AREG’s VK5RSA Adelaide CBD repeater – continuing support from KernWi-Fi

One of the services that the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group provides is a network of repeater stations that cover the Adelaide metropolitan and surrounding areas. These systems operate on the 6m-23cm bands from 3 sites in and around Adelaide.

One of the first repeaters conceived by AREG was the Adelaide CBD repeater. Inspired in the 1990s by the original 438.025 VK3RCC repeater in Melbourne (which was located atop one of the hi-rise towers in Melbourne CBD), the intention was to reach the deep CBD buildings and the Adelaide foot hills shadowed by the existing repeaters atop the Mt Lofty ranges.

The AREG repeater in Adelaide was originally established on top of the original Angas Street police station building – then 11 stories high in Victoria Square. When that building was subsequently demolished, it was moved to another building off Flinders Street, where it ran for many years before finally developing a terminal fault and finally being removed in 2024.

Today, VK5RSA is back on what now is one of the best communications sites in the CBD. This is all thanks to the support AREG receives from KernWi-Fi, who are continuing to sponsor access to RAA House on King William Street in the heart of the Adelaide CBD.

VK5RSA operates on 438.025MHz TX -7.0MHz RX with 91.5Hz CTCSS

VK5 Linked Repeater Network

VK5 Linked Repeater Network Coverage Map

VK5RSA is also part of the new central SA linked repeater network. This network now includes 11 repeaters, stretching from the Adelaide area right across to the eastern border of SA, south to Victor Harbor, and into the mid-north from Lochiel.

AREG offers it’s sincere thanks to Phil Kern at KernWi-Fi for his support for the project to re-establish VK5RSA – it is fantastic to have been able to restore this service for the amateur radio community in Adelaide – and from such a fantastic site too!


About our Sponsor

KernWi-Fi supply FibreNBN, Fixed Wireless Internet, VoIP, Event Wi-Fi and Radio Communications to residential and businesses all over Adelaide.  They also specialise in servicing the black spots of Adelaide.  To learn more, visit their website!

They are 100% Adelaide based and owned Licensed Carrier and work with many local communities to provide high speed internet services. They also sponsor various community groups across the state.

June Meeting – Adventures in the Microwave Bands by Iain VK5ZD

Featured

The next AREG meeting will be held on Friday the 21st of June at the Fulham Community Centre – Phelps Court, Fulham, with doors opening at 7:00 PM, and the presentation kicking off at 7:30 PM. Everyone is welcome!

This month’s presentation will be from Iain VK5ZD, on his adventures in microwave operation over the years:

This talk will be about the many and varied pieces of equipment I’ve used over the years to delve into the world of microwave communications. Starting with a 10 GHz wide-band FM system used in 1987, I will be discussing the various pieces gear I’ve used for all bands from 1.2 GHz through to 134 GHz.

If you’ve never come along to one of our meetings, we’d love to see you there, all guests are welcome at the hall. For our remote members, the meeting will be broadcast via Zoom.

After the talks we’ll all be given an opportunity to have an eyeball QSO among ourselves whilst enjoying a tea or coffee and a biscuit.

73, Mark VK5QI

Next Project Horus Launch – Horus 61 – 26th May 2024

This launch was a success, with the payload recovered close to the predicted landing area! A short writeup will be posted in the next few weeks, but for now the flight dashboard can be viewed here. The next Horus launch should be sometime in early July.

AREG’s High-Altitude Ballooning sub-group, Project Horus, is planning their next launch for Sunday the 26th of May, with a planned launch time of 10 AM ACST. If we have to scrub due to weather, the backup launch date is the 2nd of June.

UPDATE: This launch will be conducted from the Mt Barker High School Oval.

This launch is currently planned to be performed from the Mt Barker High School Oval, which is accessible from Stephenson Street, Mt Barker.

Mt Barker Launch Site

The launch team will be arriving on site from around 9:00-9:30 AM. Visitors are welcome!

