ORARC 42nd Annual Field Day Program

Thanks to Richard VK2CHC for producing our ad, as seen in Amateur Radio Magazine:


SATURDAY 10th June, 2017

0900 * HALL SETUP – Open for REGISTRATIONS from 10:00
1200 * BBQ Lunch Sausage sandwich $2.00 Soft Drinks $1.50
• 1300 * 2 Metre mobile Fox Hunt (Points allocated)
• 1430 * 80 Metre Pedestrian Fox Hunt (Points allocated)
• 1600 * 2 Metre Talk in Fox Hunt (Points allocated)
1800 * Field Day Dinner at Port Macquarie Golf Club at menu prices

SUNDAY 11th June, 2017

0830 * REGISTRATION $5.00 (No discounts) Children under 15 Free
0900 * TRADE DISPLAYS and DISPOSALS open. Bacon & Egg Sandwich $2
• 1000 * 80 Metre Pedestrian Fox Hunt Standard Transistor Radio with
No DF Mods or Attachments (Points allocated)
• 1100 * 80 Metre mobile Fox Hunt (Points allocated)
1200 * BBQ LUNCH Steak sandwich $4.00 Sausage sandwich $2.00
Fruit salad & ice cream $2.00 Soft Drinks $1 .50
1230 * DRAW Raffles and Competitions
• 1300 * 2 Metre Pedestrian Fox Hunt (Points allocated)
• 1400 * 2 Metre Mobile Fox Hunt (Points allocated)
1500 * Field Day concludes with PRESENTATION of Fox Hunting prizes
and PRESIDENT’S brief Address & Farewell

Prizes awarded for First Place in each Fox Hunt, Fox Hunt Champion,
Runner-Up Fox Hunt Champion, Best Presented Amateur Vehicle, Best Home
Brew display

$5 registration covers both days & includes tea, coffee and biscuits
No charge or commission for DISPOSALS items but are at owner’s risk

A PDF Copy of the information above is available for download here.

The Oxley Region Amateur Radio Club Inc.thanks all our sponsors for their generous support:

Radio Supply Pty Ltd
Jaycar Electronics Port Macquarie
Fettell Communications
David Tavener VK4ICE
Roda Antennas

FCC Proposes Levying Huge Fine on New York Police Radio Jammer

From the ARRL, original post here.  Published 17/4/2017.

Police found scanners and radios in the home of one of the suspects (NYPD) – Picture courtesy of pix11.com, New York News.  Related article here.

The FCC has proposed a fine of more than $400,000 on a Queens, New York, man who has admitted making unauthorized transmissions on New York City Police Department (NYPD) radio frequencies, maliciously interfering with NYPD officers’ communications.  Jay Peralta, 20, is alleged to have transmitted false bomb threats, false claims of criminal activities involving firearms, false distress calls from purported NYPD officers, and threats against individual NYPD officers.  The unauthorized transmissions began a year ago, according to the FCC.

“Through his actions, as he described them to the NYPD, Mr. Peralta has demonstrated not only a deliberate disregard of the Commission’s authority and rules, but of the safety of NYPD officers and the public that they are called to serve and protect,” the FCC said in a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL), issued on April 14.  “Commission action in this context is therefore essential to safeguard authorized operations on spectrum licensed for public safety uses, and, accordingly, a substantial penalty appears warranted.”

The FCC said the NAL addresses nine unauthorized and interfering transmissions that Peralta has admitted to the NYPD that he made on its radio system.  The FCC said Peralta’s unauthorized transmissions included false bomb threats, false claims of criminal activities involving firearms, false distress calls from purported NYPD officers, and threats against individual NYPD officers.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, said that with the NAL, the FCC is making it “abundantly clear that it will not tolerate unauthorized and illegal use of the radio spectrum.”  The entire Commission now must sign off on such proposed fines, and Pai said he was grateful to his fellow FCC members for “agreeing to act swiftly and strongly” in the matter.  “This may not be a typical pirate radio case in which an unauthorized operator inflicts damage on a radio broadcaster that is operating with a valid FCC license,” Pai said, “but it does involve unauthorized interference to critical public safety communications systems.”

Peralta was arrested last fall along with two other men suspected of committing several robberies. According to news accounts, police found a cache of scanners and radios in one of the suspects’ homes.

The FCC said it was alerted by a Twitter post about an unlawful intrusion on the NYPD radio system and dispatched an Enforcement Bureau agent to check it out.  On September 30, the NYPD contacted the FCC’s New York Office and advised that it had arrested Peralta and another individual in connection with unauthorized transmissions on NYPD’s radio system.  According to police reports, the other individual arrested — Ricardo Torres, 29, described as “a ham radio enthusiast” in some news accounts — allegedly provided the radios used.

