USA Exams planned for Adelaide April 4th: CANCELLED / POSTPONED

UPDATE: March 22nd 2020 – Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the South Australian government now restricting interstate travel (requiring forced isolation for those arriving in the state), the VEA team has regrettably had to cancel the planned FCC exam session for April 4th in Adelaide.

VEA and AREG hope to reschedule this opportunity for later in the year once the restrictions have been lifted.

Next AREG Meeting POSTPONED: Hello Solar Cycle 25! –

Due to the cancellation of our March meeting, we are now hoping we can bring this topic to members in April. Stay tuned for further details

Always of intense interest to Radio Amateurs is what is going to happen to the ionosphere. More recently, the big question on everyone’s lips has been, when is Solar Cycle 25 going to get underway and how strong (or weak) is it going to be.

AREG is pleased to announce that we have a preeminent expert in this field coming to speak at our Friday 20th of March general meeting. Dr David Neudegg (VK5FDAN) from the Defence Science & Technology Group will give us a radio amateur perspective on what is happening with Solar Cycle 25.

The meeting will be held at the Fulham Community Centre, off Phelps Court in Fulham. The meeting will start at 7.45pm. Doors open from 7.15pm. Visitors are most welcome to join us!

We hope to see you there!

Marathon Canoe Club: River Paddling Marathon 2020 – call for radio volunteers!

The River Paddling Marathon 200 event staged by the Marathon Canoe Club of SA will again be running over the June long weekend from Berri to Morgan in South Australia’s Riverland. Staged over 3 days from June 6-8, this event will see over 100 competitors brave the winter cold to paddle the mighty Murray River downstream for 200km.

Once again, the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group in conjunction with the Riverland Radio Club, is supporting this major community event with a safety communications radio network. Communications is provided via a combination of Amateur and Commercial VHF/UHF radio networks. The radio team operates 20 check points, including 3 locks, 9 starting lines, 3 finish lines, the event command post and provides VHF command and APRS tracking of 4 safety boats plus the event medics. This is all delivered via a 2m/70cm FM network using a combination of local and portable repeater systems deployed specifically for this event.

Andy VK5AKH visiting Ivan VK5HS and Peter VK5FLEX at one of the checkpoints

Would you like to get involved?

To cover all of the checkpoints and roles, the group needs a small army of volunteers. Members from both AREG and RRC have been the backbone of the event now for over 5 years. This year, we would love to broaden the engagement further. If you are a member of any of the local radio clubs, WICEN SA, WICEN VIC or just an individual with 2m/70cm mobile capabilities and you would like to get involved, please contact us via vk5arg@areg.org.au to express your interest. Registrations are open until the end of March 2020.

What do you need to participate?

We keep the check point requirements simple. Each checkpoint is open for ~3-4 hours and mostly operators are only rostered on for one checkpoint a day.

For most checkpoints a 2WD vehicle and a 25W or higher 2m mobile radio with a car mounted antenna is usually sufficient to reach the comms network. 70cm is used in a limited number of check points too. Minimum teams of 2 are preferred, one for spotting and one for manning the radio. If you wish to participate as an individual we can pair you up with one of the other operators for the day.

If you have never participated in the event before, there will be a briefing night held in Adelaide several weeks before the event. If you are new to the event, our event planners will stage you with one of the more experienced operators to show you the ropes the first year.

Paul VK5BX and Peter VK5KX running Net Control

Logistics Arrangements?

The Radio network participants are mostly based out of Kingston on Murray caravan park for the event and many come and stay for the three days. AREG provides financial assistance towards the cost of accommodation and one of the meals during the event. People usually arrive in the area Friday afternoon (and a small team gets to work that day installing the radios in the boats around 4.30pm at Waikerie). The event is over by 4pm on Monday afternoon leaving plenty of time to drive back to Adelaide.

If you cant come for the full three days, on the Monday in particular it has not been uncommon for people to come up just for the day from Adelaide. (Day 3 is centred near Morgan so is within easy reach).

So if a fun relaxing 3 days on the Murray River interests you please contact us via vk5arg@areg.org.au to express your interest! We would love to see more members of the Amateur Radio community getting involved and supporting this fantastic community event!

 

** Meeting Date Change ** February 14th – “So you Bought a VNA, Now what?”

The latest must have gadget in any Amateur Radio station has got to be the range of new “Mini-VNA” devices taking the market by storm. Now touted as the ultimate replacement for the humble VSWR meter or antenna analyser, and at a fraction of the price, have you succumbed and bought one too?

More importantly, do you know what to do with it?

Steve VK5SFA will attempt to answer the question “So you bought a VNA, now what?” at the next AREG Meeting – to be held on Friday February 14th. Steve will demo the NanoVNA that he purchased for sub AUD $100 and provide some practical examples of how you can use this technology in your ham shack!


The meeting will be held at the Fulham Community Centre, Phelps Court, Fulham on Friday February 14th (note this is one week early due to the hall being booked for a Festival Fringe show the following week). Doors open at 7.15pm with proceedings getting underway at 7.45pm.

All members and visitors are most welcome! Come down to the AREG and say hello!

Reminder Horus 54 Flies today!

Update: The launch has now been conducted successfully, with all payloads recovered. A full writeup will be coming soon…

REMINDER: High altitude balloon flight Horus 54 will take to the skies around 12:45pm today from Auburn in the Clare Valley. This flight is carrying sensors aloft as part of the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program run through the International Space University in cooperation with the University of South Australia.

RTTY, 4FSK and Wenet Imagery payloads will be flying. If you would like to get involved in tracking the balloon and feeding telemetry into the network visit this (post).

You can track the flight live via habhub.org

 

AREG Next Meeting January 17th – Members Lightning Talks

Welcome to 2020!

The next meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group will be held on Friday January 17th. This month will see a return of the popular “Members Lightning Talks” format where members from the floor are invited to step up and give a short 5 minutes  talk about something that they have been doing or experimenting with.

We are sure over the summer break that people have been tinkering away, so here is an ideal opportunity to share with everyone ideas for things they too might like to try!

The club meets at the Fulham Community Centre, Phelps Crt Fulham. The doors will open at 7.15pm with the business meeting commencing at 7.45pm. The lightning talks will begin straight after the business meeting is finished and should be finished by 8.30pm. Afterwards supper will be served and members can gather to discuss what has been going on in their corner of Amateur Radio.

Visitors are most welcome. We look forward to seeing you all there!

 

AREG Christmas Meeting – A35JT DXpedition

The next meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group will be held on Friday December 13th. Doors will open for members and visitors at 7.15pm. The main presentation will be given by the A35JT DXpedition team comprising Grant VK5GR, Andrew VK5AKH, Olgierd VK5XDX and Steve VK5SFA who last month completed a 14 month DXpedition project culminating in the 2 week activation of Tonga in the South Pacific.

AREG members are also invited to attend the club Christmas Dinner which starts at 6.00pm. Details have been sent to members via the club email reflector.

The club meets at the Fulham Community Centre, Phelps Court, Fulham.

We hope to see you there!