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WIA submits comments on the Government's Potential Reform Directions paper, story by WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH

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WIA submits comments on the Government's Potential Reform Directions paper

This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH

On 11 November last, the Minister for Communications, the Honorable Malcolm
Turnbull MP, announced the release of the Spectrum Review - Potential Reform
Directions paper for public comment. The deadline for submissions was
2 December.

Despite the short timeframe, the WIA compiled a submission of more than
3000 words, addressing seven of the 11 proposals put forward in the
Directions paper. These proposals were judged to be of most interest to,
and likely to have particular impact on, the Australian radio amateur

Of particular interest was the proposal to establish a single licensing
framework - known around the industry as "parameter-based" licensing.
Naturally, the WIA welcomes this proposal having first advocated it 20 years

The WIA's submission advocates that "Having all the conditions, or parameters,
pertaining to an Amateur licence in one document would greatly improve
transparency, certainty and simplicity in licensing matters for the radio
amateur community".

The Directions paper highlighted the issue of reviewing licence tenure and
renewal. The WIA argued for security of tenure for amateur licenses,
highlighting that many amateurs hold a licence for considerable periods and
the Institute would be concerned if this custom were at all affected.

In addition, the submission said that a significant administrative efficiency
could be achieved - and a lowering of costs - through a minimum 5-year licence
term for radio amateurs, compared with retaining the 1-year minimum term now
prevailing, requiring annual renewal.

That said, the WIA put it that there's also a role for short-term - less than
12 months - amateur licensing to meet a variety of possible needs, ranging
from special events, to emergency incidents, or for educational or particular
experimental purposes.

Amateurs visiting from overseas, and having appropriate reciprocal or
equivalent qualifications, can operate for short periods in Australia,
but this is through a Class licence, which would not carry over under
the proposed single licensing framework.

Another issue of importance raised in the Directions paper is greater user
involvement in spectrum management, whereby the ACMA could delegate functions
to third parties. The WIA amateur examination service is a prime example of
such user involvement, and we've been doing it for 10 years.

The WIA submission promotes the implementation of an online register of
licences, one that is much more extensive and sophisticated than that which
the ACMA has maintained for some 20 years. Such a system would be essential to
achieve what the Government proposes regarding greater user involvement in
spectrum management.

The Directions paper raised the spectre of licence fees and payment schedules.
The WIA submitted that it is ". . . hoped that introducing administrative
efficiencies in relation to licensing, particularly in relation to tenure,
would lead to a reduction in fees and taxes attached to amateur licences from
what now prevails. Don't hold your breath.

The WIA submission also spends some time supporting extended enforcement
measures for the ACMA and developing better regulation of the supply of
electrical, electronic and radiocommunications devices.

The relentless raising of the radio noise floor is an issue that needs to be
tackled. The noise floor affects all spectrum users to one extent or another.
Implementing effective, enforceable regulation, coupled with improved
equipment standards, will go a long way towards mitigating or reversing this

The foregoing covered just a few highlights from the WIA's submission to the
latest stage of the Government Spectrum Review. .

You can download the submission by following the links on the WIA website home
page under "Latest News From the WIA", or under Hot Issues.

The responses to the latest consultation paper are being reviewed by the
Department of Communications and the ACMA. They will report to the Minister
early next year

This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH for VK1WIA News.

Analogue TV closed.

Analogue television in Australia has now totally ceased as of the 20th of
November, when the Telstra Tower on Canberra's Black Mountain switched
its signals to digital TV and 4G.


NBN Co plans to make its satellites available to Qantas and Virgin Australia
to offer in-flight internet access for passengers. The company was in
discussions with the airlines to share use of satellites bought to deliver
broadband to remote and rural Australia.

They will be operated by Optus under a five-year agreement and are due in
orbit in 2015.

And an aside, in-flight Wi-Fi is notoriously expensive. OnAir, a Geneva-based
company that provides mobile phone and Wi-Fi services for airlines and
cruise ships, recently presented a bill of more than $1300 to a Singapore
Airlines passenger!

