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thanks to Sam VK4TTT ' 4AA



The Lismore region club will again be at the annual fly-in on weekend 7-8 Jan.

The location is the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome, turn left at the first
roundabout as you approach the town from Woodburn, then left again.

Free entry.

Expect a spectacular show. and also take the opportunity to see the air museum,
including the F-111 and Caribou aircraft.

SARC will be monitoring and recording the air traffic on 124.2 MHz AM.

Their location is on the veranda of the old canteen hut, directly opposite
the main apron where the warbirds park. For more info see the fly-in website

(sarc newsletter)

Ted Powell Memorial DX Challenge

Peter VK2PR tells us the last quarter period of the Ted Powell Memorial
DX Challenge for 2016 ends at 0000 UTC today.

If you have worked any DX between October - December 2016, head over to where you will find a number of simple methods to submit your entry.

Entering only takes a couple of minutes and are open until 14 January and
results will be announced shortly after the closing date.

Good luck and 73! Wishing you good DX in the new year.

(vk2pr and Fisher's Ghost Amateur Radio Club)


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

ANZAC Publication pre-sales extended

Due to the popularity of the WIA ANZAC Publication "Men and Women at War", its
pre-sales period has been extend a month.

Already about 90 have been sold at an early bird discount price through the
WIA online bookshop.

It has a fully researched history on the development of wireless communications
in the lead up to, and during World War 1, and through subsequent years and

As printing will not occur over the holiday break, the WIA has extended the
discount on offer until January 23.

This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH with news about the new 60 metre
Amateur band.

Although the updated Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan commences on
the first of January - today - the Australian Communications and Media
Authority has many T's to cross and many I's to dot before we can begin
to use the new 60 metre Amateur band at 5.3 megahertz.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), at the World
Radiocommunication Conference in November 2015 (WRC-15), approved the
word-wide allocation of 5351.5 to 5366.5 kHz to the Amateur Service on a
secondary basis.

The Amateur Service is not the only one affected, and many other
radiocommunications stakeholders have to wait for the administrative and
regulatory details to be updated before the changed provisions of the
Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan 2017 - posted on the ACMA website
in the week before Christmas - can be exploited.

We will bring you more details on future broadcasts when they come to hand.
Keep a lookout on the WIA website.

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

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


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

What is the New Year? Is it a symbol for new starts in life or
just a construct to mark the start of a new cycle of the calendar?
My guess is that there are people feeling a bit lagged this Sunday
morning after partying and welcoming 2017.

Yes, 2017 could be a year of change for many. We have a change of
administration in the United States and the world is waiting to judge
the effects of new attitudes from the incoming President.

The local radio scene is waiting for the consultations with different
constituent users of the wireless spectrum to finish and the ACMA
to release the drafts of the new legislation replacing the current law.

We amateur radio operators are a privileged group with special allowance
made for our experimental use of the air waves. However it is the local
regulator that draws the lines around our operating rules and we can
trust that the advocacy from the WIA has been successful in maintaining
the basics and increasing privileges for our Foundation operators.

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

What use is an F-call? - WELL it's the FOUNDATIONS of Amateur Radio

I'm a child of my time and my perspective is the result of input from fellow
amateurs. I'm often in the group of amateurs who would rather buy than build,
rather get something done, than do it yourself. The black box brigade if you

The same is true for the antennas I use. I've been struggling with some
verticals on the back of my car for months. I've got it working, mostly, but
it was a lot of stuffing around. In the end, I added a black box, in the form
of a tuner to make it work, sort of.

The radio clubs I associate with have towers and multi-element beams, there
are antenna farms, rotators, switch boxes, amplifiers and the like, all far
removed from a simple set-up. Most of these are purchased and put together,
rather than designed and built.

During the week I spent some time with the other side of radio. A simple
fishing pole with a string of wire, sitting on a groin pointed into the ocean,
picking off signals left and right.

Until now I've been approaching this along the lines of "get the antenna that
works, make contacts, rinse and repeat". Sitting on the groin in the warm sun
it occurred to me that there is nothing wrong with that idea, but that I was
missing out on the journey along the way.

