RPM200 Update: Operator Briefing Friday 29th May 7.45pm

MCC Logo

All members who have signed up to participate in the RPM200 community event in the Riverland over the June long weekend need to book into their calendar the date of Friday May 29th for the pre-event operator briefing.

Attendance at the briefing, while not compulsory, is very strongly encouraged. The updated operator instructions and procedures for 2015 will be presented at this meeting.

The time will be 7.45pm and the location will be at the Reedbeds Community Centre. See you all there!

Free DV & the SM1000 – WebCast now live!

The Amateur Radio Experimenters Group this month has produced a video of the presentation given by David Rowe VK5DGR on his new FreeDV digital voice codec and SM1000 stand alone encoder/decoder unit. The talk is well worth taking a look at if you have any interest in how digital voice modes can be delivered over HF radio.

David talks about his pioneering work and the open source ideals behind it as well as showing the newly released SM1000 Embedded FreeDV encoder/decoder unit that can be used to add digital voice using Codec2 to almost any current amateur tranceiver.

It’s our intention to film more of the club presentations in the future so stay tuned!

Next AREG Meeting: May 15th – FreeDV introducing the SM1000

The next AREG Meeting on Friday May 15th will aregmapagain be held at the Reedbeds Community Hall, 19 Fitch Rd, Fulham SA 5024 starting at 7.45pm.

The presentation for the evening will be given by David Rowe, VK5DGR who will speak about the FreeDV project and the SM1000 digital interface unit that he has been involved with developing.

FreeDV – What’s it about?


Matt VK5ZM testing FreeDV on an IC706

The SM1000, is an embedded hardware product that allows you to run FreeDV without a PC. Just plug it into your SSB or FM radio, and you now have Digital Voice (DV).

It’s based on a STM32F4 micro-controller, has a built in microphone, speaker amplifier, and transformer isolated interfaces to your radio. It’s just 80 x 100mm, and can be held in you hand and used like a regular PTT microphone, or sit near your radio in a small box form factor.

In this presentation David will discuss the SM1000, and how it was developed by 2 Hams and a Chinese entrepreneur over the last 14 months.

David Rowe’s Background

David Rowe is a part time open source software and hardware developer and full time Dad.  He has worked on projects in VOIP, developing world communications, echo cancellation, speech compression, and digital voice over HF radio.

Prior to becoming an open source developer David worked as an engineering manager and has 25 years experience in the development of DSP-based telephony and sat-com hardware/software.   Somewhere along the way he picked up a wide mix of skills including software, hardware, project and business management, and a PhD in DSP theory.

David’s other interests include his popular blog (http://rowetel.com), bike riding, electric vehicles, energy efficiency, amateur radio (since 1981), and swanning around Adelaide drinking lattes.

AREG assists AHARS with VK5RAD 70cm Repeater Restoration

repeater tower clipartIn the last week, AREG members have teamed up with the Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society (AHARS) to help bring the Crafers VK5RAD 70cm 439.925MHz repeater back to life. Temporary equipment has been loaned to the site while repairs continue on the original repeater.

VK5RAD 70cm Repeater Access Details:

  • Repeater Transmit: 439.925MHz
  • Repeater Receive: 434.925MHz (-5MHz offset)

Thanks to everyone at AHARS and AREG for restoring this valuable service to amateurs in the greater Adelaide area.

NOTE Regarding IRLP Node 6214

The 6214-IRLP node currently is still on  the VK5RSB 70cm repeater on 439.900 (contrary to what was broadcast on the WIA Sunday News this week). AREG is discussing the plans for its move currently with AHARS and the AREG membership. We will advise when the IRLP gateway does move.

VI5ANZAC AREG Operation – Activity Summary

AREG has now reviewed all of the activity we were able to undertake as part of the commemorative activation of VI5ANZAC, remembering 100 years since the ANZAC force landed on the shores of Gallipoli in World War One. In total, the AREG team worked a total 1290 QSOs over 10 Bands, 48 DXCC entities, 43 US States, 21 CQ Zones, and 40 IOTA in the spirit of fostering international friendship and peace.

