Registrations for the Tassie Ham Radio Conference and Expo are now available! Please head to the website below and click on “CONFERENCE & EXPO REGISTRATION PORTAL” link at the top of the page. Once loaded, click on “Tickets” which will show you a list of options.
Registering is ESSENTIAL!!
If you’re a Vendor, or interested in having a preloved table at the expo on Sunday, please scroll down the page and click on “VENDOR & PRE-LOVED REGISTRATION PORTAL” and follow the prompts. Once loaded, click on “Tickets” which will show you a list of options.
We have been fortunate to be able to secure a presentation from Paul Daniels VK0PD / VK2PAD who gave us an illustrated talk on his experience spending the winter at the Australian Antarctic Division Casey station. Paul started with some background on his interest in radio and Antarctica.
Paul did a site survey once down at Casey and the RF noise was not good but found a location for the antennas and operated from the Hobby Shack. Paul took a IC-7300, an IC-705 and HLA-305 PA and ATX converted SMPSU. Paul built a foot switch from workshop rubbish and showed his operating position in the hobby hut.
Paul showed the weather forecasts in Antarctica and the snow storms/blizzards engulfing and breaking the antenna regularly. It emphasised that there are relentless wind and blizzard conditions that saps your enthusiasm over time.
As the building services supervisor he visited the past radio antenna installation however all the V beams were broken and tower installation was condemned.
He outlined some fun stuff they get up to namely a sauna for 25m then into an ice bath for about 10m – yeah right!
Paul outlined an engineering job he undertook to improve safety and there is constant maintenance that is required to combat the relentless weather and this included some RF engineering work on the tandem delta with the comms tech.
Paul played a video of the first plane coming in along with the fog and it couldn’t land! But then an RAAF C-17A came into the next day and Paul got to come back on a nice big RAAF transport plane – nice!
Paul then took questions.
Do you realise that a job in Australia takes three to ten times longer in Antarctica!
Paul talked about operating radio and the polar flutter and outlined that he was operating radio down there not to make quick contacts but to operate radio and have conversations.
Paul described the size limits for the hardware that you can take down to Antarctica and the need to take down things to keep you busy.
Paul answered some late questions about heading south to work for the AAD and the opportunities that working for the AAD present. He finished with the comment that the AAD is a very supportive organisation to work for.
A huge thank you to Paul for this presentation and to Hayden for liaising with Paul.
There is a recording that is available from the REAST YouTube channel.
It was a standing room only presentation from Peter, Kim and Denis on 3rd October 2021.
Peter VK7KPC started with FSE-58 section radio from Germany with Helmet antenna – It is crystal locked – mode is FM and runs at 24 Volt – Batteries are a 4 x 6 volt NiCd batteries. Peter shared the Italian schematics with the audience. This radio is cold war era.
We then went across the channel with a Clansman PRC-50 VHF section radio comes with handset or headset, flexible or rigid antenna and is currently on the local 6m repeater transmit frequency. There is a whisper function – low audio level and power. 14V NiCd or C-Cell battery packs.
Peter then showed a Clansman PRC-351/352 VHF manpack with carrying frame – NiCd battery pack – either 4/20W with remote antenna, similar function to the PRC-50. Comes with a hand generator and can link to a vehicle, remote operation, etc. There was also a ground spike antenna demonstrated.
We then went to a PRC-320 HF manpack. Similar batteries and functions to the PRC-351. Has a built-in ATU, comes with a leg morse key, 5/30W power settings with many aerial options. Wire antenna with tunable counterpoises, elements with metric distance/frequency tags. There was also a carry backpack and is only on USB and there are modifications available on the net.
Over to Kim VK7KB – with an Australian AWA A-510 – 1940/50s AM/CW HF valve set in two boxes on your hips with interconnecting cable, crystal locked – four crystals, handset or headset, toolkit, light communicator, many dipole antennas.
The next manpack was the 1970s RACAL Sencal 30 with synthesised operation – decade dials to set frequency – similar functionality to the SquadCall and was a very popular radio. There were many antenna options and some built in ATU. NiCd battery pack that screws on the base and the radio came from the Royal Australian Air Force.
Move to more modern radios – the QMac HF-90 – HF radios – 1990-2000s – these are built as a system much like earlier radios with sets of antennas, batteries, tuner, etc. 12-28V operation. The ground connections are interesting where the manpack actually capacitively couple to the person carrying the radio for connections to ground.
Kim then moved to an American – General Dynamics GRC-106 mobile radio with RTTY terminal option, 400W power amplifier, receiver/exciter – fully synthesised HF radio. Kim pointed out they use surface connections with no pins. Known as RattRigs by the Americans. Runs on 24-28V built in late 1960-early 70s.
