2020 MARCH 29 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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THIS LINK IS A VIDEO VERSION OF NEWS COMPILED BY VK5BD BEVAN
NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING MARCH 29 - 2020
IN OUR 25th YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA called on to help CubeSats & the Radio Amateur Service.
THIS & MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE
WIRELESS INSTITUTE OF AUSTRALIA
As the world below wrestles with this deadly pandemic, a message of
hope and concern is being delivered from above, from an amateur radio
satellite using APRS, Automatic Packet Reporting System.
The satellite is LAPAN-A2 and the text message it is sending on
2 metres says simply this: [quote] "Stay Healthy, Stay at Home
hashtag LawanCorona." [endquote]
News of the message was posted on the website of Indonesia's amateur
radio society ORARI. Hams throughout Indonesia who have their
APRS-equipped HTs tuned to the frequency of 145.825 are received
the message, a plea from Sonny Dwi Harsono, a researcher at the
Centre for Satellite Technology. He said it was being sent in support
of government policies encouraging social distancing.
The Indonesian microsatellite has been in orbit since 2015.
Another satellite of interest is set to launch from New Zealand
No earlier than March 30
Yes the M2 Pathfinder Satellite Launch is imminent
M2 Pathfinder is a collaboration between the University of
New South Wales, Canberra Space and the Australian Government.
It will test communications architecture and other technologies that
will assist in informing the future space capabilities of Australia.
The satellite will demonstrate the ability of an on-board
software-based radio to operate and reconfigure while in orbit and
speaking of SDR's Col VK3GTV will have more on this type of radio
when he joins the team during Special Interest Group News in this
The M2 mission has been named ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ in recognition of
Rocket Lab board member and avid Queen fan Scott Smith, who recently
Now we might not be able to GET to NZ these days but a live stream
of the launch will be available.
rocketlabusa.com/live-stream and Rocket Lab's YouTube channel.
Complete information on the mission is available at
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
This is Greg VK2GPK with this week’s WIA board comment.
CubeSats & the Radio Amateur Service. This week’s board comment
is about the WIA’s contribution to Australian research into
space communications in assisting Curtin University in
Curtin University and the University of Western Australia have
recently launched AROSE " the Australian Remote Operations For Space
and Earth consortium " with the partnership including universities,
the state government of Western Australia and industry partners
Woodside, Fugro and Nova Systems.
Curtin’s contribution to the program is the development of CubeSats:
tiny sized but fully functioning satellites that West Australian
Scientist of the year Professor Phil Bland describes as
“ about the size of a small sandwich”.
Each CubeSat has all the systems required to operate, including the
power, computer, steering and communications, making it efficient
and light weight " less than 2kg.
The university expects to send its lightweight CubeSat on a supply
rocket destined for the the International Space Station (ISS) later
this year. Unlike many CubeSats, Curtin’s is the result of intensive
testing to understand the limits of the technology.
How is the WIA involved?
The WIA has facilitated the allocation of appropriate radio spectrum
and channels for this research endeavour. The IARU (International
Amateur Radio Union) has global responsibility for allocating the
radio channels to be used for experimental satellites. The WIA is a
member of the IARU , and is the only Australian national association
of Radio Amateurs recognized by the IARU. The WIA was contacted by
Curtin University to approach the IARU on its behalf to seek
approval for the appropriate RF allocation for their satellite.
The WIA has been successful in gaining that approval which was
passed onto the ACMA a few days ago. The satellite will operate
in the 70cm band.
Until next time
This is Greg VK2GPK, on behalf of the WIA board.
Apologies for so little info on the following items but in short
WIA office is only open for non essential visitations and those
people must telephone ahead
WIA QSL bureau is taking a break from operations
WIA Poll result showed almost 60% of preferences were for Option 1:
Allow any operator to have any 3 letter callsign.
WIA advise AMC to resume remote assesments Wednesday
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club,
ARRL, RAC, NZART AMATEUR RADIO NEWSLINE & the World Wide sources of
CORONA VIRUS: HOW IS THE IARU ADJUSTING TO COVID-19?
Don Beattie, G3BJ provides an update on how the IARU is dealing, as
of 19 March, with the restrictions now in place to slow the spread
of COVID-19. On the IARU Region 1 site he writes that the ITU has
cancelled some meetings, postponed others and converted still others
into E-meetings with no in-person dimension.
ITU Headquarters in Geneva is not accessible to visitors until
17 April at the earliest.
The largest amateur radio gathering in Europe, Ham Radio in
Friedrichshafen, Germany, is still scheduled for 26 to 28 June
and plans are going forward for a two-part IARU stand, including
a dedicated one for youth. Whether the event will take place is
unknown at this time.
