JULY 08 2018 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING JULY 8 2018.
IN OUR 23rd YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA Responds to ACMA Consultation Paper On Amateur Qualifications. -
WIA Board responds to 'Petition for Expulsion'. -
WIA Director Greg VK2GPK, with this week's edition of WIA Board comment.
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA 2018 AND FOR WEEK OF JULY 08, I'm GraHam VK4BB port 3.
New approaches to amateur radio qualification arrangements
Consultation closes: 02 July 2018
This consultation is now closed and submissions are under review.
Need more information or assistance?
Read our FAQs.
That from the ACMA website as they, the ACMA, ponder over the submissions.
Our WIA Responded to this ACMA Consultation Paper On Amateur Qualifications
The response was submitted to the regulator for their consideration on
Monday the 2nd of July, 2018 and was distributed to the volunteer community
of Nominated Assessors, Assessors and Learning Facilitators.
Key themes that resonate through all submissions received by the WIA is that
members and the broader amateur community strongly oppose any change to the
amateur radio qualification framework that:
Greg VK2GPK, a WIA Director will explain, in detail, much of the submission,
'further down the log' today.
For all enquiries regarding the WIA's response please email
A LESSON IN SPACE STATION COMMUNICATIONS
In Melbourne, some students can't wait to get to class.
Robert Broomhead VK3DN tells us why.
"Students are known for asking tough questions - ask any teacher.
In mid-July, however, some questions from kids at one Melbourne,
school can be expected to rise to a whole new level -- more
like 200-plus miles above the earth. Where will they find the answers?
Hopefully aboard the International Space Station which will be talking
to the Essex Heights Primary School sometime between July 16th and the
22nd. The connection will be made via telebridge, which involves an
amateur radio ground station elsewhere establishing the contact and then
facilitating the conversation via phone patch.
The school's website describes the occasion as both a school and a
So bring on those questions! Organizers have indicated that the
astronaut addressing the curious youngsters is likely to be either be
Ricky Arnold KE5DAU or Serena Aunon-Chancellor KG5TMT.
No doubt the students are looking forward - and looking up.
And our plan is to live stream it via the internet so anyone can watch it.
We will be putting the link to the livestream on the schools website.
Robert Broomhead VK3DN
Anthony Pancia from ABC South West WA interviewed 82 years young
Norman Gomm VK6GOM about the benefits of the hobby of Ham Radio.
Mr Gomm spends a few hours a day in the shack and said "Ham radio requires
a lot of cognitive skills and a lot of understanding technology, so I find
that's very good for keeping me active."
Richard Oxley VK6VRO was interviewed as well from his ham table in his
backyard. Richard is legally blind and finds the hobby of amateur radio fun
and commented "you never get sick of making that first contact with someone
Peter Clee VK8ZZ Secretary of the WIA comments that enthusiasts regularly
fund and build satellites that are launched into space and talk with the
International Space Station.
The technical aspect alone of setting up a ham radio station would be of
interest to anyone looking for something challenging said Mr Clee.
The article finishes with that comment that it is this challenge that
continues to draw enthusiasts like Mr Gomm back to his ham shack on a
Interference a key issue for ACMA
Each year, our communications regulator, the ACMA, sets its priority
compliance area program for radiocommunications, which takes a strategic
approach to their overall scheme and operational activities
In 2018-19, ACMA will focus on:
- Interference management
- Spectrum review implementation
- Licensing integrity
Priority compliance areas 2018-19
The WIA Board in May issued notices of Petition for Expulsion to several
members under Clause 5.7 of the WIA Constitution. This clause empowers the
board to expel a member whose conduct is deemed contrary to
"the best interests of the WIA".
Despite publicity to the contrary, no board decision to expel any member had
been taken at that time.
This constitutional action was initiated when a concerned group of members
jointly petitioned the WIA Board in April 2018 to expel certain other members
citing conduct they believed would trigger expulsion under Clause 5.7
The WIA Board has a responsibility to consider and act on such a petition
under the provisions of the WIA Constitution.
The WIA Board, following extensive deliberations, decided to withdraw the
notices of Petition for Expulsion and cease action on the aforementioned
members' petition i.e. no member has been expelled.
