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Sailing Vessel "Vector" and rescue of skipper Peter VK6BJC

Omega tower comes down

Nepal earthquake disaster recovery continues


Omega tower comes down

The Department of Defence demolished the Omega communication tower on the
former Naval Transmission Site at Darriman, Victoria, on 22 April.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence and local member for
Gippsland Darren Chester said the demolition was completed successfully and
without incident.

"Our primary concern was to make sure that the demolition was conducted
safely, and I am pleased to say that we have achieved this goal," Chester

For safety reasons, traffic on the nearby South Gippsland Highway was halted
for a short period while the tower demolition occurred.

Representatives from Victoria Police, Worksafe and Defence attended the
demolition to observe, record and support the project.

Defence's contractor, Liberty Industrial, cut selected guy cables by explosive charge, then the tower structure was destabilised and it collapsed upon itself in four large sections.

Now that the Omega tower has been demolished, Liberty Industrial will clear
the site of materials. In due course, Defence will dispose of the site. down-124566522

(Sourced from the Radio Comms Web-Ezine via VK7WI News)

Well it may be over for another 100 years but the first centenary of ANZAC
lives on.

ANZAC pilgrimage display of goodwill

The enduring Turkey-Australian friendship borne out of the WWI conflict at
Gallipoli 100 years ago, has resulted in a special presentation by the Telsiz
ve Radyo Amat?rleri Cemiyeti (TRAC).

June Sim VK4SJ, visiting Gallipoli for the ANZAC Day services on the former
battlefield of her late father, was meet by TRAC officials, including its
President, Aziz Sasa TA1E.

June VK4SJ found the services a very moving and personal time for the whole

She caught up with Aziz TA1E at a dinner, during which a Certificate of
Participation and a medal given by TRAC.

Now that the trip of a lifetime is over, the importance and memories of that
pilgrimage will last forever.

ANZAC 100 on the airwaves

The Amateur Radio Experimenters Group (AREG) activated the commemorative
callsign VI5ANZAC from ANZAC Day until April the 30th, for the 100th landing
anniversary of the ANZAC force on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey during

"AREG has now reviewed all of the activity members were able to undertake as
part of the commemorative activation of VI5ANZAC, remembering 100 years
since the ANZAC force landed on the shores of Gallipoli in World War One.

In all, the AREG team worked a total 1290 QSOs over 10 Bands, 48 DXCC
entities, 43 US States, 21 CQ Zones, and 40 IOTA in the spirit of fostering
international friendship and peace.

The highlights of the activation for AREG members were working a number of
the Turkish special event stations! It was great to make these contacts.

AREG would like to thank the Wireless Institute of Australia for all of the
efforts they have made to arrange for and coordinate the state based
commemorative call signs.

Details of AREG's ANZAC operations may be read on AREG's web pages at

I am Ben, VK5BB for the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group."

Ben is also a long time rebroadcaster of this the WIA National News on the
"Magic Band" in SA. This VI5ANZAC activation was in honour of the 10th
Battalion, which was raised in South Australia in August 1914.

Also on ANZAC Day VI8ANZAC was from Alice Springs and was very busy. The
operation then switched to the Darwin North RSL on Sunday.

There was plenty of action on the HF bands by serving Defence members, who
were very honoured in putting VI8ANZAC to air for the rest of the week.

Now we look at the activity taking place this week.

Although the CW mode is used during the WIA ANZAC program, a special Morse
code activity is planned by the Manly Warringah Radio Society of New South
Wales, Australia.

This weekend the callsign VI2ANZAC is on many HF bands for seven days, in
commemoration of the landing on the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp
(ANZAC) at Gallipoli 100 years ago.

Patrick Novak VK2PN says the operation between May the 9th and 15th will
be CW only expedition style, as many hours as propagation and stamina will

Townsville in Queensland is activating VI4ANZAC in memory of all who served
our nation in a time of great need. This commemorative station is on CW,
SSB and the digital modes.
All this weekend operation is from the Townsville Amateur Radio Club rooms,
the WWII Pacific theatre communications venue.

