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International Air-ambulance Week 2014

An Amateur Radio 9-day Special Event - taking place on the weekend commencing
28th September, 2014 to help support the many donation-funded flying medical
services around the world.

Operating your special event station during at least some of the 9 days during
which the event takes place.

Nine days include two weekends, so everyone can get an opportunity to take
part. The primary rule is that no radio amateur should accept any donations
- donations and offers of funding should be made directly to which ever
service you nominate when you complete the registration form to take part in
the event.

Registration will be mandatory and all stations taking part will be issued a
registration number

The event is intended to commence on the fourth weekend of September annually
World Wide and is to be run by the same team which operates the well
established International Museum Weekends.

(Jon M0HEM

APRS Rescue.

Jenny, VK4FJMP (and Hunter the dog) was headed from Singleton New South Wales
to her home in Killarney, just south of Warwick Queensland. The vehicle
was fitted with an Alinco dual band radio and APRS tracker.

Some three hours behind was Bob, VK4DA also on his way home to Killarney,
his vehicle fitted with an Icom 706 for HF, an Icom 880 for D-star,
a Yaesu FTM-350 with APRS and an IPad mounted in a bracket for tracking
other Hams.

About 1400 h that day, Bob received a telephone call from Jenny stating that
she had rolled the car, was injured and trapped in the vehicle. She further
explained that her phone was damaged in the accident and she could only call
the last number dialled. Fortunate for Jenny, she had called Bob as
requested, when she had left the main highway at Tenterfield tracking east
along Mt Lindsay Road, that is in parts, unsealed road.

After enquiring about the dogs condition, Bob asked for her location,
nature of injuries and entrapment, Jenny was unable to give her exact
location and that she was suffering from a possible broken arm, she also
advised the vehicle was on its side and suffered significant panel damage
and she was unable to open the doors or break through a window.

Bob, pulled his vehicle over and fired up the IPad and was able to pin point
the exact GPS coordinates of Jenny's location. This information was passed
onto the Ambulance and Rescue Service, that were able to reach her without
any delay.

Jenny suffering a dislocated shoulder was treated at Tenterfield hospital
and collected by Bob on his way through, the dog was transported from the
scene by a thoughtful passer-by. The car, a write off will be replaced by
insurance in due course.

A happy ending for all concerned, Emergency services may have still been able
to find her given that she was on a known road and an estimated distance from
Tenterfield, the APRS tracker in her car providing Bob the exact coordinates
to relay to the emergency services reduced the delay in response and possible
further injury.

( Cheers Bob VK4DA "The ever popular DA")

On Saturday 21st December Tamworth Amateur Radio Club members assembled
LOKI 2 a high altitude balloon for launch at Premer, New South Wales.

The payload items for the journey to the edge of space were:
APRS - having been decoded by 2 separate and independent ground stations
was deemed OK.
SPOT - being picked up by the satellite system and relayed onto the internet. Tested OK
GOPRO Camera - Tested OK
Buzzer Tested Ok making lots of noise.
High Intensity Flashing LED was tested OK.
Temperature & Humidity data logger.
A passenger was found by our junior members for the ride into space being one
large spider.
and 2 chemical reaction type hand warmers (to keep everything inside the box

The balloon was inflated with hydrogen from COREGAS and attached to the
parachute and payload and after a countdown launched for it's journey to the
edge of space.

Following launch Tamworth Radio Club members and interested spectators could
see the Balloon with payload slowly get smaller and smaller and then
disappear into the blue sky.

APRS and SPOT transmissions were received a few times then nothing. Perhaps
SPOT had passed 20,000ft where it stops working. On previous balloon launches
it was normal to see SPOT not work at higher altitudes then start again when
it parachuted back to earth. SPOT, according to the manufacturers
specifications does not work above 20,000ft altitude. The failure of the
APRS system was a mystery.

Everyone travelled from Premer to the predicted landing area near Mullaley
and waited for SPOT to transmit when it was closer to the ground and maybe
hear an APRS signal from LOKI 2. After 3 hours following LOKI 2's launch
nothing was heard or recorded since just after launch.

