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Balloons galore attract trackers

Launch of the solar powered party-type balloons from Melbourne Australia is
continuing. At least one, by Andy Nguyen VK3YT, is flying with a payload of
a 25mW transmitter to give position, speed, altitude, temperature, and
battery condition.

These balloons are being followed flying at high altitudes by their WSPR, JT9
signals and sometimes Olivia signals on the 30m and 20m bands, with trackers
in VK, ZL and throughout the world.

After circumnavigating the southern hemisphere the balloon PS-41 went south
towards Antarctica, then headed east to the southern end of South America.
That balloon disappeared in the Southern Ocean around April 21 and is
believed to be the first flight on its kind in the Antarctic region.

While PS-42, put up by Andy VK3YT during the PS-41 record distance flight
as part of a multiple-balloon tracking test, quickly crossed the
International Dateline but then slowed down and headed north to go down
mid-way between New Zealand and South America.

PS-44 after travelling down the Victoria's Mornington Peninsula to leave the
mainland at Cape Schanck was last known to be in slow flight over Bass

Earlier and out-of-sequence PS-45 went from Melbourne westerly to Adelaide
before turning inland heading towards north-east to exit at the Gold Coast in
Queensland and out to sea.

The weather has been very unfavourable, which is to be expected at this time
of the year in the southern hemisphere, but future flights in the series are

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


President Phil Wait VK2ASD
Vice President Chris Platt VK5CP
Secretary David Williams VK3RU
Treasurer John Longayroux VK3PZ


About 120 members attended the Institute's Annual General Meeting, held over
the second weekend in May. A bus tour of our national capital saw partners
enjoy some of the city's highlights and they joined in the dinner on the
Saturday evening.

The AGM segment of the day began with a moment's silence, to remember the
silent keys of the past year. This was followed by the usual business
reports, a financial statement and other annual general meeting formalities.

With the business over, President Phil Wait VK2ASD went on to present the
annual awards recognising the achievements attained by worthy amateurs.
More about the awards in a moment.

Once the clapping subsided, the fun began with the "Open Forum", featuring
lively presentations from a variety of presenters. The Forum allows WIA
members to speak, comment, ask questions and make suggestions on any topic.
Dale Hughes VK1DSH led the charge, with a short, stimulating talk titled
"the importance of being involved", highlighting his advocacy work for
amateur radio on behalf of the Institute at World Radio Conferences and many
associated Working Party meetings. What's that they say on social media? -
it's complicated!

The central theme of the Forum this year was the tenth Anniversary of the
Foundation Licence. From a position of steady decline before 2005, the
reshaping of the licence system into the Advanced, Standard and new entry
point Foundation Licence, has seen that downward trend turned around.

Foundation Licence is due for review

The 10th anniversary of the new entry level licence in Australia has seen
a great turnaround with Amateur Radio being made more accessible to a
greater number of people.

When it was proposed as part of the Australian Communications Authority "Big
Review", the Foundation Licence was embraced by radio amateurs as the way
forward for Amateur Radio.

The Foundation Licence has transformed us from a worrying declining interest
in Amateur Radio, to one of growth with new people entering the hobby and
most upgrading to the Standard or Advance levels.

Designed more than a decade ago, it gave entrants a taste of Amateur Radio,
inspiring many to explore the multi-faceted hobby, and encouraged some to
go further and upgrade their qualification.

Since 2005 over 5,000 Foundation Licence assessments have held, but with
a decline in the number of candidates, more needs to be done to promote the
hobby and review the attractiveness of it as the entry point.

While the Foundation Licence is now 10 years old and due for a review to
reflect new technology of the last decade, and provide a better taste of
a modern Amateur Radio, it remains a popular entry point into the hobby.

At the Forum, each current WIA assessor who'd been with the scheme from the
start was recognised with a special framed certificate to mark their 10 years
of service.

