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WIA Director, Peter VK8ZZ, covers 4 topics this week, board elections,
social media 2020 WIA AGM and Conference along with international
band planning representation.

AND FOR WEEK OF November 25


Early Wednesday, Queensland-based Black Sky Aerospace (BSA) conducted
Australia's first ever launch carrying commercial payloads, from the
nation's only suborbital launch site in Goondiwindi, Queensland.

BSA's 5-m Sighter190 sounding rocket soaring to approximately
20,000ft. The Sighter190 rocket has a mass of 80kg, and is propelled
using solid fuel consisting of aluminium, ammonium chloride, and
proprietary ingredients.

The launch today carried experimental payloads, including some for
Hypersonix, another Australian launch startup developing the world's
first hypersonic scramjet launch vehicle. Here, Hypersonix tested
sensor packages as well as a Ceramic Matrix Composite panel, which
the company plans on using for its own launch vehicles.

The Sighter190 also carried a device developed by Dekunu Technologies
targeting skydivers. An enhanced altimeter that also has a 3D
location tracker, flight analyser, and a situational awareness tool
that can gather flight data.

BSA is currently working on a range of suborbital rockets, and is
positioning itself as a suborbital payload delivery system. This
first BSA/Hypersonix launch marks the beginning of Australia's
commercial launch industry.

Labor commits $2million to resurrect ABC shortwave radio

NT Country Hour report that, if elected next year, Federal Labor say
it will provide the ABC with $2 million in funding to help
re-establish shortwave radio services across the Northern Territory.

The ABC controversially switched off its shortwave service in January
2017, and, defended the decision by saying it would "only affect a
very, very small amount of people" and save taxpayers up to
$1.9 million.

The decision was heavily criticised by industry groups such as the
NT Cattlemen's Association and the NT Seafood Council. NTCA president
Chris Nott welcomed the announcement by Labor and said the ABC's
decision was short-sighted. "What people take for granted in the
cities is a luxury for those of us in the bush," Mr Nott said. "We
rely on the HF shortwave radio transmitters because we don't have
mobile and data coverage for AM and FM radio stations.

Federal Member for Solomon Luke Gosling, said the axing of shortwave
had angered a lot of people and community groups. "Many thousands
will benefit from bringing back shortwave," he told the Country Hour.

(SouthGate News)


The national awards for engineering, technical excellence, sales and
customer service were announced in November.

One of the recipients of the ARCIA 2018 Industry Excellence Awards
announced at the organisation's annual gala dinner on 21 November
was an Aussie Ham!

The 2018 national Industry Professional of the Year Award was
presented to Anthony Benbow from Western Australia. Anthony has
devoted significant amounts of time to training young people, both in
his role with Department of Fire and Emergency Services in WA and
also since his move into private industry. He continues to push for
better and wider training options to encourage more young people into
the communications industry.

VK6AXB - Well done!

Read more:


WIA Director, Peter VK8ZZ, covers 4 topics this week

WIA Board Elections

The November / December issue of Amateur Radio Magazine should be in
your hands in the next few days. In this issue you will see on the
reverse side of the address label is the nomination form for the
up-coming vacancies on the WIA Board. The formal notification of the
WIA Board election is included in the magazine proper.

Nominations close at the end of January, followed by an election.
Nominations can only be posted or hand delivered to the National
Office. I encourage any member who is keen to participate in the
management of the WIA to nominate for a position on the Board.

Social Media

The WIA is looking to invigorate its social media presence. In order
to do this, we are seeking the expertise and experience of social
media gurus to join a team to assist in this area.

Social media will be used to foster and encourage existing and
potential foundation licensees.

2020 AGM and Conference

The WIA are keen to hear from clubs that would like to take on the
exciting role of organising the 2020 AGM and Conference.

Whilst this event is not until the year after next, we are keen to
start early. The event of course, is underwritten by the WIA. Please
contact the secretary for more details.

International Band Planning Representation

At the recent IARU Region 3 Conference in Seoul Korea, a proposal to
establish the Region 3 Band Planning Committee was passed. Mr. Sion,
9M2CQC was appointed the Committee coordinator.

