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WIA to help with coordination of an Aussie Satellite in 2018

WIA elections, what happens next?

WIA Club Insurance public liability insurance

WIA and Grant VK5GR for the AGM & Convention weekend organising committee

WIA News Tips to get MORE out of your weekly newscast on VK1WIA


Why re-invent the wheel I say.

The following story is a report I recorded earlier this week for Amateur Radio

Editor Caryn Eve Murray KD2GUT contacted me to get some info about Cyclone
Debbie for the USA Amateur Radio Newsline. Unlike most other states in Australia
no single WICEN Queensland set up is in action, different regions have their
own resources, in fact when you do click any WICEN QUEENSLAND link it defaults
to Brisbane Area WICEN.

Now 2 hams in VK do have their finger on the pulse and when Caryn contacted
them, to work they went and didn't let us down. These 2 are Ewan McLeod VK4ERM
and Gavin Reibold VK4ZZ.

So this next item, our first this week was written by Caryn KD2GUT from 'ERM
and ZZ's material.. voiced for both ARNewsLine and WIA National News by
VK4 Baker Baker..yours truly.

Amateur radio responded, despite challenges of its own, as Tropical Cyclone
Debbie battered the tourist and agricultural centres in North and Central
Queensland. The storm knocked out the power infrastructure, halting mining
operations, destroying buildings, bridges, roadways and crops and wiping out
essential amenities in the resort regions.

Hams along the cyclone track, experienced in storm response, made preparations
-- most especially in the regions of Bowen, Mackay, Central Highlands and
Townsville, according to Gavin VK4ZZ, who lives in Townsville.

They checked radio gear, dismantled fragile antenna systems and ensured they
had enough fuel to run emergency power generators. Gavin told Newsline that by
Sunday the 26th of March, hams with HF antennas still aloft boosted call-in
numbers on the local nets. He said members of the Townsville Amateur Radio Club
who were out providing communications support for an autosports Hillclimb
during the day still kept an eye out on the predicted storm track updates.

On Monday the 27th of March counter-disaster authorities, which included some
embedded hams, tweaked their pre-deployment plans according to Gavin. Bowen,
one of the affected towns, was able to provide VHF repeater coverage throughout
the Cyclone -- and indeed was on the air despite lack of power in the town --
thanks to the Bowen Radio Amateur Group and in particular Geoff/VK4JDW who was
powering the repeater off the emergency generator at his house, where the
repeater is situated. The antenna system survived winds of as much as 125 miles
per hour. Further inland the Central Highlands Linked Repeater System remained
functional but its northern coastal node, the Midge Point Repeater, was
disabled by structural and power system damage.

Gavin said many hams became part of the recovery efforts, embedded with the
Queensland State Emergency Service and other responders. As the cyclone swept
out, hams put their HF antennas back up and have joined the nets with stories
of either dodging the bullet or being on the recovery trail. He said all eyes
are now on the city of Rockhampton, where there were some evacuations as the
city deals with post-cyclone flooding from the Fitzroy River.

Two of Amateur Radio Newsline's regular reporters were isolated for several days
as rivers to the south of Brisbane, the VK4 Capital City broke their banks,
John VK4JJW and yours truly VK4BB.

So filing this report it's an almost 'dry' VK4BB..Graham Kemp for the
Wireless Institute of Australia and Amateur Radio Newsline.

(Further in this weeks Final Final in our text editions)

Qantas put off its Wi-Fi take-off

On an earlier broadcast we had news that the national carrier Qantas was going
to roll-out in-flight Wi-Fi, but this has been delayed till later in year.

The NBN system eventually will be in about 80 domestic flights bringing
TV and Internet access. Qantas has found the Wi-Fi too unstable for use at
this stage, and now targets it being available from the middle of the year.


"Urunga Radio Convention VK2"

The 2017 Urunga Radio Convention will be on again this Easter, 15th 16th April
Saturday and Sunday, with Fox hunts and convention activities on both days,
quizzes, raffles, "Radio Supply" will be in attendance" trade tables available,
preloved gear, etc.

