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WIA News reporters wish all listeners and readers all the very best for 2016


Pico balloon detected circumnavigating the earth

We told you on last week's VK1WIA broadcast that pico balloon PS-56 had a GPS
tracking failure on launch by Andy VK3YT from Melbourne

The initial pre-launch testing looked normal, and up it went on Saturday
November the 28. Andy says shortly after there were no WSPR or JT9 packets,
but the balloon payload sent the default Morse code sequence only.

Let us now listen to the weak CW signal

That situation has been likened to the historical docudrama film on the
Apollo 13 moon mission which used the phrase, 'Houston, we have a problem'.

Not giving up easily, hard-core VK and ZL trackers took up the challenge.

Using the Sun greyline at sunset and sunrise, antenna bearing and wind
prediction, the balloon position could be estimated. PS-56 was tracked like
this continuously for a week by Bob ZL1RS, before it got to South America, and
went out of range. However by December 13 it popped up again on his waterfall,
and tracking resumed. Bob ZL2RS further narrowed the position down to between
South America and South Africa.

Fast forward to Saturday December 19, John VK2FAK and Joe VK5EI spotted PS-56
with strong signal strength. Then last Sunday morning Bob ZL1RS had the
position of PS-56 based on the limited data available.

Andy VK3YT says PS-56, thanks to the efforts of trackers, it has been confirmed
as having circumnavigated the Southern Hemisphere, and still flying.

Meantime its sister balloon PS-57 crossed over the equator on the morning
of December 24, is now in the northern hemisphere.

Among the trackers following the flight are ZL1RS, AK4AT, VE1VDM/1, AK4AT,
KC4RSN and K5XL. What will it do in the coming days - wait and see.

This "Pico-Craze" now seems to have been picked up in the IK.

Richard Meadows M0SBU brings news of the launch of a pico balloon operating on
434.600 MHz launched on Sunday morning, Dec 20

This Bristol launched Pico (un numbered) is using Contestia 16/1000 with RSID,
once per minute preceded by 10 seconds of pips giving it reduced telemetry
duration and hence save some power.

Bristol SEDS

(Jim Linton VK3PC RSGB and SouthGate)


President Phil Wait VK2ASD
V President Fred Swainston VK3DAC
Secretary David Williams VK3RU
Treasurer (Position Vacant)

This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH - and I've been busy.

Last week in our text editions of this the WIA National News I spoke of how
recently, the ACMA had invited the Institute to update the submission on
amateur licence conditions we put to them last year.

As we know, the ACMA "rolled over" the old 2012 Licence Conditions with minor
administrative amendments to re-make the LCD for 2015 before it expired.

Kindly, the ACMA advised us that that's what they were doing because there was
no time for them to go through their statutory processes to re-make the
Licence Conditions along the lines the WIA was suggesting.

Lots of other regulations were also rolled over before they expired, so the
ACMA had on a lot of work during the past year. All of this, and having to
grapple with the Government's Spectrum Reform program, too.

Don't forget that the Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan will be
necessarily updated following the outcomes of the World Radiocommunications
Conference concluded at the end of November.

So We have another bite of the cherry for Amateur Licence Conditions.

Let me share some highlights with you of what we're advocating this time

The bands are dear to every amateur's heart.

We're seeking new bands at 5 MHz, 70 MHz and 900 MHz.

WRC-15 agreed on a 15 kHz-wide band at 5 MHz for worldwide allocation.
Unfortunately, in Australia, that's heavily used by existing services.
We'll see what might be possible down the track.

Use of the spectrum around 70 MHz has declined markedly and few licensees
remain. The WIA is seeking a small band that aligns with allocations in other

There's a LIPD band at 900 MHz and our neighbours across the ditch in
New Zealand have an allocation in there. Some good things could be done
being able to experiment in this part of the spectrum.

Apart from that, the WIA is advocating for more spectrum at 160 metres and
80 metres, as usage and demand from other services continues to decline.

And then there's six metres. We're asking for continued use of 50 to 52 MHz,
preferably on a better basis than a secondary service.

For Foundation licensees, were seeking more bands - including some microwave
bands, more permitted modes and more power, plus permission to build kits.

