2020 APRIL 12 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING APRIL 12 - 2020
IN OUR 25th YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA SECRETARY AND MORE ON DIRECTORS, Future and present. -
THIS & MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE
WIRELESS INSTITUTE OF AUSTRALIA
The Binar Space Program is a space hardware project for research and
education within Curtin University’s Space Science and Technology
The primary objective of Binar is the development of Australian
space technology that enables planetary science research and
sovereign Australian space industry activity.
The team is primarily composed of graduate engineers working on
higher degrees by research and undergraduates seeking to develop
their skills. This group is supervised and advised by members of the
SSTC with previous experience building and operating space hardware
and others who are currently part of the science teams for several
major international missions including OSIRIS-Rex, Mars InSight and
The Binar-1 cubesat is currently in engineering testing and
development of all subsystem’s hardware is complete whilst software
development is ongoing. The Binar laboratories at Curtin have been
setup with equipment for performing vacuum and vibration testing and
a rigorous testing campaign began with the proof of concept models of
each subsystem and continues with the engineering models.
The primary function of the communications link is to provide
telemetry for the on-orbit testing of hardware developed at Curtin
for educational and scientific purposes. Binar-1 provides a service
that will be used to also engage schools in various interactive
activities, promoting Amateur Radio, STEM and the space industry to
Australians from an early age
Frequencies are assigned by the IARU's Satellite Co-ordination team
and requires the support and endorsement of the WIA. The Space
Science and Technology centre thank the Wireless Institute of
Australia, the national association for Amateur Radio in Australia,
for their support.
Furthermore, we want to extend a special thank you to the
Northern Corridor Radio Group here in Perth, Western Australia.
They have been our bridge into the Amateur Radio world and they
supported us from the early stages of our project.
This has been Daniel-Cristian Busan VK6BUS from Curtin University.
Peter VK8ZZ (Secretary),
Last week I relayed a statement from John Marshall, the WIA
RETURNING OFFICER with the results of the WIA Board Elections.
I congratulate Phil VK2CPR, Lee VK3GK and Oscar VK3TX on successfully
nominating for a position on the Board of the WIA.
The Corporations Law specifies that companies, like the Wireless
Institute of Australia, with a financial year end of 31 December
must hold the AGM within 5 months thereof. The WIA AGM would normally
have been held in conjunction with the Annual Conference that was to
be held in Hobart Tasmania on 9th May 2020. Due to CoVID-19
restrictions on large gatherings, travel restrictions and health
concerns, the Board of the WIA has decided to cancel the 2020 annual
conference and to defer the AGM. The WIA has already made an
application to ASIC to defer it to a date yet to be determined.
ASIC has confirmed in writing that they recognise that COVID-19 is
impacting the ability of companies to hold Annual General Meetings.
On 20 March 2020, ASIC released a public no-action position to help
companies. This ASIC position indicates that they will take no action
if companies with a financial year end of 31 December 2019 postpone
their meeting for up to two months, meaning on or before 31 July 2020
The constitution (s14) provides that the change of directors of the
WIA will occur after the conclusion of the AGM. The delayed AGM means
that the orderly rotation of directors as per the constitution has
Assuming a late Annual General Meeting, I sought legal advice on this
matter and was advised that one way to proceed would be for the
retiring 2 directors to resign or retire, effective in May 2020 and,
should they indicated a willingness to be appointed, for the board to
appoint the 3 new directors, simultaneously. The Board of the WIA
would then always have the required number of directors to function
each month on an ongoing basis. This would normally have occurred on
9th May 2020 had we held our AGM as anticipated.
The constitution is very specific on the maximum (7) and minimum (5)
numbers of Directors that may hold office at any point in time.
John VK4JJW has indicated to the Board that he intends to retire
effective on 9th May, the original date of the AGM, and he has
reaffirmed that this was the time frame arrangement under which he
undertook to fill the position created by the resignation of
Harry VK6YBZ. Harry resigned in late 2019 due to health issues.
