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General Information

2012 Magazines

Other years

Delivery expected from March 29


An annual collection of AR?

Many readers may be aware that the ARRL has available for sale “2011 Periodicals on CD-ROM” which includes electronic copies of that year’s issues of their magazines: QST, QEX and NCJ (National Contest Journal). They also have available collations of most other years dating back to 1996. The latest of these CD-ROMs sells at $24.95 plus postage. Similarly, the RSGB also have an annual collation of RadCom available on CD-ROM, which sells at £19.99 plus postage. The RSGB also have a number of multi-year collections available for sale.

Of course, the WIA has available the “AR Magazine 1933 – 1939 on CD”, by WIA and Will McGhie VK6UU, selling at $20.00 plus postage.

Over recent years I have received enquiries about if AR could be made available in electronic format, and have discussed this in previous Editorials. I will not discuss that topic again in this piece.

One thing that we can consider is the preparation of an annual collection of AR, starting with all of the issues published in 2011. This should be a relatively easy task given the current contractual arrangements with our publishing house. In fact, at its recent meeting, the Publications Committee discussed this topic and requested Sergio Fontana to prepare an estimate of the cost of preparing such a collection.

We can undertake the task, but will it be worthwhile? Is there demand for such a product from you our readers? If you are interested in buying such a collection, what do you consider to be a fair price? The Publications Committee is interested in what you think, so please email the National Offi ce with your views:

Field Days

This Editorial was being prepared shortly before the John Moyle Field Day. In Victoria, the weather was looking to be potentially damp, if not wet, at the start of the weekend and probably clearing up. I trust that all that ventured into the field did not have a trying time with weather.

In the middle of this month we have the WIA National Field Day. Not really a contest in my eyes, rather it is aimed at encouraging groups, especially clubs, to set up stations in prominent public locations and promoting our hobby to the wider public. It will be important that appropriate OHS precautions are taken when setting up such stations.

Is your club participating? Do not forget to appoint someone to record the events and to prepare a report – it might be published in a later edition of AR.

Call for articles

Our stock of articles is slowly declining. We have a stock for about six months or so, assuming that the regular column and club contributions continue as normal.

I encourage you to consider writing an article and submitting it for publication. It could be on any topic related to our hobby. Our stock of technical articles is definitely in need of bolstering – write up that latest construction project.

You can find some guidelines on the AR magazine pages on the WIA website – look for the link “Contributing material”.

As always, have the camera ready – we are always looking for well composed high resolution photographs that might suit the front cover.

Annual Conference

Time is running out for people to register for the Annual Conference, being held 25 to 27 May in Mildura. Make sure that you do not leave it too late. If possible, please use the on-line registration form at the WIA web site – it will make the job much easier for the office team.

In addition to the Annual General Meeting and Open Forum, the weekend is shaping up to be an excellent mix of social and technical activities. Personally, I am very interested to hear about the equipment used in the Project Horus high altitude balloon experiments, having followed some of the past launches from afar via the web. It will also be interesting to hear the latest on the chirp radar system.

I hope to make the event and look forward to making contact with many of you then.


Peter VK3PF

This month’s cover

A Plenary meeting of WRC-12 in session. Some 2000 delegates attend each plenary session. Read the report from Dale Hughes VK1DSH commencing on page 8 about this important international conference and the impacts of the decisions on the amateur service. Photo courtesy of the ITU.

WIA President's Comment

That’s what we do

In this month’s issue we publish an article by Dale Hughes VK1DSH.

In this month’s issue we also publish a letter from David Sumner K1ZZ Chief Executive Officer of the ARRL.

In his article Dale writes about WRC-12, the work leading up to WRC-12, addresses the importance of the regional telecommunications organisation, identifies the matters that affect us as amateurs and puts a WRC in context, and explains why it is important for every amateur.

As we have said so often, it all starts there in Geneva.

Dale was a member of the Australian delegation to WRC–12 nominated and paid for by the Wireless Institute of Australia. Within the terms of the Australian brief, he was representing the amateur service.

Dale started on his journey of representing the Australian amateur in this area in late 2009 when the late Keith Malcolm VK1KM suggested he become involved. Prior to that Dale was best known for his technical articles published in this magazine on a pretty regular basis since November 2000.

Keith had represented the amateur service on the WIA delegations to the WRC since 2003, and had made a significant contribution to amateur radio in many other ways.

But, of course, life was a little simpler in 2003. The Region 3 regional telecommunications organisation, the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity, the APT, was not as effective as it is now. Today, the Regional Telecommunication organisations are an essential step to a WRC.

That is why Dale attended two of the APT’s preparatory meetings for WRC-12, one in Hong Kong and one in Busan, South Korea.

Dale also attended an ITU Study Group meeting in Geneva in November 2010, one of the meetings that provide a technical basis for the agenda items to be resolved at the WRC.

Through all of this Dale was able to learn how it all works and to meet the other people involved in this incredible process, including the amateur representatives from other countries, and those representing the IARU, the International Amateur Radio Union. The IARU is only an observer at a WRC, which is a meeting of the sovereign states that form the membership of the ITU, but is a Sector Member and so may participate directly in the Study Groups.

