NewsWest for Sunday January 7, 2018

posted Jan 5, 2018, 9:36 PM by News Team

Happy New Year from the team at WA Amateur Radio News. 

Welcome to today’s NewsWest broadcast. 

I’m Glynn, VK6PAW, your lucky producer this week. 

In this broadcast:

It’s our CLUB FOCUS week, and we’ll hear from clubs around VK6, and of course – what we’re up to here at WA Amateur Radio news. 

Bob brings us a few amateur radio myths about antenna analysers. 

Onno talks SOTA adventures to start the year. . 

There’s a number of reminders for local VK6 events, and well put it over to Roy with Helpline

You’re listening to NewsWest, broadcasting weekly news and commentary since 1931 for VK6 radio amateurs, shortwave listeners and radio enthusiasts. 

Speaking of regular, it’s over to Onno…

Radio Amateur Society of Australia 

RASA the Radio Amateur Society of Australia is a new national representative and consultative organisation for all those interested in the future of amateur radio. Since launching in November there has been a great response. 

Have you expressed an interest to join up as membership is free for the first year and after that the annual subscriptions are aimed to be in the five to ten dollar range?

The society has already started surveying its members about their knowledge of the regulation of the hobby and issues that they believe are a deterrent to the enjoyment of being a Ham. 

The society. Is actively engaged in attempting to improve the IARU intruder watch program, by increasing appropriate reporting levels and liaison with IARU administration to ensure reporting is acted upon. 

Why don’t you join us, have a look at our website that lays out our aims and structure at vkradioamateurs. org thats vkradioamateurs. org and if you missed that, as usual all details are available on the vk6. net website. 

On behalf of RASA the Radio Amateur Society of Australia, this is Andrew VK6AS

Katanning Hamfeast 2018

Rob VK6LD advises that the annual Katanning Hamfeast is on Thursday the 25th January. 

Hamfeast is a lunchtime event, and it starts at 12. 00 noon. The venue is Oscar’s Cafe at the Royal Exchange Hotel in Katanning, which is in Austral Terrace opposite the railway station. 

As always, the meals & desserts are very good. Food and drinks are also very reasonably priced. 

The menu can be found at: 

This will be the 9th anniversary of the event and as always, YL’s, YM’s, XYL’s, XYM’s, wives, husbands and partners are also very welcome to attend. 

Carpooling is encouraged and Rob imagines there will be travellers from Albany, Manjimup and Perth areas heading to Katanning. 

Please RSVP via email by Thursday the 18 January so Rob can make a booking with the cafe. Meals can be ordered on the day. If you already have a name badge from a previous Ham Feast, please bring it with you and if you require a name badge, please let Rob know when you RSVP know and Geoff VK6YR will make some up for the event. 

Rob’s email address is

Hamfeast is an opportunity for Hams from around the South West, Perth, anywhere really, to get together and exchange tall tales and true. Take the next day off and enjoy the local surrounds – it’s Australia Day. 

Peel Amateur Radio Group Swap Meet

Here’s a Reminder from Michelle VK6MLW that it is exactly 1 month until the Peel Amateur Radio Group’s 3rd annual SWAP meet on 4th February. 

Doors will open for sellers at 8am, and for buyers from 9am

The entry fee is a modest $5 per head. 

PARG requests buyers to arrive 15 mins early for pre-purchase of door entry. Change will be limited so if you can please bring the exact change then this will make it an easier sale. So stock up on $5 notes. Or bring your gold coin stash with you. 

That’s actually a sensible request -to try and bring a wad of smaller notes and a pocketful of coins instead of raiding the ATM on the way bringing a flood of $50 notes. 

PARG are selling raffle tickets on the day, and as usual there will be good prizes. Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20. 

Refreshments are available to get you through the day starting from $2. Food and drink prices are gold coins. 

The Peel Amateur Radio Group’s Swap Meet is on Sunday 4th February, at the Bertoli Pavillion, Bertoli Drive, Greenfields, down Mandurah way. Sellers at 8am, buyers at 9am. 

Hoping to see you then. Thanks Michelle for the reminder. 