We're not forgetting Standards. The WIA is asking for conditions that better
match similar licence grades in other countries - Canada and Japan, for

To maximise opportunities for experimentation by Advanced licensees, we're
asking for the relaxation of permitted bandwidths on the amateur bands from
1.8 MHz to 430 MHz, with the aim of enabling the exploration and use of
emerging and newly developed technologies - including those not yet invented.

Another thing close to the hearts of many Advanced licensees is more power.
Yes, we're advocating permission for one kilowatt, with the least strings
attached. Most of our near neighbour nations allow 1000 or 1500 watts.

Advocacy. Education. Support. That's what we do.

Best wishes for the season to all our listeners.

This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH for VK1WIA News.

WIA news in your inbox

The Wireless Institute of Australia has news releases on its website.

Periodically, these are summarised for members and sent to their address.

Do you have a email address?

They are available free to all members and with your own
email address all emails sent to that address will automatically be forwarded
to a home or work email account of your choice.

The real benefit is you have a consistent email address, and should you ever
change ISP, your friends and colleague will continue to be able email you
using your email address.

To update your address all you need to do is fill out the
online form on the WIA website, in addition your new email address will also be
updated in MEMNET.

Are you registered for MEMNET?

It's easy, secure and gives you so much more, it's how the WIA sends out
membership renewal notices and other important communications.

The WIA website address is


web service:-

The Central Coast Amateur Radio Club are looking forward to welcoming
all interested in Amateur Radio to their annual Field Day event at Wyong
Race course, Sunday Feb 28th, 2016.

The Exhibitors who have registered so far are:

1)Kurrajong Radio Museum

2)Historical Radio Society of Australia


The Traders who have registered so far are:

1)Radio Supply Pty Ltd


All in One Electronics Kits for kids wishing to learn about electronics

Three types 30 in 1 60 in 1 120 in 1

Construction projects include
Morse code transmitter
Radio receiver
Continuity tester
Moisture meter
Sound level meter
Short wave receiver

2)RF Solutions


4)NBS Antennas

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

(Dave VK2DLS, Publicity Officer of the Central Coast Amateur Radio Club.)

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get local audio news
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2016 Countdown

If you are in the Townsville Region on New Years Eve, why not activate your
VHF rig or handheld and see in the new year - via radio!

The 2016 Countdown, syncronised to WWV, will be happening on the VK4RAT
Townsville VHF Repeater from 1330UTC (2330local) on Thursday December 31st.


Ham celebrates 105 years

Believed to be the oldest active radio amateur in Australia, Darcy Hancock
VK5RJ recently celebrated his 105th birthday.

This great milestone at an Adelaide hotel was with family and friends including
two great grand-children.

We learn that Darcy is still having regular contacts with the group on
80 metres in the mornings and afternoons on most days.

Happy 105th birthday to Darcy VK5RJ.

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

Spectrum uses continues to grow

Advances in wireless technology are making consumer devices more user friendly.

The 'Internet of Things' is now replacing many analogue ways we had for years.
For example, wireless devices are set to help diesel engines use less fuel
while cutting their by-product emissions of soot and ash.

Sensors can measure the load on exhaust filters, and this data helps program
engines to burn fuel more efficiently. Currently a hit or miss method is used
to clean those filters more frequently than necessary.

Bicycle riders are also being offered wireless electronic shifting. Instead
of mechanically changing gears through a lever and wire system, this is done
wirelessly. These and other developments are occurring as innovators look at
how things are done mechanically, and replacing them with digital wireless

There's even a hint that some are turning to bushland or nature properties to
overcome their technology burnout, either as a holiday getaway or a more
permanent lifestyle choice.

Look Up and Spot the Station! Learn More With STEM on Station

The International Space Station orbits 250 miles above Earth and
travels about 17,500 miles per hour. The space station is visible in
the night sky and looks like a fast-moving plane, but it is dozens of
times higher than any airplane and travels thousands of miles an hour faster.

Learn more about how you can spot the space station and other ways
you can bring the station into your classroom by visiting NASA's STEM
on Station website. While you are there, stop by and learn more about
the yearlong mission and how it is helping us on our #JourneytoMars.
Opportunities, resources and more await at this space-station-focused site!

