Delivery expected from April 26
AR – slightly smaller but thicker
At about the time that the April issue of Amateur Radio was being delivered to readers, the WIA was approached by the printer with an offer to increase the size of the magazine at no additional printing cost to us. The reason was simple – their plant mechanics meant that it is easier for the printer to produce a 64 page issue than a 56 page issue. After some consideration, the WIA accepted the offer, but the decision was made that we needed to slightly reduce the magazine page size. If this decision had not been made, we were very likely to fall over the line into the next postage mass category, which would have increased the postage costs, an important budget consideration.
The net result of the changes implemented this year is that we now have a 64-page issue with colour available on all pages. We have been working with the printer on fi ne tuning the entire production process so that the appearance of the magazine is as good as can possibly be achieved with the processes used in printing. The Publications Committee was largely pleased with the improvements that have occurred in colour management – overall, the colour preproduction was better in the April issue than in the two earlier issues this year. Yes, there is room for further improvement, and discussions are on-going to achieve additional gains.
In the short term, there is little impact on the overall processes of production. However, it does mean that we will be publishing eight more pages of content each month. The logical result of this change is that authors can expect to see their article printed sooner than would have otherwise occurred. The downside for the Publications Committee is that the size of our stock articles that are ready to publish will diminish. This may ultimately mean that I, as Editor, will have reduced choices as to the articles that can be published in a particular issue.
I therefore ask again that all readers consider placing their fingers on the computer keyboard and camera shutter button to prepare articles for submission. Remember that we also need well composed high quality images for possible use on the cover. Guidelines for preparing articles can be found on the WIA website at:
Advertising in AR
Do you work for a company that may be interested in reaching amateur radio operators through this magazine? Perhaps it is worth approaching the appropriate manager and mention AR as a publication worthy of consideration for the placement of an advertisement. Anyone interested in exploring such options should contact the WIA office to discuss our modest page charges.
Perhaps you work in or have retired from the advertising industry? The WIA would be interested in having a member willing to volunteer some time to find new advertisers for AR – not necessarily directly involved in amateur radio, but who might have products that could be of interest to our readers. If you think that you can assist, please contact the WIA office at: firstname.lastname@example.org
WIA Annual Conference
Time is running out for you to register for the Annual Conference, being held in Mildura late in May. Full details can be found by following the link from the WIA home page: https://www.wia.org.au/joinwia/wia/2012agm/ As of early April, almost 130 people had registered. The program is looking very interesting for those participating in the formal AGM and Conference program, and for the Partners’ Tour. I am sure that all will have a very good weekend. I have registered and arranged leave, so look forward to meeting up with many friends during the weekend. I may even have some time to play radio during the trip home, perhaps activating some National Parks to add to my tally towards the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award.
This month’s cover
Our cover this month shows Dave Park VK3JDA examining some of the portable kit belonging to Tony Hambling VK3VTH. Several amateurs gathered at Churchill National Park in early March to discuss portable operations relating to activating National Parks. In the background, Peter Fraser VK3ZPF is busy working on 40 m, activating the Park for award hunters. See a brief report in the Amateur Radio Victoria news for the month. Photo by Tony Hambling VK3VTH. We also have reports from club activities for the John Moyle Field Day. The inset images are from the article on an audio bandpass filter designed for BPSK operations by John Sutcliffe VK3TCT, on page 44 (images by VK3TCT).
WIA President's Comment
The WIA Annual Conference
This issue of Amateur Radio will appear at the beginning of May, the start of the month that ends with the WIA Annual Conference.
I have been thinking about our Open Forum.
Should we try and widen the issues that can be addressed?
Should it be the chance for members to raise any issues they want to raise?
Would this improve our weekend?
Or, do we spend enough time now on “business”?
We receive reports from all those who undertake or manage particular activities on behalf of the WIA, from ARISS to QSLs to awards to publications to contests. In the last couple of years we have asked those submitting reports to identify in their report any issues they would like discussed. And those issues are the issues we can focus on, since we send to each registrant a book of the reports some weeks before the Conference.
The only problem with that is that it only encourages discussion on matters raised by the writers of the various reports.
Already we have identified matters we would like discussed this year. Have a look at the “Comment” published in last December’s Amateur Radio, under the heading “Has the Club Grant Scheme run its course?”
After discussing the sort of club projects that could be supported and some of the options for the Club Grant Scheme, I said:
We invite all clubs to make written submissions on the matters I have raised, and to send them to us. In order to ensure balance, we encourage positive as well as negative reactions to the Scheme as it now is.
We will circulate all submissions we receive with the Open Forum reports that we will send to everyone who has registered for the Annual Conference so all views can be taken into account when it is discussed at the Open Forum.
Well, so far, we have received one submission from one club.
Does that answer the question that was the heading for that Comment?
But, during the year I receive many letters and emails, making many suggestions for the WIA. And, there are many issues of substance that could be discussed. The power limit for Foundation licensees is a hot topic in a number of places. On air behaviour probably attracts more frustrated letters and emails than any other topic.
