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Amateur licensee numbers had a small growth restoring them close to where
they were about a decade ago, we trace the history and influences behind it,
plus a way forward.



2017 Melbourne International HiFi Show

They were young. They were eager, and they came in droves.

The demographic for the 2017 International Hi-Fi Show was age-wise, heading

Most hi-fi shows attract an aging population complete with the stereotypical
mid-life audio buffs in anoraks.

The StereoNET organised Melbourne show continues a trend beginning with last
year's well-attended, well-received inaugural event. A trend that proves an
audio show can attract a younger audience as well as rusted on older

Official figures had the age of the average attendee pegged at 38-45, well
below the 62 plus average age of most rival events.

You only had to stand and watch the horde of under 35s make a beeline for any
suite with turntables, streaming devices or headphones to understand what makes
this audio segment tick like a well-oiled Flinders Street clock.

More is available at

Interference on VK7RAA

We learn from the vk7wi news that Peter VK7KPC says he may have made a major
breakthrough on solving the mysterious appearances of AM aircraft band signals
on VK7RAA.

You may recall we reported on this initially some months ago.

The breakthrough on VK7RAA was traced to one particular Bombardier Q400
aircraft, a current iteration of the now classic deHavilland Dash 8.

The aircraft in question appeared to be VH QOJ, operated for QANTAS Link by
Sunstate Airlines.

Peter has been able to speak to the Sunstate Airlines maintenance team and
discuss this issue. By happy coincidence, the aircraft was due in for routine
maintenance at the time Peter made his enquiry. As a result, particular
attention was paid to the radio installation during maintenance and a faulty
antenna was detected.

For good measure, the primary radio was removed, the secondary radio promoted
to command status and a new secondary radio installed.

The old primary rig was then despatched to the service department for a closer
inspection and testing.

Needless to say, VK7RAA was and will continue to be closely monitored to see
if any further errant transmissions occur.

It is also understood that staff of Air Services at Launceston will also be
monitoring the aircraft for any strange radio emissions.

Peter, well done on your efforts which seem to have produced the required fix.

WIA policies, regulations and procedures

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) board of directors in their
meeting each month are reminded of the established policies, which are
reviewed by directors at least once every three years.

For transparency all policies are on the WIA website.

The Corporate Ethics Policy covers issues of governance, conflict of interest,
ethics, integrity, conduct and courtesy, confidentiality, media inquiries,
good practice, legal compliance, bribery, corruption, equal employment
opportunity, and corporate communications.

The other main ones are Privacy, Premises Rental Usage, and Club Advertising
in Amateur Radio magazine, remember it's bi-monthly from next year.

The latest is WIA Policy on Publication of Contentious Material in WIA

Directors abide by the WIA constitution, the Corporations Act and meet the
WIA's other statutory obligations.

Australis Oscar 5 history article

A well-researched and illustrated story on Australia's first home-grown
satellite will appear in the WIA journal Amateur Radio magazine.

WIA Historian Peter Wolfenden VK3RV was a guest at a recent University of
Melbourne book launch of new publication written by Dr Owen Mace, one of the
project members. The book gives an insight into the many practical aspects of
the project. These include, what triggered the students to 'enter the space
race', the detailed attention such as environmental testing, to the funding
for transport the satellite to America.

Australis Oscar 5 was unique in several ways, including it being an
international effort, with the package designed and built by students at
Melbourne University.

The feature story sets the scene 50 years ago, and the role played by
Amateur Radio at a time when space activities occupied the minds of many
radio amateurs.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)


Hello everyone My name is Peter VK8ZZ

The Board holds regular monthly meetings over 2 days on the second and fourth
Tuesday of the month. The first part of the November meeting was held just this
week. We are currently considering a number of important changes to make the
WIA more responsive.

The most common question I get from members is what is this board doing to
improve the WIA.

Well there are so many things it is hard to fit into the few minutes available
to me here. Firstly, I believe the most important thing the Board has done is
to make the management of the WIA as transparent as possible. The WIA AGM in
South Australia this year was video recorded and the Board Authorised the video
to be release at it first meeting. In addition to that all Board minutes are
now published on the WIA web site every month.