Band QSOs
160m 2
80m 12
40m 412
20m 364
17m 44
15m 235
12m 16
10m 194
2m 6

You can see here how far our signals reached.


The highlights of the activation for us were working a number of the Turkish special event stations! It was great to make these contacts.

Turkey Stations Worked 2We also made contact with many of the Australian VIxANZAC stations during the weekend.


Detailed information on the locations we worked is available from the following links:

AREG would like to thank the Wireless Institute of Australia for all of the efforts they have made to arrange for and coordinate the state based commemorative callsigns. This event remembering  the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War One is certainly one of international significance. Through the global friendship of amateur radio and our communications with stations across the globe, we hope that by putting these stations on air that we have strengthened global peace through remembering the impact and abomination of war.

image_1_hiresFinally, look out for more activations of VI5ANZAC from other clubs across South Australia throughout the rest of the year..

Details are available on the WIA Website.


VI5ANZAC Thursday 30th April Results

The last evening of operating VI5ANZAC by members of AREG has now come and gone. This operation was headed up by Theo VK5MTM and covered a wide range of bands as well as some digital modes including PSK63, CW and RTTY. Here is Theo’s description of the evening (relayed from his Facebook accoiunt).

Last night I had the pleasure of operating the special event callsign VI5ANZAC from my house.

Being a special event callsign brings much demand for amateur radio operators (hams) all over the world to “work” or make contact with the special event station.

All up I made 134 contacts across Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Italy, Russia, Spain, Wales, Ukraine, England, Germany, Lithuania, Belgium, France, Netherlands, USA, Ireland, Isle of Man, Slovenia, Azores and Switzerland.

VI5ANZAC has been “activated” by different hams everyday this week via roster and I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity.


Attached is a snippet of audio one of my “pile-ups” of several European stations all calling me at the same time to make contact with me.

My station is quite modest with only 100 watts of transmitter power and a basic antenna made from speaker wire strung across my backyard so I am extremely happy with my results.

The following is some of the statistics from Theo’s activation:

10M 11
20M 69 3
40M 43 2 5
2M 1
Sub Totals 112 1 11 5 5 Total Q’s 134

A copy of the log from this activation can be accessed here!


VI5ANZAC Wednesday 29th April Results

K3 on black_760I had the pleasure of activating the VI5ANZAC special event call sign as a single operator station on Wednesday the 29th of April from my home QTH in Highbury South Australia.

I managed to get home from work at a decent hour, get the family commitments out of the way and then sit down at the Radio and call CQ.  I started on 40m at 20:00 ACST using my trust Elecraft K3 plus borrowed KPA500 running 200W and a resonant mono-band dipole.  I worked a number of local and interstate stations from VK2, VK3, VK4 and VK5.  I fell out of the chair when I heard a Japanese station in there calling.  The noise and QRM on 40m wasn’t brilliant making communications difficult at times.

I switched to 20m at 21:00 ACST and continued beaming East using 250W.   Again I worked a number of local and interstate stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5 and VK6 and now the DX stations started with stations from Canada, the USA, Finland and Japan being logged.   Propagation into Europe short path late in the evening didn’t eventuate on 17m, 15m or 10m which was unfortunate.

In total I logged 44 QSO’s on two bands over a three and a half our period, not a bad night for some fun an excitement.  Here’s the breakdown of the stations worked;

Band Local VK DX
40m 16 1
20m 14 13

All logs have been submitted to the WIA for EQSL processing.  Thanks to everyone that made last night a lot of fun activating a VI5 callsign from home.

73, Matthew VK5ZM

VI5ANZAC Tuesday 28th April Results

AREG has been looking for many and varied opportunities to activate the VI5ANZAC callsign during our time allocation this week. Tuesday evening (28th April) saw a small group of us put the special event call on air with a QRP portable activation from Morialta Conservation Park.This was seen as a nice contrast to the QRO operation carried out over the weekend near Mannum (which was very successful with over 1000 contacts).