During this week VI4ANZAC will be in homes built on what used to be one of
the largest air bases in the Pacific theatre of operations RAAF Headquarters,
and adjacent to one of the largest Army bases in Australia today.

Looking further ahead, ahead, VK1100ANZAC will be activated by Wade Milford
VK4WM in Harvey Bay, for two days May the 15th and 16th, to commemorate
Lieutenant Duncan Chapman, the first man to land at Gallipoli.

Meantime, ZL100ANZAC by the New Zealand Associated of Radio Transmitters
continues to be heard, active on the HF bands.

For all information about ANZAC 100 and its 40 events, please see the WIA

(Jim Linton VK3PC)

Disaster Communication Group calls for release of radio gear

The Computer Association of Nepal-USA (CAN-USA) has called on the Amateur
Radio community to urge the government of Nepal to release radio equipment
being held up in customs, so that it can be used to support the earthquake
relief and recovery effort

The ARRL report:

CAN-USA held a news conference May 1 in Santa Clara, California, to publicize
its role in providing disaster communication in Nepal as well as to promote
its fund-raising efforts. CAN-USA calls its project to advance Amateur Radio
in Nepal "Radio Mala," describing it as "disaster communication infrastructure
to connect Kathmandu and the surrounding region in a ring of protective
Ham Radio communication."

"Radio Mala team members have been working on their disaster-communication
project for Nepal for several years, believing a massive earthquake in Nepal
was imminent," the organization said on its Facebook page. "Their single
repeater, which was erected in 2013, withstood the devastating 7.8 earthquake
and is the only repeater that has been in constant use since the earthquake

"Advanced radio equipment intended for the Radio Mala project has been locked
up in Nepalese customs since March equipment for a next-generation Amateur
Radio which may have saved lives had it been deployed before the earthquake
struck," the organization said.

Read the full ARRL story at

(arrl via SouthGate News)


Dick Smith VK2DIK is currently conducting aerial surveys in VK5 and VK6 over
portions of the Nullarbor .. Commencing today (Sunday) and continuing until
Thursday the 14th - he will be able to operate Amateur Radio from the plane.

During some of the time he will be on 20 metres on a fixed frequency of
14.146 MHz While the operating times are not known - Dick will try to come
up on this frequency on the hour. You will have to listen on the hour during
daylight to see if Dick is available.

The frequency again is 14.146 MHz USB and the callsign in use is VK2DIK/
aeronautical mobile. Duration of the operation from Sunday 10 to Thursday
the 14th.

web service:-

Winter looms and snow has already fallen

The Bogong High Plains Winter mini-expedition in the Victorian Alps is on
again this year and final planning is being made for a team of experienced

Brothers Stephen VK3SN and Gerard VK3GT will lead the skiers and use
ultra-light weight solar powered QRP gear on all bands from 80m to 70cm.

They will be joined by Michael VK3FMAW and a few experienced back country
skiers from August the 11th to the 14th.

The team will listen on 40m each afternoon and 80m at night, camping out
in deep snow above 1800m elevation. More details are at

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


Following is from Andrew, VK6AS, WA Amateur Radio News Inc.

"Last Monday morning the ABC breaking news reported that a 68-year-old man
had been rescued from a stricken yacht, 130 kilometres east of Esperance,
off WA's south coast, The skipper, the only person on-board, activated an
EPIRB about 7:30am after his mast broke. Water Police said it appeared the
yacht had then washed against rocks. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority
sent two rescue helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft to find the vessel. WA
Police, SES, Volunteer Marine Rescue, and the Departments of Transport and
Fisheries were involved in the rescue. AMSA confirmed a helicopter was able
to land near the rocks and the yachtsman was winched to safety. He was checked
by ambulance officers and was in good health".

As is often the case there is a little bit more to this story and, as is too
frequent, the media failed to get the facts quite right and also paid no
credit to the involvement of amateur radio.

