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!

 

How to Home Brew a 20-6m HexBeam for HF – Next AREG Meeting

The next meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenter’s Group will be held on Friday September 20th. The presentation tonight will be given by Theo VK5IR who will take us through what he has learned as he has set to home brewing his 20-6m HexBeam antenna. The HexBeam antenna design is well known to many in AREG but Theo is the first in the club to home brew one. This could kick off a whole new round of antenna construction experimentation at the club!

AREG meets at the Fulham Community Centre, Phelps Court, Fulham. Doors open at 7.15pm with the meeting starting at 7.45pm sharp. Visitors are most welcome!

AREG Annual General Meeting – Friday August 16th 7.45pm

The Amateur Radio Experimenters Group Inc will hold it’s Annual General Meeting on Friday August 16th, at the Fulham Community Centre, Phelps Court, Fulham, starting at 7.45pm.

The AGM will recap the year that was for AREG with the presentation of the reports by the committee. All positions will then be declared vacant, and the election of the office bearers and committee will be held.

After the AGM, refreshments will be served and there will be ample opportunity to socialise and talk about the exciting year ahead!

Visitors are always welcome! We hope to see you there!

Next AREG Meeting: RF Transformers – Theory into Practice – July 19th

The next meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group will be held on Friday July 19th. Doors open at 7.15pm with the presentations starting from 7.45pm.

AREG is very pleased to announce that our guest speaker for the evening is Neil Abraham VK5KA.

Neil has a lifetime’s experience designing RF transformers (among many other things) for a prominent  commercial HF radio manufacturer here in South Australia. In this presentation, Neil will open a window into the world of RF transformers and impedance matching, showing how they can be used in your every day amateur radio station experiments.

Neil says the following about his presentation:

  • I am not going to cover every thing there is to know about RF transformers.
  • I hope to give you enough info so you can design and make your own transformers.
  • I am going to limit this to transformers that are used  to help match HF antennas and feed lines.

If ever you have experimented or had a desire to experiment with designing your own antennas, invariably at some point you will face the issue of how to match that antenna to your transmitter. This presentation will be a great introduction to this most useful aspect of the radio art-form.


Visitors are most welcome! Following Neil’s talk, there will be a short business meeting, followed by tea, coffee and cake and a chance to talk about your own antenna matching challenges with Neil. We hope to see you at the club!

Where do we meet?

AREG meetings at the Fulham Community Centre (formerly known as the Reedbeds Community Centre), on Phelps Court in Fulham.

 

Next AREG Meeting: Club Remote SDR Project – HOWTO Night

AREG has long been seeking a location to establish a remote SDR receive site as a way of allowing members to escape the ever increasing levels of RF interference one sees in suburbia. Finally, the beginnings of this project are taking shape, with a trial system now in place at a location ~100km north of Adelaide.

This meeting will introduce the KiwiSDR system, and show people what was installed , as well as how to use it. We will also show the next steps with the antenna system and talk about ways of using the SDR system in your every day activities. We will also talk about the wider worldwide SDR network and how you can find your way around it.

(It should be noted that the system itself is being restricted to members only at this time due to the temporary nature of the trial site and internet feed).


The meeting will be held on Friday June 21st at the Fulham Community Centre, 1 Phelps Court, Fulham. The doors will open at 7.15pm with the meeting to start promptly at 7.45pm The presentation will commence immediately after a short business meeting.

Members and non members alike are both welcome at club meetings. If you would like to know more, why not come along and introduce yourself!

Next Meeting: Friday 10th May – Member Lightning Talks

The next meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenter’s Group will be held (yet again) one week early on Friday May 10th. This time it is a result of the Federal Election which has cancelled our hall booking for our normal night of May 17th. The doors will open at 7.15pm with the business meeting commencing at 7.45pm. The presentations for the evening will begin by 8.00pm. The event will be followed by coffee and cake!

AREG Lightning Talks

Photo by Mark VK5QI of Lightning over Adelaide 24th October 2014

This months meeting is a return to one of our favourite formats, the member lightning talk. While the talks are not about “lightning”, members are invited to give a lightning fast 5 minute introductory presentation on their latest experiment or project. Our time keeper Mark will keep things moving ensuring a lively and diverse range of topics can be covered over the 30-40 minutes of the presentations.

Members who would like to make a presentation should announce it on the club mailing list beforehand so we can plan the program order accordingly, although “drop ins” on the night will also be welcome. Projector slides if you want to show something should be sent to Grant, VK5GR on email prior to the event.

Afterwards, members of the audience will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the presenters and talk to them in more detail about their projects and experiments. In this way we hope to promote sharing of what experiments the members are undertaking at this very moment.


Visitors are always welcome!

AREG is very happy to welcome visitors to our club meetings, so come along and find out what the membership of AREG is experimenting with!

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

We hope to see you there!

FreeDV QSO Party a success despite trying conditions

This weekend just gone marked the second FreeDV QSO party (the first was 3 years ago). The aim of the event was to encourage people to come and take a look at FreeDV, load up the software and give it a try. It had the added benefit of stimulating a lot of FreeDV activity on the bands as well which was great to see.

