20171119 - VK6ARN NewsWest for Sunday, 19 November 2017

posted Nov 17, 2017, 9:21 PM by News Team   [ updated Nov 19, 2017, 3:08 PM ]
In the news this week, a monster edition of Roy's Helpline, activation of a special callsign to commemorate the birth and work of "Father of Wireless Communication", Bob has a wonderful explanation about Foundation Licensees repairing and modifying radios, Glynn has a new radio network for you to explore and Michelle has an update from the Peel Amateur Radio Group.

Thank you for joining us for another edition of the News, produced and presented for Radio Amateurs, sortwave listeners and you, since 1931, this is NewsWest.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB, let's get started.

NewsWest is produced and presented by WA Amateur Radio News and opinions expressed in this news may not reflect the opinion of the news team, the broadcaster or the WIA and are shared in the open spirit of Amateur Radio.

In previous episodes of New Hams, I’ve run quickly through EchoLink and AllStar.
Today I’d like to introduce IRN.
The IRN, International Radio Network, is a Voice-over-IP/Radio-over-IP system using Teamspeak,  that allows users to Transmit and Receive using RF around the World using  different devices fo riree. This includes  mobile Phones,  tablets and  computers.
Have you heard of Teamspeak??? NO??? nor had I until I started looking at IRN 6 months ago. It’s what the gamers use for audio comms in multi-player online gaming – put don’t let that deter you – it’s great for Amateur Radio.
Have you ever wanted to play radio on repeater typically on the 2m or 70cm bands but don’t have a repeater close by to get into?
In September 2016 the IRN server was created and access was given to other licensed hams so that they could use it too.
Since then, it's grown... the original Echolink connection is no longer active, and Allstar has been the mode of choice with the system, connecting up to a mix of repeaters, hubs and nodes around the globe.
The IRN server allows full TX and RX so you can use it like a radio. There are also channels that are just live RX feeds from other systems like D-Star and Echolink.
What make it great for newbies, or people considering entering the hobby is the system also caters for non-licensed users, and those that are looking to do their exams to join us hams, and experience what certain modes are like. The way the IRN Server works means that voice rights can be assigned to certain channels thus ensuring that non-licenced users are not able to transmit, but they are able to listen.
More recently, the IRN System has created a partnership with The Guild Global, a World Wide Amateur Radio Guild.
The Guild also have additional channels that aren't crosslinked into any RF based systems but do crosslink into their Zello Crosslink, to allow non licensed users to enjoy full transmit and receive rights and mix with radio hams.
The creators appreciate that RoIP systems like this aren't going to be for everyone, and aren’t trying to take people away from "real radio".
Not everyone has the option on what they can use due to location or their personal circumstances. This system gives them to ability to talk to users all around the World on several different systems, and all for free! I’ve found it really convenient when away from my QTH, either travelling, on business or at a location just on the fringe of the repeater on RF.
There are a comprehensive set of Ts & Cs for use of the system – but to make it clearer a set of guidelines have been published.. Most of it is common sense – which at times… isn’t as common as it used to be.
So how does this relate to VK6?? Here in W.A., IRN is hooked into the VK6 AllStar hub, which then links to the list of nodes and repeaters I mentioned last month. It’s a great way to hook into VK6RLM and its linked repeaters when away from home.
Of course, if you are in VK6, or anywhere that’s internet accessible,  and like talking across the world, it is also hooked into some of the other big AllStar hubs in the U.K. and U.S.
As a side-note, the system also allows users to create private talk groups for point-to-point or private group QSO's.
Look for the links, including the setup guides to get  you started,  in the online version of this story at VK6.net.

Myths 03 Foundation Licensees Cant Fix Anything

Myths I have Known. 

When listening around the Ham bands, reading comments on social media and email reflectors, even talking face to face with Amateurs, I sometimes hear things said that are simply wrong.  In this series I seek to address some of these myths.

The Foundation License was introduced to Australian Amateur Radio in 2005. I wasn’t in the hobby then, however I imagine that there was a lot of discussion about the concept of an entry level Amateur Radio license.

The myth de jour is that “Foundation licensees may not repair radio equipment”.  This myth turns up regularly, often after a Foundation Licensee asks a question on social media about fixing some sort of problem with their equipment.

