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VK balloon reaches Southern Africa


We have spoken a lot the past 9 months of VK ANZAC events, well now comes
word from Turkey (TA) of their special event station TC 100 GLB which is QRV
until April 30 to commemorate what they call "the Battle of Gallipoli"
100 years ago.

Activity is on the HF bands using SSB, RTTY and PSK. QSL via TA 1 CM.

And next week here on WIA National News we'll look at the War Time contribution
and life of Bob Arnold VK3ZBB.

Your New Car Dashboard Debuts This Month

In an article on is a great story on what's in store
for you as an owner of a motor vehicle from hence forth in!

"Car buyersparticularly millennialsare no longer as susceptible to the
[auto] industry's traditional marketing tropes of styling, horsepower and
handling. Instead, they see the car as an extension of their digital lives,
and increasingly demand that it mesh seamlessly with their smart phones,
tablets and other personal tech. A Compass Intelligence survey of smart
phone-owning drivers released in December concluded that "the primary needs
and wants out of technologyis the enhancement of the driving experience."

Not the availability of anything and everything.

Not the perpetuation of traditional entertainment forms.

Not easy access to FM and AM radio. Not FM or AM radio at all, per se, but
"the enhancement of the driving experience."

"Expect to see Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto debut in 2015
production cars. Each allows a driver to plug a smart phone running Apple's
iOS or Google's Android operating systems into a car's USB port and control
it from the infotainment touch screen. Although consumers are eager to adopt
CarPlay and Android Auto, car manufacturers are less than thrilled to share
space on their proprietary infotainment systems out of concern that
Google and Apple could gain access to the trove of data about a car owner's
location, purchases and other personal information.

Apple has signed up Mercedes, Volvo, Jaguar and BMW but the reality will
probably more closely resemble the compromise Hyundai will unveil at CES:
an infotainment unit that integrates both the Apple and Android systems."

That is, the choice will be the consumer's.

This is the shape of things to come to the auto dashboard.

Ready or not, here it comes.

There is nothing you can do to prevent this or to head it off at the pass.

Read more of this in or from the author, Mark Ramsey's



The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) has
announced at the Paris Observatory, in a bulletin addressed to the
"authorities responsible for the measurement and distribution of time" that
it will be giving us "more time."

The bulletin advises authorities an extra second will be introduced to
Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) during the final minute, of the final day of
June. That means that right after the clock hits "23h 59m 59s," it will
strike "23h 59m 60s" UTC.

Another way to think about it:
Instead of the about 86,400 seconds we normally experience in a day, we're
getting 86,401.

This "leap second" system started in 1972, so our clocks stay in sync with
how long it takes the Earth to rotate on its axis. "Leap seconds ensure that,
on average, the Sun continues to be overhead on the Greenwich meridian at
noon to within about one [second]."

IERS already has added 25 leap seconds to Coordinated Universal Time -- most
recently in June 2012.

Leap seconds can only be added in June and December.

(International Business Times)

VK balloon reaches Southern Africa

After being launched from Melbourne (VK3) December 27, that small balloon has
been tracked easterly to the southern tip of New Zealand, travelled across the
Pacific and South America, and over the Southern Atlantic Ocean to Namibia,
on the west coast of Africa.

Andy VK3YT who launched the solar-powered foil party-type balloon says it
spent many days wandering off the African coast, before floating over land.

"The ZS stations are doing a great job with capture telemetry packets from
PS-30.' he said.

WSPR will be on 30m (dial 10.138700MHz) and 20m (dial 14.095600MHz)
JT9 is on 10.142000MHz and 14.075000MHz centre (dial 10.141000MHz and

A joyous Andy reports: "Looks like it is straight to Australia from here."

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forward trajectory
jet-stream forecast is across the Indian Ocean to Western Australia.

The Amateur Radio community in many countries are trying to track the balloon.
How much longer can it stay afloat? Will it circumnavigate the earth?

(SouthGate / VK4UQ / VK3PC)


web service:-

Sunday Feb 22nd is the 2015 VK2 Wyong Field Day and it is on come rain
hail or shine.

