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WIA - Do we meet the tek-nol-uh-jee definition?



Last week here on VK1WIA we featured the BLUsat project being developed by
University of NSW students.

The world of microsatellites is booming in Australia with news of another
currently under construction, but first

BLUsat, our own satellite, is a 260mm cube weighing around 13 kilograms,
will carry a flight computer with transmissions to include a beacon and
amateur packet radio in a "mode J" VHF/UHF configuration.

Magnets will passively stabilize the satellite and align it with the Earth's
magnetic field, and it will be controlled via a dedicated communications
ground station VK2UNS at UNSW is equipped with a Yaesu FT-847 satellite

It is hoped BLUsat will be placed in circular orbit at an altitude of around
750 km that will take it over the poles. At this altitude, the satellite will
travel around the Earth at a rate of around once every 90 minutes.

Once in orbit BLUsat will be a digital amateur radio satellite, which means
that voice and data files can be uploaded to it by any amateur radio operator
in the world over which the satellite passes.

The 'other' microsatellite being built is called Ardusat, it is effectively
a programmable orbiting satellite based on the Arduino microcontroller.

People will be able to upload Arduino programs (or sketches) to the bird,
with up to 16 running simultaneously. The satellite is a 10 centimetre cube.

Arduino expert and author Jonathon Oxer VK3FADO has been involved in
developing two crowd-funded satellites including Ardusat.

Last week he gave a talk to the Melbourne Connected Community Hackerspace,
as captured on Dave Jones' EEV Blog and as with all points of contact/interest
you will find that on the text edition of this newscast

(amsat/peter parker)


If you are hoarding an old mobile phone in your shack, you are not alone.

Sydney Morning Herald say there are 23 million unused mobile phones in
Australia and environmental experts are warning the burgeoning number of
obsolete phones will get worse, as upgraded smartphones are released.

''These devices are just accumulating right across the country in Australian
households,'' said Ruth Lane, senior lecturer in environmental science at
Monash University. ''Everyone has one in their bottom drawer and they are a
bit uncomfortable about what to do with them.''

Ms Lane, who has a PhD in environmental science, said people found it hard to
throw out their phones if they had upgraded to a newer model and the old
device was still working.

There is a potential for the many components of mobiles to be reused but many
people are psychologically attached to their phone or they worry about the
security of data, Ms Lane said.

Adelaide man charged with CB radio offences

A Kilburn man has been charged with five offences under
theRadiocommunications Act 1992.

The charges follow an investigation by the Australian Communications and
Media Authority into allegations of abuse and harassment by the defendant
while using a Citizen Band Radio Service (CBRS) in the Adelaide area.

A person operating a CB station must not:

Operate the station in a way that would be likely to cause a reasonable
person to be seriously alarmed or seriously affronted; or

Operate the station for the purpose of harassing a person.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has charged the defendant
with the following offences:

Operation of a radiocommunications device otherwise than as authorised by a

Possession of radiocommunications devices, for the purposes of operation,
otherwise than as authorised by a licence; and

Reckless conduct resulting in substantial disruption and disturbance of

The defendant appeared at the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Friday in
relation to these charges.

(Making communications & media work in Australia's public interest

Power use meters may warn of an emergency

New home energy displays via smart meters instantly detail consumption and
charges to save Victorians money on the soon to be available flexible
electricity tariffs but the devices are also now being trialled as a warning

The fridge magnet sized device using the same wireless infrastructure can
also give the Fire Danger Rating for three days, the temperature, a local
forecast, and limited messages such as a Heat Health Alert on hot days.

Victoria's compulsory $2.3 billion smart meter rollout is nearing completion.
The emergency warning element is still being trialled but results so far
have been very promising.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


President Phil Wait VK2ASD
Vice President Chris Platt VK5CP
Secretary David Williams VK3RU
Treasurer John Longayroux VK3PZ

In February 2013, the ACMA released a discussion paper proposing to withdraw
the 2300-2302 MHz amateur allocation so that 2300-2400 MHz could be
re-allocated for Spectrum Licensing.

