the following Link

The extensive interview had followed earlier media coverage of the ANZAC 100 VK100ANZAC commemorative event held by the VK6 NewsWest organisation, on behalf of the Wireless Institute of Australia.


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