Category Archives: External News

Volunteers Needed For WIA Monitoring System

From the WIA, original post here.

Date : 19 / 03 / 2017 
Author : Peter Young – VK3MV

Wireless Institute of Australia observers looking for intruders on the ‘Primary’ frequencies of the Amateur Service on high frequency bands in 2016 found more than five thousand intrusions.  These are collated into a monthly report before sending to the relevant spectrum regulatory agency in IARU member countries.  A resulting clamp down on the Indonesian ‘village radio’ stations was occurring with the government regulator progressively removing offenders.

The WIA reports intruders to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, but due to the itinerant nature of some intruders the ACMA has difficulty in confirming them which draws out the process for their removal.  Unfortunately, some administrations seem to ignore requests for the removal of interfering services.  The observations have included a multitude of Over-The-Horizon-Radar (OTHR) systems mainly Chinese, Turkish, Iranian and British systems.  There have also been CODAR systems (oceanographic radars) particularly on the 20m to 10m bands.

With the downward trend in the Solar cycle, there will be increasing numbers moving to the lower HF bands in future years.  Among the observers are the very active John Kirk VK4TJ with monthly reports.  Individual volunteers have also left frequent reports sent via the WIA website electronic lodgement system, including Lyn VK4SWE and Col VK4CC.

An increasing number of digital emissions are intruding, and the use of Software Defined Receivers (SDR) have identified non-amateur digital systems that are frequency hopping.  The Manly-Warringah Amateur Radio Society of New South Wales has a five-band SDR receiver system that greatly assists in monitoring activities.  Other clubs could use SDR systems to not only help their club members but the intruder monitoring system as a whole.

For the WIA monitoring system to work volunteers are required.  Information can be found on the WIA website on how to become an observer and what is involved.  Link If your interested in assisting as a volunteer send a message to Peter Young by email vk3mv @ wia.org.au.

Please note, all applicants should have read and agree with the draft WIA Volunteer Charter. Link

Lake Boga Flying Boat Anniversary on air

From the WIA, original post here.

Date : 13 / 03 / 2017 
Author : Jim Linton – VK3PC

To commemorate the RAAF No. 1 Flying Boat Repair and Service Depot 75th anniversary an Amateur Radio station VI3FB75 will be at Lake Boga, northwest Victoria.  Thomas VK3EO of Swan Hill and Noel VK3FI from Mildura, will supervise the operation on Saturday March 18, involving other radio amateurs from the Sunraysia Radio Group.  Any operator is welcome but prior contact with the organisers is recommended.

From an underground communications bunker the main frequencies will be primary 7.075 MHz and a secondary of 7.115 MHz, plus or minus QRM.  Operating time is 10am to 4pm (AEST) and maybe later depending on conditions.

A commemorative QSL card is available.  QSL information is via the bureau or a stamped self-addressed envelope care of VK3FI QTH(R) or qrz.com.  The WIA recommended the VI3FB75 callsign and the ACMA issued its licence.

The then WWII secret RAAF Repair and Service Depot had 416 aircraft land to be serviced, repaired, restored, rebuilt or overhauled.

The underground communications bunker has some original equipment, and photographs of it in operation.  Adjacent is a museum with a theatrette with narrated archival footage.

Further information is available via the following link.

Amateur of the Year award to ARISS leader


From the WIA, original post here.

Date : 09 / 03 / 2017 
Author : Jim Linton – VK3PC

The prestigious Dayton Hamvention top award for 2017 goes to the ARISS International Chair, Frank Bauer KA3HDO, for his major contributions to Amateur Radio.  His long list of achievements include that in 1995 he proposed an experiment for the AMSAT Phase 3D (AO-40) satellite to measure the strength of the signal from the GPS satellite constellation.

The aerospace industry saw the results as exciting leading its engineers to improve the GPS system itself and the introduction new GPS applications.  Frank KA3HDO helped begin the ARISS program involvement with human spaceflight.  University trained in aeronautics and astronautics, and first to become a radio amateur in 1974, he has seen many ARISS developments.  His reaction to the award is not yet known.  Formal presentation of the Amateur of the Year award is expected at Dayton in May.

More on the award is in a ARISS news release here.

The ACMA and WIA meeting

From the WIA, original post here.

Date : 08 / 03 / 2017 
Author : Phil Wait – VK2ASD

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) met with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) in Canberra on Friday February 24.

It was a mix of face-to-face meeting in Canberra and by teleconference for two in Victoria.

The ACMA a team of three headed by its manager of spectrum licencing policy Dominic Byrne, Executive Manager of the Spectrum Management Policy Branch David Brumfield, and a Senior Policy Officer Stewart White.  The WIA representatives were Phil VK2ASD, Peter VK3MV, Dale VK1DSH and Fred VK3DAC.

The ACMA talked briefly about the draft new Radiocommunications Act due to be made public in later this year and the changes it may bring to licensing.

The ACMA explained that they were undergoing substantial staff reductions with some delays being experienced.

The WIA suggestion that Foundation Licences could have callsigns with a three letter suffix was being further explored, but no decision had been yet.

The WIA Exams Service was discussed including its financial and delivery performance.

A definition of reportable complaint was discussed.

Reciprocal licence arrangements were discussed and agreed that all claims for overseas licences needs to include proof of operator competency to be licensed in Australia.

The WIA advised the ACMA that it was introducing a new arrangement for consultation with members.  The proposed changes to the three amateur licences under a future review of the Licence Condition Determinations would draw on the findings of that consultation, but as yet no date had been set.  The WIA had identified options for Foundation Licensees to have a three letter suffix callsign to help them access digital modes, should digital modes for Foundation licensees be approved.  The ACMA licensing section indicates that its SPECTRA system should be able handle them, and the WIA agreed that there be a test to prove the concept.

In seeking Amateur Service access to the 60m band (5351.5 – 5366.5 kHz) the WIA offered to work with Defence that currently uses that spectrum.

At the end of the two hour meeting a greater understanding was had by both sides on a number mutual interest issues.

Icom preview ID-4100E D-STAR VHF/UHF mobile radio

Icom Inc has issued preliminary details of a new D-STAR mobile radio called the ID-4100A/E.  The radio will come with the new terminal and access point modes that will be incorporated into its other new D-STAR handportable, the ID-51A/E PLUS2.  The Callsign routing terminal mode feature will allow each radio to be connected like an access point to the worldwide D-STAR repeater network through the internet*.

Planned features include:

  • Terminal & Access Point Mode (Optional data cable and free-download application required)
  • DR (D-STAR Repeater) Function
  • Full Dot-Matrix Display
  • Easy-to-Read Characters and Icons
  • Compact and Detachable Controller for Flexible Installation
  • Bluetooth Hands-Free Operation (Optional Bluetooth unit and headset required)
  • Integrated GPS and microSD Card Slot (microSD card required)
  • Enhanced Remote Control Apps for Smart Devices (Optional Bluetooth unit and free-download application required)

Click the image above to download the ID-4100A/E preview brochure (which is just a high res version of that image).  Pricing is yet to be released

*Icom gateway network

Paul VK2ICQ adds:

With its ID-880 like form factor and single receiver fitting it in under the ID-5100, I’m guessing a $500ish AUD RRP is on the cards.  Terminal and Access Point modes sadly are NOT a replacement for a DVAP & Raspberry Pi or Dongle and their usefulness is very limited outside of Japan.  These modes only perform callsign routing and only work with repeaters that have been upgraded to the new Icom G3 Gateway software – they will not (currently) connect to a reflector.  See this thread.