So here is the full story. The very experienced skipper of the yacht
"Vector" is Peter VK6BJC who was voyaging to Adelaide. Stormy weather was
forecast and so he anchored overnight in Goose Island Bay in the Recherch
Archipelago of Southern WA, waiting for it to pass. Winds picked up to beyond
40 knots or strong gale force and the anchor started to drag; Peter motored
against the wind for nearly 4 hours to relieve the pressure on the anchor and
maintain position. But then the motor suddenly cut out and he was adrift.
Raising sail was to no avail, as it almost immediately blew out in the gale,
his craft was washed over a rock, bending the rudder and skeg, even the
emergency tiller was of no use as he drifted helplessly towards a rock just
off Miles Island.

Peter was in an emergency situation and deployed his EPIRB, he set off flares
and called mayday both on marine HF and on the 40 meter AR band. Western
Australian amateurs, VK6TWJ, Ian, VK6FABC, John , VK6JI Chris and Richard
VK6HRC all heard a faint Mayday call and all answered the call in turn with
no reply heard, but then about 10 minutes later they were able to hear Peter
and get his current position. Michael, VK6TX, also heard his call and
immediately called the WA Water Police This was even before AMSA had alerted
the Water Police after the EPIRB activation.

Audio clip 1

Emergency procedures swung into action, VK6DW Ian, Peter's brother was phoned
by AMSA as the first person on their calling list. As Peter and Ian had a
regular morning and evening radio "sked", he was able to tell them of Vector's
last recorded position at sea. Ian then quickly put out a call on 40 metres
and made contact with his brother, to be told that Peter expected to have to
abandon ship within minutes. This message was relayed to AMSA together with
an accurate position. Michael VK6TX came back and suggested using the VHF
repeater channel at Esperance to communicate with WA Water Police in
Fremantle, but the situation deteriorated and before this could be relayed
Peter went QRT with the report that:

Audio clip 2

Nearly an hour passed before Peter called again on 40 metres. His signal was
very weak, perhaps a 3 by 5. But a QSO was made and confirmed that he was
still aboard Vector, in the cockpit Ian asked him to try the VHF channel, as
suggested by Michael VK6TX.

Audio clip 3

He did so and immediately got a response from WA Water Police who together
with AMSA dispatched aircraft to the scene. Peter also utilised VHF to talk
to the helicopter pilot as it landed on the rock. He was able to walk to the
helicopter and flown to Esperance, where he was checked out medically and
reunited with family.

It's great to let you know that Peter is well and he wants me to tell you
that, "between the WA Water Police and AMSA, my rescue was outstanding and
seemingly without issue"., "Just another day in the office for these people",
he said. "Amateur radio made the communication by me on Vector possible with
quite a number of people listening in and helping out". Ian also added
"Ham radio allowed me to let Peter know that help was on the way and to pass
on some very helpful advice at what was a very stressful time." He continued,
" It also made sure that the information relayed in both directions was

Peter, Ian and the family are very grateful to all of the emergency services,
to Michael VK6TX and to the other amateurs that helped prevent what could have
been a tragedy.

Radio Amateurs yet again show their importance to our communities in times of
crisis and emergency.

With thanks to all of the amateurs involved in the rescue and to Chris VK6JI
for the sound recordings, this is Andrew VK6AS reporting to the WIA National
News for WA Amateur Radio News."


What use is an F-call?

One of the innocuous questions you are asked during a contact is: "What is
your QTH?" or: "Where are you?". Often this is followed by a whole story about
a goat track and so many kilometres away from some large land-mark. If you're
dealing with an experienced operator, they'll simplify that to something like:
10km North East of Tokyo. Often that's more than accurate enough, but how do
you communicate a more accurate location?

In this age of GPS, we've all come to know that you can express any location
on earth with two numbers, a latitude and a longitude. For example, the main
2m repeater in Perth, VK6RAP is located at 32 degrees, 6 minutes and 4 seconds
South, 116 degrees, 3 minutes East, or digitally, -32.100054,116.051551.