Secondly, the WIA has commenced a revitalisation of the committee structure.
This process is ongoing and requires committees to make regular reports to the
Board on the committees work.

Thirdly, all members are aware that the Web site is in need of a fresh look.
The Board are currently reviewing a recommendation to appoint volunteers with
an expertise in web design to an IT services committee which will be charged
with doing so.

The Board, through the spectrum management committee are actively seeking to
allow users onto the 5Mhz band as soon as possible, but the opening up of
these frequencies is being held up by existing licensees who are resisting a
move away from this small allocation. This is part of the LCD submissions
currently being worked on by the Spectrum Committee.

The Committee reviewing the constitution of the WIA has produced a draft
constitution which is currently with the Board. We hope to publish this in the
near future in order to allow an adequate amount of time for members to provide
feedback on the proposed changes. The last time the constitution was amended
was 10 years ago.

The election rules have now been amended and are currently available on the
WIA web site.

In Australia we are very grateful for the great work, time and dedication of
Peter Young VK3MV, in his position as the Co-ordinator of the WIA Monitoring
Service. Also, we are very grateful to the hard working volunteers, and in
particularly John VK4TJ along with those other amateurs who submit reports on
intruders into our bands. There have been significant incursions into our bands
in recent times and we need to report these intrusions. Reports can be easily
and quickly made using the Online Intruder Report Form which is located under
Monitoring System in the "For Members" section of the web page.

So, when you next hear a possible intruder, report the matter and help protect
our bands. There also is an urgent need for more volunteers to assist the
service. Volunteers need not be licenced amateurs. Indeed shortwave enthusiasts
are encouraged to make enquiries. More information can be found on the WIA
website or by emailing the co-ordinator Peter VK3MV

I'm Peter VK8ZZ thanks for listening.


Amateur licensee numbers remain stagnant, sustained by churn

Recent amateur licence statistics reveal a small growth over the past year,
restoring licensee numbers close to where we were over a decade ago.

It seems that those leaving the hobby and those becoming silent keys are being
replaced by both new licensees and lapsed licensees returning to the hobby in
significant numbers.

This "churn" has driven up amateur licence numbers slightly this past year and
seems to have maintained them, with some small variation, over the years since

Peeling back the layers of the onion of amateur licensing statistics reveals
an intriguing picture.

If we start with the latest annual report of the Australian Communications and
Media Authority (ACMA), released in October, it reveals total amateur licence
numbers grew a mere 15 to 15,144 to June 2017. That number includes beacons,
repeaters, clubs and those amateurs with multiple call signs.

Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) Statistician, Marc Hillman VK3OHM, has
trawled through the ACMA licence register and found that the total number of
individual amateurs was 14,009, an increase of 175 from 2016. Although not
statistically significant, it's a move in the right direction.

That was achieved despite the ACMA reporting a fall in assessments. Over July
2016 to June 2017, the ACMA report records a total of 486 Foundation, Standard
and Advanced assessments conducted by the WIA, which is well down on the 1271
held in the previous year.

So, although assessments declined sharply, amateur licences increased.

Shortly after the ACMA's amateur licensing reform, which ushered-in the
Foundation licence and reduced the previous five licences to two - Standard and
Advanced, the number of individual amateurs reached 14,002 in 2006. Numbers
reached a peak of 14,616 in 2010, the WIA's centenary year, then declined to
13,834 in 2016. In 2017, with 14,009 amateurs, we're back to where we were in

In late 1997 or 20 years ago when the 1998 Call Book was compiled from the
Australian Communications Authority's newly-minted digital database, the number
of amateur licences totalled 16,540. Excluding beacons, repeaters, clubs and
multiples, the total number of individual amateurs was around 15,500.

The late-1990s through early 2000s saw a decline in the number of amateurs as
the returned service men and women from WW II who took up Amateur Radio in the
post-war boom began entering the ranks of silent keys, as had the generation of
pre-war amateurs in the two decades beforehand. But those years - the '70s and
'80s - brought the CB boom and its spinoff for Amateur Radio, which dissipated
over the 1990s.

That generational churn sustained Amateur Radio through the late 20th century,
but it petered-out over the early-2000s until the ACMA's amateur licence
reform, which kicked-in from 2005.