As announced the CCARC will be running a full day foundation class
licence training course on Saturday the 21st of February - the day
before the Field day. Having registered (contact details are on the
field day web site for this) please arrive at the seminar room in the
race club building at the Wyong Race Course by 9:45am for a 10:00am
start. There will be a facilities usage fee of just $10 which is
payable, in cash, on the day.

The assessments will also take place from 10am on the field day - these
will be performed in the stewards room on the ground floor and again you
need to be there by 9:45am. As always WIA and ACMA charges apply to the

For full details about registering for either the course or an
assessment, or both, as well as all information about the field day,
please go to the field day website, FIELDDAY.ORG.AU

The list of exhibitors who have confirmed is growing and now includes
ALARA, Hornsby & District ARC, AMSAT-VK, The Australian Radio DX Club,
Historical Radio Society, Kurrajong Radio Museum, Marine Rescue,
Rotarians of the Air, SOTA-VK2, Tube Radio Australia, West Lakes ARC,
the WIA QSL bureau and WICEN New South Wales.

The list of commercial traders includes Andrews Communications, CroTek,
ICOM Australia, NBS Antennas, Radio Supply, RF Solutions, Softmark. We
are awaiting final confirmation from some commercial traders and will
endeavour to bring you a full list as we get closer.

What about entertainment? While we all know the Field Day itself is very
entertaining for us, what about your partner or family members that you
may be bringing with you to the Central Coast? There is lots to do on
the coast. For the URL to find local events please refer to the Wyong
Field Day website, where you will find a link to the official events
page for the central coast.

For full details about the field day, please go to the website

From Dave VK2DLS, Publicity Officer of the Central Coast Amateur Radio

web service:-

Feb 7 the VK3 Homebrew Construction Group's first meeting of the year!
All welcome to attend 2pm at the Amateur Radio Victoria rooms at 40g Victory
Boulevard, Ashburton.


What use is an F-call?

The Amateur Foundation License in Australia has a range of obligations and
restrictions that differentiate it from the other Amateur Licenses. The most
visible of those is a limit on power of 10 Watts, the bands that are allowed,
80m, 40m, 15m, 10m, 2m and 70cm.

Another restriction is related to the use of a computer and your radio. The
interpretation is often made along the lines of: "You cannot use a computer
connected to your radio."

... and that's simply not the case.

The current LCD, as of January 2014, says:

"The licensee [..] must not operate an amateur station using automatic mode
or computer controlled mode."

And it says:

"The licensee [..] must not operate an amateur station that is directly
connected to a public telecommunications network.

It adds in italics a note:

"An amateur foundation station may be indirectly connected to a public
communications network through a gateway operated by another licensee."

This means that you can use your radio to connect to EchoLink and IRLP, both
Internet based radio technologies.

What you cannot do is run an EchoLink node on your computer, connect the
computer to the radio and have incoming connections activated by somebody
over the Internet. You cannot do this, not because it's a public
telecommunications network, more on that in a moment, but because the
computer is controlling the radio without your input, which you're not
permitted to do.

Now, the public telecommunications network part. I know that some of you are
already spluttering, but, but, but.

The amateur station isn't directly connected to a public telecommunications
network. It's connected to a computer, which in turn is connected to a
network, which in turn is connected to the Internet. This restriction isn't
about the Internet, it's about connecting an Amateur Radio to the telephone
network, about having someone ring a phone number and the audio that comes in,
be sent out over the air on your radio. It's about ensuring that only
appropriately licensed persons access the station to transmit.

It's an example of how regulation and invention are often not in sync.

Another point.

APRS, Automatic Packet Reporting System, is a way to use Amateur Radio to
transfer packets of information to people who want it. For example, it can be
used to report a GPS location, the state of a battery at a repeater site, the
read switch on a security door, whatever you can dream up.

As a Foundation Licensee, you cannot use the digital mode to send packets
using your radio, but nothing prevents you from using APRS on your phone.
This has nothing to do with your Amateur License or with the ACMA. It's a
system built and used by Amateurs, but if you're not using your radio, you're
good to go.

Also, there's nothing stopping you from listening to packet radio. You might
even pick up an ArduSat or two and help out school science in the process.
Other modes you might look at are PSK31, RTTY, JT65, WSPR. The sky is the
limit when you listen.

