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WIA moves ahead STEM involvement. -

WIA Hot Issues' website section has it all. -

WIA Special Purpose Grants Program for 2017. -

WIA Merit Awards Now Open. -

WIA & ACMA working together streamline lLicences for repeaters & beacons. -

WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH on recent actions by ACMA. -

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







This one from the CASA monthly briefing via Summerland AR Clubs newsletter

Smart phones have been ranked the least wanted dangerous goods in Australian
aviation for 2016.

This follows an increasing number of passengers accidentally crushing their
phone in the reclining mechanism of their aircraft seat. This can result in
the damaged smart phone battery going into thermal runaway, possibly igniting
a fire. The growing rate of these incidents has seen airlines review seat
designs and update safety videos to warn passengers not to move their seat
if they lose their smart phone. There were 39 reports of lost or damaged
smart phones in 2016, with nine cases requiring emergency procedures.

Lithium batteries and portable power packs come in at number two on the
least wanted dangerous goods list with passengers still failing to carry
spare batteries safely. Spare batteries must never be carried in checked
luggage at any time but should be taken on board aircraft in carry-on baggage
with the battery terminals protected.


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

WIA moves ahead STEM involvement

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) is developing a plan for the
involvement of radio amateurs in the Federal Government promoted Science,
Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) program.

This follows the successful WIA STEM symposium in Canberra on November 19, that
had 24 people attend to discuss seven presentations and a further 12 papers of
suggestions, ideas and concepts.

It confirmed that the target audience where contribution would have greatest
impact was at the secondary schools level Years 7 to 10, and fit in with the
school curriculum. The WIA believes that through the existing networks,
projects and programs can be developed that fit with and enhance schools STEM

There are a number of existing projects and activities that should also be
supported by the WIA STEM network.

A basic thrust of the event was to consider specialised talents through
mentoring and coordinating interesting leading-edge activities. The symposium
also thought how to promote and market the STEM initiative.

Within Amateur Radio there are talented people including many who can develop
educational programs and others having vast hands-on technical experience.

The plan being considered is to access a very broad range of skills and
knowledge that exist in some radio amateurs, and develop with teachers STEM
educational programs for young people. This will need a coordination role
across all States and Territories and the setting up of teams of interested
radio amateurs to carry out identified projects.

Now being considered is having a National STEM program Coordinator who can lead
it and State and Territory Coordinators, a STEM Wiki website that explains the
resource available and a directory of the volunteers. The Wiki facility for
STEM related projects and activities would be made public and promoted, but its
content moderated by the coordination team.

The outcomes of the WIA symposium and a possible STEM plan for the future
will be considered in 2017 after further consultation takes place with
interested parties and the broader Amateur Radio community.

'Current WIA Hot Issues' website section has it all

The WIA website contains the major advocacy issues it has worked on, or still
yet to complete with the ACMA and other government agencies.

During 2017, this will include further consultation on major changes sought to
the Licence Condition Determinations.

The proposed changes reflect new technologies being exploited and adopted, and
even techniques not yet thought about, and also reflect international trends.

The WIA member thoughts and views on them have been known since 2014, and
spelled out on this broadcast, the website and in Amateur Radio magazine.

It will most likely be the biggest change to Amateur Radio since the
announcement in late 2003 of the so-called Big Review.

That review was designed to simplify arrangements for Amateur Radio and set the
regulatory regime. As a result of it, the different licences classes went from
seven to just three, with the introduction of the successful beginner level
Foundation Licence.

Now the ACMA is preparing for a 2017 review of the LCD that will invite input
on a range of issues.

Also this year, the complex, proposed new Radiocommunications Act will be
explained in detail at a series of stakeholder briefing sessions by the ACMA,
with attendance by the WIA. More on this by WIA Director Roger Harrison in a

To be informed and aware, check out the 'Current WIA Hot Issues' section of the
website regularly, at

No Special-Purpose Grants Program for 2017

Your WIA Board has advised that the Special-Purpose Grants Program of the
Wireless Institute of Australia, will not proceed for 2017.

The first WIA Special-Purpose Grant was awarded in support of the GPS-Locking
of VHF-UHF Beacons Project, proposed by Alan Devlin VK3XPD, and run jointly by
Alan and the WIA over 2014-15.

