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WIA Centenary DVD's

The WIA AGM and Annual conference in Mildura

German Radio Ham arrested in Greece


President Michael Owen VK3KI
Vice President Phil Wait VK2ASD
Secretary Sarah Thompson VK3AUD
Treasurer John Longayroux VK3PZ

WIA Centenary DVD's

The WIA Centenary DVD set with footage from the 2010
Canberra event have been produced and distributed to most
people who pre-registered interest in receiving a copy.
The three DVD sets are $25 and if you are still chasing a
copy, please send an email to Robert Broomhead VK3DN at his
WIA email address

The WIA AGM and Annual conference in Mildura was held a fortnight ago, but
we can't stop talking about it. Intrepid reporter Robert VK3DN provided the
material for this report.

Visitors came from far and wide, Laurie ZL1ICU:

{00:22} I'm Laurie Mathews [..] it was great.

There were activities outside the AGM and Technical Conference, traditionally
intended for partners, but it attracts its fair share of amateurs as well.
Jean VK3VIP:

{00:39} Hi this is Jean [..] we've had here.

In our report last week we highlighted some of the discussion that took place
during the open forum. One of the hot topics is: "How to promote Amateur
Radio?" Roger VK2ZRH on the topic:

{01:02} This is Roger [..] remarkably good use.

And finally a word from Trent, VK4TS

{00:21} This is WIA Director [..] in Perth in 2013.

Next year in the last weekend of May we'll be hosting the conference in VK6.
Mark your diary now so you don't have any surprises. Keep an eye on airfares,
or plan to share your ride with a fellow amateur.

While you're on the sun-set coast, I thoroughly recommend that you spend
some time here to have a look around. There are many day trips around Perth
alone and if you make the time, you'll find an amazing array of flora and
fauna, not to mention far flung amateurs across Western Australia.

On the conference front, we expect to call for expressions of interest for
the technical talks in the coming weeks. More information about that will be
included on the News and in AR magazine.

Still recovering from the lurgy that Bob VK6POP shared with me, I'm Onno


Here is WIA Director Bob Bristow VK6POP

"I was recently contacted by Robert VK6ARM, who is involved with the VKS 737
outback radio network. This network conducts regular skeds every day to
keep in touch with travellers around Australia in order to ensure their
safety and to pass on messages.

Robert told me that they had been alerted to the presence of a pair of Korean
cyclists who had set off from Laverton in Western Australia to cycle along
the Anne Beadell 'Highway' to Coober Pedy in South Australia.

It was reported that the cyclists appeared not to have a support crew, and
that they were not carrying much in the way of supplies.

It was apparent that the Korean Cyclists took the term "highway" to mean it
was a major road with supply assured along the way. The Anne Beadell highway
is a track.

Robert sought my help to put him in touch with the Amateur Radio Travellers
Net, in case there were some Amateurs along the road who could render
assistance. I referred him to Bob VK6KW, who along with others conducts the
travellers net on 20 metres every day..

It turned out that no Amateurs were travelling that road, however there were
some on the road who use the VKS737 network. Police services have been

A few people have come across the cyclists and have given them food and
water, as much as they can spare. Others have left water supplies along
the track for them.

We can only hope that these fellows both survive their ordeal and appreciate
their folly, and the concern and support given to them by complete strangers.

It's also a fine example of successful collaboration between volunteers of
two radio based services dedicated to the safety of travellers in the outback.

The Amateur Radio Travellers Net operates every day at 0200 UTC on 14.116 MHz.
Information about the VKS737 network can be found on

Who said radio is a thing of the past?

I'm Bob VK6POP

Tune in to understand VHF marine radio

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has produced two new videos
that provide recreational boaters with up to date information about using VHF
marine radios.

The first video shows recreational boaters the importance of operating VHF
marine radio correctly. It includes a re-enactment of an actual rescue by
the NSW Office of Boating Safety and Maritime Affairs and Marine Rescue NSW.

The second video, produced in collaboration with the Bureau of Meteorology,
is about how and why boaters should always check the weather on their VHF
marine radio before setting sail and while at sea.

(Blake Murdoch ACMA Media)

Radcomms2012 Run this week.

The Australian Communications & Media Authority's annual radiocommunications
forum ran last Wednesday and Thursday at Melbourne's Sofitel on Collins,
boasting more than 20 expert speakers.