I've been looking at my antenna problem as an annoyance, preventing me from
getting on air, and while it did annoy me, it also taught me lots about
vertical antenna design, about inductance, reactance, impedance and more.

I like shiny new things, radios, computers, antennas and all the rest of it,
but I've come to the realisation that there can also be a journey along the
way. I'm not sure it's smelling roses, let's call it, enjoy the electrons.

It remains to be seen if that translates into me making wacky antenna designs
or not, but one thing I learned is not to be afraid of trying anymore.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART, VK7WI News and the WW sources of the WIA.

Ham Radio at Yale, 85 years and going strong

Founded in the early 1930s, the Amateur Radio Club at Yale (W1YU) had a strong
run for many decades, but activity started quieting down by the 1980s and '90s
"as other technologies became shiny and new." But in recent months, the snap,
crackle, pop hiss and chatter of amateur radio systems is springing back
to life in the Yale community and around New Haven.

The DIY aspect of ham radio culture is a big part of its recent surge
in popularity, said James Surprenant, W1YU's current First Vice President.

Read the full story at

New 60m allocations for Germany and Ireland

The German telecoms regulator, BNetzA, has enabled access to the WRC-15
60m amateur allocation to all German Class A licensees as of the 20th December.

The allocation is from 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz on a Secondary basis with a
maximum power of 15W EIRP and a maximum bandwidth of 2.7kHz. All modes are
permitted and the German national amateur radio society, DARC, recommends
the use of USB and the IARU Region 1 provisional band plan for 60m.

Separately, ComReg announced on 22 December that amateurs in the Irish
Republic have access to the 5MHz WRC-15 band, with immediate effect.

The allocation again is 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz, on a secondary basis, all modes
and 15W pep. IRTS recommend usage in line with the provisional IARU band plan.

Sen EI7CD the I.R.T.S./ComReg Liaison Officer reports that this allocation
does NOT affect the availability of existing channels centred on 5280, 5300,
5332, 5348, 5400 and 5405 kHz.

Special authorisation however is still required for these channels at an annual
licence fee.

More importantly however were WIA Director Roger Harrisons words earlier in
this bulletin re how 60 is not available in vk----YET.

Ham Radio software company alleged to have blacklisted users for leaving
negative reviews

The Register Newspaper (link in text edition) reports the story of N2SUB who,
it is alleged, had his copy of popular Ham Radio Deluxe software revoked after
posting a negative review.

Other radio hams have followed up with claims that this was not an isolated
incident and others may have had their license keys blacklisted for being
publicly critical of the company. And just to be clear: by blackballing keys,
installed copies of the software stop working.

"The issue is not the refusal of service, the issue is that HRD disabled my
software, and then offered to enable it in exchange for the removal of an
online review of their product. It's extortion, not refusal of service" he

Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is aiming for personal
mobile ultra-low frequency transmitters to communicate through water and soil.

Radio frequency signals hit veritable and literal walls when they encounter
materials like water, soil, and stone, which can block or otherwise ruin those
radio signals.

With his newly announced A Mechanically Based Antenna (AMEBA) effort, program
manager Troy Olsson of DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office is betting on a
little-exploited aspect of electromagnetic physics.

The plan is to use ultra-low-frequency (ULF) electromagnetic waves,
300 Hz to 3 kHz, which can penetrate some distance into media like water, soil,
rock, metal, and building materials.

Read the full story at

French 162 kHz Broadcast Licence

The French Superior Council of Audio-visual (Content), CSA, is calling for
expressions of interest in broadcasting on 162 kHz

They say: In accordance with the provisions of Article 26 of the amended
Freedom of Communication Act of September 30, 1986 and at the request of
the Government, the CSA decided to withdraw from Radio France the use of
the 162 kHz frequency for broadcasting of France International.

In order to determine whether the Commission should initiate the procedures
necessary to appeal the 162 kHz frequency, it decided to issue a call for
expressions of interest for the broadcast of a radio service on the 162 kHz

Responses are expected no later than January 16, 2017.

(Now I wonder if here in VK with the closure of ABC Shortwave to the Pacific
a similar plan will be put forward... imagine "The M's on Short Wave!")

Looking back at WIA news of December 18 we reported on the recommendation
of IARU Region 2, a new Belize Amateur Radio Club complied with the
requirements of the constitution and Bylaws of the IARU and therefore a
membership vote had been sent to all IARU member societies.