Further presentations across the Saturday afternoon featured a range of
speakers covering the many details of Assessment and Education in Amateur
Radio and the WIA's Role in the System. This included one talk on special
needs and remote assessments, in which the WIA has been particularly

To relieve the seriousness, Andrew Morsley VK1NAM and Simon Pearce VK1FAAS
conveyed their passion and enthusiasm for Summits on the Air, known as SOTA
an activity that combines bushwalking, hill climbing and portable amateur
What's not to like? Simon highlighted SOTA activities as ideal for providing
successful on-air experience for Foundation operators - better than calling
"blind" into the aether with 10 watts.

Paul Simmons VK5PAS backed this up with an engaging presentation on the
World Wide Flora and Fauna awards system that mixes amateur radio with
drawing attention to the importance of protecting nature, flora and fauna.

A presentation on amateurs' obligations concerning their electromagnetic
emissions, given by Roger Harrison VK2ZRH, drew some questions and comments
from the floor. Tongue in cheek, Roger led the audience in chanting
"What do we want? A thousand watts! When do we want it? Now!"

Comments and suggestions from the floor of the meeting included issues on
band planning, the perennial query on licence fees, Intruder Watch
activities, the handling of correspondence, membership of committees, a
suggestion for plastic wallet-sized amateur licences, donations and club
equipment insurance, amongst others. All of the issues and suggestions were
logged for consideration by the Board.

Touched on during the Forum, and at the dinner held that evening, members
heard more about the ACMA being in a state of change over recent times,
including the introduction of a new online digitised licence handling system
for all radiocommunications licensees - not only amateurs, but broadcasters,
commercial users and others.

The Saturday night guest speaker at the annual dinner was Mr Mark Loney, who
heads ACMA's Spectrum Operations and Services Branch. He opened with a
travelogue about his recent trip to Mongolia, studying how a third-world
country tackles the challenges of spectrum management.

Having softened-up his attentive audience, Mr Loney explained that there had
been a delay in the advised shut-down of the current licence system in
preparation for a switch-over to a you-beaut new one. Apparently, it was
judged to be not quite ready to go live. No doubt we'll hear more about this
from the ACMA in coming weeks and months.

Mr Loney went on to highlight that the current three radiocommunication
licence types now available - Apparatus, Spectrum and Class licences - are
likely to be changed or amalgamated under a review of how the spectrum is
managed here. Mr Loney hinted at this brave new world, with many challenges
likely to be waiting in the wings.

The WIA Board sees the coming changes as positive, has already made
submissions to the reviews announced, attended briefings and information
sessions, published reports on what's transpired so far and is preparing to
respond to the many challenges ahead.

The Board sincerely thanks all who helped to bring together the 2015 AGM and
Open Forum, in particular - Amanda Hawes VK1WX and members of the Canberra
Amateur Radio Club, our office staff Mal Brooks VK3FDSL and Diane Ashton
VK3FDIZ, the many members who turned up at the Friday night meet-and greet
at King O'Malley's pub, and assorted bodies who assisted during Saturday.

We apologise for the remaining two items not having text associated but
do direct you to the story from WIA on her awards issued at AGM by going to

And for the WIA Board report from the meeting held the Sunday in Canberra to:-

Continuing Board Talk from the WIA VK3PC Jim Linton reports on a friendship
contact between TC100GP and VI8ANZAC.

A meeting by two commemorative stations - TC100GP for the Centenary of
Gallipoli at Canakkale, and VI8ANZAC at the North Darwin Return Services
League symbolise the enduring respect held by both sides of the WWI battle.

The 15m band ANZAC weekend QSO is one of occasion when Turkey's TC100-
prefixed stations and the ANZAC-suffixed callsigns in Australia, made contact
via Amateur Radio.

Coscun Pinar TA3CX of Team Papa that was TC100GP at Gallipoli later wrote:
"We Turks are highly respectful to our ancestors, very similar to you.
Therefore, we admire the ANZAC spirit and fidelity. Our ancestors sleep in
peace in Gallipoli together and we wish peace for the living world forever."

