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2008 Magazines

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Amateur Radio April 2008

4 April 2008


As you will see in both the President’s Comment and in a detailed article on the process proposed for adoption , the issue of two-letter callsigns is about to take a series of steps towards resolution. For those interested, read both items carefully. There is also news in the article about the process for cases where an amateur with a two-letter callsign has become a Silent Key since the middle of 2006.

Contributions to AR

In this issue, I am finally able to publish an article that has been sitting in our article register for about two years. This was an unusual case, as we needed to await clarification regarding the issue of encryption of information in the LCD.

No, this is not the norm – most articles will take about three to six months to pass through the review and preparation process prior to publication. An article is first registered and then forwarded to one of the Technical Editors. Once the Technical Editor is happy with the text, any drawing will be reviewed and, if necessary, redrawn. The complete set of material then comes to the Editor for further review and publication – usually it is published when all others registered before it have been published, so that articles are normally published in the order that they are received. Occasionally, an article may be sufficiently topical or timely for it to be published more rapidly.

Cover photographs: AR and Callbook

We are always interested in receiving your contributions – not just articles, but also photographs that may be of interest to readers, and especially those that may be suitable for the cover of either AR or the Callbook. Guidelines regarding both articles and photographs are available from the AR magazine section of the WIA website, or via email from me. If in doubt regarding an image, forward a small version electronically, but indicate that the image is available in higher resolution. The higher the image resolution, the better the image will reproduce in the magazine or the cover. Even if we do not use the image immediately, we will consider it for future editions. Remember that we usually also have the Inside Back Cover available for good quality images and/or short items accompanied by a good image.

John Moyle Memorial National Field Day

From reading some of the email discussion groups, it sounds as if there was some reasonable participation for the John Moyle Memorial Field Day Contest. I was busy with work tasks and did not find time to get on-air. Even if you only gave out a few numbers to nearby stations on VHF and UHF, remember to send in a log. There are usually many more stations who participate in any contest than who send in a log. You may end up with a pleasant surprise at your score, as you can never tell who else will, or will not, enter their log. You may score well. At the very least, your log will be useful for the Contest Manager when he checks through all logs entered.

Callbook preparation

The Publications Committee is currently commencing the task of assembling the next issue of the Callbook, with the goal of having it published by early October. The tasks involved are not particularly onerous, with the biggest job being proof reading the contributed material. We are looking for volunteers to assist in the Callbook preparation. You should have internet access and be able to edit documents using Word or an equivalent word processing package. We are especially interested in finding someone skilled in the use of the outlining features included in Word. We are specifically looking for someone to coordinate preparation of the electronic version of the Callbook. If you are able and willing, please contact me in the first instance.

The listing of callsigns is prepared from the database maintained by ACMA, so make sure that ACMA has your correct details. As all WIA affiliated Clubs now have editing rights to the club details on the WIA website, we will be extracting the club data from that source. Note that it will be the responsibility of the club to ensure the correct data is included. We should be able to include data regarding clubs that are not affiliated with the WIA, but they will need to submit their information at an earlier time. Watch for more news on the process in the next issue of AR.


Table Of Contents


 Ballot for Two Letter Callsigns
 A better way to encrypt messages? Simon Rice VK8ZJZ
 Silent Key: Ken Matchett VK3TL
 SES/QPS/WICEN practise techniques Gavin Reibelt VK4ZZ
 Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI receives Johnson Space Centre Award Robert Broomhead VK3KRB
 The end of an era Len Ricardo JP VK1ALR
 Owner’s manual for a ham band John Kirk VK4TJ
 Radios? You mean like CBs or something? Jayenne Conroy


 Fox hunting antennas for 2 metres Bill Isdale VK4TWI
 A combined MF-HF SWR meter and RF ammeter Drew Diamond VK3XU
 A novel antenna direction indicator Lou De Stefano VK3AQZ
 Equipment review: The Yaesu VX-3R Ron Fisher VK3OM
 Fuses, or how to get a smaller bang for your buck! Clive Wallis VK6CSW
 A balanced antenna matching unit Ron Sanders VK2WB

Plus all the usual columns and Club news

Ballot for Two Letter Callsigns

The licence restructure in October 2005 created the Advanced licence replacing the former Unrestricted, Limited and Intermediate licences. This created high demand for not issued two-letter callsigns, outstripping the available callsigns. Previously only Unrestricted licensees could have these callsigns.

When formally announcing the new licensing structure, ACMA put an embargo on the release two-letter callsigns until a fair and equitable allocation method could be determined.

ACMA has asked the WIA to manage a fair and transparent ballot process for the callsigns.

The proposed process is outlined in this article, which also requests comment on the process by the end of April.

A better way to encrypt messages?

Author: Simon Rice VK8ZJZ

Simon outlines the issues surrounding the use of encryption methods used to safeguard information being transferred via electronic means - including via packet radio. Encryption of message content is important in some circumstances for WICEN and other emergency operations, real and in training.

Remember, the LCD places severe limits on the circumstances on the encryption of information - read the LCD!

Equipment review: The Yaesu VX-3R

Author: Ron Fisher VK3OM

Ron outlines the features and discusses the performance of the tiny Yaesu VX-3R handheld transceiver.

A balanced antenna matching unit

Author: Ron Sanders VK2WB

Many operators prefer open wire feeders and centre-fed antennas which can be used on all HF bands. This arrangement means that you must have an antenna tuning unit (ATU) to provide a good match on the amateur HF bands. Having previously used a homebrew Transmatch ATU, Ron describes a small system, which only needs a simple plug-in module for each band. Ron started with 7 MHz.

Advertisers Index

  55 Av-com
  37 WIA Bookshop
  49 City Online (Hamshack)
  9 Com-an-tena
  16 G & C Communications
  28, 29, OBC Icom
  55 Small ads
  8 TET-Emtron
  23 TTS Systems
  IFC Vertex


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