Roger Harrison VK2ZRH reporting on WIA Front Page News ( says
"The ACMA reports that it received 124 submissions in response to the
discussion paper, from which an overwhelming number objected to the ACMA's

A staggering 93% of submissions disagreed with the ACMA's proposal, and of
those, 30% indicated support for the position advocated by the WIA. Many
submissions of the 124 sent to the ACMA were from individuals.

The WIA sought to have the 150 kHz segment from 2300-2300.15 MHz retained for
the amateur service on at least a co-primary basis.

The ACMA has posted to its website an outline of the results of the public
consultation it sought in February, and has advised that, after considering
the information provided in the submissions, its view is that the amateur
service would be unable to retain co-primary status if 2300-2400 MHz was
spectrum licensed.

However, the ACMA goes on to say that it will work closely with the WIA to
"test whether a coexistence licensing arrangement might be developed under
section 138 of the Radiocommunications Act." Section 138 provides for a class
licence to be issued within spectrum-licensed bands where it would not result
in unacceptable levels of interference to equipment operated under the
spectrum licence.

There are many issues to explore here and the WIA looks forward to working
with the ACMA to achieve a positive outcome for the 2300-2302 MHz band."

(text only)

Do we meet the tek-nol-uh-jee definition?

It surrounds us, often taken for granted. One definition of technology is
that it's a branch of knowledge dealing with the creation, use, interrelation
with life, society, and the environment.

Hey, that's really what modern and diverse amateur radio is all about! One
important thing is that the hobby is now easily accessible.

It enables people from all walks of life to be involved, enjoying a life-time
of learning, meeting new friends and to be part of a worldwide community.

The WIA strongly believes in modern amateur radio promotion, the recruitment
of newcomers and lapsed radio amateurs. The community should know we exist,
understand and appreciate the activity.

Many of them would give it a go if they knew more and received a little

The WIA has called for affiliated clubs, organisations and groups of members
to be involved in the PR4AmateurRadio Expo to be held on April 13-15, 2014.

Early details of the Expo have been issued and some material can be read
via the 'What's On' panel on the WIA website which will be
updated by the end of the year.



web service:-

No real challenge or achievement out of pressing a PTT button?

Why not learn a new old skill and get more satisfaction?

Learn the Morse Code and use it around the world!

SARC is starting a CW for beginners class on 29th September.
Classes will be held at their Lismore clubrooms each Sunday 11 to 12 noon.

You will eventually need your own key but initially all you need is a
pencil and pad.

A DvD is available for those who wish to study at home as will a series of
web based classes also.

The course being used can be found at

If you are interested contact Frank VK2FRNK either on the Parrots Nest
repeater or via email

(sarc news)

web service:-

Upgrade to the Standard Licence

Do you live in the Greater Melbourne area and know someone, a relative,
friend or workmate that could upgrade from their current Foundation Licence?

Please give some encouragement by telling them about the upcoming Standard
Bridging Course. It's held on Wednesday evenings at Ashburton and begins

For details please contact Barry Robinson VK3PV or check out the information
on the 'get your licence' section of the Amateur Radio Victoria website.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


Foundation Course Round Up

Saturday, the 14th of September, the Canberra Region Amateur Radio Club
education group completed assessments from their previous weekends Foundation
course. They had two candidates to complete their practical assessment and
an extra candidate to do his Advance regulations and Theory assessment.

Congratulations to Guy and Jake for completing their foundation licence
assessments and to John for completing his advanced assessment. CRARC will
look out for you all on air.

Guy and Jake are part of a group of friends who style themselves the
"Four Amigos", who are 4 wheel drive enthusiasts. They completed the
foundation licence course together in preparation for a planned trip to
Frazer Island in the very near future. So in VK4 if all a sudden you hear a
number of VK1 calls amongst you they are only visitors and new fellow


Cradle Coast Amateur Radio Club conducted exams in Devonport for three
candidates last weekend. All passed their respective exams.