Aidan VK4APM has indicated he is prepared to remain on the Board
until the delayed 2020 AGM.
The appointment of the new directors namely Phil VK2CPR, Lee VK3GK
and Oscar VK3TX, should they agree, may well be formalised shortly.
As previously advised through our National News service, the 2021
Conference will be held in Hobart Tasmania. Members who had already
booked flights or a Ferry ticket to Hobart will be pleased to note
that the date for the 2021 Conference will be inside of the 365 days
allowed by airlines to defer flights. However, selecting a date to be
well clear of school holidays, public holidays and other major events
in Tasmania has been a challenge.
I have received may requests from members for an indication of the
dates for the Hobart Conference and AGM in 2021. I am pleased to
confirm that these will be announced very shortly.
Stay safe in this time of crisis and remember #2MetresMatters
Peter VK8ZZ (Secretary),
RSGB introducing remote invigilation for Foundation exams
Foundation Amateur Radio exams in the UK will be able to resume by
using remote invigilation, the Practical Assessments will be waived
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak amateur radio exams in the UK ceased
in mid-March, the new online system enables them to restart.
Candidates will take the Foundation exam in their own home on their
PC or Laptop (Windows 7+) or Apple Mac running Mac OS 10.8+.
The invigilation is done remotely, there is no need to complete the
The RSGB says in due course they will consider extending it to the
other licence levels.
Now with more on Exams, and his discussion point here is
Geoff Emery, VK4ZPP, and He's been thinking.
Now if you are looking to sit an amateur radio assessment under
the new pandemic restrictions, the Australian Maritime College
has released the details for remote supervision. At the moment, you
must be at least 18 years old and have photographic ID. To see the
whole details go to the AMC website and look under amateur radio.
In the past year, the meeting app, ZOOM, has gained popularity in
allowing several people to take part in on-line meetings. It has
been shown that ZOOM is an efficient tool with the usual caveat
that the internet speed must be adequate. Lots of radio clubs have
started replacing the now banned face to face meetings with the
convenience of cyber technology. Last week numerous reports were
published showing that ZOOM meeting videos could be video bombed or
saved and posted to other sites. In other words, there are possible
serious security issues for users who do not follow the security
instructions that come with the app.
The ZOOM publishers have issued updates and it is an easy matter to
now establish password access to a meeting. As our need to remain
isolated is going to remain for the next few months, at least,
it makes a lot of sense to ensure we can enjoy the best means of
contact for social events whilst keeping the content private.
For once in our lives it is important to read the instructions.
Whilst COVID-19 casts a wide shadow over the world, the reports are
that more stations are appearing on the bands. This is good for the
hobby and if we maintain the usual courtesy in our on air activities
we can be assured we all enjoy a pastime like no other.
I’m Geoff Emery, VK4ZPP, and that’s what I think....how about you?
How are You going?
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club,
ARRL, RAC, NZART AMATEUR RADIO NEWSLINE & the World Wide sources of
MARKING WORLD AMATEUR RADIO DAY, EVEN WITHOUT HF
Now more than ever it's important to celebrate amateur radio.
Stephen Kinford N8WB shares two ways to do it even if you don't
have access to HF.
"Get ready for World Amateur Radio Day, which marks the 95th year
since the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union. There
will be plenty of action for hams who use EchoLink or IRLP as their
main modes. This year is the fifth year an international group of hams
will be operating in a 12-hour net taking place on the EchoLink/VOIP
system starting at 1600 UTC on April 18th on the DoDropIn Conference
Server, Node 355800. The special event coordinator John DeRycke W2JLD
said there will be a special event QSL card along with a certificate
marking the net's fifth year of operation. 9 control operators around
the world will be helping make this happen.
Elsewhere, be listening for the special event call W7W on the World
conference server IRLP 9251. Tom Harrington AF7J told NewsLine in an
email that hams will be calling QRZ starting at 1600 UTC. Check-ins
will also be possible on IRLP Node 9109 or Allstar 43609 and through
repeaters linked to those nodes. Commemorative certificates can be
emailed upon request. Paper QSLs can be requested through AA7WB
along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope."
