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VK7 Amateur Radio News 10Oct21
VK7 AMATEUR RADIO NEWS BROADCAST
FOR SUNDAY 10th October 2021
Welcome to the VK7 Amateur Radio News for the 10th October 2021. At the mike of VK7WI this week is Justin, VK7TW.
This broadcast goes out on repeaters all over VK7 and on digital radio - DMR Talk Group 5 and D-Star Reflector 91C by Clayton VK7ZCR.
We also go out on medium and high frequency courtesy of the following rebroadcast stations:
On 1.865 MHz by Graham VK7GS
On 3.670 MHz by Ross, VK7ALH
On 7.140 MHz by Garry, VK7JGD
On 14.130 MHz by Dale, VK7DG and
On 28.525 MHz by Tony, VK7VKT
You can hear this broadcast again on Tuesday night at 8:00pm on repeaters VK7RAA in Northern VK7 and VK7RTC in Southern VK7.
By Joe VK7JS
Blind ham, and software engineer, Joseph Stephen VK7JS, from north Tasmania has been extending the open GD77 firmware source project over the past year. This firmware runs on the Radioddity GD77, GD77S, Baofeng DM1801, DM1801A and RD5R handheld radios. Joseph’s version of the firmware, known as AccessibleGD77, to distinguish it from OpenGD77, adds dozens of new features and fixes over and above the official Open GD77 firmware. While it is designed primarily for blind and low vision amateur radio operators and those with dexterity issues, it is also used by many sighted amateurs.
Some of the features it offers over and above the official OpenGD77 firmware include:
The ability to reorder and delete channels from the radio in the field (without a computer),
A one handed mode (SK2 Latch) and DTMF latch for people with dexterity issues,
A more consistent editing experience ,
Priority channel and dual channel scans,
The ability to add, edit, and delete DTMF as well as DMR contacts from the radio, and
An AutoZones feature which optionally adds channelized frequency tables and rules (without having to program them in your codeplug) for popular bands like the Australian UHF CB, international marine, and US GMRS/FRS/MURS/NOAA/rail, and UK PMR446 frequency bands.
The GD77S, the model without a Keypad, now has a virtual keypad mode and VFO so that many of the features previously only available on the GD77 are now also available on the GD77S model.
The latest version of this firmware can be downloaded from the “Accessible GD77 Stableö link on the Blind Hams website at:
New beta versions are released frequently and can be downloaded from the “BETA TEST Accessible GD77ö link at the same site.
Joseph is very responsive to new ideas, adding features and fixing bugs. For more information, you can contact him at joestephen(at)skymesh.com.au
73, Joe Stephen, VK7JS
Amateurs appearing in unlikely locations!
There is a series of innovative television advertisements for the Tasmanian Building and Construction Industry that feature Sergio Giudici projected onto a hydroelectric dam wall.
Sergio is sadly silent key however he was a hydro engineer and an amateur radio operator - VK7SG.
Sergio lived in Landsdowne Crescent West Hobart with a high tower and beam in the backyard. Richard VK7RO remembers him saying that the council asked for the design figures so he gave them the static numbers, but not the dynamic.
We suspect he thought they wouldn't be able to understand the latter and there were probably not many outside of the engineering fraternity who could! Sergio was of course a very big noise in the design of the Gordon system and other hydro electric schemes.
Sergio bought the house next to him in Landsdowne Cresent and Richard remembers VK7AZ suggesting that it was to avoid having to suffer complaints about TVI...HIHI.
The link to the YouTube video of the advertisement is available on the email edition of the broadcast.
73, Justin, VK7TW & Richard VK7RO
Oceania DX Contest
The Oceania DX phone contest happened last weekend and this weekend the Oceania DX CW contest is happening from 9 October at 0600 UTC to 10 October at 0600 UTC.
For more information take a look at the website.
There are multipliers for each prefix in Oceania and also different points for each band, creating opportunities for high scores for a few contacts.
This is also a great opportunity to increase your dxcc countries contact list, as all the stations have their beams pointed to Oceania.
Don’t forget to put in your log for the contests you enter!
