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More affordable licence fee for professional wireless microphone users

Major event and venue operators could soon access spectrum for wireless audio

devices for a cheaper fee under an Australian Communications and Media

Authority proposal.

The majority of wireless audio users operate their devices under the

Radiocommunications (Low Interference Potential Devices) Class Licence 2000

(the Class Licence), which attracts no licence fee. Users, however, also have

the option of accessing spectrum for a fee using apparatus licences.

'The new apparatus licence arrangement is an additional option for wireless

microphone users who require certainty and flexibility of spectrum

arrangements in the 520-694 MHz band,' said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

'Apparatus licence fees for wireless audio devices under existing arrangements

are expensive. The proposed reduction in fees seeks to address that.

'Lowering the fee is yet another step towards recognising that wireless

microphones users make a significant contribution to the Australian economy

and community,' Mr Chapman added. 'It is one of a number of ACMA initiatives

designed to help wireless microphone users access spectrum and transition

to radio frequency 520-694 MHz from 1 January 2015.'



President Phil Wait VK2ASD

Vice President Chris Platt VK5CP

Secretary David Williams VK3RU

Treasurer John Longayroux VK3PZ

Busy Times.

In all the time I've been a Director of the WIA I can't remember a busier

period. Change is occurring on many fronts.

Firstly, the ACMA have announced reviews of 2.3 GHz and 3.5GHz spectrum which

includes the 9cm and 11cm amateur bands, with a view to freeing up the

spectrum for new telecommunications services. The WIA has made a submission

to the 2.3GHz review and is about to respond to the 3.5GHz review.

Secondly, important pieces of regulation that affect all radiocommunications

users, including amateur radio are due to sunset - or expire, over the next

couple of years, and need to be "remade".

For instance, the Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Apparatus Licence)

Determination is being reviewed. That regulation gives the ACMA the power to

define the types of communications, the power flux density and field strengths

allowed from a transmitter, along with public exposure limits to RF emission.

It affects radio amateurs, broadcasters, land mobile operators, and other

spectrum users.

Thirdly, the amateur Licence Conditions Determination, the LCD, which

specifies all the privileges we radio amateurs enjoy, will sunset in October

next year. The WIA has entered into discussions with the ACMA and has provided

the ACMA with a raft of discussion points, aimed at improving the conditions

for Australian radio amateurs.

Fourth, the most important regulatory instruments, the Australian Spectrum

Plan and the Radiocommunications Act are also under review. The WIA is

meeting with the Department of Communications very shortly to discuss our

views and priorities for these two critical reviews.

Fifth, a Discussion Paper was released in June by the Ionospheric Prediction

Service as the first step in what could be a wide-ranging review of the free

IPS services used by radio amateurs. The WIA submitted that Australian radio

amateurs are significant users of IPS services, and are very concerned that

the proposed review may affect the free information services provided to

private radio users.

If all that isn't enough, we have instigated a full review of Australia radio

amateur Bandplans, and there are many more issues we are working on right now.

... like working with the ACMA to simplify and reduce time taken for

processing Certificate of Proficiency, licence and callsign applications.

So, there is certainly a lot going on, but how can you see what the WIA is

doing, have your say, and learn where we are with each of those important

activities? If you go to the WIA website you'll see a new "Hot Items" section

on the right hand side of the's the one with the flame against

it. Click on this link and you will be taken to the new "Hot Issues" page

where the most important activities are listed together with any submissions

or discussion papers, and you can have your say.

This is Phil Wait, Vk2ASD, for the WIA


Sunday 9th November from 9am, EMDRC will host the 2014 vk3 Microwave test

and tune day at the clubs rooms in Burwood.

Head to

The inaugural Victorian D-Star users group meeting will be held at the EMDRC

Clubrooms in Burwood, Saturday 2nd August from 10am.

Everyone is Welcome. for location details

email for more information.

Thanks the Victorian Dstar users group and EMDRC.

What use is an F-call?

Every week between midnight and 1am UTC we host a 'net for new and returning

hams. It's called F-troop and can be accessed in VK6 via VK6RAP, 146.7 MHz

and via IRLP node 9558 or Echolink conference VK3JED. Conversations are

about all things Amateur, upgrading licenses for those inclined, Morse Code

antennas, choosing HF rigs, logging software and any question in between.

