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Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest news, key facts and figures,
contacts and answers to your questions.

VK2GPK Greg, WIA President, with an important
announcement for all amateurs: -

SCOTT VK3KJ with board approval for BERU calls and more news
on forthcoming election:


With news of the United Arab Emirates' Hope mission
returning its first picture of Mars as Hope entered into
an orbit around the Red Planet it makes the UAE the first
Arab nation in history to have a scientific presence at
Earth's near neighbour.


This portion was written about 7am Friday VK4 local time
after we spent a heart stopping 60 minute live NASA
telecast of the landing on Mars.

NASA's latest Mars mission with Perseverance has two very
interested Australians: Abigail Allwood and David Flannery

"Wow. My invention is going to land on Mars in a few days'
time." As NASA's Perseverance rover gets ready to land on
the Red Planet this week, Abigail Allwood has started to
have "pinch me" moments.

ABC Science has a great article, written by Genelle Weule
on this expedition.

Dr Allwood is the first woman and Australian to be a
principal investigator on a Mars mission.

Perched on the arm of the robotic rover is a key tool called
PIXL (short for Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry).
This little box about the size of a large lunchbox is
designed to take close-up images and scan a postage-stamp
sized area with x-rays, looking for chemical signatures of
microbial life in 3-billion-year-old rocks.

Working with Dr Allwood in the US for the first year of the
project was David Flannery, then a post-doctoral student
from the Queensland University of Technology.

Dr David, like Dr Abigai, also studied ancient rocks in the

Australia's critical role in the mission

While Dr Allwood's team has been working on PIXL, engineers
at JPL and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
have been building software to crunch the data as it comes
down from Mars.

The plan is once data starts flowing about 90 (Mars) days
after the rover lands, a team of 500 scientists in JPL and
QUT will analyse data around the clock until at least
April 2023.

"Australia will pick up where we leave off when California
goes to sleep at the end of the operations day," Dr Allwood
says. "That's so important because that makes PIXL more
relevant to the whole tactical decision-making process,
including the selection of samples."

Again the 'link we like' to ABC SCIENCE is

A trial to assess the boosting of GPS signals in Sydneys
road tunnels has been given the go-ahead, with funding
approved and federal laws amended to accommodate the project.

The trial, which aims to improve safety within the tunnels
by providing more reliable GPS signals via provision of
repeaters, will be conducted by Transport for NSW says a post

it was federal law that banned GPS repeaters due to concerns
they could interfere with external GPS signals if not
operated correctly. Transport for NSW joined with other key
agencies to make a submission to get the law changed. ACMA
has agreed to amend the law which also enables a number of
road tunnel operators who track staff underground using
Bluetooth beacons to change their comms needs.

Bluetooth requires users to have an authorised application
for detecting and locating the beacons so where provisioned,
GPS repeaters could open up underground tracking to all
users of smart devices.


Hello, this is Greg, WIA President, with an important
WIA announcement for all amateurs:

Recently the Spectrum regulator, the Australian Communications
and Media Authority (ACMA) issued a consultation document
which details 3 options concerning the future of Amateur
Radio in Australia. Significantly, the ACMAs preferred
option is changing to a Class Licence instead of the
current apparatus licence.

This is a non-trivial change and has long term major
ramifications on the Radio Amateur Service in Australia.
Note that a change to a class licence was rejected in a
2004 determination issued by the ACMAs predecessor

Any changes to the Radio Amateur Service licensing framework
as proposed as the preferred option in the ACMA consultation
are likely to be permanent and irrevocable. Hence it is
vitally important that the WIA response reflects the views
of our members as well as, to the extent it is feasible, the
views of the wider radio amateur cohort.

Next week the WIA will be releasing its position paper on
the consultation and initiating a poll to gather feedback
from the amateur community. The WIA board and its supporting
volunteer technical team have been investigating and
researching the implications of the various options and
burning the midnight oil since this consultation was
released. The technical team has a great depth of skill and
experience in the radio communications sector and its
regulatory environment.

