Next fox hunt: Friday 10/09/2021

Our September fox hunt is scheduled for the evening of Friday the 10th of September, kicking off at 6:30pm from the southern end of the car park at the Adelaide Aquatic centre.

As usual, this event is open to all participants and you don’t need to be a member to join us.

This hunt will again see our usual two 2m foxes in use as well the 70cm fox. Our little biscuit tin fox has had an upgrade to a green army ammo tin and SLA battery, donated by Kim VK5FJ. This has increased the Baofeng/Arduino powered fox run time from 3.5 hours to 11+ hours.

Last month’s hunt saw eight of us join in to locate the three foxes. The biscuit tin, deployed by AREG members Chris VK5CP and Gary VK5GRY, was clevery hidden under a witches hat/street cone on Halifax St in the city. Hunters knew they were close when they spotted Chris and Gary seated outside a nearby hotel enjoying a beverage whilst watching the hunters drive up and down trying to locate the transmitter.

The 70cm fox stuck was to the back of a street sign off Greenhill Road, in the Adelaide Parklands whilst the second 2m fox was hidden by the banks of the Torrens River at Grange.

Mark VK5QI’s newly designed TDOA doppler system with car Head Up Display worked extremely well. A video of it in action can be seen here.

Once again, hunters are encourgaed to liaise on the night on the club’s VK5RSB 70cm repeater.

We look forward to seeing you on the night.

 

August Meeting: Amateur Radio Contesting with VK5ARG

VK5ARG: Tarlee Contest Site – Remembrance Day Contest 2021

The next meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenter’s Group will be held this coming Friday, 20th August. The topic will be Amateur Radio Contesting with VK5ARG. During the meeting we will explain the basics of Amateur Radio Contesting and how we apply them during “Contest Month” up at our remote site west of Tarlee.

The aim will be to demystify how to get involved with contesting and explain the basics. We will also talk a bit about contest strategy, band awareness and operating styles, so you can get a feel for how to make contacts in a contest environment. After the initial presentation, there will be time for Q&A.

For anyone who would like to get involved in Contest Month during September/October for the first time, know that we will be working to introduce newbies at the event with each new operator having a mentor to help them get into the swing of things!

Michael VK5ZRN – First time contester – Remembrance Day Contest 2021 @ VK5ARG

The presentation this Friday night will start at 7.45pm. Doors open at 7.15pm and the venue will be the Fulham Community Hall, Phelps Court, Fulham! Visitors are welcome – see you there!


AREG Members note: the meeting will be simulcast on Zoom for members who cant be there in person, but there will be no YouTube stream this month. We will be observing the current COVID restrictions at the hall as well and will ask everyone in attendance to wear a mask in accordance with current health guidelines. Check in at the door will be mandatory. If you are unwell, please stay home and join the proceedings via Zoom!

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.

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!

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!

July Fox Hunt – This Friday Night!

With the River Paddling Marathon behind us, we can return to our usual second Friday of the month fox hunts.

The next AREG fox hunt will be held this coming Friday night, July 9. The hunt will again commence from the southern end of the car park at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre.

Hunters are free to meet in the car park from 6.15pm with the foxes (beacon transmitters) being switched on at 6.30pm.

As always, everyone is welcome to join in and we invite you all to liaise on the VK5RSB 70cm repeater on 439.900 MHz (-5 MHz offset & 91.5 HZ CTCSS required on the input).

See you on the night!

Next Fox Hunt – 25/06/2021 – NEW START LOCATION

Members and friends are advised that our next monthly fox hunt is scheduled for the evening of Friday, the 25th of June.

Due to noise on the 2m band at our previous starting postions, we have decided to try a new and more central starting loaction this month.

Hunters are to meet at the southern end of the car park at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre, Jeffcott Rd, North Adelaide, from 6.15pm and our regualr 144MHz and 433MHz foxes will be activated and the hunt will commence at 6.30 PM.

As usual, all particpants are welcome to liase with AREG’s VK5RSB 70cm repeater on 439.900 (-5MHz 91.5Hz CTCSS).

Everyone (members and non-members) is welcome to join in and we look forward to seeing you on the night.

Next AREG Foxhunt: Saturday May 15th 5:00pm

The next AREG Foxhunt will be held on Saturday May 15th, starting at 5:00pm.  This hunt is being called the “AREG Masters Hunt”. The aim is to encourage all of the old school fox hunters in particular, as well as our new generation hunters to come along and have some fun. It is an ideal chance to blow the cobwebs off your hunting equipment, particularly if you are planning an assault on the National Foxhunting Championships in Mt Gambier in June.

The winner of this series of hunts, which will be the first person to find both 2m fox transmitters, will  qualify for a special AREG Foxhunt trophy to be presented at the June AREG meeting.

There will also be a bonus 70cm fox deployed for those with 70cm equipment.

Team ZSN at the Mt Gambier Foxhunting Championship

The fox hunt will start from the car park of the AREG clubrooms, Phelps Court, Fulham. Hounds are asked to liaise via the VK5RSB 70cm repeater on 439.900 (-5MHz 91.5Hz CTCSS).

After the hunt, everyone will be invited to gather at a venue (TBA) for a coffee and a catch up. Details will be finalised over the VK5RSB repeater. We hope to see you all there!