The full story on:-


The YL's of Australia will surely be pleased to discover that they are the
more tech-savvy online shoppers, having 'adopted to mobile devices faster than
men', according to Kogan.

It is probably because men are traditionally slower to change, although Kogan
doesn't make any 'comment' in this regard.

47% of men use Android while 50% use iOS.
With women, 33% use Android while a massive 64% use iOS.


web service:-


The annual HF Radio Propagation Course being conducted in Sydney is scheduled
for next Thursday the 11 th December. Registration and / or details by
9 th December to Lianne Grant on email

These courses are conducted in other Capital cities throughout the year, keep
an eye on

Feb 22nd, 2015 (a Sunday) is the WYONG FIELD DAY put on by the Central Coast
Amateur Radio Club in VK2.

Flea market opens from 6.30am.

Traders and exhibitions 9.00am.

Lectures from 10.00am.

And a bus operates from the Wyong Rail station.

( via wia events calendar)

web service:-

Victorian D-Star Users Group & The Macedon Ranges ARC D-Star Educational Day.

21st March 2015, 9:00am till 4:30pm

Vic D-Star invites all amateurs to come and learn hands on about D-Star.

What is D-Star, how it works and what you can expect with Demo's

Why D-Star has grown to the biggest thing since SSB & FM

Why experimentation and SDR has taken D-Star to an unprecedented level

Bring your gear for programming & setup. Get assistance with Registration
at the Woodend RSL Anslow St 9:00am $6 entry BBQ available at lunch

Call in VK3RMM B or VK3RMM 2m 147.250

In place of the regular NERG meeting the traditional NERG end of year BBQ
will be held at Greg VK3VT's place on Thursday night, 11th December.
Put this date in your calendar now - Greg always holds a great BBQ that
shouldn't be missed!

(NERG news)

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AM - CW on ANZAC DAY An Aussie wide event organised by the VK4 Tablelands Radio

This is a call to swap modes!

Change to the old radio modes as our defence forces used during world war 1
and 2, Korea, Malaya and early Vietnam.

It also serves as an Amateur Radio salute to those who served.

This event is a way that we, as radio amateurs, can recognise those who served
and experience the difficulties of those modes. It is simply a case of
changing to the old modes for nets on Anzac Day 2015, 100 years on.

Mike Patterson VK4MIK says "The RSL likes the idea of this event."

( via the WIA events calendar )

Whilst in the north of VK4, news from the Party Front.

It's the time of year that Radio Clubs in the North are having parties.

Tablelands Radio and Electronics Club Inc. Saturday 6th December at
Tolga Hotel. The Townsville Amateur Radio Club Sunday 14th at the
VK4FNQT DX Hub Mount Louisa from 2-30pm. Maybe the biggest, it's over 2 days
this weekend is the Mackay and District Amateur Radio Association rocking at
at Kinchant Holiday Park.


What use is an F-call?

I recently talked about making contact with a station on HF. Getting a feel
for the other station is very important because it will make you understand
when the other person is listening and when they're not. It will let you know
to what kind of station they're responding to, and when they do respond, how
they respond.

I recently made a contact with T33A. I used 5 Watts on a rotatable dipole,
15m. I listened to the station for a good 10 minutes before I made my first
call. That gave me lots of information about the contact long before I opened
my mouth. It was one of the last days they were operating and it was bedlam on
the frequency, lots of stations wanting to make this contact. The station told
me that they were listening 10 up, so I configured my radio to deal with that.
Then I worked out what the rhythm of the operator was, got a feel for how they
replied and when I was ready, I called my callsign.

I was floored that they came back with "the VK6 QRP station" on my first call.
It took two goes to get my callsign across, but the contact was made there and

Making such a contact is as much about the ability of the remote station to
pick you out, as it is about improving your chances of success. It's about
picking your moment, getting it just right, so that when you call, it all
happens in the blink of an eye.

Picking your moment is also about understanding that some people just don't
want to talk to you. Two people who are talking to each other might do that
every day and are really not interested in talking to you. Picking the group
or the 'net where to call-in is crucial to your success on HF.

