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2009 Magazines

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Amateur Radio August 2009

Delivery expected from 3 August


A busy month (again)

The last month has again been busy in Churchill. On the radio front, there has not been much happening in the VK3KAI shack – work and other matters have been at the forefront. Therefore there has been another month of minimal progress on my long list of “to do” jobs.

A major event occurred, for both myself and the local club – the annual GippsTech event was held on the second weekend of July. We were hoping that hosting the WIA AGM Weekend of Activities, including GippsTech – Special Edition, would not seriously impact on our club’s signature event.

Although registrations were initially slow, we ended up with 125 people registered, which included 13 for the partners’ activities. I have not had time to look back at the records, but this must be close to the maximum number of participants to date.

We enjoyed a very full weekend of talks, with a predominance of technical topics and some of more general interest. Everyone seemed to be very happy overall with the presentations, with many only complaining that the event was too short.

Several suggested possible topics for next year. Of course, much like this magazine, the event depends on individuals volunteering to present material on a topic. We shall see if we can convert some of the interest into real presentations for next year!

I am not sure if we will be able to source a detailed report for this magazine, but there was insufficient time to include a report in this issue.

I do like to keep work separate to hobby, but the end of semester becomes crazy, with increased administrative loads on top of the need to mark large piles of examination papers – enough of that topic – it can be rather depressing….. On top of the end of semester workload, there is virtually no respite before one is busy finalising the details for the commencement of semester two.

Oh well, only another 13 weeks or so until it all happens again. At least once that is all over, there is a little respite over a few weeks of summer before it all starts again next year.

Echoes of Apollo

This issue features reports from Tasmania and Victoria of the Earth-Moon-Earth contacts made over the last weekend in June – designated as World Moon Bounce Day. The idea, as far as I can tell, arose from Pat Barthelow in the US, with Robert Brand locally in Australia also promoting the event.

Whilst the event was about a month early for the fortieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon, the event dates were chosen to allow for the possible inclusion of Australian earth stations which have limits with regard to actually pointing at the moon: For those not aware of the orbital mechanics for the moon, it can vary significantly with respect to the “declination” – the plane of the moon’s orbit moves with respect to the Earth’s equator.

Whilst all of the proposed activities may not have eventuated, it is clear that many amateurs around the world were active on the 23 cm band over the weekend. Many had local television news coverage, providing an excellent lead in to the Apollo anniversary activities and also promoting amateur radio in general and EME in particular.

It will be interesting to see if this activity continues. What is quite clear is that the general idea “had legs”. Congratulations to all Australian amateurs who became involved. I especially thank Rex VK7MO, Justin VK7TW and Doug VK3UM for their timely detailed reports.


Thanks to the people who contacted me, prompted by the request for articles published on the July mailing labels. Several articles will be published shortly.

As I have implied above, this magazine relies on YOUR contributions. Yes, the article review process may take time, but most are accepted and published.

It has taken some time to come to fruition, but the September issue should see the appearance of a new occasional column – Foundation Corner. We are keen to have more articles that are aimed at our Foundation licensee readers, so please think about material that you can collate into an appropriate article.

Or let me know about a topic of particular interest and I will source an article or pass the suggestion on to our new contributor.

More news on this topic next month!

Cheers, Peter VK3KAI

Cover photo
This issue features the Echoes of Apollo activity weekend — The World Moon Bounce Day — held over the last weekend in June. The telescope featured largely in the event and is the 26 metre radio telescope at the University of Tasmania’s Mount Pleasant Observatory near Hobart.

Telescope photo by Dr Jim Lovell, UTAS; Neil Armstrong image courtesy NASA; Design by G Nieman.

Table Of Contents


A Call For Historical Articles
Echoes of Apollo—genesis Robert Brand
Amateur radio 1948 John K Carter
Telegraph codes in Australia John Alcorn VK2JWA
ARK’s Academy John Fisher VK3ARK
Echoes of Apollo - EME on three milliwatts! Rex Moncur VK7MO and Justin Giles-Clark VK7TW
An echo of ‘Echoes of Apollo’: the ‘SSB Fun event’ Doug McArthur VK3UM
A case of simpler being better (and easier) Felix Scerri VK4FUQ
New era of digital amateur television begins Peter Cossins VK3BFG and Jim Linton VK3PC
The Deadman’s Flat Hageby Bruce Paterson VK3TJN
Echoes of Apollo in VK5 Chris Skeer VK5MC


A transmission line balance test meter Lloyd Butler VK5BR
A phasing type transceiver for 144 MHz Dale Hughes VK1DSH

Echoes of Apollo

A major celebration occurred in late June - about a month early of the actual anniversary - the Echoes of Apollo World Mounbounce Day celebrations.

We have reports from Doug McArthur VK3UM, Rex Moncur VK7MO and Justin Giles-Clark VK7TW and Chris Skeer VK5MC about their efforts in communicating around the world on 1296 MHz via Mounbounce - EME.

New era of digital amateur television begins

Peter Cossins VK3BFG and Jim Linton VK3PC

Peter and Jim report on the development and establishment of a Digital ATV repeater in Melbourne. Another great example of amateurs developing and adapting technology as it moves forward. Now many in Melbourne can view amateur TV signals with a digital television receiver.

A transmission line balance test meter

Lloyd Butler VK5BR

The author is one of Australia’s best known and prolific authors, specialising in articles that explore the vagaries of antennas and transmission lines, and the pieces of equipment associated with that sphere of the amateur radio hobby.

In this article, he has designed a meter to measure the balance of currents in a transmission line and, as is his usual style, takes time to explain the theory of operation as well as the practical aspects of building the piece.

A phasing type transceiver for 144 MHz

Dale Hughes VK1DSH

This is part one of a two part article on how to home build a two metre phasing type transceiver that is well capable of commercial performance, and that can be constructed mostly from components available in a well developed junk box, or through several of the usual component suppliers.

The article urges experimentation, with both design and practical assembly aspects of the project, noting that there is ample room to exchange components and values, and sometimes even potentially beneficial to do so. And, with appropriate forethought, the basic design could be used to build a transceiver for a completely different amateur band, with similar results.

For the home builders among the readership well recommended.

Advertisers Index

 20 AEI (One Man Tower)
 55 Av-com
 15 Centre Victoria
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 55 Cookson (Jackson Bros)
 55 Hamak Electrical Industries
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 OBC Icom
 17 Jaycar
 55 Little Devil Antennas
 55 RF Tools
 21 TET-Emtron
 55 TTS
 55 VKHam


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