Oceania DX Contest 2016: Planning Meeting THIS FRIDAY 29th July

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AREG is again planning on participating as a Multi-Multi portable station in this year’s OCDX contest. Planning for the station has been quietly underway for some time, however now that we are only a couple of months out, it is time to get serious!

To move things along, an AREG OCDX planning meeting will be held at the Clubrooms, Reedbeds Community Hall, Fulham starting at 6pm on Friday 29th July (tomorrow). The meeting is open to anyone who wishes to come along and contribute to the station construction or operation. A group collection to fund Pizza and the room hire will be conducted at the start of the night.


Contest Countdown!

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High Altitude Balloon Launch WEDNESDAY 27th July with Willunga High School

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Andy VK5AKH and Mark VK5QI preping the balloon

Willunga High School undertook a high altitude (well, not so high this time…) balloon launch Wednesday the 27th July, with some tracking support provided by AREG’s Project Horus flight team.

Willunga Balloon Prediction July 2016

WHS Balloon Flightpath Prediction

This flight was organised mostly (gas + balloon + payload + CASA) by a science teacher from the high school, with assistance from myself (telemetry + recovery). The launch being mid-week certainly doesn’t make it easy from our side, so at the moment the tracking crew consists of myself, Gary, and the Adelaide division of IBM Ozlabs (Joel Stanley and Andrew Jeffery).

The flight carryed a GoPro plus the usual tracking & cutdown payloads, beneath a 300g balloon. We expected a burst altitude of around 20km, with a predicted landing zone to the east of Swan Reach:

This was a fairly long distance flight for the predicted altitude, but the predicted flight path holds the promise of some pretty good video of the Adelaide area (assuming the ‘partly cloudy’ prediction happens). The VK5QI chase crew was on the road to Swan Reach roughly 30-45 min prior to the launch time, to get in position to both cutdown (if required) and recover.

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During the Chase and recovery


Update: The Flight was a Success!

The flight has been a success and the payload was recovered (albeit a little further away than planned, about 10-15km south of Waikerie). Here was the actual track route from the chase:

Flight Path

Flight Path

The AREG crew helped with filling the balloon as well at the School. Here are their ground crew efforts

The following gives you an idea of some of the frames collected by the camera for the school!

And the following is the recovery action

Thanks to Gary VK5FGRY, Mark VK5QI and Andy VK5AKH for the photos!

VK5ZM’s Hilux Rebuild

For those that listen on VK5RSB regularly they would have overheard that Matt VK5ZM has been rebuilding the engine in his Old Toyota Hilux.

Well Matthew has finally put a blog post together over on rfhead.net so interested Amateurs can find out why Matthew’s not been on drive time this past week.

With luck he’ll be out and about over the weekend driving about the place, keep an ear out on VK5RSB.

Welcome to the AREG Committee for 2016/17

The Amateur Radio Experimenters Group held it’s Annual General Meeting last night, Friday July 15th. At the meeting, all positions were declared vacant and Chris VK5CP presided over the process of selecting a new committee for the forthcoming year.

Nominations were received and in the absence of any competition, the following people were elected to the committee for 2016/17″

Position Name
President: Matthew VK5ZM
Secretary: Scott VK5TST
Treasurer: Grant VK5GR
Committee: Ben VK5BB
Mark VK5QI (Minutes Secretary)
Josh VK5JO
Andy VK5AKH
Kim VK5FJ
Theo VK5MTM

Welcome to the new members on the committee in Kim and Theo!

VK5RWN Internet connectivity re-established.

wncdstar_logoFollowing up from the previous report that VK5RWN D-STAR system was off line due to site mains power failure.

Well the power came back on last night, 13 July 2016, but the internet connectivity did not?

A site visit this morning, 14 July 2016, identified that the POE power supply had died.

This is one of those little Blue QSKJ inverter modules that lifted the 12 volts to 16 volts to feed the router switch and the Ubiquiti WiFi unit up the tower. The faulty unit was replaced with a loan unit.

With the POE PS restored, connectivity was re-established and all is now good. Confirmed that the VK5RWN D-STAR system was fully operational and reporting to the respective D-STAR reporting sites.

Feedback on VK5RWN’s performance and operation may be sent to AREG, vk5arg@wia.org.au or the D-STAR Systems Administrator, Ben VK5BB, vk5bb@wia.org.au

VK5RWN D*STAR Repeaters OFFLINE – Mains Failure

During the wild weather in Adelaide over wncdstar_logothe past 48hrs, VK5RWN’s mains power was lost. Batteries held the site up for a while, but due to the extended nature of the outage these have now been exhausted.

AREG is monitoring for the mains power to be restored and will bring the system back online as soon as we can.

AREG IRLP Node 6214: Back online!

repeater tower clipartThe AREG Internet Repeater Linking Project (IRLP) node number 6214, is back online with the repairs to the ADSL line fault having been repaired. The repairs were effected quicker than advised by the Telecommunications provider. Contractors have replaced the land line from the street pit back to a service pillar. The new cable appears to be providing a clean noise free service.

The AREG wishes to thank IRLP users for their patience with this outage of service and trust that all users can now enjoy the restored service.

IRLP Node 6214 requires users to be registered and be issued with a PIN or Access code number. If you do not have this access number, you are most welcome to apply to the Node 6214 Administrators via email. Please see IRLP Club News for details of how to apply for access.

Please enjoy using the IRLP service as sponsored by AREG.