News and Commentary

Future of Amateur Radio

On the 3rd of February the WIA released a “White Paper” titled “The Future of Amateur Radio”, along with a poll to garner some opinions. Now, I’m not sure that this is the right way to go about it, but I guess it will provide some subject matter for the Hobart Conference’

I quote
“When the foundation license was made available in the mid 2000’s a decision was taken at the time to create a “4 letter” callsign that would distinctly identify foundation users. This callsign – colloquially known as a “F” call has remained in existence from this time.

Recent changes to the License Conditions Determination (LCD) have permitted operators with foundation licenses to operate digital modes. One of the challenges that has been created is that a number of the digital modes require, by design, a callsign that does not exceed 6 characters. The current “F” call has 7. This has resulted in a situation whereby foundation licensees are unable to fully leverage the new license conditions in the manner that was intended by the updates to the LCD. ”

Read the full artical here and dowload the pdf. make sure to have your say… there were some very strong opinions at the homebrew meet, but they’re poinless if they’re not heard.

Change of Xmas Venue

The next SRG monthly meeting will be our XMAS Meeting and will be held on 15th Dec 2019

LOCATION:-      Curlwaa Caravan Park  Camp Kitchen

DIRECTIONS:-   Cross the Abbotsford Bridge at the end of the Calder Highway and the park is right there. Coming from the Silver City highway, come into Curlwaa and turn left at “T” intersection. Come into the park and drive to the office, the kitchen is on the right near the boom gate.

ACTIVITY:-  The intent is to have a great time with each others company.  There will be several raffles including the xmas hamper prize.  
BBQ, fridge, sink with hot and cold water, nearby toilets all available. Please bring a chair if you have one, there is plenty of table space.                Hosts will be park owners,  Ric and Margot Young.

STARTING TIME:-  From 5:30 onwards with tea at your leisure.

Mildura Raspberry pi-Gate

I ‘ve been out of touch for a while, but I do see that the Mildura iGate is now VK3JUG-5. The previous callsign VK3WRM-10, has been relinquished.

Just to remind you, an iGate takes a string from a digipeater and gates it to the internet. If correctly configured, it can also gate messages from the internet to specified mobiles.

Thanks to Peter VK3JUG for keeping this valuable service up and running.

Balranald Repeater VK2RBL

Thanks to a big effort from Paul VK2PNH, Rex VK3OF, Matt VK3MDC, and Andrew VK3HDV, the Balranald 2 meter repeater is installed at its permanent site on the Balranald water tower. Drive tests have returned very good results with better than 50km coverage in all directions. There is good overlap with the Robinvale and Swan Hill repeaters, so once the Robinvale repeater link is up it will be possible to drive from Mildura to Balranald to Swan Hill and have a QSO all the way.

The Balranald repeater uses two Tait FM/P25 radios donated to Paul by Tait Australia. The site on the town’s water tower is also being supplied to Paul free of charge , including power. Given the “Hay Plains” nature of the geography, the water towers have proven to be a wonderful site giving the great coverage of the area.

VK2RBL is on 146.7250Mhz, -ve 6000KHz, no CTCS tone required. In other words a bog-standard 2M repeater.

Thanks to Balranald Shire Council for the great site, Tait Australia for the Equipment and Paul VK2PNH and team for seeing the project through despite the difficulties and indifference.