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2009 Magazines

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Amateur Radio July 2009

Delivery expected from 1 July 2009



Winter has arrived in VK3 – some very cold nights in Churchill in the past few weeks. Snow has fallen on the peaks and the resorts are offering enticements for the skiers to make the trek and spend some dollars. Many farmers are happy that they have received some rain, but most note that they need more to make up for low rainfall levels over past months and years.

We have also been hearing the news of heavy falls further north – too heavy in places! Such is the nature of weather – at times it can be frustrating.

The Winter VHF/UHF Field Day will have been held by the time this issue is printed – I hope all that participated were happy with their efforts. Please do remember to submit your log, even if you do not think that you can win. It is helpful for the Contest Manager to receive as many logs as possible.

And you are also likely to receive at least a certificate acknowledging your participation.

Local activity

At the local club (Eastern Zone Amateur Radio Club Inc.), the committee members have only just a little breathing time after the WIA AGM weekend of activities. After just a few weeks of respite, several of us moved to planning and then running a training and assessment weekend, which will see five candidates on air with their new callsigns in the near future.

With that event completed, it is now all hands on deck to ensure that GippsTech 2009 happens as planned on the weekend of July 10, 11 and 12. We are close to finalising the program and the registration information can be found on the club website. Registrations have been coming in slowly, but we are hoping for another successful event.

Calendar of events

I would like to remind all clubs that the WIA website has an on-line Calendar – available under the “News and Events” tab. It is very easy to submit details of your planned event – just click the “Submit a calendar event” link from the calendar page, fill in the form and then submit.

Within a day or so, your event will be listed. This will help other clubs with their planning, so please enter your event as soon as you have decided on a date. This is especially important for events such as hamfests, where clubs are keen to attract attendees from further afield than just the normal club catchment area.

Women in radio

July marks the anniversary for ALARA, so we traditionally have some articles in the July issue with a “Women in radio” focus. Whenever possible, we also include an appropriate photograph on the cover. This year we have Tina VK5TMC, the new President of ALARA and also the co-ordinator of the International YL Meet to be held in Adelaide in 2012.

August – another busy month

I trust that your planning for activities during August is going well.

The Calendar shows two hamfest events on August 2nd – one in WA and the Yarra Valley event, postponed from February due to the Victorian bushfires.

In the latter half of the month we have the Remembrance Day Contest and the ALARA contest. On the same weekend as the RD Contest, many groups will be participating in the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend – not itself a contest, but that does not mean that you cannot also participate in the RD!


In the report on the WIA AGM weekend of activities, I made an error in the section concerning the annual WIA dinner. The mystery guest was actually “Dr Ron” VK3EHF from TechTalk Radio. The web address for the TechTalk Radio group is There are certainly some interesting topics covered during their shows.

I also failed to acknowledge that all the photos included in the report were taken by Robert Broomhead VK3DN. I know that he is not worried about this small omission, but I believe that his contribution should be recognised.


Peter VK3KAI

Cover photo

Our cover this month features Tina VK5TMC, the incoming ALARA President. ALARA is hosting the YL International in 2012, so Tina’s Presidency will be a busy one. Full story on page 22.
Photo by Christine Taylor VK5CTY, Earth courtesy of NASA/Reto Stöckli, design by G Nieman.

Table Of Contents


Maatsuyker Island IOTA OC-233 Roger Nichols VK7ARN
New ALARA President: Tina VK5TMC Christine Taylor VK5CTY
A Wonderful Old Timer Mavis Stafford VK3KS Jim Linton VK3PC
Currie Lighthouse, ILLW, King Island Glenn Alford VK3CAM
A 1296 MHz saga Michael Coleman VK3KH and Ian Cowan VK1BG
The tale of a valve Christine Taylor VK5CTY


PC RFI reduction and sound-card interface Dale Hughes VK1DSH
An active loop receiving antenna for 1.8 - 4 MHz Drew Diamond VK3XU
A transverter for 2.4 GHz Andrew Davis VK1DA
The ‘Hentenna’ for six metres Andy Williss VK5LA

Women in radio

Traditionally, the issue of Amateur Radio has a focus on Women in Radio, due to July being the month in which the Australian Ladies Amateur Radio Association (ALARA) was formed.

In this issue, our outgoing ALARA columnist Christine Taylor VK5CTY gives us a profile of Tina Clogg VK5TMC, the incoming ALARA President and co-ordinator of the Australian International YL Meet, to be held in Adelaide in 2012. Read the story on page 22.

On the next page, we have a report A wonderful old timer by Jim Linton VK3PC which tells us of the 70 years on air as an amateur enjoyed by Mavis Stafford VK3KS. There is a further report of the celebratory lunch held in Melbourne for Mavis in the ALARA column, the first for our new ALARA columnist Aysha Venugopal VK5FASH.

International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend

August sees two significant events on the amateur radio calendar in VK: The Remembrance Day Contest, and the International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend (ILLW), which is a fun weekend around the globe. In this issue, we carry two stories related to amateur radio and lighthouses.

The first is a report from Roger Nichols VK7ARN entitled Maatsuyker Island IOTA OC-233, which reports on an eyeball QSO that several VK7 operators had when Tad VK2LNX and Suzanne VK2FSMJ came back from the wilderness after a three month term on Maatsuyker Island in early February. If you need to, look up Maatsuyker Island in your atlas (or using Google Earth or Google maps) – you will see what I mean about wilderness!

Also on the ILLW theme, we have Currie Lighthouse, ILLW, King Island by Glenn Alford VK3CAM, telling us about his experiences on King Island in the 2008 ILLW. Check out the centre spread and the extra colour photos on the Inside Back Cover.

PC RFI reduction and sound-card interface

Dale Hughes VK1DSH

Many amateurs have been delighted to discover the merits of digital communication (including CW communication) utilising a computer with a sound-card (these days that essentially means all new computers) and an appropriate software program, suitably interfaced to a transceiver. It is a huge ‘growth’ market in HF DX communication, in particular.

The results can be pure magic, as the writer can testify.

However, there are a number of issues that may confront the operator, and noise, randomly generated by the computer itself, is one of the more prevalent problems that arise.

In this article the author looks at ‘noise’, in general, and discusses in modest detail what might be done to alleviate the problem.

This article is sure to appeal to a significant portion of the readership, but anyone who uses a PC attached to a transceiver will benefit from reading the article – I recommend that you do not miss it.

(Editor’s note: Unfortunately, the proof readers missed the fact that the connections at the left hand edge of the circuit diagram became merged with the image border. The revised article (as well as the 2.4 GHz transverter article by Andrew Davis VK1DA) is now available for download at the bottom of this page.)

The ‘Hentenna’ for six metres

Andy Williss VK5LA

Do you have a transceiver that is capable of operating on the 50 MHz amateur band, but do not operate there because you don’t have a suitable antenna? This interesting antenna might be just what you need to spur an interest in this fascinating part of our amateur radio spectrum.

This was the rhetorical question asked by the author at the start of his article, and he then describes the design characteristics of his ‘different’ six metre antenna, which, by the way, is a loop of radiating material fed somewhere around 1/10 of a wavelength from the bottom of the complete loop.

This will be of quite some interest to antenna inclined ‘technicians’, and for anyone who may be looking for their first six metre antenna or just, maybe, an alternate to an exiting one.

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Files For Download

PC RFI reduction and sound-card interface

A transverter for 2.4 GHz

Page Last Updated: Wednesday 8 July 2009 at 4:57 hours


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