The project added GPS-locking to an additional 23 beacons on the 2m, 70cm,
23cm, 13cm, 9cm and 3cm bands across VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK6, ensuring frequency
accuracy and stability to within a few Hertz. And what a success that has been.
More recently, the Geelong Amateur Radio Club received a WIA grant to help
complete an Amateur Radio educational attraction project at the Queenscliff
Maritime Museum. A story on the Marconi hut and antenna mast built by the club
has been sent for publication in Amateur Radio magazine.

It is anticipated that the new 2017-18 Board will review the Special-Purpose
Grants Program in late 2017.

WIA Merit Awards Now Open

The Wireless Institute of Australia makes awards to radio amateurs to recognise
for their worthy contribution to Amateur Radio.

The actual award is at the discretion of the WIA Board and announced by it at
the Annual Conference held in May.

The Merit Awards recognise the work done within the hobby. The criteria plus a
Nomination Form are on the WIA website. When completing a nomination form, you
are not required to suggest which award should be made. Each nomination is
assessed to see if deserves an award and then which type of award.

To help, please include as much information as you can. Try to keep it in some
sort of chronological order. Include any information about other awards the
nominee may have received.

Nominations close on March 31, announced and where possible presented, at the
WIA's AGM and Conference at Hahndorf South Australia on May 19-21.

Licences for repeaters & beacons are now streamlined

Peter Mill VK3APO tells us the Australian Communications and Media Authority
licence applications for Amateur Radio repeaters and beacons are now handled
differently to speed up issuing and reduce errors that may occur. The ACMA was
having a problem with such licences under its SPECTRA system. All applications
for Amateur Radio repeaters and beacons had caused a problem in its software,
due to the unique nature of the applications.

At a meeting in Canberra the ACMA explained the problem it had to two WIA
representatives. It was then mutually agreed that the ACMA would receive
from the WIA a spreadsheet that had suitable formatting, to make the processing
and issuing of licences run very smoothly.

This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH with news on recent actions by the
Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Last week, the A-C-M-A published on its website the updated Australian
Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan - A-R-S-P 2017.

The purpose of the Spectrum Plan is to guide the A-C-M-A in making decisions on
the use of radiofrequency spectrum.

The key feature of the Spectrum Plan is its Table of Frequency Allocations from
8.3 kHz to 420 terahertz that divides-up the spectrum to show the general
purpose of each band, to which services the bands are allocated, and associated
footnotes relevant to the uses of particular allocations.

The A-C-M-A updates the Spectrum Plan following each World Radiocommunication
Conference, organised by the International Telecommunications Union and held
about every three years.

As many amateurs are aware, the last Conference was W-R-C - 15, held in
November 2015, which approved the word-wide allocation of a new amateur band
at 5.3 MHz, generally known now as 60 metres. It is available to amateurs on a
secondary basis, with Fixed and Mobile services being Primary users.
Secondary users have to avoid interference with primary users and have no
protection from interference from Primary users.

I told you a little about this in last week's broadcast, and there's more new
information on the WIA website Hot Issues page.

In announcing the updated Spectrum Plan, the A-C-M-A also published an
accompanying Explanatory Statement, providing more detail behind the changes
to the Spectrum Plan as well as how the Table of Frequency Allocations is
arranged, and its relationship to other legislation.

The A-C-M-A published a draft in September last year, inviting comment and
submissions, the deadline for which closed five weeks later.

The A-C-M-A reports it received 17 submissions from a mixture of government
agencies, communications and broadcasting industry members, and private
citizens. Of course, a submission from the WIA was among them. Some individual
amateurs and WICEN NSW also made submissions concerning amateur allocations.

In its Explanatory Statement, the A-C-M-A say that it gave - quote -
due consideration to the representations received during the consultation
period - end quote. You can learn about the A-C-M-A's considerations in its
Response to Submissions, which outlines its reasoning concerning how it
treated proposals on allocations and regulations in the Spectrum Plan.

As listeners would be aware, the WIA has for some years advocated the extension
of the 160 metre and 80 metre bands, upgrading 50 to 52 MHz from secondary to
primary status, a new allocation at 70 MHz matching those throughout European
and African nations in Region 1, and a another new allocation at 915 to 928 MHz
aligned with allocations in New Zealand and the USA.

