January - February 2024
January - February 2024
WIA Member Digital Edition Download
Walking into a local newsagency (VK4) last year, I was surprised and pleased to see AR on prominent display. Looking towards the bottom of the racks, I was doubly-pleased to see the sort of company we’re keeping – Harvard Business Review, by gosh!
Admittedly, AR was placed among the ‘specialist and technical’ magazines, rather than being out the front of the store among the PuzzlePalooza, Royal Scandal, and More on Taylor Swift titles.
I was struck with a tinge of déjà vu. It was no different back in the 1980s and 90s when I edited other technical magazine sold through newsagents.
On-screen comedy scientist, Egon Spengler, in the 1984 movie Ghostbusters, pronounced “print is dead,” as his newly hired secretary flips idly through a magazine.
Here we are, four decades on, and printed magazines are still being sold in newsagents and other outlets, not to mention online subscription with post office or mail box delivery!
Are we (print magazines) an anachronism – out of place and out of time? Once the internet passed the dot-com bubble 30 years ago, it was widely assumed print magazines were in for a drawn-out garrotting by the inexorable rise of digital media – PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and the like, in partnership with all the entertainment and information services they could deliver.
Hasn’t happened. Curiously, it has been reported that sales of print magazines in Australia rose 4.1% last year. Notably, it has been reported that some previously closed print titles have re-arisen. Theres more of this story to be revealed. Meanwhile, the good ship Amateur Radio sails on.
Here’s AI in your eye!
Readers are cautioned that artificial intelligence (AI) has been employed to produce this issue, in places. In particular, in our feature article on marketing our hobby, by WIA ex-president Phil Wait VK2ASD. Phil has been aided and abetted by Megan VK3TIN (a past member of the Publications Committee) who produced some alluring AI images about amateur radio.
Friends in high places
It is fortunate for the global radio amateur community that the ITU Secretary-General, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, has an amateur radio licence – KD2JTX. In speeches at the recent World Radio Conference (WRC-23), she had some salient things to say about amateur radio that are of inestimable value, both for what was said and when she said it.
At the opening, she recalled amateurs’ role in emergency communications. At the closing, she reinforced the technical-experimental aspects of the amateur service. Nice work.
WIA President's Comment
Transition to Class licensing is upon us
On 12 December 2023, the ACMA provided an update on the proposed new amateur radio arrangements, including the Class licence
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has put in place new arrangements for amateur radio. These include changes to licensing, qualifications, call signs, charges, examination assessors, and overseas visiting amateurs.
The arrangements preserve the current operational utility for amateur operators, maintain continuity of amateur qualification and call sign arrangements, will reduce regulatory burden, and minimise licensing costs for amateur radio operators.
These new arrangements were made following extensive consultation, and careful consideration of comments received in response to numerous reviews and consultations on proposed changes.
On 19 February 2024, the following aspects of the new arrangements will commence:
the Radiocommunications (Amateur Stations) Class Licence 2023 (amateur class licence)
revised qualifications framework
new call sign arrangements
ACMA allocating qualification and call sign services
ACMA receiving accredited assessor applications
revised arrangements for overseas visiting amateurs.
The remaining aspects of the new arrangements have begun. These are the arrangements that allow the ACMA to accredit current Australian Maritime College (AMC) amateur examination assessors with the ACMA. The ACMA is working with the AMC assessors to transition them to ACMA arrangements ahead of 19 February 2024, when the ACMA will start administering examination services.
More details on transition arrangements are outlined on the WIA website.
For most amateur operators, no action is needed to transition to the new arrangements. Upon commencement of the amateur Class licence on 19 February 2024, non-assigned amateur apparatus licensees may wish to surrender their licence. Some will be eligible for a pro-rata refund.
In January 2024, the ACMA wrote to current non-assigned amateur apparatus licensees to outline the transition arrangements as well as confirm their highest qualification level and call sign(s). More details on refund eligibility and the confirmation letters are available on the ACMA transition arrangements website.
The WIA is pleased with the proposed assessor accreditation process that is proposed to start on 19 February 2024.
The WIA has received numerous requests and feedback from our cohort of accredited assessors who did not move over to the AMC. We look forward to an increased availability of assessors, and an increase in the number of aspiring amateurs in the future.
Repeaters and beacons>
Repeaters and Beacons are currently licensed under Apparatus licences.
There are no changes to the current arrangements around Repeater and Beacon licensing. They will continue to be licensed under the current arrangements in the name of the Club or individual responsible for the equipment.