The IARU have already published the Terms of Reference for this
committee. The ToR provide that the Band Planning Committee will
comprise of 10 committee members from Region 3 member societies, which
includes the WIA. The WIA are therefore seeking expressions of
interest from members who have the background and ability to
participate as the Australian representative on that committee.

Expressions of interest or queries should be directed to the WIA
Secretary in the next few days as the timeline for nominations is
extremely short.

I am the WIA Director, Peter VK8ZZ
Good DX'ing


INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club,
ARRL, RAC, NZART Amateur Radio NewsLine & the World Wide sources of
the WIA.

NASA's Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations,
Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander is scheduled to touch
down on the Red Planet at approximately 8 p.m. UTC Nov. 26, and
viewers everywhere can watch coverage of the event live on NASA
Television, the agency's website and social media platforms.

Launched on May 5, InSight marks NASA's first Mars landing since the
Curiosity rover in 2012. The landing will kick off a two-year mission
in which InSight will become the first spacecraft to study Mars' deep
interior. Its data also will help scientists understand the formation
of all rocky worlds, including our own.

InSight is being followed to Mars by two mini-spacecraft comprising
NASA's Mars Cube One (MarCO), the first deep-space mission for
CubeSats. If MarCO makes its planned Mars flyby, it will attempt to
relay data from InSight as it enters the planet's atmosphere and lands.

InSight and MarCO flight controllers will monitor the spacecraft's
entry, descent and landing from mission control at NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where all landing
events will take place.

About 80 live viewing events for the public to watch the InSight
landing will take place around the world.

For a complete list of landing event watch parties, visit:

For a full list of websites broadcasting InSight landing events,
go to:


In India, recognition is coming posthumously for one Silent Key who
authored a book about India's space program.

Electronics engineer Ved Prakash Sandlas VU2VP never lived to see the
publication of his book "The Leapfroggers: An Insider's Account of

Ved became a Silent Key in 2017 and the book was published just months
ago. It tells the story of how the Indian Space Research Organisation
(ISRO) developed its launch vehicles from scratch.

VU2VP became a licensed ham radio operator whilst he was an
undergraduate studying for his physics degree. His radio hobby later
became invaluable to his work at the space agency when he was given
the responsibility of developing a communication system for the
Indian space programme's Satellite Launch Vehicle.



A Silent Key Memorial Contest held November 1st was more of an on-air
memorial to departed friends than a competitive activity.

This marked the sixth year since Lszl Foldi HA6NL and Lszl Dallos
HA7PL conceived this tribute, held in CW.

The 1st of November is a day that Hungarians honour their dead.

This 'wireless' activity has grown to include between 50 and 70 hams,
most of them in Europe, reflecting band conditions on 80 and 40 metres
even the form of QSL is special:

Hams get an ornamental memorial leaf with the call sign of the Silent
Key they have honoured by sending their call on the air.


RSGB at UK Spectrum Policy Forum

It is vital that we contribute to the debate around spectrum use.

Former RSGB Chairman Graham Murchie, G4FSG recently made a
presentation on behalf of all UK radio amateurs to the UK Spectrum
Policy Forum, a body that advises the government. He also led the
subsequent discussion, supported by RSGB General Manager Steve
Thomas, M1ACB and RSGB Spectrum Forum Chair Murray Niman, G6JYB.

Topics included the shortage of practical skills in the radio
arena, the social and economic aspects of spectrum use, and
examples of where the RSGB is encouraging development of scarce
skills and using them to good effect.

You can see the presentations at .



Radio Amateurs of Canada is pleased to announce its support of the
Canadian National Parks on the Air event which will be held next year
all year, i.e. January 1 to December 31.

All Radio Amateurs worldwide will have an opportunity to operate
portably from any of Canada's 48 National Parks and 171 National
Historic Sites (these are 'activators'). Amateurs around the world
will be able to chase these adventurous operators in an effort to
confirm the most QSOs (these are 'chasers').

Activity for activators and chasers will be tracked on a dedicated
website and real-time leader board and other statistics will be
available throughout the year. Activators and chasers will be able to
compete for and collect online awards and certificates created
specifically for the event.

For more information about the event please visit the Canadian
National Parks on the Air website at:


We introduce a YL who's an octogenarian headed to Africa. Caryn Eve
Murray KD2GUT Editor of Amateur Radio Newsline shares her story.

CARYN: An amateur radio ticket can also be a ticket to living one's
dreams - and perhaps no one knows that better right now than Susan
Meckley W7KFI. Susan is headed to Malawi where in a few days she and
her friend Don Jones K6ZO will be on a DXpedition through early
December, operating CW as 7Q7M and 7Q6M respectively.

Retired from both the U.S. Navy and the Army, the Mississippi resident
said she's always been up for adventure. Yes, even at 83 years of age.
Susan, who's had her ticket since 1952, cruised the Pacific solo aboard
her 32-foot sailboat for years until she came ashore when she turned 80.
Her next big moment was to fly a World War Two fighter plane -- but
then, Don Jones came along another option: They would travel to the rare
African DX entity where he is involved in a project assisting a local
hospital and operate before, after and during the CQ WW CW contest.
Her rationale for changing her plans?

SUSAN: "The plane would have been for an hour and the trip is for an
extended period of time."

CARYN: Though they'll be living in the hospital guest quarters there
might be some camping involved - which, in Africa, means lions.

SUSAN: "I am worried about thatI just might bow out of that because
with my luck I would get the 10 percent that didn't get the memo that
says don't bother humans."

CARYN: She wants to make as many contacts as possible, of course, but
she has another goal, a reasonable one:

SUSAN: "Get out alive and come back home."

CARYN: The trip will mean that this devoted rag chewer will finally get
to experience her first contest too. She considers this trip one grand
last hurrah.

SUSAN: "When I first got into radio in the early 50s I read about Danny
Weil and his yacht the Yasme and I said 'my gosh I want to do that.' My
whole life has been planned to get military retirement, Social Security
and disappear off into the sunset. So I've gone to some of the islands
and places I've been to that I haven't been so sure about. Oh I've had
some adventures out there."

CARYN: You can be a part of her next adventure starting on the 22nd of
November. Listen for Susan 7Q7M and Don 7Q6M sending CQ in CW. That will
be the sound of Susan Meckley, age 83, saying QSL to one more big ham
radio dream.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Caryn Eve Murray KD2GUT




VHF/UHF Spring contest for 2018 - Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 November.
Also this weekend will see the CQWW DX CW Contest (Nov 24-25)


Straight Key Night

New Zealand Straight Key Night - normally held on the first Sunday
in November - will be held this year on the first Sunday in December.

9pm to 10pm on 80 metres.

SKN honours the roots of amateur radio:
Morse Code sent with a straight key (no bugs, sideswipers, keyers
or keyboards). All levels of CW skill are welcome in this event.

There are certificates for the three stations working the most QSOs,
and all participants are invited to nominate an operator for the
Best Fist Award.

SKN has a unique exchange that includes not just RST, but also type of
key, type of transmitter and power output. There are special log sheets
available so that it's easy to keep track of this information.

Get all the details at



Inaugural "Green Keys Night" Set for New Year's Day, January 1

NZART Portable Activity Day - New Year's Day

The Christmas/New Year holiday period is a great chance to get on the
air. Accordingly, New Zealand's national society NZART is promoting
New Year's Day, 1 January 2019, as a portable activity day.

This is an opportunity to get outdoors and operate knowing there will
be others doing the same. As an activity day this is not a contest,
so it is up to you where, when and how you operate.

There will be a lot of Summits on the Air activity on this day
(ZL and VK) owing to us being able to claim double activation points
by operating either side of 0000z 1 January UTC (1pm NZDST).

You could therefore activate a SOTA summit, or if that is a bit much,
participate in the NZART awards programme by activating a lake,
lighthouse or National Park (make sure you know the rules before you

Alternatively, you could just park up at your favourite spot and make
a few QSOs. Apart from SOTA which stresses portable activity without
your station being connected to a motor vehicle, you are free to use
any method of portable operation you like.

This could be a chance to take the family on a picnic, a branch
activity, or you could get together with a bunch of mates, head to
different places and meet up in the pub afterwards to swap "the DX
that got away" stories.

It is entirely up to you.

It is also a great chance to test your portable emergency capability.

There is no fixed operating period, although as a rule of thumb SOTA
activators will generally be operating between 12pm and 2pm NZDST,
and you can operate as long as you like.


Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 January, the Summer VHF /UHF Field Day.

May Four the 20th Harry Angel Memorial Sprint.

July 20 Trans-Tasman Low-Band Contest

Aug 17-18 VK Remembrance Day Contest.


Roly ZL 1 BQD is QRV as P 2 9RR from Papua New Guinea till 4th
December. He will take part in the CQWW CW Contest on 24th - 25th
November. QSLs go via his home call.



Yes A44A from Oman

Members of the Royal Omani Amateur Radio Society (ROARS) will activate
their contest station, A44A, in Muscat during the CQWW DX CW Contest
this weekend as a Multi-Multi entry.

QSL via A 47 RS.




'Grand Tour Across All Continents' dx contest

The Czechoslovak DX Club's 'Grand Tour Across All Continents'
dx contest is to be held from Friday, 30 November 2018, 0000 UTC, to
Sunday, 9 December 2018, 2400 UTC.

It is open to all shortwave listeners regardless to their membership
in any DX club.

Full details here:



A sunspot from the next solar cycle

Over the weekend, a magnetically reversed sunspot appeared in the
sun's northern hemisphere. Its high latitude and 'backwards' magnetic
polarity mark it as a member of the next solar cycle.

Is Solar Minimum over?

Not even close but this development does suggest that Solar Cycle 25
is stirring.

Learn more on today's edition of




New version of WSJT-X

A new WSJT-X release candidate, version 2.0.0-rc4, is available and
the version 2.0 Quick Start Guide has been revised and extended.

The developers urge anyone upgrading to the new version to read
the release notes thoroughly. The upgrade requires users to change
operator settings, so the software may not work straight out of
the box when upgrading from previous versions. The latest version
of WSJT-X also removes compatibility with earlier versions of the
software in certain circumstances.

Full information is at .



First geostationary amateur satellite

On Thursday the 15th of November, a SpaceX Falcon 9 vehicle lifted
off flawlessly at 2046UTC from Cape Canaveral, carrying the first
amateur radio payload destined for geostationary orbit.

About 32 minutes after launch, SpaceX reports the spacecraft was
successfully deployed into a geostationary transfer orbit.

Positioned at 25.5E, the satellite carries an amateur radio S-band
and X-band payload capable of linking radio amateurs from Brazil to

The recent subject of an AMSAT-UK Colloquium presentation, Es'hail-2
carries two Phase 4 non-inverting amateur radio transponders operating
in a 2.4GHz up and 10.45GHz down configuration. This offers a 250kHz
bandwidth linear transponder intended for conventional analogue
operations, plus an 8MHz bandwidth transponder for experimental
digital modulation schemes and DVB amateur television.

You can see the talk at .



The SpaceX Spaceflight SSO-A SmallSat Express launch carrying the
Fox-1Cliff Amateur Radio CubeSat and several other Amateur Radio
payloads has been delayed.

SpaceX tweeted, "Standing down from Monday's launch attempt of
Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express to conduct additional pre-flight
inspections. Once complete, we will confirm a new launch date."

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

2 I 0 SSW appointed Youth Committee Champion

The RSGB has appointed Sara McGarvey, 2I0SSW into the new role of
Youth Committee Champion.

The role will include managing the UK attendance at the YOTA camp
each year and YOTA Month every December.

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

IARU Region 1 3760 7110 14300 18160 21360 kHz

IARU Region 2 3750 3985 7060 7240 7275 14300 18160 21360 kHz

Radio hams assist vessel with ill crew member

ARRL reports Amateur Radio operators associated with the Maritime
Mobile Service Network played a significant part in summoning medical
assistance on November 9

A crew member was suffering chest pains on board the 48-foot sailing
vessel Marie Elena, some 300 miles east of Bermuda.

"The assistance we received from the ham radio operator[s] was crucial
in helping us communicate with the vessel's crew," US Coast Guard
Petty Officer 1st Travis Unser said afterward. Unser was the
search-and-rescue coordinator for the incident.

