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General Information

2019 Magazines

Other years

Amateur Radio
September - October 2019

Delivery expected from 19 September

      WIA Member Digital Edition Download


Dr Harry Edgar VK6YBZ

We are striving to significantly increase the amount of technical content and are constantly seeking technical articles for AR magazine. This is YOUR magazine and we want YOUR input. It will make you famous – well, probably not…. Whether it is a half page tip for, say, working with SMD, or crimping an Anderson 0/1 AWG connector. Or perhaps a review of some technology you have used or an article on a building a new fantasmagoric home brew gizmo or kit – please send it

With more people now living in apartments, particularly in the bigger cities, innovative antenna approaches to help with space constraints are of particular interest – as are mobile antenna reviews for HF and VHF/UHF. If you have a friend or colleague that you know has something worth writing about – ask them, and help by reviewing their article. Most articles are 2 to 6 pages, we can spread longer articles over 2 or 3 issues. Don’t assume your article won’t be of interest; even stories on “home-brew” experiments that haven’t worked can make good reading on what not to do. Please send your article with text in editable format only - ideally MS Word .docx, although .rtf or even .txt is acceptable. Attach photos, at least one per page of text, in as higher resolution as possible separately – refer to them in text as Photo 1, etc. No pdfs or embedded photos please – these make the article very difficult to edit and use. Carefully hand drawn circuit diagrams are fine too, as long as isn’t too complex.

We have received expressions of interest for the Digital Technical Editors and Technical Editor roles and have gratefully offered those who applied volunteer editor roles. We still have two vacancies, and if you are technically inclined (as are most Radio Amateurs, unsurprisingly ) and would like to work with a collegiate team of editors in re-inventing our content, we would like to hear from you. Please contact the Publications Committee via email

Finally, if you sent in a technical article to the magazine in the last two years or so that hasn’t yet
been published, can you re-send it please? We will (re)review it for future publication or let you know
otherwise. Email as above.

The Editor

Cover Image

Geminids Meteor Shower. Photo by Jeff Dai. Refer Meteor Scatter Report by VK4UH page 39. Insert: Tracking Controller.

WIA President's Comment

Amateur Radio: A hobby or a service?

I start this issue’s Board Comment with a question: Amateur Radio: A hobby or a service? The short answer is that it is a service, not a hobby.

Why is that important?

Because as a hobby alone, the continuing right to radio spectrum globally that is worth commercially millions of dollars is not easy to justify, if at all. And we don’t have to look hard or long to see current commercial pressures for more 100 MHz – 10 GHz RF spectrum.

Amateur Radio & Amateur Satellite Services - some background

Amateur and Amateur-satellite are fully recognised radio communication services defined in the Radio Regulations (RR) of the International Telecommunication Union – ITU, which is a specialized agency of the United Nations. In 1912, amateurs could use any frequency above 1.5 MHz, as these frequencies were regarded “of no value for marine, governmental and commercial communications” or “undesirable and scarcely useful”. By 1924, amateurs made way for other services in bands above 1.5 MHz. So there is nothing new about Radio Amateurs losing access to the RF Spectrum! The Radio Amateur Satellite service was first noted at the 1963 World Administrative Radio Conference (WRC-63). This is a useful reference: https://

Amateur Radio as a Service (ARaaS)

So what comprises the “service” within Amateur Radio?
Applied Research and Development: Amateur Radio exists today because it is fi rst and foremost a platform for electro-technology experimentation. Self-training is an important purpose of the amateur services, as articulated in the definition of the amateur service by the ITU. Radio amateurs have made, and continue to make, significant technical contributions to the fields of radio propagation, high frequency single sideband radiotelephone, HF data communications, packet
radio protocols and communication satellite design. The “HeyPhone” used in the Thai Cave rescue is a very recent example of Radio Amateur innovation helping society. Amateur radio satellites are the pre-cursors of todays “cube-sats” - small satellites that can be launched inexpensively into space. Amateur Radio Emergency Services: The ITU encourages
administrations to allow amateur stations to support disaster relief. Amateur radio continues to provide basic radio communications especially in the early days of a disaster following the loss or overloading of normal telecommunications networks. Radiosports, such as contests and ARDF indirectly support both the above two services, by honing operating skills, leveraging antenna design and utilisation, undertaking portable operation plus the use of transmitting and receiving equipment under pressure.