COVID-19 special initiatives
IARU Region 1 have started a page providing details of special
Amateur Radio initiatives taking place in Europe, Africa and the
Middle East during the Coronavirus outbreak
Don Beattie G3BJ writes
"Member societies are starting to create new initiatives to provide
interest for radio amateurs who are required to stay at home as
part of social distancing policies. IARU Region 1 will publicise
those which may be of general interest to amateurs across Region 1
COVID-19 Special Initiative page
Yoshi, JG7AMD, reports that Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and
Communications is about to expand access to 160 meters for radio
amateurs and permit SSB on that band. The current 160-meter band in
Japan consists of 1810 " 1825 kHz (CW) plus 1907.5 " 1912.5 for CW
Japan will allocate 1800 " 1810 kHz and 1825 " 1875 kHz for all
amateur radio modes. The effective date has not yet been announced.
The Saudi Amateur Radio Society has announced that the communications
regulator CITC has agreed radio amateurs can use 50-54 MHz
The first contacts on the band took place on Thursday, April 2.
Amateurs in Saudi Arabia are limited to 50 watts on frequencies
above 30 MHz
THE APRIL 2020 RADIO ZS AVAILABLE TO ALL
The SARL Council has decided that the April 2020 issue of Radio ZS
is available for members and not yet members of the SARL. Click on
the link on the front page of the League website to download a copy.
The world is in lockdown and slowly going mad. A jailbreak seems like
a good idea and as radio amateurs we have an advantage " a creative
imagination and a willingness to tinker!
Let us pretend a little…. We are under house arrest; our homes being
monitored by a remote electronic surveillance system and the access
control governed by electronic key codes! We can only escape by
working together. Once you read this, you will be on the inside track
to freedom, we once took for granted! SARAH is our inside agent and
she will be giving out electronic key codes. A key code is simply a
4-letter combination and it will allow you to disable the
Register and then find out more about the Lockdown Jailbreak!
There is also a PDF document telling you about this activity at
DUE DATE FOR THE RENEWAL OF ZS SPECTRUM LICENCES EXTENDED
Given the state of national disaster and the current 21-day lockdown
to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, ICASA has decided to
extend the validity period of existing radio frequency spectrum
In terms of the Regulations, the due date for the renewal of radio
frequency spectrum licences is 31 March annually.
The Regulations further provide that failure to pay the prescribed
licence renewal fee by 31 March annually, will cause the expiry of
the licence immediately on the next calendar day that marks the
beginning of the new financial year.
ICASA has resolved to grant all radio frequency spectrum licence
holders an extension to renew their licences by no later than the
30th of June 2020.
HAM RADIO OPERATIONAL NEWS - IT'S A CONTACT SPORT
WIA Awards Committee releases updated, modern Certificates
for our multi-mode and multi-band DXCC awards. These are
professionally designed and have a crisp modern look, all in
high definition. The new Certificates follow a consistent design.
The endorsement stamps have also been updated.
You are invited to reprint your existing certificates. Advice on how
to achieve the best prints has also been provided on the website
under the 'View Awards' page once you have logged into the awards
This is Andrew VK1DA with news about the QRP Hours contest.
QRP Hours contest 18th April
The VK QRP Club is again running its QRP HOURS contest on 80m,
commencing at 10h UTC on 18th April.
This contest is a short one. Just one hour on one mode, followed by
one hour on another mode.
This year, with the recent relaxation of digital mode rules for
Foundation licensees, we have allowed contestants to use either CW
or their digital mode of choice during the first hour of the contest.
And in the second hour, the most popular mode is probably SSB but
entries using digital voice modes are also invited.
The full rules can be found at the vk qrp club’s website, on
Just find the contests link in the menu on the top of the home page.
The rules fit on one page.