73, Catherine, VK7GH
NEWS FROM THE NORTH WEST
N W T A R C SHEFFIELD OUTING
Last weekend five club members and their family enjoyed a trip to Sheffield to the Redwater Creek Steam Railway for a BBQ lunch, train ride, and get together.
The addition of family members made a nice day of it and the added families made a nice gathering, all appeared to enjoy the trip and lunch.
The driver for the day was VK7GS Graham, who also gave us a guided tour of the big steam engines and told us their history which was interesting and answered our questions, also about the place doing other jobs we got to say hello to Ross VK7ALH.
Following that some of us went to see Mr Allen Braids commercial radio collection and we were not disappointed with what we were shown. The fun part being confusing instructions on direction which gave us a ride to the foot of Mt. Roland and back, just to go to the opposite end of town and try again.
In all a nice day a very impressive radio collection, and just a light sprinkle of rain that didn't harm us.
This item is being sent by me in the absence of our News Officer Eric VK7EV who was supposed to be with us for the day, but is a guest of the Burnie hospital where he has been for a while, and now showing some progress so to Eric our best wishes for a good recovery and hoping you are home again now.
73, Shirl, VK7HSC
JOTA Call for volunteers
The Club is operating two JOTA sites, at the Scout Camp at Paton Park behind North Motton , and the Spreyton Scout Hall in Spreyton on Saturday 16th October.
Unfortunately we are short some volunteers and was wondering if there are any amateur’s able to assist. We need one operator from 8am till 4pm at Spreyton, it will be on 2m & 70cm with all equipment supplied.
At Paton Park, it would be great to have two extra volunteers, 9am to 5pm all equipment supplied, at this stage we will be on 2m & 70cm, but HF if we have more amateur’s attend. We have a HF radio - an FT101E and on site Triband HF beam & OCF Dipole.
There has also been a request to operate the site on Saturday night if we had someone available, this can be on 2m/70cm and/or HF.
If available please contact Eric VK7EV on email: ericvdneut1(at)bigpond.com or mobile: 0418572183
73, Eric VK7EV, JOTA Coordinator
NEWS FROM THE NORTH
SOTA/WWFF PARKS GROUP
The Summits On The Air/World Wide Flora and Fauna parks group is now meeting twice weekly – Mondays and Fridays 10.30AM till 12.00 at the Glebe Gardens Cafe, Henry Street, Launceston.
For more information contact Al on 0417 354 410.
73, Al, VK7AN
Northern Tasmanian Amateur Radio Club Incorporated
My goodness, we’re nearly half way through the month of October. How time flies. Yesterday, Saturday the 9th NTARC held its October general meeting. I will be able to provide you all with a report next week, but in the meantime I hand over to Idris VK7ZIR to provide you with a summary of events of the Club Tech night held last Wednesday the 6th;
“Peter VK7KPC was an early starter tonight working away in the Radio Shack after lighting the fire and getting the urns going. Peter was in full preparation mode for the upcoming JOTA/JOTI next weekend, and was fine tuning his Echolink equipment in readiness. Also on his agenda was completing the fault-finding on our antenna matcher, which if you remember, had the collywobbles in the metering department. Still a work in progress, but getting closer.
Nic VK7WW attended for a while, taking a break from his Slow Morse instructor role. It was good to see him that evening.
Meanwhile, Ross VK7ALH staggered in with his Heathkit HW101 SSB transceiver. A lovely example of the marque, in the process of restoration. Ross took us through his activities with this radio which has a compliment of 20 valves, or tubes if you’re from the east side of the Atlantic. He has made some modifications to enhance the performance, Thanks Ross.
Idris VK7ZIR had some treasures recovered during a spot of dumpster-diving at the back of a local education institution. They consisted of some old electrical measurement equipment, namely a poly-phase wattmeter and a power factor meter. Both in relatively good condition but judging by the layer of dust and their age, had probably been the victims of not being of used for some time, and therefore no longer required. Also retrieved were some examples of microwave components, in the form of flexible waveguide with dry gas injection ports. Well scored Idris, some repurposing maybe?
