JULY 24 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
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NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING JULY 24 2016.
IN OUR 21st YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH with a few things to think upon.
WIA affiliated club ALARA hold 36th ALARA Contest, Aug 27-28.
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA 2016 AND FOR WEEK OF JUL 24
A historical day, the first ARISS contact with YOTA
The Chair of the IARU Region 1 Youth Working Group, Lisa Leenders PA2LS,
described Monday, July 18 as a historical day for youth and amateur radio
In the Youngsters On The Air camp in Austria the first YOTA contact ever was
made with the International Space Station.
More than 100 young radio amateur from about 30 countries were attending this
event and 20 of the young Ham's had the chance to talk to astronaut Jeff
We'll have more on YOTA further 'down the log.'
VK2 Radio Operator off air and fined $1500
The latest reminder to radio operators from one Australian court is this:
Before you get on the air, whether for amateur or commercial purposes, get a
It's all edged a Dan Morris, a pirate radio operator in a suburb of "The Gong"
in New South Wales was fined for illegally operating a reggae station in the
commercial FM broadcast band.
According to published reports, the Australian Communications and Media
Authority discovered he was operating from his home-based station, using about
150 watts on 99.4 MHz and so they raided his home earlier in the year.
In a published report in the Illawarra Mercury he did not deny operation, but
simply said he was filling community needs. He was quoted as saying he believed
he had about 800 listeners.
The raid on his Wollongong home in February, conducted with a search warrant,
brought his operation to a halt. Court action followed earlier this Month. The
local magistrate ordered that in addition to paying the fine, he would have his
broadcast equipment confiscated.
Magistrate Michael stoddart fined Morris a total of 3,000 Dollars. He was
charged with possessing and operating Radiocommunications devices without a
licence. He told the court that he had looked into getting a license in the
aftermath of the raid.
That request was denied by the ACMA.
Morris has earned some notoriety for his broadcasting venture. Youth station
Triple J recently invited him in for a reggae guest spot with Lewi McKirdy and
the local paper has also covered his activities.
Wollongong's IRIE FM is modelled on the successful Jamaican radio station of
the same name, based in Kingston town, but has no formal affiliations with the
tropical island station in the home of Reggae.
Read more on
The 2016 Victorian Alpine Cross Country Radio mini-Expedition
On Friday the 29 of July, several hardy amateurs will depart Melbourne and
drive up to Falls Creek to ski out across the remote Bogong High Plains over
Situated on the rooftop of Victoria, the snow conditions are looking pretty
decent, with good coverage at elevations above 1400 metres.
After leaving their vehicles, the participants will be using cross country gear
to ski through this harsh, yet beautiful icy landscape that soars up to
1800 metres above sea level and includes several of the state's highest peaks.
Once again, the team will be led by Stephen VK3SN and Gerard VK3GT and utilizes
ultralight solar powered QRP rigs to operate on all bands from 160m through to
70cm using home-brew antennas.
If you'd like to make a contact with these snow-bound adventurers, listen out
on 40m each afternoon and 80m each evening, or see if you can work them via
local VHF or UHF repeaters
WIA BOARD TALK
This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH with a few things for you to think
With one face-to-face Board meeting and a couple of teleconferences now
completed, the Board has set sail for the 2016-2017 year, which is already
looking very busy.
Having chosen a suitable, and affordable, governance training program for all
directors, the Board can now concentrate on other issues facing the WIA.
Developing a budget for the remainder of 2016, and projecting that into 2017,
will require thoughtful consideration.
Seeking out and implementing cost savings that don't affect services is high on
the list of priorities, while exploiting new opportunities and sources for
generating income are equally as important.
Now, that's NOT code for a hike in the membership subscription !
However, fresh ways of promoting new memberships and encouraging renewals are
also on the agenda.
Membership is important at this time as the WIA enters into discussions with
the ACMA over licensing conditions and spectrum bands, not to mention the
Amateur Service's community role and standing with the coming of the new
Why is membership important ? Because . . . we_are_all_in_this_together.
What the Spectrum Strategy Committee succeeds in achieving will benefit
ALL radio amateurs - including - and especially - those not yet licensed !
