Tag: Australia

IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee Chair Jim Linton, VK3PC, SK

The chair of the International Amateur Radio Union Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee, Jim Linton, VK3PC, of Forest Hill, Victoria, Australia, died on February 22 of thyroid cancer. For many years, Linton was a consistent and reliable source of news and information regarding Amateur Radio disaster response activities in IARU Region 3 and was a regular contributor to Southgate Amateur Rad…

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VK6WIA NewsWest for Sunday 11 February 2018 – History Edition

In the news this week a new, old award, the Carl Cohen Trophy after Will digs through the archives, we’ll hear about Dick Smith, yes, that one, and toilets, the illustrious amateur career of Peter VK3YE, which began in Western Australia, intruder watch, the good kind and intruder watch the bad kind, also an update on the long awaited DXpedition to Bouvet Island.

This is the weekly amateur radio news for Western Australia and far beyond. Since 1931, this is NewsWest produced by WA Amateur Radio News.

As the producer of note it’s my duty to inform you that we have yet another jam-packed history edition of the news with more news from Bob on the road, a bumper Roy’s helpline, Foundations of Amateur Radio and more.

You’ll find links to resources on the vk6.net website where you’ll also find information on where to hear the news, where to download it, how to rebroadcast this news and how to register your callbacks.

If you want to join in, you can. Send an email to newswest@vk6.net and we’ll be happy to respond. Send your stories, tall or true, audio production, scripts, events, updates, membership information, meeting announcements, AGM alerts, contests, swap-meets and more to us and we’ll happily present your contribution on-air.

Please register your callback, either on-air, or on-line. Visit vk6.net and click on the callback button. You can also subscribe to our announcement list and we’ll let you know when the news is hot off the press.

Originating in Perth Western Australia NewsWest is produced by WA Amateur Radio News for listeners on-air, on-line and on-demand.

You can tune into this news on-air across many amateur frequencies, download the show from vk6.net or subscribe via your favourite podcast application, whichever way you’re listening, whether you’re a licensed radio amateur or not, experienced or just a beginner, old or young, thanks for being here and thanks for joining us. (more…)

Foundations of Amateur Radio #140 – How should I promote my contest?

The act of telling someone about something is promoting it, not in a marketing sense, just an awareness sense. The act of not telling someone is keeping a secret.

Radio amateurs, and I have no doubt, people who are not, like to plan things. They set-up contests, on-air activities, organise swap-meets, build websites, write articles, invent things, build stuff, and all manner of other amazing activities. Some amateurs talk about what they’ve been up to, but most just sit quietly, hoping that their brilliance will be discovered by someone.

Of course that rarely happens.

Let’s imagine a contest. It’s an activity that you’d ideally want other amateurs to participate in, talking to yourself, on your own is like being a broadcaster and I can tell you, that’s a tough gig. A contest is about making contacts between different participating people.

So, your contest, it’s going to have rules, a planned outcome, say more QRP activity on 40m, and it’s going to run at a particular time. I’ve lost count of the times where that’s the sum-total of effort put into organising a contest. Of course the contest flops, since no-one knew about it, and often that’s the end of it.

So, what can you do to actually get a head start in making this contest work?

For starters, you should figure out who the audience for this contest is. If you set it up on 160m and aim for beginners you’ll have a problem, since they’re not allowed on that band. So, the audience is based on the rules of the contest and of course one influences the other.

Once you’ve got a defined audience, and no, all the amateurs on the planet is not a valid audience, since by that metric you could also say all the taxi-drivers in New York city, and while that is a defined group, it’s unlikely that (more…)

NewsWest Broadcast – 4th February 2018

In this broadcast:

It’s our CLUB FOCUS week as we discuss the need for Publicity Officers for YOUR club.

We’ll hear from the RATOC, the Bunbury Radio Club, F-Troop, and of course – what we’re up to at WA Amateur Radio news.

Bob calls in from out on the road in VK5 wine country

Andrew gives us a quick Katanning HamFeast lunchtime wrap on behalf of Rob – VK6LD.

There’s our regular reminders, land well put it over to Roy with Helpline

You’re listening to NewsWest, broadcasting weekly news and commentary since 1931 for VK6 radio amateurs, shortwave listeners, and radio enthusiasts.

Producer: Glynn VK6PAW

Duration: 28min13sec


Foundations of Amateur Radio #139 – Antenna gain and polar chart magic

If you’ve ever been on the hunt for an antenna, and let’s face it, in amateur radio that’s pretty likely, you’ll get information about the gain of an antenna. Often someone will tell you that this one has 12 dB gain, versus that one which only has 9 dB.