Here in IARU region 3 your Wireless Institute of Australia has voted YES to
accept the Belize Amateur Radio Club and the IARU International Secretariat
will announce the vote outcome in May.

Meantime, the Chinese Radio Sports (CRSA) has been merged with the Chinese
Amateur Radio Club and Region 3 has now accepted that it now be the successor
IARU society.


All major Australian contests, rules and results, are on the
Contest Section of the WIA website.

This is Roger Harrison VK2ZRH and I'm perplexed and dismayed !

I see a lot of postings and, er, "debate" on Facebook that focus on - the
decline of the Solar Cycle, with many operators lamenting the loss of
long-haul DX on 10 metres and 6 metres.

It reminds me of a line from one of the Goon Shows in which Henry Crun is
driving Mini Bannister in a very noisy car. The chugging of the engine gets
rather laboured and slows down, to be followed by a loud POP and ph'tang !
After a short silence, Mini asks Henry, "What, what is it Henry?" To which
Henry replies, "The wick in the engine's gone out !"

Well, the wick in Old Sol may be going down a little, but that's no reason
to despair about the loss of long-haul DX because there's one means of
ionospheric propagation that does not depend on the wick in the Sun to fire
it up - I'm talking about sporadic-E.

You may recall that, a few broadcasts ago, I explained how sporadic-E was
formed in the ionosphere by wind shears at heights around 90 to 130 km sweeping
metallic ions into clouds of thin sheets, which supported propagation at
frequencies extending into the VHF spectrum.

The formation of sporadic-E across the globe is not dependent on the waxing
and waning of solar radiation.

Under the right conditions in the neutral - that is, un-ionised - gases of the
E-region of the ionosphere, sporadic-E will form from many 'rafts' of
wind-shears across large regions of the globe, sufficient to support multi-hop
propagation across distances of 10,000 to 18,000 kilometres or more.

I have spent many rewarding hours investigating reports of long-haul DX on the
6m and 10m bands over the past decade, to learn how the signals got from one
operator to another at great distances.

Compiling and analysing the relevant data often times leads to dead ends
because suitable data on the ionosphere is not always available, or it shows
that the propagation was perhaps by another means -maybe, part sporadic-E and
part F-skip. But when all the data lines up - and the path was most likely
completed by sporadic-E - bingo !

The propagation research work of others in recent years convincingly
demonstrates that giving away operating on 10m and 6m because the Solar Cycle
is waning is not a sensible strategy for chasing DX. In particular, I refer to
the work of Andrew Martin VK3OE, who developed and operates a Chirp Radar on
the amateur bands, using his remote station - VK3OER - at Harcourt in central

Andrew's Chirp Radar doesn't need high power as with a conventional radar, but
exploits some powerful signal processing to achieve results. If you google
"backscatter radar vk3oe", you will find examples of long-haul sporadic-E on
10m and 6m published by Andrew on the VK Logger Forum. Good examples include
up to seven skips on 10m via sporadic-E from VK3 to North America.

Don't take down you 10m or 6m beams. There's DX to had right through this
coming solar minimum !

This has been Roger Harrison VK2ZRH for VK1WIA News.


Jan 1 - Dec 31 The Victorian Local Government Award 2017 Challenge

January it's the WIA's Ross Hull Memorial VHF/UHF Contest

Jan 1 AMSAT CW Activity Day 24 hours. All forms of CW are welcome.

WIA Summer VHF-UHF Field Day Saturday 14 and Sunday the 15th of January.

Ham Radio On The Ferries 12th of March

WIA's John Moyle Memorial Field Day 18th-19th March 2017

WIA's Harry Angel Memorial 80 meter sprint Saturday May 6 10:00 -11:46 UTC

May 13-15 Mills On The Air

VK SHIRES June 10 and 11.

Trans-Tasman Low-Band Contest 160/80/40 Saturday night July 15 and Start Time
is 08:00 UTC and finish time is 14:00 UTC


WIA's Flagship contest the Remembrance Day Contest 12th & 13th August

Aug 19-20 ILLW the 3rd full weekend in August since 1998

October CQ WW DX / SSB CONTEST (always Octobers Last full weekend)

Running ALL year 'til Dec 31 Victorian Local Government Award 2017 Challenge

The Treaty of the Danish West Indies

A special event throughout 2017 celebrates the 100th anniversary of the
United States Virgin Islands.