The IARU Region 1 Executive Committee was scheduled to meet on
17 to 19 April. A series of virtual meetings will be held instead.
IARU Region 2 was planning workshops on Emergency Communications and
Satellite Communications in Trinidad & Tobago on 30 and 31 May
but has announced that the workshops will be held online instead.
Interest and registrations have surged since that announcement.
These workshops will be held in English but preparations are
underway for workshops in Spanish to be held later.
In a truly great initiative Spain's URE makes their magazine PDF
Spain's national amateur radio society is making the PDF of the
April edition of their magazine Radioaficionados available to all
Following a Royal Decree on March 14 the Postal Service in Spain
has been suspended making it impossible for the URE to distribute
the paper edition of the magazine. In response the URE has decided
to make the magazine PDF freely available.
Download "Abril 2020 Revista" from
URE in Google English
Hot on URE's offer comes news that CQ Magazine will offer free issues.
In view of the "stay at home and flatten the curve" recommendations
from the health experts during this worldwide pandemic, CQ would
like to give everyone the opportunity to escape the c-19 news alerts
for a brief period and enjoy the hobby they love through the pages
View the March and April issues of CQ magazine at no charge!
It's easy, simply send an E-mail to FreeIssues@cq-amateur-radio.com
and they'll send you the March issue now and the April issue on
Take advantage of this opportunity to read CQ - free of charge - and
keep connected with the latest trends and activities in amateur radio
Stay home . . stay well!
LOUISIANA HAM FINED $18,000 BY FCC
An amateur radio operator faces this fine in the latest enforcement
action by the FCC.
FCC ordered the $18,000 forfeiture for what the bureau said is
intentional interference with a local repeater.
The bureau said that the resident is in violation of Section 333 of
the Communications Act of 1934.
Agents are claiming he caused the interference using digital noise
and also failed to identify himself by giving his call sign.
Who among us hasn't experienced the frustration of RFI?
Now add the Seattle Police Department to that roster.
When Washington State Department of Transportation opened its new
tunnel on State Route 99 the tunnel was heralded as a long-awaited
remedy to the snarl of downtown Seattle's traffic.
Little did Seattle officials know that other unwanted traffic was
waiting - specifically on the radios of some of the city's police
It was RFI which, according to accounts in local media, at times
reduced everything to static or scrambled signal for some officers.
Those members of the force said it hampered their ability
The city of Seattle sent staffers out to pin down the source.
According to a report on the KTTH Talk Radio website the
interference was eventually traced to the tunnel itself, which was
built with an array of high-tech safety and operating features.
Transportation officials have described the project as
[quote] "one of the smartest tunnels ever built." [endquote]
Apparently it just wasn't smart enough to solve this mystery on its
In another great initiative the RSGB launch's coronavirus updates
The RSGB has launched a new Coronavirus updates web page to serve
their (and I guess all) radio amateurs
The Society Tweeted:
These are challenging times. However, licensed radio amateurs have a
great way of keeping in touch across the world. RSGB has launched
a new Coronavirus updates page, bringing together some positive
ideas as well as our important announcements:
WEIRD AND WONDERFUL
In 'breaking news' Telecommunications experts are researching ways to
make communications safer in these uncertain times.
Currently under test is the bandwidth of Single Sideband contacts
and how narrow can bandwidth be made before the limits of
social distancing come into force. Some researchers are uncertain
if 25 or 12.5kHz is safe while others have found that 6.25kHz is safe
enough while 3.125kHz comes dangerously close to the unsafe limit.
We've reported - you decide - how silly that was.
(written by vk4zz from an item by vk4ab)
HAM RADIO OPERATIONAL NEWS - IT'S A CONTACT SPORT
CONTEST RULES CHANGES
As a result of the UK government's recent advice on social distancing
the RSGB HF Contest and VHF Contest Committees have decided, sensibly,
that, with immediate effect and until the end of June 2020, they will
no longer accept multi-operator contest entries for any RSGB
Single operator entries from shared stations will also not
be accepted, unless the station is being shared by family members
living at the same postal address.
In early June they will decide if the IOTA Contest and other events
can go ahead as planned.
Field days bring radio amateurs together and therefore represent an
environment where social distancing is difficult to achieve. We must
recognise that many radio amateurs are in the older, higher risk age
IARU asks national societies which promote field days and
multi-operator contests to reconsider their position on these events
for the next few months of 2020.
Field days are essentially team contests, and so IARU will not
sponsor the Region 1 HF-CW Field Day in June.
It is a matter for national societies to decide whether and how they
continue with their national field day events.
