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2019 Magazines

Other years

Amateur Radio
November - December 2019

Delivery expected from 28 November

      WIA Member Digital Edition Download


Welcome to AR Magazine issue 6, the last for 2019. How fast has the year gone! In this issue, we start a series on a HF transceiver – a most impressive “retro-style” homebrew device - which as well as being a great read, we hope it will inspire more construction of transmitting equipment. There are also several antennas to construct, including two compact magnetic loops. Plus our usual columns from across Australia.

The response to our recent call to WIA members for more technical articles has been most gratifying both in terms of technical interest, content quality and the number of submissions – but please don’t stop, we always need more technical articles – from simple hints and tips to multi-part articles. Remember that any submission should have the text in editable format, such as MS Word .docx or .rtf (not PDF), photos separately in hi-resolution format (again not PDF). Refer to photos in the text as Figure 1 etc. Neat, hand-drawn circuit diagrams are fine for simpler circuits - and with more complex diagrams PDF output from a drawing tool is actually preferred.

Reviews of lower to moderate cost test equipment are also most welcome, whether commercial or kits – such as the relatively low cost oscilloscopes and spectrum analysers now available, ESR meters or perhaps the economical VNAs now available. We are also seeking practical articles on “how to” for digital modes - such as DMR or OLIVIA (esp. RSID mode) - especially with the emission type restrictions now lifted for Foundation licence holders. Also DIY techniques for SMA construction and rework.

Next year will be a significant anniversary for the WIA, 110 years young! Not many organisations can trace their legacy back 110 years, especially membership based organisations with democratically elected boards. We are planning a number of historical articles, curated with the help of Peter, the WIA Historian. And the WIA Radio & Electronics Convention in Hobart (see details this issue) will help celebrate this anniversary – we hope to see you -and friends / partners too - there in early May 2020.

As always, suggestions and constructive criticism is always appreciated (email: or ).

The editor has recently received a number of “letters to the editor” with caveats of “Do not Publish” - whilst we will honour no-publish requests of course, there is much more value if we can share these opinions with the readership and create an open dialogue.

As is usual for this time of year, a nomination form is included with the mailed magazine for the half-board election of directors. A nomination form .pdf will also be available on the WIA site. Any questions should be directed to the WIA Returning Officer.

Please note that our Editor-in- Chief, Dr Harry Edgar, has stepped down from Editor-in-Chief role to undergo medical treatment. From the entire WIA PubCom team, we sincerely thank him for his wise counsel and contribution to the magazine strategy and continuity - and wish him well for a speedy recovery.

73, The Editorial Team (aka PubCom)

WIA President's Comment

WIA President's Comment

As we hurtle in space orbiting around the sun at an average speed of 110,000 kilometres per hour towards the fast approaching end of another year, it is worth looking what is underway and planned in the near term that will impact the Amateur Radio Service in Australia. So let’s first look at the biggest RF
spectrum event for 2019:

As you are probably already aware, the WIA has sponsored two WIA representatives to attend the World Radio Conference (WRC-19) this year as part of the WRC Australian delegation organised by the Australian Department of Communications (DOCA).

At the time of writing, the World Radio Conference 2019 (WRC-19)is now underway in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt and concludes November 22. This major event held by the ITU - a specialist agency of the UN - brings over 160 countries together to discuss and agree the sharing and use of radio spectrum across the globe and also, for satellites, in space. The Amateur Radio sector is represented globally to the ITU by the IARU. The WIA is represented by our two delegates, Dale Hughes and Peter Pokorny, who are members of the official Australian national delegation organised by DOCA.

Our delegates’ scope is representation for the Australian Radio Amateur Service for all Australian Amateurs. This WIA representation, as the sole Australian AR peak body recognised by the IARU, is a major expense for the WIA. However, this representation considered the highest priority for the WIA by WIA members. See details in the AR news section of this magazine.

The pressures for spectrum access to accommodate new uses for commercial purposes are intense; for an established service such as ours – the Amateur Radio Service, and any WRC that does not reduce our own useful spectrum access should be viewed as a success.

