March - April 2022
WIA Member Digital Edition Download
Here we are, Issue 2 for the year. I was here before! Two years ago, I grasped the nettle of getting the production of Amateur Radio magazine back on-track, delivering five issues from August through December so that members received their six issues for the year. Never mind the rampaging pandemic.
So, over these two years, the Publications Committee and I have taken the opportunity to spend some time, thought and effort developing the magazine, to improve its appeal to the readership and hopefully, to the retail audience buying copies through newsagents. At the instigation of David VK3BDX and the encouragement of Board member Lee VK3GK, we launched a reader survey via the weekly broadcasts, online and in the magazine (Issue 5, 2021). The results were both enlightening and encouraging.
In 2020, the concept of ‘themed’ issues was introduced. The pleasures of “Portable Pursuits” launched the concept with Issue 4 for 2020, followed by “Antennas and Feedlines,” Issue 5. “Radio DF” – foxhunting in another guise, leapt forth in 2020’s Issue 6. DIY Digital amateur TV leapt into frame from Issue 1 for 2021, followed by a min-theme focused on WSPRing in Issue 2. But the big bang theme that really struck a chord with readers was the “Antarctic Adventures” edition – Issue 5 last year. It was closely followed by Issue 6’s “Antennas and Propagation” theme. Columnists have joined-in, aligning their content with an issue’s themes.
Beavering along calmly and persistently is Newcomers’ Notebook, the initiative of Jules VK3JFP, launched with Issue 5 last year and pitched to appeal to the needs and interests of those who are new to amateur radio. We can’t be ‘all things to all people’, but we’re working to appeal to as broad a spectrum of interests as we’re able.
From Issue 1 this year, you’ve witnessed a ‘refresh’ of Amateur Radio’s ‘look and feel’, to extend what we’ve been doing with the content. And there’s more to come. Stick with us, folks.
That Bird slug
No doubt some readers will be wondering about the provenance of the photo of that Bird Thru-line RF power meter slug on this issue’s cover at lower right, rated at 2500 watts. It belonged to me until last year. It was one of those items that I had to part with when I down-sized and moved from Sydney to the Gold Coast.
So why, when the Advanced licence conditions limits me to 400 Wpep, 120 Wmean RF power output, would I need such an item? Well, “ . . funny you should mentions that . . ,” as the line from an old joke goes. I became involved in aiding some colleagues working towards developing applications for high power permits from the ACMA, and the need to make measurements to an acceptable accuracy was part and parcel of that. Not that I didn’t harbour similar ambitions, myself, I have to admit. LOL.
So, when the opportunity arose to add to the facility of my Bird 43 Thru-line RF power meter with the acquisition of that slug, I took it, and it kept company with its high-power stablemates acquired previously for frequency ranges above and below that 50-125 MHz (6m!) slug on the cover. My efforts in conjunction with my colleagues did not go to waste. I learned a lot in the process.
Having sold it, along with its stablemates, I guess I have fulfilled the wish lists of others.
WIA President's Comment
Presidents Comment - IARU News
Shaping the future
In October 2021, the Region 1 organisation of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), held a five-day online workshop to explore this topic. Some 50 countries and 100 participants joined in. Here is the report on the significant event.
Through a total of seven working sessions, the delegates built the picture of the future amateur radio we wanted to see and confirmed the key steps to get us there. As a result of this collaborative work, you will find:
The list of key values we see as our guiding principles and must not be compromised,
The reasons for Amateur Radio to exist and to endure for decades: our Core Purpose,
What we want to see in 10 years when looking at Amateur Radio: our Overarching Goal,
What must be done for this Overarching Goal to be a reality: our Strategic Objectives.
The last section presents the action plan we have prepared to go forward. You can download the summary of the workshop outcomes here: Link
The following key “values” describe what we see as central to amateur radio into the future:
Fun. Enjoyment. Passion. Hobby. Experiencing the magic of radio-electronics-wireless communications as a lifetime adventure (for all ages), just for personal interest, without commercial purpose. Amateur radio is not just fun: we are passionate about the use of electromagnetic communications and technology to make achievements and improve ourselves. We enjoy personal interaction with likeminded [people] and want to serve our society.
