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FOR the first time ever there are more gadgets in the world than there are
people, including a growing number that only communicate with other machines,
according to data from digital analysts at GSMA Intelligence.

The number of active mobile devices and human beings crossed over somewhere
around the 7.19 billion mark.

GSMA's real-time tracker put the number of mobile devices at 7.22 billion
whilst the US Census Bureau says the number of people is still somewhere
between 7.19 and 7.2 billion.

Gadgets like tablets, smartphones and not-so-smart phones are multiplying
five times faster than we are, with our population growing at a rate of about
two people per second, or 1.2% annually.

(Northern Rivers Echo)

Endangered tree snails stop broadcasts

Recent storms hit a radio facility perched on highly elevated Mount Ka'ala
on Hawaii's Waianae mountain range, but a population of tree snails is
thwarting its restoration.

The facility beams public radio signals and also transmits on a microwave
relay to send signals to KIPL 89.9 in Lihue.

Mountain-top standby generators are now out of fuel. The electrical line
repair crew has come across a habitat of endangered tree snails, currently
in their mating season.

Meantime the public broadcaster has told its listeners to tune in via live
streaming, use a free mobile app or cable broadcasts.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)

Anywhere the wind blows.

Victorian Pico balloon lands in New South Wales.

The PS-22 Pico balloon launched on Saturday October the 4th from Victoria
by Andy VK3YT was tracked during its flight.

The solar powered small metalised party-type balloon VK3YT-9 had a 10mW
transmitter on board and gave a good signal throughout the flight.

One tracker followed it through Victoria and then into New South Wales hearing
it close to Wollongong only at 2000 metres high and travelling at 14km per

Andy VK3YT says PS-22 came down near Exeter in the Southern Highland area,
short of its intended path to Queensland.

A similar balloon in the series left Victoria earlier this year was heard
over Brazil in South America.

The next Pico balloon PS-23 with its payload could be launched next weekend,
and promises to give a very interesting flight.

Still to come in this bulletin the fanciful flight of B-64, yes she is STILL
up the air!


To commemorate ANZAC 100 a series of articles is to appear in Amateur Radio
magazine by the WIA Historian, Peter Wolfenden VK3RV. Here's a summary of
one of them.

As we reflect on World War II and its prisoners of war, the name of Mervyn
'Snow' Campbell VK3MR comes to mind.

In the early stages of WWII he enlisted in the RAAF with his various training
including Point Cook where the Wireless Reserve met. Snow knew most local
reserve members and it's suggested that was a factor in his joining the RAAF.

He left Sydney in 1941 and after serving in Egypt and with the RAF in Palestine,
he then went back to Egypt, where he was captured by the Germans in 1941.

At the RAOTC December 1976 Dinner, Snow related the story of his amateur
radio club, its teaching and listening to shortwave behind enemy lines.

Snow recalled a big store of telephone equipment, and by trickery liberated
meters. With make-shift parts from food containers and toothbrushes, listening
sets were made.

How this was done is explained by Snow in the article. The chimes of Big
Ben brought tears to many eyes of the Englishmen.

The Germans searched for aerials and radios. However the POWs got away with
it. During a march across Germany, they scrounged churches and other public
buildings to pick up coils, wire, crystals and headphones and built another
radio that was most valuable.

Amateur Radio magazine for April 1945 mentions that parcels and books had
been sent to Snow, and in the May 1945 issue, a report came that he was safe
in Britain.

Snow Campbell VK3MR has left us all with an insight into his radio experiences
as a prisoner of war.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


What use is an f-call?

Over the past two years I've talked about amateur radio resources on the
Internet, sometimes referring to one or other web-site in passing,
encouraging you to find information that is pertinent to your situation.
Last week I talked about logging and discussed some of the issues you'll
come across.

One of the things you'll likely want to do, is to actually put your logs
online to make it possible for others to do the same and in doing so,
matching up your contact with theirs and thus validating the contact.