Club Focus 60 Cracking the New Year Wide Open

Here we are, it’s a week into January, and if your club went into recess over the Christmas New Year period, it’s time to get going on your plan to wake it up and kick off the new year. 

That is, of course, if you do have a plan. You do, don’t you? 

What should this plan for the new year consist of? It could consist of beer and skittles if that’s what you think your club wants. I wouldn't mind betting, though, that the beer and skittles theme would be popular for a short while, followed by a petering out of your membership. 

Why do I say that? It’s simple really. Your members came looking for an Amateur Radio club, and if you give them only beer and skittles, they will look elsewhere for their Amateur Radio fix. 
Don’t think for a moment that I’m saying there should be no beer and skittles. I’m saying that it ought not be the focus of your club. 

Now is the time when the Club Committee should have, or at least be working on, a plan for a successful club journey into the New Year. What do you have in mind to catch the attention and gain the commitment of your members? Something to grab their imagination and set them on a course of fun and achievement. 

I reckon these should already be in place by now, however it’s not too late if you get stuck into it now. 

Some of the things you could think of including in your plan to start the year is to decide which contests the club may wish to enter as one or more teams, or maybe to support a couple of members to tackle contests. Maybe a weekend away - camping and portable radio gear. And, yes, some beer and skittles just for fun. 

It’s a good idea also to agree on and set a date for the Annual General Meeting, even if it’s months away. Set the date and get your members used to the idea that it’s a normal part of club life. 

Finally, no matter how technical the core work of your club may be, one of the main motivators for people to attend and participate is to make club activities interesting, enjoyable, and fun. 

I’m Bob, VK6POP

Club Focus

Today is the First Sunday of the month, Happy New Year by the way, and this first Sunday of the month is the regular spot for the Club Focus edition of NewsWest. 

If you're a member of a club, then you have already been sent an email to remind you that this is the opportunity to talk about your club, what it's been up to, what's going on in the planning stages, what fundraising efforts you have planned, what projects you're building and what contests you're eyeing off to participate in. 

We'd love you to tell us about the social activities your club is up to and want you to promote your club to the rest of the amateur community. 

So, get your hammer and chisel ready, is the address to note. Send us your stories, your updates, your successes and your failures, let us know your meeting schedule, your training schedule, your membership dues and we'll promote your club right here. 

First Sunday of Every Month, Club Focus. Deadline is noon on Friday. 

Club Promo WA Amateur Radio News

We are WA Amateur Radio News we are. Production of the weekly news, known as NewsWest, is our single, most intense activity. Three of us share the production, Roy does Helpline, and Onno, Glynn and myself write and record items. And of course there are contributions from other people to help fill out our news programme. 

In addition to producing an Amateur Radio news programme every week, we try to be Amateur Radio Operators, getting on air and making a noise at every opportunity. 

One of the aims of WA Amateur Radio News is to help other clubs promote themselves and their activities. I think we can claim to be the only Amateur Radio Club that spends a lot of its time promoting and supporting other Amateur Radio Clubs. 

We’d like to invite you, Joe Blow, ordinary Amateur, to consider joining with us as a club member, and hopefully also as a NewsWest team member. There’s no pressure to take on everything up front. You could begin by writing news items, then if you feel confident, recording. You could follow on with production later if you wish. 

Writing and recording news items is a bit like learning to ride a bicycle. You’ll never actually ride the bike until you get on it. So if you’re willing to give it a go, and jump onto the NewsWest bike, give us a shout. Yes you’ll wobble for a while, but the more you ride our bike the better you get. 

So there we are. WA Amateur Radio News. If you’re interested in joining in with what we do, or in supporting us, give us a shout -

NCRG Club Focus

The Northern Corridor Radio Group owns and operates the Neil Penfold State Amateur Radio Centre at Whiteman Park, off Gnangara Rd. 

We have a very well appointed club station with multiple radio rooms as well as a remotely operable HF station for the use of members who may not be able to get on air from their own QTHs. 

We meet every Sunday at 9AM at the club premises, with much of our work happening at this time. 

We also have a Tech Presentation on the evening of the second Tuesday of each month, and we have our official business meeting on the evening of the 4th Tuesday each month. 

There are many facets to the club including contesting, mast and antenna construction, repeater construction, satellite and microwave operation… the list goes on. 