IARU Region 1 believes more generally that multi-operator contests
are not consistent with the principle of ”social distancing” and
should not be promoted at this time, as mentioned in my earlier RSGB
Single operator contests, however, remain a great way for those
forced to stay at home to enjoy the magic of amateur radio!
(Don Beattie, G3BJ President IARU Region 1 via SouthGate)
AM and CW on ANZAC Day, 25th April 2020
While news is coming in about ANZAC Day Ceremonies in 2020 sensibly
being cancelled to restrict the spread of COVID-19 and to protect
veterans health, one event will be going ahead regardless as it meets
all the requirements for social distancing whilst still honouring
all who have served both fallen and alive.
The AM and CW on ANZAC Day event will again take to the air for the
9th year to honour those modes used by service personnel in earlier
And don't forget this nice thought for ANZAC Day 2020 from
RSL Queensland - At 6am on the 25th April householders to walk to
the end of their driveway for 2 minutes silence. If you are in an
apartment block, and that drive is seeing to many other people,
stand on your balcony!
This weekend of March 28-29 sees the CQ World Wide WPX Contest
for amateurs world-wide to contact as many amateurs and prefixes
as possible during the contest using the SSB mode.
Harry Angel Sprint 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 contest.fgarc.org.au/
All major AUSTRALIAN contests, rules and results, are on the
Contest Section of the WIA website.
AND WITH A THUD WE CLOSE THE DX WINDOW
Due to travel restrictions around the world changing daily
no DXpedition or similar news will be propagated.
When the situation changes, and I have no doubt it will, the
we'll open the DXWINDOW again.
WORLD WIDE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP NEWS
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ARDF
WIA ARDF COORDINATOR VK3WWW Jack firstname.lastname@example.org
This is Jack VK3WWW WIA ARDF Coordinator with an ARDF update.
With all the local and International Ham related events being
postponed or even cancelled ARDF has also been effected.
IARU Region 1 have advised that the 20th IARU World ARDF Championships
that were planned to be held in Zlatibor Serbia in August and
September 2020 are to be either postponed or cancelled. Chairman of
the IARU Region 1 Working Group has advised ARDF Coordinators from
all IARU Member Societies with some suggestions for them to consider.
This week it was announced that the SERG Hamfest and Australian
Foxhunting Championships to be held Mount Gambier South Australia
over the Queens Birthday long weekend in June 2020 have also been
cancelled. This is a shame for the SERG Hamfest and Foxhunts are one
of the longest continuously running hamfests in Australia. Local
Orienteering events are also cancelled for time being. Although they
are not Ham Radio events here in VK3 most of the Victorian ARDF
Group events are run in conjunction with orienteering events so,
without Orienteering we will probably have to cancel any proposed
I do hope you are all staying safe and self isolating as much as you
can. As mentioned on WIANews before it is a good time to get some
shack jobs done or even antenna work happening. Personally I have
been in the workshop working on a new ARDF antenna design and
finishing off a few ARDF GPS Locked Start Clocks. As a side project
I am also working on getting my HF trap dipole back up in the air.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- APRS
I remind those of the APRS story from Indonesia that our Editor VK4BB
brought us at the 'top of the 'cast.' That of the amateur radio
satellite LAPAN-A2 using APRS on 145.825 and the text message
it is sending saying simply:-
"Stay Healthy, Stay at Home hashtag LawanCorona."
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS ATV (Every pixel tells a story) -
THAT LINK IS A VIDEO VERSION OF THIS NEWS COMPILED BY VK5BD BEVAN
So many pro-active groups helping us through this period and one
is the BATC
An announcement from them says:
"In order to support the worldwide amateur radio community
during the COVID-19 virus pandemic, BATC is offering free use
of the BATC Video Streaming Service and chat facility to any
radio club or group of radio amateurs which can be viewed using
a standard browser on any device including mobiles and tablets.
This will enable clubs to hold virtual meetings with HD video
and audio streaming and a membership chat window for real time
feedback and discussion. To enable this, we are offering free
1 year "cyber membership" to any radio club or group of
See the full BATC announcement at
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - FEMALES IN RADIO.
Women radio hams majority in LABRE-MA board
LABRE MA amateur radio society in Brazil has announced its new board,
the majority of whom are women
A translation of the announcement on the LABRE site reads:
I don't remember seeing a board with its majority formed from YLs.
Congratulations and our best wishes for success.
We invite everyone to visit our website labre-ma.org.br there you
will find all the directors.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - FINAL FRONTIER
AMSAT-VK Secretary - email@example.com
Official QO-100 International Emergency Frequency
In order to coordinate potential emergency communications in this
troubled time, a frequency has been assigned as the international
emergency frequency on the QO-100 geostationary satellite
narrow band transponder
QO-100 International Emergency Frequency
Downlink: 10489.860 MHz
Uplink: 2400.360 MHz
SSB channel: max. 2.7kHz bandwidth
All users on QO-100 are encouraged to monitor this frequency
but keep it clear for emergency traffic!