The ACMA definition

“An amateur apparatus licence is issued to authorise a station that:
  is operated for the purposes of self-training
in radiocommunications; intercommunication using radiocommunications; and technical investigation into
radiocommunications by persons who do so solely with a personal aim, and who have no pecuniary interest in the outcome of the operations of the station
  is operated on amateur frequencies or amateur frequency bands
  may participate in the amateur satellite service.”
Note references to “hobby” (Hint -There aren’t any!).

ACMA LCD Consultation 2019

Since the last issue, the consultation period has closed. The WIA has submitted its response to the consultation, which is available on the WIA website. The WIA submitted this to the ACMA as a joint submission in co-operation with ALARA, ARNSW and ARVIC. We also received letters of support and constructive comment from many of the WIA affiliated clubs, which is sincerely appreciated – and to the single club that responded that they did not support the WIA submission - it was unhelpful that no reason was given for with-holding such support. We note that there was no general support from submissions that have been made public for a single licence grade, nor for 400W for all Licence classes. There was general support for digital modes for Foundation holders and also a power increase for Foundation holder – although this ranged from 30W PEP to 100W PEP with 50W being the most common. The WIA did propose the ACMA consider an increase for all modes (not just SSB) to 400W for Advanced licence holders. The WIA believes that increases to higher power levels, such 1 or 1.5kW, remains unlikely at this time due to the failure of the high power trial conducted some
years ago, a situation where a few recalcitrant trial participants have spoiled it for the many ...

WRC-19 World Radio Conference

The WIA continues its commitment to international representation in the lead up to the ITU World Radio Conference (WRC-19) which is being held in Egypt later this year (October 28 –November 22). As I noted last issue, WRCs are held every 3 to 4 years and this year will be attended by over 3000 delegates from over 100 countries. The are a number of preparatory (APT) meetings held in Asia-Pacific prior to the actual conference, with the fifth preparatory meeting just
completed. The WIA nominated two representatives to represent the WIA and the Australian Amateur radio service – the WIA attends these meetings as part of the Australian delegation at the invitation of DOCA. The WIA international representatives are Dale Hughes VK1DSH & Peter Pokorny VK2EMR. Australian Radio Study Group 5 (ARSG 5) met for the final time this WRC study cycle on August 23. ARSG 5 studies terrestrial systems and networks for the fixed, mobile, radiodetermination, amateur and amateur-satellite services in Australia and provides key technical inputs to meetings of ITU-R Working Parties 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D, APT and WRC.

The meeting was held across three ACMA sites: Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne linked via the ACMA video conference facility. Approximately 20 people attended across the three sites. The main purpose of the meeting was to review progress toward relevant WRC-19 agenda items and to discuss the outcomes of recent international meetings, as well as decide on any required follow-up actions. The agenda item coordinators for each WRC-19 agenda item briefed the meeting on the progress of work at the ITU-R and the outcome of the APG19-5 meeting. This led to discussions about tactics for negotiation at WRC-19 and how Australia might best work toward achieving its objectives and that of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT). Close liaison with the Department of Communications and the Arts (DOCA) will be necessary at WRC-19 to adjust to the dynamic nature of WRC-19 negotiations. The ARSG 5 meeting also discussed the upcoming final meeting of the DOCA Preparatory Group WRC-19 (PG WRC-19) which will be held on 16 September 2019. The PG WRC-19 meeting will finalise the Australian positions on all WRC-19 agenda items and provide security and operational information for the Australian delegation to WRC-19. Attendance at this meeting is compulsory and non-attendance will result exclusion from the Australian delegation to RA-19,
WRC-19 and CPM23-1.

