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2009 Magazines

Other years

Amateur Radio October 2009

Delivery expected from October 5


Centenary celebrations

The Centenary Committee has been hard at work. In this issue, you will find announcements regarding several initiatives that will be running during 2010, celebrating 100 years of organised amateur radio in Australia.

This month we see a different layout – as a once only event – to announce the Centenary celebrations. To maximise best use of colour, we have swapped the positions of our Contents page and WIA Comment. News has been moved (and expanded) to pages 8 and 9 for this month. We should be back to normal next month!

Why is this so important – the Christmas break is fast approaching and it is important that clubs carefully consider if they wish to be directly involved in the Centenary celebrations through the use of the special callsign. Make sure your club makes firm plans early so that you will have a chance of operating with the special event callsign.

New callsign

Somewhat out of the blue, I received a telephone call a few weeks ago. The caller was asking if I was interested in obtaining the callsign VK3PF. After thinking about the offer for a couple of weeks, I finally called Dick to accept the offer.

It turns out that Dick was a close friend of an amateur from South Gippsland with whom I was in fairly regular contact prior to his death early this year. Prior to his death, Len VK3LM had mentioned to Dick that I might be interested in Dick’s callsign, if Dick ever wanted to pass on the callsign.

Dick is still licensed, having regained his previous callsign – VK3DDS. The application to transfer the VK3PF licence was sent off to Canberra and so now I have VK3PF – a two letter callsign with the suffix being my initials. Many thanks, Dick!

I have applied to the ACMA, through the appropriate mechanisms, to regain the old callsign – VK3KAI. I have held it for many years, since the introduction of the “Combined calls”. I will eventually stop renewing that callsign. However, I will keep it for a while, at least until I have changed over my registrations at several electronic mailing list servers and I stop receiving emails via the old email address. I now have a new WIA email address that reflects the new callsign.

New procedures for Hamads

Following some discussion, it has been decided that Hamads will be collated by the Publications Committee, as if the material was a column. The changes are reflected in the new details listed in this issue of AR. Basically, email your Hamads material to au If sending material via snail mail or via fax, send it to the WIA office, clearly marked as “Hamads”.

2010 Callbook

The preparation of the 2010 Callbook is well underway. As this issue of AR becomes available, the Callbook should be almost ready to go to print and available for delivery late in October. It is expected that prices will be the same as for last year. Why not get together with your fellow local radio club members and have the club arrange for a bulk purchase? This will ensure prompt delivery to the club with savings in postal charges. Alternatively, keep your eyes open for a WIA stand at the next hamfest – I am sure that copies will be available for sale, once delivered from the printer during mid October.

RF safety

I have received a couple of comments regarding the cover photo of the September issue with regard to RF safety.

Exposure to RF fields is not an issue to be taken lightly – we all need to be very careful about exposure to electromagnetic fields, for both ourselves and for anyone within the immediate proximity. What does that mean? The Foundation Licence Manual gives some guidelines, but the easiest option is to hunt out the VK3UM Radiation Safety Calculator, part of Doug’s excellent suite of free software. You can then select the operating band, antenna type and power level. The software will tell you the exclusion distance that everyone should be from the antenna to be safe.

I am assured by the author Compton Allen VK2HRX that the photo was a “set up” – this was not how things were actually done on the day! Some of the photos have been staged to make the photographs look more impressive.

73, Peter VK3PF

Cover photo

A Scout having fun with a handheld during a past JOTA event. Get involved and help out this year—your local club should be able to point you in the right direction. Photo by Robert Broomhead VK3DN.

Table Of Contents


About The WIA Centenary WIA News
“A ghost town called eighty”: Mentoring on air may just be the answer Michael J. Charteris VK4QS
Power generation 1919 versus 2009 Peter Wolfenden VK3RV
Yaesu VX-8R Greg Williams VK3VT and Ian Slack VK3FFLY
Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) Bob BristowVK6POP
International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend August 2009 Laurie Gordon VK2GZ
2009 ILLW — 441 Lighthouses and Lightships — and just one timeball at Williamstown
in VK3 John Karr VK3FMPB
Remembrance Day Contest Reports Mike Charteris VK4QS Roger Nichols VK7ARN
Latest DXCC standings Eddie DeYoung VK4AN

The HB10 transceiver Bruce Kidgell VK3BMK
The half wave dipole (Foundation Corner) Ross Pittard VK3CE
My G5RV dedicated coupler unit for 80 / 40 / 20 metres Wayne Pickard VK2ACY

About The WIA Centenary

The WIA Centenary Committee gives us an outline of the events planned for 2010, the centenary of organised amateur radio in Australia.

On 11 March 1910 a group of wireless telegraphy enthusiasts met at the Hotel Australia in Sydney to form The Institute of Wireless Telegraphy of Australia, and set the foundation for the Wireless Institute of Australia we know today.

Read an outline of plans in the WIA special comment on page 1, with more details on pages 8 and 9.

Yaesu VX-8R

Greg Williams VK3VT and Ian Slack VK3FFLY

This is a ‘hands-on’ review of the very popular Yaesu handheld, the VX-8R, from the viewpoint of both an experienced amateur radio user, and a relative newcomer to the hobby.

The comments are ‘hands on, in that they all come as a result of actual usage of the unit ‘in the field’.

Prospective handheld buyers will, no doubt, be interested in the comments of the authors.

The half wave dipole (Foundation Corner)

Ross Pittard VK3CE

This is the second of a series of articles directed toward Amateur Radio’s many Foundation licensees, and features the design, construction and build of a half wave dipole for the HF band of choice.

Very basic in content, but readily understandable, and of genuine interest to all who aspire to operate on HF, and who require a simple, easily constructed antenna to do so.

Please note that Ross has advised of an error that we missed in proof reading:

It has been brought to my attention that the calculations for a 1/2 wave dipole on page 10 of October's article are in fact for a full wave.

The correct lengths are 20.07 meters overall end to end and 10.035 meters approx. for each leg.

Also note that the 40 m dipole acts as three half waves, fed at the centre, and not as a 5/8 wave, when used on 15 m.

My G5RV dedicated coupler unit for 80 / 40 / 20 metres

Wayne Pickard VK2ACY

In this article the author describes, in detail, the sequence used to build an antenna coupler that is specifically designed for use with the ever popular G5RV wire antenna.

All of the dimensions of the antenna, and the philosophy behind the electrical design, are tailored specifically for this task which, according to the author, was well worth the effort as he believes he now achieves more than comparable performance from his antenna in comparison with other wire antennas he has previously used.

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Page Last Updated: Tuesday 13 October 2009 at 11:34 hours


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