The news is, the A-C-M-A has made the bare minimum necessary changes to the
Spectrum Plan, so we have more work to be done if we're going to make headway
with these extended and new allocations - including the new 60 metre band.

Rest assured, the WIA's Spectrum Strategy Committee is working with the ACMA to
determine when access to 60 metres for Australian amateurs will become
available and what is required in pursuing our other positions on 160 and 80
metres, 6 and 4 metres, and 33 cm.

The proposed new Radiocommunications Act will go before parliament early this
year. The A-C-M-A will be holding a series of stakeholder briefing sessions,
which the WIA will attend.

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

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

INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART, VK3PC, VK7WI News and the WW sources of the WIA.


We begin this week's report with an update on amateur involvement in the
Super Typhoon Nock-Ten, a deadly Category 4 storm that raged through the
Philippines at Christmas, killing at least six and stranding thousands.

The Philippines Amateur Radio Association activated its Ham Emergency Radio
Operations Network (HERO) at the approach of the storm, the storm caused
mudslides, flooding and power interruption in five provinces.

The hams kept communications open using both HF and VHF radios as the storm
made landfall repeatedly.

ARRL say Authorities tuned into the emergency net where amateurs sent them
damage reports.

Our thoughts are with them all as the nation begins the recovery process.

Former Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) President William James "Bill" Gillis,
VE1WG, of New Brunswick, died December 26. He was 87.

Gillis spent his career in the technical and management fields of the
telecommunications industry.

He was a veteran radio amateur, having been licensed as VE1WG since 1946.
He also held the call signs VE3WG and 5H3WB (Tanzania).

Gillis was RAC Director for the Maritimes Region and also served two terms as
president of the Moncton Area Amateur Radio Club. He also belonged to the
Montreal Amateur Radio Club and the Oakville Radio Club.

In addition to Amateur Radio, he enjoyed the sport of curling.

Norway close all FM radio broadcasts

The FM radio stations are now switched off in Norway; the first country to
move fully to digital radio broadcasts.

The Norwegian Ministry of Culture has made listeners to do away with FM radio
entirely, and adopted Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) as a national standard.

In Norway DAB offers 22 national channels, as opposed to FM that had dwindled
to five in the phase over to DAB.

Other European and Southeast Asian countries are considering the move, and
hopefully not just DAB but the FAR superior mode DAB+.

Meantime, the Australian Communications and Media Authority is planning for
DAB+ digital radio in regional areas - already available in capital cities
since July 2009, (other than Hobart). But there are no moves to stop FM
broadcasts, and in this diverse continent AM also remains due to its reliable
wide area coverage.

New Amateur Radio FM Transponder CubeSat Now in Space

The BY70-1 CubeSat launched on December 28 from the Taiyuan Space Launch Centre
in China. The satellite carries an Amateur Radio FM transponder.

BY70-1 is a 2U CubeSat project for education and Amateur Radio. It
features 3-axis stabilization and deployable solar panels. In
addition to the FM transponder, BY70-1 has a camera, and plans call
for downloading images and telemetry via a 9600 bps BPSK downlink.
The IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination pages list an
uplink of 145.920 MHz, and a downlink of 436.200 MHz.

AMSAT-UK has more information online at,


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


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.

This is Roger Harrison VK2ZRH with a word about the
2017 Summer VHF-UHF Field Day.

It's next weekend - Saturday 14 and Sunday 15th of January.

The Rules remain the same as for the 2016 Spring contest,
completed just a few weeks ago !

Check out the Contests site on the WIA website.

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

This has been Roger Harrison VK2ZRH for VK1WIA News.

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

New propagation prediction tool

A new Radio Amateur HF Propagation Prediction tool is now fully available.

The URL is

The 'Area Coverage' predictions have been available for some time, but a new
Point-to-Point prediction tool is available. Clicking on the link starts the
process, when the form is filled out a series of plots are available depicting
propagation between the required TX. and Rx. sites.

Any comments/suggestions please e-mail Gwyn Williams, G4FKH at


All we Aussie radio amateurs may substitute their normal VK callsign prefix with
the letters AX, on Australia Day - Thursday January 26.

The ACMA automatically allows this privilege which was negotiated by the WIA.

The day commemorates the First Fleet's arrival in 1788 at Sydney Gove and the
establishment of a European settlement at Port Jackson, with the raising of the
British flag by Governor Arthur Phillip.

