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2010 Magazines

Other years

Amateur Radio June 2010

Delivery expected from June 1


Time flies

Where has the last month gone? It seems like only yesterday that I was tapping out the Editorial for the May issue, and I am already late in preparing the next one!

As usual during the part of the year with actual face to face teaching, work has been its very busy self. The imminent end of semester means that there are examination papers to prepare, assignments to mark, and next semester’s material to prepare. As soon as all of those tasks are completed, there are exam papers to mark followed by results to collate. Such is modern academia, plus “they” expect us to prepare grant applications, do research and prepare learned papers for publication.

At the same time, I have been involved in the organisation of this year’s GippsTech event, including the preparation of the material for the printed Proceedings volume from last year’s event. More time at the keyboard, transforming material into a standard format (when supplied as requested) or deciding whether to bother such a transformation or to simply to print the material as supplied – both options take time. On top of those tasks, some silly person said that he would present at the WIA AGM…… oh well, there a few nights left before I must hit the road to Canberra!

Contribute to your magazine
We have had many excellent articles submitted relating to the history of amateur radio in Australia, as regularly recognised by the Centenary Committee in this magazine. We also have a good stock of technical and general articles for the next few months. The down side is that authors may wait some months until their article appears in print. Do not panic – in all likelihood it will appear in due course. We have updated our processing procedures in an attempt to keep authors in the loop, so that they know when an article moves from one stage of our process to the next.

The one shortage that we have is in high quality, well composed high resolution photographs suitable for the magazine cover. It is preferable that such photos come with a story, so that the cover has a link to an article inside the magazine.

One of the tasks on the “to do” list for PubCom is to update our guidelines to authors, but the existing guidelines give a good outline of the needs of the production team. Feel free to submit photographs at smaller size (but make them at least 500 kB please), but do please set your digital camera to capture the image at the highest resolution possible. If you only shoot the image at 100 kB, there is no way to improve resolution. If you shoot the image at 3 MB (or even better, 10 MB), for example, you can save the file at the original resolution, then save it to a new file name at lower resolution for distribution.

If we think that the image would be better served (for the magazine) at higher resolution, we can ask you to send it to us. You never know – it may be cover material.

The entire Amateur Radio team welcomes your contributions. Of course, this includes material for each of our regular columns, club news items and state summaries. Where the news item is short, send it direct to the regular contributor. If you think that the item might make a short separate story, then send it in to the normal address for material for publication – see the left hand column on page one for details. I know that David VK3HZ and his team always find it difficult to find “news” during the winter months, when propagation in the southern parts is not as spectacular as during the summer months. The team is still interested in hearing about your activities – send in the reports and give them the task of decide if the news is worthy of inclusion. If your news does not make the grade, do not be put off – send in more news. You might make the grade next month.

Cheers, Peter VK3PF

Cover photo

David VK5DCW at Birkenhead on Adelaide’s Port River, near his salt water ‘ground plane’. The shot is looking across the river to the lighthouse at the South Australian Maritime Museum in Port Adelaide. The light used to mark the river entrance some distance to the north. Photo by David Craill VK5DCW.

Table Of Contents


An Arena of Wonder Peter Wolfenden VK3RV
Gone fishing – for DX: A mobile alternative to the Squid Pole. David Craill VK5DWC
National Field Day
The RadioActive amateur radio award - for Australian scouts. Bob Bristow VK6POP
The WIA Centenary Committee Call for Articles.
Antennas for VHF and above by Ian Poole G3YWX. Review by Peter Freeman VK3PF
2010 WIA Club Grants Scheme
VK3XPD team report, JMMNFD – 20/21 March, 2010. Alan Devlin VK3XPD,
Field Day on the hop on the Nullarbor. John Howlett VK6ZN and operator Mei
WIA Centenary Award


Testing your antenna. Ted Thrift VK2ARA and Ross Pittard VK3CE
A 40 metre shunt fed mast antenna. John Sutcliffe VK3TCT
A budget antenna tuner and SWR meter. Rod Russell-Brown VK1ACE

Gone fishing – for DX: A mobile alternative to the Squid Pole

David Craill VK5DWC

The author details his mobile antenna construction project, made necessary as an alternative to the popular Squid Pole that is used in so many similar situations because the Squid Pole was too large for mobile use.

A large fishing rod, unused for many years, was pressed into service – the result becoming a well performed multi band mobile antenna.

The article will be of particular interest to those who operate, or would like to operate, in a mobile situation, and who want to maximise their mobile antenna performance characteristics.

The RadioActive amateur radio award - for Australian scouts

Bob Bristow VK6POP

The author is the JOTA/JOTI Coordinator, Scouts Australia, and one of the tasks in this role is to encourage scout participation in amateur radio, and most significantly, both before they may have gained their amateur licence, at whatever level, and after.

This award is just one attempt to provide scouts with a ‘target’ whilst they are participating in and, hopefully, enjoying amateur radio.

He is to be commended for his efforts in his endeavour.

Our historical theme for the year continues with the final part of the “Arena of Wonder – QSP” series.

We also have two reports of experiences in the field during the John Moyle Memorial National Field Day contest, with the Results included in the Contests column.

Testing your antenna

Ted Thrift VK2ARA and Ross Pittard VK3CE

Antennas, quite possibly, are the last bastion of major amateur homebrew activity – even with commercial equipment, there is still the requirement from the amateur to put the complete system together, and there would not be an amateur alive who, at some time, has not introduced an error into his antenna system. And, of course, nothing remains faultless forever – that’s where this Foundation directed article is so fundamentally useful in providing a structured process to hunt for, and find, whatever that problem might be.

An excellent read, for both new and old, Foundation or Advanced licensee.

A budget antenna tuner and SWR meter

Rod Russell-Brown VK1ACE

The author explains how to build a simple, cheap but remarkably effective antenna tuner and power meter that will give good performance on all bands 10 metres through 80 metres, at up to 100 watts power output.

He notes that the finished unit should be of interest to all amateurs, but particularly to Foundation licensees, in that the degree of difficulty of building is not that great that it may discourage inexperienced builders.

This is a device that is always in use in the typical amateur shack, and as such should interest most readers.

Advertisers Index

 25 ATRC
 55 ATN Antennas
 55 Av-com
 15 Com-an-tena
 55 Cookson (Jackson Bros)
 47 GippsTech
 55 Hamak Electrical Industries
 OBC Icom
 8 Jaycar
 55 Ludatronics
 55 RF Tools
 32 SERG
 10 TET-Emtron
 55 Tower
 23, 55 TTS
 IFC Vertex Standard (Yaesu)
 55 VKHam


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