11Sep/21

ROSS HULL MEMORIAL CONTEST (MARATHON)

 

ROSS HULL MEMORIAL CONTEST (MARATHON)
The Ross Hull Contest is open to all amateurs worldwide and is a VHF and UP contest, with a distance-based scoring methodology.
Ross Hull was an Australian amateur who moved to the USA and was appointed Editor of QST shortly before his untimely death in 1938.
This year there have been a couple of minor changes to the rules, and they are :

The inclusion of CW as a mode, the inclusion of an overall championship category and the inclusion of Multi Operator stations.

The Ross Hull could be won from anywhere however a quick look over the past winners shows all mainland VK states have had a winner as well as ZL3 but surprisingly no VK7s.
Crank up the gear and strap yourself in for the VHF DX Fun during January, we hope to hear as many calls as possible.

The Ross Hull Contest is a VHF/UHF++ DX contest, with points awarded for distances worked. There are also band multipliers to encourage activity on the higher bands.

https://www.wia.org.au/members/contests/rosshull/

30Aug/21

Reminder *** ACMA Survey on 2×1 Callsigns *** Reminder

ACMA Survey on 2×1 Callsigns *** Reminder

Date : 18 / 08 / 2021
Author : Peter Clee – VK8ZZ

Australian Communications and Media Authority
August 2021

The ACMA Amateur Radio Update recently announced a Survey on 2×1 call sign allocation

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) are aware of interest in the amateur community for the issue for 2×1 call signs for use in amateur radio contests.

The ACMA has discussed arrangements for 2×1 call signs with the Australian Maritime College (AMC).

The AMC will manage the allocation of the 2×1 contest call signs on behalf of the ACMA.

Amateurs will not be required to obtain a new licence or vary an existing licence to use these call signs.

The ACMA and the AMC are seeking the views of the amateur radio community on allocation arrangements for 2×1 call signs. Please complete the ACMA survey at this Link, which closes on 31 August 2021.

 

https://www.wia.org.au/newsevents/news/2021/20210818-1/index.php

12Aug/21

Amateur Radio Foundation Licence Training Program

A NOTE FROM FRED VK3DAC / VK4FE

Amateur Radio Foundation Licence Training Program

Good afternoon, I am offering an on line Amateur Radio Foundation Licence training program.
The on-line program using ZOOM is available to anyone who expresses interest.
There is no cost associated with this program.
The program will commence Thursday the 19th August in the evening commencing at 7pm EAST and will run until Friday 2nd September . The three evening sessions will commence at 7 pm and run for 3hours.
Expressions of interest can be made via email to trainsafe@silvertrain.com.au
Kind regards
Fred VK3DAC, VK4FE
Silverdale Trainsafe

 

06Aug/21

New Appointments take WIA Board Members to 4 VKCC Members

WIA Board announces new President.

Date : 14 / 07 / 2021
Author : Lee Moyle – VK3GK

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) board of directors convened their first meeting after the 2021 AGM, which is when the President and Vice President are appointed and all new directors are welcomed to the board.

Firstly all returning and new directors were congratulated on their appointments and then we all welcomed new Director, Peter Schrader VK4EA to the WIA board.

The WIA Board of Directors are proud to announce the appointments of Scott Williams VK3KJ as new WIA President and Lee Moyle VK3GK will continue as Vice President.

All the directors thanked past President Greg Kelly VK2GPK for his commitment and contribution to the WIA during his past Presidential tenure. Greg Kelly continues on the WIA board as a valuable resource and support to assist new President Scott Williams as he transitions into the role.

A general meeting followed with some excellent initiatives tabled, including a focus on the aspects of increasing our utilization of social media platforms and memnet for information delivery to our WIA membership base.

The board undertook a range of discussions focused towards improvement on the levels of customer service to members. It was acknowledged that the WIA board must introduce system enhancements to triage member feedback and concerns. With a goal to address matters more timely and efficiently.

The mood was very upbeat as we look forward to the coming year ahead.

On behalf of the WIA board of Directors

06Aug/21

Remembrance Day Contest 2021

Remembrance Day Contest

Next contest 14th & 15th August 2021

Contest Manager

Alan Shannon VK4SN
vk4sn@wia.org.au

Rule changes in 2021:
1. Foundation Licence sections discontinued
2. Remote station operation is allowed.