Go forth and have fun.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

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

New at the CES Las Vegas

A levitating wireless speaker and a cable connector!

The new Type-C connector has been making some appearances at the
International CES this week, and it brings several improvements!

Computerworld say the connector is reversible, you can plug it in upside down.

The Type-C connector works with the latest USB 3.1 standard, speeds up to

Type-C delivers greater amounts of power, up to 100 watts.

That means you should be able to charge something as big as a laptop via a
USB cable, as well as the phones and other small devices you can charge today.

Read the Type-C story at

WHAT IS THE Axxess CE Air2

It's a levitating Bluetooth speaker!

This item was nominated for the International CES 2015 Innovation award.

Apart from fascinating your friends (and likely infuriating your pets), the
compact speaker promises five hours of battery life and a transmission
distance of 10 metres.

It's probably safe to say this is more of a novelty piece than a must-have.
But it looks pretty darn cool.

The Sydney Morning Herald has published a list of the wackiest items:-

Iranian OTH radar on 7 MHz

The IARU Monitoring System report a 50 kHz wide radar signal from Iran in
the 40m band.

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1
December 2014 newsletter can be read on the IARUMS web site.

ZS Land draft radio regulations

Time is running out for comments on the latest South African draft radio
regulations published at the end of last year.

Some of the impact on radio amateurs is the increase in power on certain bands
and the 25 year age limit of ZU license holders which means that when a
ZU license holder reaches 25 years of age the license will be cancelled.

As well is an amendment to who may be in possession of a continuous tuning
receiver above 30 MHz.



DXpedition of the Year Awards

DX World has announced the winners of DXpedition of the Year for 2014 and the
RSGB was delighted to learn that the single-handed effort by Nigel, G3TXF
operating as ZD9XF from Tristan da Cuhna was placed 5th.

Top slot and outright winner was the large, professional DXpedition FT5ZM
from Amsterdam Island.

FUNcube 2 Testing

Limited testing of the FUNcube-2 435/145MHz linear transponder on
the UKube-1 spacecraft has been undertaken during the recent holiday period.

This testing has shown that the transponder is able to work effectively and
that it is capable of a similar performance to the transponder already
operating on FUNcube-1. AMSAT-UK and the FUNcube team have now submitted a
detailed report on the testing to the UK Space Agency, who are the owners and
prime operators of the UKube-1 spacecraft.

It is expected that a meeting will be held with them late January
or early February to plan possible future testing and operations.


Who and Where are our broadcast stations?

In addition to the normal WIA broadcast on Mt Ginini 2m & 70cm repeaters,
there will also be a broadcast on 160m.

The frequency will be 18430.2Khz AM.

The 160m re-broadcast will be done by VK1SV Dimitri or VK1WX Amanda.

Dimitri is in the process of making modifications to his 160m gear.

If the modifications prove successful Dimitri will originate the broadcast
and Amanda will be the back-up should Murphy's Law strike.

(Amanda VK1WX Broadcast Manager)


Jock White Field Day 2015 Saturday February 28th and Sunday March 1st.

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



This year, the VK5 National and Conservation Parks award celebrates its 2nd
year anniversary.

The aim of the award program is to encourage portable operation by amateur
radio operators in South Australia's 21 National Parks and 269 Conservation

On Saturday the 28th and Sunday 29th March, 2015, a special activation
weekend will be held to celebrate the 2nd anniversary.

So far, at this early stage, a total of 22 parks will be activated across
South Australia. Operators include Tony VK3VTH who intends to activate
Flinders Ranges National Park, Lake Torrens National Park, and the Gawler
Ranges National Park. Chris VK4FR will be travelling to Kangaroo Island to
activate a number of parks.

It is expected that the number of activations will grow significantly over
the next few weeks. Last year's anniversary activation weekend saw a total
of 29 amateurs venture out to activate a total of 98 National and Conservation
Parks across South Australia.