The EDR HAM Radio Club of Skanderborg will use the callsign OZ100DVI
from January 1 until December 31.

In marks the centenary the Treaty of the Danish West Indies, sold to the
USA and renamed the Virgin Islands.

OZ100DVI will be on all bands and include SOTA activity from Saint
Thomas Island on the Lake Skanderborg.

Further information is on the website

Robert, DU7ET operates as 4F7OC from Negros Island, WLOTA 3568, between
15th December and 15th January. QSL via DU7ET.

During the weekends in December and January, members of the radio clubs
PueblaDX and AREPAC plan to activate IOTA groups NA-221 and NA-224 with
the call XF2L. QSL via XE1SOV.

The Liechtenstein Radio Amateur Society, AFVL has been celebrating its 30th
anniversary during 2016. The special event station HB 0 AFVL is available
on the air until the end December and contacts will be confirmed by a special
QSL card.

The Wild Atlantic Way
Irish radio amateurs will be on the air in 2017 with special callsigns
along a west coast tourism route that passes through nine counties and
three provinces.

The Wild Atlantic Way is 2,500 km long on the rugged coast overlooking
the Atlantic Ocean.

Some nine callsigns EI 11WAW through to EI 99 WAW will be tied to an
Irish county, each offer a special QSL card and award.

Information on the year-long event that starts on January 1, is on the
websites and the Irish Radio Transmitters Society.



Not JUST an Australian activity but in the USA the ARRL also run a National
Parks award.

One Ham radio family recently went to the Canaveral National Seashore (SS02)
and there was a launch of an Atlas V rocket while 10-year-old Hope KM4IPF was
operating on 20 meters

What a BLAST this National Park activation was!

8-year-old Grace KM4TXT got on the air with the new family club call WK1DS and
made quite a few contacts as well.

As well as Hope and Grace the other family members are Michele N8ZQZ,
James WX4TV, 14-year-old Zechariah and 11 year-old Faith Hannah AE4FH.

Watch Quite Possibly the Most Epic NPOTA Activation Video Yet!

KM4IPF at SS02 with Atlas V Launch


Who and Where are our broadcast stations?

Remember VK2WI News will be a morning only transmission with the usual
morning line up - VK1WIA followed by VK2 News plus the ARRL DX News.

The transmissions will be at 10 am EDST being New Year's Day and the
8 th January. The evening transmissions resume on Sunday the 15 th January .

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

Radio hams to help at Ganga Sagar Mela

The Indian Express reports West Bengal Radio Club members are to help find
missing pilgrims at the annual Ganga Sagar Mela in January

Ganga Sagar Mela is the annual gathering of Hindu pilgrims to take a holy dip
in the Ganga, where the river merges with the Bay of Bengal.

Ambarish, VU2JFA, secretary of Bengal Amateur Radio Club, said:
"We are trying to help find missing persons from different spots
and we are working with local agencies and NGOs and have set up
a website which will look to make the sharing of information among
people easier.

Read the full story at

(sourced to SouthGate)


The WSJT Development Group has released WSJT-X version 1.7.0.

The WSJT-X software suite is designed to facilitate basic Amateur Radio
communication using very weak signals (WSJT stands for Weak Signal
communication by K1JT).

Joe Taylor, K1JT, recommends reading the extensively updated WSJT-X version 1.7
User Guide, which describes new features and capabilities
(relative to version 1.6). WSJT-X version 1.7.0 includesnew modes
ISCAT, MSK144, and QRA64;newly implemented sub modes JT65B-C and JT9B-H;
a new Franke-Taylor decoder to replace the Koetter-Vardy decoder previously
used for JT65; improvements to the JT4, JT9, and JT65 decoders;
multi-pass decoding for JT65 and WSPR, and improved convenience features
for EME Doppler tracking.



