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!

NBN to Improve Member Services

Contractors installing conduit

For those visiting the REAST Clubrooms in the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed that there have  been some rather significant trenches being dug outside and down the hill. This has been to install the conduit for the National Broadband Network (NBN) Fibre.

There have been quite a few difficulties in being able to install the NBN to the REAST clubrooms given the location on top of the Queens Domain – The eventual solution has been an aerial installation of the fibre along  powerlines that come near to the clubrooms before completing the distance with underground conduit – no small feat considering that after about 2 feet you hit solid dolomite rock!

The NBN will allow us to provide many new and exciting services to members via the internet, mainly through the much improved network speeds that will enable the ability to use many of the online streaming services to provide live streams. The REAST Committee also have a few other tricks up their sleeve so be sure to watch this space!

 

LCA2017 Open Radio Mini Conference

LCA Casino by @taniawalker

Last Monday members of REAST were proud to be able to take part in and present at the Linux Conference Australia 2017 as part of the Open Radio Mini Conference at Wrest Point Convention Centre.

Linux Conference Australia is a weeklong event, with a number of 1 day mini conferences held over the first days of the event followed by 3 days of main event and selected presentations.

There were a number of fantastic talks at the event on Satellites, Getting into Amateur Radio, HPSDR, 10GHZ EME, Hamlib along with a panel discussion. One of the fantastic things about LCA was that all the sessions have been recorded and placed on Youtube, with the links below:

 

All Sessions were well attended with anywhere between 30 and 50+ people sitting in the room listening to the presentations

Also at the conference was Steve Conklin AI4QR who presented as part of the main conference on the Phase 4 Geosynchronous Satellite Efforts in progress with AMSAT. This was a fascinating presentation and can be found by following this link.

Special thanks to Scott VK7LXX who was the organiser of the successful mini conference. Scott was also one of the core conference volunteers being responsible for mini conference liaison and maintaining the Linux.conf.au Website. Well done Scott!