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WIA Directors Greg VK2GPK with this week's WIA board comment.



Boosted emergency comms for Sydney CBD

A new government radio site will boost emergency communications
at the Pitt Street Mall in Sydney's CBD.

The new site provides in-building coverage in Westfield Sydney
as well as improved network coverage and performance in the
surrounding Pitt Street Mall precinct.

NSW Telco Authority Managing Director Kate Foy said the new site
was crucial to improved public safety. "Radio signals are weakened
when they pass through buildings, particularly where there are thick
concrete walls or UV protective glass," Foy said.

"This upgrade ensures that emergency services are more able to do
their essential work of protecting the public and responding to
critical incidents as they unfold inside and outside buildings
in busy precincts."

The new site is part of the wider Critical Communications
Enhancement Program that is improving government radio network
coverage and capacity from 35% of the state to over 80%.

The enhanced network will allow emergency services to more easily
share information and coordinate responses on the one consolidated


Last month Sydney suburban community station 2RRR piloted the
community broadcasting sector's first Studio Blitz practical
training course, where technically minded station staff and
volunteers were taught the basics of studio maintenance, then
used their new skills to clean and align all the equipment in the

The activity grew from discussions at Technorama and was then
developed into a course by John Maizels VK2JPM for the Community
Media Training Organisation (CMTO).

Six participants stripped down the station's two consoles, all the
faders were cleaned and the consoles were realigned to Zero VU.

"Most stations don't have enough people to do maintenance, even if
they know what needs to be done. And the industry hasn't been
training people, so you find that most community stations have
lots of little things that never get fixed. The idea of the blitz
is to get in on a weekend and do whatever you can in that time
I structured the exercise so that the people attending become
educated in the context of their own station. When we find
something that needs explaining, I stop everything, explain it to
everyone, then everyone learns how to fix the problem together,"
VK2JPM told radioinfo.

In the old days of the Broadcasting Control Board, the Engineering
Departments of radio stations had a lot of power because there were
detailed technical specifications that were required by the regulator,
otherwise the station could be put off air. In the modern
co-regulatory environment, there are far fewer technical requirements
on stations, so there is much less pressure to maintain a large
engineering staff and to do regular preventative maintenance.

This course aims to bring back some of that preventative maintenance
thinking and planning that has been lost over the years as the rules


This is Greg VK2GPK with this week's WIA board comment.

The WIA this month met with the Department of Communications and
the Arts (DOCA) to discuss radio amateur representation at the
forthcoming World Radio Conference 2019 (WRC-19). World
radiocommunication conferences (WRC) are held every three to four
years. It is the job of WRC to review, and, if necessary, revise
the global Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing
the use of the radio-frequency spectrum & geostationary-satellite
and non-geostationary-satellite orbits.

During the meeting the WIA presented information on the amateur
and amateur-satellite service that is relevant to Australia's
preparations for WRC-19 which will be held late in 2019. The
information included details of the WIA, the IARU, the advocacy work
undertaken by both the WIA and IARU, the range of activities that
amateurs undertake in pursuit of their interests and how amateurs
are involved in various community activities. The IARU is the
International Amateur Radio Union, of which the WIA is a member
society solely representing Australia.

It was a productive and informative meeting and the WIA thanks DOCA
for making time to meet and discuss core amateur service issues.
The WIA, as part of its international representation for the
Australian Radio Amateur cohort, will be attending this important
WRC-19 at the invitation of DOCA to further and protect the
interests of Australian Radio Amateurs. It is a non-trivial expense
for the WIA to send volunteer representatives to the WRC, and we
thank WIA members, as it is only through your membership
subscriptions that we can fund this vitally important representation
to further and protect your interests in global spectrum access.

