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2010 Magazines

Other years

Amateur Radio March 2010

Delivery expected from March 3


Not the best start to the year

We offer our apologies for the errors in the table of contents last month. My only excuse is that we were in a rush to meet our print deadline. We checked the contents page for spelling errors, but neglected to double check the links to the page numbers!

We missed that two or three paragraphs went missing in the VHF/UHF column. I extend our apologies to David VK3HZ and his contributors. On becoming aware of the omission, I added the missing material to the AR magazine page on the WIA website. I note that David has added the lost material in his column this month.

More tweaks to AR

You will have noticed the new paper inside the magazine’s last issue. Through our publishing house Newsletters Unlimited (NU), we have changed both the printer used and the paper – to a heavier, whiter stock. We are still using the same technology as used to print newspapers.

We hope that everyone is happy with the quality of printing and paper with our new printer. Personally, I noted some variation in the black ink density, but such variation is common when printing using newsprint technology. We hope that the new paper has resulted in a cleaner appearance.

You will have noticed more changes this month! A new banner style has been adopted, whilst maintaining some links to our past. We have a very clean cover design featuring the new banner for this month, celebrating the founding 100 years ago of the WIA.

We welcome your comments on the new design features of our magazine – AR belongs to all of our readers. The Publications Committee simply does the background work to ensure that we continue to have a magazine. We also thank Ivan who designed the new masthead and internal layout, and John and his team at NU for their efforts to institute the new design. Please forward any comments (either brick bats or bouquets) to the Secretary of Publications Committee, Ernie VK3FM at

Photographs submitted to AR
One of the great needs of Amateur Radio magazine is excellent photographs to accompany articles. They give readers a stimulus to open, peruse and enjoy the magazine, especially if they appear on the cover.

But excellent photographs, ones that will publish well, are extremely difficult to take for the average photographer, the category within which most radio amateurs fall. The need for crystal clear images, lack of shadow, a sensible composition and file size (image resolution) are all issues with which the Publications Committee must wrestle on almost every article submitted. Most photos submitted are satisfactory, but we receive extraordinarily few excellent ones – and anything else but excellent photos can introduce problems in the publishing process.

We love excellent photographs with your articles, and, even better, our readers are letting us know how much they appreciate them. But, we need you, the authors of our many excellent contributions to STOP, think about the photo, and then to put as much effort into producing a quality (excellent!) shot as you obviously do in developing your article. PLEASE HELP US.

We will be updating the guidelines for authors, covering both the text (and style) submitted and photographs that accompany articles (or even individual photos that might be considered for publication). Keep an eye on the “Contributing material” section of the AR portion of the WIA website and a future issue of AR (hopefully in April) for more detail.

Cheers, Peter VK3PF

Cover photo

In line with the theme for this year, the cover this month celebrates the beginnings of the WIA a century ago. Design by Ivan Smith.

Table Of Contents

An Arena of Wonder – QSP: Peter Wolfenden VK3RV
Promoting amateur radio – a school Radio Club: Tim Roberts VK4YEH
The Wayatinah fire: Roger Nichols VK7ARN
Radio Communication Handbook, 10th edition: Drew Diamond VK3XU
Call for Articles: WIA Centenary Committee
Clare Valley Contesting: Dale Loffler VK5LD

A quality audio test oscillator: Jim Tregellis VK5JST/VK5TR
More power from that handheld: Bill Isdale VK4IS
A 40 metre groundless/tunerless dipole: Wayne Pickard VK2ACY
A complete 8 MHz IF system for USB, LSB and CW for a HF transceiver: Peter Wathen VK3EPW
Building a simple field strength meter: Ross Pittard VK3CE

An Arena of Wonder – QSP

Peter Wolfenden VK3RV

As part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) it is planned to publish a series of articles that present an account of its history – this is one of those articles, tracing as it does the background of the organisation and the development of issues that eventually led to its gradual morphing into today’s current and truly national representative amateur organisation.

For those interested in our amateur radio history, the life of the WIA is integral to that journey, and this particular article is extraordinarily interesting as it traces the creation of the WIA, and its evolution through the early part of the 20th century.

This article is part two of the author’s story.

Radio Communication Handbook, 10th edition

Drew Diamond VK3XU

The author is a very well known home builder, who has had a great many of his articles published, and thus is a well qualified person to review such a publication.

As is usual, he does so in his normal, methodical fashion, thus giving Amateur Radio readers a real sense of the practical value of the handbook.

A quality audio test oscillator

Jim Tregellis VK5JST/VK5TR

The author is well known in VK for his quality home brew equipment, which can be for purely operational, or testing, purposes, several having been packaged into kits and sold, very successfully, to the wider amateur/electronics fraternity.

This article, on the development and construction of an audio test oscillator certainly continues the chain of well designed, and constructed, amateur home brew test equipment which those readers comfortable with home brewing, and with a suitable level of technical ability, will find interesting, and no doubt challenging, for their next home build exercise.

Building a simple field strength meter

Ross Pittard VK3CE

This article explains how to build a simple field strength meter for use in evaluating your antenna systems ability to actually radiate power.

The theory explained is simple and straightforward, the unit uses readily available components, is easy to put together, and provides a useful piece of information about your station when in operation.

Another ‘hands-on’ Foundation level building challenge – that a few more experienced amateurs could learn from constructing.

Advertisers Index

 55 Av-com
 IBC, Fly Bookshop
 31 Com-an-tena
 55 Cookson (Jackson Bros)
 44 GippsTech
 55 Hamak Electrical Industries
 OBC Icom
 55 Little Devil Antennas
 55 Ludatronics
 33 Midland ARC
 55 RF Tools
 10 TET-Emtron
 55 Tower
 14, 55 TTS
 34 Urunga
 21 Yarra Valley ARG
 IFC Vertex Standard (Yaesu)
 55 VKHam


Files For Download

A complete 8 MHz IF system by Peter Wathen VK3EPW: Figure 1

A complete 8 MHz IF system by Peter Wathen VK3EPW: Figure 2

Page Last Updated: Tuesday 2 March 2010 at 16:19 hours


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