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!

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]!

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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REAST and TMR Secure Long Term Lease for Wireless Station

REAST Secretary Scott VK7LXX signs sublease with Barry McCann of TMR

REAST Secretary Scott VK7LXX signs sublease with Barry McCann of TMR

Earlier this week members of the REAST Management Committee met with a representative from Tasmanian Maritime radio to sign a long term lease, securing access to the building for ten years, with an additional ten year option.

The signing of the lease ensures that members will be able to enjoy the clubrooms that have been the home of the WIA Tasmanian Division and then REAST for over 25 years.

Particular thanks goes to Barry McCann who has been instrumental in negotiating and securing the lease with the Hobart City Council and ensuring that the interests of REAST members were maintained.

Clubrooms Closed Wednesday 15th March

Dear Members,

We have just been advised that due to planned hazard reduction burn being conducted by the Hobart City Council & Tasmania Fire Service, access will be restricted to the upper domain on Wednesday & Thursday, dependant on weather.

In the interests of general safety and member comfort we wish to advise that the REAST clubrooms will be closed on Wednesday 15th March.

We apologise for the short notice and inconvenience this may cause.

Regards
Ben Short
REAST President

Everybody Loves Wednesday Nights @ The Club Rooms!

Don’t think that because the Amateur TV experimenters group is having a break while waiting for a new studio to become available that things on a Wednesday night have slowed down. This past Wednesday saw a cracking display of activity at the club rooms.

Every Wednesday evening the REAST clubrooms are open for members to attend, being up their projects to work on, or just sit down and have a bit of chat about the week with friends.

Tom VK7NTK was busy tuning an analogue filter to boost frequencies in the 1000Hz – 1500Hz range. It is hoped that this board will help improve the attenuation issues being seen with the raspberry pi based IRLP node that is a whole tale in itself!

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REAST AGM and 2017 Committee

Last Sunday REAST held it’s AGM. A modest number of members attended and reports from President, Secretary and Treasurer followed by reports from Ex-Officio officers. Members heard that the Association is currently started a path of change with an increase in activities and further changes will occur this year as a result of the changing lease arrangements and introduction of NBN at the clubrooms. The financials for the Association were in good shape, with a loss for the year attributed to the purchase of new assets.

A committee was elected, with the only change from last year being Scott VK7LXX appointed as secretary as Sean VK7FAZE has stepped down for the year to focus on other projects. Congratulations to all members of the incoming committee. The REAST Committee for 2017 is:

President:            Ben Short VK7BEN
Vice-President:       Justin Giles-Clark VK7TW
Secretary:            Scott Bragg VK7LXX
Treasurer:            Alan Jeffrey VK7KAJ
Committee Members:    Larry Hower VK7WLH
                      Barry McCann 

Draft Minutes for the AGM & reports will be placed on the members only section of the website shortly.

From Maxwell to Marconi – A History of Electrical Radio

February Presentation by Mike VK7MJ

February Presentation by Mike VK7MJ

Last week REAST held it’s first major presentation for the year with Mike Groth VK7MJ taking the audience through a history of radio from Maxwell up until the time of Marconi, where signals were largely generated in the form of electrical spark and modulation of the spark. This was the time of spark gap transmitters and who knew it would be so interesting!

Mike presentation took us through how a spark transmitter was tuned, how a coherer, magnetic, electrolytic and crystal detectors worked, and the role wireless played in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. We learnt about the early attempts at wireless telephony, the development of the HF alternator and the infamous Pousen Arc converter, and Fessenden’s pioneering Christmas broadcast of 1905.

For those who missed the presentation, we will soon have it up on our Youtube Channel, so watch out for that!