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WIA Board calls for your comments on the Government's Spectrum Review
Directions paper.


Project Loon

if you haven't heard about it it's Google's ambitious plan to share the
Internet to the other 2/3 of the world that is not connected, by using

The simple explanation for the process is that Google balloons can fly above
remote places to provide Internet connectivity, and Australia has enough
remote places without connectivity for the test.

For these test flights, Google is teaming up with Telstra - the latter
providing base stations where the Internet signal will be coming from.
The idea is that these balloons with sophisticated antenna technology - can
"beam down" 4G-ish Internet connectivity to homes and devices 20 kilometres
below each balloon.

The first test of this new project from Google was made in Christchurch,
New Zealand. Google actually is planning for a long ring of these balloons
circling the globe, bringing affordable Internet to areas unreached by
ground-based Telco's.

Google says each balloon in the project can stay aloft for 100 days.

Reuters are reporting Australia wants a new Japanese propulsion system for its
next generation of submarines.

The new submarines will replace six ageing Collins-class boats.

Canberra has said it wants a lithium-ion battery propulsion system for the
submarines. Japan is a leader in lithium battery technology and its next
generation of Soryu submarines will be the world's first to be powered by
such a propulsion system.

Experts say the technology will give submarines better underwater range and
speed compared to other diesel-electric vessels that use air independent
propulsion undersea, a system that requires fuel to operate.

Read the full story at


The WIA Board is calling for your comments on the Government's Spectrum
Review Directions paper.

This is your chance to have a say.

You can download a copy of the paper from the WIA website just look
for the news item on WIA Front Page News about the Government's Spectrum
Review and follow the links, or click here for a direct route.

WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH says that after you have thought about what
the Government is proposing and what it means to you as a licensed radio
amateur, write down your thoughts and send it to the WIA Board through the
National Office.

You can mail it, you can fax it or send it by email.

The details are on the WIA website and in AR magazine.

Because the Board needs to consider your thoughts before submitting the WIA's
submission to the Department of Communications, please see that your
contribution reaches the National Office by Friday 28th November.

(WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH)

web service:-

VK3 Homebrew Construction Group to meet

The next and final meeting of this group for the year will be on Saturday,
December the 6th, at 2pm in the Amateur Radio Victoria rooms at 40g Victory
Boulevard, Ashburton.

The speaker Rob Whitmore VK3MQ will deliver a presentation entitled "Making
Aluminium Enclosures for Homebrew Projects".

It includes information about all the tools and techniques needed to produce
a customised cabinet.

Meetings resume in 2015 on Saturday February the 7th, when David Giddy VK3IL
describes the antennas he uses for the Summits On The Air or SOTA.

This will be the first of several lectures during the year designed to
highlight the many aspects of home brewing.

The latest newsletter compiled by Ian Downie VK3LA will be e-mailed to
subscribers before the December meeting. All are welcome to attend.

Inquiries can be sent to

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


What use is an F-call?

I've heard it expressed that working on HF using an F-call is hard graft.
No-one hears you, they don't talk to you, they ignore you, nothing works,
it's all too hard. I've heard F-calls tell me that they've called CQ for hours
and no-one wants to play.

I understand that HF is challenging, but it's not impossible. There are a
number of things going on that make that a HF contact requires more effort
than talking on a 2m repeater.

Making contacts on HF requires that you understand what's going on, that some
of the things that you're thinking are likely not true and some of your
expectations are wrong. I'm not the oracle of amateur radio, that would be a
sorry state of affairs, but I can share some of the things I've learnt.

Finding someone to talk to on-air is the simplest way to make a contact. That
is, you scan up and down the bands, nice and slowly, to find a station that's
nice and loud. If they're not moving your S-meter, it's unlikely that you're
going to move theirs, or even make yourself heard above the noise at their
end. So, at least initially, look for a station with a 5/8 readability. If
you're not ever getting any of those then I'd spend some time having a look
at the antenna you're using.