Timely spectrum-related topics included the growing requirements of broadband
mobile, satellite observations of climate change, spectrum issues and the
convergence review, and space astronomy.

For over six years, the Radcomms program series have become the peak industry
gathering to discuss Australian spectrum issues and future planning.

From cyclone warnings to planetary health, from galaxies to gigabits, from
floods to soil fertility, radio spectrum is not only a core enabler of our
modern mobile economy, but also a vital tool in understanding the world and
universe around us.

This year's key speakers included Dr Compton Tucker, senior research
scientist in the Earth Sciences Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight
Centre; Dr Georg Schone, chief technology officer, LS telcom AG;
and Mike Quigley, CEO NBN Co.


Air Cadets radio exam

The Radio Communications Foundation in the United Kingdom has announced
agreement has been reached with the Air Cadets Organisation to accept a
pass in their ACO Radio Communications Foundation Equivalent examination
as equivalent to a pass in the Foundation Radio Amateur examination.

Ofcom has also accepted that the ACO Foundation Equivalent
examination syllabus meets the Radio Amateur Foundation
level requirements and will issue a Radio Amateur
Foundation level licence via the Radio Society of Great
Britain on receipt of a successful Air Cadet candidate pass details.

The RSGB is offering those under 21 who achieve their
licence through this route a year's free membership of the Society.


As you know we seldom do 'Silent Keys' on the National News, instead leaving
it to local club and state level news.

However we have learnt of the passing recently of VK6BDB Sean Leahy.

No not the Cartoonist but his Father who was aged 86!

A tribute written by cartoonist Sean Leahy after the passing of his father,
his story made me really think about the service that this man had given,
it was posted the day before ANZAC day.

VK6BDB was born in Long Beach, California and moved to Ireland at the age of

He joined the Irish Army then the British Merchant navy as a radio officer
and served on the famous salvage tug the "Turmoil" in the Atlantic only
venturing out in terrible weather when ships were in distress.

He stuck with that stoically for years despite a constant battle with
seasickness. He married in 1956 and brought his 2 young children to Australia
in 1960.

He served as a land-based radio officer for OTC Coastal Radio and took
postings with his family to Broome, Perth and Carnarvon in Western Australia
before his retirement.

He was in retirement also a ham radio buff. His regular "skeds" with other
former radio operator friends overseas and around Australia who only knew him
by his voice were a daily ritual he kept for years.

Another Silent Key is one Steve Mendelsohn W2ML.

W2ML was a lifelong friend of OUR friend and NewsLine Editor Bill Pasternak

This is guy who completely changed Bills life!

" It was in the winter or early spring of 1970. I was dating a gal named
Sharon Wagner and every Sunday morning found me winding my way from Brooklyn
out to Valley Stream to pick up the lady to go - well - go somewhere or do
something. Be it just lunch and a movie or whatever, I would pick her up and
we would be off to that proverbial somewhere. And it also became a ritual
for everyone on WA2SUR to say hello to Sharon and for her to say hi in return.
This with me in control of the transceiver. A Regency HR-2 as I recall.

Well this one Sunday after we had all said our hello's via WA2SUR, Steve says
something like: "you two have been going out for months. When are you going
to ask the girl to marry you?"

At first I hemmed and hawed a bit looking for an excuse, but there was none
to be had. Steve had put me into a corner where it was either catch the fish
or cut bait and run. I knew that I was in love with the lady, so with much
of New York hamdom listening in on 146.73 MHz, I asked Sharon to change her
last name from Wagner to Pasternak. She immediately accepted and that
September Sharon and I said "I Do."

Being honest: If not for Steve, I do not know if I would have asked Sharon
or any gal to become my wife. But thanks to him, I was forced to make a
decision that was definitely the right one. 40 years so far and headed
toward 41.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART, ARVictoria and the WW sources of the WIA.

630m in Monaco

The telecoms regulator of the Principality of Monaco has
allocated the segment 472-479kHz to the amateur service,
with secondary status, with a maximum power of one watt eirp.

Radio waves remotely trigger insulin

Researchers have remotely activated genes inside living animals, a proof of
concept that could one day lead to medical procedures in which patients'
genes are triggered on demand. The team used radio waves to switch
on engineered insulin-producing genes in mice.