As the predicted flight time for LOKI 2 was 2.5 hours it was now time to
search for LOKI 2!

Three teams spread out to search for LOKI 2. A radio system to monitor
APRS activity was taken to the top of a very steep 270m high peak just
South South West of Mullaley. As this peak jumps up out of the flat
Liverpool Plains it was a perfect land based look out and radio receiving
point. It was hoped to be able to maybe see or monitor something from
LOKI 2 but no signals were decoded and nothing could be seen.

A visual search via binoculars and the naked eye have collectively searched
around 300 square kilometres of land with no results.

On Sunday 22nd December a Cessna 150 with an APRS system on board was used
to look for LOKI 2. Nothing could be seen and no APRS signals from LOKI 2
were recorded in the search area.

The Tamworth Amateur Radio Club Inc have now listed LOKI 2 as lost in space!

But, truth be known it would be laying in someone's back yard as the balloon
would have burst at high altitudes and fallen back to earth.

Everyone is now sitting down thinking about what may have gone wrong and what
to do next.

Did something upset SPOT and the APRS?

SPOT and APRS are two different types of technology operating off very
separate systems, even the power supplies were independent for each system.

Did a small fire start?
No smoke was seen coming from LOKI 2 as it ascended into the blue sky.

Did the passenger hijack the craft?

Has LOKI 2 been abducted?

Tamworth Radio Club Members and friends have been trying to piece together
a post mortem, but without any wreckage it is going to be difficult.
Experiments have so far failed to produce a plausible explanation for
LOKI 2's disappearance.

Up to date information can be found on Tamworth Radio Club's web site then follow the links to projects.

(John Press VK2YGV Tamworth Radio Club Inc. - mischief maker.)

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You Just Can't Keep Good Amateurs Down!

While most of us are recovering from the holiday festivities and enjoying a
break during the summer, a small group of dedicated amateurs on VK4's
Sunshine Coast are working feverishly to get airborne!

The team, led by Brendon VK4HIA are running through training and testing
exercises in preparation to launch a High Altitude Balloon (HAB), equipped
with radio telemetry equipment from South East Queensland on 1st of February.

The balloon is expected to climb to an altitude of approximately 35,000m
before descending into a predicted recovery zone. A GPS enabled Arduino device
sending position, altitude and temperature data will be utilised to enable
mobile and stationary tracking from crews on the ground.

The aim of the first flight is to learn about the technologies and establish
a set of core skills that will enable further flights with more adventurous
aims such as high altitude repeaters.

HAD flights are nothing new in Australia. A lot of work and many successful
flights have already occurred down south with the work of the Project Horus
team based in Adelaide.

As heard in this week's edition of VK4 QNEWS ( )
The team is seeking the help of keen amateurs in South East Queensland who
would like to assist with tracking the HAB on or about the 1st of February.
Stationary tracking requires 70cm SSB receiving capabilities and a level of
proficiency using DL FLDIGI.

Data received from the HAB will be uploaded to the tracking
website and anyone is welcome to visit the
site and monitor the progress of the flight.

To express interest in future activities
of the team, please contact
Brendon VK4HIA


What use is an F-call?

If you're an Amateur, you're licensed. The two go hand-in-glove. But to listen
to what's going on around you does not require you to be licensed. There is
plenty of fun to be had with just a receiver.

You can spend a little time on the Internet and find a whole host of radio
nets that occur on a regular basis and listen in to the stations that are
calling in. You can use it to "get your ear", that is, recognise call signs
and become familiar with calling patterns.

You can use a DX cluster and find reports of stations heard around the globe
in real time, or listen to local fire and rescue services, or listen to Air or
Marine Bands.

Doing this will achieve more than the thrill of hearing something novel, it
will help you learn about propagation, about antennas, radio protocols and
more. You can learn your Morse today, no need to have an Amateur License to
get started with that either.

Becoming an Amateur doesn't have to begin with a License, you can start today.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB


Kids Day is January 5

If you hear "CQ Kids Day" today please reply.

