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2019 Magazines

Other years

Amateur Radio
January - February 2019

Delivery expected from 17 January

      WIA Member Digital Edition Download


Happy New Year

Another year has begun. May the year ahead be productive for all readers.

I began the New Year with an activation of a summit in the Riverina region of NSW. The summit was only worth 2 points in the SOTA scheme, but had not been activated previously and I was able to set up my portable station inside both the activation zone of the summit and inside the boundary of the adjacent National Park. The National Park is surrounded by private property, so access to the Park by the public is very restricted.

I had undertaken some detective work over previous months to identify a property which looked as if it may provide an access route and then determining a means to make contact with the landowner. I successfully made contact about three weeks prior to the end of December and received a positive response to my request to access the SOTA summit.

I was on site for approximately three hours and had fun calling and chasing other Activators. I qualified the Summit for both 2018 and 2019, and also qualified the Park for the WWFF scheme. SOTA rules are based on the UTC date and time, so 1 January locally in Australia provides an opportunity to qualify a summit at the end of 2018 (before 1100 local time in Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and ACT), to remain on air until after 1100 local and then qualify the summit again for the New Year. It can become very hectic trying to chase other activators due to them changing bands and the prevailing propagation.

My New Year activation was the end of an intensive two weeks of “playing radio” in the field: I spent the last two weeks of December based in Wodonga, catching up with family for a significant birthday and the Christmas celebrations. Most days I was able to head out into the nearby area to activate Parks and/or SOTA summits. Thanks to all the amateurs out there that made the effort to make contact with me.


On behalf of the Publications Committee, I extend thanks to all who have contributed material for the magazine over the last 12 months. We rely on all of you to provide the content and then to collate a magazine which is both interesting and informative.

We still need articles to be submitted. Given the reduced number of issues published each year, it may take some time for an article to appear. This is especially true for Technical articles, where we go through a more detailed assessment of the article prior to it becoming available for publication. I thank all authors for their patience – I know that you all hope to see your article published in the next issue, but that is rarely possible. We usually publish all articles submitted, but it may take some time before the article reaches the magazine pages. We rarely reject articles.

I am always looking for high quality images for possible use on the cover. We need good composition and a high quality image received at high resolution. Always take your images at the highest possible resolution and then send a lower resolution image with your article – images at around 1-2 MB as a .jpg file are usually fine for illustrating an article. If we consider an image to be a candidate for a cover, we will make contact and request a higher resolution version. Note that such a request may ask for the larger file with a short delivery time requirement….

Remember, this magazine is for you, the radio amateur. We welcome your suggestions and contributions.

Until next issue,


Peter VK3PF

This issue’s cover

Our cover this issue shows Mike Charteris VK4QS in his shack. Read Mike’s story about his exploration of Top Band (160 m) from his suburban house lot on page 11. Photo by Mike Charteris VK4QS.

WIA President's Comment

Welcome to 2019…

What has your Board and the WIA been up to in the last two months?


The IARU Region 3 conference in September 2018 resolved to create a Region 3 Band Planning Committee. The WIA was invited to nominate a person on the committee and following a call to members, Grant Willis VK5GR volunteered to fill this position. Grant is well known to many and his wealth of contesting and IARU experience will be invaluable as he represents Australian interests on behalf of the WIA.

Dale Hughes VK1DSH attended the Working Party 5A meeting in Geneva in November. This is a preparatory meeting prior to WRC-19. The meeting discussed the various study group results in relation to Wireless Power Transfer. In summary there is concern about underestimation of protection distances for amateur bands. Protection will need to be afforded to not only the LF/MF bands but HF bands as well.

The penultimate meeting of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity Conference Preparatory Group - APG 19-4 has happened on 7-12 January 2019 in Busan, South Korea. This meeting continued to set the Asia Pacific position that is taken to WRC. WRC-19 Agenda Items of amateur interest are 1.1 (50 MHz) and 9.1.6 (Wireless Power Transfer – see later in this Board comment). It is important that amateurs continue to be represented at APG meetings as part of national delegations.

Unfortunately Dale Hughes VK1DSH was unable to attend due to family circumstances and the call went out for interested members. Peter Pokorny VK2EMR answered the call and this is a great example of the depth of skills, knowledge and experience that we have within the amateur community. Peter has recently retired from full-time maritime communications work, and continues to perform small consultancies for the ITU-D sector on maritime radio agenda items. Peter is also a registered “ITU Expert” for maritime radio.

Peter has been involved with ITU matters over the last two ITU study cycles (WRC-12 and WRC- 15) in Geneva, and APG meetings. Peter has recently been involved in consultancies for AMSA involving the Indonesian IARU/ORARI representatives and interference into the maritime and amateur HF bands from unauthorised fishing vessel stations and associated land stations.

The Australian Government Head of Delegation was pleased to welcome and invite Peter as part of the delegation.


The Board is proud to announce the Michael J. Owen Distinction Medal that is presented in recognition of services to the amateur radio community and the WIA. Michael was influential in shaping the hobby of Amateur Radio locally, regionally and internationally.

