VI25AREG – AREG’s 25th Anniversary! Come find us on HF, VHF/UHF, DSTAR, DMR, Satellites, and more!

The 27th of July is the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group’s 25th Anniversary!  As a celebration of this event, we will be activating the VI25AREG special-event callsign between the 1st of July and the 31st of August. The aim is to have the call active on as many bands and modes as possible, reflecting the huge diversity of interests of AREG’s members across the whole spectrum of amateur radio activities.

Special Event QSO Award

AREG has always sought to promote experimentation in amateur radio as a pathway to learning. To celebrate this, we are offering  a special award available for any station who contacts VI25AREG using a minimum of three different transmission modes. The aim being to encourage people to experiment with different modes. You will find the call in use in some unlikely places as a result, including PSK, Olivia, FreeDV, DMR, FUSION, FM, AM, HF, VHF, UHF and more. Work us on three modes and you will qualify for our award!



To apply for the certificate, just send an email to vi25areg (at) with your ADIF log extract showing the three qualifying QSOs. If your QSOs are found in our log, you should receive your digital certificate within a few days!

Special Event QSL Card

Click to request QSL Card

A special 4 sided QSL card is being designed by the members of AREG for this event. The card design will be completed by August 31st (aligned with the close of the celebrations). Requests for a copy of the card can be submitted via our QSL Manager, Charles M0OXO. You can also see whether you are in the log via Clublog!

Clublog Log Access


On Air Celebrations: Where to find VI25AREG


Look out for VI25AREG on the following bands and modes over the next few weeks, and check back on our website often for specific activity announcements!

  • HF – Regular activations on many HF bands, check and ClubLog to see where VI25AREG was last heard! The following specific activations are planned:
    • VI25AREG Picnic at Para-Wirra Conservation Park, starting ~12PM on Sunday the 30th of July.
  • 6M – VI25AREG is planned to be used on 6M at the following times:
    • As part of the weekly 6m FM net, on the VK5RSB 6m repeater, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11AM ACST.
    • Sunday mornings, 10:30 AM ACST on 53.100 AM, and 10:45 on 52.100 SSB.
  • Repeaters – We plan to run a net on the Central VK5 Linked Repeater Network at 10AM ACST on the following dates:
    • 8th July
    • 22nd July
    • 5th August
    • 19th August
  • Satellites – the following satellites passes are planned to have VI25AREG activations:
    • TBD!
  • Digital Voice Modes – activity is planned on each of the following networks
    • DMR: Tuesday 25th July, 0900Z, on VKDMR Talk-Group 505.
    • DSTAR:
    • FUSION:
  • High-Altitude Balloon Launch
    • We are planning a High-Altitude Balloon launch making use of the VI25AREG callsign in mid-to-late August. Tentative launch dates are either the 13th of 20th of August.

We are hoping to get many of our members on air operating the callsign.

AREG History

Formed back in July 1998, AREG started out with 7 members focused on amateur radio and electronics experimentation. There were early projects driven by interests in high altitude balloons and repeaters and the group started some early fund raising efforts to support these.

Over time the group continued to slowly grow through until ~2010 when larger activities were attempted, including efforts in various contests and operating on air using special event call VI5MCP (100th anniversary of Morialta Conservation Park). Around this time, the group moved from meeting at members homes to the Reedbeds Community Centre in Fulham too, and the groups focus began to broaden and look to engage more actively with the wider amateur radio community. In the last ~15 years, the group has gone from strength to strength, partnering with the Project Horus high altitude balloon team, being very active in radio contesting, began providing community service communications for the River Paddling Marathon in the Riverland and establishing many new services for members, growing the club’s reach through its internet presence in the process.

From our original 7 members, the group has now grown in size to well over 100 people located across 6 states. With that base, AREG continues to seek opportunities to make a positive contribution to the amateur service in Australia. We therefore are now celebrating the past 25 years and are looking forward to the next 25!

We look forward to working you from VI25AREG!

AREG Activating SES VK20HOME as VK5 enters hard lockdown

COVID-19 has struck the Adelaide area hard and our state government’s response has been swift. The state of South Australia has entered what could only be described as a “CRASH STOP” lock-down for 6 days starting tonight. No one is allowed outside their property except to get food and other essentials as the authorities work to stop a COVID-19 cluster from getting out of control.

AREG members, who will be locked in their homes, will take to the airwaves and activate the WIA’s special event call sign VK20HOME to mark some of the harshest lockdown restrictions seen in Australia since the start of the pandemic.

Look for activity on multiple bands and modes from tonight until the 26th of November by AREG members across the state.

