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President Phil Wait VK2ASD

Vice President Chris Platt VK5CP

Secretary David Williams VK3RU

Treasurer John Longayroux VK3PZ


ILLW sets many new records

The International Lighthouse and Lighhtship Weekend (ILLW) had 541

regstrations from 56 countries this year making new records in the annual


Dubbed the 'Year of the virgin' some 20 per cent of all registrations

were first-time activations. New countries for the event were from

Barados and Kuwait.

Outstanding this year has been the USA with 91, an all time high

exceeding 80 it achieved in 2011, obviously bouyed by a large number of

virgin activations.

Similar first-time portable operations of former maritime navigation

structures came from several countries and suprisingly numbered more

than 100.

Already 30 registrations are listed for the ILLW in 2015 that will be

held on August 15 - 16.

For reports from many who enjoyed participating last weekend can be

read on the website

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


Hi, it's Ray from the Redcliffe and Districts radio club incorporated.

It is my sad duty to advise you that Ray VK4UG, passed away last Thursday

and is now a silent key.

Ray was a founding member of the club and graduated from the CB ranks

in 1983 after the death of his father. Ray progressed from his novice

licence in 1985 to full call in 1987. Ray's teacher was Mick Bently,

VK4AMB. Ray's callsign was granted to him on the passing of David

Richards, VK4UG and it was Ray's wish that this callsign remain in the

Redcliffe Club.

Ray was awarded numerous radio awards from throughout south east

Queensland including the 41 st Carnival of Flowers award, the La Balsa

Award in 1986, the Rally Australia award in 1987, and Gold Coast award

in 1988.

He was a regular on many south-east Queensland nets over that last few

years until his stroke and cancer slowed him down a little.

Ray's motto is one that maybe we all should adopt, "I might take a

little longer to this, but it will be done right first time."

Ray is survived by xyl, Noelene and family. Club members will never

forget the gentleman that was Ray, VK4UG.


CHOTA Churches and Chapels on the Air

There's still time to get involved with Churches and Chapels on the

Air, which takes place on the 13th September between 10.00 and 16.00.

Activity is mainly on 40 and 80m and over 20 stations in the UK are

already planned. Contact John, G3XYF by email to

if you are planning to take part.

(via SouthgateARC)

What use is an F-call?

With the advance of the Internet into society in the past 20-odd years Amateur Radio has embraced the warm glow of electrons passing across copper, or light pulses across fibre, and radio waves across the ether that embodies our Internet today.

One of the tools that a radio amateur might use is a thing called a DX Cluster. It's a place online where you'll find records of contacts that have been made between two stations. The time the contact took place, the date and of course the frequency.

If we leave accuracy aside for a moment, since anyone and everyone can post a spot online without any form of serious authentication, we can never the less use this tool for some interesting purposes.

The obvious one is to use a DX Cluster to see who's where on what band and see if you can hear them there too. You'll find that there is some limited success and some indications of where a station might be found.

If you look regularly at a particular station, you may be able to figure out patterns of when they're likely to operate and on what band.

I'm an unashamed computer geek. I've been playing with databases since the late 80's and so massaging some data is part of my DNA.

I wondered if you extracted a bunch of DX Cluster records, if you could find out something interesting with the resulting data.

So here's what I did.

I queried the cluster for the past 10 thousand records containing vk6 anywhere in the record. This essentially resulted in a record of claimed amateur contacts going back one year. I stuck the data into a spreadsheet and spent some time massaging the data, that is, filtering out the day of the week, the hour, the month, the year, etc.

I then created some pivot tables to see if I could see any patterns.

Given that I'm on 40, 15 and 10m, I focussed only on those bands. Of the three, the most popular band is 10m, then 15m, followed by 40m - representing about one third of the number of contacts claimed on 10m. The most contacts are made on a Saturday, followed by Sunday, then Friday. On 40m, the most contacts are made between 5 and 7am local time. On 15m the most contacts were made between 8 and 10pm. On 10m between 3 and 8pm. On 10m the most contacts were made in October, on 15m in October and November and on 80m in July and August.

Let me be the first to say that this is not a complete picture by any means. There is nothing in what I've told you that takes into account solar activity, contests or many other spurious influences, like a rare DX station changing the numbers.

What other tools have you come across that might help another amateur?

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.


The Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communication (GAREC) conference held

in Huntsville Alabama USA shared many informative presentations, videos

and discussions on recent experiences plus some media interest.