We recently celebrated 100 nets.

The more we talk, the more we realise that Amateur Radio is a vast hobby

that includes technologies far and wide. From propagation, dealing with the

ionosphere, ground waves, Kepler elements when talking to satellites or the

International Space Station, the Internet Radio Linking Project, electronics,

audio, antennas, social activities, talking on-air, microphone techniques,

physics, chemistry, competitions, software, hardware, you name it, and you'll

find a link back to Amateur Radio.

The most powerful part of this wide span of interests is that it all relates

back to a single purpose. With people conversing and sharing on the subject,

you're never short on a subject that might catch your fancy. And if you're in

a situation where the topic at hand is done and dusted, the people around you

come from such a wide range of society that there is more than enough other

things to talk about.

If you're wondering what to do, get involved, check into the 'net, or if you

don't yet have a license, visit your local club and get one. A Foundation or

F-call can be obtained over a weekend and you'll be able to do more than dip

your toes into this fine hobby, dive in and get wet all over - you know you

want to!

In case you missed it, F-troop is one of many places where you can join in,

VK6RAP, 146.7MHz, IRLP node 9558 or Echolink Conference VK3JED, Saturday

morning, midnight to 1am UTC.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,

Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART and the WW sources of the WIA.

Everyday Hero:

Teen creates backup emergency communications system for local fire station

Florida's Bay News 9 reports on how an Eagle Scout project turned into an

Everyday Hero nomination for a Pinellas County teenager.

Parker Mitchell decided to create a backup communications system for

Palm Harbor Fire Station 35. The 18-year-old is a licensed ham radio operator.

"I decided since we have so many hurricanes in Florida, emergency

communications would be a really good thing to do it on," he said.

Parker convinced people to donate the equipment needed, about $4,000 worth.

And then he built the radio station.

The teenager found a vounteer to climb the fire station's tower and install

the antenna.

Typhoon causes deaths and destruction

About 20 people are dead and many left homeless after Typhoon Rammasun, which

means 'thunder of god', hit the Philippines.

With winds and heavy rain it closed the capital of Manila on Wednesday, before

moving north-west out to the South-China Sea.

The Philippine Amateur Radio Association President, Thelma Pascua DU1IVT,

activated the Ham Emergency Radio Operator (HERO) network on 7095 kHz. It

worked closely with other responding agencies.

The storm on Tuesday and Wednesday resulted in the evacuation of thousands

of people, closed businesses, schools, 60 flights were cancelled and ferry

traffic halted.

The eye of Typhoon Rammasun passed to the south of Manila after moving through

the eastern islands of the archipelago to bring down trees and power lines,

caused electrocutions and blackouts.

Thelma DU1IVT reported that in Manila she had winds of 150-185kph for hours.

At least 40 provinces and cities were under a storm alert.

The government took every precaution to minimise the deaths. Super Typhoon

Haiyan last November killed at least at least 6,300 people and 1,000 are

still missing.

About 20 storms reach the Philippines each year making it one of the world's

most disaster-prone areas.

- Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.

Free On-line Electrical Engineering Course

A new Massive Open On-line Course covers Analogue/Digital Electronics,

AC/DC Circuits, Electromechanics and an introduction to C programming.

The course starts in September, but you can sign up now. It's free and

there are no gimmicks.

The link to the MOOC info is in the text edition best read on

or here:

Additional resources:
List of 104 New Courses Added by Coursera, EdX & others in June 2014
Coursera - - UNSW, MelbUni, Stanford, Yale, Colombia
EdX - - MIT, Harvard, U.C.Berkeley, A.N.U

2m signal crosses the Atlantic

The Irish Radio Transmitters Society's Brendan Trophy for

the first two-way transatlantic amateur communication on 2m

has gone unclaimed for years.

Operating as VC1T on 144.155MHz, the signal from the

Brendan Quest team using the FSK441 transmission mode was

heard and decoded by John Regnault, G4SWX, in Suffolk on

6th July at 13.41 GMT. The stations continued to try to

make it a complete two way contact for something over the

next four hours but nothing was heard from G4SWX or any

European station.

Even if a two-way contact is not achieved the team is

eligible to be awarded the Brendan Plate.


