REAST Members learn about Virtual Reality

Ian Mackintosh Explaining Virtual Reality (Photo VK7TW)

It was standing room only and we had a visitor in VK2 Bob VK7BS who has moved down here and is about to become a member of REAST.

The room was setup in a theatre of the round configuration with a big table in the middle with three different Oculus Rift headsets (DK1, DK2 and CE1), computers, high power video cards, controllers and cameras.

Ian then took the audience through the video games that pioneered 3D and VR with Doom and Quake. We started to see standardised 3D gaming engines that most manufacturers adopted.

Ian Mackintosh started with a presentation on Virtual Reality (VR) Archeology. Starting in 1965 with Ivan Sutherland and Ian took the audience through the development of computer graphics and specifically three dimensional computer graphics. The VR boom took off in 1970-80s with Atari with arcade games which overtook the military applications and development. The game that took Atari to another level was Star Wars with vector graphics and Ian bought along service manual for this game. The 1990 saw NASA put resource toward VR along with Nintendo Virtual Boy and SEGA cockpit arcade game. But unfortunately each manufacturer would custom build and develop the hardware and software. Most of these were commercial failures. Ian then went through the VR Recipe including 3D hardware, multi-thread multi core processors, six degrees of freedom, 3D audio, etc.

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Some TLC for REAST Antennas

VK7ZMS attaching new repeater Antenna

Over the last couple of months there has been a noticeable degradation of the VK7RAD 2m Analogue FM repeater, with increased noise and crackling on the audio, and people requiring more power to get in to the repeater.

Additionally the club had been loaning a Bushcomm SWC-100S Antenna from VK7FAZE for 3 years, but it’s power limitations for non-SSB transmissions meant it was also time for a more permanent antenna to be procured and the loan returned.

A TET Emtron ED-52c was purchased as a replacement multi-band HF antenna and a Diamond X50N and these were installed last weekend, where it was discovered that the Heliax feed line to the repeater antenna was damaged, and it too has been replaced.

The New Antennas
VK7ZBX Adjusts 6m Antenna

All up, a good 3 hours was completing the necessary maintenance and has been well worth it, with many users of the repeater mentioning the improved quality of the signal and Dave VK7DM is also reporting that where he used to need 40 Watts to get into the repeater with a clean signal, he now needs only 1 Watt!.

Thanks to VK7s SD, ZMS, ZBX, ZCR, FPCL and BEN for their assistance on the day with the maintenance work!

Back from Hiatus!

The observant will have noticed that our last post was in November 2018. This certainly doesn’t mean that the club has been shut down since then, there has been a lot going on and we just haven’t had time to update you on the website!

That is now changing, and we will be getting you up to date with all the happenings over the coming weeks!

We’re back! – VK7BEN

REAST Car Boot Sale Wrap

Car Boot Sale

Today REAST held a Radio and Electronics car boot sale and BBQ as an opportunity for members to sell some things to raise funds for the upcoming Miena Hamfest as well as being an opportunity to acquire some treasure as well.

It was fantastic to see some 16 sellers on site today, having on offer a huge variety of wares including a variety of vintage/classic radios, some more modern radios (there was an IC-7300 and flex SDR gear on offer), along with a variety of accessories such as components, power supplies, microphones and more. The only thing missing were buyers, with sellers trading between themselves for some part. Some real bargains were missed out on!

The BBQ was a huge success, selling out of all the meat on offer and also raising funds for the Association.

It was clear that based on the activity today that Radio and Electronics Car boot sales may have to become a more regular event to encourage more people to come along.

Thanks to everyone involved in this great day!

Justin VK7TW Interviewed on ABC Radio Evenings Program

On Wednesday evening, ABC Radio Hobart contacted us through our Facebook page wanting to know if someone would like to talk about the experimenters night and what happens at REAST.

Justin VK7TW made a detour from his regular sojourn to the club rooms to visit the ABC studios and give an interview on the things that have been happening recently on Joel Rheinberger’s Evening’s show.

With permission from ABC, we can share the audio of the interview below.

Audio of Interview

Congratulations Justin on the great interview!

New Digital Repeater To Increase Digital Coverage

Yaesu DR-1X Repeater
On Wednesday, REAST repeater officer Damien Styles VK7SD commissioned the new Yaesu DR-1X digital repeater much to the excitement of the gathering of people at the Wednesday evening experimenters group. While the repeater was purchased some time ago, it has only been in the last couple of weeks that frequencies have been allocated by the ACMA for it’s usage.

The Yaesu DR-1X is capable of both analogue and C4FM digital voice and automatically switching between the two modes. Soon an additional module will be acquired to provide DMR, DSTAR and p25 digital voice capabilities.

This repeater is on air right now, with an output frequency 438.675Mhz with a 7Mhz negative offset for the input on 431.675Mhz.

Our repeater officer would be most interested to hear signal reports from you. If you are able to access the repeater, please let Damian know by emailing [email protected]!

Digital Radio Club Buy (open to non-members as well)

Following a great deal of interest in Digital Radios, repeaters and DMR radios, REAST is arranging for a series of club bulk buys of the Radioddity GD-77 DMR Handhelds.

These are available for purchase from the club for $120 each ( $130 for non-members ).  You may have seen these available online in the usual places, but unlike other sellers these will be setup and configured for you so that all you need to do is enter your callsign and you will be on the air.

Further details – including how to purchase  are available on the REAST web site at the following URL : https://www.reast.asn.au/news-events/digital-radio-club-buy/

REAST Equipment Tender – Now Open

As part of work to clean up the Clubroom, a number of surplus items are being made available for sale by tender to financial REAST members.

The catalog of items for tender is available in the members only area of the web site, as well as a paper copy on display for members in the Clubroom.

The Tender will close on midnight Monday the 30th of July, with emails sent to the successful bidders shortly afterwards.

Further details on how to bid are included on the cover page of the tender catalog.  If you have any questions please email [email protected] for further details.

Good luck, and thanks for supporting REAST

Repeater Upgrades Under Way

If you have not been around the Clubroom,or had the chance to use VK7RAD recently you may not be aware that work has started on the upgrade of REAST’s Repeater Infrastructure.  Recently Damien Styles (our new Repeater officer) installed a Spectra MX-800 Repeater, replacing the trusty old Phillips 814 that ha served for many years.  Word has it that the more modern hardware has resulted in a noticeable improvement in audio quality.  Don’t take my word for it – get on air and give it a go !

For those of you asking about the Yaesu DR-1 – we are (still 🙁 ) waiting on the license variation to get additional frequencies for this and when we have the OK from ACMA we will be getting that up and running  to !

VK7MO 10GHz Grid Square EME Adventures Presentation

Wow, Rex Moncur VK7MO gave us a four part illustrated presentation on his 18,000km journey on his recent 10GHz Grid Square chasing EME DxPedition. Rex traveled far and wide into VK3, VK5, VK6 and VK8.

Rex started with a short presentation on the VK6 Northern Corridor Radio Group as he was very impressed with this club and the things they get up to. Rex then moved to a tutorial on EME propagation and then moved to his grid tour and get OK1KIR up to over 100 grid squares on 10GHz EME. These grid squares were from the OH, OG and OF grid fields. There were a few interesting and frustrating things that happened along the way but Rex achieved his goal!

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