One thing we have noticed since undertaking restructuring of the National
Office operations late last year is that many amateurs who were once licensed
decades ago are returning to the hobby. They've been calling the National
Office and enquiring how to get their licence back and a new callsign.
So. Think about this: there are many situations where you know, or discover, a
colleague or acquaintance who once held a callsign - they may well be amenable
to being encouraged to return to amateur radio.
If each of us who have been in the hobby for some time took the opportunity,
wherever it arose, to encourage a "lapsed" amateur to return to the hobby, the
number of licensees would noticeably increase and so would the number of those
active on the air.
The world of amateur radio today is so much more diverse and laden with
fascinating fields to explore that were never available even a dozen years ago,
let alone 20 or more years.
This is the project I introduced back in the first week of January - I call it
BRING THEM BACK.
There are many situations where individuals have let their interest in amateur
radio lie dormant.
Bring them back to the hobby and encourage them to join the WIA. Tell them that
the Institute is about advocacy, education and support. That's what we do. It's
not the WIA of yesteryear that they knew.
Look out for the opportunities to bring them back - you'll be doing something
positive for the hobby.
A reminder about licence renewals.
Do you know the date when your licence is due to expire?
Do you rely on receiving a renewal notice from the Australian Communications
and Media Authority?
It is every licensee's responsibility to ensure that your licence is paid-up by
or before the renewal date.
The A-C-M-A is not obliged by legislation to send a reminder notice to renew
However, the A-C-M-A's process is to send a renewal notice a few weeks before
the licence is due to expire. It will be sent to the last valid postal or
email address that the A-C-M-A has on record.
The A-C-M-A sends notices as a courtesy reminder, and to facilitate payment of
the renewal fee.
It is your responsibility to keep your email, postal and residential address
current with the A-C-M-A to receive renewal notices.
It is recommended that you note your licence renewal date in your diary. If you
don't run a hard-copy diary, use the one in your mobile phone, or your tablet,
laptop or PC.
Or all of them.
Some people have taken the step to change their licence renewal date to their
birthday, or a date close to their birthday. If your birthday falls on
Christmas Day or New Year's Day, you have to be a bit creative!
If, for some reason, you don't receive a renewal notice in the month leading up
to your licence expiry date, you can request one by contacting the A-C-M-A
Customer Service Centre, on 1300 850 115, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Should you not renew your licence by the due date, there is a window of
opportunity up to 60 days when you can renew your licence by paying the
licence fee without penalty.
Miss that window and your callsign will be available for re-issue. And it can
be a pain to get it back!
More information is available on the WIA website. Just enter "Renewal of
Licences" in the search window and the link is at the top of the list.
This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH for VK1WIA News.
What use is an F-call?
During the week I had the opportunity to hear several people use a radio in
day-to-day communications. In this particular instance it was a water taxi
speaking to their base. They were using their own frequency and essentially
used it to coordinate their activities across their coverage area.
Listening with an Amateur ear, if there is such a thing, I noticed that there
was a lot of back-and-forth, missed communications and misunderstandings. We
take for granted, once we've learned, that there is a sequence in successful
radio communications. Consistency, brevity, simple vocabulary, microphone
handling, antenna placement, hand-held use and the like.
It's not the first time I've noticed that.
I wondered if there was a way that we as amateurs can actually extend our wings
beyond our hobby and share some procedural skills that we almost take for
We often lament that Amateur Radio is declining in it's scope, size and
community involvement. Perhaps radio skills are something that we might
share around. Wouldn't it be great if we could share our airwaves with others
who also know how to communicate on air?
I know I'll be monitoring some commercial frequencies from now on to see if
there are things that I could do as an Amateur to help make radio
communications more reliable and less stressful for the various users of the
Perhaps it could be a new activity to add to the wide range that Amateur Radio
I'm Onno VK6FLAB
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.
Authorities in Bahrain have notified the IARU that the Amateur Radio
Association of Bahrain (ARAB) is not authorized to represent Bahrain
radio amateurs internationally.
At the IARU Region 1 Executive Committee meeting held in May, Chairman
Don Beattie, G3BJ, said he had told Bahrain authorities that initial
recognition of ARAB as an IARU member society was based on confirmation
by authorities in Bahrain that ARAB was authorized to represent Amateur Radio
"In view of the recent exchanges, and the fact that there now was no one
answering mail from ARAB, it was agreed to move towards placing ARAB in
suspension," the May meeting minutes recount.