Denis Jackson then showed the back-up radio from boat – Morana – this is 1939 AWA WS-101 ex-military valve radio featuring a door at the base of the radio that opens to access all the eight valves – low HF frequencies and built in morse key. There was the accompanying power supply converter with vibrator DC-DC converter and battery box.
Denis then moved to the 1945 – 122 set – this was a transportable radio with separate vibrator power unit. It has two bands: 2 to 4 MHz and 4 to 8 MHz. The transmitter could be either crystal or VFO controlled.
The first Wednesday night of September it was standing room only in the REAST COVID-Safe clubrooms for a presentation on how to build a statewide P25 based Emergency Services radio network given by Andrew Johns VK7AJ.
Andrew covered all aspects of a P25 Network and its use within a dispatching organisation like Police, Fire and Ambulance. The topics covered included – What is it, its benefits, comparison with its competition – TETRA, services and trunking.
Andrew then went on to architecture, interfaces, voice & data calls, encryption, the future and then took a look at the local environment.
A huge thank you to Andrew Johns and the respective organisations for the presentation.
Opportunity for Amateur Radio operators to become involved
Being an experienced amateur radio operator gives you some unique experiences, knowledge and skills. Ranging from operating computers & computer control, to integration and interfacing, through to knowing and applying radio transmission theory, radio frequency measurement, design and construction; it is an end-end skill set that is highly valued in many technical circles.
These are skills that are very valuable to a Community Radio station.
There are over 450 Community Radio stations operating around Australia, including 14 in Tasmania. Most operate through volunteer presenters and technical assistants who give their time and knowledge as a community service to enhance and reflect the diversity within our community. For more information take a look the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) website
Are you interested in taking your hobby of amateur radio to a new level and assisting Community Radio stations in a technical capacity? Contributing your skills, knowledge and experience to assisting organisations that are providing an important service to the community.
Keeping a Community Radio station on the air 24/7/365 is not a small undertaking and involves many different roles and responsibilities. On the technical side there is much computer based work like scheduling audio playout on automation systems, establishing and maintaining computer networks, and building and imaging PCs. It also involves audio, computer and communications interfacing and integration, equipment maintenance and occasionally high power radio frequency engineering work.
Technorama is a national support organisation assisting Community Radio technical volunteers. They run training programs and provide other services and their website is worth a look.
From the REAST Repeater coordinator we hear an update about the R2 linking.
Please note the new permanent link arrangements between the Domain and Mt Nelson repeaters. VK7RAD 2m repeater on 146.7 is now permanently linked to VK7RDS 70cm repeater on Mt Nelson.
VK7RDS operates on 439.750MHz with a minus -7MHz input (note the new input frequency of 432.750MHz). No tone is required, however a 141.3Hz tone output is provided for those wanting to mute the tail and ident.
The VK7RDS repeater provides good coverage over greater Hobart and down to the Kingborough and Channel areas. VK7RDS operates at 50w into a Diamond X-50 vertical, with a permanent 2m gateway to the Domain. We are hopeful this will increase coverage to those that struggle with the Domain.
For those previously using VK7RDS to monitor 23cms, can now find this temporarily on the Snug Tiers 146.850 repeater courtesy of Brian VK7BW.
Reg VK7KK and Justin VK7TW – our REAST assessors are proud to announce the release of ten YouTube videos that follow the Foundation Licence Syllabus (Version 10).
These videos were recorded in November 2020 at a REAST Foundation Licence training and assessment day.
They use the slide packs that were developed by Justin and Reg for REAST Foundation Licence Training.
These video are not meant to replace the bimonthly face-to-face sessions however, they provide relevant material covering each area of the syllabus that would assist prospective candidates with training information in a self-paced format.
Video titles are:
Nature of Amateur Radio
Transmitters & Receivers
Transmission Lines & Antennas
It is recommended that you view these videos along with The Foundation Manual – Your Entry Into Amateur Radio. This manual is produced by the Wireless Institute of Australia and available online (WIA – Foundation Manual) and is available in Hobart (thanks to Clayton VK7ZCR) from the Caltex Service Station – corner of Main Road and Amy St in Moonah, Tasmania for $40 cash.
Each station zooming into Peter VK3BFG either directly or via their local ATV repeater which was then linked via Zoom. Each station had a couple time slots to show a wide variety of activities, equipment, events, etc.
Peter VK3BFG shared a segment from one of the local VK3 Amateur Radio Clubs about the DATV QSO Party – Extract from NEVARC News