This will be one of the smallest launches we’ve done in a while, with the payload mass for this flight totalling under 300g, and currently including:

  • Primary Horus Binary telemetry on 434.200 MHz
  • Experimental Horus Binary payload, using a different battery brand, on 434.210 MHz
  • TheThingsNetwork tracking payload, using the AU915 band-plan.

During the flight, all the payloads can be tracked lived on the SondeHub-Amateur tracker here!

There will also be a live dashboard showing telemetry from the flight, which is available here.

Predicted flight path as of Friday 24th May.

Primary Telemetry – Horus Binary 434.200 MHz – HORUS-V2

Reprogrammed RS41The primary tracking telemetry will be transmitted on 434.200 MHz using the Horus Binary 4FSK data mode. Amateurs in the Adelaide and Central SA region are also encouraged to get involved with the flight through receiving and uploading flight telemetry from our 70cm band tracking beacons. Every piece of telemetry data is valuable to the flight tracking and recovery teams so if you can help join the distributed receiver network to collect that data you will be making an important contribution to the project!

If you try receiving the telemetry from this flight, you’ll need a SSB-capable 70cm receiver (or a SDR), and the Horus-GUI telemetry decoder software. A brief guide on setting this up is available here: https://github.com/projecthorus/horusdemodlib/wiki/1.1-Horus-GUI-Reception-Guide-(Windows-Linux-OSX)

Listeners that already have Horus-GUI installed are encouraged to update to the latest version, which is available at this link.

Note that you will need to use a USB ‘dial’ frequency of 434.199 MHz for the 4FSK signal to be centred in your receiver passband and hence be decodable.

Experimental Battery Payload – Horus Binary 434.210 MHz – VK5ARG

An experimental payload will be transmitting on 434.210 MHz using the Horus Binary 4FSK data mode, and can be received in the same way as the primary tracking payload, with information above. For this payload you will need to use a USB ‘dial’ frequency of 434.209 MHz.

This payload will be using Riuhu FR1505 Lithium AA cells instead of the Energizer L91 cells that we usually fly. With suspiciously similar specifications, and at 50% of the price of Energizers, these are worth investigating! We’ll be looking closely at the voltage of this and the primary payload throughout the flight.

TheThingsNetwork Payload – 915 MHz LIPD Band

This flight will also fly a LoRaWAN payload built by Liam VK5ALG, this time relaying positions via TheThingsNetwork (TTN), a global Internet-of-Things network with hundreds of receiver gateways across Australia. You can find out more about how TheThingsNetwork works here.

The aim of this payload is to see what kind of range is possible on the 915 MHz band, and also test a new telemetry gateway which will forward TTN telemetry to the SondeHub-Amateur tracker.

Future Launches

This year we hope to increase our launch cadence with more smaller launches, giving more club members (and the wider amateur radio community!) the opportunity to get involved with our flights. We’ve currently got a few ideas in the works, including:

  • A night launch with a modulated optical beacon.
  • A return of the HQ Wenet payload
  • 360˚ Video Camera
  • Airborne Meshtastic node experiment

Stay tuned!

 

May Meeting – Steve VK5SFA – Adventures in building a Remote Station

The next AREG meeting will be held on Friday the 17th of May at the Fulham Community Centre – Phelps Court, Fulham, with doors opening at 7:00 PM, and the presentation kicking off at 7:30 PM. Everyone is welcome!

This month’s presentation will be from Steve Adler, VK5SFA:

I will be giving a presentation on my adventures in establishing a remote LF, MF, HF, VHF & UHF remote site.
This project has been 18 months in the making, and I would like to share with you all the way I failed my way to success!
The presentation will run for 2 hours, as there are many facets to discuss.
During the presentation, I will be talking about site establishment, antenna systems, remote control, setting up secure reliable internet, all the equipment required, and my latest addition, a steerable LF, MF and HF receiving antenna array which will blow you away!
Please trust me when I tell you that this is the one presentation you will not want to miss, as you will never see anything like it again!
For security reasons, there will be no YouTube or recording of the presentation, and I will be only presenting it once.
If you’ve never come along to one of our meetings, we’d love to see you there, all guests are welcome at the hall. For our remote members, the meeting will be broadcast via Zoom.

