March 20 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING MARCH 20 2016.
IN OUR 21st YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA PRESIDENT REPORTS ON RADCOMM DAY 2. -
WIA DIRECTORS OUT AND ABOUT. -
WIA AGM and NORFOLK ISLAND ADMINISTRATOR TO ATTEND. -
WIA and MOYLE IN FULL SWING. -
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA 2016 AND FOR WEEK OF MAR 20
This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH - I've been out and about.
A few weeks back, at the end of February, I attended the annual Central Coast
Field Day at Wyong, here in VK2. I manned the WIA's trestle tables along with
President Phil Wait VK2ASD and Peter Young VK3MV.
I was also the convenor of the annual VHF-UHF-microwave and weak signal group
get-together, scheduled for 11am on the day.
Although the numbers attending the Wyong field day this year were visibly down
on recent years, although the car parks were pretty full, the absence of
dunderheads in the crowd was a welcome relief.
On the WIA stand, we sold out of Callbooks and a few other titles before midday,
and I took a dozen or so membership renewals, while Phil and Peter signed-up a
bunch of new members. One young lady who came up to the WIA stand, chuffed about
passing her Foundation licence course, was keen as mustard to score one of the
last Callbooks and scoured the trestle tables for more publications to feed her
hunger for information. She went away with an armful of books and a big grin
across her face.
I remember being like that.
I counted 57 keen souls who turned up to the VHF-UHF-microwave and weak signal
group get-together, which is on-par with previous years. That included a gaggle
of guys from VK5, the odd VK1s, some VK3s and VK4s, and the usual suspects from
VK2. The hot topics of the day were future VHF-UHF field days and the 3.4 GHz
QSO Party frolics the week beforehand. We also paid tribute to "absent friends"
who became silent keys since the 2015 Wyong field day.
I was pleased to learn this past week that some 26 key business procedures for
the WIA's National Office have been completed and documented. Thank you
Fred Swainston VK3DAC. There are more in hand to be completed, and progress is
well up to date.
The concerted efforts to re-instate the WIA National Office have begun to pay
dividends since the Board began the reform process in August last year. With
the focus squarely on customer service, over each of the Board meetings across
the final quarter of 2015, Fred Swainston's reports on cash flow and membership,
and the improved resolution of enquiries, demonstrated the improvements the
Board sought when compared to the situation that led up to the Board's decision,
and especially, when compared to the same period in 2014. Apparently, a few
people are not happy with this.
I'll leave you with an observation from Italian philosopher,
"the innovator makes enemies of all those who have done well under the old
As you heard in last week's broadcast, I attended the first day of the
Australian Communications and Media Authority's RadComm 2016 conference on
spectrum management, "Discovery, Disruption and Demand."
Despite the cost for the Institute to attend, the event is useful for reasons
other than listening to views from industry leading lights because, during the
essential breaks, you get to run into and chat with senior ACMA officials, as
well as other attendees.
There's a line from an old Australian pop song that says "never let a chance go
So it was that I got the chance to chat with a couple of attendees who were
also amateurs. It was refreshing to share views on the current state of amateur
radio in Australia, the exciting possibilities of what may transpire for us with
a new Radiocommunications Act, and the extraordinary developments happening in
I also took the opportunity to have a bit of a chat with some senior ACMA
people about subjects of mutual interest in amateur radio licensing and
It's always good to exchange views in an informal situation, to "get the
measure" - as it were - of those we'll be dealing with under more formal
circumstances as the government's spectrum reform program rolls on relentlessly.
This has been WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH for VK1WIA News.
Radcomms 2016 - Day 2
This is Phil Wait, VK2ASD, WIA President.
Last week, WIA Director Roger Harrison gave us an account of the first day of
Radcomms 2016, ACMAs (mostly) annual spectrum management conference.
As Roger explained, the title for this year's conference was "Discovery,
disruption and demand", with a theme focusing on "enabling innovation".