Matt and Karl both passed the foundation exams, Matt has applied for the
callsign VK7FMCR. Karl has applied for the callsign VK7FISH.

Also Kevin, VK7FKEV, has successfully completed the standard/advanced
regulations, and is now commencing study for the standard theory exam.

When you hear these callsigns on air please give them a call and congratulate
them on their efforts.


Over last weekend a special foundation course was held Under the sponsorship
of The Australian Ladies Amateur Radio Association, a YL only foundation

Jean Fisher VK3VIP President & State rep ( VK3) for A.L.A.R.A. thinks that
this might be a first for such a course.

The result was very pleasing with all six candidates obtaining passing

So please listen out for Amanda, Judy, Donna, Catherine, Cheryl and Julie
and give them a big welcome to amateur radio.

The training course was conducted in the board room of a local company which
made the facility available at no cost and the ladies were pampered
throughout the day with lunch provided free.

A specially designed training package was used which makes extensive use of
graphics and video's

ALARA hope to be able to offer this course to any club or group if your club
has six or more YL's who would like to get their foundation license then drop
a line to Jean (president of alara),

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


Wayne Green II W2NSD/1, founder of 73, Byte and a host of other magazines
passed away on September 13, 2013 aged 91

He was formerly editor of CQ magazine before he went on to found 73,
80 Micro, Byte, CD Review, Cold Fusion, Kilobaud Microcomputing, RUN,
InCider, and Pico, as well as publishing books and running a software company.

Wayne was always into the latest ground breaking Amateur Radio technology and
his magazine reflected that with articles on RTTY, ATV,SSTV, FM Repeaters and
Amateur radio satellites.

A popular part of 73 Magazine was Wayne Green W2NSD's 'Never Say Die' column.

In it he gave his views on just about everything.

The toll from devastating storms of Ingrid and Manuel is growing with many
stranded and more missing in that massive landslide north of Acapulco. The
Mexican IARU member society, Federacion Mexicana De Radio Experimentadores
(FMRE) is using both 7060 and 14120 kHz to carry emergency traffic.

FT5ZM - The Amsterdam Island DXpedition team's progress continues unabated.

Ralph K0IR says essentially all the team's equipment is now in hand and at
the Atlanta staging area or undergoing final testing in preparation for
shipment to Atlanta. Gear will soon be sorted into contents bound for the
Mataf operating location and the Antonelli operating location

(see website page

There will be no guess work about what piece of equipment goes to which site
when they land. Efficiency means more time on the air and more QSO's.

The berth and fuel for the ship has been reserved in Fremantle, Australia,
and a New Zealand customs agent has been retained.

as they say in the classics "stay tuned for more details".


Amateur Radio Newsline


Solar scientists at Stanford University in California have
solved one of the few remaining fundamental mysteries of how
the sun works. And it's something that hams will want to
know as it does affect propagation. Amateur Radio
Newsline's Heather Embee, KB3TZD, has the details:


According to researchers, the mechanism in question is known
as meridional flow and is said to work something like a
conveyor belt. Magnetic plasma migrates on the sun's
surface from the equator to the poles. It then cycles into
the sun's interior on its way back to the equator. The rate
and depth beneath the surface of the sun at which this
process occurs is critical for predicting the sun's magnetic
and flare activity, but has remained largely unknown until now.

To find out how it actually worked, researchers used
the Stanford-operated Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager or
HMI instrument on-board NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory to
track solar waves in much the way seismologists would study
seismic movements beneath the surface of the Earth. Every
45 seconds for the past two years, the HMI's Doppler radar
recorded images of plasma waves moving across the sun's
surface which were then radioed back to Earth. By
identifying patterns of sets of waves, the scientists could
recognize how the solar materials move from the sun's
equator toward the poles, and how they return to the equator
through the sun's interior.