An update on the financial "health" of the WIA:

As I first mentioned in this broadcast in the latter part of 2017,
a few months after being elected to the WIA board, the WIA had been
operating at a loss, for a number of years. The board then
instigated actions to return the WIA to a neutral cash flow position,
advising members that this would take 6 - 9 months due to contract
lead times. I am pleased to announce that the WIA interim finance
results for the full calendar year 2018 (FY2018) show a return to
positive cash flow with a small surplus. These results will be
subject to external audit in the next few months.

The WIA board has decided to direct some of this surplus to clearing
the current backlog of repeater applications, currently around 6 in
queue. This is by engaging commercial frequency assigners to
undertake this work on behalf of the WIA. Once the backlog is
cleared, the WIA will review effectiveness of the external assigner
pilot process as input for longer-term repeater application process
improvements, both to WIA processes and also the ACMA processes.

Finally, an update on the Approach to Market (ATM) "tender" for the
ACMA deed related functions. The "deed" related functions are
primarily AOCP examinations and callsign management. As at
January 25 2019, there has been no formal announcement by the ACMA
as to the result of their deliberations.

This is disappointing as the current deed is about to expire, which
will impact current and aspirant Radio Amateurs.

The ATM specifies a start date for the successful provider of
February 4 2019, if there is no contracted provider by that date,
the functions will revert to the ACMA. Examination assessments
conducted on or after this date will not be processed by the WIA.

This is Greg VK2GPK, on behalf of the WIA board.


Under a permanent agreement with the Australian Communications and
Media Authority all Australian radio amateurs may use the
alternative AX callsign prefix instead of VK on Australia Day,
Saturday January 26.

On Australia Day many celebrate our country and culture.
This includes the granting of awards, honours and the welcoming
to citizenship of many immigrants. National flags will be flown and
the celebrations end in some places with a firework display.

Popular on air among prefix hunters and others is the AX prefix.
The use of a special QSL card with it is greatly encouraged by the
Wireless Institute of Australia.

The alternative AX prefix agreement between the ACMA and the WIA
means that all radio amateurs may use it without seeking allocation
of a special event callsign, This prefix is also on Anzac Day,
April 25 and International Telecommunications Day, May 17.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club,
the WIA.

Earth's shifting magnetic poles are affecting your phone

Earth's magnetic field is changing so quickly that researchers
have been forced to update to the World Magnetic Model ahead
of schedule.

Developed by NOAA and the British Geological Survey, the model
is widely used for precision navigation of devices ranging from
nuclear submarines to the common smartphone.

Your own phone may be affected.

Find out how on


Radio hams in Indonesia get new bands including 5 MHz

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
of the Republic of Indonesia has issued the
new Amateur Radio Regulations dated December 31, 2018.

ORARI reports new Indonesian amateur radio regulations
have been issued with new bands at 136 kHz, 472 kHz and 5 MHz


Senior most ham operator Bhanumathy VU2BL passes away

Bhanumathy, with her call sign VU2BL, was one of the most respected
ham operators and was the member of the Governing Council of the
National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR).

"She was a huge inspiration for everyone in the ham community. She
was also very active in social service. Bhanumathy was a truly tall
figure among Indian Amateur Radio operators. She was associated with
the NIAR since its inception and had guided almost all the amateur
radio operators", recalled S. Ram Mohan Suri, NIAR's executive
vice-chairman and director.

"VU2BL, volunteered for emergency communications, DXPeditions,
events, training programs or any event with her full support. She
was very active on radio during contests regularly inspiring budding
hams to make their first radio contact.

VU2BL might have become a silent key, but she will be alive in
memories" was the general comment among the amateur radio operators.


Amateur radio tax abolished in France

French national society REF has confirmed that the annual amateur
radio tax (license fee) has been abolished

A Google translation of a post on the REF site reads:

ANFR press release of 04/01/2019:
The annual fee for the amateur radio license 2019 was issued in
early December. Pursuant to the Finance Act No. 2018-1317 of
December 28, 2018 published in the Official Journal of
December 30, 2018, we will proceed to its cancellation.

In the case where you have already paid, a refund will be
sent to you by the Special Credits Department of the Treasury
on presentation of an RIB, a copy of the front of the identity
document and invoice number starting with CSPE.

REF in Google English


FCC Reactivating Equipment Authorization System

The FCC says it will reactivate its Equipment Authorization System
which had been unavailable since the FCC ran out of funds January 3
because of the partial government shutdown that began a month ago.

RF devices, including most Amateur Radio equipment, must be properly
authorized before being marketed or imported into the US. The FCC
Office of Engineering and Technology administers the equipment
authorization program.

"After reviewing our statutory authority, the status of contract
obligations, and our lapse in funding plan, we will be reactivating
this system today," the FCC said in a January 18 public notice.
"Most radio transmitters are required to be certificated to ensure
compliance with the Commission's technical rules."

Finally this week in our international slot it's off to India.


We all know amateur radio can run in the family, but for this one
family in India, amateur radio seems to run and run and run and -
well, you get the idea. John Williams VK4JJW has their story.

JOHN: When does a family get-together start to seem more like a
HamFest than a gathering of relatives? If you're related to
S. Suri VU2MY and D. Bharati VU2RBI, as either a cousin,
a sibling or a son or daughter, you probably know the answer:
That family is YOUR family.

According to Lakshmi Narayan VU3WDJ, secretary of the
Indian Railway Amateur Radio League, this generously sized
entourage has no fewer than 43 licensed amateurs among its

That's right:


This is one family tree that has all kinds of antennas strung
up in the branches. S. Suri is the founder, chairman and CEO
of the National Institute of Amateur Radio in India and
D. Bharati is a DXer, DXpeditioner and founding member of the
National Institute. Lakshmi told our good friends over at
Newsline that he met up with this gathering of familial radio
operators quite unexpectedly at a recent ham gathering in India
and after doing a little research arrived at the conclusion
that they may constitute the largest ham family in India.

He now hopes to get them included in the Guinness Book of
World Records - and said that when he told the family he was
hoping to achieve that, they were overjoyed.

Perhaps this may one day lead to a new award to add to Worked
All Counties, Worked All States and Worked All Continents.
Think of it as "Worked All Family Members."

I'm John Williams VK4JJW.



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


This year's Amateur Radio Ferry Contest will be held in just a
few weeks - Sunday March 10th.

Amateurs from all parts of Sydney and beyond will be taking their
hand-helds to the Harbour for the contest, which is the fourth year
the event has been held.

Points are awarded for the number of contacts made, with
multipliers from the number of ferries activated.

Contacts can also be made from the many wharves around the Harbour
which stretches from Manly to the Parramatta River.

There will be a number of awards on offer, including the Worked All
Ferries Award and a special Landlubbers Certificate awarded to the
highest scoring base station to contact the ferries.

The contest is organised by Waverley Amateur Radio Society which
this year celebrates its 100th anniversary and extra points will be
awarded for logging the club's special centenary callsign.

Besides being a popular activity for Sydney amateurs, this is a
great opportunity for visitors to have a day out on the harbour and
explore the ferry network.

In previous years hams from all parts of the country as well as
overseas have participated. If you're planning a visit, make sure
you bring your hand-held and say g'day to some of the locals.

The contest is restricted to the VHF and UHF bands and runs from
10 AM till 4pm on Sunday March 10th.

Full details and rules are available on the club's website

Ahoy and see you on the harbour!

(Laurie Gordon VK2GZ, Contest Manager)

W.I.A. John Moyle Memorial Field Day 16-17 March 2019 (vk4ae)

20th Harry Angel Memorial Sprint May 4

Trans-Tasman Low-Band Contest July 20

VK Remembrance Day Contest is August 17-18


The Darwin Amateur Radio Club (DARC) will once again commemorate
the Bombing of Darwin by Japanese forces in 1942 through operating
the club call-sign, VK8DA, on 19 February 2019.

This is a rare chance to put VK8DA in the log.

VK8DA will be operating on 19 February on 40 metres on 7.193 MHz.
and 20 metres on 14.337 MHz. between 0030 - 0630 UTC,
band conditions permitting.

Col will have more 'further down the log' in this week's special
interest group news.


Harald is QRV as 9 X 2 AW from Kigali until February 14.
Activity is on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8.
QSL via M 0 OXO.


Erich, HB9FIH is QRV as EA8/HB9FIH from El Hierro, IOTA AF-004,
until the end of March. Activity is on the HF bands using:-
CW, SSB, and various digital modes.


Special call EI 19 RE active for 2019

The special call sign EI 19 RE will be active for the duration of
2019 to commemorate the establishment of the first Irish parliament.
It first met in January of 1919 following a landslide victory for
Irish nationalists in December 1918.


O.P.D.X. Bulletin Mailing List is Victim of Server Hack

The Ohio/Penn DX (OPDX) Bulletin mailing list is reported to be
"in limbo" after a January 11 hack of the server. OPDX
Bulletin Editor Tedd Mirgliotta, KB 8 NW, reports that the server,
which he'd used since the late 1980s, was "hacked and wiped" on
January 11.

The OPDX Bulletin mailing list was among the casualties.

"The OPDX mailing list is now in limbo, and I was told that the
server is probably is gone for good," KB8NW said in the
bulletin's January 14 edition. He said the OPDX Bulletin, including
an archive of back issues, remains available on the OPDX website.

"I know this is going to be a big disappointment for subscribers,
as well as it has been for me, but after almost 29 years, I am
considering possibly retir[ing] from writing the bulletin,"
Mirgliotta said.

Mirgliotta said the OPDX Bulletin would not be delivered by email
for the time being.




Radio eBooks for download

There are a number of vintage radio and amateur radio related eBooks
available for free download on the Gutenberg site

Among them is the 1922 edition of The Radio Amateur's Handbook by
A. Frederick Collins.

Jarno de Haan @PA3DMI tweeted a link that will display the books

A. Frederick Collins


THE QNEWS WORK BENCH - the nuts and volts report -
Measure Twice cut Once.

GRCon18: Open Source Radio Telescopes

Al Williams WD 5 GNR writes on Hackaday about the presentation
given by John Makous at the 2018 GNU Radio Conference

Who doesn't like to look up at the night sky? But if you are into
radio, there's a whole different way to look using radio telescopes.

John Makous spoke at the GNU Radio Conference about how he's worked
to make a radio telescope that is practical for even younger students
to build and operate.

Watch the video and read the Hackaday post at


Tech On The Air Net

Tuesday, 29th January, is the fifth Tuesday of the month and that
means only one thing -

The Tech On The Air Net will be happening from 7-30pm on the
Townsville VHF Repeater.

Peter VK4PQ will be Net Control and apart for the transmission of
the most recent and most interesting instalment of ARNewsLine there
will also be a tech talk forum. Can't make it to the regular Project
Nights in Townsville?

Well here is your chance to either raise or solve conundrums.

Join the Tech On The Air Net and have fun on the air and learn
something new!

The net will also be accessible via the VK4PQ EchoLink Node 956580





Felix has just made mention of the Darwin Amateur Radio Club
commemorating the Bombing of Darwin by Japanese forces in 1942
through operating the club call-sign, VK8DA, on 19 February 2019.

2019 marks the 77th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin and
DARC club members will be operating from the historic
QANTAS Empire Airways hangar in Darwin.

The QANTAS hangar was built in 1934 and served as a fuel stop
en-route between Sydney and London prior to World War 2.
During the war the hangar housed a squadron of Wirraway aircraft
as well as Spitfire's.

Damaged in 1942 by Japanese bombing, the hangar is now home to
the Motor Vehicle Enthusiasts Club and houses a vast collection
of historic vehicles, including some period military vehicles,
which, will be on display for the public on 19 February.

VK8DA will be operating on 19 February on 40 metres on 7.193 MHz.
and 20 metres on 14.337 MHz. between 0030 - 0630 UTC,
band conditions permitting.

Club members would love to receive a call from you on this special
day so point your antennas up North and get VK8DA in the log.




A reminder and suggestion to put the date time in your operational
calendar to listen in on 145.8MHz for an International Space Station
school contact planned with participants at Ashbury College Junior
School, Ottawa, ON, Canada on 23 Feb. approximately 19:51 UTC.

The contact should be audible over Australia and adjacent areas.

It is recommended that you start listening approximately 10 minutes
before this time.

The duration of the contact is approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds.

The contact will be a telebridge between NA1SS and VK5ZAI.

Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.80 MHz
downlink. The contact is expected to be conducted in English.


NEXUS Launch Update

Japan conducted its first launch of 2019 Friday 18, using a Epsilon
rocket to launch seven satellites into orbit, including NEXUS.

Nihon University's NEXUS satellite is a single-unit CubeSat equipped
with a camera and an amateur radio transponder. The satellite's
objective is to demonstrate its amateur radio system, which is
anticipated to allow a faster relay of data than comparable existing

The latest known reception reports indicate that NEXUS is object
43933, 2019-003B and its downlink is 437.0732 MHz.

Its linear transponder and data frequencies are:

Uplink: 145.900-145.930 MHz (CW/LSB)
Downlink: 435.880-435.910 MHz (CW/USB)
CW/Data: 435.900 MHz & 437.075 MHz
Callsign: JS1YAV



VK2's North West, New England, Coast and Western Linking Group.

The first meeting of the Linking Group was held on the 11th November
2017 at the Armidale Club room. This is from the idea of HUB linking
that was raised by James VK2KHJ and Norm VK2TOP (Silent Key on 3rd
September 2018) from the Walcha Radio Group.

The rule for the linking is that only 2 metre repeaters with no
other links (in them and other off air or site linking) to keep
audio quality high with commercial radios in the link.

The Hub was put in on 13th November 2018 for testing at Mt Crawney
some 56 kiss south of Tamworth as a 70cm repeater Tx 430.550 and
Rx 440.550. The longest link is from Mt Rumbee near Glen Innes at a
distance of 210 kms and the shortest distance of 52kms to
Mt Woolooma near Scone.

There are six repeaters of the first eight repeaters going in
12 months, with only Glen Innes and Mt Woolooma to be connected.
Equipment is ready to go, but licences are holding them up.

The group is going to start a new group on the coast with another
hub consisting of up to ten repeaters, then join the two hubs
together. After that is done, a hub for the western area with six
or so repeaters linked as well. That would have half of country VK2
linked which would be good for mobiles on all highways in the top
half of NSW.

The repeaters that are links now are:-
Mt Crawney VK2RAB 146.825
Mt Kaputar VK2RNW 146.625
Tamworth town VK2RMO 146.850
Mt Grundy VK2RPW 146.925
Moona Trig VK2RPW 147.075 and
Armidale VK2RAD 146.725.

Glen Innes will be VK2RNE 146.950 which will be on air soon and
Mt Woolooma VK2RTJ 146.750 Scone which is waiting for a licence.
Most repeaters have no tone.

In the near future the North West Amateur Radio Group and
Walcha Radio Group will be having the first of the yearly
get togethers for North West and New England area at the
Australia Telescope Compact Array. This consists of six huge
antennae, weighing 270 tonnes each and five can be moved along
3 Km of railway track at Narrabri. This will be on maintenance day
so that a good look can be had at the telescope's site.

For more information on the Walcha Radio Group web page
with more information coming soon on the linking group.