The content certainly lived up to the name.
I attended day two of the conference, which kicked off with the Minister for
Communications, Senator Mitch Fifield distributing a Consultation Paper for
the proposed 2016 Radiocommunications Act. In the Ministers words, its
"A new Radiocommunications Bill will modernise our regime, and allow industry
greater scope to respond quickly in the market to emerging technologies and
Those attending heard how 5G wireless technology is only a few years away,
with the possibly connection speeds over 1Gb/s, and requirements for spectrum
We also heard about the Internet of things, and how by 2020 there is projected
to be over 20 Billion connected devices in the world, many connected by
wireless, and all needing spectrum of some sort.
Lots of innovation is already taking place in what we currently know as Class
licensed spectrum. We heard how Telco giant Orange has embraced the LoRa low
powered wide area network technology for the IoT throughout France, and how in
Australia, the University of Technology in Sydney has equipped a campus
building with 3000 wireless sensors, with plans to extend outwards from the
University into neighbouring Ultimo.
We also heard about recent developments in connected cars, and their huge
requirement for spectrum. In fact, Google have just managed to send a mostly
driverless car across the USA, coast to coast, but they suffered a little
setback recently one of their driverless cars hit a bus, minor inconvenience!
There's one thing for sure, it's going to be a very different and a very
connected world, and a lot of it is going to be wireless. Everything is going
to be connected, and the competition for spectrum is going to be huge. Brave
new world, indeed.
The new Radiocommunications Bill holds both challenges and opportunities for
As expected, apparatus and spectrum licensing will disappear, to be replaced
by parameters-based licensing, and Class licensing will be replaced with
'spectrum authorisations, which isn't really a licence at all.
We don't know yet how the spectrum and licensing pricing policy will work, as
that is to be the subject of a second paper later this year.
Spectrum administration will increasingly become the work of private band
managers, and that means there may be an opportunity for the amateur service
to become more self-regulating with greater opportunities for experimentation
and innovation. The WIA will be meeting with the ACMA shortly to discuss the
possibilities for greater self-determination in the amateur service.
You can read the Consultation paper on the WIA website at www.wia.org.au
Feedback to the paper is requested by COB 29th April.
This is Phil Wait, VK2ASD for the WIA.
LG releases first smart phone with inbuilt DAB+ Radio at #RDE16
In what could prove to be a game changer for digital radio, LG Electronics has
unveiled its new LG Stylus DAB+ device at Radiodays Europe 2016, in Paris.
radioinfo.com.au says the phone, expected to be available in Australia later
this year, features the world's first built-in DAB+ broadcast digital radio.
DAB+ covers 50 million people in 40 countries around the world.
Remember that DAB+ broadcasts pictures and text on screen! Those with an
interest in the 'Sport of Kings" have been feasting on TAB tote screens
showing on their DAB+ devices since it started in Australia.
Joan Warner, CEO, Commercial Radio Australia commented, "This is an exciting
development for Australian consumers as listening and viewing entertainment,
news, music and pictures broadcast via digital radio will use no data,
compared to music streaming services which can use more than 2MB of data per
minute, depending on the quality settings."
The argument in the television and now radio industries is whether streaming
of programs over the Internet is broadcasting - you see this technology can do
away with the time-honoured broadcast licence service areas.
VK3PC Jim Linton says "Put plainly, a television station can have viewers
anywhere, including inside a licence broadcast area of another telecaster,
by the use of streaming.
We will let that technological argument play out in the legal system."
In Australia DAB+ currently is only Mainland capitals and Darwin and Canberra.
If you live outside those areas, with emerging technology, programs are
likely to be heard free anywhere.
