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This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH with - again - more news on the Institute's submission to the ACMA concerning future amateur licence conditions.

Given that the proposal to relax bandwidth restrictions on the HF bands is contentious in some quarters, I thought that it would be a good idea to share with you where the idea for this comes from.

But first, I'd better deal with the REALLY contentious issue of the week - my tongue-in-cheek attempt at a little larrikin humour last week.

As a little tacker, I was brought up on an aural diet of social satire - Roy Rene, Spike Milligan, the Goon Shows. All available courtesy of Our ABC. Living on a Housing Commission estate in North Parramatta, humour was as necessary as fresh water.

As a skinny kid, nicknamed "snowy" on account of my hair, I learned to avoid trouble with other kids in that neighbourhood by using humour. Every now and then, however, my humour would get me into trouble.

Like last week.

For those who've attended any of my talks at amateur radio clubs over the years, or the Victorian Gippsland Technical Conferences - you will have heard that, after family, I have four chief interests in life - art, science, technology and tomfoolery.

Last week's attempt at humour falls into the latter category.

Accordingly, the keyboard warriors have had a right time at my expense. Serves me right.

It was not my intention to cause deliberate offence.

However, for those who were offended - mea culpa.

And now, back to the WIA's submission on future licence conditions.

One of the guiding principles adopted by the Board back in 2014 was that future amateur licensing should not limit or hinder experimentation with, or adaptation of, emerging technologies and applications - particularly digital transmission technologies - including those not yet invented.

I never fail to be surprised by the diversity of digital technologies amateurs have pressed into use. And that diversity has grown demonstrably over recent years.

But amateurs haven't abandoned past technologies to take up those newly emerging. That's an astonishing thing !

Unfortunately, the regulations applying to the amateur bands from 160 metres through 10 metres deal wholly with past circumstances. Accordingly, if that approach is retained, then it will greatly hinder experimentation on the amateur bands in the future.

For decades, communications systems have been designed to work on the basis of achieving, or being workable, under given signal-to-noise ratios.

For high reliability, such as broadcasting, signal-to-noise ratios of tens of decibels are necessary - 20, 30 or 40 dB. Armchair copy.

Many amateurs like to pride themselves on dealing with poor signal-to-noise ratios, while making provable contacts. With digital modes, negative signal-to-noise ratios are often the norm.

Some communications technologies are now characterised by being able to function under given signal-to-interference ratios.

This concept acknowledges that the transmission channel may not be clear, and thus the system has to deal with the presence of other transmissions.

Amateurs, of course, have been dealing with such conditions for decades. All DXers know it well.

The curiosity is that, statistically, under circumstances where transmissions come and go at unrelated times and over unrelated periods - just as they do on the HF amateur bands - wideband transmissions experience better signal-to-interference ratios than narrowband systems.

The interesting thing is that an amateur - John Costas W2CRR - was the first to explore this concept in an article published in the Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers . . . in 1959.

Relaxing the bandwidth restrictions on the bands below 30 MHz will enable new technologies to be taken up, adapted and exploited by amateurs.

It doesn't mean abandoning band plans. They are, after all, a means of sharing the same sand pit and playing together. In the future, band plans will likely have to be rather different to those we have today.

A brave new world, indeed.

This has been WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH for VK1WIA News.

Thanks Roger and now across to Robert in VK9 on Norfolk Island

Thanks Bryan, yes we are all go here on Norfolk Island the troups have arrived and the on air activity is underway, I caught up with Lee Moyle VK3GK