VI8ANZAC coordinator, Stuie Birkin VK8NSB replied: "My friend, thank you very
much for activating TC100GP. I was very happy to have worked you guys on
ANZAC Day. It was a pleasure to have met you, and this QSO will stay with me
for ever."

Stuie VK8NSB, now in his 28th year with the Royal Australian Air Force, is
very proud and honoured to have activated the VI8ANZAC callsign.

He was in Gallipoli for the ANZAC Day 1988 service, and has never forgotten
the friendship that the Turkish people showed at the time.

The Gallipoli campaign was one of the greatest Ottoman victories and a major
allied failure. Both the Turks, then under the Ottoman Empire, and allied
forces suffered heavy losses in that WWI conflict.

It became a defining moment in Turkey's history. The Turkish War of
Independence raged soon after WWI with freedom from the crumbling Ottoman
Empire, and formation of the Republic of Turkey.

Meantime a marathon VI2ANZAC commemoration by the Manly Warringah Radio
Society over 7-days has ended with about 3,000 QSOs in the log, and many HF
contacts used the CW mode.

Patrick VK2PN who ran the event with mainly Allan VK2GR and Tommy VK2IR,
thanked all for the opportunity and their support.

Looking ahead, the VK100ANZAC callsign will be activated for three days
from May 30 by the Northern Tasmanian Amateur Radio Club, to commemorate
the local ANZACs. The club station with also have audio visual presentations,
photographs and posters.

A reminder that those allocated the WIA commemorative ANZAC-prefixed
callsigns to ensure that digital logs are uploaded promptly, so they
appear on the eQSL system.

ANZAC 100 logs milestone

The number of QSOs generated by the WIA ANZAC 100 program and now uploaded
as digital files has exceeded 5,000 according to a tally of logs sent to
an on-line uploader.

Logs from the national callsign VK100ANZAC, and all VI state and territory
callsigns, are being checked and sent by Trent Sampson VK4TS to eQSL, Logbook
of The World and ClubLog.

Many logs are expected soon from recent activity. ANZAC-suffixed callsigns
will continue until December the 20th.

Meantime the New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters ZL100ANZAC
callsign goes QRT this weekend. It looks to maximise its already substantial
commemorative log.

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

We commence International News with a timely reminder of the disclaimer we
have (and have had for close on 12 years) in the text edition of WIA National
News and do from time to time read here in the audio services.

That is:-

Opinions expressed in "WIANews" are those of the writers who submit material
and do not necessarily reflect those of the rebroadcasters, nor the National
WIA, but are broadcast in the spirit in which they were submitted."

Yes we at the news desk don't "make up the stories"...

why start with this this week?

Well a story last week seemed to upset one or two by being quite 'unbelievable'
I'll remind you this was the story on the "Hall Thruster" from NASA, something
which almost sounded like the Holy Grail of perpetual motion.

Some say the small lab under NASA's umbrella claims its fuel-less rocket works.
But the thing is, according to 99.999% it doesn't.

Look at it this way. If you sit in a shopping cart in your local Woollies with all
your limbs inside the basket, you're pretty much immobile. By thrashing around
violently, you might get the cart to shift a few inches one way or another,
but unless the floor is uneven, your thrashing will typically result in no
real motion. If you really want the cart to move, you have to exert a force
on the outside of itsuch as the floor or the wall of the storenot the

That's a simplified version of a fundamental law of physics, known as the
conservation of momentum. That law governs all sorts of phenomena, including
rocket engines, collisions between electrons, and car wrecks. It's well
established by a huge number of experiments, so it's not something you can
jettison lightly. Yet, that's what this new proposed thruster is supposed to
do, and while no reputable physicists are taking it seriously a small
semi-independent lab under the NASA umbrella has given it an official stamp
of approval.