If you do intend to activate a park, please send an email to Paul VK5PAS, so your details can be added to the activation spread
sheet. The spreadsheet, which can be found in the files section of the VK5
Parks Yahoo group, displays all intended activations for that weekend. It
will prevent double up activations, and will also act as a one stop shop for
park hunters.

For more information please see the VK5 Parks website at

Again, the special activation weekend is Saturday the 28th and Sunday 29th
March. So if you have ever thought about going portable in a National or
Conservation Park, this is an excellent opportunity.

Thanks for listening. I'm Paul, VK5PAS on behalf of the Adelaide Hills
Amateur Radio Society.


VK 16 AC commemorates the 16th Asian Cup of Football.
VK 16 AC is active until the 31st Jan 2015.
VK 16 AC is active on all HF Bands and also on VHF/UHF.
VK 16 AC QSL cards can be requested through the QSL Manager M0 O XO
on OQRS this includes Buro requests.

GB 1 FZR will be on the air on 18th and 19th January to commemorate
the first Zeppelin raid on the UK in 1915. It will be operated by
Nigel, G0DGA with more details on under GB1FZR.

HE200GE commemorates the 200th anniversary of Geneva's entrance
into the Swiss Confederation. The beginnings of modern Switzerland
go back to the year 1291, when the three German language Alpine
forest areas signed the Federal Charter. Over the centuries more
cantons allied themselves to the original three and among the last
was the Republic of Geneva on 19th May 1815. HE200GE will be
active on all amateur bands throughout 2015 and contacts will be
valid for the Diploma of Genve. QSL via HB9AOF.

To mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the South African
Radio League, ZS90SARL is 'in the ether' until the end of April.

DXpedition to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Operation from February 6th through 13th.
6M to 160M Modes: CW, SSB, RTTY & PSK63

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

A group of 4 UK operators will operate as C 5 X from Gambia from 15 - 26
January on all bands 160 - 10m on CW, SSB and digital.
QSL manager is M0 O XO.

THE QNEWS WORK BENCH - the nuts and volts report - Measure Twice cut Once.

Many MANY moons ago the old QNEWS, still the local VK4 area news, came up
with what was thought a catchy title for the home brew column,

THE QNEWS WORK BENCH - the nuts and volts report - Measure Twice cut Once.

Now it seems everything old is new again as we have been shown a magazine
"Nuts and Volts magazine."

The author of Ham Radio for Dummies, Ward Silver, N0AX, has debuted a new
column for Nuts and Volts magazine - 'The Ham's Wireless Workbench.'

The ARRL says every other month, Ward will cover a topic that showcases some
aspect of Amateur Radio technology that is not typically covered by non-ham
media. Such topics, he said, would include such things as antennas,
transmission lines, connectors, propagation, transmitters, and modulation.

Nuts and Volts magazine is edited by radio amateur Bryan Bergeron, NU1N.

Read the full ARRL story at

Nuts and Volts magazine


Listen to the world of radio via the International Space Station

The International Space Station (ISS) circles the Earth about every 90 minutes
and picks up signals from the radio stations it flies over.

You're also treated to a hi-definition view of the Earth as it whizzes past


Just visit

The site itself is pretty simple. Once you visit, apart from the view from
the ISS live camera, you can watch the position of the space station on a map,
as it streams terrestrial radio stations on the ground. If there's more than
one available, you can choose among them, and as the ISS moves around the
planet, the radio stations change based on its position.

Of course, this isn't quite "what the ISS hears," since that's a bit more
complicated, but it is a fun little experiment to see what they may be hearing
if they were to tune in to terrestrial radio somehow.

Read the FULL story at:


Real-time band conditions website

The purpose of this experimental Web site is to provide 24-7-365 actual
(real-time) band condition information to CW QRPp, QRPe and CW/SSB for
Contesters interested in increasing their scores.

It can also be of benefit to other Radio Amateurs to determine band conditions
for Nets and casual QSOs.

This information is not based on any software predictions or any kind of
satellite based readings. It is based on a new Ionospheric sounding method
called "HF Ionospheric Interferometry" which operates very similarly to the
PolSAR system used by NASA.


