2020 FEBRUARY 23 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING FEBRUARY 23 - 2020
IN OUR 25th YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA PRESIDENT GREG VK2GPK BOARD COMMENT. -
WIA Annual Conference Organising Committee's VK7TW Justin
THIS & MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE
WIRELESS INSTITUTE OF AUSTRALIA
Amateur Radio Operating Procedures
Our communications regulator ACMA has made available an
Amateur Radio Operating Procedures page providing an
easy to understand guidance on different aspects of amateur operating:
• Emission modes and emissions
• Spurious emission limits for amateur stations
• Restrictions on connection to a public telecommunications network
• Call and reply
• Emergency procedures
• Operating signals
• Phonetic alphabet
• Testing and monitoring
Amateur Radio Operating Procedures is on
Not a WIA Member? details email email@example.com
OR the link on bottom right of wia.org.au
WIA board minutes can be found on wia.org.au click
Directors heard usually as follows
Greg VK2GPK (President), Peter VK8ZZ (Secretary),
Mike VK8MA, Aidan VK4APN, John VK4JJW
Hello, this is Greg VK2GPK WIA President.
Greetings all and sundry. It is that time of year again, the time of
the great annual pilgrimage to NSW radio “mecca” " the Wyong field
day. It is on this Weekend. I first attended this field day when I
was barely a teenager, a few years before I gained my AOCP. Fox hunts
(aka. ARDF) were an addiction for me back then and I am pleased to
see they are back this year with an extended Saturday program.
Radio sports are an important fun pathway to engender youth interest
in radio and electrotechnology. It is readily apparent that this
year’s organisers have put a lot of effort into reinvigorating this
event -and I wish them well now and for the next few years " because
the reinvention to appeal to a younger and wider audience is a
non-trivial task that won’t be achieved in one step.
And it is a reinvention task to attract new entrants that many
established Radio and Electronics clubs would be well served to
attempt and, hopefully, share their successes. The long term future
of Amateur Radio in Australia is in your hands " it isn’t somebody
The WIA 2020 Poll #1 on callsign strategy went out a week ago, and
will run for another week closing off mid-night next Sunday. All WIA
members with an email address (about 90%) would have received the
poll. Those that registered at poll.wia.org.au would have also
received the poll by now " as long as you entered a valid Australian
The interim results have been interesting to-date, but we will wait
until the poll closes before we draw any final conclusions. The
comments have been especially interesting and almost universally
constructive. And encouragingly almost completely devoid of any
“expletive deleted” language. If you haven’t yet cast your vote,
time is running out for you to have your say …. We will be using
your feedback to plan the next poll.
The members of the WIA education team on the ACMA Syllabus review
panel have completed their exposure draft for the initial “stop gap”
LCD changes update to the Foundation syllabus. This has been provided
to the ACMA for their deliberation prior to the next meeting of the
panel. A lot of effort and collaboration goes into this exercise and
I thank the team for the diligent and comprehensive job they have
already done so far " albeit the syllabus update journey has only
Finally, don’t forget to register for the 2020 WIA conference, this
year marking the 110 year anniversary of the WIA and with an
Antarctic theme. See our website news for details on the keynote
speaker, just been announced. It is being held in Hobart May 8"10.
Registration and accommodation details on the WIA website.
This is Greg VK2GPK
WIA Annual Conference 2020
This is Justin VK7TW from the WIA Annual Conference Organising
There is no fear of this conference being cancelled due to corona
virus! Even though we did have 130 cruise ships stop in Hobart over
the 2019/20 season!. The WIA Annual Conference 2020 is only two
months away and is shaping up to be one to remember.
Let’s have a detailed look over the next few weeks of the activities
on the Sunday 10th May 2020.
Sunday is packed with half day options.
The first option we will cover this week is a trip out to the
Grote Reber Museum and Radio Telescope at Mount Pleasant - about a
20 minute bus ride into the Coal River Valley.
Grote Reber was the father of radio astronomy, being the first person
to build a "big dish" antenna for the purpose of mapping the sky at
radio frequencies. He discovered many discrete radio sources, and he
mapped the band of bright radio emission from our Galaxy, the
Milky Way. Reber came to Tasmania in the late 1950s because of its
unique location at high magnetic latitude in the southern hemisphere.