The more you listen on bands, the more you'll get a feel for when things
happen on a particular band, and where. The 10m band runs from 28MHz all
the way past 29 MHz, but you're not often going to find lots of activity at
28.7, so have a look at a DX Cluster Online and see where people "hang-out",
spend more time there than in the fringes of a band. That's not to say that
no-one is ever on 28.7, just that you'll find more people more often between
28.4 and 28.5.

Also, if you cannot hear any noise on a band it could be that the band is
closed, or it could be that it's wide open and no-one is playing because
they're all scanning up and down the band waiting for someone to call. So,
sometimes it's worth your while to call CQ a couple of times to see what, if
any response, you might get.

There are other aspects to making a contact on HF and I'll talk about those
at another time, but don't give up.

I've lost count of the number of times I've packed my radio into my car,
set-up at some location, got my logging gear out and then spent three hours
getting nothing. Similarly, I've lost count of the times that I turned on my
radio by chance, scanned up and down the dial, found a station, called back
and made a contact.

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.

49.9 MHz Radar 16 kW with 64 antennas

An impressive back-scatter radar on 49.9 MHz is currently being constructed in

The Bahir Dar coherent backscatter radar is being assembled by researchers from
the University of Oulu, Finland and Boston College, USA.

The radar will operate at 49.9 MHz with a 16 kW solid-state transmitter and
64 antennas. The sampling is based on a number of USRP X300-series boxes
developed by Matt Ettus N2MJI.

Backscatter radar

Resurgent old sunspot crackles with flares

Back for a second trip across the face of the Sun, old sunspot AR2192 is
growing again and crackling with M-class solar flares.

The active region has an unstable magnetic field that harbors energy for even
stronger X-flares. Future eruptions could affect Earth as the sunspot turns
toward our planet in the days ahead.

check for updates the web page of




The South African Radio League has submitted its response to
the draft plan concerning the restructuring of the 450 to
470 MHz band and other U-H-F spectrum parcels.

In its reply to the national telecommunications regulatory
agency, the SARL said that although the amateur service is
not in this band, the problem for ham radio would arise if
the intended migration of some existing users in the 450 to
470 MHz were to temporarily move into the amateur band prior
to them shifting to a new frequency band once they obtain
suitable equipment.

The South African Radio League also pointed out that the
statement that amateurs only use 1 MHz of the 430 to 440 MHz
is incorrect. Rather the entire frequency block is used
extensively for terrestrial and space communications.

The South African Radio League also filed comments on
proposed changes at 2.3 gigahertz and requested a new ham
radio allocation from 3.4 to 3.410 Gigahertz. In both ITU
Region 2 and Region 3, this spectrum parcel is allocated to
the amateur and amateur satellite services.


And finally this week, the first group of Russian smart mini-
satellites should be launched into orbit in 2016. Amateur
Radio Newsline's Heather Embee, KB3TZD tells us about these
new and very intelligent mini birds:


A number of Russian universities and space industry
companies are expected to create a specialized aerospace
association. One which will work on creating software to
control groups of mini-satellites and improve their ability
to interact with one another.

Mikhail Sonkin is the Deputy Governor of Russia's Tomsk
Region. He announced that association members will include
the Tomsk Polytechnic University and the Tomsk State
University. Also, that in addition to the smart mini-
satellites both will also be working on developing new
materials for the space industry as well as on establishing
communication networks in remote areas.

Last month, Sergey Psakhie who is the Chairman of the
Presidium of the Tomsk Scientific Centre announced that
Russian scientists were planning to create unique mini-
satellites capable of group interaction. The satellites
will be similar to the CubeSat's that were developed in the
United States, but would be able to self-educate and repair
each other without leaving the Earth's orbit. This is quite
a step forward in miniature satellite design.

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


Sonkin is made the announcement at the recent Open
Innovations Forum in Moscow.


When the sailing ship Hale Revenge ran into trouble in the
Pacific it turned to ham radio as we hear in this report:


Larry Lecrone (WW6USA) called to report that he was
monitoring one of the ham radio emergency projects known as
the Maritime Net which is continually monitored by a series
of volunteer radio operators across the country.