That's a right royal mouthful.

We could improve on that by using a different system of indicating a location.
We could use something called a maidenhead locator. For VK6RAP, the locator
grid square is OF87av.

I'll say that again, OF87av. That's it. The whole location.

Now to be fair, I should point out that the maidenhead locator I just told you
is in fact a box. Any two points in a box are less than 12km apart, so that's
pretty high accuracy for so few characters. We could add another couple of
letters and increase the accuracy to a couple of meters, OF87AV66EA is 10
characters, same accuracy as the GPS location I gave earlier, except that was
20 characters and that's not counting south or east.

In typical use, we use 6 characters for more than enough accuracy for most
amateur purposes.

It's pretty straight forward, break the planet down into squares, allocate a
letter to each grid, break that square down, and so on. If you want the full
detail on this, have a look at Wikipedia, it's all there in full glorious
detail, including some example code to write your own software to do

Invented in parallel by John G4ANB and Folke SM5AGM, the Maidenhead Locator
System was adopted by the IARU Region 1 in 1982 and started use on January
1st, 1985.

We might have been doing Amateur Radio for over a hundred years, but we're
still inventing things much more recently.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB, currently located at OF78wc

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

Nepal earthquake disaster recovery continues

The rescue teams are still going through rubble, including levelled buildings
and landslides, looking for human remains, after that 7.8 earthquake struck
the land-locked mountainous nation of Nepal.

After two weeks the official death toll is well over 7,000 with 14-hundred
injured and many people left homeless.

National Coordinator for Disaster Communication in India, Jayu Bhide VU2JAU
says all radio amateurs are working hard with emergency communications,
although power and telecommunications are slowly being restored.

HAMs like Peddy VU2PEP, Sarath VU2SCV, Sanil VU3SIO, Dorrai VU2DVG, Tapas
operating VU2IWA and Walidbhai A41LD have put in long hours on the emergency

Satish 9N1AA in Nepal continues to exchange information with the Indian
operators every two hours.

Rescuers have had trouble in reaching the remotest villages where roads are
blocked and no communication is possible.

Jayu VU2JAU reports that power in some areas is still cut. His efforts through
the Lions Club Gwalior India has obtained hand-held crank chargers to
recharge mobile phones and should soon be shipped to Nepal.

Foreign aid is arriving, but the importation of radio equipment remains
problematical due to customs procedures being invoked in the Nepalese capital
of Kathmandu as we heard earlier in this news cast..


The BBC reports that a graphene bulb is set to go on sale
this year. United Kingdom developers said their graphene
bulb will be the first commercially viable consumer product
using the super-strong carbon.

The dimmable bulb has a filament-shaped LED coated in
graphene. Because of its conductivity the bulb can last
longer and is said to cut energy use by 10 percent. It is
also expected to be priced lower than some LED bulbs.

The bulb is being manufactured by a Canadian financed
company called Graphene Lighting.

Upgraded atomic clock is the most accurate timekeeper in the world

It'll run 15 billion years without losing or gaining a second!

Researchers in the US have given their atomic clock a few tweaks, and now that it won't lose or gain a second in 15 BILLION years, it's broken the record for the most accurate clock in the world. And not just by a little bit - it's now
three times more accurate than the previous record-holder, which was itself,
last year.

AMSAT FieldOps Team SO-50 Operating Guide is Available

AMSAT's Director of Field Operations, Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK says
the FieldOps team is working to make how-to-operate-satellites
information readily available on the web. Based on a HamFest handout
designed and written by Patrick, "Getting Started with the FM
Satellites", is available for download. Patrick shows the basic
equipment and techniques to learn successful operating on the
satellites. This guide also gives specific information on how to
operate via SO-50, the only currently available FM satellite at the

Patrick's guide is posted at: --> Satellite Info --> Station and Operating

The direct link is where you'll
find the link "Operating FM Satellites" (and a link to the Spanish
version also).