Kids Day is an excellent opportunity to showcase Amateur Radio and Amateur
Radio satellites to youngsters and let them get some hands-on experience

The suggested exchange is name, age, location, and favourite colour. There is
no limit on operating time, and stations may work each other more than once
if the operator has changed.

All participants are encouraged to post stories and photos to the Kids Day
Soapbox page and are eligible to receive a colourful certificate.
You can download the free certificate, customized with the youngsters' names,
after filling out the Kids Day Survey found on the same page as the
certificate generator.

Kids Day

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


The sun's magnetic field has undergone a total reversal of its polarity, which
marks Solar Cycle 24's midpoint, which is going to be completed in 11 years
time, NASA has revealed.

According to NASA, the sun has "flipped upside down", with its north and south
poles reversed to reach the Solar Cycle 24's midpoint.

Now, the magnetic fields have again started moving in opposite directions to
finish the 22 year long process that will end in the poles switching their
places once again.

NASA's Dr Tony Phillips said that a reversal of the sun's magnetic field is,
literally, a big event.

He said that the domain of the sun's magnetic influence extends billions of
kilometres beyond Pluto.


The FUNcube-1 (AO-73) spacecraft has now been in orbit and fully operational
for just over a month.

Organisers say they are "very happy and VERY grateful to all the stations who
have committed their time and effort into regularly receiving the telemetry
and uploading it to their Data Warehouse."

Dave G4DPZ is still busy refining the operation of the Warehouse and
is promising more features over the next few days/weeks. Further
updates to the Dashboard are also expected soon.

The present low internal temperatures being experienced by the
spacecraft, at least in the northern hemisphere, are causing some
frequency shifting to take place - especially on the uplink frequencies.


BBC News has produced a 'special' on the long-term survival of shortwave radio

In this audio report, Lucy Burton discusses the future (or lack thereof) of shortwave
radio. Burton interviews staff at Radio Romania International and even Glenn Hauser.

Those tuned last week to this the regular weekly news service produced for the WIA
would have heard the audio and story on the closure of Radio Moscow. SW Guru
Robin Harwood VK7RH is of the understanding that although VOR indeed is closing a lot
of shortwave services they are not leaving shortwave entirely. They are continuing to
Australia and Asia in English and Chinese.

Thomas Witherspoon, blogger at the SWLing Post and director of the radio charity,
Ears To Our World, comments on the continued relevancy of shortwave radio in the
digital age in the audio report from the BBC

In today's 'Final Final' in this bulletin Jim Linton VK3 has even a FURTHER update,
stay tuned.


The Japanese amateur radio company Tokyo Hy-Power, well known for its high
power linear for HF and VHF, has ceased trading.

Their Laboratory was founded in 1975 by JA1DJW near Tokyo, Japan. Their
initial products were antenna couplers for HF bands such as the HC-500 and

In 1977, Tokyo Hy-Power Labs was formally established as a developer and
manufacturer of linear amplifiers, antenna tuners, etc. for radio amateurs.
One of their early products, the HL-4000 linear amplifier using
8877/3CX1500A7 by EIMAC, was the first real HF band high-power linear of its
kind in Japan.

As HF mobile operation grew in popularity, they developed fully-transistorized
wide-band linear for mobile use such as the HL-200B and HL-400B.

In recent years they developed 3 KW VHF RF power generators together with a
fast reacting auto impedance matcher used in the semiconductor manufacturing
fabrication plants for advanced LSI chips.

Hamlife report in Japanese December 24, 2013


RF hysteria: school students denied wi-fi

In New Zealand, the Te Horo School Board of Trustees has capitulated to a campaign
orchestrated by just two (2) parents.

The National Business Review reports that the two have been leading a campaign to
remove the wireless networking from The School. Their concerns appear to be centred
around the misguided belief that RF emissions from Wi-Fi cause cancer.

Despite there being absolutely no evidence for the alleged concerns the school Board
of Trustees has decided to spend money scrapping the existing Wi-Fi in the Junior
classes and replacing it with Ethernet cable.

