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Changes made to amateur licence conditions
USA Exams System Endorsed by ACMA
The ACMA releases final 5 year spectrum outlook

It sounds a bit like an ACMA kind of weekend, however,


There's so much going on at the moment that we've had to change the way we do things a bit.

First off...

In WIA Front Page News....

Changes have been made to amateur licence conditions

<Roger VK2ZRH audio>

This is Roger Harrison VK2ZRH from the WIA Spectrum Strategy Committee.

On the 21st of September, the Australian Communications and Media Authority arranged for the world to come to an end.

Or, perhaps they arranged for the world to have a new beginning.

The A C M A has published changes to the Amateur licence conditions, set out in its "Omnibus Amendment Instrument 2019", Number 1. The changes have been in effect from 21 September.

In summary, the chief changes are as follows:

All restrictions on emission modes have been removed for all licensees;

Restrictions on permitted transmission bandwidths have been removed for all licensees across all bands allowed for each grade pf licence, with the exception of the 2200 metre and 630 metre bands, which only Advanced licensees can use;

The impact of these two changes is that - from now on - all licensees are now able use any transmission mode - including those not yet invented - provided the transmission remains wholly within the band being used!

However, the A C M A has seen fit to retain the three-tier licensing structure of Foundation, Standard and Advanced. There are no changes to the bands permitted for each licence grade and the power limits have been retained: 10 watts for Foundation, 100 watts for Standard and 400 watts for Advanced.

But - and this is a big but - all the contentious restrictions on Foundation licensees that have long been viewed as a general hindrance to precious new entrants to the world of amateur radio, have been removed.

Foundation operators can now build and use their own transmitters and transceivers, they can operate their rig using computer control and automatic mode (think - WSPR) and explore the wonderful world of digital modes - even more so once the 7-character callsign issue is addressed (more on which, later). Further, still - Foundation operators can allow unlicensed buddies to use their station; one presumes while the licensee is present in the shack.

Among other details, further geographic restrictions on the use of the 3.6 GHz band have been advised, to the chagrin of microwave operators across the land.

As callsigns are not part of amateur licence conditions - even though we all have to have one - the unfortunate issue that some digital transmission modes cannot accommodate the 7-character Foundation callsigns will need to be addressed later in the course of the ACMA's Five-year workplan - hopefully, sooner rather than later.

Undeterred, the DMR network has quickly responded to enable Foundation operators to get their ID, and FT8 has been getting a hammering on various bands from the day the ACMA announcement hit its website.

The matter of access to the 5.3 MHz band for Advanced licensees will be the subject of a discussion paper to be released shortly.

All that work, since 2014, on gaining improved licence conditions has come to fruition. But, like the Curate's egg - it's good in parts. And like that Year 7 report card says - more work needed.

This has been Roger Harrison VK2ZRH for VK1WIA News.


The USA Exams System has been Endorsed by ACMA

Here's Robert VK3DN to fill us in.

<Rob's audio>

The ACMA contacted the WIA on 23 September 2019 to advise that they are reinstating the reciprocal arrangement for US licence holders. The reinstatement follows a period of suspension of reciprocity precipitated by a complainant objecting to the granting of VK licences. The WIA believes that irrespective of the motivations of the complainant to raise their objections, the impact of the suspension was only to increase barriers to entry to Amateur Radio in Australia.

The reciprocal licence is valid only for 12 months from issue and the ACMA advised it cannot be renewed or extended, unless the recipient passes the local regulations examination.

Volunteer Examiners Australia (VEA) has been active in helping ACMA with the review as it was imperative the current system remained intact.

For the background on this story, check out the text edition.


The ACMA has released its final 5 year spectrum outlook.

5 MHz Amateur Allocation

The last World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 introduced a secondary allocation for the amateur service in the frequency band 5351.5-5366.5 kHz with a maximum radiated power of 15 W (EIRP) . While the allocation IS included in the Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan, the ACMA is yet to consider the technical feasibility and associated technical conditions that could support operation in Australia.

The band is currently used here by some emergency service and law enforcement organisations for mobile operations. The Department of Defence also uses these frequencies in support of key capabilities. Stakeholder views were varied, with OPPOSITION to the allocation from the Department of Defence, due to the potential for interference to its systems.

Activities planned for 2019-20

With a range of existing uses currently supported in the band, the ACMA intends to publish a discussion paper in Q1 2020 seeking industry views on implementation issues, including appropriate technical conditions and in which part of the band the amateur service could be supported.

The document reveals further losses of Amateur Bands to the 5G telco services.

The document, known as P68, indicates that a Syllabus Review Panel will be established in Q4 2019.

