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2008 Magazines

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Amateur Radio January 2008

February 5 2008


Welcome to the 2008 year

I trust that your festive season has been productive and renewing. This is often one of the regular times at which we make the effort to create an occasion to spend time with our extended family. The New Year has begun. So too, it seems, has the next sunspot cycle, according to the expert solar observers. This means that propagation on the prime HF bands will soon begin to improve, delivering many of those DX stations with a little less stress.

It is interesting how the ionosphere behaves. Many aspects are reasonably well understood – we can see this from the various ionospheric prediction services that are readily available via the internet, allowing those interested to anticipate when they may be able to work that DXpedition to the new country or the rare IOTA. On the other hand, there are many aspects that still evade a simple explanation. Examples of the unpredictable aspects of ionospheric behaviour have been readily observed on the six and two metre amateur bands over the last couple of months: just read the reports of the Es events in this month’s VHF/UHF column, documenting just some of the long distance contacts via Es on both 50 and 144 MHz. Among the more notable contacts must be the contact from VK5 to ZL via Es -well done Brian.

As we have moved into the typical summer weather patterns, we have also seen examples of enhanced tropospheric propagation. Several openings on 2 m and 70 cm have been observed from the south-west corner of Western Australia across to South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, and from ZLto VK2 and VK4. At times, it was frustrating to look at the reports on the vk-logger of stations being heard and worked from Melbourne, only to hear nothing in the Latrobe Valley, some 160 km further east. Perseverance does sometimes pay – I did manage to work some new squares and even into VK6 on one occasion on two metres.

Due to work and family commitments, I missed participating in two of my favourite contests: the Spring and Summer VHF/UHF Field Day contests. I did not miss out entirely for the Summer event, as I did manage a few contacts. I hope that all who did participate in the summer contest made the effort to submit logs!

VK4 news column

Due to the lack of support from the mainly southern AR clubs in the state, Ross VK4AQ has decided not to continue as coordinator of the VK4 News Column. Ross thanks the couple of southern contributors who did make the effort to send information.
On behalf of the Publications Committee, I thank Ross for his work over the past months.

Drafting skills

Do you have both an understanding of electronic schematics and drafting skills? Familiar with the use of a good quality CAD package? The Publications Committee has been largely relying on one person to assist in the preparation of technical drawings to the stage that they are suitable for publication. We can publish some schematics as supplied, when prepared in some software packages. Others require redrafting, either because the drawings are not of suf´Čücient quality or because the drawings do not have sufficient resolution to allow reliable reproduction in print. We are looking for someone to assist our current draftsperson, Bill Roper VK3BR, with the drafting tasks. Bill is willing to help anyone interested in developing the skills needed to ensure that we can continue to present quality drawings in our magazine.

Amateur licence conditions and other matters

As you will see in the WIANews column, it is highly likely that the ACMA will soon make announcements regarding several issues regarding amateur radio: the revised LCD, outsourcing of some aspects of administration of callsigns and the introduction of a Class Licence for visiting amateurs. Watch out for news of the outcomes of these considerations via the WIA News broadcast and the WIA website. All going well, we expect to have the key details in the next edition of AR.


Table Of Contents


  WRC and amateur radio Keith Malcolm VK1ZKM
  National FM ATV ‘Grand Slam’ attempt Dan Joyce VK2GG


  Transverter controller Dale Hughes VK1DSH.
  Icom IC-2820H dual band FM transceiver (Equipment Review) Peter Freeman VK3KAI
  The ¼ wave squid pole antenna Dallas Jones VK3DJ

Plus all the usual columns and Club news

WRC and amateur radio Keith Malcolm VK1ZKM

Keith Malcolm VK1ZKM gives us an overview of the way in which a World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC) runs. He then reports on the outcomes from WRC-07 for the Amateur Radio service.

National FM ATV 'Grand Slam' attempt Dan Joyce VK2GG

Dan Joyce VK2GG reports on a weekend of hill-topping activities, with the participants setting out to establish or extend microwave Amateur Television (ATV) distance records.

Icom IC-2820H dual band FM transceiver (Equipment Review) Peter Freeman VK3KAI

Peter Freeman VK3KAI reviews the IC-2820H dual band FM transceiver and reports on his initial exploration of the D-STAR Digital Voice (DV) mode.

The ¼ wave squid pole antenna Dallas Jones VK3DJ

Dallas Jones VK3DJ reports on his experiments using a 8.4 metre long "Squid Pole" telescopic fishing pole as an antenna support for the HF bands 80 m to 15 m.

Advertisers Index

  20 Andrews
  63 Av-com
  13 City Online
  17 Com-an-tena
  8 G & C Communications
  31, 23, IBC Icom
  25 Jenlex filters
  8 KVK Antennas
  44 Centre Victoria Radiofest
  63 Small ads
  28 TET-Emtron antennas
  24 TTS
  IFC Vertex
  63 WIA Bookshop
  29 Wyong (CCARC)


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