When you start investigating this, you'll find that there are many different
sites that offer this service, from Logbook Of the World, or LoTW which is
maintained by the ARRL, through, and many others.

Before I start talking about one specific site today, I thought I'd point
out that you'll quickly find out that your chosen online log isn't going to
be the same as the station you just contacted 15,000 km away, so in this
case, at least at the moment, the more you register with, the higher your
chances of having your contacts confirmed.

One such service is Club Log, located at

It has a very clean interface, offers log matching, a DX cluster that
indicates stations in countries that you don't yet have, league tables
and other amazing tools.

One such tool deals with Propagation. It uses actual contacts from all the
logs submitted to determine the best time to be on air to get contacts
between two stations, what band, what directions, etc. All built-in with
the aim to help you make the next contact.

It's the best tool I've found so far that helps you get actual results,
rather than propagation forecasts, it was the tool I used to let you know
recently that the best chance of making a contact is on the weekend,
Saturday, Sunday, then Friday, in order of decreasing amounts of traffic.
Of course, that's not to say you won't get amazing contacts on other days, I
spoke with Marion Island on a Monday afternoon one day, so you really can't
beat being on-air.

The service is free, though donations are encouraged and every time you
upload a log file, the upload is brought to you by another donating amateur,
so good will all round.

I know that there are other aspects to Club Log that I've not discussed, or
am even aware of, but if you're going to start somewhere, you won't do worse
than starting there. check it out.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

Father of JOTA a silent key

The founding father of the Jamboree On The Air (JOTA), Leslie Mitchell G3BHK
has died. Next week we will bring you more of the JOTA life of G3BHK.

As many Scouts, Guides and radio amateurs around the world prepare for JOTA
on 18-19 October this year, they will remember how the global event began.

It involves half a million Scouts and Guides in over 100 countries JOTA is
the largest international event on the calendar and it's on NEXT weekend.

(sourced to VK3PC)

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


Annual Meeting Remote Participation via EchoLink

The 2014 AMSAT Symposium being held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Oct 10-12 in

This Annual Meeting will be broadcast via EchoLink on the *AMSAT* channel.

The Annual Meeting includes a report to the membership by the President and
Senior Officers and includes a question and answer session where members may
ask senior officers questions. EchoLink participants may send questions
using the text messaging feature of EchoLink.

See for the Symposium schedule and the titles and times of the

I've mentioned this before BUT Silverstone B-64 balloon is STILL flying

The B-64 balloon launched July 12, 2014 from the UK is still in the air
transmitting on 434.500 MHz using Contestia 64/1000 and APRS

Saturday, October 3 Phil Heron MI 0 VIM reported decoding data while it was
over the North Atlantic ocean, coming up to the 6th time it would pass the
United Kingdom on its continuing journeys around the world.

B-64 was built by radio amateur Leo Bodnar M 0 XER, he made both the plastic
foil envelope and the solar powered transmitter payload which weighs just
11 grams.

See the B-64 track at

Fishy business bro.

Recently Christchurch (New Zealand) radio inspectors were involved with a
commercial interference case affecting a major microwave link in the upper
South Island.

The microwave operator was able to identify that the link was only being
affected when the SAME fishing vessel crossed its path in the Cook Strait.

Using a microwave dish and sufficient gain they were able to see the
interfering signals radiating from the fishing boat. By utilising the AIS
vessel tracking website their position was verified.

It was obvious that the fishing boat was the cause of the interference.

The fishing company was called and the S Band radar turned off. Immediately
the noise ceased and it was obvious that this was the cause of the
interference. A subsequent letter was sent to the fishing company and the
S Band radar's magnetron was replaced.

New Zealand's RSM advises that the General User Licence allowing radio
microphones to operate in the 174 - 230 MHz frequency range will be extended
until 30 September 2019.

But it's recommended that NZ users do not make new investments in equipment
that uses these frequencies, instead UHF 502 - 606 and 622 - 698 MHz
ranges are available for long term radio microphone use.

The Cleveland (USA) Daily Banner reports that the Ratcliff sisters are among
the youngest radio amateurs in the U.S.