Hallo Everyone, this is Clive VK6CSW. On behalf of the Radio Amateurs Old
Timers Club of Australia may I wish everyone a truly happy, healthy and
safe New Year. I'd also like to remind all listeners that in keeping with
normal practise there is no RAOTC bulletin for January. Our first bulletin for
2017 will be on Monday February 6th.

Please remember though, should you wish to hear any of the last 6 month's
bulletins, you can download these audio files from the RAOTC website on, where you can also find details about the RAOTC, its
objectives, and how to become a member.

Just repeating, the first RAOTC bulletin for this year will be broadcast next
month on Monday, February 6th.

73 from Clive VK6CSW.

Rewind, a look back on our history

A major turning point in radio and electronics was the invention of
Lee de Forest's Audion, or the first vacuum tube triode.

Initially the valve, or vacuum tube diode was invented by
John Ambrose Fleming, who adapted a light bulb by adding a second element
to it, thus creating a diode that could rectify.

But Lee de Forest added a third element, giving us the amplification
of a triode, and began a new age taking the world from the spark gap
and crystal detector era.

As we know, the triode has a three elements - a heater or filament,
a grid, and a plate.

A small electrical signal applied to the grid can control a larger current
flowing from the filament to plate.

Not only did it detect weak radio signals, it could then amplify them
to produce audio.

Further development saw the triode serve as an oscillator in radio transmitters.

It lead the way to radio broadcasting, long distance telephone,
talking motion pictures, and other applications.

Lee de Forest's Audion was the most famous of his 180 patented inventions.

The discovery inspired many others who found later uses for the control of
electron flow through thermionic emission in a vacuum, including more elements
and the cathode ray tube.

It resulted in the start of broadcasting in the mid-1920s, the valve radios
in most homes now overtaken by the transistor radio.

In modern electronics solid state devices have replaced valves, although they
are still used in some high-powered transmitters, guitar amplifiers and
specialist audio equipment.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


Feb 19th VK3 HAMFEST Western and Northern District Amateur Radio Club 10am
Werribee Masonic centre 223 Watton St, Werribee.

WANDARC HamFest 2017/Car boot sale


you need to be here

Entry is only $6.00 (Doors open from 10am entry tickets will be on sale from
9am) "ticket includes one free draw in the major prize" extra tickets are able
to be purchased as well Call in on VK3RPS 147.200 tone 91.5

Tables are available at $20.00 each includes 1 entry and a lunch voucher
please contact Andy Kay, VK3VKT on 0409 160 948 or

Feb 26th Central Coast Field Day, WYONG enter at 8:30am (vk2dls)

March 26 VK3 EMDRC HamFest, Great Ryrie Primary School, Heathmont (VK3BQ)

Ap 28- May 1 VK4 Clairview Gathering between Rockhampton and Mackay (TARC)

May 19 VK WIA AGM Hahndorf some 25km from Adelaide (vk5kc)

Sep 9-10 ALARAMEET 2017 in Cairns (vk4swe)

Nov 12 VK5 Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society HamFest 8am (vk5kc)

AHARS HamFest Goodwood Community Centre, Rosa St, Goodwood

Trading tables for second-hand goods. Sellers $10 a table.

Entry for buyers $5.

Commercial traders, door prizes, food and drinks.

Contact Roy or David



We close this week's newscast with this story of a classic comic strip
with a surprise element: Morse Code.

Now, Samuel Morse isn't exactly the kind of character you'd find in the pages
of any comic strip, much less the classic strip, "The Phantom."

The Phantom, an avenger with a sense of justice, was created in the 1930s,
long after Samuel Morse devised his system of dots and dashes in the
19th Century. In the strip's earliest days, The Phantom was already using
amateur radio to send important messages. It seems that in the intervening
years, he hasn't forgotten ham radio's reliability -- nor has he forgotten his

Now he is an older, wiser Phantom - and the father of two, including a son
attending college at a remote Himalayan location. He is seen in the comic's
recent story thread, keeping tabs on his son by communicating with one of his
teachers via code. His wife, of course, asks her crime-fighting husband
"isn't that obsolete?" The Phantom replies: "Not at all."

Right you are, Phantom. That's what makes you OUR hero too!

Submitting news items

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be broadcast once, if you want a couple of mentions, please submit different
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item write in the 3rd person.



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