While monitoring that net on Sunday night he served as back-
up when another amateur radio operator on board a sailing
vessel adrift in the Pacific was taking on water in nearly
60-foot seas nearly 800 miles west of the California-Oregon
border. That vessel wanted to declare an emergency but was
having trouble contacting the Coast Guard. The ham that
took the call notified the Coast Guard and served as a relay
between them and the distressed vessel.

The Coast Guard sent out an HT-130 aircraft from the Point
Reyes Coast Guard Air Station in California. The ham
Maritime Net operator instructed the sailboat to activate
their Emergency Locator Beacon.

A container cargo ship; the 965 foot the Hyundai Grace was
in the region and responded to that beacon signal and
rescued all on board that sailboat which was on its way from
Honolulu to Everett, Washington, when it was damaged by high
winds and seas.

Ken Bass, KALH Spectrum News from Alamagordo, New Mexico,


The ham radio gear on board the 32 foot vessel that was an
ICOM IC-718 transceiver. Nathan Stickel, NH7FS, is
reported to have been the ham radio operator on the voyage.


The popular DX Summit website operated by Radio Arcala
station OH8X is getting a new look and a new name. As of
December 1st, the site will become My DX Summit will soon
have a fresh new face and a more modern user interface.
Among the changes will be real time posting of DX spotting
that is user selectable of precisely the kind of spots that
interest them. Also, entering a spotting will be made
easier through a simple dialogue box. Site developers also
note that a lot of effort is being put into having it work
with a majority of mobile devices and browsers. It's
expected that the ongoing testing procedure could result in
some changes to the site before its actual rollout.


Digital Mobile Radio better known by the acronym DMR appears
to be coming of age in ham radio. Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF has more:


The Radio Society of Great Britain reports that on October
29th the world-wide Digital Mobile Radio system added its
10,000th ham radio user ID. According to the society, there
are now over 800 Digital Mobile Radio repeaters in 33
countries, allowing amateurs using DMR radios to talk to
each other globally using the internet.

DMR was not developed specifically for ham radio. Rather
the standard is a VHF and UHF digital voice method that was
published by the European Telecommunications Standards
Institute in 2005 with the goal of providing digital
communication systems that are low cost, of low complexity
and interoperable between equipment vendors. The system
uses a 12.5 KHz or narrower channel bandwidth, 4 FSK digital
modulation and the ability to be used anywhere between 30
MHz and 1 Gigahertz. As such products built specifically to
the DMR standard also complies with the FCC mandates for
narrowband systems here in the United States.

For yet unexplained reasons, DMR has begun creating its own
following within the ham radio community as an alternative
to other digital voice modes. How far DMR will grow within
the world of amateur radio digital audio as compared to the
various systems designed specifically for use by radio
amateurs is impossible to predict, but 10,000 is a pretty good start.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF,
in Los Angeles.


You can find further information about DMR and its adoption
in amateur radio circles at (GB2RS, RSGB)


That's right - as we had last week the Spring VHF-UHF Field Day is now THIS
weekend, Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd of November.

Saturday at 0100 UTC and runs through to 0100 UTC on Sunday except for VK6,
where the start and finish UTC hours are 0400.

There are six Sections for you to choose in entering the contest - portable
stations, rover stations and home stations - for single operators and multiple
operators - for 24 hours or eight hours.

As you may recall, earlier in 2014, the WIA Board decided to trial two
alternative means of scoring:

Division 1 - grid locator scoring (as for previous Field Days); and

Division 2 - distance-based scoring.

All the other rules are common to each Division.

The general idea is to take your gear out to some suitable location and operate
portable. The fun comes in making contacts and accumulating points. Not to
mention reducing the weight you have to carry back by consuming all the food
and beverages you took with you. Responsibly, of course.

Home stations are just as welcome to participate, too.

I remind participants that the use of 6-digit grid locators for scoring
contacts in each Division is encouraged.