The ACMA also advised that following review of submissions on amateur licence conditions in 2018-19, it will continue to consider the "fitness for purpose" of existing arrangements. The ACMA expects to consult further on these arrangements in Q4 2019.


In Amateur Radio, there's a new Mountain Goat! Col VK3GTV will have more on that in
Special Interest Group News.


No Board Comment 29th September 2019.


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



Our Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced we will join the United States' Moon to Mars exploration approach, including NASA's Artemis lunar program.

The announcement took place at a ceremony Saturday at NASA Headquarters in Washington during which NASA Deputy Administrator, Jim Morhard, and Head of the Australian Space Agency, Megan Clark, signed a joint statement of intent. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Australian Ambassador to the United States Joe Hockey, and U.S. Ambassador to Australia Arthur Culvahouse Jr. also participated in the ceremony.

The statement foresees potential Australian contributions in areas of mutual interest such as robotics, automation, and remote asset management similar to that currently used by Australia in mining operations and builds on a unique history of space cooperation between the U.S. and Australia that dates back to the Apollo era.

As part of Australia's commitment to partner with NASA, more than triple the Australian Space Agency budget has been pledged to support Artemis and "Moon to Mars".

"We are honored by today's statement and the commitment of our friends from Australia to support us in our mission to return to the Moon by 2024 with the Artemis program, Morhard said. "The strong relationship between NASA and the Australian Space Agency affirms NASA's commitment to establish sustainable exploration with our commercial and international partners by 2028".


For information about the Australian Space Agency, visit:
For more information about the Moon to Mars exploration approach, visit:



Standard Time and Frequency station WWV Colorado USA celebrates its centenary on October 1. Radio amateurs have been asked to participate by taking measurements and sharing their results.

The Colorado USA daily newspaper Reporter Herald says:
The world's oldest licensed radio station, which operates from a location just north of Fort Collins USA, will turn 100 years old on Oct. 1
That may sound like a long time for a radio station, but WWV specializes in time. The radio station is best known for the broadcast of the national time standard the atomic clock which is closely synchronized with Coordinated Universal Time, the measure by which clocks are synchronized throughout the world.

It also has played an important role through the years setting frequency standards for "other" radio operators. "In those early days of radio, people didn't know where they were on the dial",Dave Swartz of the WWV Centennial Committee said. And WWV saved the day, many-a-time.




One of the items of great concern at the HAMNET conference which has just concluded in Passau, Germany is the recent unexpected sale of the upper portion of the AMPRNet address range that includes IP addresses that have been used in Germany's HAMNET amateur microwave data network. Amazon Web Services recently purchased one quarter of the IP version 4 address range for commercial use on the internet. For DL HAMET, this means that all addresses customarily used by participating amateurs must be relocated to another range. At the conference , the IP coordination team discussed the transition that will have to happen in the wake of the reported $16.8 million US dollar sale by Amateur Radio Digital Communications. The ARDC, which is a non-profit organization supporting radio experimentation, says on its website that the sale of the estimated 4 million addresses will help them generate funds for their philanthropic efforts.

More on this story from the link in the text edition of this news.




Members of the Japan Ladies Radio Society believe that meaningful contacts on the air often start with meaningful contacts in person. That's exactly what happened at the Tokyo Ham Fair in late August when newly licensed YLs stopped by the group's booth for guidance on their shacks or getting started on the air. The group's DX chair Yukiko Maki 7K4TKB said that the radio society had introduced a mentoring program for newcomers last year, so they were more than ready to help.

She said there are many YLs who do not know what to do next after obtaining their operator licenses, and sometimes they hesitate to ask for help in the male-dominated world of amateur radio. The mentoring program is called "Wakaba {WAH-kah-bah} Support," because "wakaba" {WAH-ka-ba} in Japanese means both "young leaf" and "newcomer." With hard work and the support of this new mentoring program, many of these young "leaves" can soon hope to "blossom" into active operators.




In the USA the ARRL's Ad Hoc Legislative Advisory Committee is to shortly meet with several members of Congress in Washington to introduce new Committee members, re-acquaint the lawmakers with Amateur Radio's most-pressing issues, seek their input on the best ways to achieve ARRL's objectives in Congress, and request their continuing support.

Committee members have completed a comprehensive analysis of Amateur Radio Parity Act deficiencies for dissemination to Amateur Radio's backers on "The Hill". The panel is following up on this process.

Pacific Division Director and Committee Chair Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT nailed it when he said "public policy should clearly favour the needs of the Amateur Radio operator."

Amateur Radio's role in public service and emergency communication will be the Committee's strongest argument in seeking relief from private land-use restrictions that limit amateurs' ability to operate effectively.

The Committee will analyze the outcomes of the meetings and draft a report with recommendations for the ARRL Executive Committee to review and consider at its October 12 meeting. The full Board is expected to take up the issue at its January 2020 meeting.




(Justin's audio)

Unlikely Promotion of Amateur Radio

The latest ABC Radio National podcast - Science Friction with a title of "from bioerror to bioterror - does synthetic biology give new tools to terrorists? Part 2" seems like an unlikely source of promotion for amateur radio.

US Army Senior Scientist Dr. Peter Emmanuel uses the example of ham radio as a technically based do it yourself community that have existed over the last 100 years.

<Audio Segment from the Podcast>

Amateur or ham radio is held up as one the long standing technical community based hobbies that can be used as the model for other community based hobbies - in this case community bio experimentation.

I'm Justin VK7TW for the WIA National News



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


In ZL, the New Plymouth Amateur Radio Club's 2019 TARANAKI AWARD will run from Thursday 3rd until Monday 7th October 2019 and is open to all Amateurs and short wave Listeners.
Contacts may be made on any band, any mode. Each station may be worked ONCE ONLY.
Overseas stations requirements have been relaxed and only 6 points are required.
Paper logs and electronic logs are both welcome.
Details of log submissions are available on the WIA NEWS web site.

(Ngaire ZL2UJT from New Plymouth across the ditch)


Prefix hunters may be interested in working the special event station
TM 500 LV. The station is on the air until 6th October and commemorates the 500th anniversary
of the death of Leonardo da Vinci.

QSL manager is F 1 IOZ.


Liberian update

The Italian DXpedition Team will be active from Liberia between
September 28th and October 11th using two callsigns:

A 82 X for CW and SSB;
A 82 Z for the Digital modes.

Activity will be on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8.


Anniversary of the Federal Republic of Germany

Look for special event stations DM 70 GER and DL 70 BRD now active
until December 31st, 2019 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the
Federal Republic of Germany which was established on May 23rd, 1949.
Operations will be on CW and SSB.


Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Sweden's National Society for
the Active Visually Impaired is active as SF 50 CG throughout 2019.
QSL via SM 0 BYD.


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.


2019 marks the centenary of the Scouts acquiring Gilwell Park, near London.

In commemoration of this, Britain's OFCOM has granted the use of a special
callsign at Gilwell Park, GB100GP, for the whole of 2019. They're expected to be particularly active during this year's JOTA/JOTI, 3rd weekend in October.


In the World of DX, amateurs in Turkey are using the special call
sign TC 10 GITRAD to mark the 10th anniversary of the radio group

They are on the air all year through the 31st of December.

No cards are required. However, if you need a paper QSL card please
mail yours directly to TA 7 AZC and include a stamped self-addressed
envelope and money for postage.


BARTG GB60ATG special event

Members of the British Amateur Radio Teledata Group (BARTG) are
active as GB 60 ATG until June 20-20.

The BARTG is celebrating their 60th Year Diamond Jubilee anniversary
with this callsign and special awards are available for contacts with
GB 60 ATG using any Data Mode.


QRV is FK 8 CJ from Noumea, IOTA OC-032, until the end of 2019
on 30, 20 and 17 meters.
QSL to F 6 EYB.

Just before we get Col to look at Special Interest Groups, Felix sent us a note from Steve VK5SFA who's in Tonga with the A35JT IOTA DXexpedition until October 7th. "It would be great to work some more VK's especially on the low bands"! Steve says. More info at the link in our text edition.

Information at




Well, what can we say, except that there doesn't seem to be a lot of activity in VK recently, except for the stalwarts in VK3 around Melbourne, centered on the VK3RTV repeater and VK7 around Hobart, and in the north at Ulverstone. Do a quick search on the Internet for "AMATEUR TV" with your favourite engine and there are lots of links available, but a lot of them are just 404 Not Found! This is really very disappointing, as ATV is a fascinating aspect of our hobby that with all the modern digital photography technology available, read, mobile phones, ANYONE could get into. A Tx can be simple. High power is not mandatory. Lots of kits available for both analogue and digital at prices unheard of just a few years ago.

So, you know more about this? Lets know and we'll put it on the news, right here. Over to you!

(VK4JJW rant)


New Zealand Net (NZ Net)
All CW operators are invited to check into the net on 3535.0 kHz at 9pm NZT, MondayFriday.
The net is "formal, but friendly".
Purposes of the net
- To encourage CW operation
- To provide training and experience in CW net operation
- To provide training and experience in CW message handling
How the net works
You don't have to have traffic for the net, or even be experienced in traffic handling, in order
to check in. All check-ins are welcome, even just to say hello and exchange signal
The net runs at around 20 wpm, but will slow down if necessary to match your speed.

More info at the link in our text edition.




Based on the Motorola system, DMR is going from strength to strength and that's not taking anything away from other digital modes like D-Star, P25, and for HF the really exciting FreeDV. Here in VK, DMR has been through a lot of changes this year, however things now seem to be settling down to where everyone involved is getting the best from the systems, both DMR and Brandmeister.

Of course getting across all this "new stuff" makes some of us probably think that it's "all too hard", however it's like anything else that's different: get into it and have some fun on the way, and at the end of the day, all will be revealed and after a very short while you'll wonder why you ever thought this would be difficult!

If you have more info on any of this, tell us about it!

(another VK4JJW rant)



The latest issue of OTN, the Journal of the Radio Amateurs Old Timers Club Australia Inc, is out now.
Very special, because it's just a twice a year happening, in March and September, and is mailed direct to OTN members.

In our hobby of amateur radio, the term "Old Timer" is a term of respect for one's ability and years of service. It has nothing to do with age.
If you have been licensed for 25 years or more, you earn the name 'Old Timer' because of your years in the hobby. You may not have been very active and you may not be very old, but you have held the licence for 25 or more years and gained some experience in that time.

The RAOTC is always happy to welcome new members and, if you are an "Old Timer", then you are invited to join. There is also an Associate membership for those who have been licensed between 10 and 25 years.

A great way to get hold of one of the best club magazines anywhere in amateur radio!




JOTA-JOTI is less than one month away. It's always the third full weekend of October, and this year that's October 18th to 20th. Two million young people from around the world are expected to take part in this year's Jamboree-On-The-Air-Jamboree-On-The-Internet (JOTA-JOTI), the world's biggest Scouting event. Scouts use amateur radio, the Internet, and a wide range of other communication channels, including Morse Code, to connect with each other over the weekend. The initiative helps to promote cultural awareness, develop tolerance, and enhance sharing, collaboration, and teamwork.

Worldwide, some 20,000 licensed amateur radio operators put 12,000 radio stations on the air using state-of-the-art technology. Additionally, 19,000 locations will operate Skype, internet message boards, and a wide variety of social media. JOTI Radio and JOTI TV will be live on the web and will broadcast interviews with leaders from the World Scout Committee, the Movement's decision-making body.




John Burton G4TQE from Shropshire, United Kingdom has achieved the coveted SOTA "Mountain Goat Award", for achieving 1000 activator points.

He did this with an activation of Waun Fach GW/SW-002 in the Brecon Beacons, South Wales, earlier this year. Existing SOTA Mountain Goat Allan Jones GW4VPX was with him.

John, inactive for quite a while, was tempted to get back on air because of the SOTA - Summits on the Air scheme. He is an accomplished mountaineer, having completed all the Munros, Nuttalls and Wainwrights.

Speaking after his Mountain Goat triumph, John said "I cannot thank SOTA enough for encouraging my return to amateur radio".

Many radio amateurs enjoy traveling to the tops of mountains for the challenge of seeing just how far their radio transmissions can be heard. Experimentation with different types of antennas from mountains is very popular. Operating with minimal transmitter power is often as much a requirement for running on portable battery power, as it is to see how far a signal will travel with minimal transmitter power.

Australia has a number of active SOTA participants.

Visit the WIA web site for more info.



And here's something different before I go QRT...

Gaffer Tape celebrates its 60th Birthday!
Bake a cake, blow out some candles. Gaffer tape is celebrating its 60th birthday.
We've all used Gaffer tape. Gaffer tape is the most commonly found accessory on any film set. Its versatility extends far beyond just putting some tape around a cable to secure it to a stand or the floor.
Where did the name come from? The precise origin of the name is a mystery. But, it is likely that it was named after, you guessed it, a gaffer (chief lighting technician)! Gaff tape was invented in 1959 by Ross Lowell who was not only a director and cinematographer, but also the founder of Lowel-Light.
Lowell adopted the adhesive properties from Johnson & Johnson's Permacel tape, also known as duct tape, and placed them on a silver fabric, and that's how Gaffer tape was born.
Ross Lowell passed away at the age of 92 earlier this year, 60 years after inventing Gaffer tape.




2019 Social Scene

VK4 - Just a couple of hours drive from Townsville or Cairns, the Cardwell Gathering October Long Weekend October 4th - 7th

VK3 - Just a couple of weeks to go for the Yarra Valley Amateur Group HamFest, 13th October (vk3cnw)

WW - JOTA 2019 Friday 18th, Sat 19 & Sunday 20 October (vk2gx)

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

VK5 - AHARS, Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society Buy and Sell, Marion RSL Nov 3rd (vk5srp)

VK3 - ROSEBUD RADIOFEST November 17 (wia)

2020 Social Scene

ALARAMEET 2020 Bendigo (vk5yl)

October 2 - 5 in Bendigo Victoria.



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