Prizes to be awarded at the 2015 Dayton Hamvention have
exceeded $55,000 and additional donations are still coming
in. This according to Tom Holmes, N8ZM who is serving as
the 2015 Prize Committee chairman.

Holmes says the total for major prizes thus far is $27,588
and smaller prizes at $27,502 almost match that amount.

Several transceivers highlight the major prizes. These
include an IC-7600 and ID 5100A from ICOM America; three TS-
590G's from Kenwood USA, a FTDX 1220 and a FT 450D from
Yaesu USA and a DX-SR9T from Alinco. The biggest prize in
physical size is a US Tower HDX-555 55 foot crank up tower.

About 100 vendors have contributed prizes so far. Holmes
notes that some of the hourly prizes may also be substantial
and represent a broad spectrum of items of interest to

Drawings will be held hourly during Hamvention and winning
numbers are posted at the Prize Booth in the Main Arena and
on monitors throughout the HARA Arena complex. The drawing
for the major prizes takes place at the close of Hamvention.


Trans-Tasman contest 18th July from 0800utc


Remembrance Day Contest August 15 and 16

Oceania DX contest Voice First full weekend in October

Oceania DX contest Continuous Wave Second full weekend in October.


OH 3 WS will once again be active as OJ0W from Market Reef
between May 23rd and the 31st. He is there as a as a voluntary
worker and will operate during his spare time.

His operations will be on 40 through 10 meters mostly CW but
with some SSB. QSL via his home callsign.

K3LP, K3FN and VK3FY will be on the air from Aruba as P40CD,
P40FN and P40FY from Cook's Radio Retreat on Aruba between
May 19th and the 26th. Activity will be on the High
Frequency bands only. QSL via M0OXO.

DJ6TF, DK1BT, DL7DF and DL7UFR signing stroke Oh-X
from Tasiilaq Island between June 3rd through the 12th.
Their operations will be on 160 through 6 meters using CW,
SSB, RTTY and PSK31. They will upload the full logs of the
DXpedition to Logbook of the World within 6 months after the
DXpedition has been completed. QSL via DL7DF, direct or by
the bureau.


Several radio amateurs of Section 54 of the Netherlands
national amateur radio society the VERON will bring the
special call PA125VVG from Monday, May 11th until Sunday,
June 7th to the air, This in commemoration of the life of
Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh.

Vincent Van Gogh was born in Zundert on 30th of March 1853
and was one of the great artists of the 19th century. His
work falls under Post-Impressionism, an art form that
succeeded the nineteenth century impressionism.

PA125VVG will be operational on all of the High Frequency
and VHF bands using various modes. For all QSO's made with
PA125VVG a special QSL card via the bureau. Neither eQSL or
Logbook of the World will not be available for this event.
A special digital award will also be available. More
information can be found at



PT70FEB is a special event station that will operate
throughout May. This to celebrate 70 years of the end of
World War II, and a tribute to the Brazilian Expeditionary
Force Italian Campaign. Operations will be on most of the
High Frequency bands using SSB, CW & RTTY. QSL's go to
PS7AB direct, via the bureau or electronically using eQSL or
Logbook of the World.

Terry, G4POP will operate GB4FED, a special event call sign for VE
day. It will be active between 1st and 28th May from The Royal
Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham on Crouch, Essex. The main activity
will be on 8th to 10th May to coincide with the yacht club's VE
Day anniversary events


Starting of this brand new WIA year we learn that a relay of the VK2WI News
session is being undertaken by Marcus VK2SK at Bathurst on the 17 metre
frequency of 18.125 MHz USB with both the morning and evening sessions at
10 am and 7.30 pm.

Reports are welcomed either to Marcus VK2SK or the VK2WI call back email of .. The frequency again is 18.125 MHz in Upper Sideband.

This National News service will also be carried by VK2SK mornings



Europe's Rosetta comet-chasing mission researchers announced
that its subject, comet 67 P has no magnetic field.

According to a report by the European Space Agency,
Rosetta's lander probe Philae took data from its multiple
landing sites last November and radioed the information back
to Earth. From this researchers found that the surface of
67 P is not magnetized. This news could provide some key
insight into the formation planets as well as comets during
their early development stages.

