Winter VHF-UHF Contest – AREG members will be there!

Are you into contesting? Have you tried contesting on VHF & UHF? This is a reminder that the Wireless Institute of Australia is running their annual Winter VHF/UHF field day contest next weekend, June 25-26th starting at 0100 UTC (10.30am Australian Central time)

AREG members are planning on being out an about with at least two portable stations and possibly one rover station. If you have a VHF/UHF station at home or are out and about yourselves, why not take a listen and put out some calls on or near the VHF/UHF call frequencies of 52.525, 146.500, 439.000 and 1296MHz for FM (or the equivalents for SSB – see the WIA band plan) and see just how far you can communicate on the VHF and UHF bands!

The rules are available here and further information is available from the WIA Website in the contesting section.

VK5ZM’s portable VHF/UHF Field Day Station




From the WIA Website:

The Field Days provide VHF-UHF operators with the opportunity to “head for the hills” and see how far distant and how many stations they can work.

The Field Days have separate sections for single and multiple operator stations. The duration of the Field Day is 24 hours, but there are also 8-hour sections for operators who may not be able to camp overnight. Most club stations prefer to operate for the full 24 hours.

The Field Days also generate plenty of activity from home stations, so there is also a separate Home Station section.

All contacts must be simplex: contacts through repeaters or satellites are not allowed. There is plenty of FM activity, but one feature of the Field Days is a high level of SSB activity.

It is possible to do very well with only modest antennas if you pick a good hilltop. Another option, if your station is easily transportable, is to operate from more than one location during the contest period.

Aim Of The Contest

The overriding aim is to get away for the weekend and have fun! But next after that, the aims are:
   to encourage more activity on VHF and microwave bands;
   to encourage people to work greater distances than usual by operating portable, and
   to provide opportunities for people to activate or work into new grid squares.

AREG June Meeting on YouTube: Build your own C64 Computer

AREG is pleased to announce that Hayden VK7HH and the HamRadioDX YouTube channel will be relaying the AREG meeting on Friday night.

The presentation is scheduled to start at 7.45pm ACST (8.15pm AEST).

Our guest speaker will be Michael VK5LN who will talk about his experiences bringing back to life one of the iconic  home computers of the 1980s,the Commodore C64! Whats more, he will show us how he has built a new C64 from scratch using the resources of the modern day retro-computing movement, which is very much alive in 2022!

AREG June Meeting: Build your own Commodore C64 Computer!

The next meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenter’s Group will be held on Friday June 17th starting at 7.45pm. It will be held in person at the Fulham Community Centre, Phelps Court, Fulham.

Our guest speaker will be Michael VK5LN who will talk about his experiences bringing back to life one of the iconic  home computers of the 1980s,the Commodore C64! Whats more, he will show us how he has built a new C64 from scratch using the resources of the modern day retro-computing movement, which is very much alive in 2022!

The record breaking Commodore 64 computer that dominated the home computer market in the early 1980s is still going strong 40 years later! There is an endless stream of new software and hardware being developed. During its production life there were a number of different PCB revisions and each has been reverse engineered and gerber files produced so you can build your own Commodore 64 with new components. While you still need some original semiconductors in order to home brew a Commodore 64, there are modern replacements to help out.

My original 1983 Commodore 64 is still working (after needing a few repairs after being in storage for 30 years) but there is something magical about building your own retro computer.


The meeting will be held in a hybrid in-person/online format with Michael attending by remote from Port Lincoln while the live audience will be both in the hall as well as online via Zoom for members. (non members please stay tuned as we sort out if we can Youtube Stream the meeting as well).

Following the presentation there will be the usual business meeting and opportunity to catch up with AREG members in person and online. We look forward to seeing you all come along!

Next Fox Hunt: Friday June 24

This Friday night, being the second Friday of the month, would have usually seen our monthly fox hunt being held, however many AREG members and friends are off to the South Australian Riverland this weekend to provide communications assistance in the annual River Paddling Marathon, therefore our June fox hunt has been pushed back to Friday the 24th of June.

As usual, the hunt commences at 6:30pm from the car park at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre, with hunters meeting around 15 minutes prior.

All of our fox hunts are open to all to join us, you do not need to be a member of AREG to join in on the fun.

We look forward to seeing you on the night.

One Step Closer: DMR Repeater returning to Adelaide soon!

AREG is pleased to announce that is now one step closer to returning a digital voice DMR repeater service to the Adelaide metropolitan area.

Members voted to support the project earlier this year, after a call for interest in re-establishing a DMR service was made in July 2021. Since then, a DMR repeater has been donated to the club by Andrew Chapman VK4QF (one of the leading lights behind multiple DMR projects around Australia). We offer our sincere thanks to Andrew for his generosity!

Preparations are now well advanced to install it up at the club’s digital repeater site – VK5RWN atop Anstey Hill, which overlooks the Adelaide Plains. This is the same site used by the current D*STAR repeater. Paul VK5BX has been able to source  and build a multi-coupler/diplexer for the club, to enable the DMR and D*STAR repeaters to be combined onto the same antenna system. The repeater will, once activated, operate on 438.900MHz (with a -7MHz offset).

Timing of the final install is now subject to weather and availability of members for the working bee required to complete the installation (which includes some rearrangements to the UHF repeater antennas on site to accommodate the multi-coupling). It is our objective to have the system operating in the next 6-8 weeks, (earlier if everything falls into place).


Why DMR?

AREG has always been supportive of experimentation and providing opportunities for radio amateurs to try new things and to find new ways of communicating. This is what drove AREG to support the original D*STAR repeater system (then co-sponsoed by Icom and WIA now solely maintained by AREG).

In the case of DMR, AREG considered providing a service after the unexpected closure of the original Adelaide DMR repeater – VK5RSF, which saw the end of all DMR repeater access in the Adelaide region. With an existing KernWi-Fi internet served site covering the metropolitan area (VK5RWN), AREG was also well placed to support the Adelaide DMR community, and in particular its own members who were interested in DMR. This was all the motivation needed!

More information on DMR and the VK-DMR network in Australia can be found via the vkdmr.com website. Keep watching the AREG website too for further news about the final commissioning date for VK5RWN on 438.900


How can you get involved?

The best way to support the new service and to get involved is to become a member of AREG! Your membership will help connect you with other amateurs interested in DMR in Adelaide, as well as helping offset the costs of running the service, particularly the internet link and power used to run the system. Details of how to apply for membership are available (here)!

Save the date: AREG’s Adelaide Amateur Radio & Electronics Sale – Sat Sept 3rd

AREG is planning a new event on the SA Amateur Radio calendar.

Saturday September 3rd will see the first running of our (hopefully annual) Amateur Radio & Electronics Sale. It will be held at the DogsSA Training Facility in Kilburn as a car boot sale format. We will be inviting all of the SA Radio Clubs to participate as well as a number of commercial vendors!

More details will follow in coming weeks – but for now you simply need to:

Saturday

September 3rd

2022

We hope to see you there!

May Fox Hunt: This Friday Night!

The next monthly AREG fox-hunt is scheduled for this coming Friday night, the 13th of May, with hunters meeting from 6:15pm at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre car park.

This hunt will again see our usual two 2m (145.3 MHz, 144.390 MHz) and as well as our 70cm foxes (439.4 MHz) deployed somewhere within the Adelaide metropolitan area. The hunt kicks off with the transmitters being activated at 6.30pm.

Liaison will be via the Summertown (VK5RSB) UHF Repeater on 439.900MHz (-5MHz Input with 91.5Hz CTCSS).

As usual, everyone is welcome to join in on the fun, you don’t need to be a member of AREG to participate. We hope you can make it!