Jeffrey Friedman, a molecular geneticist at the Rockefeller University in
New York and lead author of the study, said that in the short term, the
results will lead to better tools to allow scientists to manipulate cells
non-invasively. But with refinement, he thinks, clinical applications could
also be possible.

Friedman and his colleagues coated iron oxide nanoparticles with antibodies
that bind to a modified version of the temperature-sensitive ion channel
TRPV1, which sits on the surface of cells. They injected these particles into
tumours, grown under the skin of mice, then used the magnetic field generated
by a device similar to a miniature magnetic-resonance-imaging machine to
heat the nanoparticles with low-frequency radio waves. In turn, the
nanoparticles heated the ion channel to its activation temperature of 42C.
Opening the channel allowed calcium to flow into cells, triggering secondary
signals that switched on an engineered calcium-sensitive gene that produces

After 30 minutes of radio wave exposure, the mice's insulin levels had
increased and their blood sugar levels had dropped.

"The great thing about this system is that radio wave heating can penetrate
deep tissue, and TRPV1 can focus that stimulus very locally to just where you
have the nanoparticles," said David Julius, a physiologist who studies TRPV1
at the University of California, San Francisco.

Friedman said that his team did not develop the method as a way of managing
diabetes; insulin and blood sugar levels simply provide convenient
physiological readouts for checking that the remote control is working.
"There are many good treatments for diabetes that are much simpler," he said.
However, the system could potentially be engineered to produce proteins to
treat other conditions.

For more information take a look at the link

German Radio Ham arrested in Greece

Greek newspapers report on the arrest of a German radio amateur, Baldur
Drobnica DJ6SI on holiday in Mastichari, Kos, apparently for the 'crime' of
operating amateur radio equipment.

Greek news reports appear to indicate the 75 year old was arrested under a
1929 decree for illegal operation of radio telegraph equipment.
The Aegean News reports that he was on holiday with his wife who has

A photograph published by Aegea News show injuries reportedly received from

Read the Aegea News report in Google English

Samos Times report




Ham radio is being drawn into a dispute over the territorial
ownership of Scarborough Reef. This as a website pops up
claiming correspondence between the Philippine Amateur Radio
Association and the ARRL supports mainland China's
territorial claim in regard to the land mass that's also
known as Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc.

The report on the Sina website relating to amateur radio
says that back in 1990, the then Philippine ambassador to
Germany indicated clearly in his letter to a German radio
amateur on February 5th that, Scarborough was not within the
Philippine territory and sovereignty. This, according to the
National Mapping and Resource Information Authority of the Philippines.

The documents issued by the National Mapping and Resource
Information Authority of the Philippines and the Philippine
amateur radio organization to the American Radio Relay
League on October 18 and November 18, 1994 had also are
claimed to confirm that the Philippine territorial limits
and sovereignty was stipulated by the Article 3 of the
Treaty of Paris way back in the year 1889.

Scarborough Reef is located between the Macclesfield Bank
and Luzon Island of the Philippines. Over the years it has
seen several major DXpeditions and still ranks high as
a wanted entity by DXers worldwide. .

You can read the entire claim for yourself on-line at



Researchers grow Biological Hard Drive from Bacteria

Researchers at the University of Leeds have used a type of bacterium which
'eats' iron to create a surface of magnets, similar to those found in
traditional hard drives, and wiring. As the bacterium ingests the iron it
creates tiny magnets within itself. The team has also begun to understand
how the proteins inside these bacteria collect, shape and position these
"nanomagnets" inside their cells and can now replicate this behaviour outside
the bacteria. Using this knowledge the team hopes to develop a 'bottom-up'
approach for creating cheaper, more environmentally-friendly electronics of
the future.

The magnetic array was created using a protein which creates perfect
nanocrystals of magnetite inside the bacterium Magnetospirilllum magneticum.
In a process akin to potato-printing on a much smaller scale, this protein
is attached to a gold surface in a checkerboard pattern and placed in a
solution containing iron. At a temperature of 80C, similarly-sized crystals
of magnetite form on the sections of the surface covered by the protein. The
researchers are now working to reduce the size of these islands of magnets,
in order to make arrays of single nanomagnets. They also plan to vary the
magnetic materials that this protein can control. These next steps would
allow each of these nanomagnets to hold one bit of information allowing the
construction of better hard drives.

