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VK7RRR - Tasmania's D-Star Repeater is On the Air!

VK Winter VHF-UHF Field Day June 23-24



High Power Trial - New LTE Exclusion Area in the Perth Area

As part of on-going discussions with the ACMA by WIA, advice has been
received that a new Long Term Evolution (LTE) trial commenced in Perth
on 1 June in the 700 MHz spectrum segment.

LTE trials are authorised by the ACMA by way of a Scientific Licence to cover
the trial period. The ACMA has advised that no applications from Advanced
licensees for variations to their station licences to operate high power
within a 40 km radius of Midland, Perth would be approved.

Meanwhile, the LTE in the Bendigo region has ended, however the Scientific
Licence that authorises this trial does not expire until September 2012.


One of the world's most powerful supercomputers is planned for Perth to
process vast amounts of data being collected by radio telescopes in
Western Australia's Murchison region.

WAToday said the supercomputer is to be housed in the Pawsey Centre being
built in the southern Perth suburb of Kensington, near Curtin University.

The machines will initially process data from existing radio telescopes based
at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) but is free to expand
for use in the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project.

It was decided in May that Australia would share the $2 billion SKA project
with South Africa.

3000 dishes and a discovery potential 10,000 times greater than the best
contemporary instruments, the SKA will observe such things as what happened
after the big bang and how galaxies evolved, and will attempt to uncover
more about the "dark matter" that fills the majority of the universe.

The ACMA's Spectrum Conference this year saw the ongoing work associated with
the Review of 400 MHz spectrum that also includes our 70cm meter allocation.

Currently, the amateur service has a secondary allocation between 420 and 450
MHz. In its last report from the ACMA on the review issued April 2010, they
advised that the allocation for the amateur service between 430-450 MHz would
not be affected from any rearrangement. They cited, however, a possible need
for some temporary use by other services in the segment 440-450 MHz during
the transition period.

In the Amateur secondary segment 420-430 MHz, some geographic areas around
Australia amateur use has already been withdrawn. At the conference, the ACMA
has flagged that they will be seeking consultation with the WIA on withdrawal
of the amateur service in this segment across the rest of Australia. The
major use of this segment by amateurs is fixed links and the like where the
ACMA database lists around 126 assignments across 35 licensees.

It is expected these can be relocated to the 430 - 450 MHz region.



Request for Information!

Do you know anything about the Althorpe Island Light House wireless
communications operations.?

Lighthouses of Australia a volunteer group whose aim is the preservation of
Australian Lighthouses is looking for information on this famous Australian

A reliable means of communication with the lighthouse was the driving force
behind the establishment of a wireless telegraphy system in the late 1890s.
It appears this means of communications was all too hard to set up and a
cable was finally laid in about July 1911.

This created its own problems of not being able to send messages after
6 o'clock because the telegraph operator on the mainland had gone home.

It seems that during the Second World War the lighthouse was equipped with
a pedal wireless set that enabled them to communicate with Cape Borda
Lighthouse and from there, messages were relayed to the mainland -- this was
in use into the 1950s.

If anyone can elaborate on what has already been researched or know what type
of radio systems were employed, please send it to Ross VK2VVV.

JUL 7- 8 VK3 GippsTech 2012, Monash University Gippsland Campus Churchill.
It is NOT too late to register for this long running Australian event.
Peter Freeman VK3PF says registration closes June 30.

Radio and Electronics Association of Southern Tasmania Inc.

July Presentation - Pulsars, Black Holes and Atomic Clocks with Jim

Jim's background is computer science and mathematics and he has just finished
his thesis for a Masters in astrophysics. Studying pulsars using the radio
telescope at Richmond.

Jim has a passion for accurate time and he assists in looking after the
University's hydrogen maser atomic clocks. Jim also owns the old Hobart
"Speaking Clock" and keeps it running - and accurate.

This should be a fascinating presentation.

Queen's Domain Clubrooms, July 4 at 7:30pm.

(73, Justin - VK7TW, Secretary)

VK7RRR - Tasmania's D-Star Repeater is On the Air!

VK7RRR is the Southernmost D-Star repeater in the World, and the first
(and only) public D-Star repeater in Tasmania. Prior to VK7RRR, Tasmania was
the only Australian State or Territory that didn't have at least one
D-Star repeater.

VK7RRR uses a DV-RPTR DSP GMSK modem in combination with the DV-RPTR Repeater
Controller and ircDDB Gateway software, thus allowing linking with
D-Plus/REF, DExtra/XRF and x-Net/DCS reflectors worldwide.