To check out the website, visit

On 15 December, British European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake arrived at
this International Space Station and during his six month stay he will be using
the amateur radio equipment on board the ISS using the call sign GB1SS.
Tim will be the first ISS crewmember to use the HAMTV fast scan digital amateur
TV system.

RSGB at Bletchley Park

If you are heading to "The Old Dart" then a trip to Bletchley should be in
your plans. PLUS the RSGB's National Radio Centre, at Bletchley Park museum
deserves an "eyeball QSO."

Bletchley Park itself is open to visitors daily and there is a fantastic new
exhibit in Hut 8, The Petard Pinch, telling the incredible story of the capture
of crucial Enigma codebooks. These enabled Bletchley Park to break back into
the German naval Enigma network codenamed Shark, following a devastating
10-month blackout

The Times of India reports the role of amateur radio in emergency communications
has been included in the class 11 SCERT English textbook

Ham radio seems to have caught the attention of students, and faculty of
schools and even higher education institutes.

A small module on `Use of ham radio during disasters' in the syllabus currently
being taught quote instances of how the Ham radio turned out to be the most
important emergency communication tool during the Chennai floods.

Read the newspaper story at



Just when you thought you'd seen everything, it's time to look down to video
at your feet

The latest in wearables is footgear with a customised digital display.

Yes, your shoes are not only on the move: they **are** the movies.

A startup outfit in New York called ShiftWear has come up with high-tech
sneakers with a difference: these incorporate side-panel High Definition
displays that can show motion designs and animations.

The shoes are wirelessly connected to an app on a smartphone where you can
choose the way shoes look, even showing your own design. The displays are
fully flexible, and the developers claim that the shoes are waterproof, in fact
you can wash them in a machine - and they have very durable Kevlar for the

The shoes batteries last 30 days between refills from a wireless-charging
solution, or you can top up the charge just by walking in them but if you leave
the design static then the display consumes no power.

Could it be that "these shoes are made for talkin'?" Who will be the first
radio amateur to call CQ while sporting a callsign on their feet?

Development on the shoes is being funded through an Indiegogo campaign,
although this reporter thought they might have got better traction with

If you want more information, you can check the developer's website at Shipments are expected to start in September 2016.

And if you buy the shoes and they stop working? No problem. Just reboot.

For WIA National News, I'm John VK2JPM

(vk3pc and vk2jpm)



Jan Fri 1st to Sun 31st WIA Ross Hull Memorial VHF-UHF Contest

Jan Sat 9th and Sun 10th WIA VHF/UHF Summer Field Day

"All aboard" the Sydney Ferries. VHF/UHF 'contest' Sunday March 13.

WIA John Moyle Field Day 19-20 March 2016

Harry Angel 80 mtr sprint (WIA) provisional date Saturday 7th May.


P5, North Korea

As reported earlier last month, Dom, 3Z9DX, was expected to travel to North Korea
sometime before Christmas to continue talks with government officials.

Well, Dom has been in Pyongyang since December 16th, and is meeting with
telecom officials and other representatives. He did bring his equipment into
the country and surprisingly was able to begin an operation (demonstration)
early Sunday morning last on 21222 kHz.

Reports indicate P5/3Z9DX was very weak.

The excerpts from "DXNEWS" and "DX-World" reports that Dom made +350 QSOs
during his demonstration. His antenna is on a metal fence post 2m above the
ground among government high rise buildings.

Dom was surrounded by a lot of people as he operates (officials coming in and
out). Dom points out this operation is only a presentation so it's possible a
different QTH will be found for the real activity planned for early next year.

His equipment will remain in P5 for his potential future activities in
January/February. Dom returned home to Poland on December 22nd (DXNEWS)
or if that failed, Christmas Day, according to DX-World.

This all sounds good for possibly opening the door to amateur radio in P5


The WIA ANZAC 100 program has finished

What a respectful conclusion reached by the ANZAC-suffixed callsigns, that
began on ANZAC Day April 25, and ended on December 20 - the day in 1915 that
ANZAC forces left Gallipoli.

On the final day this year, WIA President Phil Wait VK2ASD gave a closing
address that touched on the meaning and impact of the ANZAC legacy, and the
WIA ANZAC 100 program had 50 events that made many thousands of contacts.

