Medium Wave Digital Radio Mondiale Broadcasting Trial: AREG Members Listening

There is a very un-publicised Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) trial on air in Australia at the moment. The trial is on 747kHz from a transmitter site in Wangaratta, Victoria and the program is ABC Radio National.

Youtube video from “digitalmediafan” 

The signal does become decodable at times during the early evening however; there is co-channel interference coming in from MW AM transmitters on 747kHz in Toowoomba, Hobart and Esperance to contend with along with selective fading in the pass-band.

More information on the DRM format can be found here: https://www.drm.org/

Steve VK5SFA has been experimenting with decoding the signal and has had some success using the following information and links:

  • How to install the decoding software. (HERE)
  • Source of the required Dream V2.2.x software (HERE)
  • And the missing dll file here:  (HERE)

He also suggests a directional antenna such as a magnetic loop might be of some benefit. Steve has used his Flex Radio as well as an Airspy HF+ Discovery SDR receiver with some success. Experimenters should also remember to use a digital USB mode (no audio EQ) and make the RX filter wide enough to fit the whole digital spectrum when trying to decode the signal.  (Note the centre carrier frequency is 747kHz +/- the signal BW)

Have FUN experimenting!

August Fox Hunt: Friday August 6th @ 18:30

Our next monthly fox hunt is scheduled for the evening of Friday the 6th of August, commencing at 6:30pm.

Hunters are invited to meet from 6:15pm at the starting location, being the southern end of the car park at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre, Jeffcott Road, North Adelaide.

This hunt will again see us hunting a couple of 2 meter hidden transmitters throughout the Adelaide metropolitan area and one 70cm fox.

As usual, we will liaise to discuss our progress throughout the night on the club’s VK5RSB 70cm repeater.

This event is open to all interested parties, members and non-members so we hope to see you all there.

If you don’t have any fox hunting equipment but would like to get a taste of what it’s all about, feel free to send us an email as sometimes out hunters have a spare seat in the cars for others to tag along.

Project Horus LIVE: Pico-Balloon Flight in progress – heading for VK3!

UPDATE: This balloon has now burst and landed 60k to the east of Bendigo. Thanks to everyone for tracking! The following callsigns were recorded as contributing telemetry:
VK2PNH, VK3AH, VK3BQ, VK3DA, VK3DNS, VK3EEK, VK3FUR, VK3IK, VK3JED, VK3JL, VK3JUG, VK3MB, VK3OF, VK3OHM, VK3TNU, VK3UKW, VK3YD, VK5BRL, VK5HS, VK5IS, VK5LJG, VK5PE, VK5QI, VK5TRM
Here’s some entertainment for the VK3s & Southern VK2s/VK1s this weekend – I’ve sent another pico balloon (30 grams) careening towards the east, currently doing >280 kph!
If it ends up floating as intended (and it might not, these things are finicky…) then it should keep heading past Melbourne and off towards the east coast.
Tracking of the flight is available here: https://tracker.habhub.org/…
It’s transmitting the Project Horus ‘Horus Binary’ 4FSK mode on 434.200 MHz (tune to 434.199 MHz USB), and can be decoded using the Horus-GUI software: https://github.com/…/1.1-Horus-GUI-Reception-Guide…

AREG Foxhunting Activity in June/July – Get Involved!

AREG members are having their interest in Fox-Hunting rekindled thanks to the efforts of Theo VK5IR. Anyone can participate and you can use some fairly simple equipment too. The hunts are conducted on both 2m and 70cm at present and are usually held on the 2nd Friday of the month.

Keep watching the AREG Website for details!

AREG Considering adding DMR to VK5RWN – Interested?

AREG is always looking to promote new and varied areas of experimentation in Amateur Radio. As the custodian and operators of the first digital VHF/UHF voice repeater system in South Australia (the VK5RWN D*STAR system), the group has now looked at what other digital modes are not yet available in Adelaide.

Image courtesy vkdmr.com

With the recent demise of the VK5RSF and temporary VK3RWW DMR repeaters that were serving Adelaide, AREG members interested in DMR started investigating what would be involved in hosting a replacement DMR system at one of the club’s existing sites.

After considering our options, filtering solutions, internet connections etc a proposal is in it’s final stages of development to add a DMR repeater to the VK5RWN site on 438.900 (-7MHz) overlooking the Adelaide metropolitan area.

What’s left to do you might ask? Funding the DMR repeater controller purchase and the last of the build costs. The ongoing operating costs also need to be addressed (namely the power bill) which will be considered against the number of members actively interested in DMR.