Estee KK 4 MVS is 11 and Rebecca KK 4 OAU is 9, their mother Jennifer
Ratcliff is KK 4 KDZ.

The sisters passed their Technician exam in 2013 and recently took and passed
their General exam at the first attempt.

Rebecca said her favourite part of amateur radio has been "making contacts
around the world."

Estee and Rebecca are both members of Amateur Radio Emergency Services.

Read the article at




A rather surprising outcome to a scientific experiment. On
September 12th, student scientists from Earth to Sky
Calculus in California launched a weather balloon during the
most intense solar storm so far this year.

They expected to measure an increase in the radiation count.

Instead they measured a sharp drop.

The reason for this phenomena is thought to be something called
the Forbush Decrease named after physicist Scott Ellsworth Forbush
who first described it in the 20th century.

Simply said, when the Suns Coronal Mass Ejection, or CME
sped past Earth, it swept aside many of the cosmic rays that
normally surround our planet. More on the unexpected
outcome to this experiment can be found by searching for
"students measure Forbush decrease" on


An interesting web page that measures the transmitter
performance of noise element production by a number of
popular amateur radio transceivers has been created by Jim
Brown, K9YC. In his research, Brown measured such areas as
key clicks, intermodulation distortion, and phase noise.
You can see the results of his study on the web at


Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, IZ0UDF, has completed the
official crew poster for the International Space Station
Expedition 42. The poster parodies the popular The
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by the late author Douglas
Adams and is being called the best crew poster yet released.

There is no cost to download the poster but we must warn you
that it is a high resolution file and will require some 57
Megabytes of storage space. It is in PDF format at

Currently, Expedition 42 is slated to launch from Baikonur
in Kazakhstan on November 23rd. In addition to Samantha
Cristoforetti also flying with her to the ISS will be Anton
Shkaplerov and Terry Virts. Cristoforetti is expected to
return to Earth in May 2015.


AMSAT has announced that a new premium collectable is now
available for qualifying donations to the Fox satellite
program. This in the form of a unique challenge coin for
donors who have contributed at the $100 level or higher.

AMSAT says that the coin is shaped as an isometric view of a
Fox-1 CubeSat, complete with details such as the stowed UHF
antenna, solar cells, and camera lens viewport. It is
struck in 3mm thick brass, plated with antique silver, and
finished in bright enamel.

The coins are scheduled for delivery just prior to the 2014
AMSAT Space Symposium, and will be first distributed to
donors attending that gathering. The design may be seen at


Engineers at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre in Florida have
begun testing small robots and navigation software. This to
see if it is possible for an autonomous machine to mimic the
process that ants use to scout for and then collect resources.

The robots which are being referred to as Swarmies resemble
a stripped down, radio controlled truck. They feature an
on-board camera and direction finding gear programmed to
work on their own to survey an area, then call the other
robots to assist in digging should something valuable is found.

The current testing is to determine whether the software
that will control the robots will work, and if the overall
Swarmie concept is worthwhile. The theory behind their
development is to equip operational robots working in space
missions to scan the soil of an alien world for water, ice
or other resources that can be turned into fuel or
breathable air for astronauts explorers.

During the evaluation, the NASA engineers will use a
simulator that will enable them to test the Swarmies
networking ability with additional robots without actually
having to build them. As testing proceeds, the team plans to
include an experimental mining robot also designed at the
Kennedy Space Centre to try out different techniques for
digging into the lunar or Martian surfaces to gather useful materials.



G3USF wins IARU Award

The RSGB extends its congratulations to Martin Harrison, G3USF who has been
awarded the prestigious IARU Region 1 Medal for services to Region 1.

Martin has been Region 1 Beacon Coordinator for many years and has
done much to encourage development of the effectiveness of beacons
in order to assist day-to-day band usage as well as propagation study.

Historic Callsign to mark UK-NZ contact

On 18th October 1924, two-way communication was established
between Frank Bell, 4AA in New Zealand and Cecil Goyder, 2SZ,
operating from Mill Hill School in North London.