Much discussion was had for organising radio equipment for JOTA, testing antennae and working out what would go where in the Clubroom and hall, and the order in which activities would occur, to comply with the current COVID procedures. Everybody was kept fairly busy through the evening and the time passed quickly.
All for now.
73, Idris VK7ZIRö
Thank you Idris for that update. Sounds like another good night out for all.
The following item of interest is from Peter Dodd, VK7KPC in his capacity as Project Commissioner Radio and Electronics, Scouts Tasmania. Peter says;
“On behalf of Scouts Tasmania I wish to thank my fellow Amateurs who are donating their time and in some cases equipment for the upcoming JOTA/JOTI weekend. Huonville and Cygnet Scouts are planning to be on air noon till noon over the weekend with their home grown youth member licensed operators. Amateurs from the North West have been doing upgrade work at the Paton Park Scout camp and should be on air from there and Spreyton. NTARC will be on air from noon till late on Saturday and on Sunday from 10.00 am to 3.00pm.
Also, fairly hot off the press, Huonville Scouts, Lakia using her callsign VK7LJB assisted by Aiva (who is still waiting for her callsign to be granted) won the Top scoring Foundation Licence ALARA member (Trophy) in the recent ALARA contest. The VK7HSD station operated by the boys also received an honourable mention. Thanks to Michael VK7MRS for encouraging these scouts to get their licences and to participate in the contest.
Again thank you
On behalf of NTARC we also extend our congratulations to Huonville Scouts and also to Michael for his ongoing encouragement of these scouts and generally assisting them to achieve their goals in the field of amateur radio.
TestNet and TECHNET – Wednesday 13th October. TestNet/CW course on 3580 from 7pm till 7.30pm….and a TECHNET on 3567 from 7.30pm till about 8.30pm. Your host for the evening is Nic VK7WW.
JOTA/JOTI 2021 – takes place from 15th to 17th October. Setting up will happen in the afternoon after coffee session Friday 15th. , Peter has lined up a number of events that will be taking place at the Rocherlea Scout Hall, commencing on Saturday 16th at noon and will run through until 8.00pm with the possibility of the Venturers attending after 8.00pm. Sunday 17th October will see groups arriving from 10.00am up to 3.00pm. Plan is they will visit for about 2 hours and the breakdown will see them spend half an hour utilising radio, this will be followed by half an hour on the Internet and a further half an hour outside locating those elusive foxes. Some Skype and JOTI TV will be thrown into the mix, plus 10 minutes being allowed for cleaning up between activities. Also on offer will be how to make a morse code trainer and this activity doesn’t require any soldering, so hopefully the first aid kit won’t need to be opened.
If anyone can assist on Saturday and Sunday, Peter would love to hear from you. He can be contacted by email; dodd.pc(at)bigpond.com or mobile 0408 805 086.
TECH NIGHT – Wednesday 20th October at the NTARC Club rooms, 19:30 hours until whenever.
Plenty of notice this time. NTARC will be holding a Christmas dinner on Wednesday 15th December. Venue Mowbray Hotel, meet time is 6.00pm. Tables has been booked under the name of NTARC. Menu is a-la-carte and there is plenty of parking at the rear. Please RSVP the secretary at either of these email addresses news(at)ntarc.net or ypmaxwell(at)bigpond.com or jot your name down on the sheet next to the sign in register on a Wednesday night session or coffee morning. We will need to confirm final numbers with the Hotel on Tuesday 14th December, so please ensure you get your name on the list before that date. A number of members have already advised notice of attending, obviously eager for another night out.
COFFEE MORNINGS – currently held every Friday in the NTARC Club rooms. Catch up time is from 10.00 am to noon and we look forward to seeing you all.
These coffee events represent a good opportunity to collect your QSL cards. We currently have cards awaiting collection, so why not pop in and check the QSL box and join us for a cuppa and chat.
Just a friendly reminder, please demonstrate your appreciation of all the effort that goes into operating the club, its facilities and the other services we provide, especially in these abnormal and very trying times, enjoying the company, coffee, biscuits and cake, by leaving a gold coin or two, or even a small bank note, in the jar to assist in our on-going operations.