Remember however this phone with DAB+ IS an RF receiver, not a streaming
Exciting times, first we had mobile phones, then came texting, the camera
models, Internet access, social media, games, FM radio and now a free DAB+
Read more at:
WIA dinner to hear of the past and future for Norfolk Island
The WIA Annual Conference Dinner in May will hear first-hand an interesting
account of Norfolk Island from the Administrator of this unique Australian
Readily agreeing to be keynote speaker is the Honourable Gary Hardgrave,
Administrator of Norfolk Island.
Also to be a guest speaker, about his visit to the Casey Station in the
Australian Antarctic, is Doug McVeigh VK0DMV, who activated VI0ANZAC twice
during the WIA ANZAC 100 program.
WIA President Phil Wait VK2ASD thanks those individuals who made both
presentations possible, and looks forward to them at the Paradise Hotel.
The opportunity to be involved in this event is still open, however those now
deciding to go need to book their own flights and accommodation.
The WIA is to hold its annual meeting and associated events on Norfolk Island
on May 27, 28, & 29 - for more details please see wia.org.au
Silent Keys are best sent to AR Magazine and your local state or club news
rather than this WIA National News Service.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART and the WW sources of the WIA.
Heil Sound Celebrating 50th Anniversary
Heil Sound, a name that's probably synonymous within the Amateur Radio
community for its microphones and "boom set" microphone/headset combinations,
is marking its 50th anniversary this year.
Heil Sound came into being in 1966 as Ye Olde Music Shoppe -- a music store in
Illinois, its founder? Bob Heil, K9EID.
The celebration -- called "50 Years of Maximum Rock N' Roll" -- kicked off at
the winter NAMM show (National Association of Music Merchants).
K9EID initially made a name for himself working with music performers to
provide sound reinforcement for their live gigs, initially supplying full
sound system packages for venues and festivals throughout the Midwest and
later working with world-class acts, such as Humble Pie, The Who, The Grateful
Dead, and Joe Walsh, WB6ACU.
Heil said it was the Dead's Jerry Garcia who suggested changing the name of
his enterprise to Heil Sound.
Among other innovations, K9EID created the quadraphonic sound system for
The Who's "Quadrophenia" tour as well as the Heil Talk Box made famous by
Joe Walsh and Peter Frampton.
Rock on -- K9EID.
An antenna that may be printed
Researchers have come up with an antenna that is printed using ink infused
with graphene flakes used in pencil leads, and a roller squashing technique
to increase its conductivity.
Just one atom thick, it could enhance radio communications and has mobile
Among other potential uses are in clothing, thermometers and advertising
Heath kit offering gets mixed reviews
The once famed kit-building company Heath kit has a receiver, but before
jumping for joy let us look at some history, then detail what is on offer.
After World War II the brand-name got many into electronics and Amateur Radio,
but closed in 1992 reflecting a dramatic decline in the popularity of its kits.
In August 2011 it re-emerged, set to make new kits for hams.
It now has the Heath kit Explorer Junior GR-150 TRF AM radio receiver, a tuned
radio frequency receiver or TRF that had been popular in the 1920s, but by the
mid-1930s replaced by the superheterodyne receiver.
It's a single stage receiver without an audio amplifier, or calibrated
Heath kit has produced a quality kit, albeit with some expected headaches for
builders, and captured TRF era nostalgia.
The devotees support the Heath kit rise from the ashes, while others question
the new product.
The argument continues with pricing and the choice of first kit being a
negative, while many loyal to the old kits are glad that Heath kit continues,
with a glimmer of hope for the future.
Heath kit Virtual Museum: http://www.heathkit-museum.com/
The Original Heath kit Collection: http://www.heathkit.org/
FROM CANADA WITH LOVE
Radio amateurs like Norway's Ole Forr, LA6EIA, are no doubt accustomed
to scoring a big DX every now and again on the HF bands. But when the
58-year-old dairy farmer tuned in late last year on the AM band for a
program called "The Morning Edition with Sheila Coles" he ended up
turning program host Sheila Coles into an unwitting DXer herself: He was
listening to a popular CBC Saskatchewan program being broadcast for a
It's not that good radio listening is hard to come by in Norway, of
course. But the radio-obsessed Forr and his friends decided they'd try
and take advantage of some prime conditions - a dark, remote location in
the north of Norway -- and some long-range receiving antennas, just for fun.