The WIA will be seeking feedback from its members and other
interested amateurs via a registered poll. You must be
registered to receive the poll with only one vote per ACMA
id (persons only not repeaters!). Please note WIA members do
not to need to register as you are pre-registered and will
automatically receive the poll via MemNet email. In line
with our previous practice, this poll will open to all
Australian radio amateurs via pre-registering to receive the
poll. I also ask that club presidents relay this registration
information to their members as soon as possible.

You can register by entering the URL:
into your internet browser.

We have had feedback from some (not all) Chrome browser users
being unable to access the registration page due to a
re-direction failure, in which case use the URL:

Remember the WIA, now 110 plus years young can only continue
to support the Amateur Radio community with YOUR support.

Until next time, this is Greg VK2GPK

This is WIA Director Scott Williams ..VK3KJ and it is nice
to be appearing on the broadcast this week on behalf of the
WIA Board.

It has been another difficult week in my home state of
Victoria, after just coming off a sudden hard lock down due
to COVID-19 that lasted 5 days and ended last Wednesday
evening. I know several clubs had scheduled Hamfests and
again have needed to cancel or postpone these to a time
where there is more certainty. Hopefully it will not be long
before we can all gather again searching for that bargain or
special item but importantly, saying hello and sharing a
yarn or story with our many ham radio friends.

As reported in past broadcasts, there will be an election
this year for Director positions on the WIA Board for 2021.
The number of nominations exceeded Board vacancies therefore
triggering an election. The WIA Returning Officer is
John Marshall and the Returning Officer has declared that
there were 8 valid nominations received.

Last Monday evening, the Returning Officer and independent
witnesses drew the order and placement of listed names on
the ballot paper. Ballot papers will now be finalised and
distributed to all members shortly. All members are strongly
encouraged to vote and help shape the future of the WIA.

As I have said in past broadcasts, serving on the WIA Board
is a wonderful way to participate and help support and
develop this wonderful hobby.

It goes without saying that it is your WIA and your vote is
very important and counts.

Finally, the WIA Board has approved the use of the WIA
callsigns VK1WIA all the way through to VK7WIA for the
2021 Commonwealth Contest (formerly known as the British
Empire Radio Union Contest), which is one of the longest
running contest in the HF contesting World.

VK1WIA - VK1DA Andrew
VK2WIA - VK2IR Tommy and VK2WQ David
VK3WIA - VK3GK Lee and team
VK4WIA - VK4TT Keith
VK5WIA - VK5GR Grant and team
VK6WIA - VK6RZ Peter
VK7WIA - VK7GN Martin

Look out for all 7 callsigns across the band on the weekend
of the 13 & 14 March.

Thats it from me this week, always great to appear on the
broadcast and stay safe and well. 73s Scott VK3KJ

(wia and vkcc)



ALL USA grades of licence will be held at the Sunshine Coast
Amateur Radio club March 13. All details on
or contact Trent


REASTs next Foundation Training and all licence assessment
day will fall on Saturday 27th March.

Grab your copy of the Foundation Licence Manual from the
Caltex Service Station, Amy and Main, Moonah for $35 cash
and please let Reg VK7KK REAST Learning Organiser know
ASAP that you will be coming along by phoning 0417 391 607






& the World Wide sources of the WIA.


U.S. astronauts living aboard the ISS orbital outpost, on
Feb. 14, broke the record for most days in space by a crew
launched aboard an American spacecraft.

" They surpassed the record of 84 days set by the Skylab 4
crew in 1974", NASA said.

Four Ham Radio licensed flight engineers, Shannon KD5DXB,
Soichi KD5TVP, Victor KI5BKC and Mike KF5LJG - docked the
SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft to the US module last November.

March QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo

Due to current Codid-19 pandemic, face to face ham radio
gatherings have been cancelled all over the world.