The ACMA will be contacting the clubs in relation to Club Amateur Radio licences and associated call signs.
The ACMA will be writing to Clubs, either presidents or nominated person(s,) on the requirements for the ongoing arrangements for call signs and who will be responsible for ongoing use of the call sign(s).
Additionally, the ACMA will contact all affected persons by post or email (depending on their recorded preference for contact) enclosing an authorisation letter.
The Board of the WIA strongly recommends that clubs contact the ACMA to ensure their contact details are up to date in the ACMA database, otherwise they will not receive this important letter. The ACMA Register of Radiocommunications Licences (RRL) will be an initial guide to any required changes
WIA Education Committee
The importance of education and training in the amateur radio realm cannot be overstated. The WIA Education team deserves accolades for their commitment. Their review of the Foundation qualification course and assessment is now complete.
The Committee will now proceed to develop training material for use by our affiliated clubs who wish to run lessons.
We congratulate the WIA Education Committee for their hard work and dedication to the education of aspiring amateur radio operators.
Bequests and Legacies
In recent months, the Board of the WIA has been contacted by a number of our members in relation to bequests and legacies. Information is available from the WIA President or the WIA Secretary.
WIA Merit Awards
The Board of the WIA is seeking nominations for WIA Merit Awards. These nominations will be considered by the Board and will be awarded at the AGM to be held in Bundaberg, Queensland, over the long weekend of 4-5 May 2024
Information on how to nominate any individuals for the WIA Awards is available on the WIA website, under “For Members.” Nominations should be sent to email@example.com.
Award nominations for this year’s AGM will close on 31st March 2024.
World Radio Conference 2023
The World Radio Conference WRC-23 was held over four weeks late last year in Dubai, UAE.
Representing Australian amateurs are our hard-working volunteers, Peter Pokorny VK2EMR and Dale Hughes VK1DSH. The WIA delegates were part of the official Australian Government delegation to WRC.
Peter and Dale report a successful WRC-23 and, in particular, good news for the 23cm band where no new ITU radio regulations have been made by the member states. So, for the moment, Australian amateurs retain the same secondary access to the 23cm band as prevailed previously. We have had no indication from the ACMA that any changes to the 23cm band are being considered.
The Board is extremely grateful for Dale and Peter’s contribution. While WRC-23 has concluded, preparations for the next WRC – in 2027 (WRC-27) – are already under way.
A full report from Dale and Peter has been published on the WIA website, a more detailed article can be found elsewhere in this issue of Amateur Radio.
Over the last six months, we have advised of several new and existing positions that needed to be filled by members to assist the Board in the day-to-day operations of the Institute. Several vacancies will have been filled and others advertised on the WIA News website pages, and on broadcasts.
The WIA runs almost entirely on volunteer assistance. We have only one paid employee, who operates out of our National Office.
The seven Board members and over 100 committee and group members are all unpaid volunteers who run this institute for the benefit and betterment of the Amateur Radio service.
The WIA is very keen to hear from amateur radio-minded amateurs who could assist with the voluntary work that is ever-increasing. Currently, we are seeking:
Assistant QSL volunteers
Web / graphic designers
AC Technical Advisor (Echolink, IRLP, All-Star)
Information Technology Manager
Digital Information Manager.
Table Of Contents
The long and winding road to the 2023 World Radio Conference - Dale Hughes VK1DSH and Peter Pokorny VK2EMR
Pioneering women in amateur radio - Jennifer Wardrop VK3WQ, VK5ANE
A Tasmanian telegraphy, telephony, and wireless pioneer - Justin Giles-Clark VK7TW
Marketing our hobby - Phil Wait VK2ASD
Listening In - Rob Streater VK3BRS
Book Review: Henry Sutton, the innovative man - Tom George VK3DMK and Bruce Kendall VK3WL/9V1WL
Below 25: Scouts Australia-wide light up Jamboree on the Air 2023 - Alec Cherry VK2MV
Contest Champion changes for 2024 - Alan Shannon VK4SN
2023 Remembrance Day Contest report - Alan Shannon VK4SN
Of lobes and dishes - Dr George Galanis VK3EIP
Join the action on the 2mm bands! - Andrew Anderson VK3CV, WQ1S
Homebrew three-band 100 W HF transceiver - Lou Destafano VK3AQZ
Page Last Updated: Thursday, 08 Feb 2024 at 19:59 hours by Webmaster