"Note" New Highway open at Urunga, turn in to Urunga at "Ballards Road"
(Valla turn from South) or "Waterfall Way" from North of Urunga.

Why not make it a break from your busy lifestyle and slow down a bit at quiet
restful "Urunga" "where the rivers meet the sea" the longest running "fox hunt
convention" in Australia.

Yes, it's on again.

The Great Gippsland Gate Radio & Electronics Club annual HamFest.

Saturday July 22nd at the Cranbourne Community Hall corner of Clarendon and
High St, Cranbourne.

Melway reference 133 K4.

There'll be door prizes, tea, coffee and a sausage sizzle and it's all under
cover with 41 tables of goodies so there should be something for everyone.

Entry is $6, Doors open at 10.00am, be there.

Oh, and don't forget to bring a friend.

Australian university students to launch satellite in 2018

Students at the University of Melbourne are well advanced on a program to build
a nano-satellite, with the Wireless Institute of Australia assisting in the
IARU frequency and other coordination processes.

Through the Melbourne Space Program (MSP) affiliated with the University of
Melbourne, all is moving ahead for a hand-over of the nano-satellite in
November and a launch as early as January 2018.

Funding comes from the University of Melbourne, while the Melbourne Space
Program is an organisation that holds the licensing, and other matters related
to the launch.

It has involved a group of ambitious
students, seeking to understand and help redefine the Australian space sector
through innovation in education, economics and policy, as well as engineering.

Australia is the only Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) nation without a space agency. In 1966, University of Melbourne students
built Australia's first satellite that was launched in 1970 as Australis Oscar 5
to be tracked by 200 radio amateurs in 27 different countries.

The Melbourne Space Program has about 70 active members who are students ranging
from 1st year university to masters level and post-graduate.

The key objectives include being the first students to launch an Australian
nano-satellite, create education, research in space, collaborate with academia
and industry, and promote gender parity in the STEM (science, technology,
engineering and mathematics) and Arts disciplines.

Work was continuing to launch Australia's first nano-satellite and more news is
expected in coming months.

(Fred Swainston VK3DAC/VK4FE, WIA STEM Coordinator)

In VK7

Newly elected WIA Director VK7TW Justin along with Reuben VK7FREU spent a night
this week teaching a new group of Huonville Scouts all about amateur radio and
what you can do with it.

They took them through the many aspects with Reuben focusing on Summits on the
Air including taking them through SOTA packs and then Dale VK7FNED showed them
the Scout Group's fox hunting equipment.

A quick run through the study and licence requirements along with the cost and
then to the activities.

Justin and his crew setup Morse code decoders, RF connected terminals, optical
transceivers and an SDR receiver for the scouts to play with.

Now to see some getting along to Foundation Licence training soon.

(Justin VK7TW via FBook)

It was only an April Fools day joke

There has been concern raised by a report that Morse code was going to be
re-introduced for the Australian Foundation Licence.

This is not true!

Some people believed it, while a few asked the Wireless Institute of Australia
for help on how to learn Morse code so they could qualify.

However, the answer is simple.

Morse code proficiency tests were removed in Australia by the ACMA on
January 1, 2004 - and they are NOT coming back.


The WIA elections - what happens next?

On this broadcast last Sunday we had the seven names of those elected to the
WIA Board of Directors.

In case you missed the news - the successful candidates were:-
Justin Giles-Clarke, Gregory Kelly, David Ford, Marcus Berglund, Peter Clee,
Philip Wait and Brian Clarke.

They will form the Board after the WIA annual general meeting in Hahndorf and
will likely hold their first meeting on Sunday, May 21.

At that meeting, opened by the WIA Secretary, the new Board under the
Constitution will elect a President and Vice President.

Another decision to be made is that under the Constitution, up to half of the
Board will be only have a 12 month term with an election next year (2018).

After that election, the usual two year tenure for Directors will return.

Club Insurance public liability insurance

All 103 WIA affiliated clubs in the group public liability insurance scheme
that began on April 1 have now received their certificates of currency.

Although the total number of clubs talking advantage of the group scheme is
slightly down on last year, the WIA-arranged insurance is recognised as being
of great benefit.