WRC-19 Donations
National and international representation is considered one of the most important roles of the WIA by our members, if not, the most important. The WRC is a non-trivial expense for the WIA, and whilst it only occurs every 4 years - it will contribute substantially towards an operating deficit for this financial year and is only partially offset by kind donations we have received to date.

We are, of course, very grateful for the donations received but so far they cover only about 10% of our anticipated expenses for the preliminary DOCA and 6 APT meetings and the WRC-19 itself. The WIA posted a small operating surplus last financial year of $23,000 - about $6.50 a member; this surplus will only cover about one third of our cost estimates for the full APT (the Asia Pacific meetings) and WRC-19.

We have had to attend the lead up meetings as a commitment of our membership of the national DOCA delegation, so options to reduce costs are very limited. So if you or your club can see your way clear to assist with a donation, even in small way, it would be very much appreciated. Donations can be made directly by electronic funds transfer to the Wireless Institute of Australia Foundation (Account name), BSB 633-000, Account Number 161428578 Include the letters WRC and your callsign (or member number, but not both) in the details or contact us at and assist us with this important Australian AR representation.

ACMA AR Examination Syllabus Review
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has recently invited the WIA to form part of a Radio Amateur Service Syllabus review panel. The WIA will nominate two WIA Education team members to represent the WIA membership. The WIA panel representatives will be expected to liaise closely with the WIA Education team. ACMA retains sovereignty of the syllabus for the three licence classes and will be facilitating the review panel. The panel will be meeting in either Canberra, Sydney or Melbourne with video conferencing options after the first meeting. Nominations to this panel will have closed by the time this issue is printed. Note that under the terms of the examination deed, the Australian Marine College (AMC) will be asked and expected to participate in this review. At the time of writing, the actual make-up of the full panel is not known.

The immediate and urgent task for the review panel is to update the existing Foundation licence syllabus to include the changes stemming from the Licence Condition (LCD) changes now allowing, among other things, digital modes and construction of transmitting equipment. The WIA has already released on its website a four page update to our Foundation Manual addressing the impact of the LCD changes. See the recent news item for more details and to view the update addendum. It is important to note, at the time of writing, we have not been advised if the Foundation exams have been updated to fix the now out-of-date LCD answers - follow the instructions in our news item on our website.

It has been more than a decade since there has been an AR Syllabus review. It is important that we maintain our international compliance for the Advanced licence to meet the HAREC (Harmonised Amateur Radio Examination Certificate) standards for reciprocal licence issue.

YOTA – Youngsters on the Air
Initiated a few years ago by IARU region 1, the goal of YOTA is to welcome new and young amateur radio operators to our amazing technology hobby. We live in a
world where communication is being digitalised in a way that we almost can’t keep up with. In times like this it’s important to convince people about the importance of the Amateur Radio Service. Together with other youngsters all around the world, we can make the difference and give our hobby the future it deserves! YOTA is creating the next generation of amateur radio enthusiasts, bringing new energy into the hobby.

Recently 80 youngsters from 27 teams in IARU R1 met in Bankya near Sofi a in Bulgaria for the 8th edition of the Youngsters On The Air summer camp. It was a wonderful week full of diverse activities concentrated both on practical and theoretical knowledge, but also many fun activities. We explored different cultures and
shared the hobby that always brings us closer together.

This year saw a lot of time dedicated to a new IARU project called “Train-The-Trainer” which teaches youngsters to get more young people interested in amateur radio. With assistance from IARU Region 3, NZART and a number of others, Xenia Berger (ZL4YL) and Jaidyn Russell (ZL4WW) participated in, and represented Region 3 as observers at, the 2019 IARU Region 1 international youth camp held in Bulgaria. They said it was an absolutely amazing experience and it allowed them to meet many other young hams from all over the world, attend many interesting and informative lectures on topics from all ends of the amateur radio spectrum, have a go at building their own antennas and kits, and of course, have fun!