WIA Comment July 8, 2018
This is Greg VK2GPK, one of the directors of the WIA, with this week's
edition of the WIA Board comment. This week my focus will be the ACMA
proposed changes that may impact the AOCP exam process and also the callsign
Earlier this week, on Monday to be specific, the WIA submitted its response
to the Australian Communications Management Authority (ACMA) consultation
document regarding potential variations to current Amateur Operators'
Certificate of Proficiency (AOCP) qualification framework. This was released
with an unusually short response timeframe of one month. This is much
shorter than usual for similar government consultation documents, and this
abridged timeframe impacted heavily on our ability to consult widely on this
matter. We did, however, ask the membership for their input, and despite the
tight timeframe, we received numerous detailed responses from members. The
WIA board sincerely thanks these members for their input and insight - it all
So what is this document for consultation from ACMA about?
Almost ten years ago, the WIA agreed to undertake a number of Amateur Radio
related functions that had been until then carried out by the ACMA (and in
the past originally by the PMG - the Postmaster Generals department). These
were the AOCP examinations process, AOCP issue and radio amateur callsign
management for the entire radio amateur cohort - not just WIA members. So
in February 2009, the WIA and the ACMA signed "the deed" to transfer these
functions to the WIA, initially for 5 years with an option to extend for
another 5, which was taken up by ACMA. This "deed" will expire February
This was the first of a number of the ACMA outsourcing arrangements for
radio operator qualifications driven by budget pressure on the ACMA to
reduce headcount, and was followed the marine radio operators examination
and certificates. However, in this outsourcing process by the ACMA some
vocational radio operator qualifications fell by the wayside, such as the
BOCP and TVOCP. This was due, at least in part, to apathy of broadcast
industry at that time combined with the low numbers of the broadcast industry
cohort. The loss of these qualifications is today lamented by the broadcast
industry as older staff with these qualifications retire and are no longer
around to mentor younger technicians and engineers who typically have gained
little or no practical or theoretical RF and/or antenna skills through their
TAFE and/or University generic engineering certificate or degree courses.
These "deeds" have transaction prices (eg. For a Foundation exam, standard,
etc) that are based on cost recovery alone - the organisations providing
these functions cannot make a profit under the terms of "the deed". In fact,
the WIA, for most years of "the deed" have posted a deficit of between
$10, 000 and $20,000 - approximately $10 to $20 loss on each examination
paper processed - based on around 900 -1,000 exams per year. Another 100
exams a year more to 1100 or so and we would break even with full cost
recovery. The WIA has effectively subsidised this for the benefit of the
overall amateur community, rather than increase examination fees and create
higher barriers to entry to the hobby. And, of course, without the various
WIA affiliated clubs, the many volunteer learning facilitators and assessors,
the costs of entry to the hobby would be prohibitive - my informed guess is
10 times more expensive.
Fast-forward to 2018, the ACMA has even more budget pressure today to reduce
headcount further now than a decade ago and to recover more (or all) of its
operating costs directly from licence holders. Moreover, its staff numbers
have been decimated in the last few years. This is despite the Federal
Government reaping billions of dollars through spectrum auctions, mainly to
the major telcos. The ACMA gets none of this revenue stream - it goes to
consolidated government revenue.
So, about a month ago the ACMA released the examination consultation document
that proposes 3 alternative future scenarios for examinations once the
existing deed with the WIA expires. There isn't time today to cover the
details of each proposed scenario, but in summary:
Scenario 1 is basically a continuation of the "status quo", as implemented
in the existing WIA-ACMA deed - minus the delegation for AOCP
issue and minus callsign management.
Scenarios 2 and 3 imply multiple competitive suppliers of examination
services with multiple high cost RTOs (Registered Training
Organisations) for each of the service providers. However, there
are potential benefits that these approaches can provide.
The WIA's response analyses the three scenarios and identifies the pros and
cons plus alternatives. The full response will be available on the WIA
website - please take a few minutes to read it, wia.org.au
The WIA is aware of at least 4 respondents to the ACMA consultation document.
At this stage there is no certainty on what the future state of the AR
examinations landscape will look like next year.
None of the proposed scenarios address if, who and how AOCP certificates
would be issued - they may not be issued at all! Call sign management is
unclear, with the document asking for proposals. It is not a given that
AR examinations will continue as financially viable under at least two of
the three new scenarios proposed by the ACMA due to increased costs and
dilution of revenue across multiple providers - this would have obvious
negative consequences for the AR community and the future of the hobby.
This extinction fate of the TVOCP and BOCP qualifications highlights the
risk for the Australian amateur cohort for the long-term viability and
continuance of the AR examinations.
Greg VK2GPK on behalf of the WIA board
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club,
ARRL, Amateur Radio Newsline, RAC, NZART and the World Wide sources of
Electronic waste is a growing challenge. What can you do to help?
Did you know that 45 million metric tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) were
produced across the world in 2016?
That's equivalent to nine ( 9 ! )Great Pyramids of Giza.
And the amount of e-waste produced each year is growing.
That's according to The Global E-waste Monitor, an annual report from the
International Telecommunication Union, United Nations' University, and the
International Solid Waste Association that tracks the amounts of e-waste
e-Waste consists of information and communication technology devices such as
computers, mobile phones, screens, wires and all items of electrical and
electronic equipment or its parts that have been discarded without intent
If you consider that most people in developed countries now own more than one
ICT device and that replacement cycles for mobile phones and computers,
and also for other devices and equipment, are becoming shorter the scale of
the problem is expected to grow year over year.
Read the full ITU News report
Europeans were experiencing some Space QRM in late June.
No it wasn't from Mars or Jupiter or even the Sun, it came from the
International Space Station!
Operators across Europe heard English and Spanish stations on the 2 metre FM
calling frequency of 145.50 MHz - Was this some special "tropo" propagation
that lasted in bursts of 10 to 15 minutes? But why didn't the stations
respond to calls?
What happened was that after testing some yet-to-be launched satellites
inside the ISS, the Kenwood transceiver was left on in cross-band
repeater mode and somehow had been set to 145.5 rather than the usual
145.8MHz output frequency.
It went unnoticed except by a few avid ISS followers who happily used it
for a couple of days until it was turned off by the spacemen.
Sofia Barbarani writes in The National newspaper about the community of
radio enthusiasts that remains active inside Iraq
Ahmed Al Amshawi was just 17-years-old when he first discovered the
world of ham radio in his native Baghdad in 1996.
One of Iraq's first ham radio operators is thought to have been King Ghazi
in the late 1930s, paving the way for the rest of Iraq.
Saddam Hussein was in power when Ahmed first picked up the crackling
microphone that would connect him to the outside world. The adrenaline
rush he felt lives on with him today. So too does the hobby and its
At the time, Saddam's regime had prohibited ham radio operators from using
their equipment at home. Instead, licensed operators were made to gather
in government-sanctioned communal rooms where they each took turns having
conversations with fellow ham radio operators.
Meanwhile, the government listened in.
But even today, 15 years after the fall of Saddam and with the development
of a wave of new forms of communication, there remains some 150 licensed
ham radio operators, proud members of a largely unknown community, inside
After the fall of Saddam in 2003, operators were issued home licences,
allowing them to communicate from the privacy of their own houses. But the
US forces that occupied the country and a new Iraqi government remained
suspicious of the operators at a time when a militant insurgency was tearing
at the country from within.
"It's not just a hobby, it's a lifestyle," said Ahmed. "You get to know
new people every time you go on air. Some of them become your best friends
and even reach the level of family."
Ahmed's first radio communication from his home was with an operator in the
US state of Alaska in 2003. Soon after, the sectarian violence that engulfed
Iraq forced his family out of the neighbourhood.
Read the full story at
French national societies support ham radio Entry Level License
REF, DR@F and other national Societies in France want an amateur radio
Entry Level License (ELL) which should have access to All Modes,
Digital and Analog.
REF say the current single class system was imposed by the Regulator on
radio amateurs without any consultation in 2011-2012. It removed the then
existing Entry Level Class 3 license which had required a straight-forward
15 minute exam of 20 questions.
The REF report on the recent meeting of the various national societies
with the Regulator DGE can be read in Google English at
A poorly worded online solicitation seeking donations to support medical
costs for an ill youngster is not from ARRL and is a scam!
Some Hams have reported receiving an email with the subject line
"Help Support Dawn," dated on or about June 30, stating that "Dawn"
is the critically ill son of an ARRL member and requires urgent surgery.
"ARRL would never send an unsigned email like this to our members,"
said ARRL CEO Barry Shelley, N1VXY. "This is clearly a hoax, and we would
never solicit for private causes in this fashion. To prey on the willingness
of our members to help other hams in need, is particularly despicable."
HAM RADIO OPERATIONAL NEWS - IT'S A CONTACT SPORT
All major Australian contests, rules and results, are on the
Contest Section of the WIA website.
July 14-15 - WW IARU HF Championship
July 21 - VKZL Trans-Tasman Low band contest
August 11-12 - VK - Remembrance Day Contest
August 18-19 - WW - Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend
August 25-26 - VK - ALARA YL CONTEST
October 6 - WW - Oceania DX contest
Danish Headquarters Award
Make contact with OZ1HQ on either SSB or CW (or both) between July 14th
12:00 UTC and July 15th 12:00 UTC. (That's this weekend during the IARU
For DX stations, contact via four bands leads to a Gold Award. Silver is for
three bands and Bronze is issued to operators who make contact on two bands.
Rules are simple: All contacts with OZ1HQ counts for the award.
More info on https://www.qrz.com/db/OZ1HQ
The email address for the award manager OZ4CG Carsten is firstname.lastname@example.org
Ted Powell Memorial DX Challenge
The April - June period of the Ted Powell Memorial DX Challenge for 2018
has now closed and entries are open until 14 July.
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 April - June, head over to vk2au.org 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.
The website again... vk2au.org
It's on it's way, the World Championships of Amateur Radio and the
organisers need YOUR help, as DD5LP explains:-
"In order to test-the-metal of the 63, two person teams during the IARU HF
contest on the 14th & 15th of July, they need you to call as many of the
WRTC stations as possible. In return, there are awards to be won, along with
the respect and thanks of the organisers.
Once you've worked all the stations, do you want to stay involved in the
competition? Well you can through watching the real-time on-line scoreboard,
the daily video news programs and the live-streamed opening and closing
ceremonies, but please, just get on the bands and keep calling until you get
through to the stations.
The call signs of the stations will be announced during the live-streamed
opening ceremony on Thursday as well as being posted to the event web site
in plenty of time for the contest start on Saturday at 12:00 UTC.
To those coming to Wittenberg, whether competitors, judges, volunteers or
visitors, the organisers look forward to welcoming you, for those can't
attend, all the competitors look forward to working you on the HF bands.
Full details are at the www.wrtc2018.de website
(this including links to the live-streaming videos, daily TV info programs
and the on-line scoreboard).
Getting packed to go up to Wittenberg this has been Ed Durrant DD5LP."
A group of operators are QRV during the month of July with special call
7 V 5 ID in celebration of the 57th anniversary of Algeria's Independence
from Stidia, Mostaganem.
Activity will be on 160 to 6 meters using CW, SSB and FT8.
QSL via 7 X 4 CZ.
G 0 POT is QRV as TF/G 0 POT from Vik Island, IOTA EU-021, until July 9.
Activity will be on the HF bands BUT he will be using QRP power.
He also plans to activate some SOTA references.
QSL to home call, G 0 POT
PAPUA NEW GUINEA, P2.
ZL 1 BQD is QRV as P 29 RR from Wewak, IOTA OC-034, from July 1 to 26.
Activity will be on the HF bands with a focus on FT8.
QSL direct to home call, again that's ZL1BQD.
WORL WIDE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - FINAL FRONTIER
https://ariss.batc.tv/ (under test)
Brian VK2AAF via the AMSAT-VK list let the WIA know that Iridium Flares
may, unfortunately, be history.
Sourced from an article on the Heavens Above website, they report that
several people are reporting that Iridium Flares not showing up as predicted.
May of the first generation Iridium satellites are being de-orbited to make
way for the next generation. Over 20 appear to have been moved out of their
operation orbits. This means they are not producing reliable flares.
The other bad news is that the new satellites are not expected to produce
flares due to revised design.
Massive dust storm alters the appearance of Mars
A Martian dust storm that started in late May, silencing NASA's Opportunity
rover, has now wrapped itself around the entirety of Mars, radically
transforming the appearance of the Red Planet.
Amateur astronomers are taking pictures of the storm through backyard
telescopes, and even naked-eye observers say they can see changes in
the planet's colour.