An alternative event online, is the QSO Today Virtual Ham
Expo, which will be held on March the 13th and 14th. You will
have a choice of 80 plus speakers to listen to, you can take
part in a live kit building workshop by buying the kits in
advance, walk through a virtual exhibition hall featuring
all the usual traders and meet up with fellow hams in
virtual lounges using the latest technology.

This IS a "ticketed" event.

Your ticket will allow you to visit the event for the
following thirty days.


French National Society announce growth in licence holders.

Frances National Amateur Radio Society, REF, recently
reported on license figures for the last five years.

The number of licences at the end of 2020 in France was
13,956 compared to 13,482 at the end of 2016. This
represents a slight increase of 3.4 per cent over the
five-year period.

In the same period, 1,200 candidates sat their 40-question
multiple choice licence examination and 748 were successful,
a pass rate of just over 62 per cent. In January 2019, the
fee for applying for or renewing the licence was abolished
and it's likely this has resulted in more amateurs keeping
their callsign.


The RSGBs Get on the air to care construction competition
has been judged for projects made during the Autumn 2020
lockdown, the Christmas and New Year holiday period or the
early 2021 lockdown.

The Society was delighted to receive 27 entries and the
standard was very high. To reflect this, the judges awarded
four prizes, rather than choose one winner as originally

Winner Gordon Lean, G3WJG, built a 25W HF SDR Transceiver
made using GNU Radio and modules bought on eBay

The other 3 awarded prises, were for construction of
a primarily 3D printed LEO satellite antenna rotator,
an End Fed Half Wave Antenna Coupler and a Langstone SDR
transceiver, based on the design by Colin Durbridge, G4EML.
Colins clever design is based on a Raspberry Pi 4 computer
and the Analog Devices Pluto SDR module.

You can read about their winning entries on the RSGB website


Weather gone wild might be an apt description of the
conditions in many parts of the US, with sub-freezing
temperatures in areas not prepared for that sort of thing.

Aberrant weather seems to be happening across many US regions.
Snow has fallen in Texas and Oklahoma, accompanied by record
setting temperature readings.

The severe weather has caused power and telecommunications
outages, and ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service volunteers
in southern Texas have been called up by served agencies to
help fill the resulting communication gap.

ARRL Emergency Response Director Paul Gilbert, KE5ZW, who
lives in the Austin, Texas, area, reports that ARES members
have been very, very, very busy with storm-related traffic.




International DX CW Contest is beeping out right now,
February 20-21


the CQWW 160M SSB CONTEST is NEXT weekend
February 26 - 28.


International DX Phone Contest March 6 - 7


Commonwealth Contest (BERU) 13/14 March.


WIA John Moyle Field Day 2021
March from UTC 0100 on Saturday 20 to 0059 Sunday 21nd.


the CQ World Wide SSB WPX Contest March 27-28

the CQ World Wide CW WPX Contest May 29-30


April 25 AM / CW ANZAC Day, Mon 25th from 9am on 7125kHz AM.




John Chalkiarakis, VK3YP of the Hellenic Amateur Radio
Association of Australia said that he and some friends
have been trying to obtain a landing permit for VK0M,
Macquarie Island which is #12 on Club Logs DXCC
Most Wanted List, but he conceded that its nearly
impossible to get permission from the
Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, because Macquarie
is a protected nature reserve.

(sourced to arrl)


Pride Radio Group is operating the special event
callsign VI2021PRIDE throughout the Sydney Mardi Gras,

Now Luke VK3UKW with another Pride Radio Group announcement.

"Is your radio club inclusive and welcoming?

Pride Radio Group is an international group that aims to
further acceptance and inclusion for underrepresented
groups in amateur radio.

We have recently launched a club endorsement program aiming
to connect those new to the hobby to radio clubs which are
trusted and supportive. For more information and to register
your club, visit the club endorsement page on the website

For Pride Radio Group (VK3PRG) this has been Luke VK3UKW.


THE RAAF is flying high to celebrate it's 100 years on
March 31..