Some clubs failed to respond in time or made other arrangements, while others
joined or returned to the WIA for their public liability insurance.

While the clubs paid about $11,500 to cover their membership the WIA made a
$5,150 contribution to the insurance for WIA members.

Some clubs have also taken part in a trial that allows them to send their
member details for uploading to automatically provide a breakdown of WIA
members and non-members. This has been a tedious task for clubs and the
WIA office, but with automation will be a lot easier.

By the way, the early figures show that most clubs have a healthy percentage
of their members who belong to the WIA.

Aussies tracking satellite

Students of the FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences in Germany will launch
the COMPASS 2 cube-sat in May and are at looking for a possible ground station
partner in Australia.

WIA Director Fred Swainston VK3DAC/VK4FE, WIA STEM Coordinator says the
International Space Station Crew Fund Scholarship winner for 2017,
Ian Benecken has asked the Wireless Institute of Australia for help to track it.

COMPASS 2 is to be launched from a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle by the Indian
Space Research Organisation carrying other commercial satellites.

From a polar 600 kilometre high orbit the cube-sat will beacon once a minute
the callsign of ON04DL (ON zero four DL) on 437.300 MHz.

The unique location of Australia makes it ideal for partner ground stations, and
already it has piqued an interest from the ARISS telebridge centres on VK4,
VK5 and VK6.

Soon to be published is software that anyone can use to decode the beacon signal
and the launch is likely to be on the 1st or 2nd week of May.

If you wish to contact Ian Benecken, an email address is in the text edition.


This is Grant VK5GR for the WIA AGM & Convention weekend organising committee
again, with some more news about the event!

Another of the activities planned for the weekend, especially for the car
enthusiasts among us, is a visit to the National motor museum in Birdwood,
about a 25 minute drive north of Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. Since 1965
millions of people have enjoyed re-discovering their motoring heritage.
As an international centre for the collection, research, preservation,
education and display of Australian road transport history, the National
Motor Museum is much more than a collection of vehicles. It is a social
history of the way we were, the way we are now and the way of the future.
This is an attraction not to be missed!

After a look around the museum, why not take a bite to eat at one of the many
eateries in Birdwood, before heading back to Hahndorf Oval for the Come and Try
Radio Activities day.

Back at the oval, one of the main events will be David VK5KK, who will be
running a live 10GHz EME station operating the VI 5 WOW special event call sign.
Contacts are already scheduled into Europe from 12.30pm - 2.00pm (which is
moon set on the Sunday). Other activities are also being scheduled throughout
the afternoon!

If Cars and moon bounce aren't your thing, then perhaps a spot of nature will
enthuse you? John VK5BJE will be leading one of the teams that will head out to
one of the many conservation parks within the Adelaide Hills area and as well as
HF, will also be activating 2m and 70cm as well! Details of how to register for
an activation team will be provided once people arrive at the convention.

In the lead up to the event, there are also many other chances being set up to
contact VK 5 WOW and qualify for the WIA AGM & Convention Award! On April 22nd
from approximately 11.00am, AREG in conjunction with the Riverland Radio Club's
BRL Weekend at Overland Corner on the banks of the Murray River, will be
launching a high altitude balloon, this time with a radio repeater attached. The
Riverland Radio Club will activate VK5WOW through the balloon repeater which
should be heard as far east as Wagga and Melbourne. Watch the AREG website for
details of frequencies and times!

That's all this week - stay tuned for more news about the events planned for
the AGM & Convention weekend, next week! 73 this is Grant VK5GR

WIA News Tips to get MORE out of your weekly newscast on VK1WIA

If you would like to submit news items for inclusion in the VK1WIA broadcasts,
please email your item in text to:-

Don't JUST send url's links but take the time to pen YOUR contribution.

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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.

Who listens to VK1WIA?
A weekly 'tally sheet' is sent to all rebroadcasters and interested listeners,
to get your free copy send a blank email to:-

Put the word subscribe in the title or subject field

INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART, WIA Local News Service VK7, VK3PC and the WW
sources of the WIA.