Reports have come in from 4 continents of local activity in those regions. So far, however,  there havent been any reports of any inter-continental contacts with VK5ARG or other VK stations. Conditions were certainly difficult but at least regional activty was spawned across the globe! The key thing is that there are now more stations active and capable of FreeDV. It will only be a matter of time before we start seeing regular inter-continental FreeDV QSOs taking place!

Activity Around Australia

Australian activity was predominantly on the 40m band centered around 7177-7185kHz. At times on Saturday afternoon there were 5-6 stations on air simultaneously with lots of calls being swapped back and forth around the continent. Much of the activity used the FreeDV700D mode although at times FreeDV appeared more reliable. Selective fading was identified as a particular challenge during some of these QSOs (see above) even within 1kHz of bandwidth.

Stations were logged between VK1/2/3/4/5/6 either on 40m or 20m, VK FreeDV 20m activity was predominantly on 14130-14135kHz. More on this later.

From the VK5ARG logs it was noted that probably 1 in 2 stations contact was made with were trying FreeDV for the very first time. That alone made the event a roaring success in our eyes.

QSO Party report from the UK/Europe.

Mike G4ABP reported that European propagation has been poor in recent days, as was the case on the day of the QSO party. Consequently, he was not expecting to hear anyone from outside Europe.

Participation from Europe was not great, with about 10 European stations appearing on FreeDV QSO Finder, only one of which I knew previously. Mike monitored QSO Finder for about 16 hours, and had never seen it so busy, (particularly with US stations). Attempts were made via QSO finder to set up European QSO’s, but stations were out of range due to poor propagation. 

Activity around North America

Walter K5WH reports that with all the publicity of the event coming up there has been a great explosion of stations giving it a try, and we have worked with several dozens of stations helping them configure and test out their stations prior to the event.

“The FreeDV QSO finder has been really active with a great deal of interest in trying out the mode. There were a great deal of stations that were busy on the normal US frequency of 14.236 making contacts all day, even if they were not in the contest itself. So from my prospective, even though we did not have much success in the US with the contest, all of the enhanced activity on FreeDV leading up to the contest has really created some great attention and hopefully a lot of new stations to help us keep this mode very active. For that reason alone I would have to say this was an outstanding success for its 1st event.”

Mel K0PFX reported “Yes, the FreeDV QSO party created a lot of interest here in the US as reflected in the number of stations found on the QSO Finder throughout the time period.  I did work a few stations who were not on the Finder indicating there were more around and I am sure, many were just “listening” to see what they could decode.  W4BCX,

Ray in Florida I heard working a number of stations attributing to his great location and excellent signal.  From the NE US, WF1C was worked and heard calling other stations.   And, of course Gerry, N4DigitaVoice was in there working them on his Flex 5k which is an excellent radio for this mode.

From Mexico, XE2JC was there and I was able to decode him but never worked him.  However, I believe Ray worked him. 

Despite the low sun spot activity and the Florida QSO SSB party QRM, we all had fun in the party and good to see all the activity it stirred up.  Thanks to Grant, VK5GR and others for the organizing the event.  I look forward to the next one.”

Activity in South America

Not to be out done, we also had a lot of interest from South America with activity by a number of Argentinian stations. Logs have been received from Alex LW4DFA who worked a number of stations on 20 and 40m as well as Jose LU5DKI who worked ~8 stations again across 20 and 40m as well as several on 80m!

Thanks guys for your interest before and during the event. Please encourage those you worked to also submit logs!

Its not too late!

Now is the time, if you haven’t already done so already, to submit your FreeDV QSO party logs! We would love to see who was active and how they got on! You can send your logs to:

Log Submission:

You MUST submit your ADIF formatted log via email within 7 days after the event to:

FreeDV.QSOParty (at) areg.org.au


Finally, a huge thanks to David VK5DGR for creating this fascinating mode and to all of the operators that decided to give it a go this year during the FreeDV QSO party.

David VK5DGR – Creator of FreeDV

AREG April Meeting THIS FRIDAY – Introducing FreeDV!

Thanks to Easter this year, the AREG meeting is being held 1 week early on Friday April 12th, starting at 7.45pm. Doors open at 7.15pm.

This months presentation is by David VK5DGR, who will introduce FreeDV, talking about it’s capabilities and development as well as how you can try it yourself.

David will also discuss the latest developments in FreeDV and will hopefully give us a sneak peak of what is coming just around the corner.

We will also discuss the up-coming FreeDV QSO Party, the rules and what you need to do to be able to take part! The FreeDV QSO party is being held over the weekend of April 27th and 28th.


At the club business meeting we will also be discussing a working bee to recover the original attempted remote SDR site over the Easter/Anzac day break as well as the pending River Paddling Marathon 200 community event which is supported by AREG each year over the June long weekend.

So why dont you come along and find out what we are up to today in the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group Inc. The clubrooms are located at the Fulham Community Centre, Phelps Court, Fulham.

We hope to see you there!