Read the National Business Review story at

Demonizing Wifi is dangerous to your child's health

Hysteria wins at Te Horo primary school

Te Horo School Board of Trustee members


The Quiet Zone - where there is no cell service, by law

Within a 13,000 square-mile area in West Virginia and Virginia, cell phone
transmissions, Wi-Fi, and even microwave ovens are restricted - by law.

Why is it so? one may ask.

This is the USA's National Radio Quiet Zone, established in 1958 to protect
the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, West Virginia, from
harmful interference.

But what's it like to live there?
Check out the link


Amateur Radio Newsline


The New Zealand Amateur Radio Transmitters or NZART which is that nation's
national ham radio society has issued a correction to its recent news release
regarding the availability of 6 meters. It says that that a small error was
made in its bulletin number 286 that stated the nations six meter allocation
was 50 to 54 MHz.

This says the NZART is not correct.

Rather the 6 meter band for operational use is from 50 to 53 MHz for all modes
at up to the full legal power limit. It notes that New Zealand does have
limited use of the band from 53 to 54 MHz but only for approved individually
licensed 6 meter repeater outputs. 53 to 54 MHz is not available for general
amateur operation.


The World Radiosport Team Championship committee has announced the list of
those who will serve as referees for the 2014 competition.

According to an announcement from the games coordinating committee a referee
will be on site at each of the 59 competing stations to verify compliance with
the rules and make decisions on any rule questions by the teams.

All of the referees will be top level contesters because they must
simultaneously listen to the audio from both operators for the entire 24 hours
of the competition, which takes place in July 2014 in the North-Eastern United

A complete list of those selected to act as referees is on the web, Also, a short video explaining the upcoming World Radiosport
Team Championship is on YouTube at



Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, VA 3OO G has predicted that
humans will have a colony on the moon within the next 30 to 40 years
and establish a base on Mars within the next 70.

In a recent interview with the Telegraph newspaper, Hadfield said that this is
a pattern we have been following for the last 70,000 years. He noted mankind
gradually made its way around the world. In the last 100 years we have gotten
to Antarctica and now there are people who live there for months at a time.

VA3OOG went on to say that he thinks that within his lifetime we will see a
permanent lunar base. Also that the setting up of a permanent habitation on
the Moon will help to improve space exploration.

Hadfield gained fame for tweeting pictures of space and performing his own
version of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" during his command of the
International Space Station this past year. He retired from the Canadian Space
Agency last June and is currently on tour promoting his new book
"An Astronaut's Guide To Life on Earth."

You can read the entire interview with Chris Hadfield, VA3OOG on the web



In our world of Radio Communications over the years maybe the Weirdest you
may have come across are what are known as "The Numbers Stations."

Many have heard of the Cuban numbers being read by a female, but here in VK
Cherry Ripe was the nickname of a mysterious, powerful shortwave numbers
station that used several bars from the English folk song "Cherry Ripe" as
an interval signal. The station was believed to be operated by the British
Secret Intelligence Service and to have emanated from Australia.

It is likely that the station was used to communicate messages to undercover
agents operating in other countries, to be decoded using a one-time pad.

Cherry Ripe had a more famous and much more active Middle-Eastern cousin,
the Lincolnshire Poacher, which also used several bars from the English folk
song of the same name as its interval signal.

Lincolnshire Poacher had long been suspected as being operated by Britain and
had been detected as emanating from Cyprus.

Apart from the interval signal, the format and voice of these two stations
was identical, though as of July 2008 the Lincolnshire Poacher appeared to no
longer be active and December 2009 Cherry Ripe also went off air. have in their December issue a great story complete
with many recordings.

Though most governments probably don't want to go on record admitting this,
shortwave counting stations were set up to enable one-way communications to
a spy embedded in an area. Secret messages are encoded as numbers and are
transmitted, after a short and (sometimes) snappy musical preamble, via the
human voice. Since they probably change the cipher for each message, and
because it's nearly impossible to locate the consumer, this method of
information broadcast is supposed to be highly secure.

So why would a person want to listen to this stuff?

Well back in the cold war period, late 50's late 70's you couldn't really
tune too far out of band without hearing "Numbers Stations." Also Cherry Ripe
was active as we said until almost 2010.