Look at the 7130 DX net. It runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30 UTC.
Its aim is to facilitate making DX contacts between amateurs. When you tune
to 7.130, get out a piece of paper and write down all the stations you hear,
write down what signal strength they are and what the operators name is.

The net hosts will call for new stations for the 'net on a regular basis.
They'll acknowledge you and continue seeking other stations. Once they have a
bunch, they'll ask which stations want to make a call. Hold off for a couple
of rounds and listen. Stations will announce their callsign and the host will
take a list. Each station is called in turn and invited to make a QSO or two
with another station. If it's busy, they might do one QSO per station. Once
they're done, the next station gets a chance and so on. It's a fantastic way
to meet other DX-stations and make your first overseas call.

Making contacts on HF is hard work, fun and amazingly rewarding. Have a go!

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 ARRL reports that the latest United States Department of Homeland
Security's 2014 National Emergency Communications Plan or NECP, formally
incorporates Amateur Radio. This, in its blend of media outlets that could
support and sustain communications in a disaster or emergency situation.

According to the new plan, amateur radio operators can be important conduits
for relaying information to response agencies and personnel when other forms
of communications have failed or have been severely disrupted.

A Dutch company has a radio-based detection system that can alert drivers if
a police officer or other emergency services official is using a two-way radio

At least it can in Europe.

According to a United Kingdom's Sunday Times article the unit called Blu Eye
monitors frequencies, but doesn't allow the user to listen in to the actual
transmissions, but can detect a radio in operation up to one kilometre away.

Even if a message isn't being sent, the enforces TETRA radios transmit pulses
out to the network every four seconds that the Blu Eye unit can also receive.
A dashboard-mounted monitor uses lights and sounds to alert the driver to the
proximity of the source, similar to a radar detector.

Needless to say the device is causing quite a stir over in Europe!

Travelling to the worst affected areas of Typhoon Haiyan that hit in November
last year, Pope Francis plans to inspect progress and talk to local people
about the disaster.

On November 8, 2013, the super typhoon killed at least 6,300 people in the
Philippines, destroyed crops and left many homeless.

The Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA) is preparing for the visit
on January the 15th to the 19th that will include the City of Tacloban,
described as being the worst hit area.

PARA and its HERO (Ham Emergency Radio Operations) Network provided emergency
communications for many weeks as a result of the typhoon.

The HERO network was able to support government and aid organisations across
36 affected provinces.

Now PARA, November 30 celebrated its 82nd year with many events in Manila,
is preparing for the upcoming papal tour.

(Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee)

South African Radio League celebrates 90 years

From 1 January 2015, the special call sign ZS90SARL will be celebrating the
90th anniversary of the South African Radio League.

From January until the culminations of the celebration at the annual
Convention in Bloemfontein in April, Amateur Radio Today will transmit a
weekly highlights of their amazing events of the past 90 years.

Special QSL card are being designed and soon be available.

Hello Sailor!

Private messages sent between staff on two Swedish navy boats who are alleged
to been having an affair have been published in Russia, after a group of
radio enthusiast intercepted the signal used to transmit the texts.

The Swedish military has admitted naval staff working on HMS Vinga and
HMS Ulvn abused the radio system to send private messages and announced
that it is holding a meeting to discuss the "inappropriate behaviour" with
the ship's crews.

The messages were sent during an exercise in the Baltic Sea earlier last month.

In a tribute to NASA's first successful mission to Mars 50 years ago, the
space funding corporation Uwingu sent nearly 90,000 personal messages by
radio into space.

As part of the "Beam Me to Mars" project, participants were charged $4.95
to send just their names and $99 for an image and long message.

The entire set of messages were repeated as a tribute to Mariner 4. Images
sent from that pioneering space vehicle were sent twice, to correct for
missing or corrupted data.

The old Mariner 4 mission was successfully launched on Nov 28, 1964, it flew
past Mars July 15, 1965, sending back the first images ever taken beyond the
Earth-Moon system.

In what is a first for the radio industry, Alpha Media in Portland has
launched a partnership with a local drone company.