On Australia Day many celebrate our country and culture. This includes the
granting of awards, honours and the welcoming to citizenship of many immigrants.
National flags will be flown and the celebrations include fireworks displays.

The AX prefix is popular among prefix hunters and others while the use of a
special QSL card is encouraged by the WIA.

Throughout 2017, to celebrate of the centenary of Finland's independence,
Finnish radio amateurs are allowed to use the prefix OF in place of the usual

In addition, the special jubilee callsign OF 100 FI/portable district number
will be activated by various Amateur Radio clubs throughout Finland.

For QSL information listen to operator's instructions.

German Antarctic Research Base called 'Neumayer 3' is on air
until February. Callsign DP 1 POL mainly CW and digital modes.
This activity will count as AN-016 for the IOTA programme.
QSL Manager is DL 1Z BO and logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Lions Clubs International Belgian Amateur Radio operators are QRV as OR 100 LCI
until March 2017 to mark its 100th anniversary.

Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB and RTTY.

QSL via ON 8 ZL.


The 2017 Challenge Begins

To further encourage radio amateurs to operate portable stations a new,
year-long award is available for contacts with, and from, the 79 Local
Government Areas in Victoria.

On this, New Year's Day 2017 at 0001 UTC, the Local Government Award Challenge
begand and continues throughout the calendar year.

The winning Activator and Hunter who has logged the most municipalities in the
challenge will get at no cost, a professionally designed, engraved and
presented Wall Plaque.

Minor awards are for those who send eligible logs for either the Activator or
Hunter category.

Rules and conditions of the Victorian Government Award 2017 Challenge are on
the Amateur Radio Victoria website:


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 .

Net is held each Mondays on 3.570 MHz, commencing at 1030 UTC.
(1000utc during daylight saving)

36th ALARA Contest Results and Report

First 4 place getters in order of points scored are:-

VK7QP Linda Luther 5,770 Points:

VK3VIP Jean Fisher 4,296 Points:

VK5YL Shirley Tregellas 2,775 Points:

VK4SWE Lyn Battle 2,480 Points: using 3 modes, Phone, CW & EchoLink

(alara newsletter attachment)


Tomsk-TPU-120 CubeSat to deploy during EVA

The amateur radio CubeSat Tomsk-TPU-120 may be deployed during a Russian
spacewalk (EVA) in July 2017.

The satellite was developed by students at the Tomsk Polytechnic University
to test new space materials technology and is the world's first space vehicle
with a 3D-printed structure.

It was launched from Kazakhstan to the ISS on March 31, 2016 in a
Progress-MS-2 cargo vessel.

It will be deployed by hand during a Russian spacewalk, which is why unlike
other CubeSats this one has a HANDLE !

The call sign of the satellite is RS 4 S.


QCWA Donation to Support ARISS Space Station Hardware Upgrade

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station has announced a "notable
contribution" from the Quarter Century Wireless Association to help support
the development and certification of new radio hardware for the International
Space Station.

ARISS-International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, thanked the QCWA for its
contribution and said that it arrived at a most critical time.

ARISS-International Treasurer Rosalie White, K1STO, said, "QCWA members
understand it's important to hams to have the ARISS radio for APRS and
other modes, and it's caused a number of hams and their local clubs to
donate toward helping to get the radio system upgraded."

ARISS welcomes donations toward the hardware upgrade project via the
AMSAT website.

Click on the "ARISS Donate" button, or visit the donation page on the
ARISS website.

Those contributing $100 or more will receive an ARISS Challenge Coin.

A Youth Net meets Saturdays at 0100 UTC on IRLP Reflector #2.
Young Hams Net 3.590 - 7:30pm Victorian time.

Amateur Radio Kids Day January 7

Organized by the ARRL Kids day, scheduled this year for January 7
is meant to develop interest in Amateur Radio. Please consider
this while operating the satellite January 7. Listen for kids
on-the-air or plan to assist kids with operating the satellites.

For more information visit


Sam VK6KSA is National Jota Coordinator.

Please QSY off the calling frequency after establishing communication.