(Sourced from vk7wia)


VK Shires Contest June 9-10
VK Winter VHF-UHF Field Day June 23-24
ZL NZART Memorial Contest July First full weekend
VK/ZL Trans Tasman Contest 80+160metres July 21
VK Remembrance Day Contest August 11-12
WW International Lighthouse Lightship Wknd August 18-19
WW Oceania Dx Contest SSB October 6
ww Oceania Dx Contest CW Oct 13
VK Spring VHF / UHF Field Day November 24-25

Winter VHF-UHF Field Day

The Winter VHF-UHF Field Day will be held over the weekend of June 23 and 24.

The Field Days have separate sections for single and multiple operator
stations. The Field Day runs for 24 hours, but there are also 8 hour sections
for operators who may not be able to camp overnight. If you don't like the
nice cool weather, there is also a separate Home Station section.

An extra feature in the next Field Day will be an "F Call Challenge", with
special certificates for Foundation licensees who participate in any of the
single operator sections of the Field Day.

The details have been published in "Amateur Radio" magazine, and they are
also available on the contest page of

(John VK3KM)

The winners of CQ Magazine DX Marathon 2011 have just been announced, and the
winner for Oceania, and also Zone 30, is VK4CC, Col Clark! He will receive a
trophy for his efforts, a huge achievement in what was really his first year
as a serious DXer. Full results are published in the June issue of CQ
magazine, out now.

Congratulations, Col!

the news is just in from Bob Locher W9KNI live from Dayton, and who Col cites
as his DX Elmer, having been inspired to tackle the Marathon when he read
Bob's book "A Year of DX".


It is congratulations to VK5VJZ who at 12 minutes into the WIAQ 100 year
celebrations became the first appear in the logs as having worked special
station VK100WIQ operating out of the 4650 post code zone.

The team who were so "bad" at Cape Liptrap last August have decided to be bad

VK3BAD that is.

At the end of August a 20 strong team will travel into the Otway Ranges
homing in on The King Parrot Cottage complex near the Village of Pennyroyal
for a party. The Pennyroyal Propagation Party , a long weekend of Radio,
Delicious Food and Drink and Great Company.

Styled "Wireless Weekends" this inaugural operation follows on from highly
popular activations at Cape Liptrap over the past two years, And so great was
the demand that the trip was sold out just 3 days after being announced.

The location is high in the mountains with lots of wildlife in the area and
great views. The Station will operate on most HF frequencies 160 - 10mtrs
and on 6 and 2 mtrs and 70cm with contact to the Melbourne Area via the
Geelong 2 mtr repeater. They'll also attempt a live link up on 1250mhz to
VK3RTV repeater from a nearby high point which according to plotting software
will give a line of sight path of 147km. Also they hope to have a number of
live crosses using Skype to access VK3RTV during the weekend so you can see
all the action.

So please listen out for VK3BAD on 31st August through until September 3rd.

Further details on under VK3BAD


That station from Afghanistan CT1FKN who is signing T6JM is about to depart
mid-June. T6JM is mainly QRV on 20m SSB and BPSK31.
QSL T6JM to CT1KFN his home call.

Some special event call signs will be activated to celebrate the
London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games:

2O12L from London, England and 2O12W from Barry, Wales.

The London 2012 Inspire program has granted the Radio Society of
Great Britain (RSGB) -- Great Britain's IARU Member-Society -- use of the
"Inspire mark" for these stations.

Both stations will be on-the-air for the duration of the Games,
July 27-August 12.

More Special callsigns for UK radio amateurs during 2012

The Radio Society of Great Britain and Ofcom have reached agreement on the
optional use of special callsigns for two significant events during 2012.

For the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, all UK amateur stations will have the
option of applying for a variation to their licence if they wish, to use
a special prefix for a five week period. This will add or substitute the
letter "Q" in the place of the Regional identifier in the callsign.

Period: 00.00 BST 5th May 2012 to 23.59 BST 10th June 2012.

For the period of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, a similar facility
will exist for a seven week period, using the letter "O".

Period: 00.00 BST 21st July 2012 to 23.59 BST 9th September 2012

Read the full details at

What use is an f-call?

(Past editions of What use is an f-call can be found online at
under F-troop.)

In the past I've talked about the history of Amateur Radio and how as a new
participant it's easy to make the same mistakes as those who came before you
because you don't yet know enough to ask the right questions, or the right
place to look.

