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Illawarra Amateur Radio Society


P.O. Box 1838
Wollongong NSW 2500


The Illawarra Amateur Radio Society Inc. is one of the oldest amateur radio clubs in Australia. The IARS celebrated its 70th anniversary in June 2018
The IARS operates an extensive repeater network covering an area from the Sydney basin down the south coast. For repeater details, please visit our web site.


The Illawarra Amateur Radio Society Inc. invite you to join us at our new premises, the BlueScope Steel, Visitors Centre located at the BlueScope Northgate Entrance, Springhill Rd, Coniston NSW 2500. (the two big flag poles on Springhill road).

Meetings are on the second Tuesday of every month with the exception of January, time 7.30pm (1930hrs.) Free Coffee and biscuits.

This is a great get together for all members, visitors and guests to meet. Everyone is invited to participate in discussions, experiences and information sharing we look forward to seeing you there.

The next meeting will have a presentation by Society member Ned VK2AGV. Ned has many fascinating interests and backgrounds like satellite up-linking and broadcasting, aircraft piloting and training, and the merchant marine, but on the 14th of June 2022 he will doing a presentation on one of his other interests – astronomy and home-built telescopes. Ned is a most interesting speaker with an in-depth understanding of the subject, so his presentation will be most entertaining and enlightening.

Following will be the usual tea, coffee, biscuits and cake while having a yarn or two about the latest rigs, the size of each other’s antennas and the elusive contact that got away! As a bonus, our resident Barista Vinnie VK2VIN will prepare you your preferred cuppa from the coffee machine.

Updated : 30/05/2022

Club Activities & Events

IARS Tuesday evening weekly 80m NET on 3.666MHz at 8.30pm
Don’t forget to join us every Tuesday evening, expect the second Tuesday of the month for a great get together on 80m. Signal reports, news and general discussions is the agenda. All you need is 1 x HF rig, Piece of wire + tuner, good cuppa and comfy chair.
There have been some really good conversations so if you are bored on Tuesday evenings, pop in for a chat.
Saturday Morning EAST COAST NET hosted by Steve VK2BGL
You are invited to join Steve every Saturday at 9.30am on our 146.850MHz repeater (linked to 146.675MHz) or VK2BGL-R on Echolink for a very enjoyable morning of general discussions from amateurs who log in from all over the world. This is a great net which is growing in popularity due to the wide range of subjects that gets discussed on air. I have personally picked up a few tips on this net so it’s definitely not to be missed.

Updated: 10-12-2020.

The Illawarra Amateur Radio Society Inc. (IARS) Awards Manager is pleased to announce the reintroduction of the Lawrence Hargrave Award.

Lawrence Hargrave - Australian engineer, explorer, astronomer, inventor and aeronautical pioneer. An early experimenter in the field of aviation. He made his findings freely available. Hargrave’s experiments were critical to the development of powered flight. Hargrave famously experimented with box kites at Stanwell Park – a part of the Illawarra district.

This award recognize participants who are DX non-Australian Stations, having worked and confirmed at least five (5) IARS members. Australian stations need to have worked and confirmed at least twenty five (25) IARS members as from June 2020.

Contacts can be made on any band and any mode but only with a single RF link. Contacts via repeaters, EchoLink, satellites, etc. will not qualify for this Award.

Confirmation of contacts may be done by providing relevant log entries to the Award Manager, PO Box 1838, Wollongong NSW 2500.

Participants may count the stations worked during the IARS weekly radio net held on 3.666 MHz, Tuesdays at 20:30 hrs. local time. Please note that the net is not held on the second Tuesday of the month as the Society meets that night. 

This award is for all radio amateurs of any ability.


Rob Heyer VK2XIC, 
Awards Manager, on behalf of the IARS

Updated 17-12-2020

The Illawarra Amateur Radio Society Inc. (IARS)
is pleased to announce the testing of a Simplex Repeater operating on the 23cm band.
- FM Simplex Repeater operating on 1296.850MHz
- RF Power 20 Watts.
- Vertical Omnidirectional Antenna of 11dB gain.

- Maddens Plains, Grid Reference QF55LR.
- Latitude: 34.27Deg South Longitude: 150.94Deg East
- Height: 371 Metres above sea level. (Not including the height of the tower).