Multi Op stns, please observe COVID restrictions in your area.

Contest Introduction

This contest commemorates the Amateurs who died during World War II and is designed to encourage friendly participation and help improve the operating skills of participants. It is held on the weekend closest to the 15th August, the date on which hostilities ceased in the southwest Pacific area.

A perpetual trophy is awarded annually to the Australian state or territory with the best performance. The name of the winning State or Territory is inscribed on the trophy, and that State or Territory then holds the trophy for 12 months. The winning State or Territory is also given a certificate, as are leading entrants.

Aim Of The Contest

Amateurs will endeavour to contact amateurs in VK call areas, ZL and P29 on all bands except WARC bands. Modes allowed are PHONE, CW and RTTY as per the era remembered.

06Aug/21

NewsWest for Sunday 8th August 2021 – Contesting Edition

NewsWest for Sunday 8th August 2021 is the contesting edition, and we have news of contests coming up over the next couple of months, as well as some general information about contesting that you may find useful.

 

There’s a bunch of Aussie contests coming up, kicking off with the Remembrance Day contest next weekend, and we’ve got some information that may assist you to prepare for these.

 

NewsWest is produced by WA Amateur Radio News, a Western Australian Amateur Radio Club with a global view, and our editorial content is independent of any other organisation.  Our website is vk6 dot net.

NewsWest invites contributions to the news programme. You can send contributions by email to newswest@vk6.net

 

You’ll find links to resources on the vk6.net website where you’ll also find information on where to hear the news, where to download it, how to rebroadcast this news and how to register your callbacks.

 

If you want to join in, you can. Send an email to newswest@vk6.net and we’ll be happy to respond. Send your stories, tall or true, audio production, scripts, events, updates, membership information, meeting announcements, AGM alerts, contests, swap-meets and more to us and we’ll happily present your contribution on-air.

 

Please register your callback, either on-air, or on-line. Visit vk6.net and click on the callback button.

 

Originating in Perth Western Australia NewsWest is produced by WA Amateur Radio News for listeners on-air, on-line and on-demand.

 

NewsWest audio (mp3) is available for download from our website, vk6.net. Click on the “LISTEN” tab.

 

For Podcast simply search for “Newswest” on any of the major Podcatcher sites. Thanks to Ed DD5LP

 

Whichever way you’re listening, whether you’re a licensed radio amateur or not, experienced or just a beginner, old or young, thanks for being here and thanks for joining us.

 

Get your copy: http://vk6.net/news/

 

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.

 

Our address is newswest@vk6.net

 

Producer: Bob VK6POP

29Jul/21

WIA adds new Support for the Contest Champion Peter Brown VK4PJ Trophy

HUGE BACKGROUND CHANGES FOR THE WIA CONTEST CHAMPION TROPHY

The WIA Contest Committee, has added new features to the Contest Champion Peter Brown VK4PJ Trophy score page with direct score uploads from the contest managers, this is a massive time saver.

https://www.wia.org.au/members/contests/contestchampion/

From 2022 most contests will add the ability to auto upload to the contest champion page.

The supported contests now are the Harry Angel, VK Shires ,Trans Tasman Low Bands, RD and it is expected that the VHF UHF Field Days will also come on board.

The rules of the Contest Champion are under review and opinions will be sought from the users in due course, and certainly with plenty of time before the 2022 Ross Hull.

ocdx18_IMG_5419-Large-768x576

 

20Jul/21

AREG Lockdown Contest

AREG

AREG Lockdown Contest

As most of us will be locked down for at least the next seven days we have thought up a little contest to have some fun.
The idea of the contest is to promote radio contacts between VK Amateurs during the SA Lockdown. Bonus points will be Awarded for working AREG members (you need to ask as we have members in most states) and VK calls ending in PF (Pfizer) and AZ (AstraZeneca).
The Contest will start at 6pm on 20 July 2021 and conclude at the end of the lock down.