Telecommunication regulators in The Netherlands have scaled back
considerably the country's formerly liberal 60m privileges.

Since December 2015, amateurs in The Netherlands have had access to a
100kHz wide band at 5MHz, with a maximum power of 100W. On the 1st of
April 2017, the allocation has been changed to the global secondary 15kHz-
wide allocation, 5351.5kHz to 5366.5kHz, with a maximum of 15W EIRP.

New bands for US amateurs

US amateurs will get two new bands in the near future. On the 28th of
March, the FCC adopted rules that will allow secondary amateur radio
access to 472 to 479kHz and to 135.7 to 137.8kHz.

Over-age ZU licensees left stranded

SARL News has been informed that since midnight on Friday 31 March 2017, the
status of a radio amateur over the age of 25 and holding a ZU qualification
has unfortunately changed to no longer being legally licenced.

This is because of the age restriction clause in the radio regulations coming
into power on 1 April 2017, making South Africa the only country in the world
with an age restriction on a licence class.

When this story first broke on the wires in the news room we WERE kind of
hoping it was an April Fool stunt, BUT, no such wording appeared after midday.

BBC makes 1920s Radio Times magazines available

The BBC has made the earliest issues of the complete Radio Times magazines
1923-1929 publicly available online for the first time

This release is part of the BBC Genome Project - a digitised searchable
database of programme listings - from 1923 to the end of 2009.

Radio Times began in 1923, a year after the British Broadcasting Company
started regular broadcasts, and thus provides a valuable record of the
programmes that have been broadcast over nine decades.

More than five million programme records, scanned from Radio Times magazines,
form the backbone of the BBC Genome website.

Now, members of the public will be able to view the 1920s listings in
facsimile, as well as all the extra material contained in articles and
features in the magazine that have previously been unavailable on the site.

Not Withstanding a Series of Obstacles," Kids in French Guiana Speak with
Space Station

It seemed nothing was going to stand in the way of nine youngsters and their
two teachers from Trois Paltuviers (Three Mangroves) School in French Guiana,
South America, and their chance to speak with Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, KG5FYG,
on the International Space Station via an Amateur Radio link.

The small village of 180 inhabitants between the Amazonian Forest and the
Oyapock River a natural border with Brazil Troi Paltuviers isn't all that
easy to get to. It accessible only by dugout canoe; the trip takes about an
hour. At the school, there is no electricity during the day, no Internet, and
only recently telephone service. The contact used a teacher's mobile telephone.

The contact was a "telebridge," with W6SRJ in California serving as the Earth
station for NA1SS and two-way audio provided via telephone to the contact site,
where the youngsters were.

"Notwithstanding a series of obstacles, the radio conversation between the
students and astronaut Thomas Pesquet (in French) was a success," one of the
teachers said. "This was Amateur Radio at its best."

Who and Where are our broadcast stations?


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

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


VK1 Winter SOTA QSO Party takes place August 6th 2017 9:00 am till 11:30 am.

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

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

Aug 26 ALARA Contest Start Time 1600 this is a 24 hour Contest for YL's

IARU High Speed Telegraphy world championships are 8th to 12th September.

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

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


The first 3 month period of the Ted Powell Memorial DX Challenge for 2017
has now closed and entries are open until 14 April.

The objective of the challenge is to work the most wanted DXCC entities
based on their ranking in Clublog's "Most Wanted" list, which is published
on the contest website. All Australian amateurs are eligible to enter and
entering is easy. You don't need to be a serious DX'er. If you've worked
any DX during January - March, head over to and submit an entry.

The website is tidy and easy to understand.

Scroll down to the "Entry Submission" section where you will find a number
of simple ways to submit your entry.

This is a fun and relaxed challenge where you work DX in your own time over
a 3 month period. It's easy, and submitting an entry only takes a few minutes.

This is a relatively new contest, run by the Fisher's Ghost Amateur Radio Club,
and they'd love to get an entry from you.