FINALLY – A reminder to all members that if you have any items of news you would like added to our weekly roundup, no matter how trivial, then please email me at the following address news(at)ntarc.net all items to be received no later than 17:00 on the Friday prior to the Broadcast.
Your continued cooperation in this regard will be greatly appreciated.
We will bring you all such contributions next Sunday morning.
73, Yvonne VK7FYMX, Secretary NTARC Inc
NEWS FROM THE SOUTH
Radio and Electronics Association of Southern Tasmania
REAST Amateur Radio Open Day
Do you have an interest in electronics, radio or technology?
Come learn and have fun!
The Radio and Electronics Association of Southern Tasmania (REAST) will be holding a public open day on Saturday October 16th 2021 up at the top of the Queen’s Domain.
Amateur Radio (ham radio) is a popular hobby and service that brings people, electronics and communication together. People use ham radio to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones.
It's fun, social, educational, and can be a lifeline during times of need.
There will be lots going on in and around the REAST clubrooms and we will have lots of different activities for everyone!
Learn how to become a radio amateur - REAST runs regular courses up on the Queens Domain.
We'll have displays from:
Australian Ladies Amateur Radio Association Amateur Radio Contests
Jamboree On The Air & Scouts Australia in Amateur Radio
WICEN TAS South - Emergency / Portable Community Communications
Microwave & Moonbounce
Outdoor Summits and Silos on the Air
Optical and Morse Code Communicators
Digital Amateur Television
Amateur Radio Training and Assessments
Tasmanian Maritime Radio museum and operation
There will be many other general displays and interesting and fascinating things that amateurs get up to as well as a Sausage Sizzle (with onion!), coffee and cake available on the day.
Who could pass up an opportunity such as that!
Please share this event with your friends, family and anyone who would be interested in learning about all things electronic, technology or radio!
The day runs from 9:00am to 3:00pm up at the Queens Domain Clubrooms
See you there.
73, REAST Committee
Military Radio and Antennas
It was a standing room only presentation from Peter, Kim and Denis last Sunday.
Peter VK7KPC started with FSE-58 section radio from Germany with Helmet antenna - It is crystal locked - mode is FM and runs at 24 Volt - Batteries are a 4 x 6 volt NiCd batteries. Peter shared the Italian schematics with the audience. This radio is cold war era.
We then went across the channel with a Clansman PRC-50 VHF section radio comes with handset or headset, flexible or rigid antenna and is currently on the local 6m repeater transmit frequency. There is a whisper function - low audio level and power. 14V NiCd or C-Cell battery packs.
Peter then showed a Clansman PRC-351/352 VHF manpack with carrying frame - NiCd battery pack - either 4/20W with remote antenna, similar function to the PRC-50. Comes with a hand generator and can link to a vehicle, remote operation, etc. There was also a ground spike antenna demonstrated.
We then went to a PRC-320 HF manpack. Similar batteries and functions to the PRC-351. Has a built-in ATU, comes with a leg morse key, 5/30W power settings with many aerial options. Wire antenna with tunable counterpoises, elements with metric distance/frequency tags. There was also a carry backpack and is only on USB and there are modifications available on the net.
Over to Kim VK7KB - with an Australian AWA A-510 - 1940/50s AM/CW HF valve set in two boxes on your hips with interconnecting cable, crystal locked - four crystals, handset or headset, toolkit, light communicator, many dipole antennas.
Over to an early 1960s Racal SquadCal manpack in a plastic case that actually floats! Came with handset, 5W power, HF AM/SSB/CW and was one of the early manpacks from the UK.
The next manpack was the 1970s RACAL Sencal 30 with synthesised operation - decade dials to set frequency - similar functionality to the SquadCall and was a very popular radio. There were many antenna options and some built in ATU. NiCd battery pack that screws on the base and the radio came from the Royal Australian Air Force.