One startling discovery is that the equator-ward flow is
actually sandwiched between two layers of poleward flowing
currents. This is a more complicated mechanism than
previously thought. It's also one that could help refine
predictions of the sun's activity.

For example, some computer models projected that the current
solar cycle would be strong, but observations have since
showed it is actually much weaker than the previous cycle.
This inconsistency could be due to the previously unknown
inaccuracies of the meridional circulation mechanism used in
the simulations.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Heather Embee, KB3TZD,
in Berwick, Pennsylvania.


The report was published in the online edition of The
Astrophysical Journal Letters.


FLAGPOLE Contest September 21

CQ World Wide DX SSB Contest on October 26th and 27th.

WIA Spring VHF-UHF Field Day weekend of November 23/24.


WIA Summer VHF-UHF Field Day 11/12 January (to be confirmed)

WIA VK Harry Angel Memorial Sprint May 3




Trip to activate parks a winner

In a recent tour to activate six parks Tony Hambling VK3VTH operated portable
working 168 stations and did spark new interest in award chasing.

Working from Victorian and South Australian parks he described the activity
as very good and comparable to his earlier ventures.

Many stations were waiting on 7.100 MHz as VK3VTH appeared. In Victoria he
was at Little Desert, Wyperfeld, Murray Sunset and the Grampians - under
the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award.

Crossing into South Australia he was eagerly greeted when activating Peebinga
and Karte under the new VK5 National Parks and Conservation Parks Award.

Adding greatly to the interest at the time Paul Simmonds VK5PAS & Maurice
Dawes VK5BJE were at VK3 parks and engaged in Summits on the Air activity.

One radio amateur, who is retired, described the activity as the best he
had heard for years and was now rejuvenated as an award chaser.

Several Foundation Licensees were also chasing awards, claiming that the
activity gave them a purpose to be on air.

The VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award celebrates its 6 month
anniversary with a special activation weekend Saturday 19 & Sunday the 20th
October, 2013.

In its short history the Award has become very popular with over 70 South
Australian National Parks and Conservation Parks being activated and more on
this activity as it draws closer.


Bill Moore, NC1L, the ARRL Awards Branch Manager, reports that the current
JY 9 FC operation beginning this past August has been approved for DXCC
credit. If you have a card for that operation now is the time to submit it.

DJ 7 RJ will be active stroke FR from Reunion Island between September 28th
and November 2nd. His operation will be on 160 through 10 meters using CW
and SSB. QSL via DJ 7 RJ, direct or by the bureau.


Intruders on VK7RBH or VK7RIN

last month there's been an older and younger male voice heard on either
repeater VK7RBH or VK7RIN. They are only on for very short time at around
tea time and appear out of the blue.

The signal into the repeater they are using is 5/9 so they appear to be in
close range of the repeater.

If you hear them then take note of the date/time and nature of the
conversation and if possible record the exchange. This could be referred to
the ACMA for investigation at a later stage.

(VK7HGO via vk7news)

Portugal takes action against illegal radio communications

Jose Francisco CT4AN, REP national MS co-ordinator, reports that the
Portuguese national regulator has taken action against illegal radio

It's the second time ANACOM and the Portuguese Maritime Police act over
illegal communications and interferences.

The Portuguese Maritime Police, a branch of the Portuguese Navy, and the
Communications Authority ICP-ANACOM made a control operation which resulted
in confiscations on radio equipment's and heavy fines to ten operators.
Besides having the equipment confiscated, the operators face fines which
may reach 1250, close to 1650USD.

The newspapers detail that the fiscalization was made on 28 vessels and
29 harboured stations, both on sea, inland and in waterways.

The Authorities said that the operation was based on interference complaints
to legal radio systems, including Amateur Radio Service, Aeronautical Band,
Maritime Service and commercial radio frequencies.

Rede dos Emissores Portugueses (REP) in Google English


THE QNEWS WORK BENCH - the nuts and volts report - Measure Twice cut Once.