Amateur Radio in Australia needs another revamp. In 2014, in the lead-up to a
statutory remake of the amateur licence conditions, the WIA advised the ACMA
about the sort of changes that would propel Amateur Radio into a new era, where
the attractions and conditions of the past were no longer relevant.

The remake ended up as an administrative patch-up as ACMA resources could not
meet the demands of an extensive makeover and the federal government had begun
a program of radical spectrum reform.

As a new radiocommunications act looked over the horizon, the WIA began to look
at the matter over 2016 and sounded out the ACMA broadly on the approach that
could be taken.

After circulating the likely licence conditions changes for comment, it further
refined the issues ahead. Then, in early 2017 the WIA widely consulted on the
way forward with those having an interest in Amateur Radio, licensed or not.

A submission from the WIA is to recommend a range of measures for the three
classes of licence to make them relevant, attractive and fit-for-purpose in
this tech-savvy world.

The ACMA is expected in 2018 to review what's been proposed and prepare a new
Licence Conditions Determination (LCD), our regulations, giving an opportunity
to reshape the future of Amateur Radio in Australia.

(Jim Linton VK3PC)

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.

Wireless Power Transfer in Milton Keynes

Amid growing concerns about the RF pollution that can be caused by Wireless
Power Transfer (WPT) technology Ofcom in the United Kingdom produced a report
on the electric bus system used in Milton Keynes

8 electric buses are charged from a standard cabled supply each night when in
the bus depot. During their normal daily service they park for between 10 & 15
minutes at each end of the route.

During this time they lower a vehicle mounted induction loop over four
induction pads set in the road. This procedure uses a Wireless Power Transfer
System to induce a charging current in the lowered induction loop plate.

The frequency of operation of the WPT is between 15 and 20 kHz and the charging
is done at the rate of 120 kW using four 30 kW plates set in the road surface.

It is understood that very tight control of the alignment between the bus
and charging plates is required in order to reduce the level of radiated

The report notes "A section of out-of-band spectrum with a raised noise floor
was observed between 4.2 and 7.7 MHz" the source was not believed to be
associated with the WPT but there appears to have been no attempt to pin-point
the cause as yet.

Day of the Radioamateur

During the day of the radio amateur, on November 4, the Dutch Telecom Agency
Supervision Department showed there new service vehicles for malfunctioning
and related measuring equipment.

Telecom Agency also imposed an administrative fine on a broadcaster who has not
used or has not used his radio call. Despite the warnings, the behaviour of
this transmitter did not change, resulting in this fine.

The Telecom Agency has also distributed several yellow cards.

It was the incorrect or incorrect use of radio calls while making connections
and the use of frequencies that were not assigned to the appropriate licence.


Iceland plans to end ham radio call sign discrimination

Iceland's Ministry of Transport and Local Government has published draft
changes to the Radio Regulations for comment

The national society, Icelandic Radio Amateurs (IRA), had proposed ending the
practice of highlighting amateurs who had Novice call signs, an N was added to
their call sign. In addition the IRA proposed ending another discriminatory
practice where Icelandic call signs reflected the geographic call area where
a station is located.

Extra frequencies for Argentina amateurs

Southgate Amateur Radio Club news are reporting that amateur radio operators
in Argentina are to gain access to the 60m and 630m bands, and some of their
other bands are being extended.

Top Band has been extended to 1800 to 2000kHz, 80m is now 3500 to 4000kHz and,
finally, their 30m band allocation is now 10.100 to 10.150MHz.

The new allocations will be effective from February 2018.


Preparatory Meetings for the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19)
were busy until Friday (17 November).

The current meetings are the fourth of a series of meetings which will continue
until just before WRC-19, scheduled to be held from 28 October to 22 November

Preparatory Meetings are usually held at the International Telecommunication
Union headquarters in Geneva.

The principal Amateur Radio issue is an international authorization of the 50
to 54 MHz band in ITU Region-1 (Europe, Africa and the Middle East).