They not only heard the Canadian program, Forr even captured it on an
MP3 file - and sent the recording to the CBC to prove what his
not-so-local ears had heard. The Canadian broadcasters, of course, gave
Forr's recording a great reception.
And now CBC radio's Sheila Coles, who landed an enviable DX without even
trying - thanks to Ole Forr - has got herself a new fan. He's somewhere
out there on his farm in Norway, tuning up his receiver - and milking
Who and Where are our broadcast stations?
OPERATIONAL NEWS 2016
WIA John Moyle Field Day 19-20 March 2016
"This Denis VK4AE, coordinator for the WIA John Moyle Memorial Field Day 2016.
When you hear this news broadcast this year's contest is already in progress
over this weekend 19th 20th March. The duration of the contest will be from
UTC 0100 to 0059.
While you have left your run just a bit late as a portable station for this year
there is nothing to stop you from taking part as a home station.
Those portable stations that are still out in the field may be too busy to hear
this news service as it goes to air, for they will still be flat out making
contacts and logging the many stations whom they have contacted during this
year's field day.
While the contest activities will soon be over, the next part of the field day
activity will soon commence. When the contesting actually ends and the rigs are
powered down, the task of dismantling the station commences. This is not a lot
of fun as everyone is exhausted by the long effort of taking part. However, you
must remember that the job is not done until the paperwork is completed.
Your log is vital to your effort by recording all of the contacts you have made
during those long hours, but just as important in verifying all of the contacts
made by the other stations. So the log is a two part document, not just for you
but for everyone else you have contacted.
So please do not forget to complete you log and submit it either electronically
or by snail mail, but remember the closing date will be midnight the 17th April
I looking forward to receiving your logs this year. Last year there were well
over 1,000 stations who took part but only 180 took the time and effort to
bother to submit a log.
I hope everyone is enjoying the field day and as soon as the logs are all
received the results will be published as soon as possible after that date.
Harry Angel 80 mtr sprint (WIA) Saturday 7th May.
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 6 - 7
Remembrance or RD Contest August 13-14
36th ALARA Contest is on the last full weekend in August, Aug 27-28.
SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS, DX, BEACON REPEATER AND NET ADVICE
Hiro, will be active in Tonga as A31MM during the CQWW WPX SSB
Contest, taking place from March 26 and 27. He will work a
Single-Op/All-Band/Low-Power entry. QSL via EA5GL or LoTW.
AM and CW on Anzac Day
The Tableland Radio Group (TRG) is once again requesting Radio Amateurs in
Australia and New Zealand to use the old radio modes that were used by our
Service Men and Women in the many wars and peace keeping missions.
One of the first recorded was the use of radio in the capture of German
New Guinea and continued to Gallapoli, Middle East and the Western Front
just over a hundred years ago.
The idea for this event come from a conversation between Mike Patterson VK4MIK
and an ex Australian Coast Watcher Lionel Veale about the use of the ATR4A
radio transceiver. Lionel had used these radios whilst on HMAS Paluma and
missions to Wewak, Long and Umboi Islands during World War 2. It was obvious
that a lot of radio Amateurs had joined up and a lot of our service people
were radio operators or technicians. It seemed natural that we could give a
special amateur radio salute to those that served on Anzac Day by using the
old radio modes.
Over the last few years we have seen Amateurs operate from ex HMAS Castlemaine
and Diamantina plus from former defence sites such as the Command Bunker in
Townsville, Australian General Hospital at Rocky Creek, RSL Club down the
road apiece from me here in in Ingham to name but a few.
it is not a contest and merely means changing to the AM mode from SSB on
regular nets and trying CW on Anzac day.