How can you help? If you are interested at all in DMR, why not consider becoming a member of the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group? If you have an interest in DMR or even skills to help maintain and operate a DMR repeater then we would love to hear from you. The more people interested in DMR that get involved with the group, the more likely it is that we will be able to bring this project to fruition!

Over to you!

Posted in DMR

AREG AGM: New Committee for 2021/22

The Amateur Radio Experimenter’s Group Inc held its Annual General Meeting on Friday July 16th. Our new office bearers for FY21/22 are as follows:

PositionName
President:Matt VK5ZM
SecretaryMark VK5QI
TreasurerGrant VK5GR
Committee:Kim VK5FJ
Committee: Gerard VK5ZQV
CommitteeTheo VK5IR
CommitteeDarin VK5IX
CommitteeJeff VK5AC
CommitteeAndrew VK5AKH

2020/21 was a big year for AREG. The following highlights will give you a sense of what was achieved this past year!

2021/22 looks to be bigger and brighter than ever too! We hope to see you there.

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Report: River Paddling Marathon 200 – 2021 Radio Safety Support Event

The Amateur Radio Experimenter’s Group, in conjunction with the Riverland Radio Club, has for many years now provided support to the Marathon Canoe Club’s 200km long River Paddling Marathon down the Murray River held over the June long weekend each year.

After being interrupted last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was back this year, running again from Berri to Morgan across South Australia’s Riverland region.

Devlins Pound 100km event Start Day 2 – Photo courtesy Ivan VK5HS

AREG & RRC assist this event by building and running three radio networks aimed at tracking the participants through the course as well as monitoring the event progress downstream through the position of the safety boats. Over 25 volunteers man positions along the river Murray from Berri through to Morgan over the full 3 days of the annual June long weekend.

THREE-DAY

The networks are:

  • Network 1: – 147 / 439 MHz Amateur Radio based voice network using either the regional VK5RLD 2m repeater or VHF/UHF simplex frequencies. This connects 21 checkpoints to the safety comms bus with the volunteer amateur radio operators acting as spotters and trackers monitoring the progress of each canoe down the river.
  • Network 2: – 162 MHz Commercial VHF – as radio amateurs are not aboard the individual safety boats, a separate commercial VHF network is established across the event enabling the command bus to maintain contact with the 4 full time safety craft that manage the river closure and render assistance to the paddlers as required
  • Network 3: – 145 MHz APRS – unmanned tracking beacons are installed on each of the safety boats so that the safety team can keep tabs on the location of each of the safety craft over most of the event.

Over 1100 hours of volunteer effort is contributed to the event each year with AREG & the Riverland Radio Club combining forces to ensure the safety of the event participants. This is one direct way that the Amateur Radio service can directly provide a benefit to the public.

Communications Command Bus – provided by Peter VK5KX

The event has numerous obstacles to overcome including muddy bog-hole checkpoints (eg New Residence on day 1) and River Locks (the 200km event passes through three of these on its journey downstream).

Lock 4 team marshaling the paddlers through the lock on Day 1

From a radio perspective, much of the event is in very challenging terrain with coverage required at water level at the bottom of 20-30m canyons for much of the trip. Extensive use is made of both portable repeaters and manual relay stations to get the messages through.

Portable Repeater installations across the event

Most of all everyone who participated just enjoys being out in the countryside counting canoes in the sun (and fortunately again we didn’t get any significant rainfall during the event).

Checkpoint Operators by the banks of the Murray River

This year was also notable for AREG in that for only the second time since the club has been providing support did one of our own members receive the Marathon Canoe Club of South Australia’s David & Sue Speck Volunteer Award. Matt VK5ZM was the recipient this year. As lead organizer and volunteer safety officer, Matt has championed AREG’s involvement in this event since 2015. A very deserving recipient indeed! Congratulations Matt!

Matt VK5ZM receiving the Volunteering award from Andrew Stoodley, MCC President.

All up this was another very successful event, and a very enjoyable one too for all of the participants. We look forward to seeing the team join us again in June 2022!

We must say a special thank you also to all of the members of both AREG and the Riverland Radio Club who turned out to support this event. Your contributions combined to ensure the safety of over 100 participants again this year. Well done!

Central SA Repeater Network – Livestream Friday 16th July

The next meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenter’s Group Inc will feature a presentation by Dean VK5HMV on the development of the central SA repeater network over the past 3 years. This is the livestream feed for that event.

Sponsor of the VK5RSA and VK5RKW Repeaters

The stream will start at:

  • 7:45pm ACST
  • 8:15pm AEST
  • 1015 UTC

AREG members will be able to directly interact with the program via the members only Zoom channel.