VK7RRR operates on the 70cm band
438.125 MHz TX (50W) / 432.725 MHz RX

VK7RRR is connected to Australian D-Star reflector REF003C.
If a user links VK7RRR to a different repeater or reflector then it will
re-link to REF003C after 10 minutes of inactivity.

More information, including how to send commands to the repeater to link
worldwide, can be found here:

Hello, this is Philip VK3JNI.

Over the weekend that this broadcast goes to air, I will be assisting with
a Foundation Amateur Radio course.

In preparing for the course, I am quite excited, as this is the largest
number of applicants that we have had for some time. Many of these people
are under 18 years old. Undoubtedly, these young people have been encouraged
by previous Scout JOTA activities and the active support of one or two
parents and their leaders.

I wonder how many other young people would be interested in amateur radio if
we could encourage their leaders, teachers or parents to consider the idea?

The idea of year 11 and 12 physics students studying waves and propagation
via amateur radio does appeal to me. I can foresee the schools being
approached by a small delegation from the local club, maybe with a donation
of the foundation manual for the school library in hand. Would the school
be interested in hosting a Foundation Course after hours or over the weekend?

To paraphrase someone else's slogan, we may never never know if we never
never go, and try.


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

Some days you chew off more than you bargain for. Today I wanted to know a
little more about propagation, the radio kind, not the plant variety. Four
hours later I'm still reading. Everyone has an opinion, everyone's an expert
and some people can even put together a coherent story on their web-site.

What did I learn so-far?

I didn't know that the Bureau of Meteorology has a Space Weather Branch, it's
called IPS or the Ionospheric Prediction Service and their website is full of
goodies. Then there's an article by Ian Poole, which appeared in the
September 2002 edition of QST magazine, explaining how the Solar Flux, the
K index and the A index affect your ability to talk to the other side of the
world with your HF set.

So, it seems that the numbers are related to things that affect each other.
A high Solar Flux is good, but it's adversely affected by a high K index
which in turn is represented as an average as an A index.

Confused yet?

So, the K index, runs between 0 and 9, 9 being a very major storm, 0 being
Quiet. Quiet is good, storm is bad. The higher the Solar Flux, the better it
is for higher HF frequencies. The Solar Flux needs to build up, takes a few
days, so, you need Quiet and high Solar Flux for a few days and magic

I'm not confident enough with all this to tell you what to look for, but it
seems that a Solar Flux of 150 or more for a few days with a K index below
2 will give you a good chance of getting some DX contact.

Now I realise that this might just be gobbledygook for you, in fact, four
hours ago, it was for me too, but now when someone talks about the Solar Flux
being high, at least I have an idea of what on earth they're talking about.

Next stop, figuring out how to read propagation maps.

I'm Onno, VK6FLAB

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

NZART 5 MHz Working Party

WRC 15 will consider a possible new allocation to the amateur service on a
secondary basis within the band 5 250-5 450 kHz and invited the ITU-R's
to study spectrum requirements, to carry out sharing studies on the impact
to other services currently allocated in the band referred to in invites
ITU-R 1 and in the adjacent bands;

Not letting the grass grow under their feet (Well if they did those pesky ZL
sheep would be in like flyn), well Don Wallace ZL2TLL is putting together
an NZART working party to look at what New Zealand can gather to support
an international allocation in the 5 MHz area.

Does the radiation of your mobile phone cause health issues or other
electronic interference?

In the USA this topic has not been visited for more than 15 years, so the
FCC is ready again to study the effects, if any.
The chairman of the FCC, will be asking his fellow commissioners to approve
a notice that will permit the agency to open a formal inquiry on the matter.

London Bound?

Ofcom has announced that a small block of the amateur radio 144 MHz band is
to be used for the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games and the RSGB say to
minimise the impact on amateurs, a small block of 12.5kHz channels, ranging
from 144.0125MHz to 144.1375MHz, for the period 27 July to 28 August 2012
only will be "out of band".


A total number of 144 candidates wrote the amateur radio examination class A
in May this year in South Africa. The pass rate was 81% with 116 candidates
passing the examination.

10 candidates wrote the class B examination, of which 9 candidates passed.

The youngest candidate to sit the examination was 11 years old.


Bert Gladwin G3FVO, a former MI 6 electronics engineer, has become the
United Kingdom's oldest new graduate at the age of 90.

During World War II he served with the Royal Air Force and developed an
interest in radio communications. After the war he worked for the Marconi
company and obtained his amateur radio license.

Gladwin then worked for the Foreign Office setting up communications systems
for British embassies around the world. He embarked on his degree in
Intelligence History and Bletchley Park Studies at the age of 89.

Bert Gladwin's advice to anyone considering a degree is to go for it at any
age. He says that it's never too late to learn.

More is on-line at


A Finnish cruise line with Radio Arcala, OH8X are in the process of testing
whether a permanent amateur radio station will suit the maritime environment
and serve DXers in their leisure time, whether cruising in the Mediterranean,
off West Africa or just doing island-hopping in the Caribbean.

The objective for the first run is to look at potential interference issues
both ways - from the amateur radio station to the ship's navigation system
and from the ship's advanced PC networks to the reception of amateur radio




A court decision in the case of DXer Baldur
Drobnica, DJ6SI, who stood trial last week in
Greece on three charges involving his operation
of an amateur radio station on the vacation
island of Kos. The three crimes he was
eventually charged with were conducting radio
traffic without permission from the Greek
Government. Operating a transceiver that covered
more spectrum than just the ham radio bands
permitted by Greece and his refusal to surrender
his equipment to the officer who investigated the incident.

According to a note posted to the Internet by his
attorney, Drobnica was acquitted on counts 1 and
2 after the court ruled that he was a properly
licensed radio amateur. However he was convicted
on the third count of refusing to surrender his
equipment to the arresting officer.

No word of what penalties if any were imposed on
the single count conviction. However his lawyer
is reported to already have filed an appeal on
count three and the court is expected to hold a
separate trial on this issue at a later date.

Please keep in mind that this report is based on
multiple language translations beginning in Greek
with some of it electronic. As you all know, the
latter have been known to leave you wondering if
the translation is completely accurate.

One report in translated English is on-line at


An international team of researchers have used radio beacon
transmitters and satellite technology to track the movements
of giant Manta Rays.

According to a Times news report, a team headed by Rachel
Graham of the Wildlife Conservation Society in Punta Gorda,
Belize, attached transmitters to six Rays off the coast of
Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. They reported in the journal
PLoS One that they monitored the rays for periods ranging
from 27 to 64 days. Their preliminary findings for the
Atlantic mantas showed that they travelled as far as 680
miles over a one to two month period searching for food most
of the time staying close to the coastline. They also found
that Rays spent considerable time in shipping lanes, which
rendered them vulnerable to being hit by freighters.

The full in-depth text of this very interesting use of radio
tracking can be found on-line at


The Brunei government says that it is cracking
down on anyone found operating amateur radio gear
without government authorization. Members of
that nation's citizenry who are convicted of
illegal use of amateur radio equipment without a
license from the Authority for Info-communications
Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam or AITI
will face a maximum fine of 10,000 Brunei dollars,
up to three years imprisonment, or both.

This new anti-pirate operating campaign appears
aimed primarily at those unlicensed individuals
who use mobile gear on the VHF and UHF amateur bands.
It was announced by the AITI during a briefing on
the first of several joint operations with the Berakas
Police to crack down on illegal use of radio equipment.
The operations involved a dedicated corps of sixteen
police personnel and seven AITI officials.


Turning to ham radio in space related news, some
new amateur radio satellites based on cellphones
were recently shown to the public at the 2012 Bay
Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, California.
Amateur Radio Newsline's Skeeter Nash, N5ASH, reports:


Among the displays was one for the PhoneSat
amateur radio satellites. These are a pair of
ham radio satellites both of which run the
Android operating system and will be enclosed in
a standard 1U CubeSat structure.

PhoneSat 1.0 cost about $3500 and is built around
the Nexus One smartphone. It will operate on
battery power only with a mission lifetime of
approx 1 week. Its big brother called PhoneSat
2.0 used a Nexus S smartphone and has solar
panels on each face for a mission lifetime that
should last at least two weeks when it will likely de-orbit.

The IARU has coordinated a frequency of 437.425
MHz for the AX.25 AFSK downlink.

The first launch is scheduled for the third
quarter of 2012 on the Antares-110 launch
vehicle. It will carry two PhoneSat 1.0
satellites and one PhoneSat 2.0. A second
PhoneSat launch is expected to occur sometime in 2013.

The 2012 Bay Area Maker Faire took place May 19th
to the 20th. Several news reports estimate that
65,000 to 70,000 attended this ever growing West
Coast event that was held the same weekend as the
Dayton Hamvention.



New award commemorates Tony Sale

The life of Tony Sale, who was best known for his work in re- creating
the Colossus computer at Bletchley Park, is to be commemorated by the
creation of an award for the best computer restoration project.