The IARU-R3 has advised that "An IARU Region 3 YOTA event will take place in Pattaya, Thailand in October 2020, and we hope all the IARU Region 3 member societies will send youth delegates as representatives to this event". Save the date! Start thinking how we can put a young team together to represent AU at this event - both money and people needed! Visit the YOTA website at for more information. The future of AR depends on our ability to engage more young people.

Foundation Licence Callsigns
The recent changes to the LCD removing restrictions on emission modes has led to calls for the Foundation Licence holders to utilise a 6 character callsign instead of the current 7 character.

In the WIA LCD Consultation response, a joint submission with ALARA, ARNSW and ARVIC we highlighted the issue with the 7 character callsign and certain digital modes, and proposed a solution that provides the best possible long term solution for the Radio Amateur community – and was directly supported by over 4,500 members of the representative organisations.

The optimum solution, we firmly believe, is to remove the demarcation of licence class by "letter blocks" – a practice that started with the Z and Y calls for the Limited Licence over 50 years ago and allow any licence class, any 3 letter callsign. We believe there is no compelling reason to continue this demarcation practice into the future, given how easy it is the check licence class using the ACMA database. There are other alternatives, but none are as simple and straightforward as this approach, which will ultimately allow a "callsign for life". This approach will have no effect on any existing licence holders at all, unless they elect to choose a new callsign.

But it will allow Foundation (and Standard) licence holders to choose a 6 character VKNxxx licence via the standard application process - or do nothing and keep their existing callsign. 2 character suffix callsigns, due to the limited number available, will remain Advanced licence only. All other approaches are just workarounds, for zero long term benefit.

There has been a “kerfuffle” over a survey released on this topic released on social media. The survey that was released was severely compromised as:

1. It was released prematurely before other organisations, operating in good faith, could review and approve its content and release.

2. The answers to the questions did not have "null" options, such as "other" or "no preference", for instance, even if a respondent did not agree with any of the two options presented, they were forced to choose one of the options - destroying the integrity of answers. The WIA would never agree to such poor survey design.

3. The original intent from the WIA and its joint partners was to release an email linked survey - as I noted in my news broadcast on October 27 (recorded about 4 days prior to meet broadcast publishing deadlines). It was, unfortunately, released to social media. By releasing to social media, it was released to a virtually unlimited audience - it was impossible to know who was responding, how often ( some claimed voting over 50 times by simple browser techniques) and whether they were Radio Amateurs or even based in Australia. The link was published on to an audience of at least a million potential respondents. Hence why the WIA disassociated itself from the flawed social media survey. The WIA is working to address this outstanding issue which will be in conjunction with its joint partners and affiliated clubs – and the ACMA. Whilst the holiday break may intervene, this is a priority for the WIA to resolve in the near term.

Seasons Greetings to all our members, staff and many
volunteers. See you in 2020!

WIA President

Table Of Contents

First RD Contest - Paul Pruss VK7FPCL
39th ALARA Contest Results - Marilyn Syme VK5DMS
WIA Conference Weekend - WIA
Remembrance Day Contest 2019 - Alan Shannon VK4SN
JOTA-JOTI 2019 far North Queensland - Mike VK4MIK and Bob VK4BOB

Homebrew HF Transceiver Part 1 Intro & Receiver - Luigi Destefano VK3AQZ
Magnetic Loop - Joseph Stephen’s VK7JS
A high performance, lightweigh 2 m antenna - Grant Symons VK3ZTE
A coax cable magnetic loop and tuner for 1.8 and 3.5 MHz - Peter Parker VK3YE
A Top Band helical vertical for confined spaces - Dr David ‘Doc’ Wescombe-Down VK5BUG

Board Comment
DX Talk
Meteor Scatter Report
Silent Key
SOTA & Parks
VHF/UHF – An Expanding World
WIA Awards
WIA News
VK2 News
VK3 News
VK6 News
VK7 News

Advertisers Index

  Icom Back Cover
  Jaycar 7
  Amidon 64
  Yaesu Inside Front Cover
  Future Systems Inside Back Cover


WIA Members Only - Files For Download

John Moyle Field Day Results
JMFDC Results 2019.pdf

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