On December 20 as part of the 'last hurrah' were VI3ANZAC near the cannons at
Fort Gellibrand, VI6ANZAC at Ham College in Perth, and VI8ANZAC at the in the
Charles Darwin National Park.

When the WIA office reopens after the summer holiday break on January 11,
claims for ANZAC Awards will begin to be finalised.

As well as the successful on-air program, WIA Historian Peter Wolfenden VK3RV
and a number of contributors had a series of articles printed in the WIA
journal Amateur Radio magazine. So much more material was gathered during the
Century of ANZAC, that it all could unfortunately not all be printed.

However a commemorative publication on the role of radio amateurs in conflicts
has been filled and will be published in April 2016.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)

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

Slow Scan TV Image Sent Through AO-85

On December 13 Brazilian radio amateur Roland, PY4ZBZ, received an SSTV image
sent in Robot 36 via AO-85.

AMSAT Vice President for Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, said "I can tell you
that in South America, they are having some fun, and that our analogue-to-digital
to analogue IHU processing of the audio seems to work very well at SSTV
frequencies!" Buxton told ARRL.

N0JY went on to state that the transmission was "a very good demonstration of
the capability of the FM repeater on the Fox-1 series satellites."

The FM satellite uplink is at 435.170 MHz (67 Hz CTCSS tone required).
The downlink is at 145.978 MHz.

Whereas is it not recommended to use satellites to transmit SSTV images this
personal experiment by South American hams didn't seem to interfere with any
other transmissions.



Sweden's Minister for Defence is radio amateur, Peter Hultqvist SM4HCF.

On Friday, December 11, 2015 the Swedish national amateur radio society, SSA,
had the honour to receive Peter. He was in Karlsborg on official mission, but
after this Peter took the time to complete a telegraphy test in a classroom
at the old S2 led by Kjell SM6CTQ and Fredrik SA6CJZ, and then devoted an hour
to the SSA archives.

The Defence Minister expressed surprise that the archive was so extensive.

A small gift was presented, consisting of old issues of the QTC from the 30's.



ARRL, US managing partners of Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
(ARISS), are pleased to announce the schools/organizations selections for the
second half of 2016.

A total of 17 of the submitted proposals during the recent proposal window have
been accepted to move forward into the next stage of planning to host a
scheduled amateur radio contact with crew on the ISS during the July through
December period of 2016.

AMSAT NA say that this is a significant step in ARISS' continuing effort to
engage young people in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
activities and raise their awareness of space exploration, space communications
and related areas of study and career possibilities.

No word to the WIA News from AMSAT VK as to any schools selected for 2016.


Hallo everyone, this is Clive VK6CSW

Just a reminder too that as usual there will be no bulletin in January - the
first RAOTC broadcast for 2016 will be on Monday, February 1st. On behalf of
the RAOTC broadcast team may I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy,
healthy New Year !

73 from Clive VK6CSW.

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

GlobalSET 2015 - Exercise Complete

On the IARU Region 1 site Greg Mossop G0DUB reports the GlobalSET 2015
emergency communications exercise is now complete

The Global Simulated Emergency Test ( GlobalSET ) started on 18th December
with a 24-48 hour time limit for Emergency Communications Groups around the
world to carry out an availability exercise, contacting their members to find
out how many would be available within 1-12 hours.

38 countries took part in the Test, a massive 22 from Region 1.

VK3PC Region 3 co-ordinator said all IARU Region coordinators showed that there
is a great deal to learn about the reliability of the systems used, and the
resilience of our structures

We believe our news editor GraHam VK4BB was a little embarrassed to have to
report he would need the maximum time available when contacted by the
North Queensland co-ordinator Gavin VK4ZZ

Each IARU region coordinator issued a webform survey that is now closed, but
they collected data for the exercise.

All webforms used for collecting data for this exercise have now been closed
and the results are being analysed with the target of the exercise report being
published to Emergency Communications Groups by 25th December.

Thanks to everyone who took part in this valuable exercise.