"Until a valid application is received from an appropriate entity in Bahrain,
there will be no [member society] for that country."
We understand that the club station A92C has been dismantled.
New European Table of Frequency Allocations
A new edition of the European Table of Frequency Allocations in the range
8.3 kHz to 3000 GHz has been released
The table is maintained by the CEPT Working Group Frequency Management. Much of
this work is carried out by the CEPT European Communications Office on behalf
of WGFM and a fully searchable electronic version of the European Common
Allocation (ECA) table can be found on the ECO Frequency Information System
Earthing and the Radio Amateur
Recently Onno in his segment "what use is an F-Call" brought us the importance
and dangers associated with Earthing.
Now we learn the RSGB EMC committee have made available a new leaflet about
earthing which discusses the background to the safety issues involved in
connecting a Radio Frequency earth to an amateur radio installation and directs
the reader to the appropriate sections of the current IET Wiring Regulations
(BS7671) 17th Edition [See Ref 1 in endnotes for the full title].
Read Earthing and the Radio Amateur
Ofcom propose using Ham Radio band for Wi-Fi
Ofcom is consulting on plans to put Wi-Fi across Amateur and Amateur Satellite
spectrum in the 5 GHz band
The UK's Ofcom consultation document implies that amateur satellites in 5 GHz
only operate in very Low Earth Orbits. This is false, radio amateurs have sent
5 GHz payloads into far higher orbits.
Examples are the Venus orbiter Unitec-1 which operated on 5.840 MHz and
AO-40 which is in a 58,836 km High Earth Orbit (HEO). The 5 GHz band will
also be used by the Geosynchronous Phase-4B payload and the HEO Phase-3E
satellite both of which are currently under construction.
Ofcom's proposal to use 5725-5850 MHz for Wi-Fi would adversely affect
reception of the network of amateur weak-signal propagation beacons.
International Tribunal Rules Against China's Claims Regarding South China Sea
An international tribunal ruling discounting China's claims with respect to
Scarborough Reef and the Spratlys could complicate efforts to mount another
DXpedition to the rare and remote South China Sea DXCC entities. The Permanent
Court of Arbitration in The Hague has ruled in favour of the Philippines in a
dispute with China over Scarborough Reef -- also known as Scarborough Shoal.
The last DXpedition to Scarborough was the 2007 BS7H operation.
A 2016 DXpedition has been reported to be in the works.
10 * 4 GOOD BUDDY
Radio hams visit 10 Downing Street
Radio amateurs were invited to a reception at the UK Prime Minister's residence
to celebrate the successful mission of UK astronaut Tim Peake KG5BVI / GB1SS
Sandringham school student Jessica Leigh M6LPJ and her head teacher Alan Gray
G4DJX attended the event with Tim Peake.
Jessica was the first UK school student to establish amateur radio
communications with Tim Peake during his six month mission on the International
Space Station. The contact took place on January 8, 2016 and was featured
on National TV and in the press.
WEIRD AND WONDERFUL
From the Weird and Wonderful files comes a story of talking flowers
It seems that bees use a lot of tools to find nectar produced in flowers - like
visual cues and chemical signs.
Now it has been discovered that bees can also detect weak electrical signals
that the flowers give off.
Flowers have a static electrical field located in the petals that pull on the
hair of the bee - just like the party-trick of an electrostatically or 'rubbed'
balloon sticking to other objects.
The National Academy of Sciences in the USA has been told about findings that
bees sense the electric signals.
Biomechanics Engineer Gregory Sutton and Sensory Biophysics Researcher
Erica Morley have reported that bees are using a mechanic receptor to hone in
on nectar from flowers.
Air doesn't conduct electricity very well, as we know, so the hair on a bee is
moved in response to the electrical static field, which then causes the nerve
impulses from the bottom of that hair.
The discovery came after putting bees through an experiment involving bees and
ten built flower-like objects. The bees went to the flowers emitting an
electrical field, while the others were ignored.
And here is the kicker, when the voltage causing the electric field was turned
off, the bees simply buzzed off to forage elsewhere.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
Who and Where are our broadcast stations?