Let’s begin with some background information. The Australian Communications and Media Authority, better known to us as the ACMA, amend and publish a document called the “Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination”, known more commonly as the “LCD”.  This document is the ACMA’s interpretation of the Radiocommunications Act and regulations as they apply to Amateur Radio Operators.

The LCD tells Amateurs which frequency bands and transmission modes that they can use, and it also describes how a licensee must run their station. 

With reference to equipment, the LCD is silent about which equipment Amateurs can use, EXCEPT for Foundation licensees, where it says that they may only use a commercially manufactured transmitter.

Now let’s explore this myth about repairing equipment.  Several years ago, a Foundation licensee, who is a professional communications technician, announced that he had repaired a fault on a local Amateur repeater.  There was an astonishing flow of protests that as a Foundation licensee he wasnt allowed to effect such repairs.

Let’s go back to the LCD.  Load up the document, and search for the word “repair”.  It isn’t there. Nor is the word “modify”.  Hold that thought.

An Amateur Radio license is a permit to operate radio transmitters according to the level of the license.  It’s not a license or qualification to repair radios.  A Standard or Advanced license may give you some technical knowledge to enable you to tackle the task, but it’s not a qualification to do so.

An Amateur Radio license at any level is not an indication about what you know about anything.  It is issued because you passed an examination, that assumes you may have learned something.  It is possible, and quite frequently likely, that a Foundation licensee knows more about radio than an advanced licensee, because the Amateur Radio qualification is not a measure of your total knowledge and experience. I repeat that it means you passed an exam.

In conclusion, then, where did this myth come from?  My theory is that Foundation licensees were in early days cautioned that what they learned on the course wasnt sufficient for them to safely repair or modify  radio transmitters, and in true chinese whisper form, it grew into the myth that Foundation licensees may not repair their equipment.  Exactly the same argument applies to modifying equipment. The word “modify”, like “repair”, doesnt appear in the LCD

I’m Bob

Its on again!
PARG SWAP Meet February 4th 2018
The Peel Amateur Radio Group is pleased to announce that our next Annual Swap meet will be held on Sunday the 4th February 2018 at the Bortolo Pavilion in Mandurah.
The Bortolo Pavilion has been a great venue for us, it is also AIR CONDITIONED and being the middle of summer it will be nice to keep cool whilst attending our 3rd annual ‘Swap Meet’. We look forward to seeing you all there.

We are now taking bookings of tables. 
Please RSVP to parg_secretary@iinet.net.au with your expression of interest – tables are free to book.
Although the hall is not as big as Cyril Jackson I am sure we can fit quite a few sellers in, going on last year we can fit about 20 -25 comfortably.
Doors will open for sellers at 8am and buyers from 9am – entry fee $5 per head. Closing approx. 1pm

There will be raffle tickets on sale as well as refreshments to get you through the day.

Michelle Walker
20171119 QuickMeetings

It’s a quiet week for meetings across VK6.
The Northern Corridor Radio Group gather today as we go to air Sunday morning, with their weekly get together from 8:30am.
You’ll find them at the Neil Penfold State Amateur Radio Centre at the top end of Whiteman Park. Access via Gnangara Road.

Tuesday, the Peel Amateur Radio Group have their workshop night, 7 til 9pm at SES Headquarters, located at -
31 Education Drive, Greenfields, in Mandurah.

PRAWNHEADS gather for lunch on Wednesday. Meet the crew again for 12 noon at Phoever, 29 Station Street in Subiaco. 

The Bunbury Radio Club have their Ham and Coffee Meet on Thursday.

Lastly, the Hills Amateur Radio Group have their meeting next Saturday, 
2-5pm at the Paxhill Guide Hall, corner of Sanderson and Brady Roads in Lesmurdie.

If you didn’t hear in here, we didn’t know about it. If you have updated information, please let the NewsWest team know by emailing: newswest@vk6.net

08 20171112 WWFF Weekend Out

The 2017 VKFF Activation Weekend, which will be held on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th November 2017 is fast approaching
The VK Flora and Fauna programme is the excuse you need to operate portable.  The aim is to operate from within national parks and nature reserves.   Certificates are awarded for achieving certain levels of activity.  Of course where there are activators, you also need chasers, otherwise there would be no QSOs to record.
The VKFF activation weekend is an attempt to get as many VKFF operators and chasers on air over the weekend. Why?  Mostly because we can.
The weekend is designed to promote the World Wide Flora Fauna program here in Australia.
A large number of Australian operators will be on air over this weekend, operating portable from various parks all across Australia.
If you do intend to activate a park on this weekend, please send an email to Paul VK5PAS at vk5pas@wia.org.au
The 2017 VKFF Activation Weekend will be held on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th November 2017.
As luck would have it, the VHF/UHF Field Days contest is on the same weekend - why not combine them both?  We know that the Hills Amateur Radio Group is doing just that, working from the Avon Valley National Park.  It’s not too late to join in. Really. Its not.