Torres, is said to hold an FCC General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) license but his name does not appear in the Amateur Radio licensee database.  Police said they found 15 portable radios, 9 scanners, roof-top antennas, an amplifier, and assorted other electronics in Torres’s apartment.

Peralta has 30 days to pay or contest the proposed $404,166 FCC forfeiture.

See the related news story from Pix11 News by clicking here.

How-to: Perfectly Clean Wires in Minutes!

Here’s a quick one that you have to click through to view in detail.  Thanks to Stuart VK2FSTU for the link.  Solomon NH7ZE says:

Here is an old ham radio operators trick for cleaning wires for soldering that are old and corroded.  It is hard to find this technique printed anywhere!  I am a ham, NH7ZE, and learned it from my elmer (mentor).  I am passing it on.  I hope it helps people who need to clean wires  😛

Left: After – Right: Before

See the full article by clicking here (or the picture above), as hosted on instructables.com.

Origin of Wireless Security: the Marconi Radio Hack of 1903

Paul VK2ICQ adds:

Thanks to Stuart VK2FSTU for the link.  Note that we’ve previously posted a video on this exact event by Tom Scott, if you missed it first time around and you’d prefer to watch rather than read, here it is again!

From Hackaday, written by , original post here.

The place is the historic lecture theater of the Royal Institution in London.  The date is the 4th of June 1903, and the inventor, Guglielmo Marconi, is about to demonstrate his new wireless system, which he claims can securely send messages over a long distance, without interference by tuning the signal.

The inventor himself was over 300 miles away in Cornwall, preparing to send the messages to his colleague Professor Fleming in the theater.  Towards the end of Professor Flemings lecture, the receiver sparks into life, and the morse code printer started printing out one word repeatedly: “Rats”. It then spelled out an insulting limerick: “There was a young man from Italy, who diddled the public quite prettily”.  Marconi’s supposedly secure system had been hacked.

Nevil Maskelyne, circa 1903. From the Royal Institution.

The person behind this hack was Nevil Maskelyne, an inventor, magician, and general troublemaker who was a long-time rival of Marconi.  He was the manager of a rival wireless company and had been involved in a number of disputes with Marconi over the patents that covered wireless telegraphy systems.  He decided that the most effective way to show that Marconi’s claims were hollow was a practical demonstration.

In the trade journal The Electrician (the Hackaday of its time) he detailed how he hacked the system. One of the fundamental claims of Marconi was that because his system used a tuned signal, other signals would not interfere unless they were tuned to the same frequency.  This, however, had not been proven to the satisfaction of Maskelyne, and he didn’t accept that the system was really secure.  So, he set out to demonstrate this.  But how could you prove this?  In his account in The Electrican, he wrote that:

“When, however, it was pointed out to me that the practical demonstrations accompanying the lecture rendered independent tests possible, I at once grasped the fact that the opportunity was too good to be missed…  The only hope, then, was to interpolate messages calculated to anger and “draw” somebody at the receiving end.  If that could be done, there would be proof positive.”

Continue reading →

The ACMA’s approach to spectrum reform

From the WIA, original post here.

Date : 22 / 04 / 2017 
Author : Jim Linton – VK3PC

The Radiocommunications Act that has served Australia for 25 years is to be replaced by a modern approach to spectrum control and licensing.  Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) Acting Chairman Richard Bean has given a little insight on what is ahead, during a CommsDay Summit 2017 speech in Sydney.  Mr Bean said the radiofrequency spectrum can only increase in importance for economic and social activity, and a source of competitive commercial advantage.

His speech on April 11 told of the ACMA’s approach to the important reforms to better respond to pressures already building and developing approaches robust enough to support future innovation and growth.  Mr Bean confirmed that a new legislative and policy framework is being developed by the government to open up significant reform opportunities, and the ACMA has been preparing for the journey ahead.  Already known is that the Radiocommunications Act will be replaced to make Australia’s spectrum framework simpler, more efficient and flexible to use.

While the new Act will be the work of the Department of Communications and the government, implementation of it will fall to the ACMA.  First to come will be an Exposure Draft by the Department with the ACMA asked to contribute material to reflect some preliminary observations about how key aspects of the Bill may operate.  Mr Bean assured that a staged transition will ensure the rights of existing licence-holders are not diminished.  The ACMA will consult with spectrum user groups on the proposed changes and their timing.  More information on this is expected at the RadComms conference on November 1-2 this year.  It will also announce consultation with interested parties in coming months.  The ACMA’s next Five-year spectrum outlook later this year will be an early opportunity to consult with industry on how best to build spectrum review implementation into its work program.

While a lot of his speech was of particular interest to other spectrum users, the new Act will have an impact of the Amateur Service and is being watched by the Wireless Institute of Australia who looks after our interests.

The speech is available here.