Would you believe you can now actually buy a 4 cd set of NUMBERS.

Again check out and I'll leave you with arguably
the most infamous numbers racket of them all.. The Lincolnshire Poacher



WIA Summer VHF-UHF Field Day 11/12 January

WIA John Moyle Field Day weekend March 15-16

WIA VK Harry Angel Memorial Sprint May 3



Manly-Warringah Radio Society's Flagpole contest September.

Amateur Radios International Air-ambulance Week, 9 days from Sep 28.






Stuart's VK8NSB SSTV Repeater on 28:700 transmits a beacon picture every
60mins, there are 12 pictures in total.

Stuart now offers those that receive all 12 pictures in full a Special A4 size

Once you have received all 12 pictures please e-mail Stuart include all 12 pictures in JPEG format
and Stuart will e-mail you your Award.

More information can be obtained on Stuarts QRZ.COM webpage.

Stuart comments saying that this award is a tough one, as everyone knows
10m can sometimes open for very short periods and says that this award is not
for those without patience, Good luck.

5 P 14 EHC
Danish Special Event callsign 5P14EHC between January 1-31st, 2014.
This activity is to celebrate Denmark hosting the
"European Handball Championship for Men" event in January.

PARRS is once again active as 9 M 2 MRS from Penang Island until February 3.
His operation will be on 40 through 10 meters using CW, RTTY and PSK.
QSL via his home call PA RRS

RI 1 ANR from Novo Runway until March 2014.
Activity is on the HF bands with a focus on the low bands.
QSL via RK 1 PWA.

Russian special event R 0000 O

R (4 zero's) and letter O symbolising the Olympic rings is on the air in the
context of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and 2014 Paralympic Games.

QRV until March 31 in 2014.


Two radio amateurs are part of the over-wintering team and will be active
on Marion Island now to April 2014.

ZS 8 C - Carson, (ZR6CWI), and ZS 8 Z - David, (ZS1BCE).

Modes will mainly be SSB and digital modes and their QSL Manager is ZS 1 HF.


Saudisat 1C, SO-50, Eleven Years in Orbit

Now known as SO-50, Saudisat 1C is a Saudi Arabian Pico satellite that
was launched on December 20,2002. SO-50 features a "Mode J" FM amateur
repeater operating on a 2M uplink and a 440 downlink.

"Most hams already own the necessary equipment to work SO-50," reports
long-time AMSAT Area Coordinator Clint Bradford, K6LCS.

"It is preferable to work SO-50 in true, full-duplex mode - so you can hear
the downlink as you transmit. This means - for most - using a second radio.

SO-50's repeater is available to amateurs worldwide, and it uses a 67.0 Hertz
PL tone on the uplink. SO-50 also has a 10 minute timer that must be armed
before use. If you know the satellite is there - but there is nothing heard -
you may need to shoot it a PL tone of 74.4 to turn it ON!



Quadruple lighthouses activation

Club station DL0SY on Germany's northern-most Sylt Island is to activate
four lighthouses in the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend held
in August.

The lighthouses helped navigate early ships around the distinctively shaped

It puts Germany in the lead with 32 marine beacons already in the fun-event,
just ahead of rival Australia that has 30 registrations.

Among the Australian registrations is the virgin Griffith Island Lighthouse
at Port Fairy in south-western Victoria, made by Peter Fraser VK3ZPF.

In other registrations England has 11, the USA 9, Argentina 6, and Canada,
Ireland & Sweden 4 ? these among 23 countries with a total of 125 registrations
so far.

To register on line for the next International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend
on August the 16th and 17th, visit the website

(Jim Linton VK3PC)

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

Trevor Brinch, ZS1TR, a member of South Africa's 'HAMNET,' their disaster
communication division of the South African Radio League, became the main link
in a sea rescue drama of the South West coast of South Africa on Sunday 22
December 2013.

Harbour authorities at Struisbaai reported that they picked up a Mayday from
the commercial ski boat fishing vessel, Maverick, on 29 MHz.

They could not make any further contact with Maverick and did not know its
position. Further information obtained from talking to other boats that
picked up the "mayday" was that Maverick could have run out of fuel and had
been drifting for about five hours.

Two hours into the search broken 29 MHz transmissions were picked up from
Maverick but could not be deciphered. Trevor Brinch assisted using his amateur
radio equipment and experience in receiving weak signals. He obtained the
position of the vessel which had drifted into the shipping lane.

The Maverick was finally located and found to have experienced engine failure.

Without the SARL-HAMNET assistance, this operation would have extended into
the night with search planes having had to get involved.


Jan 24-27 VK4 TARC Australia Day Long Weekend Family Radio Camp
at Girl Guides Campsite Bluewater. (

Feb 01 VK4 Redcliffe Radio Club "Car Boot Sale" 9 am.
( )

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

Apr 13-15 VK PR4AmateurRadio Expo.

Apr 18 WW Amateur Radio Day: Your Gateway to Wireless Communications.

Apr 25 vk3 ANZAC Day event Ballarat Showgrounds

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

Nov 2 VK5 HamFest Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society

Nov 30 VK3 SPARC HamFest at Rosebud (


Lost in translation - Voice of Russia remains

The end of shortwave broadcasting pioneer the Voice of Russia (VOR), formerly
Moscow Radio that began its transmissions on October the 29th, 1929, seems
is not the case - according to the latest reports.

Popular presenters Vasily and Natasha in their 150th 'Moscow with love' program
appeared to announced that the famed broadcaster will stay on shortwave -
at least for the time being.

So why the confusion? It was announced by RIA Novosti on August the 21st
that the Russian Government's international radio broadcasting service will
stop its shortwave broadcasts from January 1, 2014.

The shortwave service is closing "due to funding cuts," Voice of Russia Deputy
Director Natalya Zhmai said in a letter to Andrei Romanchenko, head of the
Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network, as reported the
online journal.

The report, quoting an industry source, said that after the shortwave service
goes off the air, only three low-power medium wave transmitters will be used
to broadcast to other countries.

On December the 9th, the report came that Russian President Vladimir Putin
had ordered the closure of RIA Novosti, Russia's major news agency, as part
of a reorganisation of media assets. Also being closed was the Voice of Russia

It appeared unusual that such a seemingly historic event was not reported
by the Voice of Russia itself - that is until the very recent Vasily and
Natasha segment.

The millions of listeners around the world were left confused. That is until
the on air answers were given by Vasily and Natasha to their emails about
the changes.

The latest VOR schedule includes shortwave broadcasts, although these have
been reduced from what existed previously.

Audio of Vasily and Natasha at:

Partial transcript: "There's been a lot of talk on the internet all over
the place about the end of shortwave broadcast from the Voice of Russia.
Is it going to happen? I don?t know. I haven't discussed it with anyone around
here. Am I worried like some of you are? No. Am I losing sleep over it?
No. Am I posting mindless crap about this all over the Internet? No. Do
I care? Not really. Do I have a life? Yes, I?d like to think so. So, many
stations have already left the shortwave for the same reasons. Are we as
shortwave listeners happy? No. But can we put all our emotions aside and
deal with reality? You might be asking why there hasn't been on the air
or on the website about this. Good question. I would probably guess it is
because folks here don't make such a big deal out of it. The fact is most
of the comrades here at the office will continue working just as they always
did. The programs will be carried online, on satellite and on the many local
stations around the world in cities like Washington DC, New York, Miami,
Chicago. There are DAB broadcasts in the UK and other European cities. The
list grows all the time. Yes shortwave listeners are disappointed, I can
understand this. But the hobby doesn't end there. Get a grip."

(Jim Linton VK3PC)

Submitting news items

If you would like to submit news items for inclusion in the
VK1WIA broadcasts, please email your item in text to

to submit audio read "how to submit items" in the weekly news page on

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be broadcast once, if you want a couple of mentions, please submit different
slants to keep your event 'fresh 'and always if the news room is to read your
item write in the 3rd person.



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WIANews wouldn't go astray...

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