After the talks we’ll all be given an opportunity to have an eyeball QSO among ourselves whilst enjoying a tea or coffee and a biscuit.

73, Mark VK5QI

Save the date: AREG’s Adelaide Amateur Radio & Electronics Sale – Saturday October 26th

AREG are happy to announce that Saturday October 26th will see the return of the AREG Amateur Radio & Electronics Sale! It will again 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 months – but for now you simply need to:

Saturday

October 26th

2024

We hope to see you there!

Next Fox-Hunt – Friday 3rd May

AREGs next car-based fox hunt will be held this coming Friday the 3rd of May. We arrive at the start location around 6pm, and depart at 6:30 PM. Don’t forget to bring your torch, it’ll be dark!

Due to construction works around the Adelaide Aquatic Centre, the start location has been moved to the Beaumont Road carpark, off South Terrace in the southern CBD Parklands. 

We’ll have three foxes deployed around the Adelaide area, on both the 2m and 70cm bands, so come along and have a go!

Area where the foxes might be hidden.

The frequencies will be:

  • 145.300 MHz (1W transmit power)
  • 144.390 MHz (100mW transmit power)
  • 439.400 MHz (50mW transmit power)

As usual, liaison will be on the VK5RSB Summertown 70cm repeater which operates on 439.900 (-5MHz) 91.5 CTCSS. Please come up on the repeater so we know who is out hunting, and how you are faring throughout the evening! If we don’t hear from your, we may recover the foxes before you find them!

The event is open to anyone with radio direction finding equipment, with the foxes hidden within the bounds shown on the above map. We would love to see you there!

We are also looking for volunteers to hide the foxes each month. If you would like to give this a go, please contact Mark at vk5qi@rfhead.net

73

Mark VK5QI

April Meeting – Amateur Radio Direction Finding 101

The next AREG meeting will be held on Friday the 19th of April at the Fulham Community Centre – Phelps Court, Fulham, with doors opening at 7:00 PM, and the presentation kicking off at 7:30 PM. Everyone is welcome!

Building on the success of AREG’s fox-hunt antenna group build, this month Mark VK5QI will be talking on Fox-hunting for beginners. No, we’re not talking about small furry animals, we’re talking about the sport of Amateur Radio Direction Finding. The talk will explain the equipment you need to get started, and some basic techniques that will help you find that first fox transmitter! There’ll be plenty of live demos showing various hunting equipment in action.

If you’ve never come along to one of our meetings, we’d love to see you there, all guests are welcome. For our remote members, the meeting will be broadcast via Zoom, and should also be streamed live on Hayden VK7HH’s HamRadioDX YouTube channel.

After the talks we’ll all be given an opportunity to have an eyeball QSO among ourselves whilst enjoying a tea or coffee and a biscuit.

73, Mark VK5QI

March Meeting – Hermes Lite SDRs by Scott VK2JAX

Update: This presentation was recorded and is available on Youtube.

The next AREG meeting will be held on Friday the 15th of March at the Fulham Community Centre – Phelps Court, Fulham, with doors opening at 7:00 PM, and the presentation kicking off at 7:30 PM. Everyone is welcome!

This month’s presentation will be from Scott VK2JAX, on the Hermes Lite SDR, an open-source and open-hardware direct conversion transceiver.

If you’ve never come along to one of our meetings, we’d love to see you there, all guests are welcome. For our remote members, the meeting will be broadcast via Zoom.

After the talks we’ll all be given an opportunity to have an eyeball QSO among ourselves whilst enjoying a tea or coffee and a biscuit.

73, Mark VK5QI