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

NASA Commercial Crew Program 2016 Children's Artwork Calendar

Some of the best works of art come from children who are only
limited by their imaginations, like the more than 150 young explorers
from across the country who submitted artwork depicting human
spaceflight as they see it. Sixteen masterpieces were chosen to be
included in the NASA Commercial Crew Program 2016 Children's Artwork
Calendar, which is now available for download.

NASA offer a huge "thank you!" to all the youngsters in age from four to 12,
who submitted their work and hope that everyone will enjoy and use this
calendar next year.

[ANS thanks the NASA Commercial Crew Program for the above information]

USA Kids Day on Sunday, January 3, is a fantastic way to introduce young people
to the magic of Amateur Radio by getting them on the air!

Kids of all ages in the USA are invited to participate, and make direct radio
contacts with other kids.

In the past there have been contacts made across the United States, and to
foreign countries such as Ireland and Australia.

Twice a year, ARRL offers this event designed to promote Amateur Radio to
youth. Share the excitement with your kids or grandkids, a Scout troop, a
church or the general public and "listen up!"



Jan 22-26 VK4 TARC Australia Day Long Week Family Radio Camp
Girl Guides Campsite, Bluewater (vk4zz)

Feb 13 VK3 MERC HamFest 10am at Werribee Masonic Centre (wia)
Feb 28 VK2 Central Coast Field Day (vk2ztm)
Feb 28 VK3 EMDRC HamFest Great Ryrie Primary School Heathmont. (wia)

Ap-May 29-2 VK4 Clairview Gathering check Mackay ARS website. (theTARCinc)

June 3- 5 VK4 Central Highlands Social Gathering Theresa Creek dam (wia)
June 4 VK4 BARCfest Mt Gravatt Showgrounds. (vk4atc)
June 11-13 VK5 VK Foxhunting Championship & SERG convention Mt Gambier(VK5HCF)

July 19 VK3 GippsTech 2016 Churchill (

Sep 23-25 VK4 Central Highlands Amateur Radio Club AGM weekend
Lake Maraboon Holiday Village, near Emerald. (theTARCinc)

Nov 6 VK5 Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society HamFest 8am! (VK5KC)


No 60m operation possible in VK

While the Amateur Service gained a new band at 5 MHz at the World
Radiocommunication Conference last November, it won't be available in Australia
and many other countries for quite a while.

In Australia, a number of land-mobile and defence licensees have long had
primary status in the 5 MHz band.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority is aware of the decision made
by WRC-15 at Geneva, and expects future discussion on it with the Wireless
Institute of Australia. Until the ACMA agrees through the Australian
Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan or the Licence Condition Determination, no VK
radio amateur is allowed to use those frequencies.

There is now only limited access to spot frequencies on 5 MHz by WICEN and
Amateur Radio New South Wales the news broadcasts, but these are under their
land-mobile licences and callsigns.

So just repeating, despite a decision being made at WRC-15, and access possible
in some countries to radio amateurs under their domestic rules, no such
decision has been made in Australia.

Transmitting by radio amateurs in Australia on 5 MHz is illegal, until the ACMA
gives its approval, which may take many years.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)

While the Amateur Service gained a new band at 5 MHz at the World
Radiocommunication Conference last November, it won't be available in
Australia and many other countries for quite a while.

As VK2ZRH made mention top of this bulletin, here in Australia, a number of
land-mobile and defence licensees have long had primary status in the 5 MHz
band. It may be 12 months or more before those frequencies are available in

The Australian Communications and Media Authority is aware of the decision made
by WRC-15 at Geneva, and expects future discussion on it with the Wireless
Institute of Australia.

Until the ACMA agrees through the Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan or
the Licence Condition Determination, no VK radio amateur is allowed to use
those frequencies.

There is now only limited access to spot frequencies on 5 MHz by WICEN and the
Amateur Radio New South Wales broadcast, but these are under their land-mobile
licences and callsigns.

So just repeating, despite a decision being made at WRC-15, and access possible
in some countries to radio amateurs under their domestic rules, no such
decision has been made in Australia.

Transmitting by radio amateurs in Australia on 5 MHz is illegal, until the ACMA
gives its approval, which is expected in 2017 at the earliest.

Jim Linton VK3PC


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item write in the 3rd person.



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The purpose of "WIANews" is to rapidly provide news of interest to
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