US scientist, Guido Fetta built his own propellant-less microwave thruster and
managed to persuade NASA to test it out. The test results were presented at
the 50th Joint Propulsion Conference in Ohio. Astonishingly enough, they WERE

The Nasa team based at the Johnson Space Centre gave its paper the title
"Anomalous Thrust Production from an RF Test Device Measured on a Low-Thrust
Torsion Pendulum".

And with that, like when Chris Columbus proved the earth was NOT flat, is the
end of this thread!

Sarah Brightman has announced she is postponing her plans to launch aboard the
upcoming Soyuz TMA-18M spaceflight mission expected for September. Ms. Brightman
said that for personal family reasons her intentions have had to change and she
is postponing her cosmonaut training and flight plans at this time.

Region One Intruder watch say a strong Russian noise floor cantered on
14.120 MHz with width of the signal covered from 13.960 to 14.260 MHz
is believed to be located in Moscow and has been disturbing Nepalese
emergency communications on 14.205 MHz
More is on the web in PDF format at

The might of Thailand's military appears to have successfully defended its
right to the 6 meter band. Under the original master plan proposal,
50 to 54 MHz was to be re-designated for radio amateurs.
The revised master plan instead will give hams in Thailand an additional one
megahertz by expanding the 2 meter allocation upward to 147 MHz but 6 meters
will remain with the military.

Who and Where are our broadcast stations?


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.





Fraught with danger of announcing DX peditions early we learn that due to the
inability of Heritage Expeditions to deliver on its earlier promise of providing
a safe and supported operation at Heard Island using the Russian vessel
Akad Shokalskiy things have changed.

A new vessel means the schedule will require adapting team and project activities,
but the major goals of the expedition remain unchanged.

The nominal 21-day stay at Heard Island will still enable amateur radio
using the call sign VK EK. While the radio operation is the primary goal,
the team will also carry out a limited scientific program.


Two more Merit Awards for working 45 under the Keith Roget Memorial National
Parks Award (KRMNPA) have been issued.

These went to Andrew Davis VK1DA and Tim Hann VK5AV, adding to the rapidly
growing list of Merit Award recipients now at eight.

Andrew VK1DA made his first contact with Wayne VK3WAM who was activating
Terrick Terrick National Park in September 2011, and finished 45th on May 3,
with Paul VK5PAS/3 who was at Murray-Sunset National Park.

Another achiever in portable working Amanda VK3FQSO, alerted Andrew of Paul's
activation during a trip to the Riverland region, and Andrew very quickly
finished working all 45 VK3 Parks.

Well done to Tim VK5AV who has submitted an eligible log for the KRMNPA Merit

His first KRMNPA contact was with Amateur Radio Victoria's Centenary station
VK100ARV during the first KRMNPA activation weekend in November 2011. Since
then Tim VK5AV has been adding the balance of stations slowly but surely,
culminating in the final contact number 45 with VK3VTH in Greater Bendigo
National Park on April 17.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


In DX, word that DL1HRN is currently operational as 3 W 9 HRN from Hanoi in
Vietnam. His length of stay is not known, but activity is mainly CW on the
HF bands. QSL via DL1HRN, his home callsign.

Mildura medium wave signal is back again

The popular Mildura 473 KHz beacon is again operational - this time on a
24 hour continuous basis while local field strength testing is being carried
out. The beacon in the next couple of weeks will only be interrupted by local
adverse weather such as heavy rain or lightning storms. After that test period
it's expected to return to a fixed night time schedule.

The initial series of tests - first on straight CW then with a short run of
QRSS3 proved very successful with over 100 reception reports.

Those tests were only terminated when Noel Ferguson VK3FI decided to improve
the transmitting antenna - result, one destroyed 630 metre antenna.

But thanks to assistance from Graham Kenny VK3FTEC a new antenna was then
assembled and finally installed.