There are Amateur delegates in Geneva, this time representing their individual
delegations and/or the IARU and they come from the United States,
the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Norway, Brazil and

Mother, Daughter Radio Amateurs Active from Nepal

Kalpana, 9 N 1 MM, and her daughter Tejaswita (Teju), 9 N 1 DX, are active
radio amateurs from Nepal's capital of Kathmandu. Husband and father Satish
is 9 N 1 AA, the first Nepali national to be licensed there.

Kalpana is believed to be the first female Amateur Radio licensee from Nepal
(an American, Jinny Beyer, 9N1RA, was active in the '70s), and her daughter
is the youngest ever to obtain a ham ticket there.


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


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

IARU HF Championship event on 15 and 16 July.

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

WWII Commemorative DXpedition

Operators Will/AA4NC and Ron/AA4VK will be active next year from the Pacific
to commemorative WWII in the months of February and March.

Their announced tentative schedule (so far) is as follows:

February:- Palau (T8), Saipan, Mariana Islands (KH0);

March:- Hawaii (KH6)

The Guam Islands (KH2) are also listed, but dates have not yet been provided

QSL via their home callsigns, again AA4VK and AA4NC


AU2JCB special event call-sign from India

AU2JCB is a special event call-sign to commemorate the birth date and to
pay homage and to tell about the great Indian scientist

23 NOV to 11 DEC

Bose's demonstration in 1895 & 1897 predates all.

Bose transmitted wireless signals to distant of a mile.

Popove in Russia was still trying remote signalling at this time & the first
wireless experiment by Marconi was not successful until May 1897.

In the Bose presentation to the Royal Institution in London in January 1897,
he speculated on the existence of electromagnetic radiation from the sun. This
radiation from the sun was not detected till 1942.

9 X 2 AW from Kigali, Rwanda between the 15th and the 30th of November.
CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8.
QSL via M 0 OXO.

A large team from Slovenia will be active as TK/ home call from Corsica,
between the 20th and 29th of November.

The ARRL International Grid Chase!

A new and exciting operating event will kick off on January 1, 2018, when the
ARRL International Grid Chase gets under way.

The year-long event's objective is to work stations on any band (except 60 m)
in as many different Maidenhead grid squares as possible, and then upload your
log data to ARRL's Logbook of The World.

Registration is free, and it costs nothing to use LoTW.

Once you get active in the chase and start uploading your log data, each new
grid square contact confirmed through LoTW will count toward your monthly total.
Getting started is simple: Turn on the radio and call CQ or "CQ Grid Chase," or
listen for others doing the same. Make the contact, exchange grid squares,
log it, and move on to another.

Any contact in 2018 can count for your Chase score; it doesn't have to involve
an exchange of grid squares. As long as the other operators participate in LoTW,
you'll get credit automatically when they upload their logs.

This means that contest contacts will also count.

Rotuma Bound.

Operators Tony/3D2AG, Heye/DJ9RR, Erno/ DK2AMM, Hans/DL6JGN and Ronald/PA3EWP
will be active as 3 D 2 EU from Rotuma Island (OC-060) between February 23rd
and March 16th, 2018.

They will have two radio locations on the western peninsula of Rotuma.

One in Fapufa in the south, second QTH is in Maftoa on the north coast.

They now have a Web page online at:

WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ATV (Every pixel tells a story) - Video

Australian Amateurs do first HamTV Telebridge outside Europe.

Led by Shane, VK4KHZ in Queensland who handled the audio on 2 metres and
video for a telebridge contact between the ISS and 3 Italian schools on
11 November 4 stations across Australia joined together to "chain" the live
video coming down from the ISS on 2.4 Ghz.

As the ISS approached Australia from the west Martin VK6MJ in West Australia
was the first to receive the video signal down from Paolo, IZ0JPA and held the
signal till Joe VK5EI in Adelaide picked it up then onto Tony VK5ZAI in
Kingston SE South Australia. Finally as the ISS headed N-E over Queensland
Shane picked up the video signal in Glenden while he was handling the audio
for the linkup.

The video from the 4 Australian hams was streamed live to the BATC site
in Great Britain where it was patched together to form one long video
transmission so the public could watch as Paolo answered the Italian students

(Tony VK5ZAI)


D-Star ONE Launch on November 28

D-Star ONE is the first private German CubeSat and the first D-Star
communication spacecraft worldwide.