Down the road a bit, mark down September 27th as the beginning of the 9 day

International Air Ambulance operating event.

This is held each year in support of the many Air Ambulance Services in

operation around the world.

The length of the happening includes two weekends to give as many hams as

possible a chance to participate.

More details on its aims and a registration form can be found at


Solar researchers are now dubbing the sun's recent activity as a mini-max.
This is because the maximum period of activity so far has been shorter than

Researchers note that sunspots are now showing up and lower-
density areas are appearing in the sun's corona. As such
this current situation demonstrates how hard it is to
accurately forecast a solar cycle.

They note that this cycle's strange peak appears to have its
roots in 2008 and 2009 when sunspot numbers were far lower
than scientists expected. Solar flares, which are
associated with sunspot numbers and the sun's magnetic
activity, were also relatively quiet in that same time frame.

The average for a solar cycle from minimum to maximum and
back to minimum is in theory 11 years, however it can
actually take between 9 and 14 years. The current solar
cycle is expected to start fading in 2015 but it will likely
go out with some increased activity.

The researchers note that historically speaking, there are
usually strong flares leading to numerous auroras on Earth
at the end of the solar peak. This is because particles
from the sun strike our planet's magnetic lines and excite
gases in the upper atmosphere.

Ron Turner of Analytic Services Inc. is a senior science
advisor for NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts program. He
summed it up by saying that the current Cycle 24 is one of
the weakest in the 24 cycles since 1755.


The first set of high-resolution results from the European
Space Agency's three satellite constellation named Swarm has
revealed the most recent changes in the magnetic field that
protects our planet.

Amateur Radio Newsline's Heather Embee, KB3TZD, reports;


The Swarm satellite observation system is providing some
unprecedented insights into the complex workings of Earth's
magnetic field. Measurements made over the past six months
confirm the general trend of the field's weakening, with the
most dramatic declines over the Western Hemisphere. But in
other areas, such as the southern Indian Ocean, the magnetic
field has strengthened since this past January. The latest
measurements also confirm the movement of magnetic field
Northward towards Siberia.

These changes are based on the magnetic indications stemming
from Earth's core. Over the coming months, scientists plan
to analyze the data provided by the Swarm satellites along
with contributions from other sources including other
observations of the Earth's crust, mantle, oceans,
ionosphere and magnetosphere. Together with the data
collected from space, the researchers hope to provide new
insight into many natural processes, from those occurring
deep inside our planet to space weather triggered by solar
activity. In turn, they hope this information will yield a
better understanding of why the planets magnetic field
appears to be weakening.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, Im Heather Embee, KB3TZD, in
Berwick, Pennsylvania.






Manly-Warringah Radio Society's Flagpole contest September 20.

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

IOTA contest and French Island Victoria

Wife and husband team Julie VK3FOWL and Joe VK3YSP will be activating French

Island National Park in Victoria on Saturday July the 26th, looking for plenty

of contacts on 80, 40 and 20 metres.

The team will have to carry in their portable station via the passenger ferry

from Stony Point.

Their portable operation on French Island will also include the Island On

The Air contest which runs for 24 hours from 1200 UTC on Saturday night,

that about 10pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.

Exact activation times and frequencies are yet to be determined, but will

be posted on the Parks N Peaks website.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


Fellow DXers and Contesters are cordially invited to attend the

Asia Pacific DX Convention 2014 in Osaka, Japan, which will take place

November 14-16th.

In addition to their usual presentations on recent DXpeditions, technical

sessions, DX dinners and so forth, this convention offers something special.

Japan is where most of the amateur radio equipment is developed, and you will

have the opportunity to join a tour to the Icom factory, participate in a

technical session led by the Icom HF radio design team, and more. And don't

forget, all of the programs at APDXC are conducted in English!

APDXC Web site:


Awards go the man on the move

Two Local Government Awards have gone to Peter Freeman VK3PF for having worked

from, and also to, 40 municipalities, under the rules of this Amateur Radio

Victoria achievement award.

Peter VK3PF has qualified for the two award certificates, and now has them

sitting alongside his recent Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award ?Grand

Slam? plaques.

The avid portable operator enjoys chasing awards, and is the first to win

both of the Local Government Awards.

No doubt the battle is on to be the first having worked all current 79 shires,

cities, rural cities and a borough.

