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2008 Magazines

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Amateur Radio March 2008

6 March 2008


Amateur licence conditions

As expected, the ACMA Board approved the documents associated with amendments to the amateur Licence Conditions Determination. In time, there should be an updated single document published, incorporating the amendments into a single document. As I write this, it can be somewhat confusing for someone trying to decipher the regulations, as you need to refer to several separate documents.

Please take the time to read the summary of the changes that appears elsewhere in this issue.

The other awaited change that was approved at the same ACMA Board meeting was the establishment of a Class Licence for visiting amateurs. Brief details of that licence are given in the WIA News column in this issue. Why is this change important for Australian amateurs, as opposed to those visiting our shores? It marks an important step towards having reciprocal rights with the CEPT licence system, as noted by Michael Owen VK3KI in his Comment column. This should eventually make it much simpler for Australian amateurs visiting Europe.
I urge you all to read Comment, News and the article by VK3KI on the LCD amendments.

Field Day contests

It seems to be Field Day contest season. We had the Summer VHF/UHF Field Day contest in the middle of January and should expect to see the Results soon. Coming up this month is the John Moyle Memorial National Field Day contest. Many are now referring to this contest as the “John Moyle” or the “John Moyle Field Day” – many in today’s society are lazy with names.

This long-standing contest promotes activity from the field. It is open to home stations and field stations, each operating in separate sections. The rules were published in last month’s issue of AR (see page 52) and are available on the WIA website.

If you have the chance, why not make the effort to try field operations? Even if you are only sitting in the motor vehicle or set up a very simple station, lots of fun can be had by working the better equipped field stations. Many clubs put significant effort into this contest, so some big signals can be heard on the VHF, UHF and microwave bands. Even if you can only get on-air from home for part of the contest, your contacts will be appreciated by the field stations.

The other type of Field Day

Now that the festive season has passed, we seem to be into the season of that other type of Filed Day – the “hamfest” events are coming up thick and fast. In VK3, this year the season kicked off with the Centre Victoria Radiofest at Kyneton, which has moved to early February for 2008. The following weekend saw the Central Coast ARC event at Wyong. I am sure that both events will have been successful – despite the Wyong event being impacting wet weather. The week after Wyong saw the event in Healesville, then a short gap to the EMDRC event on the second weekend in March. Of course, there are other similar events around the country, offering plenty of opportunities to get together and catch up with friends and to survey the new and pre-loved equipment on offer. I am sure that we will receive reports on many of these events in future issues.

I have also heard some people referring to their plans to attend what is perhaps the biggest of this type of event Рthe Dayton Hamvention held in May in Dayton Ohio. That is one event I would like to visit again РI managed a visit to the 2001 event. Visitor numbers in that year were down a little on the previous year, with around 21,000 attending! It is an amazing event, with a huge inside area packed with mainly commercial vendors and almost the entire car park around the stadium buildings taken up by the flea market vendors, offering a huge array of equipment. And there are other very significant overseas events, especially the Tokyo Ham Fair and the event at Friedrichshafen. Perhaps one day….

Peter VK3KAI

Table Of Contents


  The changes to the amateur LCD Michael Owen VK3KI


  A “Paddyboard” substrate for popular 8-pin surface mount chips Drew Diamond VK3XU.
  A cheap 15 amp switch-mode power supply for 13.8 V Robert Broomhead VK3KRB
  Quieting a switch-mode power supply Drew Diamond VK3XU
  How to use taps to make internal screw-threads Drew Diamond VK3XU
  The Palstar AT1KP 1200 W antenna tuner (Equipment review) John Morrissey VK3ZRX
  A 160 metre AM transmitter using pulse width modulation Leigh Brown VK3TOQ

Plus all the usual columns and Club news

The changes to the amateur LCD

Michael Owen VK3KI outlines the key changes introduced with the latest changes to the amateur Licence Conditions Determination approved by the ACMA Board in early February.

The Palstar AT1KP 1200 W antenna tuner (Equipment review)

John Morrissey VK3ZRX tells us all about his exploration of the Palstar AT1KP Balanced output antenna tuner. See also the inside back cover for colour photographs of the tuner.

Quieting a switch-mode power supply

Drew Diamond VK3XU reports on his efforts to reduce the electrical noise emitted by a commercially available switch-mode power supply.

Advertisers Index

  29 Andrews
  55 Av-com
  7 City Online
  34 Com-an-tena
  9 G & C Communications
  28, 29, IBC Icom
  37 Jenlex filters
  13 KVK Antennas
  55 Small ads
  40 TET-Emtron antennas
  23 TTS
  IFC Vertex


Page Last Updated: Wednesday 5 March 2008 at 11:40 hours


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