The Royal Australian Airforce call signs to 'target' are
VI 100 AF March 1 - 29 May
VK 100 AF March 1 - 31 August




QRV is TM 18 AAW from Macon until next weekend, February 28,
in celebration of the 18th Antarctic Activity Week.
QSL to home call F 8 DVD



Also active until next Sunday28, is special event station
IQ 3 DD to recognize the F.I.S. Alpine World Ski Championship
being held in Cortina. Activity is on 160 meters to
23 centimetres, using CW, SSB, and various digital modes.
This includes some activity on Satellite QO-100.
QSL via bureau for IQ3DD or direct to:
ARI Sezione Bunico , Montal 25, 39030, Brunico San Lorenzo,

Feb 7-Feb 28, 0001Z-2359Z, IQ3DD, Cortina, ITALY.
ARI - Amateur Radio Society of Italy.



Coventry is The City of Culture in 2021.

GB 1 C O C is being operated on behalf of Coventry ARS
by Brian, G 8 GMU. He will be mainly on the 80m band using
SSB but also 2m FM and digital speech modes.
Operation now until the 13th of March.




QRV is 3W9FAR from Da Nang until March 21. Activity is in
spare time on HF using SSB and various digital modes.

QSL to home call SP 5 FAR





NASA has selected SpaceX to provide launch services for the
agencys Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) and Habitation
and Logistics Outpost (HALO), the foundational elements of
the Lunar Gateway.

As the first long-term orbiting outpost around the Moon, the
Gateway is critical to supporting sustainable astronauts

PPE is a 60-kilowatt class solar electric propulsion
spacecraft that also will provide power, high-speed
communications, attitude control, and the capability
to move the Gateway to different lunar orbits, providing
more access to the Moons surface than ever before.

HALO is the pressurized living quarters where astronauts
who visit the Gateway, often on their way to the Moon,
will work. It will provide command and control and serve
as the docking hub for the outpost.

After integration on Earth, the PPE and HALO are targeted
to launch together no earlier than May 2024.

The total cost? approximately $331.8 million.


The completion of a complicated upgrade of an aging antenna
at the Deep Space Network in Canberra has restored full
contact between Earth and the Voyager 2 probe.

WIA News Editor Graham filed this story originally for
Amateur Radio NewsLine...

" The trailblazing spacecraft, which was launched 44 years
ago by NASA, had been crossing the heavens in relative
silence after a 70-meter dish there known as DSS 43 was
shut down and dismantled for a needed refreshing.

In space as on Earth, however, few things are immune to
the impact of the global pandemic. The ordinarily large
team of experts NASA would have sent to Canberra for the
makeover was limited to four for safety reasons and the
reduced size of the team delayed the upgrade's progress.
With DSS 43 being the only antenna capable of communicating
with Voyager 2, the probe had few options for communicating:
It could only transmit to the smaller dishes in Canberra
but was unable to receive any commands, especially those
that could have fixed problems if any had been detected on

After a test message was sent last October when DSS 43 was
partially reassembled, NASA and other experts were

Now with DSS 43 back in business, the long silence is over
but two-way contact still requires something of a wait:

Round-trip communication between Earth and the far-away
Voyager 2 takes 35 hours.

For Amateur Radio NewsLine, just outside Canberra,
I'm Graham Kemp VK4BB/2 "


Tony 4 Radio Direction Finding Fun happening in Townsville

If you are in the vicinity of the Townsville Region on
Saturday June 19th from 1pm and want to get involved
in a Foxhunt, or radio socialise in a nice part of
Townsville then Tony VK4 T J S wants to hear from you.

You have until Thursday 16th June to get your attendance
numbers in for the Foxhunt, PLUS there will be activities
for all family members to participate in during the
Foxhunt and things will end up with some in flight catering.

To cater for the event Tony needs to know your attendance
numbers and you need to quiz Tony further regarding details
about the Foxhunt. Who do you have to call ?

Tony VK4 T J S of course, his number a good time is
4767 7137

(tarc news)


E U - 0 1 2.