Move to more modern radios - the QMac HF-90 - HF radios - 1990-2000s - these are built as a system much like earlier radios with sets of antennas, batteries, tuner, etc. 12-28V operation. The ground connections are interesting where the manpack actually capacitively couple to the person carrying the radio for connections to ground.
Kim then moved to an American - General Dynamics GRC-106 mobile radio with RTTY terminal option, 400W power amplifier, receiver/exciter - fully synthesised HF radio. Kim pointed out they use surface connections with no pins. Known as RattRigs by the Americans. Runs on 24-28V built in late 1960-early 70s.
Denis Jackson then showed the back-up radio from boat - Morana - this is 1939 AWA WS-101 ex-military valve radio featuring a door at the base of the radio that opens to access all the eight valves - low HF frequencies and built in morse key. There was the accompanying power supply converter with vibrator DC-DC converter and battery box.
Denis then moved to the 1945 - 122 set - this was a transportable radio with separate vibrator power unit. It has two bands: 2 to 4 MHz and 4 to 8 MHz. The transmitter could be either crystal or VFO controlled.
We then moved to the Domain compound for a demo of some of the accompanying antennas by Peter and Kim.
There is an accompanying video showing high resolution photos of each radio and video of Peter VK7KPC talking about some of the military radios - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4G8zmgjp2k
A huge thank you to Peter, Kim and Denis for showing us their collection of radios.
73, REAST Committee
Digital Voice Hotspots
REAST's November presentation will be about Digital Voice (DV) hotspots with a focus on pi-star and openspot3.
A huge thank you to our resident DV hotspot expert Scott VK7HSE who has agreed to give us the presentation.
All you need is a hotspot and internet connection and you can use your DV handheld anywhere and get access to your favourite talkgroups on your favourite DV mode - DMR, DSTAR, Fusion or P25.
They are particularly good in Aged Care facilities where you can set one up and be able to operate amateur radio without having to find space for large antennas.
Happening on Wednesday 3rd November from 7:30pm in the Queens Domain clubrooms.
See you there.
73, REAST Committee
REAST Policy Updates
The REAST Committee has recently updated a number of it’s policies and procedures in relation to:
Working with Vulnerable People
Estate Liquidation or Deceased Estate Policy
Equipment Loan Scheme
For more detail take a look at the REAST website link available on the email edition of this broadcast.
73, REAST Committee
Training and Assessments
Congratulations Peter Sweetlove and Daniel Zeller who recently both passed their Foundation Licence assessments.
REAST’s next Foundation Licence course and all licence assessment day is on next Saturday the 27th November 2021 from 9am to 3pm.
If you are thinking of coming along then please let Reg Emmett VK7KK REAST Learning Organiser know ASAP that you will be coming along by phoning 0417 391 607 or email assessor(at)reast.asn.au.
Check out the REAST Foundation Licence Training Videos that can be found on the REAST YouTube Training and Assessment playlist.
Checkout the REAST Facebook page events for further details.
73, Reg, VK7KK
DATV Experimenter's Night
We started with Ben VK7BEN showing his recent Kickstarter purchase a Storm 2 Power Pack. This is a 100W passthrough power pack. 27,600mAh or 99.36Wh which is within the limits of carry-on luggage on airplanes (remember them!). Can supply voltage from 3.3-25.2V DC Out. It has 2 USB-C and one USB-A+DC. It is a Compact Battery Bank With See-Through Design. We showed the energy control operating system on the small OLED colour screen. The battery bank comes with two connecting cables. Thanks Ben.
Richard VK7ZBX then showed off his very impressive first place in the 6 hour phone section of the John Moyle Memorial Field Day and we discussed the contest, thanks Richard.
We then discussed last weekend's Oceania DX Phone contest and participation. We showed Paul VK5PAS' website and the many contacts he made on 20m, thanks Paul.
Justin VK7TW then showed the inside of a 3.4GHz panel antenna. These are from the Geelong ARC club conversion project. They are basically a 300mm square phased array of PCB patch antennas.
We then showed the latest addition to the Pawsey Supercomputing centre that Andrew Elwell talked about in the REAST April 2021 Presentation
Justin then showed the TAPR WSPR RaspberryPi Transmitter. This is a simple transmitter circuit and low pass filter with the RF and WSPR signal being generated in the RaspberryPi.