To commemorate the 90th anniversary of this historic contact,
radio amateurs at stations in Mill Hill School and New Zealand
will recreate the first Goyder/Bell contact, hopefully on a
wavelength close to that used in 1924.

The callsign 2SZ will be aired from 11th to 18th October from Mill
Hill School. Pupils will be able to visit the radio station, speak
to the operators, and even speak over the air. Whilst the station
won't be open to the public, on 18th October there will be a live
webcam at the School covering the communications and celebrations.

In New Zealand, a special station, using the callsign ZL4AA, will
be operating from Shag Valley in South Island during the same week.


OCEANIA DX Contest CW 0800 UTC Sat 11th Oct to 0800 UTC Sun Oct. 12


Tablelands Radio Group will again hold AM and CW on ANZA Day 25 April



A number of commemorative events will be taking place in Albany, WA from the
31 October to 2 November to mark the 100th anniversary of the departure of
the first convoy of ships carrying ANZAC troops as well as the significant
role Albany has played in Australia's ANZAC history.

Graham VK4BB brought you the initial details of this event last week, now a
follow up by Rob VK6LD

Albany was the assembly point for many ships setting sail for Gallipoli and
the Western Front. The town was the last place for many soldiers that they
saw Australian soil. Albany was also the place where the first recorded
Dawn Service took place on 25 April 1930 by Padre Ernest White, a war
chaplain who spent two years on the Western Front in World War I.

Southern Electronics Group (SEG) has been granted permission to use a special
event call sign VI 6 ANZAC over the weekend of the Albany commemorative
events. Southern Electronics Group will be using the VI6ANZAC call sign on
Saturday 1 November 2014 from 0001hrs to 2359hrs WST.

A number of local amateurs and amateurs from Perth & Manjimup will take part
in the event. The special event call sign and QSL Card is expected to be
highly sought after by VK and overseas amateurs alike.

Depending on propagation, VI6ANZAC will be active on all the HF bands
(160M - 10M), including the WARC bands. There will also be some digital
operations on the day.

There will be updates on VK Logger & DX Cluster on the day on frequencies

In the lead up to the event we will be posting updates to the VI6ANZAC QRZ

73's from Albany and the Southern Electronics Group. This is Rob VK6LD.

P 29 NO Nao, (JA2VQP) is in East Sepic Province Papua New Guinea and has
been on air since way back in February 2013 BUT his tour of duty means
January 2015 his operation will cease so "hop to it". CW SSB and RTTY.
and RTTY plus might try other modes.

II 4 CDN will be on the air until 31st December with different operators,
to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the radio telescope
Croce Del Nord.
QSL via the bureau or direct to the QSL manager IZ 4 FUE.

And finally a bit of housekeeping

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

Remember the sooner you submit material the more the likelihood of it being
broadcast in the very next edition of WIA National News. Each item will only
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.

And NEVER just send us a link to a story, write it out the way you'd expect
to hear it being read, or better still read it and submit the audio.

FISTS Club - East Asia
FISTS Club - Australasia
FISTS Club - UK & Europe
FISTS Club - Americas

FISTS Down Under responds with a display

The heritage festival in Ballarat, Victoria, next May has the theme of
"A Century of Service 1914 - 2014", looking at our service at home and
abroad during war and peacekeeping engagements.

FISTS Down Under has responded to an invitation to be part of the two-day

A team is now developing activities for the event, depicting the integral
role CW played.

More details on what FISTS Down Under has planned will be released when

The heritage festival will be held at several Ballarat sites on Saturday
and Sunday May the 9th and 10th 2015.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


Morse Carrot Keyer

Michael Samson G 0 POT has released a video of his Morse code carrot keyer

Quick bit of fun in preparation for JOTA this is a Morse CW Keyer using
two carrots!!!!

Video links are on the text edition of this news, best read at our only
official web site,

RSGB Inspire Forum



From November 10 to December 7, there will be no US Operational hams on
board the ISS. All schools contacts during this period will be conducted
by the ARISS Russia team.