Organiser Greg Sarratt W4OZK said the local television station interviewed

IARU Region 1 Coordinator Greg Mossop G0DUB, ARRL Regulatory Information

Manager Dan Henderson N1ND, and himself, for the evening news program.

GAREC-2014 was hosted by ARRL Alabama Section and the Huntsville Hamfest

Association. It was attended by delegates from all three IARU regions.

Greg W4OZK said that besides routine items such as IARU regional reports

and a desktop exercise, presentations were received on many interesting


These included Emergency Communications as an element of promoting Amateur

Radio, the Salvation Army's SATERN program digital modes and remote control

operation, the US Defence Department use of the Military Affiliate Radio

Service (MARS) for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, and a

combined Emergency Services Dispatch Centre providing interoperable


During the conference a number of themes emerged. These included the

importance of meaningful conversations with served agencies to ensure

that their communications needs are met, and to focus attention on Amateur

Radio as a trusted partner in emergency response.

There were reports on Brazilian floods, the Super Typhoon Haiyan in the

Philippines, the role of radio amateurs in the Thailand flooding and

restoration of HS0AC.

The role of Amateur Radio in emergency communications is constantly

changing. It must continue to adapt to the needs of its partners including

embracing emerging technologies and new challenges.

Greg W4OZK said the delegates recorded their thanks and appreciation for

the generous hospitality of ARRL Alabama Section and the Huntsville Hamfest

Association, for a successful conference on August 14-15.

The next and 10th GAREC will be in Tampere, Finland in June 2015. All

groups and organisations involved in emergency communications are invited

to attend to share their knowledge and learn from others.

The final program is at

All presentations will soon appear on the website

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 reports that

Moldova has signed the pan-European CEPT Novice and Class 1

amateur radio license agreement.

The CEPT Radio Amateur License Class 1 corresponds to the

United States Extra and United Kingdom's Advanced and Full

licenses. The CEPT Novice License is closely compatible to

the Unites States General and UK Intermediate license.

There is also a CEPT entry class license which equate to the

United States Technician and United Kingdom Foundation

class, however Moldavia is not joining in that entry level


At least not at this time.


S W Radio Africa, known as the independent voice of Zimbabwe, has

announced its last broadcast took place on August 10th. According

to a management post at the stations website, there are a few key

archive programs on the main page for the interest of their listeners

until the site is taken down. They also add that their thirteen year

sound archive will be hosted by and as soon as that becomes

accessible they will get the word out to listeners.



Yet another drone mishap in the news this week.

When a photography-keen tourist headed out to America's famous Yellowstone

National Park, his equipment list included a camera-equipped aerial vehicle.

Unfortunately for both the drone-pilot and the park's largest hotspring,

the wayward drone crashed and damaged the geological feature.

This is not the first incident of its type at Yellowstone, with another

such damaging event earlier this year at Yellowstone and others at the

Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

The increase in drone activity and un-friendly 'fly-bys' on native wildlife

and other park users has caused the National Parks Department to call a

ban on the use of such aircraft, which is seemingly being ignored by a

growing number of park visitors.

Park spokesman Al Nash said, "What we have to determine is whether the

presence of this radio-controlled recreational aircraft poses a threat

to that unique resource." Nash is referring to the "Grand Prismatic" hot-

spring which is the third-largest in the world and a top attraction for

the roughly 3 million visitors who flock to Yellowstone each year.





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

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


Pacific tour currenly on-air:

Four amateur radio operators, Stan AC8W, Brian KG8CO, Ted K8AQM and

Lee N8LJ, will activate two DXCC entities in the Pacific starting late

this month.

Their tentative schedule is as follows:

August 16-24th - From Tonga; callsigns announced are A35AC, A35CO,

A35TR and A35LT, respectively, from the Island of Tongatapu (OC-049).

August 26th-September 2nd - From Fiji; callsigns announced are 3D2AC,

3D2CO, 3D2TR and 3D2LJ, respectively, from the Island of Tavenuni (OC-016).

Activity will be on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY, using three

K2s and one TS-590 along with two KPA-500s and one ALS-500 into verticals

on the beach at both locations.

QSL A35AC, A35CO, A35LT, 3D2AC, 3D2CO and 3D2LJ via K8ESQ.
QSL A35TR and 3D2TR via K8AQM.


China Special Event

Look for special event station B4YOG to be active until August 28th.

Activity is to celebrate the 2nd Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing

(August 16-28th).

Operations have been on 40/30/20/15/10 meters using CW, SSB and PSK.

QSL via BD4WO, direct or by the Bureau.