We finished the night with a reminder of the November ( Wed 3 Nov) presentation titled "All about Digital Voice Hotspots" with Scott VK7HSE.
A recording of the night is available on the REAST YouTube Channel.
This week at the DATV Experimenter’s night we will have a focus on resonance, review of the latest Low Key Magazine, 3.4GHz experimentation and much more. See you then.
We get underway from 7:30pm in the Queen’s Domain clubrooms.
Keep an eye on the REAST Facebook Events for more details. Why not come up to the Queens Domain COVID-safe clubrooms and see what we get up to.
And a reminder that we go out on RF on 445.5MHz DVB-T 7MHz Standard Definition. So, if you have a TV, Set-top box or USB DTV Dongle that you can tune and scan 445.5MHz and you can see the Queens Domain, then you have a good chance of receiving the DATV Experimenter's Night Signal.
Look out for VK7OTC. We also stream the nights on the REAST YouTube channel.
73, Justin, VK7TW
Regular VK7 gatherings and events over the coming months:
SOTA/WWFF Group – Meeting Mondays and Fridays 10.30-12.00 midday at Glebe Gardens Cafe, Henry St, Launceston.
NTARC – Friday coffee session – Rocherlea clubrooms Launceston from 10:00am
NTARC - Tech Night sessions Wednesday 20th October - Rocherlea clubrooms Launceston
NTARC - TestNet and TECHNET – Wednesday 13th October. TestNet/CW course on 3580 from 7pm till 7.30pm and a TECHNET on 3567 from 7.30pm till about 8.30pm
NW VK7 – Wednesday from 2000 local – NW Tassie Amateur Repeater Group Net on VK7RMD
NW VK7 - Thursday commencing at 10:30 UTC (20:30 local) - N.W. Tassie 2m DX Net 144.190 USB (upper sideband).
REAST – MICROWAVE QSO Party – following after the Sunday broadcast on 1296.15 MHz FM.
REAST – WAGS – Wednesday Afternoon Group meet in the Queens Domain Clubrooms from 12 noon.
REAST – DATV Experimenter’s Nights from 7:30pm live in the club rooms also on DVBT RF and YouTube Streaming
Sewing Circle Net – Daily on 3.640 MHz commences at 6:00pm AEDST.
JOTA/JOTI 2021 – 15-17 October worldwide.
REAST - 16 October - Open Day - Queens Domain Clubrooms
REAST - 3 November - Digital Hotspots Presentation with VK7HSE - Queens Domain clubrooms from 7:30pm
NTARC - 15th December - Xmas Dinner at Mowbray Hotel from 6.00pm - let secretary know if coming along.
A reminder to those people rostered for next week’s broadcast:
Repeaters: REAST, NTARC and in the NW thanks to N W T A R C, West Coast Radio Group, Cradle Coast Radio Amateur Radio Club, VK7AX, and VK7DC
DMR: Talk Group 5 and D-Star: Reflector 91C VK7ZCR
You can hear this broadcast again on Tuesday night at 8:00pm on repeaters VK7RAA in Northern VK7 and VK7RTC in Southern VK7.
A huge thank you to all people and organisations that assisted with this broadcast.
That concludes our VK7 Amateur Radio News Broadcast for this week.
You have been listening to or have just missed VK7WI. Next week the National WIA news can be heard at 0900 followed by the VK7 Amateur Radio News around 0930 hours.
Items for the broadcast can be emailed to vk7arnews(at)gmail.com
Further information about the broadcast can be found at the VK7 Amateur Radio News Groups.IO Group.
The deadline for items is 21:00 on Friday prior to the Sunday of the broadcast.
VK7WI is now closing but will reopen shortly for callbacks and relay reports. Callbacks will be taken on the frequency to which you are listening. Relay stations will use their own callsigns during the callback.
On behalf of the VK7 Amateur Radio News Team it’s 73 from Justin, VK7TW.
(Posted to the packet network courtesy Tony VK7AX)
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