(Peter VK2PR - Fisher's Ghost Amateur Radio Club - text only)

Belgium gets ready for WWI 'radio' centenary event

The Royal Belgian Amateur Radio Union (UBE) as part of the 100 years
Battle of the Mines remembrance in June, will have an event specifically
focused on the use of radio in World War I.

An expo at the City of Mesen near Ypres is about a forgotten army:
'The people and material of radio communication in WWI,' and the UBE will
tour related nearby war sites. In an afternoon seminar on June 3,
Major Dr Tom Simoens will speak about the tele-radio communication in the
Belgian Army.

The UBE proudly joined the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) in its
ANZAC 100 program in 2015 for the centenary of Gallipoli.

Now at the City of Mesen town hall the development of radio technologies
and the evolution of communication will be on show with historic material.

UBE will have commemorative station OP0PPY (OP zero PPY) active June 2-11
on HF using CW and SSB, VHF, UHF and through digital and analogue repeaters.

(Jim, Linton VK3PC)

Marc, is transmitting as DU 9/ON 5 SM from Mindanao in the Philippines, OC-130,
to the 24th of May. Activity on 80 to 6 metres using SSB, SSTV and various
digital modes. QSL to home call, ON 5 SM.

Haru will be active as P 29 VXG from New Britain Island in Papua New Guinea
till 12th April. IOTA reference is OC-008 and QSLs go via home call JA 1 XGI.

Chung is in Vanuatu on vacation from 6th - 17th April. He will use callsign
YJ 0 YM and his QSL Manager is EA 5 GL.

Tim, has reactivated his T 2 TT callsign from Tuvalu in the Pacific, until the
13th of April. He will be on SSB and JT65 on 80m to 10m. QSL Manager is N 7 RO.

Tony, 3 D 2 AG is on the air as 3 D 2 AG/p until the 28th of April from Rotuma,
OC-060, a Fijian dependency. Activity is on 160 to 6 metres using CW, SSB,
RTTY, JT65 and FSK441. QSL via the operator's instructions.


ARISS leader wins top award

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station International Chair,
Frank Bauer KA3HDO is the Dayton Hamvention Amateur of the Year - to be
presented next month.

Frank KA3HDO has a long list of achievements including in 1995 when he
proposed an experiment for the AMSAT Phase 3D (AO-40) satellite to measure
the strength of the signal from the GPS satellite constellation. This
innovation was picked up and talked about as a breakthrough by the aerospace

University trained in aeronautics and astronautics, and first to become a
radio amateur in 1974, he has seen many ARISS developments over the years.

The prestigious Dayton Hamvention award is well earned by this most worthy

NASA Releases Searchable Image, Video, Audio Library

NASA officially has launched a new resource to help the public
search and download out-of-this-world images, videos and audio
files by keyword and metadata searches from The NASA
Image and Video Library website consolidates imagery spread
across more than 60 collections into one searchable location.

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

Kids Event at Glasgow Scottish Hamcon May 7th

The amateur group will be coordinating an
electronics/computing event for young persons at the first
Scottish Hamcom in Glasgow on May 7th.

Constructors will be offered a choice of electronic projects to build,
or learn to send Morse using a BBC Micro:Bit computer radio transceiver.

( via SouthGate )


Andrew Moseley VK1AD ( ) from the VK1 SOTA Group says the
VK1 Winter SOTA QSO Party takes place August 6th 2017 9:00 am till 11:30 am.

VK1 SOTA Winter QSO Party on Sunday 6 August is where activators will freeze
their butts off on Canberra's local peaks to showcase our hobby amateur radio
to Canberra residents.

( wia in txt edition only )

Mount Eccles becomes Budj Bim in a name change

Peter Freeman VK3PF was the last to activate Mt Eccles National Park in the
Western District of Victoria, before it was renamed by the state government.

From April 1, became known as the Budj Bim National Park, restoring the
Aboriginal name and recognising the area's history and significance.

This is the 10 year anniversary of Native Title and the area is cooperatively
managed by Parks Victoria and Gunditjmara Traditional Owners.

Wonder who will be the first to activate it under the Keith Roget Memorial
National Parks Award under its new name?

(Jim Linton VK3PC)

Rewind, a look back on our history

Did you hear Sputnik in 1957?