For more details, see:

More DX opportunities:

P29NO Nao/JA2VQP East Sepic Province Papua New Guinea

on air during February 2013 to January 2015 whilst volunteer

teacher at Divine Word University Wewak.CW SSB

and RTTY plus might try other modes.

Ops pending getting materials together to make wire antennas

RI59ANT Alexander/RX0QM - a member of the 59th Russion Antarctic Expedition.

operating from Bellingshausen Station King George Island 10 Mar to 26 Nov


VK5CE/8 Craig/VK5CE activating Bathurst Island (OC-173) from 26 Aug to 29 Aug

operating on 20 17 15 and 10metres between 2200 and 1700UTC daily

Heard Island January 2015 by Cordell Expeditions


When all fails, use ham radio

The South Africa Radio League (SARL) reports amateur radio was used

to send an important message when the satellite link to Gough Island


It has been said so many times "when all communication fails, you can

depend on amateur radio. This was again proven on 9 August when an

important message from Gough Island to the department of environmental

affairs could not be sent as their links were down.

The story started when Pierre Tromp, ZS1HF, volunteered to go to Gough

Island in February 2014, after a member of the 2013/2014 Gough Team

sadly passed away on the island. Pierre passed the necessary tests

and was shipped to Gough Island, where he was allocated the call

sign ZD9M.

Pierre and Trevor, ZS1TR started the 7110 SARL Hamnet Emergency Net

in January 2014, and established daily communication on 30 and 40m

depending on propagation. "We tried to maintain daily calls, but

obviously due to the distance to Gough, we had to adjust our

frequencies." Trevor told SARL News. "In the summer months we could

work all bands, but as the winter approached it was trickier, mainly

favouring the lower frequencies."

Communication later developed into a regular call-in at 10 minutes

after the hour. As the winter approached the satellite signal from

Gough to RSA became intermittent due to the cloud cover and other

climatic conditions. Pierre's more reliable communication with home

became HF Radio with Trevor relaying messages to the DEA's technician

to try and get the satellite system reset and working again.

During the weekend of 9 August, a serious incident occurred on Gough

Island. As the Satellite connection to RSA had been bad since the first

week of August Pierre decided to radiogram it to Trevor for relay via

email to Cape Town. The message contained 836 words, excluding the many

email recipients, and was sent a few words at a time and corrected and

repeated back for confirmation. The entire process took about 1 hour 45

minutes to transfer via HF radio, which forced them to alternate between

20 and 30m as conditions were fading in and out on both frequencies.

"Cramping hands and wrists with worsening handwriting was the result,

as typing is much easier, believe it or not! Thereafter the message

was retyped into email format for sending to the recipients."

It again showed that when all fails, use amateur radio. Congratulations

to Pierre and Trevor.

Source South Africa Radio League (SARL) News via SARC

SES Townsville/Thuringowa Division Joint Exercise.

A golden opportunity to gain experience in operating with Counter-Disaster

organisations in preparation for the support role that Radio Amateurs provide

during times of disaster.

The exercise will involve some operators on foot in forested, rocky,

grassy, sandy areas, mobile in vehicles and operating out of at least

two base stations that will be set up for the event. Possibility of an

overnight camp-out.

Sat 25 to Sun 26 Oct - SES Joint Exercise somewhere in the Townsville Region

Please contact Gavin, on


Despite software issues the World DATV Party will go ahead as scheduled.

While most activity in this annual global event is based around Amateur

Radio ATV frequencies, Skype is used for Interstate and International


However Skype is currently grandfathering out older versions and the

new version does not support import video from USB Dongles such as EzCap.

These are used to take the output video as received from the ATV Repeater

and send it to the remote anchor station.

Fortunately Peter VK3BFG has found a temporary work around, but it will

be depend on the administrators of Skype and their timetable.

Bottom line ... the event is on and will take place on Friday August 29

and Saturday August 30. Friday night will be locals and interstate and

should start around 8pm. We will make contact with the Brisbane DATV

Repeater VK4RMG and also the new DATV Repeater, VK5RDC in Port Pirie.

Saturday will commence at 10am to pick up WR8ATV in Columbus Ohio.

This repeater is located on the top of a tall building in downtown

Columbus. All antennas are within 15 metres of their corresponding

transmitters. WR8ATV has 5 outputs with one on 1268 Mhz DVB-S; it

has 4 inputs.

By contrast, VK3RTV has 3 inputs (one U/S at the moment) and two

multiplexed outputs. The local anchor in Columbus will be Art WR8RMC.

Some may recognise Art as one of the developers of the very innovative

DATV Express.