The propagation characteristics of the 630 metre band are generally known to
many in the aeronautical and broadcast world, and also several amateur
experimenters. The Mildura beacon in north-west Victoria gave others the
opportunity to look for the signal with less than optimum equipment. And for
many it proved to be their first opportunity to receive a distant signal on
the newly allocated low frequency amateur frequency allocation.

Interestingly reception reports were received from stations using all types
of antenna, from a simple wire through to dedicated 630 meter antennas.
Reports even including one from a radio amateur using an "earth dipole".

Again reception reports, even if you have previously heard the beacon go to

(Jim Linton VK3PC)

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

On the 12th and 13th of June members of the Tableland Radio Group over in VK4
will be putting on a display of morse equipment and World War 2 military radios
at the Cooktown Historical Society in Cooktown.

The display should be well noticed as it will be staged in the main street.

The Historical Society building has a link to morse - it is the original
Telegraph Office which was built around 1876 when a Telegraph Line was run
through to Maytown and Palmerville. This linked up with a line which headed
north from Junction Creek Telegraph Station, near the present Mt Surprise, to
Tate Telegraph Station thence Walsh Telegraph Station, near Wrotham Park and
thence to Palmerville.

However for some months a section from Walsh to Palmerville was operated by
pony express, carrying the telegraph messages to be re transmitted each way.



Willis Island DXpedition

An international team of amateur radio operators hopes to activate DXpedition
station VK9WA from Willis Island, November 12-21st, 2015.

Willis is currently #34 on the ClubLog's most wanted list and has not been
activated since 2008.

The team will depart Cairns, Australia, on the "MV Phoenix" vessel for the
30 hour trip to Willis. The island is only 4 acres in size and uninhabited.


Just under three months to the Lighthouse Weekend

So far 240 registrations for the International Lighthouse and Lightship
Weekend in August have been received from 28 countries.

One of recent registrations is Spain's Corrubedo lighthouse that is near a
large beach and dune national park complex. Although somewhat small, it casts
a very imposing view from a highly elevated position. An activation is
expected under the callsign EG1LWC.

In Algeria, the Cap Tenes lighthouse stands tall on a headland with its'
square cylindrical stone tower, rising majestically from a 2-storey keeper's
house. It will be activated by Club Station Berrouaghia 7X2BDX.

Germany is taken the lead in registrations with 57, Australia on 44, USA 28,
England 23, followed by Argentina, Portugal, Puerto Rico and Scotland.

The fun event, the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend is August
the 15th and 16th. For its simple guidelines, past activity reports or
to make a registration online, see the dedicated website

(Jim Linton VK3PC

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


A BIG thank you to everyone who assisted with the rally communication in the
field or headquarters.

It was pleasing to see new licensees and F-calls giving it ago. Despite some
not having assisted before, the communication procedures were followed well.

Although there was an experienced team in HQ it was noted that some of the
newbies gave it ago and did well.

This WICEN event generates significant funds that go towards the club finances
supporting repeater licences and such in VK1.


All are welcome to the WICEN SA Annual General Meeting. This will be held
Friday evening the 29th May from 1930 at the Tranmere Sea Scout Hall.

Bob Stevenson from SA Emergency Management will give a presentation, then
supper will be served allowing for discussions and catchup.

After being well fed, the AGM will be held.

WICEN SA have received donations, purchased radios and obtained repeater
frequencies this financial year. The equipment has been used by SAVEM for
two weeks after the Sampson Flat bushfire.

In addition the equipment and amateur radio volunteers assisted Venturer
Scouts at Car Rallies, at Horse Trails, the ANZAC Vigil in the South, at
True Grit event and conducted Displays with the CFS.

Please consider assisting in the continuing expansion of WICEN SA by
nominating for a Committee position. RSVP to Andrew Macmichael, VK5FMAC via or 0403 791488

(Andrew Macmichael)

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 40th Bday Lunch, Novotel Glen Waverley

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.

Ap-May 29-2 VK4 Clairview Gathering check Mackay ARS website

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