As an aside, I’ve seen a few videos where people are comparing sound levels and mention that without the fan, there is only 3 dB less noise. What they don’t realise is that 3 dB means HALF the noise.

The same is true with an antenna. That 9 dB antenna has half the gain of a 12 dB antenna.

In the past I’ve talked about gain. It’s always in comparison to something else. If I say “that antenna has 12 dB gain”, I’m actually saying: “that antenna has 12 dB gain when compared with an isotropic source”. To jog your memory, an isotropic source is a theoretical source of electromagnetic radiation. It cannot actually exist. It radiates uniformly in all directions.

Now when we talk about gain, we’re saying that our new funky antenna radiates better in some or other direction than an isotropic source.

As a consequence of this, it also means that it radiates worse in other directions.

So antenna gain is a trade-off between radiating everywhere like an isotropic source, and only radiating in one direction like a laser beam. As an aside, a laser beam could be seen as an antenna for light. It radiates much better in one direction than in any other, and given that light is also an electromagnetic radiation, we’re still playing in the same area of physics. (more…)

Wireless Institute of Australia Seeks Amateur Radio Power Increase

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) is seeking a power increase for radio amateurs. WIA is pushing telecommunications regulator the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to bump up maximum power levels for all three licenses classes to 50 W for Foundation licensees, 200 W for Standard licensees, and 1,500 W for Advanced licensees.

WIA Board member Justin Giles-Clark, VK7TW, …

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Wyong Field Day 2018

Why does the Wyong Field day take place each year?
After 60 years of running the largest gathering of amateurs in the Southern Hemisphere, the Central Coast ARC could have got tired of all the work but.. the Wyong Field Day is part of Australian amateur radio’s annual program

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VK6ARN NewsWest

In the news this week we take a closer look at contesting, upcoming activities, how to operate, a tip from Scott K9JY and an update from Roy’s Helpline. Bob hits the road on a grand tour of Australia with the first of his radio road reports and I take a look at what’s involved in getting a WSPR station on the air

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AX Australia

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) allows all radio amateurs to substitute the VK prefix with AX on Australia Day.

FT8 digital mode has big uptake

Until now there has been only anecdotal evidence that FT8, introduced in 2017, had been adopted by many on our bands. The weak signal text mode has certainly taken over from the previous JT65, which had been favoured

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Craig VK5CE is pleased to announce his next DXpedition will be to three IOTAs in Western Australia

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NewsWest for Sunday, 21st January 2018

In the news this week, we take a long hard look at new amateurs, what they can do, where to start, what myths exists around the Foundation License and what is going on in the social scene about Foundation Calls.
We'll have an update on the Peel Amateur Radio Group meetings next week and the Swap Meet on the 4th of February.
Australia Day is around the corner and you know that means that you can dust off your AX prefix.
We'll look at satellite communication, news production and I'll introduce you to GNU Radio in Foundations of Amateur Radio.
Roy has a new helpline, the Katanning Hamfeast is on next week, and we'll give you a rundown of what other activities there are in amateur radio this week.
This is NewsWest, produced by WA Amateur Radio News for shortwave listeners, radio amateurs in Western Australia and beyond and it's for you. Any information in this bulletin can be found online at vk6.net.

Foundations of Amateur Radio – Episode 137 Virtual Radio

There is a feeling of anticipation in the air, the year has started, there are so many different ideas bubbling through my mind that I feel like an excited puppy dog wagging its tail.

I’ve been playing with a wonderful piece of software called GNU Radio, more on that in a moment.

So, I have for a while been dissatisfied with the offerings of SDR software. There is lots of development going on, lots of new toys being invented and many different hives of activity in this area.

It’s not unlike the progression from reel-to-reel based radio broadcasting via VHS tape, to computers with audio files. There are lots of solutions solving specific problems, but there are also a group of solutions looking for a problem and only time will sift out which one is worth the effort.

In amateur radio we deal with valves, resistors, capacitors, inductors, transistors, integrated circuits, crystals, connectors, solder and many, many different physical things.

I’m a computer guy, have been since I was in primary school. I grok computers, more-so than any aspect of anything else. Amateur radio was intended as an escape from this world, but initially to my dismay, but now to my delight, computers are making serious inroads into the hobby. Not just as peripherals that take care of logging, messaging, propagation forecasting and the like, but as integral parts of the radio. (more…)

AX prefix on Australia’s national day

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) automatically allows all radio amateurs to substitute their normal VK callsign prefix with the letters AX, every Australia Day. Their national day this year falls on Friday 26th of January 2018

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