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General Information

2009 Magazines

Other years

Amateur Radio May 2009

Delivery expected from 30 April


AGM weekend of activities

As this issue of AR hits your mailbox, the WIA Annual General Meeting weekend of activities will be either about to occur or will have just occurred.

Firstly, I must declare an interest in these activities on at least two counts:

As a WIA member, it is in my interest to directly observe formally that which has happened in MY (our) organisation over the past 12 months and to be able to put issues before the Board members in an open public forum. Surely this is part of being involved in any open democratic organisation. We all have the opportunity to put our thoughts forward during the year, yet such ideas may not reach broader public awareness.

Yes, as Editor, I am in a unique position to raise my thoughts, yet I usually prefer to put any ideas forward in more subtle ways, rather than attempting to use my position. I also recognise that the WIA could choose to censor any inappropriate thoughts that I might raise. That also is a consequence of being part of such a representative organisation.

Secondly, many will know that I originated the idea of an Australian annual technical conference with its focus on matters related to VHF, UHF and microwave amateur communications – the annual GippsTech conference hosted by the Eastern Zone Amateur Radio Club (Inc.) (EZARC).

The WIA has invited the EZARC to host this year’s AGM and to organise an extra GippsTech event as a supporting focal event. EZARC decided to accept the offer, noting that we should make clear that this was to be an extra event – hence the name “GippsTech – Special Event”.

Some people seem to have confused the two events – the Special Event and the forthcoming (normal) GippsTech conference, which will occur in early July, as is the usual course of events. This is unfortunate, as clearly some have not read the information available. I agree that there is little detailed information about GippsTech 2009 on the EZARC website, but that is as usual. We rarely have any detailed information until late May or early June, apart from the actual dates for the event. Part of this is due to the habits of those willing to present – they will often leave it until quite late to offer up a topic for presentation!

As Chair of the GippsTech Organising Committee (really just the EZARC Committee acting with a different focus), I have deliberately invited particular speakers to present on a variety of topics for the Special Event: some are well known to GippsTech regulars, others are on subjects I saw as being topical and of potential interest to a broader audience than the usual GippsTech attendees.

All the work by the people involved will soon show the results – the Special Event will be over, with appropriate reports in the June issue of AR. I look forward to meeting as many attendees as possible over the weekend.

And, of course, consider attending the annual GippsTech event over the weekend of July 11 and 12 for a full-on dose of all things VHF, UHF and microwaves! Further details will be available soon on

Emergency communications

As you read this editorial, World Amateur Radio Day will have recently occurred, with a focus this year on the role of the amateur service in providing communications services during emergency situations, either real or in training exercises.

Included in this issue are three articles that continue the record of the service of our hobby during the disaster events of this year – more stories from the Victorian bushfires.

I have also included two accounts of Club activities during the John Moyle Memorial National Field Day, received just in time for inclusion in this issue. Whilst this contest can provide an excellent opportunity for fun club activities and camaraderie, we must remember that the “John Moyle” is really all about preparing for the provision of communications when least expected – during emergency situations.

I am sure that we shall have some further reports in due course, possibly in the same issue in which we publish the contest results.

73 Peter VK3KAI

Cover photo
Our cover this month features the Icom IC-7200 transceiver. Read the review by well known amateurs Bill Roper VK3BR and Ron Fisher VK3OM starting on page 22.

Table Of Contents

WICEN past, present and possible future. Jim Linton VK3PC
Fires out but more to do. Jim Linton VK3PC
What do some amateur radio operators do in their spare time? Operate radio of course! Arthur Greaves VK3FBEE
Dangerous Capacitors. John Morrissey VK3ZRX
John Moyle Memorial National Field Day. Various reporters
SERG and the Mount Gambier Legends of the Lakes Hill Climb. Charles Prime VK5XCP
90th Anniversary of Radio Communications between the UK and Australia. Edwin Lowe VK2VEL

An overview of the underestimated magnetic loop HF antenna. Leigh Turner VK5KLT
AM detector for general high fidelity listening of local AM. Felix Scerri VK4FUQ
An Active Loop Receiving Antenna for 7 ~ 29 MHz. Drew Diamond VK3XU
The Icom IC-7200 HF and 6 m 100 watt transceiver. Bill Roper VK3BR and Ron Fisher VK3OM
Off Centre Fed dipole (OCF). Ron Cook VK3AFW

Amateur involvement in the Victorian fires

Jim Linton VK3PC and Arthur Greaves VK3FBEE

In this issue we have three articles which tell us about various aspects of the involvement of amateur radio operators in the Victorian fire fighting efforts and reflect upon what may happen in the future. The articles are:

WICEN past, present and possible future. Jim Linton VK3PC
Fires out but more to do. Jim Linton VK3PC
What do some amateur radio operators do in their spare time? Operate radio of course! Arthur Greaves VK3FBEE

John Moyle Memorial National Field Day

We have received several reports about the activities of clubs in the annual John Moyle Memorial National Filed Day Contest, commonly just referred to as "the John Moyle".

Read about these activities starting on page 27.

The Icom IC-7200 HF and 6 m 100 watt transceiver

Bill Roper VK3BR and Ron Fisher VK3OM

The reviewers are both highly experienced amateurs with a significant amateur hands-on operational history, and are well versed in the development of amateur equipment over a long period of time.

Their review of the Icom IC-7200 is based on their own hands on experience with the piece, and is explained from the point of view of the user, rather than detailing and highlighting aspects of the transceivers very capable technical performance characteristics, details of which can be taken either for the Icom website, or by reading more technically oriented reviews from the likes of the ARRL – this approach is seen as more sensible, and helpful, to the average reader who may be contemplating purchasing the rig, or who needs to know some standard operational processes that they can take and compare to other pieces, possibly for purchasing comparison.

A very interesting and informative review – well worth the read.

An overview of the underestimated magnetic loop HF antenna

Leigh Turner VK5KLT

‘It seems one of the best kept secrets in the amateur radio community is how well a small diminutive magnetic loop antenna can really perform in practice compared with large traditional HF antennas. The objective of this article is to disseminate some practical information about successful homebrew loop construction and to enumerate the loop’s key distinguishing characteristics and unique features’.

Thus begins the author’s article on this type of antenna, and how its performance and other positive features may well make it a worthwhile alternative for many amateurs to consider as their next antenna project.

For those readers who love antennas, and discussions thereon, a good read.

Advertisers Index

 10 AUZ Communications
 55 Av-com
 17 Bookshop
 54 Com-an-tena
 OBC Icom
 23 Jaycar
 55 Small ads
 13 TET-Emtron
 9, 15 White (Hamshack


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