Visit Spaceweather.com for more information and animations.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- CW
FISTS Club - East Asia www.feacw.net
FISTS Club - Australasia www.fdu.org.au
FISTS Club - UK & Europe www.fists.co.uk
FISTS Club - Americas www.fists.org
Recommended FISTS calling frequencies (MHz):
1.808 3.528 7.028 10.118 14.058 18.085 21.058 24.908
FISTs the World Wide CW club has, here in Australia, renewed their
Club Callsign VK2FDU - it is available for use should any member wish
to run an additional net (such as the QRP).
All you need to is check with Garry VK2GAZ first
FISTS here in VK are searching for a volunteer to assist us with the
VK Membership administration.
The task involves maintaining the VK Membership database and to manage all
the VK subscriptions and renewals. The VK membership is approaching 100.
Please consider this important role.
Much like the WIA and your local club, they do not run by themselves!
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- SUMMITS ON THE AIR
YL ACHIEVES 100 SOTA ACTIVATOR POINTS
Congratulations to Magda Swart, ZS6MMS, who has become the second YL in
South Africa to achieve 100 points for activating summits.
Magda got her 100 points after activating ZS/KN-345 Hluku and
ZS/KN-204 Klipspruit on Thursday 28 June 2018.
Magda joins Adele, ZS5APT with 100 and more activator points.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP --- MARITIME
Members of the Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club (GSBARC) in the USA
will remember those lost in the sinking of the USS San Diego.
They will operate as W 2 NMY from July 14 until July 22 UTC to mark the
centennial of the sinking of the armoured cruiser on July 18, 1918,
12 miles off Fire Island, New York, and to honour the six sailors who died.
Because the San Diego's on board radio was not working, the captain
dispatched the gunnery officer to the mainland, but by the time he returned
2 hours later with rescue vessels, it was too late. The San Diego became
the only major warship lost by the US after its involvement in World War I.
A Naval Court of Inquiry subsequently concluded that a mine laid by a
German submarine had sunk the San Diego.
W2NMY operation will be on all bands and modes.
A downloadable certificate will be available for confirmed contacts.
Social Scene 2018
July 7 & 8 VK3 GippsTech 2018 The 21st annual Gippsland Technical
July 20 and something a lil different from Bendigo Amateur Radio and
Electronics Club. An invite to 'Radio Control Models on Steroids!', a
presentation by model ship builder, Nigel Allom.
Nigel has been building large scale radio control model ships since 1970,
and he looks forward to showing you two of these amazing ships at the
July 20 meeting.
On display will be his model of the Queen Mary 2, measuring 3.5 metres long,
and the USS Missouri, almost 3 metres long!
Watch how he lifts the lid on these models, and allows you to have a good
look inside the full workings, including the radio control gear and
electronics. See how these models were constructed from scratch, and the
various materials used for construction.
Nigel has an amazing wealth of knowledge on the subject, and other models he
has built include the Queen Elizabeth 2 and Oriana.
There will be a short video presentation of the real Queen Mary 2, and
footage of the QE2 model sailing around Lake Weeroona.
The evening commences at 7.30 pm, Friday July 20th at the Longlea sports
pavilion, 20 Longlea Lane, Longlea, near Bendigo. A gold coin donation
would be appreciated. Tea, coffee and biscuits available. (VK3GRK)
Aug 4 VK3 Gippsland Gate Radio & Electronics Club HamFest (vk3bft)
Sept 21-23 VK4 Central Highlands AR Club AGM weekend Lake Maraboon (TARC)
Sep 28-Oct 1 VK4 Cardwell Gathering (TARC)
Nov 11 VK5 - Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society HamFest
Nov 17 VK7 - VK7Hamfest Miena Community Centre (vk7wi)
Nov 18 VK3 - The Rosebud RadioFest (vk3pdg)
Southern Peninsula Amateur Radio Club (SPARC)'s Rosebud RadioFest
takes place at 9.30am 18/11/2018
This is billed as a 'full-featured Amateur Radio Festival' and is
SPARC's annual celebration of Amateur Radio, Computers,
SDR New/Pre-loved gear, Forums, Prizes, Displays, Suppliers, Antennas,
Emergency Services & more.
Sun Nov 18 Eastbourne Primary School Auditorium & Grounds, Allambi Ave
ROSEBUD and is just 1 hr from the Melbourne CBD.
see www.rosebudradiofest for info/table bookings or enquires
Mark VK3PDG 0407 844 063
2019 Social Scene
May 3 - 6 VK4 - Claireview Gathering, between Mackay and Rockhampton (tarc)
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