About VK5BB

Licenced radio amateur since 1973. Previous call signs, VK5ZBB, VK5ABE (1978) Worked in the radio communications industry since 1970. Interests are in 6 metres, home brewing, SDR, have a HPSDR, Wireless Institute of Australia advocate.

AREG’s General Meeting for December

Well it’s that time of the year again, when the active Ham starts to think about what he would like to find under the Christmas Tree?K3 under Xmas Tree

A K3, or KX3, maybe even the KPA500? Well one is allowed to dream is one not?

AREG’s next General Meeting is this coming Friday night, 18th December.

This will not be a business meeting but a get together of interested amateur radio operators in a social evening where they can recount and discuss experiences and events of the last 12 months.

Everyone is most welcome to come along and visit the AREG meeting, meeting members, many of whom you have probably spoken with over the last 12 months so now is the time to come along and meet those from the other end of those QSOs.

The meeting will be at the Reedbeds Hall, Fitch Road Fulham, doors opening at 7:45 pm.

Coffee, tea, cake and other nibbles will be on for a light supper.

This coming Friday the 18th December, 7:45 pm, so come along, everyone most welcome.

VK5RSB 23cm repeater service

Tuesday 8 December, the VK5RSB 23 cm repeater was given a little TLC by Colin VK5ACE, with support by Ben VK5BB. 23cm Rptr VK5RSB

There had been a number of reports that after a little time into a QSO via the repeater, that a noise was heard to be imposed on top of the QSO repeater audio. The noise and its source were not identified at the time and Colin could not account for it?

It was during a QSO between Ben and Colin that the noise was heard to come on and the comment was, “It sounds like a fan spinning up!”
Colin had a “Eureka” moment an said that it was most probably just that! After the transmitter has been on awhile and warms up, the fan cuts in and is most possibly modulating an internal 12 volt supply rail. This required a site visit to see what could be done.

Colin made all the necessary arrangements and scheduled a visit to the VK5RSB site.
Once at the site, the repeater was pulled out and put on a dummy load, the repeater was keyed up and sure thing, when the PA warmed up, the fan cut in and the noise was heard on the transmit signal.

Colin tried a number of electrolytic capacitors across possible points around the 12 volt fan supply and one point was identified where it appeared the noise was suppressed to the point it could not be heard. The capacitor was duly permanently soldered in, the transmitter tested, good no noise, covers put back on and re-tested and all appeared to be good, still no noise!

The repeater was re-fitted in the rack, cavities and antenna reconnected and the system tested to ensure that the fan switched on when the PA got warm and that there was no noise on the transmit output of the repeater. All was good, the site closed up and Colin and Ben departed.

So folks, there it is, all fixed, we hope?

Reports on the operation and observations of the 23cm repeater will be much appreciated.

Next Meeting FRIDAY 18th Sept – Starting out with Arduino Micros

Arduino, Teensy 2, the TI MSP430, Arduino_Uno_-_R3
the Picaxe, Raspberry Pi’s, Banana Pi’s, Beagle Bone Black, Cubie Boards, PC Arduino’s, these are some of the myriad of micro controller or micro computer boards.

Confusing? Are you interested in learning to use or play with micro controllers and don’t know where to start?

Well, come along to the next AREG general meeting this coming Friday evening, the 18th of September and Matt, VK5ZM, will give an introductory talk on micro controllers with an emphasis on,  “Getting started in Arduino”!

The evening starts at 7:45 pm at the Reed Beds hall, Fitch Road Fulham.

The invitation is open to all persons with an interest in amateur radio and for this evening, Arduino! So come along all,  join in with AREG members and learn a bit about the Arduino, meet members of AREG and enjoy the evening with a dynamic group of like minded amateur radio enthusiasts.

Coffee, tea and cake will be on for a light supper whilst everyone has the opportunity to mix, mingle and discuss your interests of the evening.

IRLP Node 6214 now locked with a PIN!

Due to inappropriate activity where the IRLP node 6214 sadfacehas been maliciously interfered with and manipulated to the point of triggering lockout responses from other IRLP network nodes, AREG has been forced to require operators to register for access to the node, and for registered operators to use a PIN code for access.

 A most unfortunate side effect of this is that we have now locked out incidental travelers from the system and this is not in the spirit of Amateur Radio Operations. ( I am very sorry that this has had to occur, I held out as long as I could!)

Amateur radio operators who wish to use the IRLP node 6214, are requested to apply via email, with a valid email address and call sign, so as to be issued with the PIN. All applications will be recorded for administration purposes.

Applications may be made to either,

vk5bb@wia.org.au  or vk5qi@wia.org.au

Security of the issued PIN is paramount and it shall not be passed on verbally to any other interested parties.