( Brian VK2DK president Walcha Radio Club and Coordinator )

2019 Social Scene


VK4 TARC Australia Day Long Week Family Radio Camp Jan 24-28 (tarc)

VK3 Melbourne QRP by the Bay (Chelsea Beach) Feb 2 at 3pm. (P Parker)

VK2 - Wyong Field Day Feb 24 (vk2kfu)

Wyong Field Day Update (for WIA broadcast on 27th. January):

The raffle at the field day has three great prizes waiting to be won
and while the only way to enter the raffle is to be at the Field Day
they make three great reasons to "Hop along to Wy-ONG".

The prizes are an ICOM IC-7300 SDR HF 100 watt radio,
an Icom IC-2300H 65 watt 2 metre FM mobile
and a GME GX-400 27MHz Marine and CB band transceiver.

None of us are getting younger and perhaps you want to avoid the
hassle of a car drive or have a couple of beers at the bar at the
racecourse. If so, simply take the train to Wyong mainline railway
station and the free CCARC courtesy shuttle bus will transfer you
direct to the racecourse for the event.

The venue is wheelchair friendly, including an elevator to the
exhibitor, lecture and food areas. Enjoy morning tea on us with free
tea and coffee.

Have an eyeball QSO with your friends. Got a group? have the
friendly CCARC announcer give them a call over the PA or radio so
that you can meet with other enthusiasts and use one of the several
meeting places designated just for this.

OK, so the wife's saying no more radio "junk" until you get rid of
some that you already have - well you can "Bring all your unloved
radio gear, sell your trash, make some cash, and perhaps find some
new treasures!" at the biggest car boot sale under the Southern Cross.

For more comprehensive and up-to-date information right up to the
day itself - check out the Wyong Field Day page at www (dot) CCARC
(dot) ORG (dot) AU.

For the Central Coast Amateur Radio Club, this was Ed DD5LP.

VK6 - PerthTech March Two (vk6pop)

Hi I'm Bob VK6POP. Have you heard about PerthTech?

It's free, and quite likely the best all-day Amateur Radio seminar
this year.

PerthTech is on Saturday 2nd March. It's in two parts.

The daytime sessions are the technical presentations. The topics
are interesting and very relevant to Amateur Radio today, and we
have a top line-up of speakers from across Australia, and one from
the U.S.A.

Rex vk7mo will talk about 10 and 24 GHz Portable EME, Phil Vk6PH
discusses High efficiently HF Linear Amplifiers - or a kW in your
pocket! Peter VK3YE touches on operating QRP portable. Other
speakers are Chris VK3QB on EMR and interference, Hank K9LZJ on
remote stations, and Steve VK6SJ on EMR with assistance from ARPANSA.

Other speakers are still under negotiation.

In the evening we go across the road for dinner at the Bassendean

Registration for PerthTech is free, however we require prior
registration so that the venues can be prepared appropriately, and
the cool mints and biscuits counted out

Registrations are open now, and to encourage early registration,
you'll receive a free door prize ticket, preferential seating, and
a discount on lunch.

We welcome attendance from interstate visitors.

Registrations are online. Go to the VK6.NET website for links to
the registration site, and for further information about PerthTech.

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

VK4 - Redfest 2019 April 13 (vk4tfn)

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

VK5 - South East Radio Group 2019 Annual Convention and Australian
Fox Hunting Championships 8-9 June (vk5hcf)

VK3 - Ballarat Amateur Radio Group, BARG Hamvention Oct 27 (vk3kqt)

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.




Submitting news items

A reminder when supplying HamFest info we obviously can't plug
DEALS from commercial traders "on air", but we at the WIA will put
your supporters 'goods' in this text edition "no worries."

We cannot give blatant 'plugs' to raffles. Nor advertise where to
get tickets UNLESS the only place is at your 'HamFest' (new Jan 2019)

If you would like to submit news items for inclusion in the
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but take the time to pen YOUR contribution.

To submit audio read "how to submit items" in the weekly news page on

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Remember the sooner you submit material the more the likelihood of it
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Each item will only be broadcast once, if you want a couple of
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and always if the news room is to read your item ---
write it in the 3rd person.



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