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Radio League

Radio amateurs made their mark in history when they discovered worldwide HF
communications while using radiotelegraphy, which is the correct term for CW.

10 years later they discovered VHF propagation beyond the line-of-sight to the
surprise of the radio experts. Our early radio amateurs were true experimenters,
researchers and pioneers and they advanced amateur radio technology in their
time. Today many of our modern breed of radio amateurs are no longer interested
in experimenting but only having fun with a radio hobby.

As the SARL point out many shortwave broadcasting stations have closed and
commercial stations relocated to the satellite frequencies on SHF where DSTV is
well established. This includes the maritime mobile service that used many HF
bands and radiotelegraphy on their sea lanes, until they also moved to satellite
and now communicates via voice and digital. It is the VHF, UHF and SHF spectrum
that is now in great demand by the commercial radio world.

All this does not mean that radio amateurs should abandon HF or CW, but we
should rather try and keep up with radio developments and increase their
knowledge of the VHF spectrum and the frequencies above, where the future of
radio lies including the digital communications. The IARU is already concerned
about the lack of interest in amateur radio by the younger generations and if it
stops growing then its survival is doubtful. The younger generations are very
computer literate and their interests are a lot different than the old-timers of
yesteryear and the RAE should reflect it. Amateur radio service needs a
Renaissance, the first step is to break away from this hobby attitude and to
realize that it is an amateur radio science with which to experiment, research
and pioneer. Secondly, the amateur radio service should broaden its field and
include radio astronomy for future space communications, which currently can
cover a communication distance of more than 21 billion kilometres from Earth.

A wider radio field enhanced by the latest radio technology will be more
exciting, attractive and have a far greater appeal to the new generations with
their open and inquiring minds. They will become fully exposed to the new era
of space travel within the next decade and this could extend the lifespan of
amateur radio service for another 100 years.

Hello from David Ford, VK4MZ

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Today, I bring you
some thoughts on the future of the hobby.

Heinrich Hertz proved the existence of radio waves in 1888, or in those
days Hertzian waves, and soon after, with the aid of his assistants,
Guglielmo Marconi began to conduct experiments in his attic. At the time,
Oliver Lodge had predicted that Radio waves would only transmit up to 800
meters. As people experimented with radio they gathered together to share
ideas, equipment, their successes, and their failures. They formed ad-hoc
groups that worked towards a common goal. Even Marconi, after sharing ideas
with fixed wire telecoms technicians, learned a trick. That by grounding
his shack he could extend the range of his transmissions. In the process,
he destroyed the common convention of a limited 800-meter transmission
range by transmitting over 3.2km. Within a couple of years his experiments
had taken the range out to 6km, then 16km and from there the hunt for DX
was on. His first message was either accidental, or profound, it was simply
are you ready?. With that message he changed the future of
communications. A few years later we see the first Amateur Radio
experimenters coming together and forming groups like the Wireless
Institute of NSW and the now Amateur Radio Victoria.

Fast forward some 75 years to the 1970s and we see a groundswell around the
personal computer. A similar story ensues, groups form and collaborate to
propel the technology forward. Ed Roberts and Forest Mims bring to market a
kit for a pc which can be built at home; the Altair 8800. Inspired by the
Home Brew Computer club Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs begin collaborating
and building the Apple 1. At the same time, Paul Allen and Bill Gates build
the Basic interpreter for the Altair PC Kit, from there they build
Microsoft. Again, hobby groups form to share ideas, equipment and to
experiment. Humans have a natural percentage of the population who find
pushing the boundaries of technology exciting and sharing the experience
accelerates results and makes it more rewarding. They form groups that

20 years later, in the 90s it was the explosive expansion of the internet
and a similar pattern forms. Hobbyists collaborate, form ad-hoc groups and
share experiences and goals.

The same thing occurred around mobile technologies and open source software
and there are countless more examples. It is a time-tested trend.

When it comes to experimenting with technologies, likeminded people working
together towards a common goal always has, and always will exist. It is an
inevitable part of human nature and the progression of civilisation. It€™s
fun and exciting. It is the reason many of our WIA affiliated clubs were
setup in the first place.

Delloitte published a paper in 2013 summarising the impact of the maker
movement. It predicts that the maker movement will be a high proportion of
the future workforce and that the maker movement is more influential in
delivering market transforming innovation than corporate lead initiatives.
Today it is the maker groups, fablabs, hackerspace, hack labs and Mens
Sheds groups that take the lead.

Hackers in these communities are not always someone that manipulates
systems to perform nefarious and illegal activities, they are instead
someone who can manipulate systems to do something out of the ordinary that
they want them to do, typically with very positive outcomes. For example,
Topher White of Rainforest Connection uses recycled mobile phones to
monitor for illegal chainsaw activity across thousands of acres of
rainforest to effectively reduce deforestation.