Students at a number of universities in the United States received
word recently that their CubeSats were selected among the 18
approved by NASA for launch in the next few years. The design teams
are at the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, Rice University in
Houston, Dartmouth College, the University of California, Berkeley,
the University of Florida and the Massachusetts Institute of
The Tuscaloosa project, known as BAMA-1, will test so-called
"drag sails" that are capable of taking small satellites out of
orbit -- a benefit when spacecraft want to leave orbit easily and
reduce the risk of becoming space debris that could collide with
The Rice University CubeSat will analyse the relationship between
solar activity and the Earth’s lower atmosphere.
The CubeSat from MIT and the University of Florida will send and
receive laser communications as a way of helping create future
communications relays and satellite constellations.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RESCUE RADIO
IARU REGION 3
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
QO-100 International Emergency Frequency
Downlink: 10489.860 MHz
Uplink: 2400.360 MHz
SSB channel: max. 2.7kHz bandwidth
In the USA, the pandemic has reaffirmed the need for a special net
created 18 years ago. Kevin Trotman N5PRE explains.
"Created in 2002, the Georgia Hospital Net connects about 40
hospitals in the state, along with nursing homes, and operators are
ready to respond in a crisis. During every hurricane that has struck
the region in the past few years, hams were on the air handling
emergency traffic. But even Hurricane Matthew, the most powerful
storm of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season, was nothing compared to
the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant concerns.
According to the hospital net's manager Stephen Jonas K4SDJ, hams
activated the net on the 13th of March after the Section Emergency
Coordinator said there was a need for a welfare net. Stephen told
NewsLine that just hours later, 56 operators checked into the 80m net
that was activated covering the whole state of Georgia. Information
was passed on the status of water, power, landline and cellphone
service as well as internet, schools, government services and area
For Amateur Radio NewsLine I'm Kevin Trotman N5PRE.
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- SDR
There's good news for fans of software-defined radio:
SDR's advanced technology has driven the expansion of the market
where it is expected to be worth 39.6 billion U.S. dollars within
the next seven years.
That's a compound annual growth rate of 8.7 percent between now
Hams aren't the only ones capitalizing on the radios' usefulness for
long-range communications. SDR is expected to grow for military use
in the United States, South Korea, here in Australia along with
Japan and Germany as defence technologies around the world continue
There is also growth in more commercial usage.
According to a report in Globe Newswire, SDR is being seen as the
basis for digital TV, video-streaming and commercial radio broadcasts
and a number of 5G mobile network trials being conducted between
3.5 GHz and 25 GHz are also making use of SDR.
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.
The first EVER IARU Region 3 (our own Asia/Pacific area)
Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) camp due to take place in Thailand
October has been cancelled due to COVID-19.
The Radio Amateur Society of Thailand (RAST) sponsors of the event
would also like to remind everyone that amateur radio is a great
hobby --- because we can operate our radios without having to leave
the safety of our homes.
(RAST and YOYA region 3)
2020 Social Scene
Due to the COVID-19 situation, and all repeat ALL social gatherings
canned for the time being we will not publish any existing ham
gatherings due to take place before November.
HOWEVER please check any event you may be interested in direct
for up-to-date status information.
As soon as you ARE aware that your event is going to go ahead get
details in to firstname.lastname@example.org
So again, at this point of time assume all gatherings postponed or
off until November 2020
VK7 - VK7 biennial HamFest November (vk7tw)
Hi, this is Shirley VK5YL on behalf of the ALARA Committee.
Due to the current situation with the Corona virus, and after
careful consideration, the recommendation of the ALARAmeet committee,
have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we should postpone the
2020 ALARAmeet until 2021.
We realise that it is still too early to know the real outcome, but
some information advises that the Corona virus may still be around
until August and given the average age of our attendees, we think
that many of them will still be reluctant to travel by early October.
So, we have re-booked the Shamrock Hotel for October the 1st through
to the 4th, 2021 and very much hope that you will join us then.
If you have booked accommodation with the Shamrock, you might want to
check with them and possibly re-book for next year. They are not
charging for cancellations and re-bookings.
We apologise for any inconvenience that this may have caused and
look forward to catching up with you in 2021.
Please stay safe and healthy,
33 Shirley VK5YL, Vice President, ALARA
SO Due to the COVID-19 situation, please check these events'
direct for up-to-date status information.
VK7 - VK7 biennial HamFest November (vk7tw)
VK - ALARAMEET 2021 Bendigo October 1 - 4 (vk5yl)
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