Interview with Lee Moyle VK3GK and special NI Activation VK9NT

Pico balloon to send greeting message

The small party-type solar powered PS-65 balloon is due to be floating at high altitudes, but this time the tracking data is to include a special greeting message for the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) annual general meeting activities on Norfolk Island.
Launched from Melbourne by Andy VK3YT, very much dependant on the weather conditions, it has the callsign VK9WI and part of the extensive WIA AGM activities.
If the flight is successfully tracked, it becomes the first in the pico space series to have a dedicated greeting message.
A number of the pico balloons with a small payload have been floated by him in the past two years.
PS-65 is the latest with 25mW transmit power using WSPR and JT9 on the 30m band.
An earlier balloon PS-46 last year travelled for more than 110,800 km on July 28 to complete its second circumnavigation of the Southern Hemisphere, before descending into the Indian Ocean due to bad weather.
PS-46 had circumnavigated the Southern Hemisphere the first time in 12 days, and it was starting its third trip around when it went down.
That flight set a record for Andy VK3YT and was eagerly followed by trackers.
The earlier PS-41 was the first such balloon to circle Earth.
Andy VK3YT has spent a few months preparing for PS-65 and its WIA AGM greeting.
Will the pico balloon stay up for trackers and how far will it go?
(Jim Linton VK3PC)

Reminder: ACMA shutdown licencing

The ACMA has stopped all licence processing for two weeks while it carries out the final work on its new SPECTRA computerised system.
The shutdown involves all licencing until May 31. During the shutdown the ACMA will upgrade the facility including new features as it migrates licence records into SPECTRA.

Commemorating ANZAC on the Western Front

To mark the ANZAC involvement on the Western Front 100 years ago the Geelong Amateur Radio Club is developing its plans to put VK100ANZAC on air in July.
In 1915 at the Battle of Fromelles, Australia sustained 5,500 casualties, the worst 24 hours in our military history.
In planning the event GARC has already told French radio groups of its intention and hopes to make contact with them during the July 19-21 activation period.
The Geelong Amateur Radio Club is also considering appropriate designs for its commemorative QSL card to mark the centenary.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)

Marine buoy heard with Amateur Radio payload

The marine buoy ZL1SIX with its low powered transmission on the 30m band is now floating around the Pacific Ocean.
Bob Sutton ZL1RS reports that the solar powered buoy is transmitting on the weak signal WSPR and JT9 modes on the 30m band.
The yacht 'Windflower' of the Island Cruising Association on the north island of New Zealand launched the buoy in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean.
Bob ZL1RS reports having heard the marine buoy drifting with its last location being south of Fiji and Tonga.
Data sent hourly has the buoy travelling at about 1.8km per hour in a north-nor-east direction.
These have been decoded by many including VK2FAK, VK2EIK, ZL2ABN, E51WL, VK4RV and ZL2VF.
More details, including tracking progress being mapped are online, with the URL in the text edition of this broadcast.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)

Wireless Hill a real look at the past

The early days of Morse code to ships saw the birth of the Applecross Wireless Station, now called the Wireless Hill Museum and Park.
This important part of Australia's history opened in 1912 as a wireless station with weather forecasts and medical information to ships, and by 1927 was in direct contact with England.
The earliest radio communications used a 25 kilowatt spark-gap transmitter. Four years later during World War I the Navy installed a new Poulsen arc transmitter which generated Morse code with greater efficiency.
By 1922 this transmitter was upgraded to a 2 kilowatt vacuum transmitter with amplitude modulated broadcasts, and in 1927 it became a 5 kilowatt transmitter.
The station at Applecross Perth was used continuously from 1912 until decommissioned in 1967.
By 1922 this transmitter was upgraded to a 2 kilowatt vacuum transmitter with amplitude modulated broadcasts, and in 1927 it became a 5 kilowatt transmitter.
Wireless Hill Museum and Park held its annual family open day on May 15 with Morse code demonstrations, treasure hunts, science activities and Radiosonic, an exhibition of early radio technologies.

Maritime Mobile Service Net helps yacht in the South Pacific

The crew of a sailing vessel were rescued and are in good shape after hitting a reef in the South Pacific in early May.
Their rescue followed a call on 14.300 MHz, the Maritime Mobile Service Net frequency.
Russell Taylor AI6GV of California initially picked up the May 3 call from the Alaska-based 'Morning Dove', while it was northeast of French Polynesia.
The captain of the ketch, Bruce Moroney KL3RK told how it had hit a reef, and then a May Day call was made after it began taking on water.
The French Navy sent a helicopter to airlift the four unharmed crew members.



Wicen ACT are still looking for assistance for the National Capital Rally next weekend and I'm hoping we may get one or 2 more people to assist,

We are short 1 or 2 people for HQ on Saturday. This is a good place for people who are new to WICEN activities as you would be teamed up with another operator and have plenty of support and guidance available. Times could be worked around if necessary but we are looking for people for a 7:00 AM start through to around 2:30 PM, and another person from 9:00 AM until finish.

We also need someone to do the "Travellers Net" on Saturday and/or Sunday mornings. This can be done from home and will be on 147.175 MHz (Bulls Head). This job is to keep track of people as they head out to their meet points etc in the mornings.

If anyone can assist with any of these jobs, please contact Phil Longworth VK1PL via email to as soon as possible so we can sort the roster out quickly.



WICEN Northern Rivers assisted with comms for the inaugural Jackadgery Endurance Rideon the weekend.
We had 9 personnel and manned 3 checkpoints plus base. The portable repeater trailer was used, assigned as VK2REP on 2 metres.
The weather was fine and mild with 97 riders participating in 80, 40 and 20 km rides.
CP1 was very busy at times with all 3 rides passing through their location. Things went well, with only some minor riding incidents.
Many thanks to the field team of VK2's ACD, AGC, ARD, DLR, FARL, FMWL, LRB, OTA, PMG.
Pic att of some at CP1.


From VK3.

Amateur Radio Club puts in marathon effort!

Bendigo Amateur Radio and Electronics Club provided radio communications for the O'Keefe Rail Trail Marathon on Sunday May 1st, covering the course from Junortoun to Heathcote - over 42 kilometres. The marathon was organised by Heathcote Community Games and Athletics Bendigo.

Using fixed and mobile stations, the BAREC Radio Communications Support Team provided marathon progress reports, logistical information, and valuable communications support to the Emergency Response Team. The radio network proved very useful for first aid and transport requirements.

A BAREC Pedal Radio Group member also provided 'Tail End Charlie' reports, following the last marathon competitor on a bicycle.

Events such as these provide an excellent opportunity for amateur radio operators to demonstrate and practice their emergency communications skills. It's also a great way to get 'out and about' and promote amateur radio in the community.

BAREC members enjoyed the day and look forward to participating in future community events.


Central Highlands ARC Theresa Creek Campout
The Theresa Creek Campout will be happening from Friday 3rd until Sunday 5th June 2016
Theresa Creek Dam is located 22 km southwest of Clermont in Central Queensland, with bitumen access all the way
to the boat ramp plus 2 boat ramps to choose from.
This is the perfect dam for those that like swimming, canoeing, water skiing, fishing, or just relaxing and watching
time pass you by.
Theresa Creek Dam is well worth a visit, with a couple of toilet blocks, HOT showers, shaded picnic tables,
bins, BBQ's, 6 x 6 camping shelters and plenty of spots to access the dam for land based anglers and red claw hunters.
Red claw crayfish are the main target species in the dam however; you can also chase Barramundi, Golden Perch,
Eel-Tailed Catfish, Sleepy Cod, Silver Perch and Bony Bream. Permits for fishing are required through DPI.
Sorry no EFTPOS as phone coverage is not real great. Pets welcome with strict rules.
NO powered sites as the site is a camping ground and - remember - the site is a glass free area.
Campfires are permitted. Camping fees are $15 per couple/per night kids free and there are no bookings,
first come first camped. Generators are permitted within specified hours.
The CHARC members usually camp as you first drive in on the right opposite the first set of toilet and shower blocks.
Happy Hour at 4pm!
BYO Food, Drinks and Water.
BYO Firewood for the camp fire.
If you are able to come along for a great weekend, let Helen/VK4FHEL know by email
[qrm] helenlwood [at] bigpond [dot] com [qrm]


Hello, I'm Geoff Emery, VK4ZPP, and I've been thinking.

It may almost be winter with the past week having the lowest overnight
temperature readings of the year. Travellers are settling back into
life after Dayton and others are enjoying the pine fragrance of the
WIA AGM on Norfolk Island.

The past few days have demonstrated the frailties of our internet with
major service providers failing to maintain continuous services to
their customers. The rumbles from the regions have been in the news
with complaints that the much vaunted satellite to the home service
will be inadequate for people switching from other delivery modes.
However, there also seems a fresh bucket of money available to salve
the complaints of people caught in mobile phone dead spots.

Distribution of Amateur Radio magazine is underway and it is timely
to remind members that the articles which appear are, like the reports
on WIA News, contributed. Not only are no payments made but no
contracts are entered into. If no-one contributes, the columns and the
articles can't be published. The fact that the news goes out and the
magazine gets published is because people go out of their way to
help the rest of us. Please think, if details of a project are noteworthy
enough for an internet post, it is worthy of publication in our magazine.

As many of us will be warming the longer nights with projects and kit
building, after the WIA office returns to normal, it will be back to the
negotiations with the ACMA regarding updates to the governing
legislation. Half a century ago, a song writer stirred the hearts with
his song, "Times, they're a'changing." With all the activity ahead,
I'm sure they are.

I'm Geoff Emery and that's what I about you?



Remembrance or RD Contest August 13-14

36th ALARA Contest is on the last full weekend in August, Aug 27-28.

The WIA journal Amateur Radio magazine for May

A rig review, news and comment in Amateur Radio magazine

On the cover is a photo of a 3.4 GHz unit that has come on the disposals market and cleverly converted to meet a growing demand by radio amateurs for that microwave frequency.

Inside the WIA President Phil Wait VK2ASD reports that it has been pretty busy in the lead-up to the AGM weekend on Norfolk Island.

He also discusses the constitutional review process and how members will ultimately decide on any changes at the AGM in 2017, and the ongoing liaison on changes of how the spectrum is managed and regulated.

The Editor Peter Freeman VK3PF comments on the discussion point among a few over the CW Today columnist, and he has looked at both sides of the argument.

The Editorial, the CW Today column, and an Over To You letter on the subject, makes interesting reading.

Producing YouTube videos for Amateur Radio by Peter Parker VK3YE explains the production opportunity in that medium, as he and others have done.

The latest IARU Liaison Report by Jim Linton VK3PC answers the question: What has IARU done for radio amateurs?

There's a review of the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Session held at Campbelltown, New South Wales.

In technical articles, Peter Freeman VK3PF has a product review of the ICOM IC-7300 HF transceiver, from the perspective of a user.

The 'steampunk' 70 cm band satellite antenna, a DIY project that is a relatively robust Yagi that has good performance and has switchable circular polarisation, is detailed by Dale Hughes VK1DSH.

And Paul McMahon VK3DIP has the first part of his review of a Swept Frequency Measurement System using a personal computer.

The regular columns include the VHF/UHF - An Expanding World, which as the rules for the Winter Field Day.

Other columns have the latest on DX Talk, SOTA & Parks, ALARA, and news from clubs and interest groups.

The June edition of Amateur Radio magazine, the journal of Wireless Institute of Australia, is sent to WIA members and copies are also available at selected newsagents.

I am Barry Robinson VK3PV and you are listening to VK1WIA.


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

July 9-10 VK3 GippsTech 2016 Churchill

Aug 7 VK6 NCRG HamFest 9am Cyril Jackson Community Hall Ashfield

Sep 23-25 VK4 Central Highlands Amateur Radio Club AGM weekend
Lake Maraboon Holiday Village, near Emerald.
Sep-Oct 30-3 VK4 Cardwell Gathering Long Weekend, Beachcomber

Nov 6 VK5 Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society HamFest 8am!
Nov 26 VK7 Miena Hamfest Saturday 26th. (vk7wi

And in 2017

March 26 VK3 EMDRC HamFest, Great Ryrie Primary School, Heathmont

Submitting news items

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To submit audio read "how to submit items" in the weekly news page on

Remember the sooner you submit material the more the likelihood of it being
broadcast in the very next edition of WIA National News. Each item will
be broadcast once, if you want a couple of mentions, please submit
slants to keep your event 'fresh 'and always if the news room is to read
item write in the 3rd person.



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