SARCfest 2016 Lismore Field Day

sarcOur friends to the north at the Summerland Amateur Radio Club are holding their Field Day on Sunday August 28th at their Richmond Hill clubrooms, to the east of Lismore.  It’s quite a drive from here in Port Macquarie (around 4½ Hours), but still certainly manageable and it would be neat to see ORARC represented at what’s certain to be a fabulous day.  Any takers?


The SARCfest is returning after a 2-year absence due to site works and clubroom improvements. This year, the focus is on buying and selling amateur radio equipment and electronic parts, and providing an annual social get-together.  Also John VK2JWA will have his historic radio telegraphy display.  The SARC shop will have a wide range of gear for sale, plus new and used parts and consumables.


A grassed outdoor space is reserved for table traders.  A limited number of tables are available, some with shelter, for a fee of $10.  Otherwise traders will need to provide their own table and shelter.  ‘Car boot’ sales can be made in the carparks.  Table bookings are available (see the SARCfest flyer).  Club (SARC shop) sales will be inside the clubrooms.

Entry is $2.  Further information is available on the SARCfest flyer, downloadable here.

Museum Ship ‘Notorious’ Open Days at Laurieton United Services Club Jetty

Stuart VK2FSTU says:

Do yourselves a favour and take a gander at the Notorious, maybe not as big or well-known as the Bounty, but one of a kind up this neck of the woods.

23rd and 24th at the Laurieton United Services Club Jetty from 10am till 4pm.


Notorious at Ulladulla July 2013 - Photo by Lisa Hardwick

Notorious at Ulladulla July 2013 – Photo by Lisa Hardwick

‘NOTORIOUS’ is a recreation of a 1480’s caravel, researched, designed and constructed by Graeme Wylie. The ten year project used 300 tons of reclaimed timber.  ‘NOTORIOUS’ was launched in February 2011 at Port Fairy.

Admission is $5 for Adults, $2 for Children (2-15 years old).  Onboard and below deck, all are welcome.  Children must be supervised by an accompanying adult.

Read the Camden Haven Courier story about its visit, visit the Ship’s Facebook page and invite other Facebook users to see the ship during its LUSC Jetty visit at the Facebook event page.

Wollongong pirate radio operator off air and fined $1500

From, original post here.  Friday 15 July, 2016


In a Wollongong local court last week, Magistrate M Stoddart fined Dan Morris $1500 and ordered that his FM broadcast equipment be confiscated, after Morris pleaded guilty to operating a radiocommunications transmitter without authority.

Regulator ACMA brought the action after it discovered Morris was broadcasting a reggae station without a licence into the suburbs of Wollongong.

“The transmitter was operating on 99.4 MHz in the commercial FM broadcast band, with a transmitter output power in the order of 150W,” according to an ACMA spokesperson.

DanMorrisCourtNoticeMorris acknowledges what he did was against the law, but says he was serving the needs of a specific community with his broadcasts.

After trying unsuccessfully to get involved with the local community station, then unsuccessfully applying to the ACMA for a licence, Morris took matters into his own hands, getting hold of a transmitter and going to air anyway.

He has told radioinfo about the day his station was raided:

On the day of the raid I really felt like it was more about protecting the financial investments of commercial license holders than a unlicensed transmission issue.

The Illawarra region won’t be issued any new licenses and the existing community license holder is not open for the community to access its services and does not program according to the whole demographic of the local region.  I personally experienced this, which frustrated me and led me down the path I chose.

I truly believe that the youth and the multicultural diversity in our region is not being served at all sufficiently.

The government enforce and aid the control and monopoly over this so called valuable spectrum.

I understand the danger of unlicensed broadcasting in the sense of someone spreading hate fear propaganda or political religious beliefs or views.  But c’mon its 2016 there’s the internet for that.  In that regard I always kept the content ethical and there was no complaints from the ACMA about malicious content.

When the station was taken off air, Morris’ listeners and facebook fans threw a ‘pirate party’ to raise money for the court defence.


Despite the adverse judgement, Morris wants to keep his station on air one way or another.

I’m going to continue with IRIE FM online and campaign for the ACMA to allow our request to be heard.  Stay tuned to the Facebook page for details on up coming IRIE FM events and updates on the campaign.

Morris has earned some noteriety for his broadcasting venture.  Youth station triple j recently invited him in for a reggae guest spot with Lewi McKirdy and the local paper has also covered his activities.

Wollongong’s IRIE FM is modelled on the successful Jamaican radio station of the same name, based in Kingston town, but has no formal affiliations with the tropical island station in the home of Reggae.

2 replies on “Wollongong pirate radio operator off air and fined $1500”

  1. Steven Pette says:

    In the 1940’s my mother was a teenager living with her parents in Popes road, Woonona. She would walk to the 2WL studious in Wollongong to participate in “amateur hour” live to air broadcasts. She loved her music and she loved to perform doing so in amateur musical productions until 5 years before her death. I can’t recall her ever expressing an entitlement to the air waves or any other form of media nor demanding that broadcast facilities of the day should be altered to suit her egotistical whims. Enough said.

    • Paul VK2ICQ says:

      Hi Steve, yep. Internet radio and podcasts are an option for people who’d like to be Radio DJs – and let’s face it, your audience on the internet is just a little larger than your reach in Wollongong with at 150W transmitter, plus it’s legal. Maybe some conclusions can be drawn from the comment that he ‘tried unsuccessfully to get involved with the local community radio station’ too?