Homebrewers stock up junk boxes

Despite the Federal Election coinciding with the date of the last Homebrew
Construction Group meeting, a healthy representation assembled at the Amateur
Radio Victoria rooms for a September.

As well as the usual technical discussions members were able to add to their
spare parts reserves, or junk boxes, thanks to a generous donation.

This should produce a number of interesting projects based on the new and
vintage components offered. The next meeting is on Saturday October the 5th
at 2pm, 40g Victory Boulevard, Ashburton.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


Radio Amateur in Crew Increment Headed to ISS in Late September

NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG, with 2 Russian cosmonauts are scheduled
to launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft September 25 to join their Expedition 37
crewmates aboard the International Space Station.

KF5LJG will be the first member of the 2009 NASA astronaut class to fly into
space. While he's aboard the ISS, Hopkins will install the Amateur Radio on
the International Space Station (ARISS) Ham Video gear. He received
pre-flight training on how to commission the Amateur Radio digital video
equipment recently.


There has been a fair amount of news on VOYAGER in main stream press but
here is a little back ground.

Voyager 1 and its twin, Voyager 2, were launched 16 days apart in 1977.

Both spacecraft flew by Jupiter and Saturn.

Voyager 2 also flew by Uranus and Neptune.

Voyager 2, launched before Voyager 1, is the longest continuously operated
spacecraft. It is about 15 billion kilometres away from our sun.

Voyager mission controllers still talk to or receive data from Voyager 1 and
Voyager 2 every day, though the emitted signals are currently very dim, at
about 23 watts, the power of a refrigerator light bulb. By the time the
signals get to Earth, they are a fraction of a billion-billionth of a watt.

Data from Voyager 1's instruments are transmitted to Earth typically at
160 bits per second, and captured by 34 and 70 meter NASA Deep Space Network

Traveling at the speed of light, a signal from Voyager 1 takes about
17 hours to travel to Earth.



On the weekend of 14/15 Sept, MF aficionados gathered on the new 630m MF band
472-479 KHz for a weekend of WSPR activity

For those not familiar with the Weak Signal Propagation Reporting software, it
allows one with minimal setup, to receive signals that are more than 30db
below the noise floor and undetectable by the human ear. The reports are
displayed on a screen showing date/time, callsign, frequency, SNR, grid
location, distance etc. giving an accurate indication of propagation

Peter VK4QC reports:-

Preparation for the event began weeks ago with transmitter / receiver
testing, antenna construction / improvements, last minute modifications
and tuning adjustments to squeeze out the most from the system.
Reports came in of lightning strikes and antennas blown down in
storms requiring hasty repairs. All part of the fun!

Because there are very few off-the-shelf transceivers around for the
low bands, much home-brewing is done to get on air with many and varied
solutions. There are also kits available with detailed assembly instructions.
The Yahoo group forum is a great place for sharing ideas and helping to solve
problems and is also used to coordinate skeds, frequency /mode changes etc.

Most people would be surprised that even from a city block with a 10m
vertical and suitable coupling unit, a decent signal can be put on air.
Reception-wise, the ubiquitous "Mini-Whip" active antenna pulls in the weak
ones. Of course they don't compare with a full-sized Marconi T and large
ground counterpoise, but you can still enjoy the fun.

The action started at 6pm EST Saturday and ended 8am Monday with more than
30 VK and ZL stations participating in the largest gathering on MF in this
part of the world since the band was allocated some 12 months ago.

WSPR is transmitted in 2 minute cycles and It was exciting to see all the
spots popping up on the screen after each cycle. You could see how well, or
otherwise you were doing in real-time.

It was amazing to see signals detected at a distance of more than 1800 km
with only 5W EIRP. Equipment was battle-tested to see how well it would hold
up to 48 hours of continuous operation.

There were a few fade-outs and unfortunately the weather didn't favour the
band on Saturday evening due to storms and high static levels. Conditions
improved significantly on Sunday and the activity intensified towards the
finish line on Monday morning.

Everyone agreed it was a great weekend and a unique opportunity to evaluate
equipment, make improvements and hopefully achieve better results next time.

A big thanks to Nick, VK2DX for proposing the activity weekend and
encouraging everyone to get off their backsides and get involved!

If you would like to be a part of the MF action, please join the Yahoo group
600m to find out more.

This is Peter VK4QC for the national news service


The VK5 Association of the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program, celebrates its
1 year anniversary on the 1st October this year.

SOTA is an award scheme for radio amateurs and shortwave listeners that
encourages portable operation in mountainous areas. But don't be put off.
SOTA is not just for mountaineers. There is a SOTA peak for everybody, no
matter what your level of fitness is.

To celebrate the 12 month anniversary, a co-ordinated activity day will be
held on Sunday 6th October, 2013.

It is hoped that as many VK5 operators as possible will get out in the field
and activate from the top of a summit.

And if you do choose to stay at home, don't forget that SOTA is not just for
activators. Chasers are those amateurs who operate from home or even a
local park, and work activators.

So if you do hear an operator, atop a hill. Give them a call. Already there
are a number of hams who have indicated they are going to be climbing a
summit on the day. This includes at least 1 interstate operator who will be
visiting South Australia.

For more information on SOTA and what summits qualify, please have a look at
the SOTA website at.

Should you have any queries, please contact either Ian VK5CZ or Paul VK5PAS.

Again the date is Sunday the 6th October, 2013.

Thanks for listening, I'm Paul VK5 Papa Alpha Sierra.


Interested in the Microwave bands, want to dust off or tune up your gear
before the Spring VHF/UHF Field days? Need some help finishing off that
project on the bench. Curious of the higher bands but don't know where to
start, then this event is for you.

The Eastern and Mountain District Radio Club is hosting the VK3 Microwave
Test and Tune day, Sunday 10th November from 10am at their club rooms in

Check the clubs website for more details.

On Tuesday 24th at 10:18 UTC VK5ZAI is scheduled to handle a telebridge linkup
between the Scuola Media Statale "Salvo D'Acquisto", Cesano Maderno, in Italy
and the ISS. Luca Parmitano KF5KDP will be the astronaut taking the questions.
The language used will be Italian.

On Saturday 28th September 2013 at 08:39 UTC VK5ZAI is Scheduled to handle a
telebridge linkup between the Collge de la Combraille, La Mouniaude
Chatelguyon, in France, and the ISS . Again Luca Parmitano KF5KDP will be the
astronaut taking the questions. The language used is expected to be English

You should be able to hear both these downlinks from the ISS if you are within
the ISS footprint over Central Australia. The Downlink will be 145.800 MHz

(Regards Tony VK5ZAI)


SEP 27-29 VK6 HARG Spring RF Camp-out Bald Hill Campground, Avon Valley

Oct 3- 7 VK4 North Queensland Amateur Radio Convention Charters Towers

Oct 5 vk4 REDFest St Michael's College, Caboolture, 9am


Oct 20 VK3 Ballarat Amateur Radio Group Hamvention

NOV 2 VK4 Gold Coast ARS HamFest at Albert Waterways Hall.

NOV 3 VK5 HamFest Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society Goodwood.

NOV 10 VK2 ARNSW Radio Fest Dural

NOV 10 VK3 Microwave Test and Tune day (EMRDC)

NOV 15-17 VK3 Victorian National Parks Weekend

Nov 24 VK3 Southern Peninsula Amateur Radio Club Rosebud RadioFest


Feb 23 VK2 Wyong Field Day and it is on come rain hail or shine.

Apr 13-15 VK PR4AmateurRadio Expo.

Apr 25 vk3 ANZAC Day event Ballarat Showgrounds

May 2- 4 VK4 Clairview Gathering Clive VK4ACC 0429 632 815

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