The purpose for the development of this particular repeater is;
To encourage interest and experimental development in the higher bands such as 23cm.
It can be used to assist amateur radio operators to develop their own station transmitters, receivers, RF amplifiers, pre-amplifiers and antenna design.
Test the operators experimenting with various modes.
It is a beacon which can be used to monitor propagation on the 23cm band.

Basic Description
The general principle of the repeater is that it is simple.
The transmitter stages consist of a 2 Metre exciter, followed by a transverter.
The transverter has an IF input of 144.850 MHz, up to, but no greater than 1.0W or else it may be over driven. The RF output is of the order of 2.0W. The next stage is the RF PA of 25W.
The memory of the controller chip has been programmed to function for a period of 150 seconds (2 minutes 30 seconds) more than ample time to conduct any form of experimental test.
The antenna is a vertical omnidirectional antenna with approximately 11dB gain.

Operation of the Beacon
Approximately every 10 minutes a string of Morse Code will be transmitted from the beacon.
The interesting part of this Morse code is that it is part dynamic.
There are two values which are actively monitoring the unit on site.
The first is the Temperature inside the cabinet in degree Celsius
The second is the system voltage currently at the repeater site.
The Morse code message is structured as follows:
VK2RMP experimental beacon test QF55LR TEMP XX.X Deg. SYSTEM VOLTS XX.X
During the Beacon operation the Simple section will not operate.
The beacon will not transmits whilst the simplex repeater operation is in progress and will wait until the simplex process is complete.

Operation Procedure of Repeater
It is a simple process after selecting the Repeater frequency.
It is recommend you wait for at least 10 seconds or press your PTT once for a short test, if a tail and beep comes back to you, your good to go.
If not, it may be that your signal is not getting in OR someone is using it on the input that you cannot hear.

Pressing the PTT quickly to see if it responds (similar to a duplex repeater tail) will not interfere with someone else’s transmission, as long as the PTT is quick, and not multiple times, this could be annoying for someone trying to record.

Summary : One quick one second PTT should give you a Tail and a roger beep. If not someone is using the repeater OR your signal is not been received by the beacon.
If there was no response it may be good to wait for at least 150 seconds (2 minutes 30 seconds) to see if the unit was in use.
Once deciding to commence your transmission it is best to operate the PTT button for about 1 second before speaking or transmitting data or pictures.
The reason for this is to stop any clipping at the start of the transmission. The repeater has a 0.5 second noise suppression timer to avoid false triggering.
CTCSS was not used to do this as many experimenters don’t have encoders fitted to the 23cm gear.
Once you release the PTT there is a one second delay before the recording stops and the current reception cycle is terminated, this is to allow for short signal drop off’s during your over.
Without this timer, a signal drop off may prematurely terminate your over and begin re-transmitting what you have just transmitted, whilst you are still recording, rather messy.
After this one second delay the repeater will commence to re-transmit your over. When the repeater has concluded your transmission you will hear an audible ‘Rodger Beep’ of approximately 750Hz.
It is after this Roger beep that a respondent or yourself may commence the next transmission. If you do not hear the ‘Rodger Beep” wait until you do.

Please make the transmission long enough to finish the job and short enough not to cause any others to be impatient.

Remember to be patient - including hearing the “Roger beep” - and avoid any difficulties.

When transmitting data modes such as RTTY or SSTV, ensure the transmission DOESN’T exceed the 150 second (2 minutes 30 seconds) time window, because if you do, the signal will be unintelligible and fail.
Keep to the simple operating procedure and you will be able to enjoy our hobby that much more.

Rob Heyer VK2XIC

Updated 25-12-2020

Illawarra Amateur Radio Society Meeting Location

Training Courses And Assessment Information

To be announced.

Upcoming Courses and Assessments

To be announced.

Training And Assessment Contact

Club training course coordinator

To be announced
Phone : 0423 230 108
Email :

Club Contact Details

Illawarra Amateur Radio Society
P.O. Box 1838
Wollongong NSW 2500
Phone : 0400 511 535
Email :


Rob McKnight VK2MT
Phone : 0408 480 630
Email :

Keith Bradshaw VK2KQB
Phone : 0400511535
Email :

John Lawer VK2EJL
Phone : (02) 4228 9856
Email :


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Page Last Updated: Monday, 30 May 2022 at 21:53 hours by Iars


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The National Association for Amateur Radio in Australia
A member society of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU)