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Board Comment Sunday 15th March 2020

Good morning, this is Mike VK8MA, a director of the WIA. Today I would like to offer a comment on a subject that might not be fully understood. Even I have only had this clarified recently. It only impacts a few Amateurs and is not a major issue.

Some of you, including myself, have moved from state to state and followed the old procedure of obtaining a new callsign in the new state with an appropriate prefix e.g. VK2, 3, 6 etc. I have had 4 callsigns in 4 states. You can still do this and some people like having a prefix that indicates their state, but depending on the state, you may not be able to get your previous suffix, due to unavailability.

What is not widely known is that in fact you are only required to do a change of address with ACMA and you can keep your callsign. Several Amateurs have in fact done that. It does give a new slant on the “Callsign for Life”. It is up to you which way you approach your interstate move.

Meantime, still on callsigns, we are in the throes of compiling the statistics from the recent poll and fellow director Aidan will deliver the results ASAP.

This has been Mike, VK8MA.


Hello, I’m Geoff Emery, VK4ZPP, and I’ve been thinking.

As I think we may be getting overwhelmed with all the stories concerning corona virus, I also think we must consider the tasks that are ahead for us as members of clubs and as individuals. As whole countries have gone into lock down and events where people congregate are being cancelled it is the right time to consider what actions we should be taking too.

We know that the nasty little virus can survive on surfaces once it is breathed out by people who are infected. Apart from the use of soap and water to thoroughly wash hands with the alternative of hand sanitiser there are things like ensuring surfaces are cleaned. This is not only food preparation areas but all surfaces that people might touch with their hands. Seating, desk tops and door handles are all items that deserve, rather demand the disinfectant spray over.

Maybe we can ensure that boxes of paper tissues and waste containers are strategically placed around areas where people meet. Maybe we can follow the example from the White House and space the seating at arms length to limit chances of cross infection. As the figures from overseas suggest the people who are the most susceptible to covid-19 disease are the age group over 70.

People with compromised immune systems are also of great risk and these are matters we should consider when planning our gatherings, meetings and other events.

The positive in the situation is that if we are required to self isolate, providing we are in good health, otherwise, and in good spirits, a fortnight locked away at home is an opportunity for doing things like operating, completing projects and indulging in some unobstructed amateur radio luxury.

If the indications from China are correct, many of the delivery issues should soon be lifted and production returned to normal as the impact of the virus wanes in that community. As we endure a strange phenomenon called a pandemic, some of us may be able to enjoy some fresh operating times. We can trust that those we love and care about remain safe and healthy as we do our best to protect each other.

I’m Geoff Emery and that’s what I think….how about you?


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


Tuesday an international group set sail from New York to the
British Virgin Islands to re-activate the VP2VB call sign of
Yasme fame for 6 days, focusing on the low bands with two stations.

VP2VB was the call sign of the legendary Danny Weil, VP2VB,
skipper of the Yasme series of sailing vessels that carried the
adventurer traveled from one DX location to another in the 1950s and
early 60s.

His activities provided the impetus to create The Yasme Foundation.

This month?s VP2VB DXpedition will trace Weil?s original route
in the British Virgin Islands under a special license authorization,
to pay homage to those early years of DXing and to honor the spirit
he embraced, which inspired a generation of DXers.

This latter-day VP2VB DXpedition will count toward Yasme awards
and marks the first activation of VP2VB in more than 60 years.


Agencies on alert as use of illegal wireless sets causing curry on
the bands.

New Indian Express reports the use of unauthorised wireless sets
is raising major security concerns, unauthorised wireless set users
from the state are into the same frequency used by HAM radio
operators for communication on 2 meters.

Intelligence agencies have launched a probe as they suspect that a
few groups are using smuggled cordless handsets to communicate in
unapproved bandwidths even repeaters to strengthen the signals are
being set up illegally by these groups to extend their reach,? said
an intelligence officer.


Portuguese radio amateurs seek license changes

Portugal's amateur radio associations has submitted a joint proposal
for legislation for the Amateur Service and Amateur Satellite
Services to the Secretary of State.

Proposals included, among others, the following points:
Exempt young people up to 16 years old inclusive, from the exam
Establish that young people aged 17 to 25, inclusive, will pay only
25% of the exam fee.