He spent 40 years studying low frequency emissions with telescopes he
built himself, first in partnership with the University of Tasmania
School of Physics, and later on his own at Bothwell. His
accomplishments are remarkable, not only in radio astronomy but also
in electrical powered transport, in carbon dating of aboriginal
settlements, and in the genetic patterns made by growing bean plants.
His creative vision had no limits.
The museum has exhibits that show Reber's telescopes, his life's
work, and his many other interests. A unique feature is Reber's
original radio shack, the control building for the radio telescope
array at Bothwell, which is installed at the Museum with Reber's
original radio equipment in place.
The museum also shows the radio frequency spectrum with graphic
illustrations and physical demonstrations of electromagnetic waves.
The radio sky is shown, with matching illustrations of galaxies as
seen in the radio and optical spectrum data acquired by the Hubble
A feature of the Museum is a Virtual Reality Theatre, provided by
the Swinburne University of Technology. The museum will show
entertaining and educational movies and demonstrations in three
The tour takes about 1.5 hours.
This is a very unique and one off must see museum about a fascinating
Next to the museum is the University of Tasmania 26m radio telescope
that is used for research and you are able to get up close and
personal with the dish!
Next week we run through some of the other tours on the Sunday.
See you in Hobart.
73, from Justin VK7TW and the WIA Annual Conference Organising
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club,
ARRL, RAC, NZART AMATEUR RADIO NEWSLINE & the World Wide sources of
Young radio hams hack FlexRadio Maestro
Jenny List G7CKF writes on Hackaday about an amateur radio club
for students that's been hacking the FlexRadio Systems Maestro
The student radio society in Trondhjem owns a Flex 6500-radio, with
its associated Maestro panel peripheral. This is a software defined
radio, and the Maestro is a computer containing just enough of an
embedded version of Windows to run its front-end software.
Unfortunately for our Norwegian radio amateur friends it runs very
little else, even to the extent of being unable to connect to public
Wi-Fi that requires a web log-in. This was particularly annoying as
the student network does this and they’d had to create their own
hotspot, so they’ve provided some details on how they were able to
open it up a little to do a bit more.
Read the full Hackaday post on the links in our text edition, yep THIS
radio news service does provide the "writted word"..
FlexRadio Maestro Hacking Part-1
FlexRadio Maestro Hacking Part-2
Municipal tax on masts and pylons
Belgium's national amateur radio society UBA reports the number of
cities and municipalities that levy a tax on masts and pylons has
spouted sharply in recent months
Currently, one in four Flemish municipalities already levies such
a tax. Although the municipalities involved almost never intend
to IMPOSE this tax on radio amateurs and other citizens or
associations that have a mast for recreational purposes, in many
cases no exemption is provided for.
UBA say they and Amateurs have to, where necessary, urge the
municipalities to exempt masts with a purely recreational function.
The UBA board of directors will hold an information meeting
per province and at these meetings provide a picture of the
situation as well as advice on how to best tackle this problem.
The ARRL has released the minutes of their Board meeting held
January at which they approved the raising of the eligibility age
for reduced full ARRL membership dues from 22 to 26
The ARRL Board also agreed to allow for a “digital-only” access
membership, at the discretion of the CEO, discounted no more than
10% from the established dues rate.
Read the ARRL story on
NEW QUESTIONS RAISED OVER TESTING FOR RF EXPOSURE
Like here in Australia, the USA requires all wireless devices sold
in the U.S., including ham radio equipment, to demonstrate that even
at maximum power, their RF exposure is below the minimum allowable
level of Specific Absorption Rate or SAR, for safety.
A recent test of mobile phones' RF levels, however, has raised doubts
about the testing process itself done by the FCC.
Amateur Radio NewsLines Kent Peterson KC 0 DGY has that story.
"KENT: In an investigation conducted last year by RF Exposure Labs
for the Chicago Tribune newspaper, a number of phones from Apple,
Samsung, and Motorola were discovered to exceed the FCC's SAR
limit. A subsequent investigation done by the FCC, however, failed
to corroborate those findings. The lab used phones purchased from
retailers; the FCC received its phones directly from the
The IEE Spectrum reported on these developments on its website on
February 7th. None of the phones' manufacturers were reached for
A University of California Berkeley researcher told the IEEE however
that regardless of whose findings end up being valid, the real fix
needs to be made at the FCC. Researcher Joel Moskowitz said the
agency's testing for RF exposure needs to be made more comprehensive
and brought into the 21st century."