All inquiries for the PIN shall be referred to the AREG web pages.

73, Ben, VK5BB

IRLP Node 6214 Administrator

VK5RWN, D-STAR in Adelaide, update-2

d-star-logo-350As was previously forecast in earlier posts, AREG has now installed and tested the secure Wireless link to the VK5RWN site. This means internet connectivity to the VK5RWN computer server is now independent of the Telstra phone line to the site.

As a consequence of these changes,  IP addresses have changed which have affected a number of links on various D-STAR web pages. These are in the process of being updated.

One of these links is the VK5RWN Registration page link at the bottom of the http://www.dstar.org.au/registration.htm page, which currently does not work!

However, access is available for anyone wishing to register on VK5RWN or for existing registered users to access their registration details.

Access to the VK5RWN Registration page is via, https://dstar.areg.org.au/Dstar.do

The rest of the operation of VK5RWN has been tested and is believed to be operating correctly with all connectivity to the D-STAR world in place.

If anyone experiences any problems with access to VK5RWN system, or have any questions regarding the operation of VK5RWN, you may contact the VK5RWN D-STAR Administrator, Ben VK5BB at, vk5bb@wia.org.au

As further changes to VK5RWN occur, more information will be provided by both the Local VK5 Broadcast medium and the AREG website.

73, Ben VK5BB

VK5RSB 6 metre repeater update

The 6 metre repeater, VK5RSB 6 (53.750 MHz) at Summertown, has now been serviced, the RF transmit power amplifier has been repaired, the receiver checked for specifications and the repeater has now been re-installed (23/12/2014) at its site with a replacement temporary 5/8w antenna and is now back on air for general use.

The high power PA is back on line with the system now putting 40 watts into the antenna, as a against the previous 15 watts from the PA driver.

VK5RSB 6m_2

Many thanks must go to Adrian VK5ZBR and Rod VK5UDX for their efforts and work to get the VK5RSB 6 metre repeater back on line.

73, Ben VK5BB

VK5RWN, DSTAR in Adelaide update

d-star-logo-350The AREG manages the VK5RWN D-STAR repeater system here in Adelaide.

Until recently, the yearly running costs of the VK5RWN D-STAR system was shared between the WIA and the AREG, with the WIA paying for the licence, power and the internet, while AREG picked up the bills for the telephone connection needed for the internet connection.

The WIA, who was sponsoring a large number of D-STAR systems around Australia, has made the decision to divest itself of the D-STAR costs by transferring the licence and full yearly running costs to the respective D-STAR sponsoring clubs and/or group. This means that the AREG is now financially responsible for the entire operating and maintenance costs associated with keeping the VK5RWN local D-STAR repeater system on air.

AREG have reviewed all aspects of maintaining the site and VK5RWN installation and are committed to keeping the system running. To assist with this, the AREG are currently implementing a number of cost saving initiatives to reduce the ongoing expenditure.

As was recently posted, the AREG are in the process of installing a high capacity WiFi link into the site providing alternative internet connectivity without the need for the fixed telephone line and ADSL.   As part of the cut over process, it is expected the VK5RWN connectivity to the world wide D-STAR network will be interrupted a number of times over the coming weeks.  We ask that regular users of the D-STAR system to be patient and understanding while these upgrades are in progress.

As changes to VK5RWN occur, more information will be provided by both the Local VK5 Broadcast medium and the AREG website.

73, Ben VK5BB

VK5RSB 6 metre repeater update

The 6 metre repeater, VK5RSB 6 at Summertown, has now been serviced, the RF transmit power amplifier has been repaired, the receiver checked for specifications and the repeater is ready for re-installation back at its site. This is all subject to a replacement antenna and the service crew availability.

A temporary antenna has been re-built and will be installed as soon as is practicable. The mechanics of the construction of this antenna will be a limitation for long term use in the harsh environment at the top of the 30 metre tower, so it will need to be replaced as soon as a suitable alternative is made available.

AREG has requested for quotes from the “big three” antenna manufacturers and only one has responded with a firm quotation for a heavy duty antenna cut for 53.750 MHz, which is now being reviewed for consideration and possible purchase.

As the loss of the antenna was unexpected, AREG would appreciate any financial assistance to help pay for the replacement antenna. So, if you are able to make a donation, any amount will be much appreciated. You may use the “Donate” button to the left of this blog to donate, or alternatively contact one of the AREG Committee members for assistance.

If you are able to donate, please add “VK5RSB 6” and your call sign so that the donation may be identified specifically in support of the 6m antenna replacement.

73, Ben VK5BB