Lets step inside one of these groups to understand how they form.

C-Base in Berlin is regarded as one of the oldest communities in existence.
It started from 17 people getting together to discuss ideas, work on
projects together and advance their collective skills relating to computer
software, hardware and data networks. They started to meet virtually in
chat rooms and bulletin boards and eventually gathered enough following to
secure their own premises in Berlin. Here they hold events, workshops,
training sessions, run projects and competitions. C-Space was the birth
place of a political party that won 8.9% of the vote in the 2011 Berlin
state election granting them 15 seats in parliament.

The groups form on their own, they are self-managed, they do not comply or
operate according to an overseeing body. They move from meeting virtually,
through email and in private residential premises, to having their own
space. As a grass-roots movement securing space is a monumental step. In
the USA there is the company TechShop that has commercialised the movement
by charging for access to space and equipment to build DIY projects in a
shared and supported environment. The current price for membership is
between $125 and $180 US dollars per month. They have 10 locations across
the USA and are expanding at a high rate.

Marketing Amateur Radio to non-amateurs is like marketing features instead
of benefits. Features only work with prospects that already understand
them. Amateur Radio is the hobby, the feature, but the benefit is working
together on building and exploring exciting technology.

At the most recent IARU meetings where they discussed growing the hobby,
the feedback from youth observers was that groups should be supported to
self-manage and self-organise. That they valued autonomy. Also, activities
that were competition driven were shown to resonate most strongly with
younger groups and cause them to gather around a common cause.

The Rotary sponsored Rotaract group caters for 18-30-year olds and is
intentionally setup as being self-managed and self-governed. For Rotaract,
Rotary merely facilitates as an umbrella organisation. Rotaract has almost
10,000 clubs, 300,000 members, and 180 participating countries.

So, is this the future? The WIA and affiliated clubs facilitating and
hosting self-governed groups and clubs to meet physically and virtually.
Facilitating the sharing of experiences, projects and equipment in pursuit
of common goals, pushing the boundaries of technology. Using modern
communication techniques to rally, build communities, support interest in
the hobby and explore new areas. Is it the future? Perhaps.

Feel free to send feedback via email to

This has been David Ford with a few thoughts, have a great day.

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.

Imminent shutdown of seven repeaters

South Yorkshire Repeater Group in the UK have taken the unprecedented
decision in ham radio circles to close down their entire repeater network.

Due to a number of factors, they say they cannot continue to provide the
service but that the move was not taken lightly and appreciate this loss
will impact on one hell a lot of amateurs.

FCC affirms huge fine in New York interference case

The FCC has affirmed a huge fine of more than $400,000 on a Queens, New York,
man who has admitted to making unauthorized transmissions on New York City
Police Department radio frequencies, maliciously interfering with officers'

The FCC had sent a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) last April 14 to the
perpetrator, aged 20, who is alleged to have transmitted false bomb threats,
false claims of criminal activity involving firearms, false distress calls
from purported NYPD officers, and threats against individual NYPD officers.

The unauthorized transmissions began in 2016, according to the FCC.

The FCC has calculated the precise forfeiture at $404,166.

CTU's Secretary General comments on Amateur Radio

Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunication Union
was interviewed during ITU's World Telecommunication Development Conference
2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

When asked 'how crucial is Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
in assisting countries to implement disaster risk reduction measures'
Ms. Lewis replied 'ICTs are critical to the process, in terms of the
preparation even as the disaster is happening and in the recovery.

We have been contemplating the rule of Amateur Radio, for example, they have
been a staple, a significant element of the communication that takes place
during and immediately thereafter and I think that in the Caribbean we need to
cultivate a new generation of ham operators, I don't know if this is the
situation across the world but we absolutely need to do that.

Seee IARU Region 2

Norway's national amateur radio society NRRL report they are now recorded
in the Common Resource Register used by the main rescue centers and the

Part of the NRRL report reads:

A common resource register, which is used by, among others, the main rescue
centers and the police for an overview of the operational resources that
can be used in various events has been developed.

The operational resources of NRRL are now registered in this registry and the
authorities can therefore easily get an overview of what hams can deliver in
different crisis situations.

In resource registers, resource owners and resource users exchange data on
their capabilities and get an overview of available resources. By insight
and common understanding of situations, resources can be exploited efficiently,
and one can achieve significant time savings.


Time to saddle up for this story which combines ham radio and.... horse rescue!

For that tale, we turn to Mike Askins KE5CXP.

It's no secret that hams are good at finding things.