We carry out Foundation license training in partnership with Ham College, from our dedicated training room at the club station. 

We operate and maintain 2m, 70cm and 23cm repeaters from a dedicated repeater site near the club. 

Our contesting team are pretty good and we generally figure towards the top of a few contests we compete in including the CQWW, Oceania and RD contests each year. 

We are always looking for new members and all members and non-members are welcome to visit the club on Sunday mornings. 

Over the past month we have carried out the following tasks;
  • We installed a GP98 triband vertical antenna for 2m, 70cm and 23cm to expand our capability on these bands. 
  • We installed 2m and 70cm yagis with an Azimuth/elevation rotator, specifically to operate with satellites. 
  • We are continuing to plan a major upgrade to our towers and antennas used for HF with work expecting to start in the next month or two. 
  • We had our xmas party on the 15th Dec with around 30 in attendance including a couple of visitors. 
  • We carried out our annual car boot sale in early December which was well attended. 
Anyone wishing additional information on the club including how to join, can find this information on our web site at http://ncrg. info

That’s from Steve, VK6SJ, Publicity Officer on behalf of the NCRG. 

Ham College

Ham College was formed in 2007 with the aim of furthering the hobbies of amateur radio and electronics in Western Australia through the provision of quality education services. 

Ham College run courses and assessments for all grades of amateur radio license. Other courses such as morse receiving & transmission are run as required and this coming year, we are hoping to expand into special interest courses aimed at new and experienced hams.  Our regular venue is the Lynwood Scout Hall which is situated within the Whaleback Golf Course in Parkwood. For people outside the Perth metropolitan area arrangements can be made for courses/assessments to be conducted elsewhere for groups, subject to numbers, the availability of a suitable venue and assessor commitments. 

We are currently seeking candidates for the Standard License exams, starting on the 6th February. Applications will close on the 12th January. The course costs $160 which includes an E-copy of our training manual. The course is run very much at the pace required student group and our pass rate is particularly high. 

Our next Foundation course is on the weekend of 17 and 18th February with assessments on Saturday 24th February. 

Please express an interest for either of the courses or to undertake an assessment via the hamcollege website ham college. com. au , details on the vk6. net website

The College is also seeking additional instructors to assist in all training activities, from foundation through to Advanced courses as well as special interest courses. On behalf of Steve VK6SJ the president this is Andrew VK6AS College enrollments officer. Go on why don’t you take part in College activities in 2018. 


John VK6NU started his year in the spirit of amateur radio. Here's his story. 

Alarm went off at 3:45 am and was on the road by 4:15 am. Got close to the city when one of those Freeway Neon signs said Freeway closed ahead at Mill Point Rd, so had to detour through the city at Wellington St. I was running very early so had plenty of time to get to the Summit before UTC Rollover which is 8:00 am local here. I had to divert via Orrong Rd and onto Tonkin Hwy and then Albany Hwy to Armadale. Making my way down Albany Highway at 5:30 am, I encountered a couple of kangaroos grazing on the side of the road just up the hill from Armadale, my speed after that was kept to 90-100 km/h and one did cross the road about 50 metres in front of me. 

My planned Summit Mt. Cooke VK6/SW-031 was chosen as my other attempt to activate it in the 2017 calendar year was curtailed by a prescribed burn close by. It was a lovely morning and I took a track to the left exactly 2 kms south from from the Mt. Cooke Plantation Sign. I parked about 1 klm in this track. I climbed to the Summit from the opposite side that I usually do (southern side) as it was shorter route in, felt like a new Summit, couple of false Summits as the Actual trig point was further along the ridge than I expected. Was setup by 23:30 UTC and first in the log was Ian VK5CZ on 40 metres. Managed to work my 4 contacts to get my 2017 Sota activator points for the Summit and had 6 in the log by 00:00 UTC. 5PAS 2HRX 3SQ 1AD and 3CAT the others in my 2017 log. 

Found conditions after UTC rollover difficult and pretty much lost 20 metres for 30 mins or so. Eight more contacts made the log with the best being John ZL1BYZ/p on 18 MHz CW. I was just using the KX2 and 58 feet of wire, towards the end was running just 5 watts. 9 Summit to Summit contacts all up, next year will have the FT-857 I think and run a bit more power. 