The deal with Aerial Technology International will include the use of drones
for breaking news coverage in the Pacific Northwest for FM NEWS 101 KXL.

VP of Programming said, "KXL continues to innovate by launching the world's
first radio news drone!

Check out the drones




Hams down under are doing some interesting experimentation using the Digital
Mobile Radio or DMR voice mode. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF,
has the details:


On September 7th at 12:45pm local time here in New
Zealand, Steve Jepson, ZL2KG, who was situated at the
Stratford Plateau car park on the slopes of Mt. Taranaki
worked John Yaldwyn, ZL4JY at his home in Waikanae over a
distance of over 191.7 km. This, using the nation's 70
Centimetre Digital Mobile Radio simplex frequency on
432.7625 MHz. A Connect Systems CS700 handheld connected to
a dual-band mobile antenna was used at Mt. Taranaki and
a Motorola MOTOTRBO XPR 5550 mobile tied to an 8-element
Yagi was used in Waikanae for contact with perfect signals
in both direction

To test the usable range for DMR relay operation, ZL1KG also
tried working through the ZL2DMR repeater, which is located
on Colonial Knob at a distance of 213 km from his location
on Mt. Taranaki. What was found was that ZL2KG could
receive without any problem, however he could not transmit
through the machine. While the repeater was triggered,
however a voice QSO could not be made through it. By moving
closer to the repeater to the top of Waitotara Hill, which
is located 149 km from the ZL2DMR repeater, voice contact
was possible and a two-way QSO made.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline. I'm Jim Meachen. ZL2BHF, in
Nelson, New Zealand.


While not trying to set a record the distances of these
contacts is quite impressive. It also shows the ongoing
interest in DMR by the experimenters within the ham radio
community. More information on DMR is at

REAL-TIME BAND CONDITIONS WEBSITE is a newly created website that supplies
real time band condition information to operators wanting to
get this up to the minute information. The data provided is
based on what the developers call a new Ionospheric Sounding
method called "H F Ionospheric Interferometry" which
operates very similarly to the PolSAR system used by NASA.

Reports are generated and uploaded to the web server
every 30 seconds. Header information includes a Date, Time
in GMT and a report number in sequential order. A web
browser refresh command is also sent so the user does not
have to hit the refresh button for the latest report. The
web browser does it automatically for them.

The display shows the Meter Band in red and the Band Quality
Index as blue coloured number at the bottom of the band
scale. To sample it for yourself go to
and take a look.



Physicist's brain acts like 'radio transmitter,' helps unlock car

Physicist Roger Bowley shows in a YouTube video that holding a key remote
up to his head can unlock his car from farther away than the key on its own.
He says the interaction between the key's electromagnetic waves and the
brain's water extends the key's range.

An unusual trick but it could help you find your car more easily in that
parking station.

Just use your brainpower and hold the key remote up to your head.

Water can extend the range of electromagnetic waves and your brain is
full of water. The water in your head carries an electromagnetic wave that
acts on the same frequency as the remote's wave. The waves then add together
and extend the range of your car keys.

No doubt a jug of water can further boost the remote's range.

So you 'don't believe it?'

"The only way of finding out if something is true is to do the experiment."


Bendigo Amateur Radio and Electronics Club invite all Radio Amateurs to join
them on their weekly 80 metre HF Net.

A variety of topics are discussed, such as HF equipment, antennas, electronics,
computers, SOTA, contesting, radio astronomy, operating bicycle mobile, and
much more.

Networking with fellow Radio Amateurs is a great way to learn and share
knowledge, and what better way to do it than via our favourite hobby
Amateur Radio!

Perhaps you would like to share and promote your club's activities, or tell
others about that exciting project you're working on!

BAREC members look forward to hearing about your interests and activities,
Thursday evenings, 8 pm AEST on 3.655 MHz.

( )

7 P 8 NH

G 3 RWF is heading back to Southern Africa for a 5 week holiday. He will
begin operation in Lesotho as 7 P 8 NH between December 11th through the 14th.
Listen for him on the higher bands on CW only. QSL via G 3 RWF.