The RSL have been advised and the feeling was that it was a good and novel
So again we see how great ideas can grow to fruition, just by a quick QSO.
It brings to mind how the Harry Angel Memorial Sprint, originally held on
ANZAC Day was kicked off in a conversation with VK4AED Brian, also Silent Key
VK4BBS another 'Brian' and our own news Editor Graham VK4BB.
(Mike Patterson VK4MIK Tableland Radio Group audio Felix VK4FUQ)
DXPEDITIONERS GIVE GIFT TO FALKLANDS SCHOOLS
In California, a noted group of avid DXers, recently back
from the Falklands, has decided to pay it forward. After working the
bands in the Falkland Islands, they've gotten down to the task of
helping some of the schools there, in a very amateur radio kind of way.
Amateur Radio Newsline's Neil Rapp, WB9VPG said Forget, for a moment,
all those QSL cards generated by the recent Intrepid-DX Group DXpedition
through the Falkland Islands.
There's another kind of bounty, one that's likely to be more long-lasting:
The Northern California DX Foundation, which operated the DXpedition,
has announced a scholarship grant to the Falkland Island Elementary and
Middle schools so they can buy amateur radio antennas, kits and other
equipment for the students, as well as to create supporting material for
the classroom curriculum. The foundation credits David Collingham, K3LP,
with doing the groundwork while in the Falklands, meeting with school
administrators, teachers and government officials as the team worked the
bands recently in its South Sandwich and South Georgia operations.
Part of the California foundation's charter provides for scholarship
opportunities and for projects such as this, to support the next
generation of amateurs.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- FINAL FRONTIER
ARISS celebrates school contact #1000!
On Thursday, March 10, 2016, the Amateur Radio on the International Space
Station team (ARISS team) proudly celebrated its 1000th school radio contact!
The very first ARISS contact took place in 2000, 2016 and Astronaut Tim Kopra,
amateur call sign KE5UDN, on the International Space Station did the honours
for the 1000th link-up to the University of North Dakota. Kopra spoke in
real time to excited scholars in Grand Forks at the event organized by the
North Dakota Space Grant Consortium.
An additional program milestone - this was the first amateur radio contact
with the ISS that has been hosted in North Dakota.
During the 10-minute ARISS contact Astronaut Kopra answered questions
formulated by 20 different pupils in kindergarten all the way up to graduate
school. A member of the winning 10th grade team from the Space Grant's high
altitude balloon competition last autumn was awarded one of the slots to
An ARISS event is more than the amateur radio contact, and in this case the
NDSGC team that included college student volunteers made multiple visits to
pupils in the second through fifth grades at Schools in the area.
The university teams led the young students in hands-on activities and
learning about aerospace and priming the youth for the interview with Kopra.
The students, many from smaller rural communities, built and launched rockets,
crafted and tested parachutes similar to those on NASA's Orion capsule, and
designed and tested neutral buoyant objects.
Students in the audience for the 1000th contact numbered 500.
TV and newspaper reporters captured the action; the university media
team filmed it, and live-streaming was handled by John Spasojevich,
amateur radio call sign AG9D.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RADIO AMATEUR YOUNG TIMERS
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 http://www.ham-yota.eu/
7th grade science class discovers ham radio
Stuart Aller, the 7th grade science teacher at Hiawatha Middle School, invited
the Hiawatha Amateur Radio Club to talk to students about ham radio
Club members Jim KB 0 FVP and Randall KC 0 CCR, explained to five science
classes about amateur radio's role in natural disasters and how amateurs use
the properties of the ionosphere to refract high frequency signals around the
Maybe a good plan for Aussie School talks?