HAM RADIO OPERATIONAL NEWS - IT'S A CONTACT SPORT
CQ WW SSB contest this weekend, February 22-23
March 2 - 3 International DX Phone Contest sponsored by the ARRL
WIA John Moyle Field Day 2020
Weekend 21-22 March from UTC 0100 on the Saturday to 0059 Sunday 22.
March 28-29 the CQ World Wide WPX Contest for amateurs world-wide to
contact as many amateurs and prefixes as possible during the contest
The date for the next Harry Angel Sprint will be Saturday
May 2nd 2020. 10:00 - 11:46 UTC.
May 30-31 the CQ World Wide WPX Contest for amateurs worldwide to
contact as many amateurs and prefixes as possible during the contest
The VK SHIRES the June long weekend, which is the weekend prior to the
second Monday of June each year.. making it June 6 - 7 in 2020
IARU HF World Championship July 13-14
TRANS TASMAN LOWBAND CONTEST
Next contest - 17 JUL 2020 - and has the aim of encouraging
Low Band activity between VK and ZL on 160 80 and 40M using
SSB, CW and RTTY OR PSK
RD or Remembrance Day Contest will be August 15 - 16
VOICE from 0800 UTC Saturday October 3 to 0800 UTC Sunday October 4
CW from 0800 UTC Saturday October 10 to 0800 UTC Sunday October 11
CQ WW DX SSB OCTOBER 24-25
CQ WW DX CW NOVEMBER 28-29
December 6 - 8 160 Meter WW
DECEMBER 14 - 15 10 Mtr World Wide
TED POWELL MEMORIAL DX CHALLENGE
4 award periods, each of 3 months starting in January of each
calendar year and 2 categories in the contest,
MOST WANTED and TOP 5.
Top 5 you try and work the 5 most wanted DXCC entity's
Most Wanted you work the most wanted dxcc entity.
The dx entity's in play are those most wanted DURING those
3 month windows.
Complete details can be found at http://contest.fgarc.org.au/
All major AUSTRALIAN contests, rules and results, are on the
Contest Section of the WIA website.
This is Denis Johnstone VK4AE contest manager for the John Moyle
Memorial Field Day 2020 with a reminder that the contest will be held
from 0100 UTC on Saturday 21st March to UTC 0059 Sunday 22nd March
This week I will discuss the suggestions heard from some club
stations that they should operate as a portable station from their
club premises. Actually, this not permitted under the rules for a
club station to operate as a multi-operator station at home.
The weather this summer continues to be less than friendly, but that
does not mean that the effort should not be made " particularly by
club stations and set up a portable station at the local park or
sportsground " with appropriate approvals if needed from the local
The concept of a field day station is to set up and operate a
station under less than ideal conditions.
Why should not a single operator station (or a club station) set up
as a portable/mobile station in the carpark near the local parts
supplier? Consider the advertising potential for Amateur Radio in
attracting interested others is worth far more than the potential of
creating a winning score in this contest.
Next, the concept of using a fully computer system for a field day
is to me an anathema to the spirit of the contest. The idea behind
the contest is for providing practice at operating a portable station
in less than ideal conditions, not simply amassing a Home Station
high score. Further, if allowed, the WSJT modes would provide a
decidedly unfair advantage for those so equipped. So, the following
year many stations would then be using this system. This would fully
exclude the rest of the operators in the contest.
I leave you with those thoughts.
Thanks for listening
THROUGH THE DX WINDOW
This Special Event TX Will Use Former Radio Australia Antennas
Over March 14 " 15, Shepparton and District Amateur Radio Club
will be on the air as VI3RA (RA for Radio Australia), connecting
their transceivers to the curtain array and rhombic antennas at the
former Radio Australia site in VK3.
It's some 3 years since your ABC's Radio Australia ceased
transmitting from the site.
VI3RA will operate on 40, 30, 20, 17, and 15 meters.
“Local amateurs will be given the unique opportunity to explore
the use of high-gain antennas whilst giving amateurs throughout
the world a unique opportunity to contact a station using such
It's been calculated a gain of 15 dB on the lower frequencies
and at least 20 dB on 21 MHz will be achievable.”