The ARRL reports a museum in Cambridge UK wants to hear from those who
remember hearing the 20 MHz beacon from the Sputnik satellite which launched
in 1957

The ARRL story says:

As part of an effort to tell the story of the International Geophysical
Year (IGY) 60 years ago, a Cambridge, England, museum wants to hear from
anyone who remembers the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4,
1957. Many radio amateurs and shortwave listeners (SWLs) of the era were
among those thrilled to receive the satellite's 20 MHz beacon.

The Scott Polar Research Institute Polar Museum at Cambridge University
will mark the IGY anniversary later this year. The IGY was a global effort
to better map and understand the planet, and it put heavy emphasis on
Antarctica as well as studies of space and the atmosphere. The Polar
Museum exhibition recount the story of Sputnik, the establishment of
scientific bases in Antarctica, and the individuals involved in the IGY.

"Although largely forgotten now, the International Geophysical Year
involved many thousands of people from all of the world and from all
walks of life," said Museum Curator Charlotte Connelly. "We'd like to
capture some of those experiences in our exhibition and show the
phenomenal reach of this important moment for global science."

So if you were among those monitoring and/or spotting Earth's first
artificial satellite contact Connelly via e-mail:

The exhibit, "The Year that Made Antarctica: People, Politics, and the
International Geophysical Year," opens on April 26.


April 9 VK6 HARGfest The Lesmurdie Hall at 96 Gladys Rd (Martin Stretton)

Apr 15/16 VK2 Urunga Radio Convention

Ap28-May1 VK4 Clairview Gathering between Rockhampton and Mackay (TARC)

May 13 VK3 Moorabbin & District Radio Club HamFest 10am at the
Southern Community Centre Mulgrave. (vk3gl)

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

Jun 2-4 VK4 Theresa Creek Camp-out-day (CHARC) (tarc)

Jun 10-11 VK5 SERG Annual Convention / VK Foxhunting Champs. (vk5dj)

July 1 VK3 GippsTech 2017 technical conference in Churchill. (wia events)

July 22 VK3 Great Gippsland Gate Radio & Electronics Club HamFest. July 22
Cranbourne Community Hall Clarendon & High St, Cranbourne.

Sep 9-10 ALARAMEET 2017 Cairns. Listen for VI4ALARA from Jly (vk4swe vk3pc)

Nov 12 VK5 Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society HamFest 8am (vk5kc)
VK3 Rosebud's annual celebration of all things Amateur Radio (wia)


March 25 VK3 EMDRC HamFest - Great Ryrie Primary School, Heathmont. (VK3BQ)



Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie - Effects and Aftermath on Amateur Radio
Operations in North and Central Queensland

A very powerful cyclone, packing hurricane force winds near its centre, has
recently visited coastal and inland communities on the Australian North East
Coast near the Great Barrier Reef.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie made landfall between the tourist and
agricultural centres of Bowen and Mackay on Tuesday 28th March, causing
destruction to buildings, power infrastructure and essential amenities in the
resort islands of the Whitsundays and the towns of Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour,
Dingo Beach, Hideaway Bay, Cannonvale, Proserpine, Bowen and Collinsville. The
severe weather system also destroyed crops, caused a halt to mining operations
in Central Queensland, dumped a massive amount of rain in the region that has
washed away roads and bridges and increased Amateur Radio activity in the area.

As Cyclone Debbie formed in the Coral Sea and started heading for the
Queensland Coast, the initial track forecast by the Australian Bureau of
Meteorology had the system making landfall much further north with the city of
Townsville dead in the path but with an uncertainty in the track forecast that
included most of the Queensland North and Central coasts. Amateur Radio
operators in the projected path are experienced in dealing with Cyclones and so
set to check their radio gear, dismantle any fragile antenna systems, fuel and
run emergency power generators and do radio checks on local repeaters in Bowen,
Mackay, Central Highlands and Townsville regions.