There are the hidden transmitters deployed in fox hunts. There are missing
persons at massive public gatherings. And then there is the story of Melody
the horse. The mare went missing last month from an Arizona campground where
a group of horse owners from Phoenix had been staying.

This called for a very special kind of roundup - one horse and a team of
amateur radio operators including those from the Verde Valley Amateur
Radio Association. The hams learned of the missing equine during their
regular 7 a.m. meetup on the Knobby Knee Net. Net control op Bill
Burkett KE7IXS took the radio call from one of the campers, Greg
LaCrosse K1GRL, and that set the search in motion - not just on the
ground, but in the air and yes, even in the saddle.

Jeff Upshaw KC7UYY, a local horseman, rode out to the trailhead with
other mounted searchers. Mike Mladejovsky WA7ARK flew in with his Cessna
Skylane aircraft and took Melody's owner Marcy aboard. The team's search
had gone into its 10th fruitless hour when finally Marcy spotted her
horse down below the plane and pilot Mike radioed the searchers on the

Kenny Westmoreland KG7YVM and Jeff hiked to a flat-topped mountain where
they caught up with Melody and led her to safety. As in all westerns
with happy endings, they headed off together into the sunset.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Mike Askins KE5CXP.



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


FISTS CW Contest October 28 'Key to Success'

November CQ WW DX / CW CONTEST November 26-27.

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


John Moyle Memorial Field Day will be held over the weekend of the 17th-18th
March 2018 and will run from UTC 0100 on the Saturday until 0059 on the Sunday.

IARU HF Championship event on 15 and 16 July.

The 21st International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend is on
August 18 to 19, 2018

If you want to work Kuwait, be listening for Abdallah, 9 K 2 GS
who here in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest this weekend 28 and 29

He'll be using the call sign 9 K 2 K.

Be listening as the Liberia Radio Amateur Association hosts three IOTA
enthusiasts between the 30th of October and the 3rd of November for the
first activation of Baiyah Island, a new IOTA designation, AF-111.

Col MM 0 NDX will operate as EL 2 EL;
David Deane EI 9 FBB will operate as EL 2 BB and
Jeremy Sheehan EJ 5 GM will operate as EL 2 GM.

This is described as the first Islands on the Air operation from the

The DXpedition call sign will be 5 L 3 BI.


Roly, is QRV as P29RR until November 6.
Activity on 40 and 20 meters using CW, JT9, JT65 and FT8.
QSL to home call ZL 1 BQD

QSL News VI 7 BLT 50 info needed

The VK7 QSL Bureau is holding a QSL card from a JA station for a QSO
with special event callsign VI 7 BLT 50 (50 years after Battle of Long Tan).

Would anyone knowing who may have used this callsign please contact Herman
the WIA VK7 inwards QSL card manager at email:



Well this is what the SARL are saying in their recent news bulletin.

The Johannesburg area apparently is renowned for their late afternoon
lightning storms, so this seems to be a great time to experiment with
lightning scatter propagation.

Of course, only stations OUTSIDE the lightning area would be able to
participate, as those inside this area will have their antennas grounded.

clear FM broadcasting signals have been heard for about ten seconds or so
over distances of about 450 km, after lightning flashes during a distant

Skeds are being arranged in South Africa with amateurs outside the
thunderstorm area, making brief CQ calls after a lightning flash or radio
burst and listening during the next burst and so forth.

It would be interesting to find out how directional the ionized trails of
lightning are.

So, who would take up the challenge and establish that first lightning
scatter contact on 50 MHz?




Who and Where are our broadcast stations?

Inside the pages of Amateur Radio magazine for November

On last week's broadcast we told you how the magazine had in the WIA Board
comment the call for volunteers, and the coverage given to Amateur Radio
Direction Finding.

Now we will look at some of the other reading that is offered.

In the Editorial Peter Freeman VK3PF talks about Technology advances and the
'joys' of noise, referring to the increased noise floor level.

From the WIA QSL Bureau's John Seamons VK3JLS is the first of his semi-regular
column devoted to aspects related to the WIA QSL Bureau, as the WIA QSL Card
Committee considers a number of issues related to how possible improvements.

An interesting story is by Paul Roehrs VK5NE about Amateur Radio from a
Retirement Estate.

A technical article is by Jim Henderson VK1AT on a 35 to 4400 MHz Signal

The ALARAmeet held in tropical Cairns has a report illustrated by 21 pictures.

In Contests by Trent Sampson VK4TS he names the contester of the month as
Stu Dunk VK4SDD, and includes a few tips for contesting. Also covered are the
columns on WIA Awards, DX Talk, SOTA & Parks, and VHF/UHF An Expanding World,

The WIA journal Amateur Radio magazine is a WIA membership service.

This is Barry Robertson VK3PV - and you are listening to VK1WIA.

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