There will be further reminders on the popular mailing list VKZLQRP
at groups.io as well as on SOTA and Parks mailing lists.
73 Andrew VK1DA
Thanks Andrew, now to the Harry Angel Sprint, it happens
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
There are only 2 days remaining to get your entry in for the
Ted Powell Memorial DX Challenge. Entries for Quarter 1 close on
Visit the website for details about the challenge and to submit your
entry. Any VK who has worked any DX between January to March is
eligible to enter.
The website... contest.fgarc.org.au
( Peter VK2PR / Fisher's Ghost Amateur Radio Club )
All major AUSTRALIAN contests, rules and results, are on the
Contest Section of the WIA website.
ARRL report some countries around the world are allowing radio
amateur clubs and some hams to use special 'STAYHOME' call signs
For example, listen for 8 A 1 STAYHOME from Indonesia
and A 60 STAYHOME/(your own call) from United Arab Emirates.
In Canada, Michael Shamash, VE2MXU, is using VC 2 STAYHOM
(Canada limits call sign suffixes to seven characters)
The RASA club, AX 2020 STAYHOME. At 14 characters, as reported
by ARRL this may just set a record for world’s longest call sign.
Just at the time a 'push' is on to shorten VK's 4 letter F call to 3
9 K 9 STAYHOME from the Kuwait Amateur Radio Society;
TC 1 STAYHOME, the COVID-19 special event call sign from Turkey
and H Z1 STAYHOME from the Saudi Amateur Radio Society.
(sourced from a post on SouthGate)
Special Event Call VI250COOK from the Cairns Amateur Radio Club.
This update is from the Townsville Area Newsletter and it states that
the Australian National Maritime Museum has put on hold the
re-enactment of Cook's journey by the replica HMB Endeavour due to
Non the less Cairns club will still be sharing availability of this
250COOK distinctive callsign with various other amateur radio clubs
along the route the re-enactment WOULD have taken.
The club will publish the on-air schedule once participation is confirmed.
For more information about this Special Event please access
qrz.com and search on VI 250 COOK
WORLD WIDE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP NEWS
ATV (Every pixel tells a story) -
THAT LINK IS A VIDEO VERSION OF THIS NEWS COMPILED BY VK5BD BEVAN
Three RSGB Convention 2019 talks now on YouTube
The RSGB has released to its YouTube channel three more presentations
from its 2019 Annual Convention.
Board Director Kamal Singh, M0IOV explores The future and growth
of Amateur Radio.
Derek Kozel, MW0LNA talks about Digital Home brewing and Schematics of
Roger Balister, G3KMA and Igor, UA9KDF report on the Arctic Legends
expedition by RI0B to the Russian Polar Arctic.
Each of these presentations are not only interesting to watch on
your own but could also form the basis for lively on-air club
night chats during this time of virtual club meetings.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- CW
FISTS Club - East Asia www.feacw.net
FISTS Club - Australasia www.fdu.org.au
FISTS Club - UK & Europe www.fists.co.uk
FISTS Club - Americas www.fists.org
Recommended FISTS calling frequencies (MHz):
1.808 3.528 7.028 10.118 14.058 18.085 21.058 24.908
YouTube 'Lockdown Morse' Course
If anyone is interested in learning or improving their Morse, M 0 PTO
is starting, tomorrow Monday, a new course on YouTube called:-
Just subscribe to the YouTube channel and/or join the Lockdown Morse
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - FINAL FRONTIER
AMSAT-VK Secretary - firstname.lastname@example.org
END OF ORBIT FOR VENEZUELAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE
Venezuela's first and only telecommunications satellite has
left its orbit.
Three years before it was supposed to die, Venezuela’s sole
telecommunications satellite has fallen out of orbit and out of
Launched in 2008 from Beijing, the Simon Bolivar Satellite was the
financially strapped nation's first satellite and was not supposed
to expire until 2023. It was providing internet services in
underserved rural areas and was also carrying state-run television
programming. At the time of its launch, the government viewed the
satellite as a major component in the nation's progress toward
improved scientific and technological independence.