On Sunday 26th March those operators that still had HF antennas aloft boosted
call-in numbers on the morning 20 and 40metre Queensland WICEN Nets and also on
the Sunday afternoon 40m Friendly Afternoon Net and the evening 80metre North
Queensland Net. Some members of The Townsville Amateur Radio Club Inc. provided
communications support for an autosports Hillclimb during the day whilst keeping
an eye out on the predicted track updates for the event organisers.

On Monday 27th March the waiting game continued with final preparations
completed and attention firmly fixed on the tracking predictions from the
Weather Bureau. By Monday afternoon the Cyclone track firmed up and
counter-disaster authorities (including some embedded Hams) tweaked their
pre-deployment plans. Schools were closed in the areas forecast to be affected
on Monday and Tuesday, with those closures being extended to inland and more
southern regions as Debbie wended its way on an arc inland and then southwards
to eventually pop out to sea near the Gold Coast, causing wind and flood damage
all along the way.

One of the affected towns, Bowen, had VHF repeater coverage throughout the
Cyclone (and has been on-air despite lack of mains power in the town) thanks to
the efforts of members of the Bowen Radio Amateur Group and in particular
Geoff/VK4JDW at whose house the repeater resides. The antenna system survived
200kph winds and Geoff has been powering the repeater from his house emergency

Further inland the Central Highlands Linked Repeater System is still functional
however its northern coastal node, the Midge Point Repeater, is offline due to
power system and structural damage caused by hurricane force winds.

Hams have been part of the recovery efforts following Cyclone Debbie with many
embedded in the Queensland State Emergency Service, Queensland Rural Fire
Brigade, care organisations and support teams for Ergon Energy and Energex
keeping the electricity utility equipment and vehicles operational in harsh

During the last few days more Hams have put their HF antennas back up and have
joined the nets, with stories of either dodging the bullet, or on the recovery
trail after loss of power, torrential rain and buffeting winds. Some operators
are still using emergency power to put their stations on-air, some are still
blocked off from the outside world by road damage or flooding.

All eyes are now fixed on the plight of the city of Rockhampton as it faces
massive amounts of water flowing down the Fitzroy River, thanks to Cyclone
Debbie dumping record amounts of rain in the river catchments. Rockhampton's
airport will be closed for a while and part of the town with flood, with some
Hams that live in the projected flood zone self evacuating to friends QTH on
higher ground for the duration.

Posted from Townsville, North Queensland by Gavin/VK4ZZ

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

We would appreciate items no longer than 2 minutes in length as we only have
a half hour time slot window.

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.



WIANews - we've reported...YOU decide.


Societies and Club News Letter Editors can EXCHANGE a feed prior to
the actual broadcast date, e-mail

Call-backs follow the RF editions, but also for text readers you may
lodge a quick reply to let us know you read it, who knows, you might
even get a "cheerio call".

Thanks to our dedicated band of broadcast volunteers who utilize their time
and equipment in bringing you this weekly broadcast.
Who and where are they?

The purpose of "WIANews" is to rapidly provide news of interest to
active amateurs residing in Australia and the globe.

We strongly encourage membership in the Wireless Institute of Australia
and participation in the activities of local clubs. Opinions expressed in
"WIANews" are those of the writers who submit material and do not necessarily
reflect those of the rebroadcasters, nor the National WIA, but are broadcast
in the spirit in which they were submitted."

Material may be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form, a credit to
WIANews wouldn't go astray...

Who listens to radio? A weekly 'tally sheet' is sent to all rebroadcasters
and interested listeners, to get your free copy send a blank email to:-
Put the word subscribe in the title or subject field

How do I join this National News List? (subscribe for an automatic weekly feed.)
Email to
from the email account that you wish the emails to go to.

How do I leave this National News List? (unsubscribe your weekly feed)
Open mail program which sends mail from the address you want to unsubscribe.
Send mail to the list unsubscribe address
You will be sent a confirmation mail and must follow the instructions given
in that mail to complete the unsubscription.

Once your unsubscription has been processed, you will probably
receive another message confirming your unsubscription from the list,
and at that point you should stop receiving messages.

National News compiled by VK4BB on behalf of the National WIA.


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The National Association for Amateur Radio in Australia
A member society of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU)