20171203 - NewsWest 03 December 2017

Post date: Dec 2, 2017 6:50:45 AM

20171203 NewsWest Text EditionWelcome to NewsWest. I’m Bob VK6POP the newswest producer for this week, Today we take a look at clubs in Western Australia, one of which is running their carboot sale today. If you’re listening in the morning, hop on over to the Neil Penfold State Amateur Radio Centre at Whiteman Park and pick up a bargain. We’ve got our weekly segments of Foundations of Amateur Radio, Roy’s Helpline and Amateur Radio Myths, along with the Club Focus item and news from clubs. Find out how to hear NewsWest athttp://vk6.net/news

The Northern Corridor Radio Group Car Boot Sale

The Northern Corridor Radio Group will hold its annual Car Boot Sale at the Neil Penfold State Amateur Radio Centre in Whiteman Park on the Sunday 3rd December, between 0900 - 1200.

$5 entry fee per trader and a gold coin donation for all other attendees at the gate. No reservations required for traders; just turn up!

We will have a Sausage sizzle going and soft drinks and bottled water will be available for sale at very reasonable prices.

Future Systems will be there with lots of Comet antennas and Benelec accessories as well as showing the FlexRadio range of products and a working remotely operated HF station.

NCRG will be looking to offload a large amount of vintage equipment and we have plenty of traders already committed to attend so make sure you leave Sunday 3rd December free and come along to the NCRG Annual Car Boot sale and pick yourself up a bargain!

Myths 04 - Foundation Licensee May Not Allow an Unlicensed Person to Talk on Radio

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.

Ever since the Foundation License was introduced in 2005, it was commonly believed, and freely taught, that a Foundation Licensee may not let an unlicensed person talk on their radio. This prevented people from sharing the hobby with their own children, or Dad having a go because little Johnny got his Foundation License, and the big one was that it prevented Scout leaders from giving their Scouts a go during JOTA or some other activity.

A couple of years ago, the WIA Board received a complaint, from an Amateur, that another Amateur, a Foundation Licensee, who was running a successful Amateur Radio activity in a school, was allowing students to talk on her radio, and that this was forbidden. There was a prolonged discussion amongst Board members, some of whom held the traditionally taught view, but who had not tested that view against the LCD. Eventually the Board agreed that the LCD does not forbid this practice. Let’s look at why.

The LCD makes provision for Advanced and Standard Licensees to allow qualified persons to operate their station, and also allows them to let an unqualified person to operate their station under their supervision. All well and good. That’s easy.

The LCD, in Section 1A, defines “Operate”. It says “ operate means take an action to control the operation of the amateur transmitter”

Further on, it talks about operating being an action to cause a radio to transmit, or to cease to transmit.

That’s all. Operate means to make it transmit or to stop transmitting.

Section 27A of the LCD says

“The licensee of an amateur licence (amateur foundation station) must not authorise another person to operate the licensee’s amateur station if the other person is not a qualified operator or qualified person”

So let’s have a Foundation operator and his or her station. Operator presses PTT and lets it go. That’s operating the transmitter. Now what if the operator presses and holds the Push to Talk, while someone else, perhaps their child speaks into the microphone, and then releases the PTT.

Nobody else operated the transmitter, only the licensed operator. Nowhere does the LCD say who may speak into the microphone - only who may operate the transmitter via a switch or vox.

While it’s seen to be desirable for an Amateur to aspire to and gain a higher class of license, and in fact most do, there is no reason why a Foundation License holder can’t share their hobby with other people, so long as they abide by the provisions of the LCD.

I’m Bob VK6POP

Club Focus 59 It’s All Over - Christmas is Coming

Here we are on the countdown to Christmas. Church calendars call today the First Day of Advent. Last weekend, according to tradition, we should have made our Christmas puddings. Some people already have their Christmas decorations up, and lights twinkling in their front yards. Clubs and workplaces are arranging their Christmas parties. Shops are full of it - the Christmas merchandise began weeks ago.

In Australia, Christmas and New Year represent taking a long break. Schools close for what, 7 weeks? Parents plan their leave round school holidays so the family can spend the holidays together. We often hear “everybody goes away at Christmas”. If we were to believe that one, we’d see endless miles of deserted suburban streets in the months of December and January.

What does this mean for Amateur Radio clubs? Well it could mean anything. Some clubs may shut down for the duration, others may ramp up their activities. It all depends on the club.

The critical part of keeping a club going, or not going, over the holiday breaks, is for all members to be clear about what’s going on. There’s no more lonely feeling than being the only person turning up at the meeting venue at 7pm, wondering where everyone is.

The Christmas/New Year break may be a time when clubs could run some activities, informal outings, possibly providing an opportunity for family participation. It all boils down to what members want to do. If a few members agree to do a couple of things over the break, that’s great.

The bottom line is that the club must be clear in communicating the arrangements for the break to its members. And dont forget to also be very clear about when the club meetings resume. You dont want to waste the first three months of the new year rounding up your members.

I’m Bob VK6POP

20171203 NCRG Club Focus

The Northern Corridor Radio Group is one of the larger clubs in the greater Perth area, with around 50 active members and a similar amount of less active full and associate members from as far away as the UK and US and even Sydney!

We have an informal gathering every Sunday morning at around 9AM which is when the bulk of the work around the club occurs.

In addition to this, we have a tech presentation night on the second Tuesday of every month, and our business meeting is held at 7.30PM on the 4th Tuesday of every month.

The club owns the Neil Penfold State Amateur Radio Centre which is one of the best equipped club stations in the country.

We have separate masts for monobander yagis on 40, 20, 15 and 10m, as well as a mast for our SteppIR, and a mast/antenna for 160m.

We also run a few wire antennas for 40, 80 and 160m, not forgetting antennas on 6m, 2m, 70cm and 23cm.

We also maintain repeaters on 2m, 70cm and 23cm, (VK6RNC and VK6RMB) and we rebroadcast the WIA and NewsWest weekly broadcasts on 80m and 2m.

The club has a training facility and now provides training courses for the Foundation and standard license exams in cooperation with Ham College.

We also have a remote station for members that allows our members to operate an excellent quality HF, VHF and UHF station from the comfort of their own homes.

This station includes an Elecraft K3, SteppIR and web controllable Yaesu rotator.

We also have a rolling list of projects being carried out at the club, including

- Replacement of the 15m monoband yagi and mast

- Replacement of our 40m yagi

- Creation of a satellite earth station, and

- General tidy up of the club premises

We are blessed with an unusually high number of very active contributors to the club.

We won’t name and shame them here because I’d probably miss someone’s name. Suffice to say, there are many. It would be a rare week when there hasn’t been someone spending an additional day at the club on one project or another, or even just maintaining what we do have.

The club is relatively politics free. We are just a bunch of motivated and enthusiastic hams who love building a kick butt radio club.

We have a good contest team, with quite a few certificates and plaques on the wall.

Some of our recent wins have been:

- the RD contest this year with a contest top score and new record,

- Top score in the Oceania DX contest on many occasions, although not this year unfortunately…, and

- Numerous category awards in CQWW contests.

We have had a bit of a break this year while we complete a few projects.

It’s a very friendly club. We are always ready to welcome new and returning members.

Steve say: “I was away from VK6 for over 10 years, and when I got back to Perth, the club made me feel like I’d never left.”

There is always room for new personal projects.

Essentially, It’s a club of “Do’ers”.

We are very passionate about the club. It often leads to a lot of “rtobust” conversation about topics of overall interest, but always ends with a smile and a consensus.

We also run the annual HamFest events each year and with a number of other clubs now running similar events, we all push each other to improve each event and we think this is great for the hobby.

Recently, we had a visit from potentially our first YL member, Jennifer VK6FSYS whom we hope will join in the next month or so.

So.. looking for a club to join?

Why not come and visit the club on a Sunday or Tuesday and see if it is for you.

If you have a passport, you can even join if you live south of the river!

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

Ham College

Ham College is a group of highly motivated amateurs committed to providing training for new and existing amateur operators seeking to gain their Foundation, Standard and Advanced licenses. The college provides Foundation courses over a weekend every 2 months, and numbers permitting, they run a standard and an advanced license course each year; standard in the first half of the year and advanced in the second half.

In addition, Ham College supports JOTA activities for a number of scout and guide groups and they are looking to expand over the coming year to engage more with the Scout and Guide movement because this is a big recruitment ground for new hams.

There are many big contributors to the amateur community in general, including WARG and NewsWest, and Ham College is certainly up there with these organisations. For the bulk of the year there are volunteer instructors giving up their Tuesday evenings on a weekly basis, and weekends on a bi-monthly basis. They have never had to cancel a class due to lack of instructors and this is testament to the commitment of this group of hams to the amateur community.

Having said that, the college dearly needs more instructors to share the load. This will not only lighten the load on this small group, but also allow them to begin expanding the capability of the college to start providing extra-curricular subjects such as digital modes, satellite communications, etc.

Working in the commercial radio industry? They'd love to hear from you and explore how you could contribute to not only the amateur community but maybe also find opportunities for recruitment of promising new trainees from what is fast becoming the only specialised radio training organisation left in Perth. Food for thought.

Thinking of a career path in Radio Communications? Many of those in the commercial radio industry started out in radio via amateur radio as a hobby. Ham College is a great opportunity to learn the fundamentals of radio and is a great addition to those studying telecommunications at TAFE.

So... would you like to contribute to this fantastic organisation? Come along to our committee meeting held at Whaleback Golf Course on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 6PM. They'd welcome you with open arms. If you'd like to register for one of the courses, registration is ONLY accepted via our registration process on our web site. Just google “HamCollege WA”. The next standard course will start on the 6th February, 2018 and Ham College are looking for new students now.

Steve VK6SJ

Chairperson – Ham College


SSTV from Space

The International Space Station will be transmitting Slow Scan Television between the 5th and 6th of December. You might even manage to receive some during the 7th and 8th while the ISS is in range of Moscow.

The link to all the information, including modes, times and frequencies can be found on vk6.net


Amateur Radio News this week

In amateur radio news this week we saw the CQ WW CW contest hit the airwaves with Steve VK3JA reporting that he managed 1310 contacts across 67 zones with 150 countries on 40m 20m 15m and 10m. Allan VK2GR managed a similar feat, 1300 contacts, 83 zones, 157 countries. Propagation be damned. Congratulations to all!

A new Amateur Radio Society of Australian amateurs is being formed, called the Radio Amateur Society of Australia. Check the link on vk6.net [http://vkradioamateurs.org/]

SBS Television are looking for Australian stories about Morse code for their Documentary and Drama Unit. They're looking for stories about relationships between Morsecodians, surprising discoveries, personal reasons for learning and other aspects of Morse code that you think would intrigue viewers. You'll find an email address on vk6.net [debra.shulkes@gmail.com]

A resurgence of Packet Bulletin Board Systems is underway for no other reason than experimentation. You'll find VK6MSC-1 on 144.740 MHz and VK6HGR-10 on 441.050 MHz.

Denis VK6AKR reminds us that the WA VHF Group holds an Activity Day First and third Saturdays of the month. It's a good chance to drop in and see what they're doing in AR. Visitors welcome. Every first and third Saturday of the month between 2pm and 5pm.

Denis also lets us know that the City of Melville as part of their 50th Anniversary celebrations will be having an exhibition at the Wireless Hill Museum, of home movies, photos, etc relating to life from 1968 to present. Museum staff are asking for the loan of any relevant material which may include some communications-related footage. If you have anything to loan, please contact City of Melville Museum staff.

If you have a story to share, the address is newswest@vk6.net

Ham College Foundation Course This Weekend

When this broadcast is aired on Sunday morning on the linked repeater network, a group of Foundation Licence Course students will be listening at the Lynwood Scout Hall in Parkwood, as they start the second day of the College’s last weekend course for 2017. Assessments are due next Saturday, the 9th December.

NewsWest would like to wish all candidates the best of luck.

The college will soon be releasing dates for courses and assessments for


So if you are interested in “improving yourself” next year then keep a watch on the website. There are places on the Standard and Regulations course that starts early in the New Year and runs from 7pm on Tuesday evenings.

Go on, enrol and improve your privileges and responsibilities.

Finally, if you’re at a loose end why not pop along to the course venue later on this morning, assuming you are listening to a morning broadcast.

Ham College welcomes visitors to see what they are up to, with a brew and bikkies always available.

Thanks to, Andrew VK6AS enrolments officer at Ham College

VKFF Wrap Up

From the feeds into NewsWest – a quick coverage of what’s happening on WWFF Australia, VKFF.

CONGRATULATIONS to the latest VKFF award recipients......

Liz VK2XSE - Bronze VKFF Hunter

Brett VK2VW - VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 425

Mike DG5LAC - Bronze VKFF Hunter

Mick VK3GGG - VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 800

Paul VK5PAS - VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 800

Preliminary analysis for the 2017 VKFF Activation Weekend shows.....

50 x different amateurs took part (including 2 clubs).

80 x different parks were activated (in all States & Territories, incl VK8).

Once all of the logs have gone in, Paul VK5PAS, will prepare a final report on the weekend and start issuing participation certificates for the Activators.

For those that did not register, but did go out to activate a park, please drop Paul a quick email, so that he can send out an Activator's participation certificate.

Thanks to everyone who took part, either as an Activator or a Hunter.

Thanks to all of the State/Territory reps, for uploading a lot of logs (and more to come).

If you’ve got logs to send in, a reminder that all VKFF logs need to be sent to the relevant State/Territory VKFF representatives, who in turn will upload the log/s. Links in this story at VK6.net

WWFF has a newly developed Agenda – links from VK6.net

If you do intend to activate a park, please consider placing an alert on the Agenda, along with other excellent platforms such as parks’n’peaks. It will alert a lot of park hunters of your intentions, and will no doubt increase the number of callers you receive.

One of the advantages of the new Agenda, is that alerts appear immediately, and do not require Admin approval. Adding your alert is quick and easy.

In preparation for this story, I also headed to the website of Paul, VK5PAS. We also know Paul, VKFF National-cordinator lives and breathes WWFF, and he and his XYL Maria VK5FMAZ are at it again, on a mega road trip of national parks. Head to VK5PAS.org and take a read – a quick warning – you may be there for a while – it’s pretty spectacular. A great way to get out and enjoy our hobby.

I’m Glynn, VK6PAW


Paul Vk5PAS – http://VK6PAS.org

A reminder that all VKFF logs need to be sent to the relevant State/Territory VKFF representatives, who in turn will upload the log/s.

They are......

VK1 ACT - Ian VK1DI - mr_ian_sinclair@yahoo.com.au

VK2 New South Wales - Gerard VK2IO - vk2io@amsat.org

VK3 Victoria - Mick VK3GGG - cqcq@mail.com

VK4 Queensland - Mark VK4SMA - vk4sma@optusnet.com.au

VK5 South Australia - Paul VK5PAS - vk5pas@wia.org.au

VK6 Western Australia - Hans VK6XN - hansfair@gmail.com

VK7 Tasmania - Jonathan VK7JON - vk7ff@vk7jon.com

VK8 Northern Territory - Hans VK6XN - hansfair@gmail.com

More info at..... https://www.wwffaustralia.com/vkff-team.html

The newly developed WWFF Agenda, can be found at: http://wwff.co/agenda/


Next week NewsWest takes a look at Amateur Radio history. Do you have an item of history, be it ancient or modern, that you’d like to share? You know what to do - write it up, record it if you can, and send it to us by email to newswest@vk6.net.

Thanks to our broadcasters and contributors, and to the NewsWest team Glynn, Onno, and Roy. I’m Bob VK6POP, wishing you good DX for the coming week. Callbacks follow this bulletin, pleas hang around to record your callback, or do it online at vk6.net

NewsWest is broadcast over a wide range of frequencies and times, and is also available online and on demand. Visit vk6.net to find out how. The email address for the newswest team is newswest at vk6 dot net. Bye for now. Do’nt forget to get on air and make some noise this week.