OPERATIONAL NEWS 2016
36th ALARA Contest is on the last full weekend in August, Aug 27-28.
and there have been some significant changes to the rules for 2016.
The contest has reverted to a straight 24 hours, using all HF bands,
excluding 160m & the WARC bands with EchoLink contacts also remaining valid.
Multipliers will now be 1 point per VK/ZL call area worked on each HF band,
EchoLink and 2m as well as 1 point per DX YL country.
For more info email email@example.com
The modified rules are now on the ALARA website : alara.org.au
The Contest aims to get more YL's on air and to attract as many OM's as
I'm Diane VK4DI, ALARA Contest Manager
Thanks Dianne, also contests and activity for August we find
the 10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 6 - 7.
The WIA's FlagShip contest our Remembrance or RD Contest August 13-14
and some fun to 'light up' our days, the 19th International Lighthouse
and Lightship Weekend Aug 20-21
This is the WIA National News Service and I'm Felix VK4FUQ with a look at
The special callsign ST 0 A will be operated from Khartoum, Sudan by ST 2 M
until the end of July. He is QRV on 40m to 10m SSB.
QSL directly to ST 2 M.
QRV is HH 2 / HB 9 AMO on CW until 26th July from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
QSLs are being handled by M 0 URX.
In the world of DX, be listening for a number of stations working during the
IOTA Contest, July 30 and 31st.
They include Tibor, OM 3 RM, working as IS 0/OM 8 A from Sardinia
Send QSL cards via OM 2 VL.
There is also Joe, IT 9 RZU, who will be active from the island of Sicily
during the contest.
Send QSLs via his home callsign, IT 9 RZU.
Mike, IF 9 ZWA, will be active from Favignana Island during the contest
QSLs should be sent to his home callsign IF 9 ZWA via the Bureau only.
And finally, Theodoros, SV 1 EJD, will be active in the contest as well,
but will is also working as SV 8 / SV 1 EJD from Syros Island between
July 23rd and August 11th.
Listen for him on 80-6 meters where he'll be using SSB and RTTY.
QSL via his home callsign SV 1 EJD.
(Sourced to ARNewsLine)
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ILLW
ILLW reaches 300 registrations
The International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend next month has more than 300
registrations so far from 35 countries.
The prestigious 300th has been made by the QSY Society K2QS for the Esopus
Meadows Lighthouse in the Hudson River in New York.
Known as the Maid of the Meadows the octagonal wooden tower warns Mariners of the
Built in 1839 and historically listed the QSY Society K2QS will be activated
mainly on 20 metres SSB.
South of the Hudson down Havana way, members of the DX Group Cuba (GDXC),
Havana Contest Group (HCG) and an eastern radio club of Havana will activate
T 42 R from the lighthouse castle of the Morro Havana (CU-002), Cuba (NA-015),
during the 2016 International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend (August 20-21st).
The fun-event is held on August 20-21 with all registrations and the guidelines
on the website ILLW.net.
( Jim Linton VK3PC / SouthGate )
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.
Two young ARRL members are among the more than 100 attending the Youngsters On
The Air (YOTA) camp in the Austrian mountains.
Sterling Coffey, N0SSC, of St Louis, Missouri, and Sam Rose, KC2LRC, of
Syracuse, New York, are the first two Americans to take part in the week-long
YOTA camp. Participants not only enjoy a variety of Amateur Radio activities,
they hone their electronics and contesting skills and make new international
"Being at YOTA is really something beyond amazing," Coffey tweeted on July 17.
Begun in 2011, YOTA has grown exponentially since, and camps have been held in
Romania, The Netherlands-Belgium, Estonia, Finland, and Italy. Since the IARU
Region 1 General Conference in 2014, YOTA has been an official International
Amateur Radio Union Region 1 activity.
Open to participants ranging in age from 15 to 25, the sixth YOTA in Austria
was the largest ever and the first to include young hams from the USA and Asia.
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- SUMMITS ON THE AIR
VK1AD plans to activate Livingstone Hill Sunday morning from 23:30 UTC,
following this WIA News.
Livingstone Hill is 3 km south of Michelago in Grid QF44NG,
coordinates Lat: -35.7407, Long: 149.14889.
Activation frequencies will be 432.200, 144.200, 52.200 and 50.160 USB.
Start will be on 432.200 USB.