F 5 PRU in Senegal has been informed by the Senegalese Telecom
Regulatory Authority, that the WRC-15 Amateur Secondary Allocation
5351.5 ? 5366.5 kHz is now allowed in country.

The IARU Region1 bandplan can be used with a maximum power limit
available of 15W EIRP.

Listen for F5PRU Yves who has been living in Senegal for 18 months
mainly around 5354 kHz in CW mode and sometimes on 5357 kHz FT8 Mode.

He lives near Dakar and although he suffers from QRM early evenings,
this lessens later on in the night.


ARRL reports with Dayton Hamvention? 2020 a little more than 9 weeks
away, Hamvention officials say they are closely following the
coronavirus (COVID-19) situation

Show organizers will post updates as the May 15 ? 17 event nears,
but they?re optimistic that coronavirus will not be an issue.

?At this time, the Hamvention Executive Committee has been in
contact with the Greene County Public Health Department, and we
do not anticipate any impact because of this issue,? a March 3
Hamvention statement said.


March 28-29 the CQ World Wide WPX Contest will be on and NEXT
weekend sees two "big ones".

WIA John Moyle Field Day 21-22 March from UTC 0100 on the Saturday
to 0059 Sunday 22. Also this coming weekend Australia will be
defending its crown in the Commonwealth Contest as the winner of the
team section in both 2018 and 19.

Late info in I know, but Steve Ireland VK6VZ has filed this report

This coming weekend Australia will be defending its crown in the Commonwealth Contest 2020 as the winner of the team section in both 2018 and 2019.
The Commonwealth Contest 2020 runs from 10.00 UTC on 14 March until 10.00 UTC on 15 March. It is CW only, on 3.5, 7, 14. 21 and 28MHz. Entrants exchange serial numbers starting with 001.

The stations that form the two Australian five-person teams taking place in 2020 are: Kevin VK6LW, John VK4CT, Barry VK2BJ, Steve VK6VZ, Alan VK4SN, Allan VK2GR, Brian VK3MI, Patrick VK2PN, Steve VK3JA and Rob VK6HG.

In addition we have five Wireless Institute Australia headquarters stations supporting us, consisting of VK2WIA, VK3WIA, VK4WIA, VK5WIA and VK6WIA. Many thanks to Tommy VK2IR, Lee VK3GK, Trent VK4TS, Grant VK5GR and Peter VK6RZ who have volunteered to help us by operating the HQ stations for as long as they can.

In order to make the best possible score it is important for each member of the Australian squad to work as many “bonus stations” as possible. The good news for us is the first three contacts we make with each Australian state other than our own on each band each earns us a vital twenty bonus points, so please join in and work us!

This year the Commonwealth Contest is on the same weekend as the WIA's John Moyle Field Day, with many Australian radio clubs taking to the outdoors. If you are competing in the 'John Moyle', please look out for Commonwealth Contest competitors both inside and outside Australia and keep a separate log for both events - it will make the JMFD even more fun!

For those who would like to keep a log in the Commonwealth Contest, the brilliant free software logging program called SD, written by Paul EI5DI can be used. This runs under Windows and can be downloaded from:

The Radio Society of Great Britain’s Commonwealth Contest is one of the oldest radio contests in existence, having been first run back in 1931 when it was known as “British Empire Radio Week” and lasted for six days! Its objective was
link all those having an interest in the amateur radio within the then empire.

All those countries that were part of the British Empire " including Australia, of course " were invited to participate. While the sun set several decades ago on the empire, strong ties still exist between the countries that once were part of it and the contest still exists, but in a much shorter format.

British Empire Radio Week metamorphosed into the 24-hour British Empire Radio Union or BERU (pronounced berroo) contest in 1935. Then in 1976, BERU became knowns as the Commonwealth Contest, but everyone still calls 'CQ BERU'. You can find the rules at the RSGB HF contest site at:

The team contest started in 2007, where the teams taking part reflecting those that took part in the 2007 Cricket World Cup.

I hope to see you in Commonwealth Contest 2020.
73s from Steve Ireland, VK6VZ, Australian Team 1 Coordinator



Andaman Islands DXpedition news

VU4R Team will be active from 20th to 31st March 2020 in Neil
Islands, Andamans and will focus mainly on low bands 160, 80, 40M.

VU4R Dxpediton will also be operating during the CQ WPX SSB Contest,
March 28-29 giving the contest yet another Rare prefix!