Australian voice calling frequencies:
3.650, 7.090, 14.190, 21.190, 28.590, 52.160

World CW calling frequencies:
3.570, 7.030, 14.060, 18.080, 21.140, 24.910, 28.180, 50.160

World voice calling frequencies:
3.690 & 3.940 MHz, 7.090 & 7.190, 14.290, 18.140, 21.360,
24.960, 28.390, 50.160

Calling frequencies for Slow Scan TV (SSTV):
3.630, 7.033, 14.227

Calling Frequencies for PSK31

From our "good buddies" at Amateur Radio Newsline we learn that Radio Scouting
in the USA have updated the Radio Merit Badge program.

A big new addition to the Radio Merit Badge is a new option of Amateur Radio
Direction Finding. This combines orienteering and foxhunting and opens a new
interactive component to this program. Cellular telephone topics have been
added and different types of radio modulation have been included.

Key requirement changes were dropping open, closed, and short circuits
as well as schematic symbols and components as these are covered in the
Electricity and Electronics merit badges.

Other revisions include a Radio Broadcasting option which now includes
Internet streaming, regulations, and power levels; Medium Wave and Shortwave
Listening option includes both types of listening as well as listening via
streaming services on your smartphone.

These updates will take effect in 2017, and those scouts working on the
previous set of requirements generally can finish them up the same year.

For this and more information Radio Scouting, please visit

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

Vic police and emergency services receive radio upgrade

VK7WI News are reporting that outdated police and emergency services radios
will be replaced by the Victorian Government under a seven-year contract
with Telstra.

The public will not be able to intercept communications on these new radios,
which will replace analogue systems with their encrypted digital technology.

"This sophisticated technology is more secure, has better voice clarity, will
reduce the risk of communication failures and improve safety for our emergency
services personnel and the community," said Minister for Emergency Services
James Merlino.

The contract provides more than 8000 radios for Victoria Police, Victoria State
Emergency Services, Life Saving Victoria and Corrections Victoria, and can be
expanded to provide radio support services for other government agencies.

(Sourced by VK7WI from the Radio Comms Web E-zine)


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)

While we are now into the new year, it's all systems GO for the CCARC
field day at Wyong.

All the usual expected attractions will be there, Commercial sellers,
interesting exhibitors, lectures and don't forget this being the 60th. year of
the Central coast ARC, flea market slots are free - the sellers only need to
pay their entrance like any other visitor, so we look forward to a really big
flea market this year.

If you're coming by train, there's a free shuttle from the station to the
racecourse and there's disabled parking for those who need it.

Entry to the Field day costs only $10 per person, those under 17 get in free.

Gates open to the public at 8:30 am on Sunday the 26th. of February at
Wyong Racecourse.

Full details are available at the FIELDDAY.ORG.AU website.

"Come and meet your mates at Wyong Field Day" on the 26th. of February.

This is Ed DD5LP/VK2JI for the Central Coast Amateur Radio Club.

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)

This is David VK5KC on behalf of the Group organising the 2017 WIA AGM.
The venue is Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills, about 30 minutes drive from
Adelaide and will be held on the weekend of 19th to 21st May 2017.

All are invited the attend the weekend, although only financial members may

Friday night will be an informal gathering. Saturday morning will be the
AGM and open forum. The afternoon will focus on a series of technical
presentations highlighting the best of the Amateur Service in VK5. Followed by
a discussion on enthusing new and old Amateurs alike.

Two partners tours will be offered on the Saturday to showcase the Adelaide

Saturday night will be a Gala dinner with guest speaker.

On Sunday we offer a visit to the National Motor Museum at Birdwood, or a
hosted trip to operate Parks and Peaks, or you may just spend the day
visiting the large range of shops in Hahndorf.

Sunday night will be a BBQ at the local football club fully supplied by the
Adelaide hills amateur Radio Society.

All details and registration are on the WIA website. Details of presenters
will be released soon.

So mark the 19th to 21st May this year (2017) in your diary, come along and
renew old friendships and make some new ones.

73 David for the WIA AGM organising group.

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

Submitting news items

A reminder when supplying HamFest info we obviously can't plug commercial
traders "on air", but we at the WIA will put your supporters in this text
edition "no worries."

If you would like to submit news items for inclusion in the
VK1WIA broadcasts, please email your item in text to
and don't JUST send url's links but take the time to pen YOUR contribution.

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 only
be broadcast once, if you want a couple of mentions, please submit different
slants to keep your event 'fresh 'and always if the news room is to read your
item write in the 3rd person.



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