Some experts theorized that the satellite's troubles developed as a
result of a fuel shortage for the manoeuvring jets.
AMSAT Awards During Stay-at-Home Orders
So, you are sitting at home waiting to go back to work. You are
working some of the passes of a satellite. Logging as you go.
What are you going to do with all those contacts in your log?
You apply for an AMSAT or ARRL award.
The ARRL has Worked All States, DXCC and VUCC all with satellite
AMSAT has the Satellite Communicator Club for working your very
first contact on a satellite.
AMSAT has a few other awards.
The AMSAT Satellite Communications Achievement Award for working
20 different contacts in different US States, VE Call Areas and DXCC
entities. Adding 40 more, you earn the AMSAT Sexagesimal Award and
adding another 40 earns the AMSAT Century Award.
Then there is also the South Africa AMSAT Satellite Communications
Achievement award. This award is for 25 contacts through a LEO
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - VHF AND ABOVE (The Plumbers Delight)
144 MHz band opens up across the Atlantic again between Cape Verde
and the Caribbean.
In the Summer of 2019, there was a remarkable opening on 144 MHz
between Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa and the Caribbean
which lasted for several days.
This trans-Atlantic path opened again on 144 MHz on the evening of
Sunday the 5th of April 2020 when the FT8 signal from D4VHF in
Cape Verde was heard by FM4SA in Martinique, a distance of roughly
This was followed by two successful FT8 contacts on Monday the 6th
of April from D41VHF to FM5CS in Martinique and 9Y4D in Trinidad.
2020 Social Scene
KEEP ONE WAVELENGTH AWAY AT 144 Megacycles
VKS-737 Radio Network 2020 Codan Envoy Raffle (April 12 text only)
The Australian National Four Wheel Drive Radio Network, otherwise
known as the VKS-737 Radio Network is in the middle of yet another
Codan Envoy Raffle, with tickets available until the draw on
Friday 12th June.
First prize is a Codan Envoy X1 HF 100 Watt Radio with your choice
of auto tuner, valued at nearly Five Thousand Dollars. Second and
third prizes are metal detectors from Minelab.
The radio comes pre-programmed with all the VKS-737 Radio Network
frequencies. For Licensed Amateur Radio Operators, the radio also
comes programmed to VFO throughout the Amateur HF Bands. All controls
are on the microphone.
If you want to know more about the Codan Envoy, go to Network’s
website ( VKS737.radio ), hover over the BULLETIN tab and click on
NEWS. You’ll find our review of the Envoy in there.
Tickets are just Five Dollars each and proceeds will assist the
Network’s vital function to travellers throughout Australia.
You don’t have to be a subscriber to the VKS-737 Radio Network to
win but the raffle is not open to anyone overseas.
Yes, I know that you are stuck at home until this World Wide
emergency ends but that gives you heaps of time to work out where
you’re going to mount your lovely new Envoy should you be the lucky
Go to our Website ( vks737.radio ) for details.
If you need to use the Australia Post Snail Mail service to order
your tickets, make sure to mail the form well before the end of May
and please, remember to include the postage cost. We don’t want to
have to give over a fifth of what we raise to Australia Post; we’d
rather use that for our peoples’ benefit.
Make sure you get cracking if you want a chance.
Robert VK3ARM for non-radio text version only
Due to the COVID-19 situation, please check these events'
direct for up-to-date status information.
VK7 - VK7 biennial HamFest November (vk7tw)
VK4 - Rockhampton Amateur Radio Annual Dinner Sat Nov 21 (tarc)
VK4 - TARC Xmas Party - Sun 13th December from 2pm (tarc)
VK4 - TARC Xmas Lights Tour - Fri 18th December from 7pm (tarc)
VK - ALARAMEET 2021 Bendigo October 1 - 4 (vk5yl)
KEEP ONE WAVELENGTH AWAY AT 144 Megacycles
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