May - June 2022
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At a recent amateur radio club meeting, I was asked to give an impromptu history of a topic of current interest to those present. A topic also of wider interest across the radio amateur community in Australia, too.
Never mind the topic; I outlined the ‘history’ as I saw it, being one who was a witness over time to the topic-at-hand, a fellow traveller with many of those involved, including some present in the room, some long SK and others who’d more recently departed this mortal coil.
In the usual post-meeting chit-chat, I was asked a question from out of the blue: why had I not written an account of my life, a memoir, if not an autobiography. Yes, urged other bystanders, you ought to do that. I answered that my life-and-times weren’t that interesting and such a book would end up being remaindered as speedily as those of the many ex-ministers of the crown I had served during that recent phase of my portfolio of careers.
Maybe it just seems not that interesting to me. After all, I was there. None of it is new. I haven’t pursued an adventurous life like Dick Smith, who remains truly astonished at the things he’s done (even those things that didn’t come off as anticipated . .). I was around (even there!) for some of his remarkable “adventures”.
I guess it’s a matter of perspective.
There was a time when, if I mentioned that I’d spent a year living and working at Casey Station in Antarctica with the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition, doing geophysical surveying out on the ice cap, I could see the glaze come over people’s faces and hear the metaphorical crickets.
Back in the 1970s, it was widely believed that no one lived and worked in Antarctica. Indeed, in that era, if you revealed that you’d spent a year living and/or working “overseas”, even “up the bush”, it was considered a euphemism for time in jail. I didn’t know that. No wonder I got 35 knock-backs from 36 job applications after completing my Antarctic employment.
I’m not in the league of Albert Lacey, an Australian author whose autobiography “A fortunate life” (Google it), is now considered a classis of Australian literature. I’m just another baby boomer who’s spent a life below the radar.
Below the radar
Speaking of which, on a return visit to Sydney recently, I found myself at Milson’s Point, below the maritime radar atop Blues Point tower.
Living as I now do on Queensland’s Gold Coast, this is Theme Park Central, with Sea World, Movie World and Dreamworld all nearby, with adrenalin-pumping ride experiences to be had at will.
Naturally, in Sydney, I had to visit the first and for some, the best – Luna Park at Milson’s Point. The result of my ride on the Wild Mouse is adjacent.
A previous editor of AR used to tell of his sailing journeys on Lake Eyre. Luna Park’s a lot more fun! A matter of perspective, really.
Table Of Contents
Annual Awards: PubCom rewards authors’ efforts - Roger Harrison VK2ZRH
Amateur licence training successes - Fred Swainston VK3DAC, VK4FE
Unsung pioneers of TV technology in Australia – Part 2 - Peter Wolfenden VK3RV
DIY solar electric boat - John Titmuss VK4JWT
Comments on Mitigating Amateur Radio Interference to VDSL2, published by NBN Co - Phil VK2ASD & Dale VK1DSH
Book Review: The flying doctor story 1928 to 1978 - Brian Clarke VK2GCE
The uTurn – a ‘minimum-parts-count’ remote control - Jim Sosnin VK3JST
Tricks, traps and success in selecting and building a low-cost antenna choke balun for up to 400 W - Lou VK3AQZ
Building an automatic tuner for a magnetic loop antenna - John Forrest VK3JNF
Care and feeding of a long loop Yagi for best Return Loss - Doug Friend VK4OE
Antenna Modelling using 4nec2 – Part 1 - Michael Barbera and Gregory Mew VK4GRM
The VK3AQZ wide range RF power meter project - Part 2 - Luigi VK3AQZ
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