MMSN member Donald Plunkett, VA6FH, heard a call for medical
assistance at 1650 UTC on the net's 14.300 MHz frequency from
Nick Cancro, KC2WRH, the captain of the Marie Elena.

Cancro reported that a crew member was experiencing severe chest pains
and needed medical assistance. Fellow MMSN operator Fred Moore, W3ZU,
of Florida, had good propagation with the Marie Elena and contacted
the vessel, linking it via a phone patch to the US Coast Guard Station
in Norfolk, Virginia.

The Coast Guard was able to connect the patient directly to medical
personnel via the phone patch to ascertain symptoms and prescribe
first aid measures prior to medical assistance arrival.

Read the full story at


Perhaps only a drill but the challenges were real.

Not every ham is faced with responding to a double virus attack
launched by terrorists. The first "attack" involved a deadly
biological virus released intentionally into the population followed
by a second virus, an electronic one that knocked out cell phones,
landlines and the internet.

First, let's clarify something - this was all just a test.

The hams were part of a state-wide ARES Simulated Emergency Exercise in
cooperation with the state's Office of Emergency Management and they
we're training for what could someday be the real thing. According to
Steve Fletcher K7AA, Oregon's Grant County ARES Emergency Coordinator,
participating hams faced numerous challenges:

They were instructed to test Winlink in "radio only" mode within a
one-hour window; explore the best way to employ APRS for the tasks
ahead and of course, establish clear communications between volunteer
and government agencies while understanding the instructional
materials guiding their procedures through the test. An HF Net was
also established on 75 meters in advance to avoid relay pileups.

Steve said the hams' enthusiasm was stoked even more by a scenario
called the MacGyver Task, which occurred concurrently with the
double-virus scenario. In this simulation, the antennas on each local
Emergency Operations Centre were knocked out by bad weather.

Steve told Amateur Radio Newsline in an email, the hams concluded the
one-day test happy but tired - and better-educated about what they'll
need to do next time.

(Amateur Radio Newsline)



TARC Monster Xmas Lights Tour

Get out your Santa Hats, flashy pins and Christmas Costumes and get
ready for a magical mystery tour of the light fantastic!

The famous (or is that the INfamous) TARC Monster Xmas Lights Tour
is on again, happening Friday evening December 21st.

Its a Drive Yourself Dazzling Spectacular and all mobile shack
chariots will need to monitor 146.5MHz during the tour to hear
instructions from the guide vehicle. If you do not have a 2metre
transceiver in your vehicle - don't worry as a handheld will be lent
to you.

The Tour will start from Townsville<, gathering by 7pm and then
leaving when it is dark enough.

Be sure to pack an esky with plenty of cool water and cool bananas
as the tour will be happening in a dehydrating climate!

MXLT organiser Gavin VK4ZZ, with help from stage surveyors, is
currently plotting a way around the City of Townsville (protected by
the Powerpuff Girls).

Are you a local HAM putting on a light spectacular?

Have you spotted an outstanding display?

Let Gavin know the suburb and street name so that the display can be
included in the tour.

Now don't be silly here...we don't need details od a display in
downtown Wooloomooloo!


The tour should end by 10pm at a secret destination.

Contact Gavin VK4ZZ on mobile 0427 182469 or

2019 Social Scene

February 24 VK2 - Wyong Field Day (vk2kfu)

March 23-24 VK7 - Meet the Voice event at Ross (vk7news)

April 6 VK5 - BRL Radio Group Annual Gathering, (vk5la)
Overland Corner, S.A

May 3 - 6 VK4 - Claireview Gathering (tarc)

Sept 2019 - Scandinavian YL Radio Operators Convention
will be in Norway LA8FOA is your contact

Oct 27 VK3 Ballarat Amateur Radio Group, BARG Hamvention 2019 3kqt

2020 Social Scene

ALARAMEET 2020 Bendigo (vk5yl)

October 2020 in Bendigo Victoria.

Heidi VK3FHID and Jenny VK3WQ are leading the team who are planning
an eventful weekend. This team is meeting regularly and are looking
forward to seeing you in Bendigo.

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