Not only that, he was able to present the studies undertaken here in Australia, and to provide technical evidence supporting the amateur case.

That the amateur service was adequately represented at all of the many steps that culminate in a WRC and at the WRC, does not depend on one person or indeed one national society.

It depends on a number of the world’s national amateur societies and their federation, the IARU, and the people of knowledge and experience and with special skills who they can call upon to undertake this vital work.

But the process does not stop with the conclusion of a WRC. Each WRC proposes the agenda for future WRCs and immediately one WRC ends the preparatory meetings for the next WRC commence.

As Dale points out, the Agenda for the next WRC in 2015 or 2016 includes items of particular interest to the amateur services, and in particular the proposal originating from Cuba for a small secondary allocation to the amateur service in the range 5250 to 5450 kHz.

I know it sounds very glamorous to participate in these conferences, and in truth it can be really fascinating. But it can be very far from fun. In 2003 the Plenary meetings during the last week started at 9 am and ran through to 3 am next morning, only to start again a 9 am.

May I share with you that is not fun.

But I headed this comment “That is what we do”.

By that, I meant that for me that role of representing the Australian amateurs in the national preparation for a WRC, the regional preparation for a WRC, the technical preparation for a WRC and the actual WRC is the most important of all the functions that we undertake.

When I attended the recent Wyong hamfest I met an amateur who wished to become a member of the WIA because that was necessary if he was to become a Learning Facilitator or Assessor, as he believed that attracting, training and qualifying new amateurs was critical for our future. He had not become a member in the past, because he did not find the magazine interesting or the other facilities particularly relevant for his interests.

We then discussed the very matters I write about in this Comment, the representational and advocacy roles of the WIA.

He agreed that this, in itself, was a reason for joining the WIA.

I am proud of the fact that the WIA is one of those national societies that can contribute in this way.

We need proper representation.

That is what we do.

It is because of what we do that we can and do ask that every amateur and potential amateur becomes a member of the WIA and contributes to the cost of what we do.

And the agenda for the next WRC means we too must start preparing now.

But we are particularly lucky that we have people like Dale Hughes to represent us so well.

In this issue we publish a letter from Dave Sumner of the ARRL, one of the most experienced WRC participants for the IARU who I know.

I cannot resist quoting one paragraph from his letter.

I wish all of your members could have had the experience of watching Dale Hughes in action on their behalf at the World Radiocommunication Conference earlier this year. Dale is just the latest in the long string of capable representatives that WIA has sent to Geneva over a span of many decades.

Table Of Contents


WIA proposes operating principles WIA Board
The ITU, World Radio Conferences and you… Dale Hughes VK1DSH
WICEN Victoria’s training exercise – the Murray Marathon 2011 Graham Mason VK3KMG
Gridsquare Standings at 17 February 2012 Guy Fletcher VK2KU


Foundation Corner 19: An introduction to amateur satellites Ross Pittard VK3CE
On sporadic E VHF propagation and solving a mystery about maximum usable frequencies – Part 1 Roger Harrison VK2ZRH

Plus all the usual Club news and columns

The ITU, World Radio Conferences and you…

Dale Hughes VK1DSH

The author was the WIA representative on the Australian delegation to this event.

Very simply, this makes the article extraordinarily interesting and relevant to all amateurs, and is recommended reading in that it explains, as well as any other document available, how it all works and, of course, explains what the outcome to this conference was for the amateur service, and how it was achieved.

Job well done, Dale.

WICEN Victoria’s training exercise – the Murray Marathon 2011

Graham Mason VK3KMG

This is a short article that only really touches on the WICEN activity in support of the Murray Marathon in 2011. It gives a glimpse of what is required, and who is welcome, and is recommended for those who may be interested in participating in the 2012 event.

On sporadic E VHF propagation and solving a mystery about maximum usable frequencies – Part 1

Roger Harrison VK2ZRH

Roger Harrison VK2ZRH gives us a thorough overview of sporadic E VHF propagation mechanisms, explaining how the E layer ionises and how it can move. He outlines the types of scientific information used by ionospheric physicists. After examining some of the geometry involved in VHF radio waves interacting with the ionised areas of the E layer, he explores some of the vagaries of these propagation mechanisms.

This first part concludes after examining plane Es propagation.

The story will conclude in a forthcoming issue of AR.

Foundation Corner 19: An introduction to amateur satellites

Ross Pittard VK3CE

This is the latest in the Foundation Corner series, instalment 19, of what has become a very interesting potpourri of essays on various beginner technical topics that, taken as a whole, have provided a very useful input to the beginner amateur as well as reinforcing to the older amateur some of the fundamentals of radio that are often overlooked with growing experience, or simply forgotten.
This contribution covers an introduction to amateur satellites, and is excellent reading for all.

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Files For Download

Corrected Article Harrison "On sporadic E VHF propagation.... Pt1"

Page Last Updated: Friday 23 March 2012 at 14:36 hours


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