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2010 Magazines

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Amateur Radio August 2010

Delivery expected from August 2


Since writing the last Editorial, things have been hectic at the VK3PF QTH. Not the least of which has been a physical translocation! Yes, I have moved (more correctly, I am still moving…). Functionally, this means that I have extremely limited amateur communications capabilities at present. I am restricted to local FM contacts on 2 m and 70 cm bands for the moment, at least until I have some time to get better antennas erected. The new home is a bigger house on a bigger block, located right on the edge of Churchill. My neighbour to the north is a 20 hectare paddock which is part of a dairy farm.

Some of the local club members have been extremely helpful – last Saturday afternoon saw four of them arrive at the old location. In short order we had a stack of boxes loaded into a van and all of the external antennas dismantled and most loaded onto roof racks and moved to the new location. There is still a lot to be moved – 20 years of accumulated goodies (I can use that some time soon…., but still the items are awaiting attention!) to move. Then there is the Nally tower to lower. Once all is moved, I will need to plan carefully how to reassemble a station at the new address. Of course, under the regulations in force in Victoria, I will need to apply for a building permit to erect the Nally (and perhaps its “partner”, currently in storage at a friend’s home).

As if the formalities of finalisation of the house purchase and move were not enough, there have been examination papers to mark, a new semester requiring lots of preparation and GippsTech 2010 to coordinate and chair. One other task that needed attention was to organise this issue of AR.

August – what are your plans?
The month of August is potentially a busy one, depending upon your location. Ham fests are occurring in some locations. On a national scale, there are three key events.

The Remembrance Day Contest is a key national event, with the very detailed rules appearing in this issue. The key aim of this event is to commemorate the lives of amateurs who died during World War II and to promote friendly on-air participation.

Another event promoting friendly on-air participation is the International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend – not a contest, it has its emphasis on participation.

There are sure to be other events occurring during the month, including more Clubs activating the VK100WIA special callsign. Do not forget to work as many Clubs as possible, together with WIA members, so that you can qualify for the WIA Centenary Award. Even if you do not qualify for the award, working the callsign will result in receipt of the special QSL card, provided you have made the appropriate arrangements with the Inwards QSL bureau.

The other key local event in August for all Australian amateurs is the ALARA Contest. For all the OMs out there, the goal is to work as many YL operators as possible. You can find the rules in this month’s Contest column.

Plan ahead…
September will bring the Westlakes Cup (details also in the Contest column). October has two major events.

You should already be well into planning your participation in the annual Jamboree On The Air event. As this event is aimed at involving younger members of society, through the Guide and Scout movements, modern day regulations require that appropriate paperwork must be completed to ensure the safety of all. NOW is the time to make sure that all arrangements are well progressed and formalities close to completion.

One week after JOTA sees the first National Field Day, with its focus on establishing stations in the field, but at locations which will expose OUR hobby to the broader community. The rules for this event will be published shortly, but are still to be finalised as we go to press. Check the WIA website for further details – I hope that we will have more to report on this event next month.

Cheers, Peter VK3PF

Cover photo

The well set up antenna farm at Cape Nelson Lighthouse near Portland during the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend in 2009.
Story on page 34. Photo by Glenn Alford VK3ILH.

Table Of Contents

The Targa Wrest Point 2010 rally Roger Nichols VK7ARN
Tallyho at Mt Gambier Andrew McKinnis VK5KET
ILLW 2009 A weekend to explore (Cover Story) Glenn Alford VK3ILH
GippsTech 2010 – another successful year Peter Freeman VK3PF
Gridsquare Standings at 11 June 2010 Guy Fletcher VK2KU
WIA Centenary Award

PIC Morse keyer using the PIC16F628A Peter Wathen VK3EPW
Going mobile Ross Pittard VK3CE
A basic trap for young players Richard Cortis VK2XRC
The Melbourne digital ATV repeater VK3RTV Mt Dandenong Peter Cossins VK3BFG

Plus all the usual Club news and columns

ILLW 2009 A weekend to explore (Cover Story)

Glenn Alford VK3ILH
The author is a lover of natural beauty, amateur radio and old lighthouses – in travelling to Portland for the ILLW 2009 weekend, he was able to enjoy all three which, you will note from what he wrote, and with the passion he expressed, indicates that he certainly did enjoy himself.

A short contribution focussing on some good, old fashioned, fun in amateur radio.

Tallyho at Mt Gambier

Andrew McKinnis VK5KET
Mt Gambier has become the site of the annual Australian Fox Hunt Championships over the Queen’s Birthday weekend in early June, in conjunction with the South East Radio Group annual convention. Andrew supplies us with a report together with a collection of photographs of the fox hunting action.

The Melbourne digital ATV repeater VK3RTV Mt Dandenong

Peter Cossins VK3BFG

The author began by giving a very brief overview of the history of this repeater, and then details the sequence of, first, thinking about, and then planning and effecting the recent upgrade of the repeater, and specifically its change from analogue to digital operation.

He provides quite a bit of detail of the changes effected covering, among other things, how it was funded, some of the design considerations, the acquisition, by various means, of the hardware and the application of all that effort in providing Melbourne with a first class ATV repeater service.

This is an excellent read – and one that, hopefully, will induce more users to try and perhaps adopt this facet of amateur radio activity.

PIC Morse keyer using the PIC16F628A

Peter Wathen VK3EPW

This article details the design, development and build of a PIC micro controller based Morse keyer, using as a base a Jaycar programmer kit subsequently modified to remove several design faults (in the view of the author) prior to the actual keyer prototype being developed.

The two units built were to replace his then current external keyer, and were designed to be placed inside each of his home brew transceivers, where they are reported as both working perfectly.

An interesting article about one amateur’s ‘simple little weekend project that turned out to take just a little longer in reality’.

Advertisers Index

 54 ATN
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 55 Cookson (Jackson Bros)
 55 Hamak Electrical Industries
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 22 Jaycar
 55 Ludatronics
 55 Measurement
 55 RF Tools
 13 TET-Emtron
 55 Tower
 33, 55 TTS
 IFC, 16 Vertex Standard (Yaesu)
 55 VKHam
 OBC WIA centenary merchandise


Files For Download

Files for the VK3EPW PIC keyer

Page Last Updated: Wednesday 28 July 2010 at 20:39 hours


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