The rules and scoring methods were published in the October issue of Amateur
Radio magazine, pages 43 through 46.

These are also on the VHF-UHF Field Days page of the WIA website.

(Roger Harrison VK2ZRH text edition)


Record portable activity in VK3 Parks

The 4th annual Keith Roget Memorial National Park Award (KRMNPA) activation
period was a huge success across Friday the 14th to Monday November 17th
of November.

It saw 33 of the 45 VK3 National Parks put on air by a group of a dedicated
group including welcome interstate visitors, namely John VK2AWJ, Paul VK5PAS
and Larry VK5LY.

All licence classes ensured that most HF Bands were activated. This meant
many Hunters, both in Australia and DX locations, were able to log parks
and collect award points.

Already Bernard VK3AMB VK3AV has applied for the third KRMNPA "Merit" Plaque,
that involves all 45 VK3 Parks Worked.

Frank VK2HFS was also busy working 16 Parks. He has easily qualified for
the basic Hunters Award. Well done to both.

With 33 parks activated, the 2014 period is a new Record from the previous
26 Parks in 2013. This clearly indicates the growing popularity of portable

Amateur Radio Victoria thanks all Activators and Hunters for the best event
yet. Yes, there will be another activity period in November 2015, so see
you then oh and National Parks may be activated at any time, with all
involved mindful of Parks Victoria requirements, particularly during the
bushfire season.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


Ten-Ten activity weekend

Ten-Ten has organised an activity weekend THIS weekend, Nov 22/23 to
liven up 10m.

Among their special event stations to take part are:-
W6OI/p (via N9AC)
VE9TEN (via VE9KM)
DL0X (via DL8YBM, d/B) from Germany.

Ann Renton Memorial Ladies Net this Tuesday

One of the friendliest radio nets in the land happens this Tuesday evening
November 25th from 7-30pm on the Townsville UHF Repeater in Queensland.

Yes it's the Ann Renton Memorial Ladies Net!

The net is open to young and old, YL or OM and is a golden opportunity for
anyone who needs practice on-air to go onto the net as 2nd operator.

Let's see if the YL's can outnumber the OMs !


According to the ARRL, it's been determined that some CQ WPX Awards Program
applications using the League's Logbook of The World were not properly

Specifically, applications for WPX credits submitted via Logbook of The World
from October 8th at 0500 UTC until November 5th at 1700 UTC were never
processed however these applicants credit cards were not charged.

Applicants should now re-submit any application for WPX credits made during
that period.

(ARRL via ARNewsLine)


In celebration of Thanksgiving in the USA, Terry Joyner, W4YBV, plans to be
on the air November 22nd and 23rd. This to activate 2 islands on Suwannee
River in Florida for the United States Islands Award Program.

Aptly enough these land masses are called Turkey Island and Little Turkey

Look for Terry on 40 through 10 meters from 1300 and 2200 hours each day.



OZ1DJJ will be operational as OX3LX from Disko Island between November 26 and
December 2 on the High Frequency bands.



PA0VDV will be on the air from stroke PJ2 from Curacao until December 26.

Activity will be on 80 through 10 meters using only CW only.

QSL to PA0VDV via the bureau.


DF3FS and DL9OLI will be operating stroke 5Z4 from Diani Beach, Kenya, between
February 16th and March 8th of 2015.

80 through 10 meters CW and SSB.

QSL via their home call signs via the bureau.


DC0KK will active as 4S7KKG from Sri Lanka through until April 10th, 2015.
He operates mainly using CW and the digital modes.
QSL via DC0KK via the bureau.


Region III IARUMS Coordinator Peter Young VK3MV

VK IARUMS reflector email to subscribe

Friday 0730 UTC 7.065.5 with VK4CEU David.

