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

 

13Jul/21

VK Shires 2021 Survey

https://www.surveymonkey.com/stories/SM-HFDXLLJJ/

The survey of entrants resulted in a majority asking for the contest to be expanded to cover ZL local Government regions.

In 2022 we need to increase the footprint of the promotion. As a start can everyone forward photos of their VK Shires setups?

The vast majority will be back in 2022. Sadly one person said they wont be back and we will miss them.

Results will be out next week.

Received Logs are :

FK8IK JE1RRK VK1DD VK2DG VK2GR VK2KDP VK2KJJ VK2MK VK2MT VK2MTM VK2YW VK3BQ VK3GK
VK3LSN VK3MH VK3YV VK4ACN VK4HH VK4JAZ VK4QH VK4SN VK4VO VK5FD VK5LJ VK5RS VK6FLAB VK6WR VK6WU
VK7BO VK7GH VK7HAM VK7JGD VK7ZBX ZL2AYZ ZL3GQ

12Jul/21

Short call signs from the RSGB

UK Contest Callsigns Qualifying Criteria

Qualifying criteria
4. The qualifying criteria are divided into two parts, – one for contest participation and the other for your achievement in the contest. Both parts of the criteria must be met in order for a SCC to be granted.
Participation criteria
4.1. Individual licensees (or the licence-holder in the case of club licensees) must supply evidence of having entered at least five contests from the list in Table 1 within the last five years. Ofcom will also consider results from other contests, not listed in Table 1. In those cases, Ofcom will assess the suitability of the contest for the purposes of issuing an SCC. If you are requesting a variation to an individual licence (as opposed to a Full (Club) licence), you must have entered all of the contests as a single operator. If you are applying on behalf of a club, the contests may have been entered as a single operator or as a multi-operator team.
Achievement criteria
4.2. The applicant must have accrued five achievement points from the contests entered. One point is accrued if the licensee (or licence-holder) makes at least one fifth (20%) of the number of contacts of the leader. Two points are accrued if the licensee (or licence-holder) makes at least one half (50%) of the number of contacts of the leader. Note: If a UK call sign is used to enter a contest, ‘leader’ means the leading station in the UK in terms of the number of contacts made in the section entered (if applicable). If a non-UK call sign is used to enter a contest, ‘leader’ means the overall leading station in the contest in terms of the number of contacts made in the section entered (if applicable).
06Jul/21

WIA Trans-Tasman Low-Band Contest 2021

Trans-Tasman Low-Band Contest

Trans Tasman Low Bands Challenge

Contest Manager

Alan Shannon VK4SN

Contest Introduction

Next contest – 17 JUL 2021

The Trans-Tasman contest, held on the 3rd weekend in July, aims to encourage Low Band activity between VK and ZL

Only contest bands 160 80 and 40M are allowed with SSB, CW and Digital (RTTY OR PSK)

From 2018 this contest is an official WIA Contest and will count towards the Peter Brown Contest Champion Awards.

Aim Of The Contest

Work as many VK and ZL Prefixes and as many different stations on 160 80 and 40M in a short evening contest..

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

06Jul/21

Harry Angel Memorial 80m Sprint 2021 Results released

RESULTS for 2021 posted below

we apologise for the delay in publishing results from this years contest. We were delayed due to a significant number of logs not being sent to the managers as outlined in the rules below or sent in formats that “did not compute”

Rather than disqualification we restarted the entire process again to ensure all entries are captured.

The date for the next Harry Angel Sprint will be
Saturday May 7th 2022. 10:00 – 11:46 UTC.

It is intended to commence electronic log submission only from the 2022 HA Sprint.

No postal logs have been received for the last three years

Full information on log submission will be published in good time

The Harry Angel Sprint is an annual 80m contest event, first established in 1999, to commemorate the life of Harry Angel VK4HA who at the time of his becoming a Silent Key was the oldest licensed amateur in Australia.

The duration of the contest is 106 minutes one minute for each year of Harry’s life.

