Future licence conditions – Phase 3 consultation

From the WIA, original post here.

Date : 18 / 06 / 2017 
Author : Roger Harrison VK2ZRH and the Spectrum Strategy Committee

As Advised previously, this consultation is being conducted in three phases.

  • Phase 3 – outstanding issues – opens 17 June, closes 30 June 2017.  Click here.
  • Phase 2 – proposed changes to each licence grade – opened 5 June 2017, closes 25 June 2017.  If you haven’t already done so, to provide your responses to Phase 2.  Click here.
  • Phase 1 – general principles: opened 17 May, closes 20 June 2017. If you haven’t already done so, to provide your responses to Phase 1.  Click here.

Background

The WIA has advocated and promoted reform of the Amateur licence conditions since it was invited by the ACMA to provide a submission on the subject in 2014.  The Board and Spectrum Strategy Committee made extensive efforts since then to “prepare the ground” with the ACMA on the proposed changes to Amateur licence conditions and the principles underlying the proposals.

In April 2016, an updated submission was provided to the ACMA, again, at its request, which consolidated what had transpired over the period since the first submission, along with Amateur community and member feedback, periodic discussions with the ACMA, and the federal government’s Spectrum Review.  That submission can be downloaded here. 

In summary, the underlying purpose is to enable greater self-determination for the amateur service, along with proposing updates to the licence conditions for all licence grades in order to ensure amateur radio remains relevant in the digitally-connected age. Key proposals include:

  • enabling use of digital modes for Foundation licensees
  • access to more bands for Foundation and Standard licensees
  • relaxing permitted bandwidths for all license grades
  • removing mode restrictions
  • enabling DIY construction for Foundation licensees
  • review of Foundation callsigns to provide 3-letter suffixes
  • increased maximum power for all licensees.

This consultation exercise is to provide the ACMA with formal evidential support for the proposed changes to the Amateur licence conditions.

The key principle is that future licence conditions should not unnecessarily limit the breadth and depth of experimentation amateurs can explore and the technologies capable amateurs may wish to adapt and exploit.

WIA member or not, your responses have equal weight.

Click here to complete the Phase 3 consultation.

Radiocommunications Bill consultation sessions

From the WIA, original post here.

Date : 16 / 06 / 2017 
Author : Jim Linton – VK3PC

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) had representatives at recent consultation sessions in Sydney and Melbourne, held by the Department of Communications and the Arts to further explain to stakeholders important aspects of the new Radiocommunications Bill.  The sessions have helped WIA’s Spectrum Strategy Committee to analyse the Bill information package in advance of preparing a comprehensive response.

The Department of Communications and the Arts’ Spectrum Reform Team used a slide show to present its information on the Bill and related material.  You can download a copy here.

The Communications Minister, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, advises that the Government will later present a further Exposure Draft of the Bill to stakeholders for comment before finalising the legislation for introduction to parliament.  The new Exposure Draft will be informed by stakeholder feedback from the initial consultation currently under way, to conclude on 30 June.  A WIA report on the Bill when it was released can be read here.

WIA Contest Champion Results 2016

From the WIA, original post here.

Date : 16 / 06 / 2017 
Author : Jim Linton – VK3PC

Avid contester Alan Shannon VK4SN (pictured) had the best combined effort in three out of seven Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) sponsored contests for 2016, and was declared the WIA Contest Champion.  Announced by the WIA Contest Champion Scorer, Peter Richardson VK2PR, he congratulated Alan VK4SN on the win, having also won the title in the years 2012 and 2014.

Alan VK4SN was first on 380 points, second place with 280 points went to Barry Simpson VK2BJ, and in third place Gerard Hill VK2IO having 220 points.  Peter VK2PR said: “Congratulations to the winner, and special mention goes to Barry VK2BJ who increased his tally in 2016 compared to the previous year by 200 points; that included winning his categories in both the Oceania DX Phone and Oceania DX CW contests.”