Big thanks to all the Chasers and Activators for the S2S contacts and I achieved my goals of getting my Activator points for 2017 and 2018, so not a bad day out really. 

73 and HNY all John VK6NU

What's your plan for 2018?


NewsWest is broadcast and relayed across VK6 and far beyond by many transmitters and operators. Details can be found on vk6. net. 

The main VK6 NewsWest broadcast occurs at 09:30 WST (01:30 UTC). 

If you'd like to broadcast this news in your local area, you can. 

There are no restrictions on broadcasting NewsWest, other than that you must broadcast it as supplied without any modification. 

We ask that broadcasters advise us that they're transmitting the news. 

We look forward to hearing callbacks from the new network when it goes live!

The address is

Full Meetings

And now to Amateur Radio Meetings across VK6 for the next week, as we start the New Year…
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. 

WICEN, the Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network, meet Monday night, 7pm at 14 Henley Road, Ardross. 

As confirmed by Clive, The Radio Old Timers Club of WA meet for lunch at the Bayswater Hotel, 12 to 2pm on Tuesday, that’s opposite the Bayswater Train Station at Beechboro Road, Bayswater. 

Ham College may meet Tuesday night, 6 to 7pm at the Lynwood Scout Hall, inside the Whaleback Public Golf Course, which is on Whaleback Ave in Parkwood. 

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

PRAWNHEADS will gather for lunch on Wednesday. Unless Facebook indicates otherwise, meet the crew 12 noon back at Phoever, 29 Station Street in Subiaco. 

HARG, the Hills Amateur Radio Group meet Saturday afternoon, 2 ‘til 5pm at the Paxhill Guide Hall, Cnr Sanderson & Brady Roads, Lesmurdie. 

Also at 2pm on Saturday afternoon, the Bunbury Radio Club, Supporting Radio Enthusiasts in the South West, meet at the QTH of Richard VK6VRO, 21 Halsey Street, South Bunbury. 

This information has been taken from the MEETINGS CALENDAR at VK6. net, which you can subscribe to or add to your own Google calendar. With the time of year, if in doubt, check with you club before travelling any long distances. 

If your club has any additions, deletions or updates – be sure to let us know

The magic address:

Next Week History of AR

Next week, NewsWest will focus on the history of Amateur Radio, preferably in Western Australia, However other significant events could be covered. 

Will, VK6UU has recently been working his way through a stack of old records from the Wireless Institute of Australia, VK6 Division, and the early days of W. A. Repeater Group. 

While NewsWest could tap into some of this material, the stories would have far more value if written up by someone who was there at the time. Not only written up, to be recorded by someone who was there, or even someone who isn’t on the NewsWest team would be fantastic. 

The history of Amateur Radio in W. A. belongs to all of us, and belongs least of all to NewsWest and WA Amateur Radio News, one of our newest Amateur radio clubs. 

So folks. Clubs. Amateurs. Where were you when (mumble mumble) happened? How about at least writing the story? There’s lots to be told, and there’s no better person to tell the tale than those who were there. 

The NewsWest team is happy to assist anyone who wants to make a recording but isnt sure how. 

The deadline for contributions is noon Friday. The Amateur Radio History segment comes around every four weeks. A couple of items for next week would be fantastic. A couple of items for every History of Amateur Radio programme would be amazing. How about it? You can contact the NewsWest team by email


That’s just about all for NewsWest this week, but before we go. 

A quick date for your diary – Martin VK6ZMS lets us know that this years HARG Swap Meet will be on Sunday April 22nd – pencil that in. 

Thanks to this week’s valued contributors. 

A special thanks for Onno for the extra effort stitching me up. 

Do you have a story for next week?

We like extra voices – so send in your piece. 

Also send us a text of your transcript – which allows us to publish your story on the VK6. net website. 

Can you remember the address for contributions:

Stick around for callbacks after this broadcast – or via the callback form at

If you missed anything in the broadcast, it is available via podcast, and is waiting for you right now at

Keep cool - Get on air, make some noise - and most importantly – ENJOY!


73 ...