Rules

Contacts may be made by any Voice, Morse Code or Digital modes, in any Amateur Band between 160M and 23cm (WARC Bands excluded) by any mode (yes even FT8). Contacts can be made Simplex or via a Repeater. The term Repeater also includes IRLP, DStar, DMR or similar (but not Zoom, Skype, Teams or mobile phones).
Use of remote transmitting stations within VK or remote receivers (like the AREG one) permitted. The key rule is there must be some RF in a ham band from 160M to 23cm involved.
Stations (which must be in VK) may be reworked after 12 hours per band.
The required exchange is RS(T) and a sequential number beginning with 001. If you change bands then don’t restart the numbers.
Suggested call syntax is ‘CQ Lockdown de VK????’
Keep a log to verify your efforts.

Scoring

2 points for a simplex contact (double points for an AREG member)
1 point for a Repeater contact (double points for an AREG member)
5 points for working VK?AZ (because its not as good as PF)
10 points for working VK?PF

Prize

What is the prize? – We don’t know yet – maybe a coveted AREG sticker? Or just the knowledge that you are the best Lockdown Operator in the competition. The goal is the have fun and got on air this lockdown
Any questions to Chris, vk5cp@arrl.net
AREG
 
19Jul/21

VK4HH and VK7GH Clean up the VK Shires

Pretty obvious from the results of the VK Shires that the ladies have cleaned up…

We asked the ladies how they did so well?

Can you please describe your station’s setup to help our VK3 friends perform better in the RD Contest?

Di and Catherine were happy to respond :
From Di VK4DI
As Bill VK4ZD & I usually operate either Multi 2 or Multi Single depending on the contest type and duration we have a few strategies to get us through.
Antenna-wise we are spoilt with 5 acres and 2 x 2 element 5 band quads: one is 19.5m and the other is around 15m high, 2 x 160m delta loops in the trees around 20-30m up, and a 320 m loop of no particular shape strung up through our neighbour’s and our properties also around 18-30m up. We also have a 10/12/15/17m 13 element Andy Coman Yagi which currently has a faulty rotator so is not being used. (it’s on the to be fixed list with a different rotator)
The 20/40m Yagi is about to be built.
We have 2 dedicated stations and use a 403A antenna switch and a set of VA6AM high pass filters for each band.
We both use Radio Sport CF60 headsets which give better audio results than our Heil ones and are way more comfy on the ears with great noise cancelling, and of course we use footswitches to allow free hands for the important work of logging, tuning, searching etc. We have good supportive office chairs as well. We have recently invested in large curved monitors so we can display what we want easily for aging eyesight!
We historically used VKCL for logging but are now moving over to N1MM especially as Alan VK4SN writes great UDC’s for it.
If we are going into a 24 or 48 hour contest I usually put a meal in the slow cooker and it’s ready whenever we need to take a break. We usually have a few snacks, avoiding carb heavy ones and trying for lighter ones like fruit etc and always no alcohol. Tea, Coffee, lots of water & the odd soft drink.
We also look at the expected propagation as well as checking out real conditions in the days leading up to the contest and then devise a plan for who does what band, at what times and what times are best for bonus points or extra multipliers. If possible, we try to take the most effective “quiet” time as our rest time. We tend to sit as a run station and then Search and Pounce once it gets a bit slower: using the dual VFO’s makes that easier.
We also do regular “butt in chair” swaps if only one band is firing.
As yet we haven’t done a voice recording to calling CQ so we keep some throat lozenges and the water close by. We currently only do SSB as our CW skills aren’t good enough yet (work in progress)!
Going portable is different, we just take the caravan, and OCF and the IC7300 and batteries and a generator. We have a laptop we use for logging and sit under a gazebo. We only do Multi Single then. We do have a Tarheel screw driver antenna that hasn’t been installed yet. Hopefully that will happen in the near future.
Contesting is all about having some fun, enjoying the hobby and occasionally getting a piece of paper or a plaque.
Diane Main VK4DI / AG5JI (Contest call VK4HH)