The “HA” is held on or around the first Saturday in May each year and is open to all grades of licence holder. This contest is structured to suit both seasoned contesters and operators new to contesting.

Place winners in the Harry Angel Contest are eligible to claim points for the WIA Contest Champion (Peter Brown) Trophy.

This Years Winners

Harry Angel Results 2021 Final

CW Section
VK1CT 22 1st **
VK2KJJ 20 2nd **
VK2RH 6 3rd **

Mixed Section
VK4SN 55 1st **
VK5GR 53 2nd **
VK5LJ 50 3rd **
VK2GZ 42
VK5SFA 41
VK3CTM 27

Phone Section
VK2MT 54 1st **
VK4DI 45 2nd **
VK2KQB 40 3rd **
VK4YZ 39
VK7GH 32
VK2ZK 32
VK2DG 26
VK3LM 23
VK6WK 20
VK4TAA 18
VK5DT 17
VK4KD 17
VK3BBB 15
VK2MTM 12
VK2BBQ 10
VK6POP 10
VK6HDY 3

** Certificate awarded

Congratulations to all who entered and to those who have been awarded certificates

Logs received 2021 26
Entries received from all VK call areas

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

30Jun/21

from the WIA Facebook Page – AMC news update re callsigns.

AMC news update re callsigns.
Important Note: The WIA has developed and offered a complete system solution to AMC for the allocation of the class of callsigns mentioned in the AMC news update. This offer, at no cost to AMC, was made in good faith for the benefit of the Australian Amateur Service to expedite the glacial implementation process by AMC. (Refer post on this Facebook page June 11 for more information on the offer).

30Jun/21

ACMA Amateur radio update: June 2021

Amateur radio update: June 2021

In our third amateur e-bulletin for 2021, we provide an update on:

  • the review of non-assigned amateur licensing
  • 2×1 contest call signs
  • consultation on proposed changes to class licences to harmonise EME requirements
  • accreditation arrangements.

Update: review of non-assigned amateur licensing arrangements

In February, we consulted on our review of non-assigned amateur and outpost licensing arrangements, which included proposed changes to accreditation arrangements for amateur beacon and repeater assignment.

We would like to thank everyone who provided feedback. We received over 800 submissions, which we are now considering.

We intend to publish submissions in Q3 2021, along with our response to the key issues raised.

Update: 2×1 contest call signs

Arrangements for issuing 2×1 call signs (for example, VK1Z) to use in contests are currently being developed.

Further information about the proposed application process and how 2×1 call signs will be issued will be provided in an upcoming e-bulletin.

Outcome: consultation on proposed changes to harmonise EME requirements

We have published the outcome of our consultation on proposed changes to how our electromagnetic energy (EME) regulatory framework applies to class licences.

This includes a proposed change to the Radiocommunications (Overseas Amateurs Visiting Australia) Class Licence 2015 (Overseas Class Licence) that would require overseas visiting amateurs to comply with the EME general public exposure limits set out in the Standard for Limiting Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields – 100 kHz to 300 GHz (ARPANSA Standard).

Following consideration of submissions, we have decided not to make this change to the Overseas Class Licence.

We will keep investigating the most appropriate longer-term EME-related requirements for domestic and overseas visiting amateurs as part of our review of non-assigned amateur licensing arrangements.

Outcome: accredited persons scheme

Following our consultation, we have made legislative instruments for the accreditation to issue Frequency Assignment Certificates (FACs) and Interference Impact Certificates.

In general, these instruments continue the arrangements in place under the accredited persons scheme (the AP scheme).

One significant difference is that the AP scheme now allows the ACMA to accredit a person to issue FACs for a single, specified licence type, such as assigned amateur licences (beacon and repeater) and at a lower application charge than for ‘full’ accreditation.

We also intend to publish technical and administrative guidance to improve the efficiency of the assignment process for assigned amateur licences. We’ll provide more information on this in subsequent bulletins.

Instruments for the AP scheme are: