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ARISS to contact Australian school

What use is an f-call?

SEQ-ATV Repeater now full power from Deception Bay


Coast FM in Mandurah, WA, recently ran a competition that saw all the schools
in the area campaign for the chance to do something very special.

Pinjarra Primary School were the eventual winners and they then had the
chance to send an object into space.

On Friday 31st the near space weather balloon, 'Expandasaurus', was launched
and tracked by the students.

Attached to it they placed a piece of Star Wars Lego

The stats were impressive...

it travelled 27,500 metres high
had a top speed of 256 kph
total flight time of 1.5 hours

The craft was finally recovered 212 kms away near Narrogin.

Starting with a real shot showing the Lego figure in space visit

Now with a bit of digging it would appear Ham Radio was involved in a
small way helping these students. A VK6ND-11 was noticed on the video
on the web site using APRS via VK6RMW-3.

On the DK0 web site of old APRS data, we found that at 22.47UTC 30th
the balloon was at 5,737ft and burst at a height of 88,449 foot almost
2 hours later on the 31st.

ARISS to contact Australian school

The Tara Anglican School for Girls, North Parramatta in New South Wales is
due to have a telebridge contact with the International Space Station this
Sunday in Europe or Monday morning local time.

The International Space Station will be audible over Europe on 145.800 MHz
FM as it passes over the ground station ON4ISS in Belgium through the Amateur
Radio on the International Space Station project.

The contact will also be broadcast on EchoLink AMSAT node 101 377 and JK1ZRW
node 277 208 conference servers, as well as on IRLP Discovery Reflector 9010.

Among the questions students will ask Astronaut Sunita Williams KD5PLB are
what inspired her to be a space traveller, the research projects in space,
junk or meteorites that has been seen and how the craft is powered.

A leading Australian girls' school, Tara was selected by Oxford University
to join the Global Jet Watch Program which links university astronomers to
high schools also from Chile, South Africa and India.

ARISS contact postponed

Friday September 7, 2012's 08.52 UTC, ARISS contact planned with
Gymnasium Michelstadt, Michelstadt, Germany was postponed.

This direct radio contact with the International Space Station was postponed
till a later date to be determined.

The reason is an additional EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity or Space Walk).

For security reasons, ARISS contacts are not permitted during an EVA.

(Jim Linton VK3PC/SouthGate)

SCAM alert - 'PHISHING' email

Reports have been received about scam emails claiming to come from the ACMA.

The subject heading is 'Broadband Account Upgrade Pending' and the subheading
is 'Urgent news, your Broadband Account needs to Upgraded for Security
Measures!' or similar.

This is not an ACMA email but links to a 'phishing' webpage that seeks details
about your internet accounts. It is important that you do not click on the
link, and do not provide any details. In the event that you have already done
so, please contact your Internet Service Provider as soon as possible.


25 kHz spaced UHF Citizen Band Radio equipment in NZ

In a recent statement, New Zealand's RSM says that all manufacturers and
importers of UHF CB radio equipment with 25 kHz channelling should note that
in accordance with the ZL General User Radio Licence for Citizen Band Radio,
equipment that does not comply with AS/NZS 4365:2011 cannot be sold in
New Zealand if it is manufactured or imported into New Zealand after
1 December 2012.


The UK's Daily Mail and General Trust has sold its remaining 50 per cent of
DMG Radio Australia.

The buyer is Illyria, Lachlan Murdoch's private company, which already owned
the other 50 per cent after a deal in 2009.

The announcement ends a 15-year involvement in Australian radio from DMGT
which began when foundation CEO Paul Thompson purchased 5AA Adelaide in the
late 90′s.

DMG Radio Australia most recently launched Smooth FM in Sydney and Melbourne
earlier this year and owns the CHR network Nova


President Michael Owen VK3KI
Vice President Phil Wait VK2ASD
Secretary David Williams VK3RU
Treasurer John Longayroux VK3PZ

Greetings Everyone, from the President and Board of the WIA.

In August I was engaged in conversation with a recently licensed and very
keen Foundation licensee. I quickly realised he had given long, considered
and unemotional thought to the issues he was raising and the elements
underlying them that he had identified. From my hurried notes made at the
time and post the all too short casual meeting I will share some of his
thoughts with you.

It is his belief that it is essential we all remember and reflect on our
first introduction to the mysteries and science of Amateur Radio, the people
and personalities who whetted our appetite for more knowledge and
understanding, and those who guided us through the learning process to gain
our first Amateur licence. Whenever we hear a new callsign on air, especially
Foundation licence callsigns, it is prudent we each pause and recall our own
first tentative steps onto the airwaves before we dismiss the caller as a
'Cornflake Cowboy' not worthy of our communication. It is far better to spend
a few moments with the caller to give acknowledgment, encouragement and
friendship in the true spirit of Amateur Radio. Hard to argue against this
view of his isn't it?

His next point was many Foundation licensees, such as himself, felt somewhat
abandoned once they had achieved their first step into the hobby. He would
like to see more commitment in time and knowledge, by the person or persons
who introduced a newcomer to the hobby, post the Foundation licence. He
believes as current mentors fade away or become silent keys the mentoring
skills will be lost unless people, such as him, are subject to skilled
mentoring and can learn to carry those skills, and our hobby, into the future.

My ready response to that was to be "Well, new people can get all that within
a club." But then I paused and thought about isolated Amateurs or would be
Amateurs whose only contact with Amateur Radio may be with some local
Radio Amateur. Older people keen to enter the world of Amateur Radio who do
not have private transport or have restricted travel options. Two words kept
buzzing in my mind as he was speaking;

Consideration and Commitment.

I left the conversation feeling confident that while we had young people such
as him entering Amateur Radio the future of our hobby looked bright. Then I
fondly recalled my early days in Amateur Radio and the camaraderie I enjoyed
then and now with the wider Amateur community.

This has been Ewan VK4ERM for the WIA Board


web service:-

Amateur Radio will be conducting the next one day Foundation course at the
VK2WI site, 63 Quarry Road, Dural 23rd September . Assessments will be the
following Sunday. Details under Training on the ARNSW web site
Contact by email or telephone 02 9651 1490 and leave
message and contact details.

Sunday the 30 th September is the next activity at the VK2WI Dural site, 63
Quarry Rd. Dural with the morning T&T, exam assessments and Home Brew
afternoon gathering. Check out the ARNSW web site home page
for the various activities. Those attending assessments bring a passport
photo and identification.

web service:-

Want to get your amateur radio licence?

The next quality Foundation Licence training and assessment weekend by
Amateur Radio Victoria will be September the 22nd and 23rd.

These are held at centrally located 40G Victory Boulevard, Ashburton. To
enrol please contact Barry Robinson VK3PV
or 0428 516 001.

Send your stories for news. SCRIPT to
send audio to

get local audio news
get local news emailed

September 16 is the Brisbane VHF Groups Antenna Tune Up Day. See VK4OE.
Details from BNE VHF GROUP ( try their repeater 147.000 )

vk7 local news, email

North West Tasmanian Amateur TV Group (NWT-ATVG)

Amateur Radio Assessments and training

Persons in the N/West Area of VK7 interested in Training and Assessments
for all classes of Amateur Radio Licenses are advised that the Club can
provide these requirements and much more.

(Tony 7ax)

Northern Tasmanian Amateur Radio Club

October NTARC Meeting

To be held on Wednesday 12 October, this will again be the yearly pilgrimage
to Mt Barrow. Last year this was a really great evening and those that
attended thoroughly enjoyed themselves, especially in the extended twilight
that came with the introduction of daylight saving just days before.

This formula will also apply in 2012, so get along.

Arrive any time in the afternoon and NTARC have the site overnight so if you
are appropriately equipped, why not camp until next morning. There are
members who regularly do just that and they would love to have your company.


What use is an f-call?

To be a HAM means different things to different people. For some it's an
excuse to have a radio or it's a reason to participate in competitions. For
others it's a reason to invent new contraptions in the shack, but for most,
being a HAM is about communication. The obvious communication is that heard
on-air across the Amateur Bands, but that's not the only communication that
is occurring. Many Hams are members of clubs, or find like-minded individuals
where they make their experience a shared one.

Whatever your bent in Amateur Radio, you're participating in this hobby to
get something from it.

Of course, if everyone only ever took something without giving something back,
there would not be a hobby at all. For me, giving back is in the realm of the
things I do, making this segment, hosting F-troop on the local repeater,
participating in my club, writing articles, sending email feedback and making
myself available for others to talk to.

It's strange to me, but I've heard many new licensees say that because they
only have an F-call, or because they've only been licensed for a small time,
they're not able to contribute. Worse still, even if those excuses are not
used, there seems to be the idea that they have no right to speak up, or that
they have not enough knowledge to contribute in any meaningful way.

I'd have to say that this makes no sense to me. I know that I'm not backwards
in coming forward, some would say I've got more front than a Mac truck, but I
try very hard to make my contributions in the realms that I understand and
one of those is that I'm a beginner, so I'll spend lots of time asking
questions and reading articles. At some point someone will say something that
runs contrary to my understanding, so I'll ask why?

Asking "Why?" is in of itself a contribution, but you can expand on it by
doing something with what you learnt from asking the question. You could
write an article for the local newsletter, send an email to your local
mailing list, or post a story on your website. You could go on air and talk
about it, or sit around the BBQ and share.

Contributions can be made everywhere. Having a Foundation License, or being
new to the hobby is no excuse. What did you contribute to your hobby today?

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

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

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

Philippine hams get new privileges

The Philippines Amateur Radio Association has announced a new Foundation
Licence with VHF frequencies is available to those aged at least nine years.

In other regulations access is given to the new low and medium frequency
bands, increases 40-metres 7.201 MHz to 7.300 MHz, while also allowing Class
B and C licence holders to operate mobile HF.

Internet technology such as EchoLink is now explicitly allowed and an
organising committee will oversee the examination question pool.

Amateur radio helps track Hurricane Isaac

Amateur radio first responders along the United States Gulf shore were ready
when Hurricane Isaac slammed ashore on 28 and 29 August.

Members of the Hurricane Watch Net took to the air to track its approach and
although band conditions on 20 and 40m were not the greatest, the net continued
and began passing storm conditions to the National Hurricane Centre in Miami.

The Net ceased its operation on the afternoon of Wednesday 29 August once
Hurricane Isaac was downgraded to a tropical storm.


NASA's Mars Science Laboratory at JPL team has
sent a software update to the Curiosity Rover on
Mars, more than 160 million miles
away. According to Venturebeat dot com, the
software had to be updated because Curiosity
needed different directions to drive around on
Mars than it did to land on the planet's surface.

The computer hardware in the Curiosity Rover is
powered by a pair of computers built by BAE
Systems. These RAD750 computers use a 10-year-old
IBM PowerPC microprocessor running at a
relatively slow 132 megahertz. These machines
also have only 120 megabytes of random access
memory, but are built to withstand wild
temperature swings, radiation, and physical shaking.

The drawback is that the computers on the robot
vehicle did not have enough memory for both the
landing and its surface missions. So NASA had to
swap out the software over four days of
communication through the void of space. It took
so long because it takes about 14 minutes to send
the signal to the rover and another 14 minutes to
get a response back.


The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator Vulture 2
space plane will carry an amateur radio Automatic
Packet Reporting System or APRS system.

The UK newspaper the Register reports that
Anthony Stirk, M-Zero-U-P-U, who was involved in
the Raspberry Pi In The Sky mission, is working
on the custom control board for the Vulture 2 space plane.

As of now, the communications subsystem has a
Radiometrix 300 milliwatt HX1 144 MHz band module
for APRS and a Radiometrix 10 milliwatt NTX2 433
MHz band module for RTTY. More information on
frequencies will be announced at a later date.

More on this upcoming near to space adventure can
be read on-line at And we
will have more ham radio space related news later
on in this week's newscast.




HRD Software announces an updated release of Ham
Radio Deluxe version 5.24.36. This update
includes fixes for cross band contacts in Logbook
and some PTT issues hams have run into with DM780.

Meanwhile the Ham Radio Deluxe development team
continues work on HRD Version 6.0. The specific
date release date will be announced in a future press release.

For those who are unfamiliar with it, Ham Radio
Deluxe or HRD is an integrated suite of software
products for amateur radio. The five modules
provide rig control, logging, digital
communications, satellite tracking, and rotator

More about it is on-line at



Hamfest talk shows Invisible Surprises

With a forgotten technology first used by Marconi , Chip Cohen W1YW, brought
Marconi's "metamaterials" to a whole new level, he made them do a
disappearing act.

In Massachusetts, W1YW has given the first public demonstration of an
actual "invisibility cloak."

Well over a 150 eager radio hams and guests saw a live demonstration of
metal mast disappear at microwaves, over a wide bandwidth, by partially
covering it with a Marconi-inspired invisibility cloak.

W1YW's invisibility cloak is the first actual device that makes things
disappear. Using fractals as resonators, it slip-streams the waves around
an obstacle, and in that process hides the obstacle completely. It joins
these resonators/antennas with a very close (but not touching) spacing,
an idea that came to Marconi and his collaborator Franklin in 1919.

"Marconi never came close to making an invisibility cloak, but everyone using
metamaterials -- those closely spaced resonators -- owes that basic idea to

W1YW's invisibility cloak development was a slow one over a dozen years.
It harps back to work he did when tinkering with antennas when the bands
were dead. The first invisibility cloak demonstration finally came to
fruition in 2009.

While science fiction and Harry Potter have fascinated people with the
notion of the invisibility cloak, W1YW's invention is the only one that works.
W1YW has just received the very first, and basic, patent for invisibility
cloaks -- U.S. patent 8,253,639.

W1YW also showed a very large invisibility cloak with nearly 10,000 little
resonator/antennas making it the largest, in number, antenna array in the
world. " I was delighted to show something very special in terms of the size
and type of objects cloaked. The general public will be aware of this soon,
but I wanted my fellow radio amateurs to have the fun of seeing it first" .
Added W1YW: "This changes everything."


WW Oceania Dx Contest SSB October 6
ww Oceania Dx Contest CW Oct 13
VK Spring VHF / UHF Field Day November 24-25



After reviewing new information and documentation, the ARRL DXCC
Desk has concluded that the 1998 XU1A DXpedition to Cambodia will be
valid for DXCC credit. If you have had QSLs rejected for this
operation, please send a request via e-mail <> to be
placed on the list for update. If you remember the submission in which
you included the QSL, please note this in your e-mail, as it will
expedite the search for the rejected QSO.

A group of operators from Switzerland known as the Radio 7 Team will be
active from Rodrigues Island as 3 B 9 SP from between October 16 and 23.
Most operation will be on CW and SSB with some RTTY and PSK 31.
QSL via HB 9 ACA.

PT 0 S - DXpedition to St. Peter and St. Paul Rocks
The DXpedition will take place in late November to mid-December.
The actual dates will depend on weather conditions.
There had been an official ban on Amateur Radio activities from PY 0 S.
Although the ban, which was created for environmental and safety reasons,
remains in place, a special permit by Brazil's S.E.C.I.R.M.
the Brazilian Navy, Ministry of Environment and LABRE to conduct a two week
long operation.


Morocco CN 2 YZ through years end. His activity will be from the
city of Tangier especially on the weekends.

GB 80 PW Practical Wireless 80th year
In the UK Ofcom have issued the special callsign GB 80 PW to Practical
Wireless magazine to celebrate the publication's 80th year in print.

Philippine Amateur Radio League 50th anniversary special event
Look for special event station 4 G 0 LD to be active during 2012.
Activity is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Philippine Amateur Radio
League (PARL).
QSL via the Bureau.
Also, the P.A.R.L. is sponsoring a commemorative Diploma for amateur radio
stations that have established two-way communications with at least 12 QSOs
with PARL members.

As part of the 50th Anniversary of Independence celebrations in Algeria
several special stations are active until the end of 2012.
Prefix hunters will have the opportunity to work 7U50I, 7V50I, 7W50I and

Temotu Province H 40 FN between this December 22nd and January 7th of 2013.
QSL H 40 FN via HA 8 DD.

E I 25 D B Dublin Bus celebrates its 25th Birthday.
To celebrate the event a Special Event Station EI 25 DB until 30th June 2013.
The station is operated by current and former employees of Dublin Bus led by
Declan and Pete.
QSLs to Declan EI 9 HQ or on LOTW or


RSGB Commonwealth Century Club Jubilee Award 2012

Of course this year is the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and mindful that the
Queen is the head of the Commonwealth of Nations we remind you of that new
operating award

To qualify for this attractive certificate all you need to do is to work as
many different countries and call areas on the Commonwealth Century Club list
during 2012.

Certificates will be awarded for working 60 and 100 different call areas.

Use any mode or bands you like and QSL cards are not required.

Score sheets and full details can be downloaded from


Region III IARUMS Coordinator Peter Young VK3MV

VK IARUMS reflector email to subscribe

Rouge Broadcaster vacates 40m amateur band

Radio Bangladesh has left 7105kHz in the amateur 40m band.

They finished the experimental transmissions BUT only QSY'd to 7250kHz.

The move is thanks to the many amateur radio users who reported the
infringement on the band. Particular thanks go to the German regulator
BNetzA, who made official complaints to Radio Bangladesh.


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

The South East Queensland ATV group's digital ATV repeater is undergoing on
air testing using full output power.

Martin VK4JVC has brought the VK4RMG repeater down from Ocean View and
changed the analogue transmitter for a newly built dual stream digital unit.
He has built the new power amplifier for the SEQATV groups Digital ATV
repeater and is sending out test transmissions on 446.5 MHz.

The digital signal is to commercial television standards and is truly linear
with no distortion.

Testing is currently using a beam pointing South from Deception Bay to the
Brisbane CBD.

The home built power amplifier is currently working well above expectations
so the signal is easy to find when on air.

The transmitter is now being tested, filters adjusted etc, when Martin is
home so look for a signal outside business hours, both channels are in

Good reports have been received ranging from Samford Valley to the Brisbane
south side.

During the next month improvements will be made to the repeater input receivers
ready to go back up the mountain.

(Alan VK4NA)


D-STAR Repeater Update

VK7RRR is now running in full duplex mode, so local QSO's are now
possible. There will no doubt be some kinks to work out over the next
few weeks (and months) but so far the repeater is operating reliably.

By default VK7RRR is now connected to DCS014 (Module B), the new
Australian x-Net reflector, located in Sydney. VK7RRR is joined on the
new reflector by 10 other repeaters from around Australia, and one from
New Zealand, making it generally very active.


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

Typhoon and an earthquake strike

A powerful storm called Typhoon Bolaven battered Korea and then a big
earthquake occurred in the Philippines - and responding to both disasters
were radio amateurs with emergency communication.

The Korean Amateur Radio League spokesman Yong-Surke Lee HL1FB said when
the typhoon hit late last month the messages kept flowing to the authorities
via its mountain located D90IK 2-metre repeater, with 6K2BUF the control

The South Korean state disaster management agency reported ten deaths as
the storm, the strongest to hit the country for almost a decade, left hundreds
of thousands with homes without power and suffering property damage.

Meantime the strongest earthquake in more than two decades, measuring 7.6
on the Richter scale, hit the Philippines and members of the Ham Emergency
Radio Operations (HERO) soon after were exchanging messages with the affected
coastal areas.

Eddie Valdez DU1EV, the Chief Operating Officer of the Philippines Amateur
Radio Association said that DU1VHY handled traffic and got reports from the
affected areas.

Eddie DU1EV said the area of DU5 was nearest the epicentre and DV5PO reported
there was a power outage in Borongan, Samar Island. DV5RAY reported that
people were evacuating because of the tsunami alert.

The alert was lifted after only small waves were generated. Tens of thousands
of people who headed out of the danger zone have now returned.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council initial assessment
was that there was no major structural damage in the affected areas. Most
houses destroyed were built from light material.

Eddie DU1EV said it was good that many hams in the affected areas showed
up on the 2-metre and 40-metre emergency channels and other districts were
on standby if needed.

(Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee)


SEP 8 VK4 SUNFEST WOOMBYE. (Sunshine Coast).

SEP 28-30 VK4 Central Highlands ARC AGM at Camp Fairbairn, Emerald.


NOV 4 VK5 Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society HAMFEST @ Goodwood

NOV 11 VK3 Yarra Valley Amateur Radio Group Hamfest



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