Of course, we also receive criticism, sometimes justified, sometimes not necessarily fair when addressed to volunteers.
Would opening up discussion on these topics make our Open Forum better?
How important is the Open Forum, anyway? So far, we just allocate about two hours to the Open Forum, after our formal statutory meeting, morning tea and the presentation of merit awards. I know, with the number of Reports that we deal with, and with any serious discussion on a particular issue, how hard it is to chair a meeting with such great time constraints. I also know that most of us just do not want to listen to interminable discussion on one issue or another. But I also know that this is the opportunity for the Board to get a feeling about what members think. How much time should we allocate to the Open Forum during our Annual Conference weekend?
Clearly, there are only so many hours in a weekend, perhaps even less if some need to leave by the middle of the day on Sunday if there is a long drive home. So, what do those who attend want? Less time allocated to a technical symposium? Or, should time on Sunday be allocated to Open Forum/Technical Symposium activities rather than activities such as the visit to Litchfield National Park near Darwin or Dick Smith’s property near Canberra?
I believe that the WIA must be able to make quick and effective decisions, and must appoint Directors who together have the skills and experience to make those decisions.
But equally, I believe those Directors cannot work in a vacuum. They need to know what the members think.
That is why I have been so keen to attend meetings of clubs in the various states.
But should it also be more of a function of the Open Forum?
Perhaps we could invite any member who wishes to have a matter discussed at the Open Forum to submit a paper raising the issue to be included in the Open Forum reports distributed to people who have registered for the Conference.
Or is it just an idea like asking the clubs to tell us whether or not we should have a club grant scheme and if so, for what purposes should grants be made?
I will raise this question by including this Comment in the Open Forum papers that will be distributed before the Annual Conference.
Table Of Contents
The effects of a metal mast or a (very) stupid mistake! Felix Scerri VK4FUQ
Microwave dishes, a confluence and two bottles of red wine Dan Joyce VK2GG
A little known pioneer of Australian wireless Brian Kirkby
Review: Wireless - from Marconi’s Black-Box to the Audion Blair Bowler VK4BBX
CENTENARY 1912 ~ 2012 celebrating VK100WIQ Michael J. Charteris VK4QS
WIA Inwards QSL Bureau Geoff Atkinson VK3TL
Wonnangatta Mayday Tony Lathouras VK7VKT & Peter Freeman VK3PF
A look at frequency synthesizers Elmo Jansz VK7CJ
Test Patterns for ATV Ross Pittard VK3CE
A valve receiver that runs from 12 volts Peter Parker VK3YE
A BPSK bandpass filter John Sutcliffe VK3TCT
On sporadic E VHF propagation and solving a mystery about maximum usable frequencies – Part 2 Roger Harrison VK2ZRH
Plus all the usual Club news and columns
Microwave dishes, a confluence and two bottles of red wine
Dan Joyce VK2GG
One probably thinks more of the HF bands rather than the VHF/UHF bands when one mentions contests.
Certainly, in the past this was true.
Not so any more. VHF/UHF contesting is growing steadily, as more and better equipment becomes readily available. And…like all contesting, tactics and thinking ‘outside the square’ sometimes make a significant difference to one’s performance, not to mention enjoyment, and in reading this article you will see this principle wonderfully exploited.
To all VHF/UHF aficionados this will be a most interesting read, as it will be for many HF contesters who appreciate clever, considered operating, and the (sometimes) rewarding outcomes.
A little known pioneer of Australian wireless
This article covers much of the life, and works, of a little known Australian Edward Hope Kirkby (1853-1915), who was intimately involved in the early days of Australian wireless telegraphy, among several other areas of expertise.
As with many other stories about very early Australia, these stories need to be told, and saved so that future generations may recall, and build upon, our early history.
A very interesting read about a person, and his accomplishments, that only a small handful of Australians would have ever heard about.
A BPSK bandpass filter
John Sutcliffe VK3TCT
The author is an active digital mode operator, mostly utilising the BPSK31 mode. During a QSO sometime prior, he had discussed the respective signal decoding performances of the QSO, and noted that the ‘other end’ appeared to be decoding much better – because, it was stated, of the use of a bandpass filter.
Thus the exercise to build one, based on an existing design suitably modified for the task at hand began – and the result makes the read well worthwhile.
A recommended article for both digital mode devotees, and others.
Test Patterns for ATV
Ross Pittard VK3CE
This article provides a brief introduction to ATV for anyone considering this aspect of amateur radio.
Whilst noting that there is not much activity on ATV, the author is at pains to point out that entry these days is not difficult for most amateurs, and may well provide that spark of interest many of us look for in out hobbies or interests.
To anyone interested in ATV, this is a very good article with which to begin the adventure.
63 Cookson (Jackson Bros)
63 Hamak Electrical Industries
7 RF Solutions
Page Last Updated: Monday 23 April 2012 at 10:51 hours