D-Star ONE will be launched on November 28, 2017 from Vostochny launch
site jointly with the Meteor-M ?2-1 mission of the Russian State Space
Corporation ROSCOSMOS. Final launch preparations are currently being

D-Star repeater & beacon frequencies:
Uplink: 437.325MHz
Downlink: 435.525MHz
RF-Power: 800mW

Additional information will be posted at:


Ever since the launch of OSCAR I in 1961, it has been traditional
for amateur radio satellites to carry the name OSCAR, for "Orbiting
Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio."

At the request of the original Project OSCAR organization, AMSAT-NA now
administers the numbering of OSCAR satellites.

A listing of all 90 satellites that have received OSCAR designations has been
posted to the AMSAT website:


Simple 40-Meter Dipole Supports Advanced Mars Radar

The venerable HF dipole has found a new home and purpose in space. The Mars
advanced radar for subsurface and ionospheric sounding (MARSIS) on
Mars Express uses a simple 40-meter dipole as the antenna for its subsurface
sounding radar.

The dual-channel low-frequency sounder operates between 1.3 and 5.5 MHz for
subsurface sounding and between 100 kHz and 5.5 MHz for ionospheric sounding.
It's the first high-frequency sounding radar operating from orbital altitudes
since the Apollo 17 lunar sounder in 1972.

ARRL News say the sounder has obtained returns from several kilometres below
the Mars surface.

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

It is once again time for the IARU Region 1 December YOTA event when several
youngsters from Member Societies' will become active with YOTA as suffix in the
call sign.

From Friday 1 December to Sunday 31 December 2017, the annual Youth on the Air
event takes place and YOTA stations will attempt to make many contacts
worldwide with each other.

This is a golden opportunity to get young amateurs in their teens and early 20s
with their counterparts on the air.



November the 18th sees the next annual Europe to North America SOTA Summit to
Summit event where SOTA activators will be out on both continents trying to
make contacts.

Look for stations to be spotted on the SOTA Cluster at SOTAWATCH.ORG



Visit the WIA website,

To find A Club And Course Near You

To make a general enquiry

email for further information.

ARNSW 63 Quarry Rd Dural, email for details on
Bookings can be made by phoning the office on 02 9651 1490
and leaving contact details.

Amateur Radio Victoria 40G Victory Boulevard, Ashburton, or phone Barry on 0428 516 001.


Nov 25 VK3 3 pm Melbourne QRP by the Bay at Chelsea beach.



Feb 25 VK2 Wyong Field Day (VK2AOR)

It may still seem some way off but the Central Coast ARC are very busy in the
organisation stages of the Wyong Field Day for the 25th. of February 2018.

I promised to update listeners of VK1WIA News with the planned lectures as we
line them up, so here we go.

The biggest news is that we will have a lecture on space weather from
Phill Maher of the Australian Governments Bureau of Meteorology. This one
filled the room in 2017, so make sure you get in early for a seat in 2018 for
the new lecture!

Something new we're looking at in 2018 is a two part lecture - principals and
practical. It is hoped to cover how one designs a filter or duplexer in the
first lecture and then in a second part later in the day a practical
demonstration will be made of a completed unit. Kevin VK2KJV is our expert
on-hand for this two part presentation.

How about a subject that everyone SAYS they know but a lecture that will prove
to you, that you don't! Brian VK2GCE with enlighten attendees on the hidden
mysteries of WHY a crystal set works at all. He will cover construction tips
and tricks that improve the receivers performance. Brain also invites attendees
to bring along their own crystal sets or at least some digital pictures that
can be shown on the big screen so a discussion and workshop can ensue.

For more details on these three lectures go to the field day website at

Would you like to present something that particularly interests you, whether
old or new technology as long as it's in some way amateur radio related, with
the new facilities at the racecourse we still have some free slots for lectures
or demonstrations. Please send Bob VK2AOR an email.

His email address is vk2aor@BIGPOND.COM

For the Central Coast ARC Fieldday at Wyong 2018, this is Ed DD5LP.

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

May 4 -7 VK4 Clairview Gathering ( between Rockhampton/Mackay ) (TARC)

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