Let's hope this happens before a decision is made that Sunbury is to be a

new municipality and lifting the bar to 80.

Under the rules VK3 need 40 different Victorian municipalities, other VK

stations 30, and DX qualify with 20 municipalities.

Full rules and a lot more information is available under the Awards tag on

the Amateur Radio Victoria website.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)



Astronaut Reid Weisman, KF 5 LKT, has been active on the Twitter social

network as well as the ARISS space station ham radio gear.

According to several news reports Weisman has literally been tweeting

from space about the planet we live on describing what he

sees from his vantage point high above the Earth's surface.

Since he began his tweeting from the ISS his number of

followers has risen from 37,000 when he started to over 126,000 today.

You also can follow him on the tweet at


The paper Revisiting elliptical satellite orbits to enhance the O3b

constellation by Lloyd Wood, Yuxuan Lou and Opeoluwa Olusola of the

University of Surrey is now available for download.

Early low-orbiting satellites were launched into Highly Elliptical

Orbits (HEO) as a result of not having much control over trajectory.

Circular orbits with minimal eccentricity offer consistent altitudes,

with the benefits of consistent free space losses and link budgets

throughout the orbit, and soon became the norm. Highly elliptical

orbits fell from favour for communications use.

Download the paper from



Growing list lining up for ILLW

Only four Australian registrations were in the first International Lighthouse

and Lightship Weekend in 1998 - but today it has nearly 60.

Among them is Macquarie Lighthouse built in 1883 near entrance to Sydney

Harbour, Australia's first, and longest serving lighthouse, which will be

put to air by the Waverley Amateur Radio Club VK2BV.

Also in the first event in 1998 was New Zealand. One of its remote lighthouses

this year is at Pouto Point, a three-storey wooden structure built in 1884,

activated by Tony Wright ZL2PLH. There are five other ZL lighthouses registered

so far.

Also at the start was Malaysia. This year it has four registrations including

the Pulau Undan Lighthouse completed in 1880 to guide ships on the treacherous

Straits of Malacca, and activated by IOTA DX group 9M2MI.

Among others in more than 40 countries recently joining the annual event

are Brazil, Belgium, France, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Norway, Mexico, Taiwan,

Ukraine and Uruguay.

The USA remains on top of the leaderboard with 65 registrations, followed

by Germany 57 and Australia 56 - with only four weeks to go.

To check out the 370 registrations so far, perhaps make one yourself for

August the 16th and 17th, visit the website

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


The GAREC-2014 program has plenty of interest

The emergency communications provided by radio amateurs in the Philippines

Super Typhoon will be among many presentations and displays at the Global

Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (GAREC), on August 14-15 held in

Huntsville USA.

GAREC-2014 will see a detailed presentation on Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

that struck the central part of the Philippines and involved 100 radio

amateurs in the HERO (Ham Emergency Radio Operations) Network.

Through the IARU member society the Philippines Amateur Radio Association

they trained and prepared for the disaster, helping agencies during the

recovery phase.

Other presentations expected to be given are the work of radio amateurs

following flooding in Brazil, and the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster in Japan.

(vk3pc via SouthGate)


Jul 27 VK4 GOLD COAST AR SOCIETY 11am Social at Logan Central Gardens

Aug 2 VK3 Vict D-Star users group meeting EMDRC Clubroom Burwood 10am.

Aug 3 VK6 Northern Corridor Radio Group Hamfest.

Sep 13 VK4 Sunshine Coast AR Club's SUNFest, Woombye School of Arts

Sep 14 VK3 Shepparton and District AR Club Hamfest kicks off at 10am.

Sep 28 VK3 Melbourne Amateur Radio Technology Group Hamfest Keilor East.

Oct 3 VK4 Townsville Amateur Radio Club's Cardwell Gathering 4 day

Oct 25 VK4 HAMFEST on the Gold Coast. ( )

Nov 2 VK5 HamFest Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society

Nov 9 VK3 Yarra Valley AR Group Hamfest 10am Gary Cooper Pavillion.

Nov 15 VK7 Miena Hamfest (My-enah)

Nov 30 VK3 SPARC HamFest at Rosebud ( )




Submitting news items

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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

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item write in the 3rd person.



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