Catherine VK7GH also passed on some tips 

I also have been enjoying the contesting aspect of amateur radio for a number of years now, initially as VK4GH and now as VK7GH. We moved our towers and antennas from VK4, and have re-installed them, and also kept our Elecraft K3 transceiver, and not upgraded that. We do have a second K3 with a built in tuner for when we go portable, so that we can leave the home station set up.
The radio shack is in a small office off the living area of the house, so it is nice and warm in winter, with a comfortable office chair, headphones and a footswitch on a footrest, so I can easily reach it. With my OM John VK7IO on hand a few days before the contest, we test the gear, download the latest version of VKCL and/or N1MM, and have a good read of the rules, and any files I need. I make a decision on whether I am going to do the whole contest, or a shortened one, if available. Repeat times are also noted, they can be blocks of x hours, or x hours between contacts, luckily VKCL lets you know if you are wrong, but it is best to know. For the VK Shires contest, I also have open the spreadsheet of the shires for reference. For the RD Contest, work out how many years licenced.
During the contest, I will work bands according to the appropriate propogation for the time of day, and occasionally I will look at the grey line during international contests.
Fortunately we have a Steppir antenna (13m high) with 40m capabilities, so this enables me to have a beam on that band. From my current QTH when beaming to VK5, I can pick up VK6, but I usually just leave it pointing a touch east of north. I will hear a kiwi accent and move it around to pick up those contacts, and every now and then, beam and call towards the NW for VK5 & 6.
The new antennas that we do have now are 2 beverage antennas, one east-west, and one north-south. These are low cost antennas, you just need a little bit of room. I have found this year in the VK/ZL contests that there has been quite a lot of noise, and many signals were down in the noise. I had good success putting out my call, and if I heard a weak signal down in the noise, would ask them to call again, and I could switch to the north-south receive antenna for a much better, several dB, signal. That is how I was able to get Onno VK6FLAB in my log in the VK Shires contest.
You may not have a beam for 40m, but maybe you can experiment with listening on a couple of your antennas, and even if you can’t transmit on an alternate one, you may be able to hear better.
For 80 and 160 I have a few options of a 160m loop, full size 80m vertical (when not blown down), and a doublet, and swap between them.
During the contest, I will run for a while, but tend to get bored if no one comes back to me, and I go for a “wander” around the band. I do make good use of the voice recorder on the K3, with looping, and “might” even look at Facebook, play a game, or do a jigsaw on the computer in the quiet times. It is the OM’s job to bring me water and lots of cups of tea, but no alcohol, and also make me breakfast in the mornings of the contest. Dinner is usually very quick and easy, but I do stop to eat it, a good excuse. For contests going all night, I will stay up for half an hour or so of the block that starts after about 10pm, and if there is a block starting early in the morning (6am onwards), I will get up especially early. This maximises the repeats with the serious contestors. I also find Sunday mornings there are a lot of new contacts on the band who were not on the previous day.
I do like the feature now available in VKCL to use OMNIrig, which records the frequency used for the contacts, rather than just the band as in the past. I always export my contest files to my main log file, and like that the frequency is recorded for any QSL info. I also add to my main log any notes I may have made during the contest, like name, QTH or state (US).
17Jul/21

2021 VK SHIRES All SoapBox

2021 VK SHIRES   All SoapBox

 

vk1dd.log

SOAPBOX: THANKS TO THE ORGANISERS AND EVERYONE I TALKED TO.  I WASN’T ON FOR

SOAPBOX: LONG, BUT IT WAS FUN REGARDLESS

 

vk2mt.log

SOAPBOX: AS PER PREVIOUS VK SHIRES, OPERATED PORTABLE FROM THE BACK PADDOCK

SOAPBOX: OF A SHEEP FARM 20KLMS NE OF GRENFELL NSW. MINUS DEGREE

SOAPBOX: TEMPERATURES, BUT NOTHING A BIG CAMPFIRE & SOME GOOD RED WINE

SOAPBOX: COULDN’T FIX.

SOAPBOX: RIG: IC-7100

SOAPBOX: ATU: AH-4

SOAPBOX: ANT: G5RV ON 10M POLE

SOAPBOX: GOOD BAND CONDITIONS WITH NO STORM QRN.  THANKS TO ORGANISER TRENT.

SOAPBOX: CATCH YOU ALL NEXT YEAR!

 

vk2yw.log

SOAPBOX: ANOTHER GOOD TIME WAS HAD. A VERY FRIENDLY CONTEST. I WONDER IF WE

SOAPBOX: MIGHT LOOK AT INCLUDING NZ?