Mike, TI5/W1USN and Bob, TI5/AA1M are active from Costa Rica until
the 4th of March on CW, SSB and FT8 on the 160 to 10m bands.
QSLs can be sent via the bureau.
WORLD WIDE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP NEWS
AMSAT-VK Secretary - firstname.lastname@example.org
AMSAT-OSCAR 85 Declared End of Mission
After a long decline in the health of its batteries, AO-85 has gone
silent. Having not been heard throughout the most recent period of
full illumination, it is reasonable to believe the batteries have
deteriorated to the point of no longer being able to power the trans-
mitter. Should some future event cause a cell to open, it is possible
the satellite may be heard again, but for now it is time to declare
AO-85 was conceived as the first AMSAT CubeSat, and was designed to be
a successor to the popular AO-51 microsat.
AO-85 was launched October 2015 and her success led to further
Fox satellites AO-91, AO-92, AO-95, and RadFxSat2 / Fox-1E which
will be launched later this year.
Mysterious Radio Signal from Space is Repeating Every 16 days
Colin Butler in an item in ICQPodcast reveals how mysterious radio
signals from space have been known to repeat, but for the first time,
researchers have noticed a pattern in a series of bursts coming from
a single source half a billion light-years from Earth.
Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are millisecond-long bursts of radio
waves in space.
Individual radio bursts emit once and don't repeat.
But repeating fast radio bursts are known to send out short,
energetic radio waves multiple times. And usually, when they repeat,
it's sporadic or in a cluster, according to previous observations.
Between 16th September 2018 and October 30, 2019, researchers with
the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment/Fast Radio Burst
Project collaboration detected a pattern in bursts occurring every
16.35 days. Over the course of four days, the signal would release a
burst or two each hour. Then, it would go silent for another 12 days.
The repeating signal was traced to a massive spiral galaxy around
500 million light-years away.
Researchers hope that by tracing the origin of these mysterious
bursts, they can determine what caused them. So far, they have
traced single and repeating fast radio bursts back to very different
sources, which deepens the mystery.
Hams may have other ideas, could this be a special event station
adhering to a very strict extra-terrestrial band plan and activating
only at certain hours? A report in nature.com indicates the bursts
have a central frequency of 1.7 GHz and a bandwidth of 128 MHz.
So far, however, no hams have spotted anything on the DX Clusters.
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - VHF AND ABOVE (The Plumbers Delight)
Successful 47 GHz Amateur Radio Moon bounce Test Reported by ARRL
Mitsuo Kasai, JA1WQF, has successfully decoded a 47 GHz signal
bounced off the moon by Al Ward, W5LUA.
More tests are planned.
W5LUA posted news of the achievement on the Moon-Net email reflector
and said “These were one-way tests, with only me transmitting.”
“I started out by sending single tones to JA1WQF which he copied
well, and then sent several sequences of calls and grid. Mitsuo was
able to decode calls and my grid at 1146 UTC and 1234 UTC.
Signal levels were "23 dB and "25 dB.” it was noted that the first
EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) contact on 47 GHz took place in early 2005.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- YOTA
(Youngsters On The Air)
A Youth Net meets Saturdays at 0100 UTC on IRLP Reflector #2.
Young Hams Net 3.590 - 7:30pm Victorian time.
THAILAND PREPS FOR YOUNG AMATEURS' RADIO CAMP
The Radio Amateur Society of Thailand is preparing to host a
Youngsters On The Air camp in Rayong Province on Thailand's
south-eastern coast. The popular, fast-growing YOTA experience will be
open to youth throughout the region from October 1st to the 3rd
at the Rock Garden Beach in Rayong.
JASON VK2LAW filed this report for ARNewsLine
"Hosting the Region 3 camp is the latest effort by the Thai radio
society to encourage young students to pursue their interest in
RAST, which was selected as host during meetings last year, hopes to
support young students' education and give them skills to prepare them
for licence exams and to upgrade whatever licence they may have. The
IARU's YOTA Region 3 website reaffirms its commitment to young hams
saying: [quote] "Youngsters on the Air is a highly motivated group of
people of all ages and from all over the world working together
tightly to make sure that there will still be somebody to answer your
CQ call in the future." [endquote]"
At last, some positive movement in our Region 3 for the youth of today.
Not an everyday find:
German Archaeologists come across a Russian spy radio
Archaeologists from the Rhineland Regional Council were amazed when
they came across a Russian spy radio instead of Roman traces in the
Hambach open-cast mine during excavations, it was hidden in a large
"When the box was opened, it hissed," Dr. Erich Claßen, head of the
LVR Office for the Preservation of Archaeological Monuments in the
Rhineland, told journalists. In the container: a Soviet radio
type R-394KM, code name Strizh, a digital HF spy radio.
It was developed in the early 1980s in the Soviet Union (USSR) and
used by the countries of the Warsaw Pact in the final phase of the
Cold War. It was the last model before the fall of the Iron Curtain
in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992.
The device, 'unearthed', has a digital news system and a
digital frequency display. It was used by agents abroad
as well as by special units and was available with Russian or
English text on the front.
The spy version is known by the Russian code name "Strizh"
In the LVR-Landesmuseum in Bonn there is currently not only the
mysterious radio to see. Under the title "Gods, Graves and Agents",
spectacular finds from the year 2019 are on display until 29 March
so if you have your OS trip planned and you find yourself "in the
Rhineland this March... Do Yourself A Favour.
2020 Social Scene
VK2 - WYONG FIELD DAY 23rd February 2020 (vk2ji)
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)
Clubs annual HamFest is fast approaching, Sunday 29th March
at Great Ryrie Primary School " Heathmont, Melbourne.
Commercial and second hand traders, new & used bargains.
Raffle prizes donated by our commercial traders, raffle
drawn at midday. Always space for a chat with old and
Entry is only $7 per and includes one Raffle ticket and
bottomless tea & coffee, Doors open at 10am. Jack’s world
Famous BBQ will be cooking up a storm out the front.
Table booking are filling fast with only a handful remaining.
For Event information, and to book a table, please visit the
EMDRC club website
VK4 - REDFEST 2020 18th April. St. Michael's College
Old Toorbul Point Rd from 8am (vk4tfn)
VK6 - PerthTech May 2 at Bassendean (vk6pop)
20200223 VK6POP PerthTech for National News
PerthTech is a premiere annual Australian Amateur Radio event.
The day of technical presentations is on Saturday 2nd May, with
practical workshops on Sunday 3rd May.
As its name suggests, PerthTech is in Perth, in the Town of
Bassendean, which is in the north-eastern suburbs about 12 km
of Perth. This event and the venue are ideal for interstate
visitors. The venue is a short walk from the railway station,
and a short drive from the airports.
The line-up of presenters is first class. There’s Phil VK6PH,
who’ll tell us about designing a remote radio station that can
accommodate a large number of simultaneous users working on
several bands and modes at the same time.
Dave VK5DGR will give updates on his open source FreeDV project
including the latest mode called 2020. David will also run a
workshop on Sunday.
Peter VK3YE will talk about portable antennas that he has tried
in QRP operations over the years. Peter will also conduct a
QRP/Portable workshop on Sunday.
And there’s more. There are more quality presenters with
Oh. Have I told you yet? Entry to PerthTech is free. Gratis.
And for nothing. PerthTech is presented to Amateurs as a
service by WA Amateur Radio News, the producers of the NewsWest
VK6 News programme.
PerthTech will be funded by a fundraising drive, details of
which will be advertised as soon as possible. Everything you’d
like to know about PerthTech is on our website, vk6.net
Prior registration (free) is required, along with pre-payment
for lunch (not free). This will be done online. Registrations
will open mid-March.
The fundraising raffle will open mid-March, tickets $5, sales
are online. Details at vk6.net
Contact: Bob VK6POP email@example.com
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 6-8 (vk5hcf)
VK4 - Caboolture Radio Club HamFest July 11 (vk7jea)
VK6 - NCRG HamFest Sunday 30th August (vk6ya)
Cyril Jackson Recreation Centre, Ashfield from 9-00 am onwards
for Buyers, sellers admitted from 7-30 am.
Please get home brewing as they hope the homebrew contest will be
better than ever, they will have 3 sections to the contest. These
will be a Kids Section, a Rookie Section (for those licenced for
less than 3 years) and an Advanced Builders Section. Prizes will
be awarded to each section.
there raffle prizes will be announced on the NCRG website please
visit the NCRG website often for the latest information.
73 Eddie VK6YA for the NCRG
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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