Recently I had a conversation on air with an Amateur who had been fascinated
with the hobby since the late 1940's, so over 60 years of experience in the
field. At the time we were talking about inspiration, that is, what is it
that inspired him to become part of the hobby.

He told of a time when he built a kit and made a transmitter and it worked.
He was hooked. And while that story continues on, I'm going to go sideways to
show a little of the world and how it's changed in those 60 years.

We're all familiar with the idea of going from horse and cart to the
automobile. Unless you've actually sat in a cart and experienced it, it's
still only sort of an understanding of the change and evolution.

Right now, you're likely sitting next to a radio that has a VFO on it.
Probably it's got a digital display of some kind, as you turn the VFO, the
display indicates what frequency you're tuned to. The pre-cursor to this is
a dial with frequencies indicated and a vernier that indicated what the dial
was turned to.

But there was a step before that.

Imagine for a moment that you have a simple receiver. Its got a dial on it
that is numbered 1 to 100. You can turn the dial and change its tuning
frequency. To know what actual frequency its on, you look up the dial
position in a calibration book. So, 39 might be 3.582 MHz. So, you set-up
your simple receiver in such a way that you've got it set to the place where
you're wanting to receive.

Then, you turn on your transmitter and tune it to the same place. You know
you're in the right place when the simple receiver starts to squeal and then
when its tuned it's howling.

Then, you turn on your receiver and tune that to the same place in the same
way, you hear it squeal.

Now you can actually key your morse or PTT key and start transmitting.

Sounds like a lot more work than what you go through today.

Here's something else. The simple receiver, it's called a wave meter and it's
calibrated in a laboratory. Presumably the manufacturer has a set of crystals
that oscillate on the appropriate frequency and the wave meter is calibrated
and logs are taken to make the dial position co-inside with a known frequency.

That's what it was like in 1950 to tune your radio.

And here I am with a Yaesu 857d that fits in my hand, runs across multiple
bands and transmits up to 100 Watts.

Perhaps that's more illustrative than a horse and cart.

That's history, right there.

I'm Onno, VK6FLAB


A leaf out of our history thanks to Jim Linton VK3PC

The American Radio Relay League or ARRL is planning to celebrate its
centennial in 2014 and has asked individuals and clubs to start thinking of
how best to mark the foundation of the organisation.

Its President Kay Craigie N3KN wants the once-in-a-lifetime event to be truly

You may recall that Kay N3KN was the very last to work the special station
VK100WIA during the Institutes celebration, with the WIA President Michael
Owen VK3KI on the microphone.

The ARRL will draw on historical collections and the memories of living radio
amateurs. It will also bring out centennial merchandise.

It encourages local clubs to develop public relations events in 2014 that
are both meaningful to radio amateurs and tied in to the observance of the
ARRL's 100th birthday.

RSGB also looks at its centenary

The Radio Society of Great Britain has formed a Centenary Working Group
headed by Rob Harwood G0HRT who is now planning a number of events next year
for the RSGB's 100 years.

This may include Special Event Stations, local club events and other acuities
to the hobby.

Rob G0HRT is seeking volunteers among the RSGB membership and may be
contacted through

And a little closer to home, the centenary of the wireless institute in
Queensland will happen this year, 2012

The Queensland centenary committee, invite you to celebrate
this Centenary and all of its wonderful history through to July 31st .

They have developed a special QSL card, along with a centenary award.
These can be Viewed on the WIA website, under news and events, VK4 centenary.

Check out website for further details of history and events.


JUN 8-11 VK4 cancelled ! FNNQARG! QLD Cassowary Coast CANCELLED!!!!!!!!!

JUN 9-10 VK2 Oxley Region Amateur Radio Club field day Port Macquarie.

JUN 9-10 VK5 South East Radio Group Convention, Mt Gambier.

JUL 7- 8 VK3 GippsTech 2012, Monash University Gippsland Campus Churchill.

JULY 14 VK4 Wide Bay Hamfest. West Maryborough Scout Hall

JULY 21 VK3 Gippsland Gate Radio & Electronics Club Hamfest @ Cranbourne


JULY 29 VK2/3 Albury Wodonga ARC HamFest @ Lavington Scout Hall

NOV 4 VK5 Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society HAMFEST @ Goodwood

NOV 11 VK3 Yarra Valley Amateur Radio Group Hamfest


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