 

vk3lsn.log

SOAPBOX: THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO TRY SOME NEW SKILLS.

 

vk4hh.log

SOAPBOX: MANUALLY COMBINED LOGS

SOAPBOX: NOT AS MUCH ACTIVITY THIS YEAR. SOME ZLS SUGGESTED ADDING ZL SHIRES NEXT YEAR.

 

vk4jaz.log

SOAPBOX: I WAS USING MY ELECRAFT KX1 AT 1W WITH AN END FED WIRE ANTENNA. I

SOAPBOX: WAS ACTIVE ON MOUNT COOT-THA.

 

vk4vo.log

SOAPBOX: LAST TIME IN SHIRES WAS 2017 FROM VK3. THIS YEAR FROM VK4, CONDX

SOAPBOX: WERE PRETTY GOOD. ABSOLUTELY HAD A BLAST!!!! GREAT CONTEST, THANKS

SOAPBOX: FOR EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED, THANKS TRENT, AND THANKS MIKE VK3AVV

SOAPBOX: FOR A GREAT BIT OF KIT IN THE VKCL SOFTWARE.

 

vk5rs.log

SOAPBOX: THANK YOU! IT WAS GOOD FUN :-)

 

vk6flab.log

SOAPBOX: OPERATED ROVER FROM 00:00 TO 09:00, IN ADDITION TO THE STATIONS IN

SOAPBOX: LOG, ALSO HEARD, BUT WAS UNABLE TO WORK ONLY A FEW OTHER STATIONS.

SOAPBOX:  VK4VO, VK2YW, VK3MH, VK6FD, VK4HH, VK4SN, VK6BSA

SOAPBOX: IN ADDITION TO THE SHIRES IN THE LOG, ALSO OPERATED IN EF6 AND NL6.

SOAPBOX: ACTIVATED FM6 TWICE FROM DIFFERENT LOCATIONS. WE HAVE GPS LOGS AND

SOAPBOX: PHOTOS FOR VALIDATION PURPOSES.

SOAPBOX: CONDITIONS WERE POOR AND EXTREMELY VARIABLE, UNLIKE ANYTHING EVER SEEN

SOAPBOX: HEARD TWO STATIONS ON 80M, BUT NO CALLS. NO VK STATIONS HEARD ON ANY

SOAPBOX: OTHER BAND.

SOAPBOX: USED MULTI-TAP WHIP MOUNTED TO BULL-BAR OF LANDCRUISER WITH IC-7000.

SOAPBOX: DRIVER WAS THOMAS VK6VCR, VERY MUCH APPRECIATED HIS NAVIGATION.

SOAPBOX: LOGGING WAS DONE ON PAPER – SHOCK-HORROR – AND WAS THE VERY LEAST OF

SOAPBOX: THE CHALLENGES. AT ONE POINT WE FEARED THE STATION WAS FAULTY, BUT THEN

SOAPBOX: I WORKED CATHERINE IN VK7 AND ALL WAS WELL WITH THE WORLD.

SOAPBOX: START TIME WAS INCONVENIENT, DATE WAS WORSE WITH YB AND YC STATIONS ALL

SOAPBOX: OVER 40M. RECOMMEND SELECTING A DATE WITHOUT AN INDONESIAN CONTEST ON

SOAPBOX: THE SAME DAY.

SOAPBOX: ALSO, WHEN CAN I LOOK FORWARD TO RECEIVING MY WINNER AWARD FOR 2016?

 

vk7ham.log

SOAPBOX: THANKS ENJOYED THE CONTEST.

 

vk7jgd.log

SOAPBOX: THANKS FOR CONTEST AGAIN SHIRES IS ALLWAYS GOOD FUN FOLLOWING THE

SOAPBOX: PROPAGATION.CHEERS ALL GARRY VK7JGD

 

vk7zbx.log

SOAPBOX: FIRST TIME IN THE VK SHIRES. GREAT FUN. STATION NEEDS MORE WORK :)

 

 

 

Trent

VK4TS 

PO Box 275

Mooloolaba 4557

0408497550