20171105 NCRG Boot Sale (3rd December)
Hey – how did you go at the HamFests this year?

You know, there was PARGfest, HARGfest, and the NCRG HamFest.

Did you manage to clear your Surplus Heap of Innovative Technology???

The stuff you keep hanging on to year-after-year because… Some How It Transmits??

Do you still have that Super heterodyne Implemented Transmitter??

Well, there another opportunity before year end to empty out your Shack House Items There.

The NCRG will be having their final year-end clearance session with a car boot sale on the 3rd of December – at the Neil Penfold State Amateur Radio Centre.

Want to find out more??? Head to the website events section at:

Feel like buying some more Sneaky Husband’s Information Tools – I’m sure there’ll be heaps on offer.

Get in early… See How I Transmit.

No idea what I’m talking about – maybe you need to read between the lines.

I’m Glynn  VK6PAW

20171119 Ham College Foundation Course in two weeks.

The next Ham College Foundation License course is on the weekend December 2nd & 3rd, followed by assessments the following weekend on Saturday 9th December, 2017

Are you interested in  obtaining this entry level Amateur Radio License?  Check out the Ham College website, hamcollege.com.au for details.

We received word from Datta VU2DSI about the activation of AU2JCB, a special event call-sign to commemorate the birth date of Indian scientist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, known as the "Father of Wireless Communication" by demonstrating the transmission of wireless signals over a mile in 1895 & 1897.

Popove in Russia was still trying remote signalling at this time & the first wireless experiment by Marconi was not successful until May 1897.

Bose also pioneered the investigation of microwave optics technology and his discovery of 1 centimetre to 5 millimetre radio waves is being used in radars, satellite communication & remote sensing today.

Concepts from his original 1897 papers are now incorporated into a new 1.3 mm multi-beam receiver on the National Radio Observatory 12 Meter Telescope in Arizona.

Bose anticipated the use of P-type & N-types semiconductors 60 years ahead of his time and was the first to use semi-conductors to detect radio waves, invented the crystal radio detector, using GALENA crystals, invented the wave-guide, horn antenna and other microwave frequency equipment.

In a presentation to the Royal Institution in London in January 1897, he speculated on the existence of electromagnetic radiation from the sun which was not actually detected until 1942.

Have a read on his biography, absolutely fascinating.

Datta will operate special event call-sign AU2JCB between 23 November and 11 December across most non-WARC bands. You'll even find him on 6m and 10m FM if you're game.

A list of frequencies has been published and you can find them in the text edition on vk6.net.

QSL Direct via VU2DSI, details on vk6.net.

Listen out for AU2JCB.

The Details of operation:

Period: 23 NOV 2017 to 11 DEC 2017

10m: 28545, 28510, 28490
15m: 21235, 21310, 21350
20m: 14210, 14250, 14310    
40m: 7040, 7150
80m: 3710

Also in FM:
6m: 50800, 51500
10m: 29700

Preferably the operation will be on higher bands according to propagation conditions.


20171119 next week contesting

Next week, NewsWest will bring you stories and information about contesting.  We’ll tell you about contests that are coming up, especially Australian contests. What we’d really, really like is to receive stories from you about your contesting experiences, tall tales and true.   You can send your story to us in text for us to record, or much, much better, record your story yourself and send it to us with the text to newswest@vk6.net

That's it for another week. Thank you for your time, look forward to hearing your stories about contesting next week and while you're at it, check out the text-edition of the news we're experimenting with on vk6.net - your comments and feedback is welcome.

Thanks to the news team for providing a comprehensive view of Amateur Radio in Western Australia and beyond. On behalf of WA Amateur Radio News, thank you for listening to NewsWest. We hope to have your company again next week.

73, now get on air and make some noise!