Around lunch time the event moves to the W6ATN network in southern

California. There are nine linked repeaters based around a hub on

Santiago Peak. Don, KE6BXT will be the local anchor.

Later in the evening we expect to move to GB3HV and make some contacts

into the UK. GB3HV has a Skype input and contacts can be made directly.

There are a number of Melbourne based stations who are preparing for

the event. Melbourne always puts on entertaining contacts with lots of

show and tell. This year the new WIA supported ATV installation at the

Eastern and Mountain Districts Radio Club will be active also.

If you are unable to receive any of these repeaters direct, you can

watch the activity on the BATC streaming site for all involved. Remember

the dates, August 29 and 30.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


The Southgate News says that towards the end of the year, radio amateurs

will have the opportunity to receive what might just be the ultimate DX.

This, from a ham radio payload transmitting the data mode JT65B as it

flies around the Moon. Amateur Radio Newsline's Heather Embee, KB3TZD,



According to AMSAT-UK, China is planning to send a lunar orbiter around

the Moon carrying a battery powered ham radio payload known as 4M-LXS.

The amateur radio payload will transmit a JT65B signal on 145.990 MHz

which can be decoded by radio amateurs using the free W-J-S-T software.

The orbiter is one of the test models for pre-mission testing of

Beijing's new lunar probe called Chang'e-5. When finally launched,

Chang'e 5 will be tasked with landing on the moon, collecting samples

and returning to Earth.

For the initial test, the orbiter will be launched into Lunar Transfer

Orbit then will perform a flyby around the Moon while sending data back

home. After that it will make a return trip to our world and re-enter

the Earth's atmosphere after 9 days.

The launch of this ham radio orbiter is planned for 4th quarter 2014,

and is aimed at testing the technologies that are vital for the success

of the later Chang'e-5 round trip Lunar flight.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Heather Embee, KB3TZD, reporting.


The orbiter has already arrived at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

As soon as an exact launch date is announced we will let you know.

More on this story is posted at

(Southgate, AMSAT-UK,




Last week someone announced some more IPv4 allocations on the Internet.

There's nothing particularly surprising or special about that, although

the IPv4 space is pretty much exhausted at this point.

The big news that came along with this recent update was that the global

routing table has exceeded 500k entries. These routes explain how to get

internet data to different places. With little chunks of internet

addresses belonging to so many different companies, and those companies

using different telecommunications companies' infrastructure, and with

different geographic layout, speed, cost, etc, it has become a very complex

process to work out how to get the smallest amount of data from one side

of the planet to the other!

This has caused a lot of very popular Cisco router models located in key

traffic points on the internet run out of space to hold all the entries.

Typically set to their default of 512k-table size, and what gets kept in each

router will be subtly different depending on where you are on the internet.

Due this variability there thankfully wasn't a magic number that caused

them to 'tip-over' at the same moment, so the traffic flows were getting

choked up and changing around for days and in many cases causing some parts

of the internet to be un-contactable from some other points.

This default value can be changed, but it requires a reboot of the routers,

and while 99% (or more) of the internet traffic was still flowing correctly

it becomes a difficult outage to approve and schedule.

So, if you noticed some gurgling in the internet tubes last week, this is

probably why.


There's a 'well known' quote, "640K ought to be enough for anyone", that

some of you might have recognised referenced in the title of the previous

news article. Most of you probably know that Bill Gates said it

Some of you might even know that Bill Gates NEVER said it!

Yep! It's a long time misattributed quote that Mr Gates himself has set

the records straight on. We thought this would be a suitable time to let

a few more of you know about it.


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 event.

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 ( )




Hi,a word of complaint first, why have you decided to triple space lines of most items, with huge spaces between.

Makes the thing very difficult to read on a small netbook.

Otherwise keep up the good work.

A suggestion regarding the finances of the WIA.

AR costs a lot to produce and distribute. WIA has just started to make it available on the Internet.

I suggest that publication be put up for tender. Perhaps Jaycar would love to have anyone wishing to read AR would first have to log onto their website. They would even be encouraged to develop kits to sell.

Rat Hinks
Memb 263214

I don't think we need a paper copy anymore

Along with the callbacks from VK4, Stuart VK4MSL made a true and accurate

comment in response to something I said last week.

Stuart says: "Your missus doesn't need a license to hear what you said,

just a receiver tuned to the broadcast or a computer streaming it from

the WIA."

Coincidentally, she asked me this week "How do I hear one of your


Bryan VK3GR

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item write in the 3rd person.



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