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General Information

2019 Magazines

Other years

Amateur Radio
July - August 2019

Delivery expected from 25 July

      WIA Member Digital Edition Download



You will all be aware by now that changes have taken place in the management of the production/editorial team of the AR magazine. These changes have provided an opportunity to review the operation and content of our Journal and make it, once again, Australia’s premier electronics and amateur radio publication.

In order to achieve this the future magazine needs a faster turnaround, increased technical value (for example, the number and style of technical articles) and a unified supporting online/digital approach. The editorial process will be undergoing changes to streamline the review process and remove the barriers to publication that have existed in the past. Some new articles of interest to the wider community of electronic, digital and radio technical developers will be added to increase the reach of the journal.

We will be developing an upgrade in style, content and advertising for the magazine and it will be supported by content sourced through and within the digital and social media environment. A team of Digital Content Technical Editors and technical support has been appointed to ensure material is fast-tracked into the digital space that is relevant content and quickly available to readers. Material will be selected from the digital channel for inclusion in print media with those who have contributed articles, that will be published in AR, with contributors rapidly notified so that they can participate in the publishing process. Accordingly, we will be seeking expressions of interest for additions to both the Digital Technical Editor team as well as those of Technical Editors for the print material. If you are forward thinking with an interest in getting exciting new information to aspiring and current electronic, digital and radio amateurs please contact me on

In addition to new articles of broader interest you will see, an exciting new regular multi-page inclusion that will be called Amateur Foundations focussed entirely on the delivery of resources to aspirant and early stage operators. This will include regular material from Onno Benschop (VK6FLAB).

I hope you will look forward to receiving your new look journal and follow us regularly on social media.

Contributions to your magazine

We are always looking for contributions to the magazine: articles or even a column. A column might not appear every issue, so if you have any ideas about a new column, feel free to send in a proposal. If you do not wish to commit to preparing something every second month, then consider an article or series of articles.

We see that in some states, the Clubs contribute their local news to a state scribe who collates a summary document for the state. In other states, we have some Clubs who forward their own news direct for publication – some regularly and some occasionally. It is good to see a contribution from VK1 in this issue.

You can find information on how to contribute material on the magazine pages on the WIA website:

All articles are reviewed prior to publication. Technical articles are also reviewed by the Technical Editor team in addition to the normal review process. Given that we are limited in the space available, some articles will need to wait until space is available. Technical articles may need additional time for processing. Authors need to be patient.

When you submit an article, you should receive acknowledgement with a registration number. You may not hear from the Publication Committee team again – the article may simply be processed and then await publication. It is a case of no news is normally good news.

We currently have a number of technical articles being processed, but have very few general articles. So your contributions would be appreciated – tell us about your latest notable Amateur Radio activity.

Harry VK6YBZ

This month’s cover

VK6 News Page 49

Dish used for the 5.7GHz EME contacts
Possibly the 1st SSB voice contacts made from Australia to Europe (and possibly anywhere outside Australia) on 5.7 GHz.

WIA President's Comment

First Board Comment as President

This is my first Board Comment in the magazine as newly elected WIA President, having been in this role for just over three weeks as I write this column. I wish to thank our immediate past president, Justin, for his contribution to Amateur Radio and to the WIA during his two-year term as WIA President. Similarly, I would also like to thank Marcus for his contribution as WIA Director over the last two years.

The 2019 WIA Conference and AGM

In the last AR magazine issue in the Board comment, WIA President Justin wished Waverley Amateur Radio Society (WARS) a happy signifi cant birthday ahead of the 100 year celebration which was held, appropriately, in the Marconi Room of the Sydney Town Hall on Friday evening 24 May 2019. I can report that the event, the first of the 2019 WIA Conference Weekend agenda, was a great success, with the highlight being an enthralling talk by author David Dufty about his book The Secret Code-Breakers of Central Bureau. As a largely under reported facet of Australian military history, The Code-Breakers of Central Bureau tells the story of the country’s significant codebreaking and signals-intelligence achievements during the Second World War. It is the story of Australia’s version of Bletchley Park, of talented and dedicated individuals who significantly influenced the course of the Pacific War. Sunday’s events were hosted by ARNSW at Dural, northwest of
Sydney with more technical talks, great food and stalls including SOTA, ALARA, WICEN and CREST plus many others. And for those not entirely obsessed with Amateur Radio, there were sight seeing tours to various places of interest around Sydney. I wish to sincerely thank the 2019 organising committee, WARS and ARNSW for their invaluable assistance in making the weekend such great success. Next year it is Hobart’s turn, so save the date, 8-10 May 2020.