Read the full Hiawatha World Online article at
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RESCUE RADIO
IARU REGION 3
Emergency Centre of Activity (CoA) frequencies
3.600, 7.110, 14.300, 18.160 and 21.360 MHz
On Wednesday the 9th March, WICEN New South Wales was placed on standby to
support the search for an elderly woman, missing near Medlow Bath, close to
Katoomba, in the upper Blue Mountains, in difficult, and often heavily
Since that Thursday, small teams have been issuing non-Amateur equipment to
members of a range of agencies, and operating base radios and relay points.
Supported groups include sister Volunteer Rescue Association squads, such as
Bushwalker's Wilderness Rescue Service and Cave Rescue Squad.
As of Wednesday 16th, the search is ongoing.
For WIA National News, this is Julian Sortland, VK2YJS.
Rewind, a look back on our history
When an age restriction was put on young radio amateurs aged under 16, and
that meant adult supervision to use their licence, it was firmly opposed by
the Wireless Institute of Australia.
In July 2006, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), based
apparently on internal well-meaning advice, instructed its staff to impose the
age-restriction as part of the licence conditions.
The WIA could not believe it, and immediately objected.
In a submission it told the ACMA that such a rule was inconsistent with the
objective of then recently introduced Foundation Licence, which was to get
more young people interested in the hobby and on the air. The WIA also noted
that age is not a condition for the operation of CB equipment, and therefore
discriminated as radio amateurs were trained in the relevant safety aspects
of station operation.
The protest quickly grew as more age-restricted licences became known. After
the reasoned WIA argument and other opposition, it was withdrawn.
The ACMA quickly issued new licences with the age restriction removed.
To this day, it remains somewhat unclear why the ACMA regulation was invoked
in the first place.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
SOCIAL SCENE 2016
Mar 19-20 VK7 Meet The Voice weekend at Ross. (vk7wi)
Jota 2016 URC ran Fox Hunts.
"Urunga Radio Convention 2016"
It's getting close now see you at " Urunga Radio convention "
Easter, 26th 27th March, Saturday and Sunday, with Fox hunts and convention
activities on both days, quizzes, raffles, trade tables available, pre loved
Why not make it a break from your busy lifestyle and slow down a bit at quiet
restful "Urunga" "where the rivers meet the sea" the longest running "fox hunt
convention" in Australia.
The social gathering for the Saturday night dinner at the Bowling Club is
always well attended, ( see Ken VK2DGT at the convention)
The Saturday Night Fox Hunt (Fox O.R. 6 TX's different freq. 2mtr's) was very
popular.(safety vests available, may need light)
The 2015 convention went off without a hitch and was well attended, with many
Fox hunters competing for "Arnold Austin Memorial Award "and the "Brian Slarke
Memorial Award" overall for two days. Mobile and Pedestrian Hunts
Venue: the "Senior Citizens" hall Bowra street Urunga
Ken Golden VK2DGT WIA. Urunga Radio Convention.Inc.
Web: Urunga Radio Convention: http://www4.tpgi.com.au/goldy2/ (or search engine)
Contact:Ken Golden President, URC
Location:Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450
April 10 VK3 Darebin Park for the ARDF Day (vk3www)
April 17 VK6 HARGfest 96 Gladys Road Lesmurdie open to public 10am (vk6zms)
April 30 vk6 PerthTech (wia)
Ap-May 29-2 VK4 Clairview Gathering check Mackay ARS website. (theTARCinc)
May 7 VK3 Moorabbin & District Radio Club HamFest, Mulgrave. (VK3GL)
May 27-29 VK9 WIA AGM this year on Norfolk Island (wia.org)
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 9-10 VK3 GippsTech 2016 Churchill (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sep 23-25 VK4 Central Highlands Amateur Radio Club AGM weekend
Lake Maraboon Holiday Village, near Emerald. (theTARCinc)
Sep-Oct 30-3 VK4 Cardwell Gathering Long Weekend, Beachcomber Motel(theTARCinc)
Nov 6 VK5 Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society HamFest 8am! (VK5KC)
March 26 VK3 EMDRC HamFest, Great Ryrie Primary School, Heathmont (VK3BQ)
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