VK1AD lookS forward to receiving signal reports from VK1 and nearby VK2 radio
amateurs. For the owners of the bright shiny new IC-7300s please listen
on 6m, I look forward to working you.
(text edition only)
VK1 Winter SOTA QSO Party is 7 August 2016
Start Time : 9:00
End Time : 11:30
This event is where VK1 SOTA activators showcase Amateur Radio to the ACT
VK1 SOTA activators will brave the cold Canberra weather, ascending local and
distant SOTA peaks for a chance to work like minded SOTA folk around VK.
The VK1 Winter SOTA QSO Party is a popular event with chasers and activators
alike where SOTA activators compete with chasers to earn Summit to Summit
Bumps On The Air - BOTA
TV weather forecaster Jim Bacon G3YLA and Steve Nichols G0KYA activated
Beeston Bump in Norfolk on Tuesday, July 19
BOTA stands for 'Bumps On The Air' a wholly-fictitious new organisation for
radio amateurs who don't have access to real summits and mountains.
The operation was on 40m and 20m QRP CW.
Beeston Bump is no stranger to Morse code. Beeston Hill Y Station was a
secret listening post located on the top of the "bump" during World War Two.
The chain of Y stations were on the front line, feeding Enigma intercepts
to the War Office's Bletchley Park.
(BUMPS and SouthGate)
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - VHF AND ABOVE (The Plumbers Delight)
First UK contact in 122 GHz band
The first UK contact in the 122 GHz band took place Sunday, July 17 at 1345
between Roger Ray G8CUB/P and Chris Whitmarsh G0FDZ/P, both stations located
at Hackpen, Wiltshire (IO91CL)
In the UK Microwave Group Yahoo Group Chris G0FDZ writes:
The distance was 120m and the CW reports were 599 both ways.
As well as signals on 134 GHz, of which only a very weak one way QSO was
possible on that band, only the merest hint of a signal on 122 GHz was heard.
The 122 GHz band is noted for its high signal attenuation due additionally to
atmospheric oxygen as well as water vapour attenuation.
The weather during the contest gave high humidity, and absorption of all
millimetre wave frequencies was considered by many to be high. Although signals
over the short distance were very good an attempt will be made soon over 1.5kms.
Power levels were 70uW for Chris G0FDZ and 300uW for Roger G8CUB. One feature
of G0FDZ's system was the use of a slab type mixer which has been recently
developed to make millimetre wave mixers easier to construct.
With a QSO being achieved on this band it means that every allocated UK band
has now has had at least one contact.
Rewind, a look back at our history when radio was of concern
Back when radio was still a new consumer product with a lot to learn about
the phenomenon there were myths that it caused everything from heavy rain,
droughts to earthquakes.
In the 1920s radio was wrongly blamed as the new technology responsible for
For most, new technology was a mystery and it could easily get the wrong blame.
Have things greatly changed with talk today that ubiquitous mobile phones and
Wi-Fi cause illnesses?
The October 1924, Science and Invention magazine had an article by Hugo
Gernsback and he promoted the healing power of radio. His thinking was that
radio waves passed through the human body, that is true, but to extend this
to having in itself some healing properties is now a myth.
In his words; if readers lived near a powerful radio station for 20 or 30 years
their body and health could benefit. How we think of new technology today is
greatly different today; or is it?
Some are campaigning against all radiation, spending hours in RF shields,
using plug-in ionisers and a few wear tin foil hats in public.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
SOCIAL SCENE 2016
Aug 7 VK6 NCRG HamFest 9am Cyril Jackson Community Hall Ashfield (vk6rk)
Aug 28 VK2 Summerland (Lismore) HamFest at Clubrooms. (vk2src)
Sep 18 VK2 Westlake's AR Club field day Teralba (J Green)
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)
Nov 26 VK3 Rosebud RadioFest 9:30 am till 2pm (vk3pdg)
Nov 26 VK7 Miena HamFest Saturday 26th. (vk7wi txt)
March 26 VK3 EMDRC HamFest, Great Ryrie Primary School, Heathmont (VK3BQ)
May 19 VK WIA AGM Hahndorf some 25km from Adelaide (vk5kc)
Aug/Sep date to be advised - ALARAMEET 2017 in Cairns (vk4swe)
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