DSC_0006The QRP operation was lead by Bob VK5FO, Two HF stations were established plus a VHF/UHF operation later in the evening (taking advantage of the elevated position above the Adelaide metropolitan area). As the operation qualified for conservation park also being activated, Bob invited the founder of the VK5 Parks award, Paul VK5PAS to also attend and join in the fun.

Operation  was planned on 20m, 40m, 80m and 160m as well as 2m and 70cm FM. The only variable during the planning beyond our control was going to be the weather. Fortunately the weather gods smiled on us and it was a beautiful (if a bit cold) still evening.

On Tuesday afternoon, Bob VK5FO met Gary, VK5FGRY on site at around 17:00 local time and we started getting set up for the evening. A quick review of where to set up antenna’s and we got started.


Bob VK5FO and Gary VK5FGRY

Paul VK5PAS arrived as we were setting up and assisted with the final details and we had the station ready to go and started calling at around and the first contact was logged at 08:49UTC.


Andy (front) and Paul (back) operating the 2 stations

Just as we got underway, Andy, VK5AKH arrived, and Ray VK5RR arrived about 20 minutes later.The initial flurry on 40m was to be expected and we worked at a steady pace, rotating thru the operators on 40m for the next 90 minutes or so.   As the calls dried up on 40m we wound down the calling somewhat and 40m did in fact close out for all local contacts as well.  We could hear quite a bit of DX, but not work it.

The 2nd station started out on 20m and it was very slow – as feared, we had only just caught the tail end of 20m and had just a handful of contacts.


Bob VK5FO operating with Ray VK5RR and Gary VK5FGRY

Given the conditions, we decided to move the 2nd station over to 80M earlier than we had initially planned and started calling there as well.  It was a slow and steady trickle of takers on 80m and we had an unusual request – could we try 160m!

Well, this was a bit of a challenge in itself as we were not at all prepared to have any sort of antenna on top band, but being challenged, we jury-rigged an EFHW as an extension onto the end of 1 of the 80M dipole elements, hit the tune button on the KX3 and managed to get it to tune! Two contacts was the result, one in Adelaide and one in Mt Gambier – worth the effort!

The 2 stations for this operation were both KX3 Transceivers  with a headset running 10 watts on SSB, each set up with a laptop for logging.

DSC_0015Grant, VK5GR was a very late arrival and his plan was to set up and see how many local contacts we could get on 2m and 70cm to add to the mix.After announcements on every repeater within ~100km a further 10 contacts were added to the logs on 146.55 and 439.025.

Once everything really slowed down, we decided to call it quits just on 21:30 local time (12:00 UTC) and started pulling the station down.  Within 30 minutes we had everything down and packed up, with the final task to check the logs and upload them.

The final tally for the Tuesday Evening QRP* activation  (QRP on HF) was as follows.

Total contacts logged:  73

Band Contacts
160m 2
80m 12
40m 45
20m 3
2m 5
70cm 5

In the mix we had 1x US, 2 x ZL and remaining VK1 (VI1ANZAC), VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6 and VK7 -so a good representation right across the country, and we only missed on getting a VK8 in the logs.

Operators for the evening

VK5FO, Bob
VK5PAS, Paul
VK5AKH, Andy
VK5RR, Ray
and Grant VK5GR (VHF/UHF)

Without the awesome logistical support from Gary VK5FGRY we would not have been as comfortable in the heated tent!

Bob (l) Andy (mid) and Paul (r) in the heated operating tent
Bob (l) Andy (mid) and Paul (r) in the heated operating tent

A big thanks to all the chasers who make such an activation even more enjoyable, and yes, all of the logs will be uploaded to WWFF in the coming days as the HF operation was compliant with VKFF and from a recognized park.

Thanks To Paul for the photos from the Evening’s Event.

More details can be obtained from Bob VK5FO and Paul VK5PAS websites!