Michael was responsible for significant reform of the WIA and Michael’s legal drafting skills were second to none, and his ability to clearly articulate his position on a number of issues was of immeasurable value to the hobby.

The IARU is also indebted to Michael’s work at the World Radio Conferences and many regional Asia Pacific Telecommunity meetings. In WRC2003 he was responsible for Article 25, which included the abolition of mandatory Morse code, a freeing up of amateur radio involvement in emergency communications and third party traffic. For more information take a look at the article in this AR magazine.

A huge congratulations to the Waverley Amateur Radio Society - VK2BV - which turns 100 in 2019 and this celebration will be part of the WIA AGM weekend. Look out for the special event callsign VI2BV100 on air.


In late November 2018 the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) released the Approach To Market package for the provision of Services related to amateur radio qualifications. This package outlined the future services that the ACMA require for:
1. conducting examinations to assess amateur radio proficiency
2. issuing amateur radio certificates of proficiency
3. making recommendations to the Customer about the allocation of callsigns to amateur licensees,
4. participate in the Syllabus Review Panel, and
5. associated non-statutory administrative functions

At the time of writing the WIA was awaiting a decision from the ACMA as to who the successful bidder would be. The WIA submitted a competitive bid that met and exceeded the requirements of the ACMA with a much broader vision that addressed the social aspects of amateur radio. The bid also seeks to lower the cost for participants through a contemporary online provision, administration and scalable solution.

Wireless Power Transfer

At the World Radio Conference 2019 in October/November 2019 there is Agenda item 9.1.6 on Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) systems. This is split into two areas – high power transfer systems for electric vehicles (WPT-EV) and low power systems for charging consumer devices. Although both systems have the potential to cause harmful interference the WPTEV is of serious concern due to the power levels involved.

Candidate frequencies and power levels are being put forward by industry and the following table below has been published in the discussion papers:
Frequency bands and power levels for WPT-EV*
Categories Power Level Frequency band WPT applications
High power WPT-EV
More than 22 kW 19-25 kHz Specific heavy-duty electric vehicles (e.g. bus, tram, truck)
More than 22 kW 55-5X kHz Specific heavy-duty electric vehicles (e.g. bus, tram, truck)
More than 22 kW 6Y-65 kHz Specific heavy-duty electric vehicles (e.g. bus, tram, truck)
Medium power WPT-EV
Up to 22 kW 79-90 kHz Generic light-duty electric vehicles

Power output of WPT EV systems may reach hundreds of kilowatts and typical transmission range for efficient power transfer is up to a maximum distance of approximately 30 cm. It is inevitable that some energy will be coupled to other conductors and cause stray energy to be radiated as radio waves causing harmful interference. Strict engineering controls will be required to reduce the risk of stray electric or magnetic fields coupling into other conductors and prevent generation of harmonic frequencies and other spurious products.

There have been a number of studies undertaken by incumbent services including broadcasting, amateur, standard time and frequency Maritime radiolocation and low frequency services. All have highlighted there will be a rising noise level for incumbent services and this will affect the usability of that spectrum and may incur economic loss. There is a high probability of harmful interference to amateur bands.

There will be a need to update and review CISPR standards to ensure adequate protection of incumbent services in the spurious and out-of-band domains. There is an IARU recommendation that WPT-EV devices should be classified as short range devices which can afford more protection for incumbent services. If the current standards were to be applied then the unwanted emissions would be at least 40dB higher than environmental noise levels.

This threat is being taken very seriously and we are fortunate to have Dale Hughes VK1DSH leading Working Group 5A covering agenda item 9.1.6 (WPT).

Justin VK7TW

Table Of Contents


“Dare to dream on top band”: Low band DXing on a shoestring from an Aussie backyard Michael J Charteris VK4QS/ VK4XQM
WICEN exercise 22-23 September 2018 Robyn Fallshaw
A coming of age: GippsTech 2018 – the 21st Conference Roger Harrison VK2ZRH
Brisbane Telecommunication and Postal Museum visit Peter Wolfenden VK3RV
Michael J. Owen Distinction Medal WIA Board


Building a Simulcasting & Voting Repeater System using VKLink Hayden Honeywood VK7HH
An SWR Meter for the Blind – and everyone else! Jim Tregellas VK5JST

Plus all the usual Club news and columns

“Dare to dream on top band”: Low band DXing on a shoestring from an Aussie backyard

Michael J Charteris VK4QS/ VK4XQM

The author describes his exploration of the 160 m band – “Top Band” – from his suburban location and how his interest in the band grew to making some notable contacts.

Michael J. Owen Distinction Medal

WIA Board

The article displays the recently struck Michael J Owen Distinction Medal and gives a summary account of the chronology of the Michael Owen’s contributions to the hobby locally and internationally.

Building a Simulcasting & Voting Repeater System using VKLink

Hayden Honeywood VK7HH

The author describes the development and implementation of novel form of repeater. Read the article to learn all about the simulcasting and voting repeater.

An SWR Meter for the Blind – and everyone else!

Jim Tregellas VK5JST

Another gem from the workshop of Jim VK5JST: an SWR meter designed for a blind operator but which many would find a useful accessory in the shack.

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