(Sourced to AMSAT NA)

The increasing number of small 'CubeSat' satellites being launched
combined with a relaxed attitude to debris mitigation could lead to
hazards for all space users unless preventative measures are taken,
warns a leading space debris expert from the University of

Despite many CubeSats not having any manoeuvring capability they are
still perceived to have a low impact on the space debris environment.

Despite guidelines requiring the satellites to deorbit within 25 years,
some are being launched into high Earth orbits, which means their orbital
lifetime could be much greater.

More than a third of all CubeSats launched to-date (around 160 between 2003
and 2013) are predicted to remain on-orbit for more than 25 years.

Since 2005, CubeSats have been involved in more than 360,000 close approaches
of less than 5 km with other orbiting objects.

(Sourced to AMSAT NA)



Simon Brown, G4ELI has released a simple Windows program
which displays Gray-line, Geomagnetic Indices, Solar Data as
well as Sunrise and Sunset times. The program is free of
cost and can be downloaded at

(G4ELI, Southgate via ARNewsLine)


Please QSY off the calling frequency after establishing communication.

Australian voice calling frequencies:
3.650, 7.090, 14.190, 21.190, 28.590, 52.160

World CW calling frequencies:
3.570, 7.030, 14.060, 18.080, 21.140, 24.910, 28.180, 50.160

World voice calling frequencies:
3.690 & 3.940 MHz, 7.090 & 7.190, 14.290, 18.140, 21.360,
24.960, 28.390, 50.160

Calling frequencies for Slow Scan TV (SSTV):
3.630, 7.033, 14.227

Calling Frequencies for PSK31


Are you involved with JOTA or maybe would just like to make contact with a
JOTA station on the weekend of 18th & 19th of October?

WICEN South in VK7 will again be assisting the Huonville Scout group.

This year will see the JOTA station being moved from the usual land based
camp, to a maritime camp aboard the vessel Cartela, currently moored in
Franklin just south of Huonville.

The MV Cartela is the country's oldest continuously licensed passenger ferry
and the only vessel still afloat that was called into service in World War I.

She was 100 years old in 2012. The Cartela has a very long & colourful
history in Tasmania. However, we're not aware of it ever being used for a
JOTA station. Hence the plan.

We will be operating maritime from 1200hrs Saturday till 1200hrs Sunday on
the 80, 40 & 20 metre bands as well as via IRLP & EchoLink.
Five of our Scouts are currently undergoing their "F-call" course and will
no-doubt be eager to make contact with you or your JOTA station.

We would encourage everyone to "Jump on board" Hi Hi, and make contact with
VK7WCN Maritime as well as all other JOTA stations around the bands.

Your participation will be greatly appreciated by all.

Look forward to making the contact.

Further information can be obtain via email

(Nicole VK7FNJS)

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

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

Operators so far - VK4ZZ, VK4ZM, VK4MDX, VK4HSV, VK4ME, VK4FMAR, many more
are needed !


WICEN(SA) have received a request from the South Australian Endurance Riders
Association who would like radio coverage assistance at Kuitpo Forest on the
Sunday of 19 October.

The ride will be based near the Kuitpo airstrip.

If you can assist, then please contact Andrew VK5FMAC 0403 791488.

(Andrew Macmichael Secretary, WICEN SA)



Oct 17-19 WW JOTA

Oct 23 VK5 Adelaide RAOTC Luncheon Marion Hotel, Mitchell Park.

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 Pavilion.
Nov 9 vk3 VHF / UHF and Microwave experimenters

Nov 15 VK7 Miena Hamfest (My-enah)

Nov 30 VK3 SPARC HamFest at Rosebud ( )


June, Queens Birthday weekend 40th annual Oxley Region Field Day

July 11-12 VK3 GippsTech 2015

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

Remember the sooner you submit material the more the likelihood of it being
broadcast in the very next edition of WIA National News. Each item will only
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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