New VK MF amateur radio book release: June 2016

Via the club’s email.

MF Downunder

The publication date of June 20, 2016 is for “MF Down Under”:  An edited VK-compendium of articles and projects for the 630m & 160m bands which is the first ever Oceania-based one-stop-reference for embarking upon MF operating, and is all-mode inclusive.

The book contains:

  • 345 x A4 pages
  • ISBN registration 978-0-9873638-6-2
  • Wire spiral binding so it will lay flat on a desk for convenience
  • Nine chapters

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Chapter 3 Something about MF propagation

Chapter 4 Earthing and lightning protection

Chapter 5 Aerials for MF

Chapter 6 MF transmitting and receiving projects

Chapter 7 MF station accessories

Chapter 8 Portable MF operation

Chapter 9 MF Direction Finding: a new amateur radio horizon?

  • 44 articles and projects for 630m and 160m
  • Material contributed by 15 VK authors
  • Contents and Index pages to facilitate finding topics of specific interest
Editor’s Profile

“Doc” Wescombe-Down has had professional involvement with LF (44kHz) and MF (500kHz) for more than 50 years and since 2010 operated a computer-free, classic amateur MF station on 630/160m using AM and hand-sent CW with a mixture of homebrew and ex-marine equipment.  He has been a Morse code telegraphist since 1964, serving 19 years at sea and in shore wireless telegraphy stations including VHM and VHK of the Royal Australian Navy, while completing First Class Commercial Operator, Broadcast Operator and General Operator Certificates of proficiency through full-time external training at the Marconi School of Wireless in Sydney.

In 1971 Doc was invited to train in Hawaii for 42wpm Vibroplex “Bug” key manual sending and telegraphic typewriter reception in preparation for covert LF/MF deception-decoy telegraphic seagoing duties, including icebreaker service in both polar regions, and for which he undertook Polar training in Scandinavia and New Zealand.  Pre-selection criteria for invitation into that professional development programme included 35wpm sending and receiving ability, reading-writing competence in a European language other than English, military E-7 rank or higher at the time of training, completion of or mostly-completed First or Second Class Commercial Operator’s Certificate, extensive experience with commercial MF operation, substantial seagoing service in small ships, and availability for multi-national polar oceanic service within two years from training completion.

In the late 1970s Doc was a Frequency Monitor at VNA5 Frequency Measuring Station, Somerton as part of the PMG Radio Branch, during which time he check-logged every active MF Non-Directional Beacon (NDB) in Oceania and the Pacific region.

Formerly VK4CMY, VK5HP and VK7CQ, he has authored 17 non-fiction books and many articles for AR and RSGB RadCom magazines, VK-QRP Club Lo-Key journal, AHARS and Fists Down Under newsletters, and was the first Australian amateur to attain WAC and DXCC (128/131) QRP awards from 3 watts CW on 20m.  He has always designed and built his own aerials, link couplers, Cootie keys (Sideswipers) and ground mat systems.

It is intended to be a limited-run, cost-recovery legacy to amateur radio in Oceania and the retail price will be AUD$48 plus postage satchel cost if required.  Orders are currently being taken at this email address.

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