A Youth Net meets Saturdays at 0100 UTC on IRLP Reflector #2.
Young Hams Net 3.590 - 7:30pm Victorian time.
Youngsters On The Air, YOTA

YASME honours IARU Region 1 Youth Programme

The Board of Directors of the YASME Foundation has announced the recipients
of the YASME Excellence Awards for 2014, and other actions

Lisa Leenders, PA2LS, the Chair of the Region 1 Youth Working Group and
Florin-Cristian Predescu, YO9CNU have been awarded a YASME Excellence award
for their work in organizing and promoting Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) and
amateur radio youth activities.

The YASME Excellence Award is presented to individuals who, through their own
service, creativity, effort and dedication, have made a significant
contribution to amateur radio. The contribution may be in recognition of
technical, operating or organizational achievement, as all three are necessary
for amateur radio to grow and prosper.

Furthermore, the YASME Foundation has awarded IARU Region 1 a grant of $5,000
in support of youth activities in amateur radio.



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

Brave new radio world

The boy scouts of 1963 made friends all over the world when Gympie's two
scouting groups at the time, Nashville and Gympie (St Patrick's), took part
in the Jamboree-on-the-air

Former Gympie Times' editor Nev McHarg remembers the occasion well, when
4GY announcer and technician Eric Chippindall demonstrated the latest in
hi-tec communications technology.

The 1963 photo of this event was later republished as the cover of
Amateur Radio magazine. One of the "young scouters" a Paul J Turner went
on to be a major Rock Radio DJ then more recently became VK4FPJT.

Read the full story in the Gympie Times


New world microwave records

Two new world distance microwave records have been made by an active
Australian with others on the 10 GHz and 24 GHz bands.

A record contact on 10 GHz was set on January the 5th, between Rex Moncur
VK7MO and Derek Zeck VK6DZ, both operating strategically portable on hill

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA), which officially judges records,
measured the 10 GHz distance at 2731.8 km.

It happened during a tropospheric propagation opening that bridged the Great
Australian Bight, on both the digital JT4f mode and SSB.

VK6DZ was portable at Torbay Hill, 24 km west of Albany, ran 10 W into a
60 cm dish. While Rex VK7MO was at Cape Portland on the north-eastern tip
of Tasmania had 50 W and used a portable 77 cm dish antenna. Both sites were
chosen for their excellent outlooks.

On the same day on 10 GHz, VK6DZ and VK5DK had an Australian record distance
of 2066 km. But it was bettered by VK6DZ and VK7MO, who gained the new world
record distance of 2731.8 km on 10 GHz - both in digital and on phone.

The VK7MO and VK6DZ distance beat the previous 10 GHz record of 2696 km on
SSB from Ilha do Sal, one of the Northern Cape Verde islands, to Portugal,
on July the 10th, 2010.

The pair VK7MO and VK6DZ, using the same path on the day, also set an Australia
record on 432 MHz.

Rex VK7MO has also been active on the 24 GHz band. On December the 31st,
using moon-bounce in a digital contact with Charlie Suckling G3WDG, covering
17463.3 km.

EME work on 24 GHz requires a lot of careful planning due to path losses.
The locations of Tasmania and the United Kingdom are far apart, and still
had a good take-off at Moon-set.

The latest distance achieved is about 60 km greater than the VK7MO and G3WDG
previous world record set in March 2014.

That time, VK7MO was on elevated Mt Wellington that helped reduce atmospheric
absorption. But the latest world record was at a greater distance from Hobart,
and had clear skies both ends. Charlie G3WDG used cleared land sounded by

(Jim Linton VK3PC plus


Jan 23-26 VK4 TARC Australia Day Long Weekend Family Radio Camp, Bluewater.

Feb 7 VK3 Homebrew Construction Group 2pm ARVic 40g Victory Bld Ashburton.
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

April 11 VK4 REDFest (Redcliffe Radio Club Event)

May 1-3 VK4 Clairview Gathering contact RADAR's VK4ACC 04 2963 2815
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
Sept 25-27 VK4 CHARC AGM Weekend Camp Fairbairn near Emerald

Oct 2-5 VK4 Cardwell Gathering, Beachcomber Motel and Tourist Park
Oct 25 VK4 Gold Coast Hamfest Broadbeach

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