The findings were first published by the journal
"Science" and presented at the European Geosciences Union in
Vienna, Austria. The complete story is on-line at

(IBT via ARNewsLine)

Where Over the World Is Astronaut Scott Kelly?

During his year-long stay on the International Space Station,
astronaut Scott Kelly wants to test your knowledge of the world
through a geography trivia game on Twitter. Traveling more than 220
miles above Earth, and at 17,500 miles per hour, he circumnavigates
the globe more than a dozen times a day. This gives Kelly the
opportunity to see and photograph various geographical locations on
Earth. In fact, part of his job while in space is to capture images
of Earth for scientific observations.

Follow @StationCDRKelly on Twitter and each Wednesday, Kelly will
tweet a picture and ask the public to identify the place depicted in
the photo. The first person to identify the place correctly will win
an autographed copy of the picture. Kelly plans to continue posting
weekly contest photos until he returns from the space station in
March 2016.

For more information, visit

To learn more about the One-Year Mission, visit

[ANS thanks the NASA Education Express Message for April 30, 2015
for the above information]

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

Equine Endurance Event

NTARC over in VK7 has been invited by the North East Equine Endurance Club
(NEEEC) to provide safety and event commas at their ride to be held at Lebrina
Saturday 16 May. This is a one day event but camping facilities are available
for those who may like to take their motorhome, caravan, camper trailer, tent
or swag and stay overnight on the Friday.

As has been practice at these events in the past 12 months or so, this outing
will see further continue of development of the RFID tracking of riders and
improving other services offered to competitors and the event organisers.

Developments for this ride will include extending the tagging of competitors
in the 80Km and 40Km rides and deployment of a second reader. It is intended
to use the new reader in the field to test data comms from checkpoints.



Work this one from VK and we'll "buy you lunch"

EI2DKH is a new transatlantic 2 meter propagation beacon
that became fully operational from County Cork in Ireland on
April 12th. The beacon transmits in the JT65b mode with CW
identifier on 144.488 MHz every even minute. It then
listens for responses on 144.155 MHz every odd minute.
Power output is 75 watts to a set of 5-element LFA-Q Innov
Antenna yagi's at 60 meters above mean sea level beaming due
west. During major meteor showers the beacon will switch to
the FSK441 mode. Any call signs received are uploaded to a
public webpage at

(IRTS, Southgate via ARNewsLine)


May 9 VK3 Moorabbin & Dist. HamFest Southern Community Centre Mulgrave
May 9 VK4 BARCFEST Salvation Army Hall Calamvale
May 9-10 VK WIA AGM Canberra

June 5- 7 VK4 Central Highlands ARC & Theresa Creek Campout, Clermont.
June 6- 7 VK2 Queens Birthday 40th annual Oxley Region Field Day
June 6- 7 VK5 51st South East Radio Group Convention / Australian
Foxhunting Championship

July 1 VK4 Caboolture HamFest
July 11-12 VK3 GippsTech 2015
July 18 VK3 Gippsland gate Radio & Electronics Club HamFest @ Cranbourne
July 25 VK3 ALARA's 40th Birthday Lunch, Novotel Glen Waverley.

Hi Everyone,

I am Donna VK3FRET and I would like to remind you that the ALARA is
celebrating its 40th birthday with a special Lunch on July 25th at
the Novatel, Glen Waverley.

All YLs are invited and, of course you may bring along your OM.

Please contact for further details. We would love to see
you there.

This is Donna, VK3FRET for ALARA.

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 VK3 Ballarat Amateur Radio Group Hamvention Greyhound Track
Oct 25 VK4 Gold Coast HamFest Broadbeach

Nov VK3 QRP By the Bay details from VK3YE held 2nd Saturday


Feb 28 VK3 EMDRC HamFest Great Ryrie Primary School Heathmont.

Submitting news items

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If you would like to submit news items for inclusion in the
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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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