2019-2020 WIA Board

Following the AGM on Saturday afternoon, the new board for 2019 2020 met briefl y for the first time to elect office holders. We welcome newly elected board member Mike Alsop VK8MA from Katherine, NT. Peter Clee and Greg Kelly were returned for their second term on the board. Aidan Mountford and Dr Harry Edgar are continuing directors. The WIA, as per its constitution, elects half the board each year for continuity. Peter Clee continues as Secretary, Aidan Mountford was elected as new Vice-President and Greg Kelly was elected as new WIA President.

AR Magazine editor

You may be aware that Peter Freeman’s 14 plus year role as magazine editor regrettably came to an end on June 26. We wish Peter well in his future endeavours. Peter’s outstanding service to the continuation of the magazine for so many years is gratefully acknowledged - he has been in the editor role since the very early days of the WIA National organisation. In that time, he has led the Publishing Committee (PubCom) to produce well over 100 magazine issues, as well as the yearly WIA call book. The WIA AR magazine has a great tradition going back to the 1930s and earlier, and Peter has been the editor for a significant part of that history. Dr Harry Edgar has volunteered to takeover this role in the interim as WIA Editor-in-Chief. The board also wishes to thank PubCom members for their invaluable assistance in the transition period to a new editor, plus also for their untiring service in the consistent production quality of the magazine. Volunteers for the position of new Editor as well as those of Digital Content Technical Editors and print Technical Editors with various skillsets are most welcome. Contact Dr Edgar at

WRC-19 World Radio Conference

WRC-19 Preparatory meetings, which started last year and have been attended by WIA representatives, continue in the lead up to WRC-19. The WIA delegates, Dale Hughes and/or Peter Pokorny, attend these meetings (and the WRC conference) at the invitation of the Australian Department of Communications and the Arts (DOCA).
World radio-communication conferences (WRC) are held every three to four years. It is the job of WRC to review, and, if necessary, revise the Radio Regulations, and the international treaty governing
the use of the radio-frequency spectrum. WRC-19 is being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, 28 October to 22 November 2019. Over 3000 delegates will attend from around the world – the venue will be secured as a compound. The WIA, as the sole Australian AR peak body recognised by the IARU / ITU, views this international representation as one of its most important responsibilities, if not the most important – despite the non-trivial cost. This view has been strongly supported by recent member surveys.

Examination and Callsign Services

With the awarding by ACMA of the contract (called the “deed”) to the Australian Marine College in
early February this year, now 5 – 6 months ago, it is worthwhile to take a checkpoint on how the new provider is servicing the amateur community. Marc Hillman, WIA statistician, has done some statistical analysis of net new licences over this period. This analysis would indicate that the rate of new amateur qualifi cations is down considerably, period to period, compared to last year – at least 50% less, and most likely 65% less. The implications for the future of the hobby are self-evident. As for Quality of Service (QoS), many AMC assessors have advised anecdotally, that cycle times (turnaround times) are considerably longer in terms of time to get results (was previously same day) and for initial callsign issue.

ACMA LCD Consultation - closing August 9

This consultation period may have closed by the time you read this, however, be assured that the WIA will represent the interest of its members by strongly lobbying to minimise any negative impact from the proposed changes. The majority of changes previously proposed by the WIA have been accepted by the ACMA. The main area of concern are ACMA proposed changes to the existing licence structure aimed at reducing the ACMA regulatory burden, that are likely to have far-reaching unintended consequences.

On behalf of the WIA Board
73 Greg Kelly WIA President

Table Of Contents


AM in a Digital Age page 7
Stephen Coleman VK2ASC

Balmy Bondi to Wintry Scotland page 20

WIA Annual Conference page 24
Justin Giles-Clark VK7TW

70th Urunga Radio Convention
2019 page 28
Ken Golden VK2DGT

DX Leader Board 2018 page 59
Marc Hillman VK3OHM


ALARA page 37
Board Comment pages 3, 4
DX Talk page 40
Editorial page 2
Hamads page 46
Over to You page 58
Silent Key pages 55, 59
SOTA & Parks page 42
VHF/UHF – An Expanding World pages 30, 34
WIA Awards page 56
WIA News pages 5, 6
VK1 News page 47
VK2 News page 44
VK3 News pages 48, 51
VK5 News page 46
VK6 News page 49
VK7 News page 52

Amateur Foundations: New Feature Article

Your Software Defined Radio around the home page 21

Aimed at new, aspiring and returning amateurs, the author describes how to track down sources of noise around your shack

<Onno Benschop VK6FLAB>

A simple QRP Transmit shield for Raspberry Pi single board computers

Erich Heinzle VK5HSE

The author describes the construction of a simple QRP Transmit shield for Raspberry Pi single board computers. A schematic is provided along with circuit board layouts for construction.

UTC Real Time Clock

Geoff Combes VK4GWC

The author describes the development and construction of a real time clock. Also described is the circuit schematica nd the provision of software to drive the Arduino at the heart of the construction.

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