2020 activation of GB0GLS

First Saturday in May, that is Saturday 2nd May 2020.

Depending upon conditions they will operate on 80/40/20 and possibly
17 metres using both SSB and CW modes and for CW GB0GLS will keep
the exchange simple to encourage newcomers to the mode.

GB0GLS is a special event station to commemorate the role played by
the work of the Radio Security Service in Northern Ireland during
WWII, in particular Gilnahirk Listening Station which was manned by
the civilian staff of the General Post Office.



Timor-Leste DXpedition

A team, including VK2IA will operate from Timor-Leste from
October 11th until November 8th. This includes the participation
as Multi-Multi entry in the CQWW SSB.



5 MHz

Our 'International News Man', VK2LAW, reported earlier on how
the WRC-15 Amateur Secondary Allocation for 5 'Megs' is now
allowed in Sengal.

Well across on the other side of the Atlantic the Dominica Amateur
Radio Club reports the use of the 60-meter (5 MHz) band with an
EIRP of 25 watts has been approved in the Dominican Republic.

Quite a few power restrictions exist however, one being a lower
power when Dominica Hams are aeronautical mobile.


A story written in SouthGate AR News recalls achievements of
Australian amateur radio moon bounce pioneer Ray Naughton VK3ATN
who passed away in 2012

55 years ago, the quiet electronics store owner from Birchip, in
western Victoria, successfully completed Australia's first ever
moon bounce. VK3ATN was told at the time that it was impossible with
what experts said was limited equipment but he proved industry
experts wrong, resulting in an all-expenses-paid trip to the USA
to share his knowledge with scientists.

In July 1966 Ray received the first copyable signals from California.
On November 28, 1966 he had a two-way contact with New Jersey and in
December '66 Ray and K6MYC in California finally completed a two-way
contact after nine months of trying.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station is celebrating the
successful launch and docking of the SpaceX-20 commercial resupply
mission to the International Space Station.

One payload on the flight was the ARISS Interoperable Radio System
which ARISS calls ?the foundational element of the ARISS
next-generation radio system? on the space station.

The Dragon cargo capsule docked successfully with the space station
on March 9


RAYNET helps in flooding emergency

North Humber RAYNET were recently activated during the widespread
flooding that occurred in East Yorkshire.

A temporary control station was first established with thirteen
members attending the developing situation over three days.
Members were positioned at Vehicle Check Points, flooded roads and
worked alongside Yorkshire 4x4 Response vehicles as well as being
co-located in the local Town Council emergency control centre.

Most of the radio traffic was carried over 144MHz, with some on



2020 Social Scene

VK4 - Tannum Sands Gathering March 14 (wia)

VK7 - Meet the Voice event, Ross Recreation Centre Sun 22 March (vk7tw)

VK3 - EMDRC HamFest Sunday March 29 ( A Scott)

VK4 - REDFEST 2020 18th April. St. Michael's College
Old Toorbul Point Rd from 8am (vk4tfn)

VK6 - PerthTech May 2 at Bassendean (vk6pop)

VK - WIA Annual Conference, Hobart 8-10 May. (vk7tw)

VK4 - CHARC Theresa Creek Campout Friday 29 til Sunday 31 May (wia)

VK5 - South East Radio Group Annual Convention and
Australian Fox Hunting Championships. June 6-7 (vk5hcf)

VK3 - Gippsland Gate Radio and Electronics Club HamFest Sat July 11
Cranbourne Public Hall (vk3qx)

VK3 - GippsTech 2020 July 11 (vk3wre)

VK4 - Caboolture Radio Club HamFest July 11 (vk7jea)

VK6 - NCRG HamFest Sunday 30th August (vk6ya)

VK4 - CHARC Inc. AGM Weekend Sept 25-27 at Fairbairn Dam (wia events)

VK - ALARAMEET 2020 Bendigo October 2 - 5 (vk5yl)

VK7 - VK7 biennial HamFest November (vk7tw)


VK4 - TARC Australia Day Long Week Family Radio Camp 2021
Thursday afternoon 21st to Tuesday afternoon 26th January 2021

Girl Guides Association of Queensland Campsite and Training
Centre, 46-56 Toolakea Beach Road, Bluewater.

AX4WIT will be on-air from the camp. (vk4zz)

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