16th October General Meeting: Show and Tell night

The next meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group will be held on Friday October 16th, starting at 7.30pm. Doors open from 7.15pm at the Fulham Community Centre, Phelps Court, Fulham.

This meeting will be a little different in format. We will first open with a standard business meeting. Following that, members are encouraged to bring along something radio related that they have been tinkering with since the COVID-19 lock downs began to show what you have been up to this past 6 months.

Tables will be set up around the hall, and rather than having to stand up and give a presentation, you can instead sit on your table and discuss what you have been working on with anyone who wonders by. (Hopefully this will encourage a few less confident speakers to still bring along what they have been working on). It may be a project, an antenna, a new radio or in fact anything at all provided it has some link to Amateur Radio!

The aim – to share your fun projects, or to present your problems in a way that others can come along and admire your handiwork or give you a hand or a helpful suggestion.

We will (hopefully) be able to have a roving Zoom terminal as well so that the remote members can also join in. Stay tuned for details of that one!

At the very least, it will give us all a chance to have more face to face discussion time given the complete lack of that over the past 6 months. Visitors are welcome to attend the hall, but will be required to sign in with their contact details in line with the COVID-19 Marshall requirements.

We hope to see you all there!

75th Oceania DX Contest: AREG on the air as VK5ARG

Calling all contesters – help the Oceania DX Contest celebrate it’s 75th year!

First established in 1934 and earlier known as the VK/ZL contest, the Oceania DX Contest continues to grow. Please join us here in Oceania from all over the world for the 75th running of our international HF radio activity over the first two weekends of October.

PHONE: 06:00 UTC Saturday 3rd Oct to 06:00 UTC Sunday 4th Oct 2020
CW: 06:00 UTC Saturday 10th Oct to 06:00 UTC Sunday 11th Oct 2020

NOTE: New Start times!

See www.oceaniadxcontest.com for the latest version of the rules and list of plaques.


AREG Will be there as VK5ARG!

The Amateur Radio Experimenters Group will be running again this year as VK5ARG in a Multi-Multi entry in the PHONE contest this weekend. Our station is a large portable effort, constructed over the past 2 weeks at our remote contesting site (~100km north of Adelaide , the capital city of VK5). We would love to get you in our logs and will be looking for contacts on all bands from 160m to 10m.

Members who have never contested before and those that just like to come for the view and to socialize are asked to let the president know you are coming for catering purposes. We will then let you know the protocols for accessing the site (which is locked away on remote farmland). If you want to operate the station, please make sure you have registered with Matt VK5ZM who is coordinating the roster.


More Reasons to Join In!

Oceania DX Contest Plaque

The OCDX Committee have advised that there are a number of new plaques on offer this year thanks to their generous sponsors. Here are the new ones available for 2020:

  • Ron Wright ZL1AMO Memorial Award:
  • WORLD (non-Oceania) Phone + CW Single-Op Plaque
  • OCEANIA Phone MM (Multiple-Operators and Multiple-Transmitters) Plaque
  • OCEANIA SOUTHEAST ASIA Phone Single-Op Plaque (Philippines, East Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, and East Timor)
  • AUSTRALIA Phone Single-Op YL Plaque
  • AUSTRALIA CW Single-Op All Band QRP Plaque
  • INDONESIA Phone Single-Op 40M Plaque for Advanced and Extra Class licensees

Everyone is encouraged to have a go and submit a log, even if you only make one or two QSOs, so the contest organisers can verify these QSOs when calculating the final scores for all entrants. Upload your log via http://www.oceaniadxcontest.com/html/enter.html .

Oceania DX Contest Committee (ZL3GA, VK3GK, VK3MI/ZL1AZE, VK3TZ, VK4FH, VK4QS, VK7GN, YB0NDT)

VK5ARG: CQ WW RTTY Contest – Portable

This year AREG has a keen sub-group of members who enjoy contesting. So much so we have named September 25 through October 26 Contesting Month! During this time the club is going to be active in three major contests, CQ WW RTTY, Oceania DX SSB and CW WW SSB.

This weekend is the RTTY contest and VK5ARG is on are calling CQ on all bands from 80 through 15m (and 10m if conditions work) . We operate on a farm about 100km north of Adelaide and build the station as a portable setup each year. (One day we hope to make it more permanent). The weather so far has severely hampered preparations this year, which meant that most of the antennas couldn’t be erected until the day of the contest (when we had the wind drop for the first time in 2 weeks). As of now, we are closing in on the half way mark of the contact target we set for the event.

The Station

We are running two Elecraft / Microham based stations, manned by VK5GR, VK5FR, VK5LA, VK5AKH, VK5ZQV, VK5ZM and VK5FJ. We had help from VK5SFA, VK5ANV, VK5FDEN, VK5JG, VK5KX, VK5XDX and VK5PH over 2 days to build the station as well!

It has been great to see the club members come together and work on a common project like this. I know we will also greatly appreciate not having to do the complete build for OCDX the day before the contest this year!

The Antennas

The antennas consist of a tri-band Spiderbeam for 20-10m, a 40m 4-square array (used last on the A35JT DXpedition) and an 80/160m Inverted L.

Keep watching for more news as we progress through the contest!

AREG May Meeting: FT8 DXing Q&A – This Friday 7.30pm ACST

The May meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group will again be held online this month due to the COVID-19 social distancing limitations. It will be held on Friday May 15th starting 7.30pm ACST using the Zoom video conferencing platform for AREG members. A YouTube Livestream via Hayden VK7HH’s HamRadio DX Channel will also be available.

The subject this month will be “FT8 DXing – How to get Started, Tips and Tricks” and will be presented by Grant VK5GR. The format will be based on a live look at FT8 on the air with interaction from members welcome. We will discuss the basics including getting the software installed, but will also explain how you read and position your signals on the band to maximize your chances of a successful QSO, showing you on air as we go.



Non Member Access Planned!

This month, we will be introducing an extra dimension however, with the Zoom meeting also being Live-Streamed to Hayden VK7HH’s Ham Radio DX Youtube channel: (CLICK HERE – Hayden’s YouTube Channel).

This way we hope to make the evening accessible to a wider audience, not just AREG members. So if you are interested in some hints and tips for getting the most out of FT8 when DXing on HF why not tune in at 7.30pm ACST (1000 UTC) on Friday May 15th.

 

AREG Nets: On Line and On Air!

To help keep our members connected during this time of social distancing and COVID-19, the club is moving to increase the amount of on air contact opportunities. We are planning on holding an alternating on air net one week and a Zoom round-table chat on the alternate weeks.

The next event will be held this coming Friday, 8th May. Starting at 7.30pm it will be held on the club’s VK5RSB repeater 439.900 which will be linked to the IRLP network via node 6214 to reflector 9558 (which is also linked to the EchoLink node *VK3JED*

This will help to keep our interstate members connected too!

VK5RSB 70cm Coverage Map

The following dates will also have an on air net:

  • May 22nd
  • June 5th

Visitor check-ins are most welcome on the on air nets. The net control station is VK5ARG.


In between the on air weeks, there will be a separate video round table using Zoom Meeting online for members only.

The club just held one of these which was hugely successful as everyone got to see, hear and participate in the free discussions that en-shewed. Members will be provided details of the Zoom logins for each of these on our internal mailing list.

Currently the next scheduled Zoom round table for members is May 29th, also starting at 7.30pm.

Details of our monthly meeting for this month are in a separate post.

We hope to see you all on the air!

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!