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2010 Magazines

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Amateur Radio May 2010

Delivery expected from April 30


Scouts and amateur radio

Many licensed amateurs will have had exposure to our hobby – amateur radio – through an association with the Scout (or Guide) movement. Some will have been exposed to amateur radio when a Scout or Guide group participated in Jamboree On The Air (JOTA). Others may have had the pleasure while attending a Jamboree and been exposed to an amateur radio station whilst there.

As a Scout, many years ago, I had the pleasure of attending a Jamboree in the then outskirts of Sydney. Thinking of the event raises many memories, but none involved radio.

Why should we all be interested in the Scout and Guide movements? It should be clear to all readers – any involvement with a group of young people is an opportunity to demonstrate aspects of the variety of experiences that OUR hobby can present. I fully acknowledge that only a small proportion of those exposed may have a flame of interest ignited, but any such flame may lead to a new amateur operator in the future.

As part of my personal experiences and development as a Scout, I was never directly exposed to amateur radio. If I had been so exposed, perhaps I may have become an amateur earlier in my life or perhaps I may have been turned away, as my mind may not have been ready for this hobby.

In this issue we have a report of the radio activities offered by the Fishers Ghost Amateur Radio Club at the national Jamboree in January this year (AJ2010). Yes, perhaps this report is now “old hat”, but it arrived just after the April edition had gone to print.

This raises a couple of issues for readers who have a newsworthy item to report. Clearly, you should submit a report as soon as possible after the event and you must consider our deadlines. Any report received after the end of the first week in a month will be delayed by at least a month.

A World Jamboree typically occurs every four years. The AJ2010 event was an Australian national event and in 2011, the 22nd World Scout Jamboree will gather in Sweden. So there are other opportunities available to a Scout to participate.


We do have an annual opportunity to showcase our hobby to Scouts and Guides: Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) and Jamboree On The Internet (JOTI), usually held on the third weekend of October each year. So, every year, we can expose members of two significant youth movements to OUR hobby, amateur radio. An individual amateur can be involved, but JOTA/JOTI is better suited to a group or a club to operate a station. Get involved in JOTA/JOTI and explore what might be possible.

Contact your local Scout or Guide group and offer your services, NOW. Be Prepared (Scouts, past and present: excuse the pun!) – involvement could range from setting up a portable station at a remote campsite without power, setting up at the local Scout or Guide hall, or even arranging for the Scouts or Guides to visit the local Club (or individual amateur) shack to listen and make some contacts with other JOTA/JOTI participants just down the road or on the other side of the world.

So why an entire Editorial discussing amateur radio and Scouts/Guides? If you do not get organised very soon, you will NOT be able to participate and local youngsters will miss out. In these times, there are a myriad of forms to be completed and approvals gained! Start early, plan ahead and all involved will have an enjoyable weekend “playing radio” in October, with a group of young people, even if they are initially reluctant to pick up the microphone and to press the PTT button!

Enough on youngsters! I look forward to catching up with readers who attend the Centenary AGM in Canberra at the end of the month. Check out the details of the event in this edition, or on the WIA website.

Cheers, Peter VK3PF

Cover photo

Emma VK2FEMM enjoying a contact from her Troop camp site during the Australian Jamboree 2010, held in January at Cataract Scout Park south west of Sydney. Fishers Ghost Amateur Radio Club entertained almost 700 Scouts with radio activities and activated the special callsign VI2AJ2010 during the Jamboree. The report starts on page 31.

Table Of Contents


An Arena of Wonder 4: Regulation, Communication, Federation Peter Wolfenden VK3RV
Amateur or Professional? Blair Bowler VK4BBX
The first military wireless message Tim Mills VK2ZTM
WANSARC VK3AWS Family Day 2010, at Bundoora Park Mick Ampt VK3CH
XPD: Christopher Bailey’s radio experiences Robin Bailey (ex VK3ZAO)
The NERG ‘Gainfully Unemployed Group’ Ernie Walls VK3FM
Australian Jamboree 2010 – AJ2010 Wal Kelly VK2ZWK
Amateur Radio: Early Beginnings Chris Chapman VK3QB
Wireless or radio Jim Linton VK3PC


Making your leads and connectors a little more professional Ben Broadbent VK5BB
More experiments with Quad loop antennas Felix Scerri VK4FUQ
Duplexers, diplexers and triplexers: what are they? Ross Pittard VK3CE
Homebrew butterfly capacitors Eric Cook VK4FAC
Ladder line...making your own feedline Rick Hill VK6XT

Australian Jamboree 2010 – AJ2010

Wal Kelly VK2ZWK

This is the inside story of the very successful Australian Scout Jamboree held at Cataract in NSW, where 10,000 Scouts, 3,000 Leaders, and countless visitors enjoyed ten days of various scouting activities, one of which was amateur radio.

It may come as a surprise to most readers to realise that amateur radio is well structured at this scout facility, with a permanent ‘shack’, plentiful equipment, and the means and dedication of amateurs and others to provide first class supervision and training to those scouts interested in finding out more about this wonderful hobby of ours.

Find out how well this particular event fared, from an amateur radio and general viewpoint, in a most interesting and informative article.

More amateur radio VK history

This month we see several articles that relate to the history of OUR hobby.

The Arena of Wonder, the story of the early years of organised amateur radio in Australia, continues with the fourth instalment from Peter Wolfenden VK3RV.

Robin Bailey (ex VK3ZAO) contributes XPD: Christopher Bailey’s radio experiences This is a short article of the story behind the issuing of radio station licence XPD in 1913, illustrating as it does the difficulty of any potential amateur learning about radio in those days, given the dearth of information available.

A very interesting snippet of a period long gone, but one that is at the very root of our hobby.

Amateur Radio: Early Beginnings is a contribution from Chris Chapman VK3QB on behalf of the Gippsland Gate Radio & Electronics Club. The club will be running a special event from Koo-Wee-Rup in June, using the VK100WIA callsign to celebrate the first direct transfer of a press message by radio between England and Australia in 1921.

Jim Linton contributes a short article Wireless or radio that discusses and compares the words ‘wireless’ and ‘radio’, the image that each word generates, and their respective validities in adequately describing various facets of our hobby of amateur radio, in this modern day and age.

No conclusions are drawn; rather the article has been presented to make us think, even if just a little, about our heritage and our hobby’s future.

Tim Mills VK2ZTM gives us a brief account of the The first military wireless message at Heathcote in NSW in March 1910, organised by George Taylor. Readers will recognise this name from our Arena of Wonder series.

Homebrew butterfly capacitors

Two of our technical articles this month have excellent practical application.
In the first, Eric Cook VK4FAC in reaching the ripe old age of 88, decided that he needed an alternative to climbing ladders, and all the other usual things you need to do to keep antennas in the air.

But he also wanted to stay on air.

The answer was to build a couple of small, easily maintained and reachable, loop antennas, for his bands of interest, which meant, in this instance, having to fabricate butterfly capacitors to suit the applications chosen.

The accompanying photos suggest he made quite a good job of the task.

Ladder line...making your own feedline

Rick Hill VK6XT

Many amateurs suggest that the last true bastion of homebrewing in today’s hobby remains the antenna system, and its associated parts.

This is a short but interesting article on one amateur’s fabrication of his own two wire feedline; and for such a ‘simple’ project detailing, as it does, some quite complex theory and resultant mathematics.

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