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.

Lake Boga Flying Boat 75th Anniversary VI3FB75

From the WIA, original post here.

Date : 23 / 02 / 2017 
Author : Jim Linton – VK3PC

The commemorative callsign VI3FB75 will be active on March 17-19 at the Lake Boga Catalina Communications Bunker at Swan Hill, in northwest Victoria.  This facility was successfully used for the ANZAC Day 2015 centenary with the VI3ANZAC callsign that proved to be popular.

Now Thomas VK3EO of Swan Hill and Noel VK3FI from Mildura, both members of the Sunraysia Group, will supervise the VI3FB75 operation to mark the 75th anniversary of Lake Boga.  A number of other radio amateurs will also be involved.  It was the RAAF secret No. 1 Flying Boat Repair and Service Depot during WWII for many amphibian aircraft.  In addition to RAAF aircraft, many allied flying boats landed for repairs, including those of the United States of America and the Netherlands.

In total 416 aircraft were serviced, repaired, restored, rebuilt or overhauled.  These aircraft included Catalina, Dornier, Sikorsky KingFisher, Sunderland, Walrus and Martin Mariner.  The 75th anniversary will include fly-ins and other historic events.  The site was an integral part of allied defence and helped to keep Australia safe.  The 75th anniversary will include fly-ins and other historic events.  The museum has a theatrette telling the war-time story with narrated archival footage as it was being built and throughout its operation.

VI3FB75 will be at the underground communications bunker which is set up with some original equipment – AR7 receivers, a telephone switchboard, power supply, photographs of it in operation, together with wartime uniformed models.

A commemorative QSL card is being designed and will be available.  Good publicity for Amateur Radio is expected as Swan Hill and Mildura district radio amateurs are on hand to answer questions from the public.

Rotary Club Foundation Centenary VI100TRF

From the WIA, original post here.

Date : 23 / 02 / 2017 
Author : Jim Linton – VK3PC

The Rotary Foundation began in 1917 with a meagre donation, to now being able to fund a number of activities for the world including the eradication of the disease polio.

Rotary members have supported thousands of projects to provide clean water, fight disease, promote peace, basic education, and grow local economies.  Now Rotary is highlighting the Foundation’s work over the past 100 years.

Rotarians of Amateur Radio in Australia hit the HF bands for three months from February 26 to May 26, with the special event callsign VI100TRF.  More information on