Gareth, M 0 MOL, will be active as MM 0 MOL / p from
Shetland Island while working there during the months
of February and March mainly in the evenings after work
and QRP with a typical portable setup. QSL via M 0 MOL.



Now some VERY important news from Shirley, VK5YL

" Hello and on behalf of our ALARA Publicity Officer,
Jennifer, VK3WQ, I am forwarding information regarding
our ALARAmeet.

Sadly it has been decided by the ALARA Committee that we
will have to cancel the 2021 Bendigo ALARAmeet, October,
due to the uncertain nature of the Covid virus and the
problems we might face if we proceed again with the
preparations for it.

We deeply regret having to make this decision but feel
that it is the safest one for all concerned. At present
we are hoping to have our next ALARAmeet in 2023, which
would bring it back in line with our three year cycle, but
at this stage no destination has been decided on.

We realise that this will come as a great disappointment
to many of you, but hope that you will understand.

Stay safe.

33 from Jennifer VK3WQ and Shirley VK5YL

(Youngsters On The Air)

RSGB have announced the next Youngsters On The Air talk
will take place on the 25th of February at 1900 UTC.

In this newest episode, the team will present the main topic
on Gone exploring!

They plan to discuss activities like

Islands on the Air

Summits on the Air and

World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio.

It will be followed by a Q&A session with the presenters.
They will be streaming live again on YouTube, Facebook and
Twitch channels.

For YouTubego to


2020 + 1 Social Scene


Due to the COVID-19 situation, please check these events'
direct for up-to-date status information and even without
Covid dates have an uncanny knack of being changed at last

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest news, key facts and figures,
contacts and answers to your questions.

VK3 - Warc HamFest Italian Sports Club Werribee Feb 21 (vk3vkt)

VK6 - Peel Amateur Radio Club Swap Meet March 6
at Mandurah Bowling Club (vk6faaz)

VK4 - REDFEST 2021 April Ten (vk4tfn)

VK2 - MayHam (Wyong Race Course) May 30 (vk2ji)

VK - ALARAMEET 2021 Bendigo October CANCELLED (vk5yl)

VK3 - ROSEBUD RadioFest by SPARC 9:30am Nov 14 (vk3pdg)

Reception Reports

WIA News rebroadcasters often give Short Wave Listeners a
welcome to the broadcast as they commence call-backs
straight after the Local News. Local news follows National
news in all states. It would be great if those SWL's would
email their reception reports and location to


Submitting news items

If you would like to submit news items for possible inclusion
in the VK1WIA broadcasts, please email your item in text to and don't JUST send url's links or
posters, but take the time to pen YOUR contribution.

To submit audio, email
and send BOTH the audio and the text

We would appreciate items certainly no longer than 1.5 mts in
length as we only have a half hour.

Remember the sooner you submit material the more the likelihood
of it being broadcast in the very next edition of WIA
National News.

Each item will only be broadcast once, if you want a couple
of mentions, please submit different slants to keep your event
'fresh' and always if the news room is to read your item ---
write it in the 3rd person. (First if YOU are reading your
own item)

A reminder when supplying HamFest info we obviously can't
plug DEALS from commercial traders "on air", but we at the
WIA will put your supporters 'goods' in this text edition
"no worries."

We cannot give blatant 'plugs' to raffles.


Oh... and to contact us with your news because
If It Matters To You It Matters To Us!

Click the links below to download the most recent edition of
National News, BUT this is ONLY the backup site!

WIANEWS backup thanks to Brendan VK4BLP can be found on

BACKUPS OF THE BACKUP!! thanks to Tony VK7AX (This is the link
to the original text version and original audio on wia site)


WIANews - we've reported...YOU decide.


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Thanks to our dedicated band of broadcast volunteers who
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Who and where are they?

The purpose of "WIANews" is to rapidly provide news of
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We strongly encourage membership in the Wireless Institute of
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Opinions expressed in "WIANews" are those of the writers who
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