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2009 Magazines

Other years

Amateur Radio November 2009

Delivery expected from October 30


Requests to copy material

I occasionally receive requests to republish and/or copy material that has appeared in Amateur Radio magazine. Recently, the WIA also received a request to reprint information that is available from the WIA web site.

What is the situation with these materials?

Under Australian law, copyright vests (belongs to) to the author of the material, unless the author passes the copyright to another person or body – e.g. to a publisher. The WIA's standard terms on which we deal with authors is that the author grants the WIA and Amateur Radio an irrevocable licence throughout the world to publish and republish the material in any WIA publication in any medium and to permit any IARU national society to publish the material in its national magazine, so long as the material is fully and clearly attributed. The author retains copyright.

Therefore, for any request to republish material from Amateur Radio, the person requesting permission must actually receive two lots of permission: from Amateur Radio (meaning from me, as Editor) and from the author of the material. If both permissions are granted, it will be on the basis that when republished, due acknowledgment of the material having been published in AR, including the issue details, will be clearly made – this is what is called attribution.

But what about material on the WIA web site?

For items such as News announcements, it should be okay to republish the material, provided correct attribution of the source is made.

For much of the other material on the WIA web site, such as the technical/support information, information about where to hear the news, etc., the story must be different. This type of information is subject to periodic amendment, and should therefore only have one home. If anyone wishes to “distribute” this material, they should only publish a link to the WIA web site, either from their local web site or in the local Club newsletter. This prevents outdated information being displayed all over the place.

So, if anyone wishes to republish an article from AR, contact me as Editor in the first instance. I can then usually pass the request on to the author.

For material that is published on the WIA website, any request can be made to the Secretary of the WIA. However, do note that much of the material will not be permitted to be republished, as it is best for everyone if we have the material in only one location. That way, it can be as up to date as possible.

Some might say “But many do not have access to the internet”. I would disagree – in most areas, you only need to go to the local library and ask for assistance! If you take the URL for the material with you, a librarian will usually help you to quickly locate the material.

A little time spent in the shack
I was able to commit some time recently to actually listening to the radios and attempting some contacts on VHF, apart from contacts via the local repeater network.

I did manage to confuse one amateur in Canberra during our first contact since I acquired my new callsign! It was an aircraft enhancement contact on a Saturday morning, so signals were a little variable at the start of the contact.

The next task was to get the gear working again with the interface to the computer, to enable use of the WSJT modes. Watching the VK Logger, I noted that Barry VK3BJM/5 was finally on air at Mount Arden. Moving the beam towards him bought S6 noise across the entire lower segment of 144 MHz! I could see others having success in working Barry, but nothing heard by me due to the noise. I eventually gave up and moved to some other tasks.

I was up early on Sunday morning, hoping for a meteor scatter contact. Others were having success, but that broadband noise source was strongest at my optimum beam heading. Darn! I went back to just monitoring the frequency being used. And then there was a glimmer of hope – I had a perfect decode of Barry’s signal as he was completing a contact into Melbourne using JT65a. Having made contact with Barry via the logger, we spent some twenty minutes attempting a contact. Neither of us had any decodes, even with the mode’s averaging function. I was hearing regular meteor pings, so I suggested to Barry that we change to FSK441. Almost immediately I received both our callsigns from Barry and started to send a report. It was now late in the morning, and the number of meteors was falling. But we did finally complete the contact, after almost an hour!

Thanks for the new grid square, Barry!


Peter VK3PF

Cover photo

Icom’s IC-7600 HF – 6 m all mode transceiver. Outstanding!
Read the review by VK3BR and VK3OM on page 22. Photo Bill Roper VK3BR.

Table Of Contents


Birdsville area emergency — Amateur radio raises the alarm, Richard Neilsen VK2LET
Equipment Review: Icom IC-7600 HF – 6 m all mode transceiver, Bill Roper VK3BR and Ron Fisher VK3OM
JARL Ham Fair is a top event, Jim Linton VK3PC
HF holiday: working from A35-Tonga, Stephen Warrillow VK3SN
VK7 moves closer to VK0, Roger Nichols VK7ARN


Dip oscillator helper, Lou Destefano VK3AQZ
Understanding and testing choke coax baluns, Paul McMahon VK3DIP
Simple tools:
A surface mount component soldering aid,
Test tweezers for surface mount components, Jim Tregellas VK5JST
A repeater over-timer, Keith Gooley VK5OQ
The balun (Foundation Corner Three), Ross Pittard VK3CE
Stationmaster for 40 metres, Paul Whitrow VK5FUZZ

Equipment Review: Icom IC-7600 HF – 6 m all mode transceiver

Bill Roper VK3BR and Ron Fisher VK3OM

The authors once again review a new HF – 6 metre transceiver offering, this time the Icom IC-7600 and, once again, provide an admirable overview of the unit from an operational point of view, more or less trying to determine what a new owner of the unit might think of the unit, and its operational ease, upon opening the box.

This is a deliberate tactic in their review process, preferred rather than detailing and commenting, at length, its many technical features, for which in any event they have no adequate equipment to compare against the published performance parameters which, although almost always correct in what they say/state, are sometimes totally inadequate in describing how a transceiver feels to an operator, and what are some of the ‘good’ operational points, and a few of the ‘less satisfying’ features in this regard.

A worthy read for someone contemplating the purchase of a new HF rig, or for those who just want to stay abreast of the features and operating flexibility available on the latest offering from Icom.

HF holiday: working from A35-Tonga

Stephen Warrillow VK3SN

This is a well written recollection of a family holiday to the south Pacific island nation Tonga that, apart from the normal family holiday activities to be enjoyed from such a location, also included a low-key DXpedition type operation on HF from a suitably assembled ‘holiday portable’ station.

The author is well known for his well written articles detailing portable operations from the Australian highlands, and this article very eloquently details the preparations undertaken, and the subsequent enjoyment generated by this south Pacific island operation whilst retaining the principal requirement of an entertaining and enjoyable family holiday.

Understanding and testing choke coax baluns

Paul McMahon VK3DIP

The author began this article by stating that the coax cable choke style balun is, fundamentally, misunderstood.

He then provides a lengthy explanation of the theory of baluns, the aim being that the reader is significantly assisted in his understanding of the device, and then gives two examples of how to test such baluns, with readily available equipment, to ensure they are appropriate for their expected role.

An interesting article on balun theory, that should assist most amateurs in their endeavours to maximise power out of the transceiver so that it is, effectively and efficiently, transferred to the antenna.

The balun (Foundation Corner Three)

Ross Pittard VK3CE

This is the third of a series of articles directed toward Amateur Radio’s many Foundation licensees, and features the design, construction and build of a balun suitable for HF.

Very basic in content, but readily understandable, and of genuine interest to all who aspire to operate on the HF bands, and require a simple, easily constructed balun for their (homebrew) antenna of choice.

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