Global ham community. The global ham community is an inclusive environment without frontiers. Ham spirit is used within the community and is a multicultural, apolitical, open-minded and tolerant concept, where friendship is built around the world. Common interests are shared and developed within this community.
Practical experimentation (technology & communication). The freedom to experiment. Curiosity-driven experimentation with technology and communication techniques, re-using existing techniques and improving them, understanding and exploring the physics of electromagnetic propagation.
Innovation. A focus on creativity and innovation around leading-edge technology and an intense curiosity about what might be possible. Developing new techniques.
Learning and education (tech & comms). A foundation for amateur radio is the continuous self-training and education within technologies and communications. Curiosity and a wish to break existing technical boundaries are strong drivers, as well as sharing knowledge within the community to educate and help others.
Value to society. Promoting interest in science and technology subjects across society. Amateur radio also provides trained radio operators and radio engineers to businesses. Provide logistical support and radiocommunications expertise in emergency situations and public events.
Our core purpose and overarching goal
We then discussed “why” Amateur Radio exists, and agreed a sentence that summarised this:
Provide an accessible way that people can enjoy and personally grow from experimentation with, and utilisation of, the radio spectrum, bringing together like-minded people in a community of common interest and offering social and economic benefit to others in our areas of expertise.
Given this context, we considered what we wanted to see in ten years’ time, allowing for both our vision for the future and the need to fix some of the weaknesses and address some of the threats in the SWOT analysis. This is what we want to see:
Amateur Radio is booming across Region 1. It has evolved to become one of the leading communities of expertise for science and technology enthusiasts. It is rightly respected and admired, both for the self-development opportunities that it offers and for the value it delivers to society as a whole.
We then considered what would make that 10-year ambition happen. We saw eight key areas (“strategic objectives”) needing to be in place:
1. Amateur radio is continually redefined and refocused to be relevant and appealing to a wide range of science and technology interest groups;
2. Amateur radio is seen as a welcoming and accessible activity for people of all ages, backgrounds, genders, and ethnicities, providing fun, social community and personal development;
3. Amateur radio is seen to be providing social, economic, educational, and other benefits to society;
4. Experimentation, innovation, and creativity are central to amateur radio, which is publicly recognised as the leading non-commercial community on wireless communication;
5. Amateur radio provides a supportive environment for self-development and excellence within communications and technology, supporting the development of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) skills;
6. Governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), professional bodies and academia acknowledge the relevance and technical capability of the amateur service and its benefit to society;
7. Amateur radio has an extensive media presence from its accessibility to new entrants to its high value technical and scientific contribution;
8. IARU has an active program and supporting tools to strengthen member societies, their mutual cooperation and their development and growth.
Table Of Contents
Book Review: An autobiography, or textbook?
Andy Keir VK2AAK
Unsung pioneers of TV technology Australia – Part 1
Peter Wolfenden VK3RV
The COVID Chronicles
Arthur Day VK2BBI
Test equipment for the ham shack
Andy Keir VK2AAK
‘Reading’ your oscilloscope
Roger Harrison VK2ZRH
Test Gear Review: Ute-style DMM at a pocket money price
Roger Harrison VK2ZRH - download the review below.
Can esoteric mathematics help us fox hunting? You bet!
Eric Heinzle VK5HSE
Unravelling the mysteries of connecting radios to antennas - Part 4
Brian Clarke VK2GCE
The VK3AQZ wide range RF power meter project - Part 1
Luigi Destefano VK3AQZ
The VK3AQZ HF antenna tuner - Part 3 Fifth article
Luigi Destefano VK3AQZ
Files For Download
Page Last Updated: Friday, 25 Mar 2022 at 12:45 hours by Armag