The Trophy, named in honour of WIA stalwart Peter Brown VK4PJ (sk), encourages log entries in at least three WIA contests.  He died in 2013 aged 100; was the Contest Manager in the 1970s and 1980s, and after an absence of 25 years, the Trophy he had initiated was reintroduced as a fitting tribute.  The Peter Brown VK4PJ Trophy goes to highest scoring WIA member who has participated in at least three WIA contests and submitted log entries.

The full championship rules can be read here.

Future licence conditions – Phase 2 consultation

From the WIA, original post here.

Date : 06 / 06 / 2017 
Author : Roger Harrison VK2ZRH and the Spectrum Strategy Committee

Phase 2 – proposed changes to each licence grade – opens 5 June 2017, closes 25 June 2017.

To provide your responses to Phase 2, click here.

Phase 1 – general principles: extended to 20 June 2017. 
If you haven’t already done so, you can provide your responses to Phase 1, click here.

As Advised previously, this consultation is being conducted in three phases.  Phase 3, covering outstanding issues, opens on 17 June and closes on 30 June.

Background

The WIA has advocated and promoted reform of the Amateur licence conditions since it was invited by the ACMA to provide a submission on the subject in 2014.  The Board and Spectrum Strategy Committee made extensive efforts since then to “prepare the ground” with the ACMA on the proposed changes to Amateur licence conditions and the principles underlying the proposals.

In April 2016, an updated submission was provided to the ACMA, again, at its request, which consolidated what had transpired over the period since the first submission, along with Amateur community and member feedback, periodic discussions with the ACMA, and the federal government’s Spectrum Review.  That submission can be downloaded here.

In summary, the underlying purpose is to enable greater self-determination for the amateur service, along with proposing updates to the licence conditions for all licence grades in order to ensure amateur radio remains relevant in the digitally-connected age. Key proposals include:

  • enabling use of digital modes for Foundation licensees
  • access to more bands for Foundation and Standard licensees
  • relaxing permitted bandwidths for all license grades
  • removing mode restrictions
  • enabling DIY construction for Foundation licensees
  • review of Foundation callsigns to provide 3-letter suffixes
  • increased maximum power for all licensees.

This consultation exercise is to provide the ACMA with formal evidential support for the proposed changes to the Amateur licence conditions.

The key principle is that future licence conditions should not unnecessarily limit the breadth and depth of experimentation amateurs can explore and the technologies capable amateurs may wish to adapt and exploit.

WIA member or not, your responses have equal weight.

60 metre band: Note that, as the ITU adopted a world-wide secondary allocation at 5.3 MHz at the World Radio Conference 2015, the WIA is already working with the ACMA to make this band available to Australian amateurs.  It is already noted in the Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan, which came into effect on 1 January 2017.  See more here.

Australian Air League talks to ISS astronaut

From the WIA, original post here.

Date : 05 / 06 / 2017 
Author : Jim Linton – VK3PC

An excellent Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact was held with 19 questions being asked by cadets at the Australian Air League (AAL) South Australia Wing, Elizabeth, South Australia.  The AAL is for boys and girls aged 8-18 years of age, founded in 1934 to encourage an interest in aviation as a career, or as a hobby.

Gathered for the hook-up were 100 including Air Force personnel.  All observed a minute’s silence in respect of one of their staff, an experienced pilot killed with two others the day before when their Cessna Conquest crashed shortly after take-off from Renmark airport.  Then the ARISS contact on May 31 began, despite initial difficulties with the new phone system that were overcome by Australian ARISS Coordinator Shane Lynd VK4KHZ.  There was great audio from astronaut Thomas Pesquet KG5FYG (pictured) who used the callsign NA1SS via the Santa Rosa Junior College Amateur Radio Club W6SRJ telebridge.

Among questions asked by the cadets was the space junk hazard, the experiments conducted, the training required to be involved, how a 3D printer element acted in zero gravity space, through to more personal matters like food and having a haircut in space.  Thomas KG5FYG also talked about the views he had from space, achievements being made, his spare time activity and the return to earth.

Thank you to Bill Hillendahl KH6GJV and Don Dalby KE6UAY who were at the W6SRJ telebridge from 2am local time, and Shane VK4KHZ who moderated the contact.