Amateur exclusive frequencies where any non-amateur signal is definitely an

Amateur HF Spectrum world wide
7.050 to 7.100
14.000 to 14.250
14.250 to 14.350 No broadcasters
21.000 to 21.450
24.890 to 24.990
28.000 to 29.700


The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring
System reports on interference caused by Russian taxis
operating in the 10 meter amateur radio band. The report
says that the taxi cabs were monitored flooding all of 10
meter FM on a daily basis and that so far nobody seems to be
able to stop the taxi intrusions. The report noted that the
MUF or maximum usable frequency has been rather high, and
the F2 layers were strong and stable.

The Monitoring Service also reports on some strong
disturbances that were caused by an Over the Horizon system
in China in the evening hours of evening hours October 26th
and 27th covering 80 percent of the 40 meter band. It also
says that Spanish fishermen were heard daily on 3.500,
3.510, 3.520 MHz and several other frequencies using upper
sideband every morning and evening. The report notes that
many Far East intruders were also found on 10 meter FM.

WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ATV (Every pixel tells a story) - Video

Anthony Cleary VK2BTC directed us to a YouTube link showing a new video
of Dick Smith giving a talk on his Life and times.


The November issue of the CQ-DATV e-magazine is now
available for free download. The new issue contains the
latest amateur television news from around the world, an
editorial, Ian Abel, G3ZHI, that asks why ATV repeaters do
not have internet inputs, a simple microwave detector for 10
GHz by John Hudson G3RFL and much more. Those interested
can find this issue and those of previous months at

REWIND a look back at history

AO-7, 40 years in Space November 15

40 years ago: AMSAT-OSCAR 7 was launched at 1711 UTC, November 15,
1974 from the Western Test Range at Vandenberg AFB in California

AO-7 became the second AMSAT-NA constructed and Phase 2 amateur
radio satellite launched into Low Earth Orbit. It remained
operational until a short circuit in a battery in 1981. On 21 June
2002 the satellite was heard again on its 2 meter beacon (145.9775
MHz CW) after 21 years of silence, and 27 years in space.

AO-7 remains semi-operational with reliable power only from its solar panels.
The restoration of service was due to the short circuited battery becoming
an open circuit allowing the solar cells to power the spacecraft. When the
satellite eclipses it powers down. It is operational while the solar panels are
illuminated by sunlight.

The following links offer history and information on AO-7.

Read the original AO-7 launch announcement in the 1974 AMSAT Newsletter:
AMSAT-Newsletter-1974-AO-7Launch. information on AO-7

(sourced to AMSAT-NA)


Nov 23 VK5 "Welcome to AR Day" Blackwood 8:45am ( 0410 687 998 )

Nov 30 VK3 SPARC HamFest at Rosebud ( )


This is John VK3BJR President of the Southern Peninsula Amateur Radio Club.

If you're in VK3 next weekend let me remind you of two things you have to do.
On Saturday, vote in the State election and on Sunday come to the Rosebud
RadioFest. Yes, Sunday, 30th November is when the Rosebud RadioFest is on at
the Eastbourne Primary School at Allambi Avenue, Rosebud.

If you have pre-loved equipment to sell, tables are still available at $10
and can be booked on-line at

The technical forums being held this year have wide appeal as they are:
the FAMPARC approach to constructing a remote controlled radio station,
Peter Parker VK3YE's pedestrian mobile operation and suitable antennas,
Apache Labs will present on their latest SDR technology (as reviewed in
Nov AR) and Bruce Williams from ACMA will present the ever popular ACMA

The event has full catering, there is plenty of off street parking, there are
great door prizes and the entry fee is only $6 with under 12's free. Outdoor
displays will be open from 8 am and the new and used equipment sale area in
the main auditorium will be open from 9.30 am until 2 pm.

If you need help to find the venue, talk in will be conducted on VK3RSP
146.675 MHz and VK3RPU 439.850 Mhz.

See you in Rosebud on 30 November. This is John VK3BJR.


March 29 VK3 EMDRC HamFest Sunday

June Queens Birthday 40th annual Oxley Region Field Day VK2

July 11-12 VK3 GippsTech 2015

Submitting news items

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item write in the 3rd person.



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