CISPR (Translates as Special Committee on Radio Interference)

As part of the review of WRC-19 agenda items there was discussion about agenda item 9.1.6 (Wireless Power Transmission (WPT) for electric vehicles) and how the focus of this work will likely shift to various standards organizations like CISPR. The WIA’s representative Peter Pokorny will be attending the CISPR meeting in Shanghai just prior to WRC-19 representing the IARU. Note that planning for the preparatory work for WRC-23 is already underway.
The Comité International Spécial des Perturbations Radioélectriques (CISPR; English: International Special Committee on Radio Interference) was founded in 1934 to set standards for controlling electromagnetic interference in electrical and electronic devices, and is a part of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

WRC-19 Donations

The WIA has recently received several (unsolicited) substantial donations towards our international representation which are very much appreciated. These donations help in offsetting the non-trivial costs. These donations have been received from both WIA affiliated clubs as well as individual donors. The WIA board sincerely thanks these donors for their contribution to the Australian amateur radio service and the WIA. By the way, a small donation of just $5 per member of all the WIA affi liated clubs would offset about 50% of the total costs we incur with each WRC commitment every 3 to 4 years. This amounts to the cost of a large coffee or a meat pie, once every 3 or 4 years per member. So if you or your club can see their way clear to assist financially with a “once every blue moon WRC-19 donation”, the WIA board would be most appreciative. There is precedent for the WIA to ask for donations towards WRC costs, which helps spread the cost across the wider Radio Amateur cohort. Funding the WRC commitment – which includes more than 6 APT preparatory meeting across Asis-Pacific - is a non-trivial cost for the WIA, and it is a struggle. The WIA, as the sole Australian peak body recognised by the IARU / ITU, views this international representation as one of its most important responsibilities, if not the most important. This view has been consistently supported by member surveys.

In Summary

Without international representation, we can expect regulators globally and locally to succumb to the ever increasing commercial pressure to release more of the amateur spectrum. Whilst some losses are inevitable, especially in the GHz bands, maintaining a presence at these forums is the only way to minimise these losses. We also cannot assume our own regulators fully understand what the Amateur Radio Service is and its value to the community – hence why Dale VK1DSH gave a presentation to the Australian delegation on this subject at one of the earlier meetings of the Australian delegation.

On behalf of the WIA board
WIA President

Table Of Contents


TAC Notes: 30 M Bandplan change John Martin VK3KM - Page 14
Amateur Foundations - The Regulator - Onno Benschop VK6FLAB - Page 19
The Outward QSL Bureau Process - John Seamons VK3JLS - Page 20
WIA Contest Champion Results - 2018 - Page 29
International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend 17-19 August 2019 - Mike VK4MIK and Bob VK4BOB - Page 32
VK6 and The Dish - Keith VK6EME, Dean VK6DSL and
Larry VK6UM - Page 54


A GaAs FET preamp for 2 meters - Peter Kloppenburg VK1CPK - Page 6
K3NG Based Azimuth / Elevation Rotator Controller for Microwave and EME Application - Justin Giles-Clark VK7TW - Page 8
SWR - And The Meaning Of Life - Jim Tregellas VK5JST - Page 15
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, chasing 122.5 GHz distance records - Noel Higgins VK3NH - Page 22
Build a 50 ohm oblong loop for 144 MHz SSB or WSPR - Peter Parker VK3YE - Page 30
Coreflute radial/counterpoise pads: convenient, lightweight & effective - Wescombe-Down VK5BUG - Page 42

ALARA - Page 57
Board Comment - Page 3, 4
DX Talk - Page 44
Editorial - Page 2
Hamads - Page 45
Meteor Scatter Report - Page 39
Silent Key - Page 31, 61, 62, 63
SOTA & Parks - Page 46
VHF/UHF – An Expanding World - Page 34, 39
WIA Awards - Page 52
WIA News - Page 5, 18
VK2 News - Page 49
VK3 News - Page 21, 51
VK7 News - Page 60

Advertisers Index

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