VDSL Interference – A Guidance Leaflet

Caution, many TAFLA’s (Three and Four Letter Acronyms) ahead! 🙂

VDSL (Very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line) is a technology used by Australia’s NBNCo in the rollout of the National Broadband Network.  FTTN (Fibre-to-the-Node) Broadband rollouts see internet carrying optical fibre cable laid from the telephone exchange to cabinets located strategically around a neighbourhood (the cabinet being the ‘node’), and distribution from the cabinet to subscriber’s homes is then handled by VDSL technology over the existing Telstra copper phone lines.

FTTN GraphicVDSL is, simply put, a faster version of ADSL which Australia has used for internet access for many years.  ADSL2+ speeds topped out at 24Mbp/s, whereas VDSL technology currently tops out at 100Mbp/s.  This amazing performance comes at a price – VDSL only operates over short distances of around 1200 meters (hence the need for many localised nodes about the neighbourhood).

NBN Node

Fun fact: In the UK ‘Fibre to the Node’ (FTTN) is arguably more correctly referred to as ‘Fibre to the Cabinet” (FTTC). Pictured: FTTN Cabinet / FTTC Node. :-)

Unfortunately, VDSL also appears to cause HF interference.  Don Beattie G3BJ reports the number of instances of interference from VDSL has increased over the last couple of years in the UK – on the IARU Region 1 website he says:

The number of instances of interference from VDSL has increased over the last couple of years in the UK. To help amateurs to detect interference from VDSL the RSGB has drawn up a leaflet, the 15th in a series of EMC leaflets which the RSGB EMCC has produced.

The leaflet has been uploaded to this site by G4JKS in response to an action agreed at the first EMC Committee meeting at the Interim Meeting or Permanent Committees in Vienna on 16th to 17th April 2016.

Click here to download the leaflet

4 replies on “VDSL Interference – A Guidance Leaflet”

  1. Steve Wynn says:

    What is described here is fibre to the basement FTTNb (has various acronyms), it will provide a cabinet to houses within, roughly, a 600m radius, it then uses the original copper from the cabinet to the house. It is the latest update (3 months old now) to FTTN which was fibre to the local exchange, and then use the old copper from the exchange to the house. This newer system will mean faster roll out and be cheaper?? Treasury costing, so that is sus straight up. This is what most of Wauchope will be getting later this year, ha, ha.

    • Paul VK2ICQ says:

      Thanks for the clarification Steve. That top graphic was taken from an NBNCo PDF describing the technology, but I wouldn’t doubt the whole thing’s been through several incarnations since then. They can hurry up with it here in Port too, either at my office or here in Shelley Beach – they can also ensure I’m close to the cabinet in either case too! 🙂

      • Dennis VK2DAM says:

        And you’ve managed to get yourself some new copper cable as well to help with the broadband speed, some people have all the luck, has anybody got high voltage megger? 😉

        • Paul VK2ICQ says:

          No one should have to go through what I went through to get that new copper (especially considering it bought me just 1 extra Megabit, along with ooooh, line stability)… it was quite the ordeal with the odd necessary tantrum…

ABC’s Catalyst under review, reporter suspended after damning review on Wi-Fi program

Via the AMTA (Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association). Original post here.

Catalyst host Maryanne Demasi. Photo: ABC TV

Catalyst host Maryanne Demasi. Photo: ABC TV

The ABC will apologise to its viewers and review its science program Catalyst after an independent investigation found a controversial episode on the potential health risks of Wi-Fi that went to air earlier this year breached its editorial standards.

The damning finding – which will see reporter Maryanne Demasi suspended from on-air assignments until at least September – comes two years after a similar investigation slammed a Catalyst program questioning the use of cholesterol-reducing medications.

As with the earlier program on cholesterol, the Wi-Fi episode will be removed from the internet.

Prominent scientists attacked the February program at the time as scare-mongering and unscientific for questioning the links between Wi-Fi and brain tumours.

Now an investigation by the ABC’s Audience and Consumer Affairs Unit has found it breached the broadcaster’s standards.

“While accepting the importance of investigating public health issues relating to safety of technology, A&CA concluded that the episode breached the ABC’s editorial policies standards on accuracy and impartiality,” ABC director of television Richard Finlayson said.

“The ABC accepts the findings and acknowledges that errors were made in the preparation and ultimate approval of the program.”

The review found “a number of inaccuracies within the program that had favoured the unorthodox view that mobile phones and Wi-Fi caused health impacts including brain tumours”.

Mr Finlayson said the ABC would:

  • Make an announcement about the findings on Tuesday night’s Catalyst.
  • Remove the episode, titled Wi-Fried?, from the Catalyst website.
  • Publish information about the findings on the Catalyst website and ABC Corrections page.

More broadly, the ABC will review the strategy and direction for the popular program.  Until that review is completed in September, Dr Demasi, who also fronted the cholesterol program, will not be part of any on-air assignments.

Rodney Croft, a global authority on the health effects of radiation and professor of public health psychology at the University of Wollongong, said at the time that the program had given weight to “a fringe position that is not supported by science”.

“I was particularly disappointed to see Wi-Fried aired yesterday in the guise of science journalism,” he said.

“Given that radiofrequency emissions are one of the most heavily researched agents that science has ever assessed, and given that (contrary to Catalyst’s claims) no substantiated health effects have emerged, we can be very confident that the emissions are indeed safe,” Professor Croft said.

In 2013, ABC health specialist Norman Swan launched an extraordinary attack on Catalyst, saying two broadcasts on cholesterol and heart attacks might cause people to die if they went off their medications.

In May 2014, the ABC removed both episodes from the Catalyst website after an investigation found one program had breached the broadcaster’s editorial standards.

2 replies on “ABC’s Catalyst under review, reporter suspended after damning review on Wi-Fi program”

  1. Dennis VK2DAM says:

    Perhaps it’s good thing they haven’t seen Henry’s earlier article Leixen Note – “The Eyeball Fryer” 🙂