According to Computer Conservation Society chairman David
Hartley, the award, which will be overseen by the CCS and
backed by Google, will seek out those projects carried out
in the same spirit that Tony Sale brought to his work.

An article in the publication Computer Weekly notes that Tony Sale,
who passed away in August 2011, was principal science officer at the
Security Service MI5 and says he was also a radio ham, although it
is not clear if he actually held a licence.



And quickly in today's Weird and Wonderful may we suggest you check your
junk box.


Well a RARE surviving first model of the Apple computer, a stripped down,
clunky device that bears no resemblance to today's sleek pads has sold for
$374,000 at auction in New York.

The price was more than double the pre-sale estimate, reflecting a two-way
bidding war eventually won by an anonymous telephone bidder, Sotheby's said.

The Apple I computer was created by Apple co-founders Steve Wozniak and
Steve Jobs and sold in 1976 at the birth of Jobs's career as the world's
computer design guru.

The model auctioned in New York is believed to be one of six of the less
than 50 surviving that still works.

(online news)


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


3D QSL Cards

It seems everything is going 3D these days, Alexander Savenok 4Z5LZ has
produced a 3D QSL card

He created it using the online service at

C K 6 S - Special Event Station for the 100th Anniversary of the Calgary
Stampede July 5 to 15. A special QSL card will be available through
the QSL bureau or direct. Planned frequencies are in the general
portion of the US phone bands around 3.825, 7.180, 14.250, 21.320
& 28.475

K 4 O - Puerto Rico Special Event

Sunday July 1, the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee will be
celebrating the Flag Bearing of the Puerto Rico Delegation
to the Summer Olympic Games in London.

The Puerto Rico Amateur Radio League will be joining the
Olympic Committee in this celebration by setting up Puerto Rico
Olympic Committee headquarters. They will be using the special
callsign K4O for this event.

VK Club Bulletins

Northern Tasmanian Amateur Radio Club

Repeater News - A Broadcast Trial

The Ben Lomond repeater VK7RBH antenna is possibly the highest in Tasmania,
and the club have been pondering the actual extent of that repeater's

While it enjoys a lofty perch on the mountain, they have long known that the
site is less than ideal for repeater purposes. The plateau like nature of the
summit effectively shields much of the area surrounding the mountain's base.

In addition to the usual service via VK7RAA at Mt Barrow, a few broadcasts
are likely also being relayed through VK7RBH by Peter VK7PD.

Peter will also conduct call-backs after the broadcast via VK7RBH.

If you can, please take a listen on 438.050 MHz and if you managed to copy
the broadcast via this service, please call back to let Peter know and also
provide him with your listening location.

WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ATV (Every pixel tells a story) - Video

Ian Wade G3NRW has released a Kenwood TS-590S Slow Scan TV QuickStart Guide.

The TS-590S USB port is extremely user friendly when running digital modes.
No interface unit is necessary, just connect the PC to the radio with a
standard off-the-shelf USB cable and you're in business.

Exactly the same applies when using the USB port for analogue audio.

G3NRW's HOWTO explains how to configure MMSSTV (one of the world's most
popular analogue SSTV packages) to work with the TS-590S.

To download the HOWTO, go to the TS-590S Resources Page

MMSSTV software




The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station or ARISS digipeater has
changed frequency from 145.825 MHz to 437.550 MHz.

Packet operations were moved to the Columbus Module UHF radio when the
Kenwood D700 radio was recently powered off due to needing an additional
air purifier to support the recently arrived Automated Transfer Vehicle.
As a result the purifier is now using the power outlet that the Kenwood
normally uses.

The Russian team has agreed to briefly power the purifier off for the
scheduled ARISS school events but then will re-activate the purifier right


Emergency Centre of Activity (CoA) frequencies
3.600, 7.110, 14.300, 18.160 and 21.360 MHz

The 2012 Tom Quilty Gold Cup national equine endurance championships were
held at St Helens on the East Coast of Tasmania this month. WICEN provided
checkpoint crews and communications between checkpoints and Base.
Handheld and mobile radio communications between ride officials was also
supplied. Other support included track mapping and web based distribution
of competitor tracking.



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

AUG 5 VK6 NCRG HAMFEST Cyril Jackson Rec Centre Ashfield.

AUG 12 VK2 SARCFEST at Summerland ARC Clubrooms, Lismore.

NOV 4 VK5 Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society HAMFEST @ Goodwood

NOV 11 VK3 Yarra Valley Amateur Radio Group Hamfest


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