3 W 3 O from Vietnam started November 25th and runs until December 24th.

His main activity was the CQ World Wide DX CW Contest but expect him to be
on 160 and 80 meters until December 24.

QSL via the bureau

PD 17 MH The 19th to 26 December

A special call sign in memory of flight MH17.

The loss of 298 lives, when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crashed on July
the 17th in eastern Ukraine, will be remembered this month by Memorial Amateur
Radio Station:-

PD 17 MH

Inquiries continue into this Malaysian airliner crash with the loss of its
passengers and crew from 12 nations.

PD17MH from the Netherlands, will be on-air from December the 19th to the
26th, on 14.200 MHz, 7.080 MHz and 28.400 MHz.

The Memorial Amateur Radio Station has a special QSL card. More details on
the event including a silence period to remember those who lost their lives,
can be read on the website



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.


On the air till December 31st to commemorate the experiments conducted by
Guglielmo Marconi from his yacht Elettra between 1919 and 1936. Operations
will be on all of the High Frequency bands including 30, 17 and 12 meters.


David Latour VE4DLA, President of the Winnipeg AR Club, wrote us to say
"I've had a communiqu from friends inside NORAD that
once more they are planning to track Santa's sleigh
ride live from the radar ops room in its secret bunker."

Find the feed at or on
Facebook at /noradsanta.

Merry Christmas!

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

News via Morse Code Internet Streaming Radio Station

joseph cotton W3TTT has announced a new radio station that gives you the days
news in CW.

You can type this URL into your browser:

The purpose of the site is for Morse training, you're copying Morse code at
12 words per minute.

If you like Morse Code, you will like W3TTT's internet radio station stream.

(Joe Cotton, W3TTT via



Broadband-Hamnet has announced a new firmware release titled 3 dot zero dot zero.

This latest version includes the Ubiquiti M9-series airMAX devices, giving
Hams use of the 900 MHz band for mesh networking.

This latest release builds on a series of advancements that build on the
Ubiquiti firmware released for the 2.4GHz and 5.8 GHz Ham bands earlier this

More is on the web at



NASA has announced a mini-satellite or Cube Sat design
contest that will see participants competing for $5 million
in prize money and a chance to have their winning satellite
flown to the moon by the space agency.

Called the Cube Quest Challenge, the objective of the
competition is to design, build and deliver to NASA a flight-
qualified small satellite, or CubeSat capable of advanced
research in the vicinity of our moon and beyond.

Full information about the completion including entry requirements are at

W7O Wraps Up 10 Day AO-7 Commemoration

The W7O activity wrapped up on Monday afternoon November 24.

Patrick Stoddard WD9EWK/VA7EWK thanks the 24 operators who put W7O on the air
from locations all over the continental USA, on both HF and the satellites.
These operators logged almost 2500 QSOs as W7O on several HF bands, all of
our current amateur satellites supporting voice and CW (AO-7, AO-73, FO-29,
SO-50), and even one QSO using the ISS packet/APRS digipeater.


Get ready to BOUNCE

Geminid meteor shower gets an early start and a great opportunity to do some
meter bouncing.

Earth is entering a stream of debris from "'rock comet' 3200 Phaethon," source
of the annual Geminid meteor shower.

The shower is not expected to peak until Dec 14 but NASA meteor cameras are
detecting Geminid fireballs two weeks early.

Visit for images and updates.


Feb 22 VK2 Central Coast Amateur Radio Club Wyong Field Day.

March 21 VK3 Dstar Users Group 9am Woodend RSL Anslow St.
March 29 VK3 EMDRC Hamfest

May 9 VK4 BARCFEST Brisbane

June 6-7 VK2 Queens Birthday 40th annual Oxley Region Field Day

July 1 VK4 Caboolture Hamfest
July 11-12 VK3 GippsTech 2015

August 9 VK2 SARC-FEST Lismore

Sept 12 VK4 SUNFEST Woombye

Oct 25 VK4 Gold Coast Hamfest Broadbeach


Don't forget to turn your Gun Safes to Plus One Day only Christmas Eve -
Wednesday 24th December 2014 or there will not be any hunting Boxing Day!


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