FreeDV QSO Party – Activity Log for the 12/13th September 2015

5.00pm – Wrapping Up

Well, that about ends our FreeDV experiments for today. It has been great to see stations across VK and the world come and try this new mode. It was disappointing that the ionosphere ‘flamed out’ when it did but this is not going to be the last time we rally FreeDV users to come together and have a go, so if you missed out making a contact today, stay tuned for the next event.

We would like to thank all stations that took part or listened in and hope to see you all next time!

Regards, The team from the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group!

3:30pm – Now beaming LP Europe on 14236kHz

We are now attempting contact with Europe long path using FreeDV 700B. OE3GBB is reporting 70% copy and S4-5 – unfortunately we cant hear his responses as we have S9 noise here. Still, it is impressive that we are being heard!

Update: we did achieve contact with OE3GBB using a remote receiving station!

2:00pm – back from lunch and working some locals

40m is working into VK2 this afternoon on FreeDV 700B mode with contacts to VK2KDK and partial contacts to VK1KV. We will continue to have VK100ANZAC calling CQ beaming east this afternoon on 40m.

11:45am – all quiet – unfortunately

Well, our attempt here in Australia at getting the VK100ANZAC callsign out on freeDV is not going real well. The ionosphere coupled with local power line noise (which has sprung up today) have combined to make 40m and 20m very quiet (or should I say very noisy) indeed. We are still calling CQ with the keyer on 40m (7175) in 700B mode and are intermittently calling/listening on 20m (14236) in 1600 mode, but we are not working many stations.

We will press on in the hope conditions improve as the day progresses.

11:00am – worked VK3DBP on 40m

One station that has been actively working us is VK3DBP who has made several contacts including one around 11am ACST on 40m. Congrats for your enthusiasm for this new digital HF voice mode!

So, what’s this700B mode you are talking about?

On August 25th, David VK5DGR released a new version of the FreeDV software labelled version 1.0.0. This new low 700bps bitrate mode has better signal to noise characteristics than the original 1600bps mode but lower quality audio.

You can get the latest version and give 700B mode a try from these links:

10:10am – worked VK2DGH on 700B

Great signal now heard from VK2DGH on 700B mode. Also getting good SNR reports from VK1MTS (Rx Only) of 10dB SNR to VK100ANZAC – thanks for listening and joining in!

09:47am – contacts into VK4

VK4CAG has just had a great contact with VK100ANZAC on FreeDV 1600 – SNR 15dB – excellent signal into Mannum (SA) today and VK1MTS reported decoding VK4CAG on IRC.

Sunday 13th: 09:35am ACST – QSY 40m 7175kHz

80m NVIS into Adelaide was fading so we have moved to 40m in anticipation of the end of the WIA broadcasts around the nation. Look for VK100ANZAC calling CQ on that channel.

Sunday 13th: 09:00am ACST

Now also worked VK5APR on 80m. Also getting good reports from Michael VK5ZEA in Port Lincoln and Jeff VK5IU in Murray Bridge

Working VK5KDK on FreeDV 700B on 80m 3634.5kHz


Sunday 13th: 8:30am ACST – Experiments on 80m

This morning we are trying our luck with 80m. Currently VK100ANZAC is calling on 3.634.5 to give the local VK5 stations an opportunity. We have worked VK5IU on 700B mode and are continuing to call CQ.

Michael VK5ZEA has been hearing us in Port Lincoln.

We will be on 40m, a little later in the morning right after the Sunday morning WIA broadcast.

20m activity has been attempted USA longpath but no joy and nothing heard. The ionosphere is still not cooperating.

The operation continues…..

Sunday 13th: Look out for VK100ANZAC FreeDV on 80m as well

Following the relatively poor HF conditions we have set up one of the FreeDV VK100ANZAC stations to now also operate on 3635kHz. We will intermittently operate that frequency today (particularly early in the morning). If you want to attempt a contact with us on 80m chat with us on the FreeDV qso finder or on the FreeDV IRC Channel online!

Status Update: Saturday 12th September 9pm-12am ACST

The day has arrived and we are on the air with VK100ANZAC for the AREG FreeDV QSO Party. Unfortunately the ionosphere is not being very cooperative tonight with our first planned activation and so far no contacts have been made on 20m. Very little is being heard on the band at all, but we are there listening and calling none the less.

We also are listening to 40m around 7177kHz. Contacts were attempted with VK6 on 40m, and while faint signals were being heard, no decodes were achieved.

Discussion on the FreeDV QSO Finder shows that there is a lot of interest around however with a number of US stations attempting contacts between themselves. If nothing else, this increased activity meets the goal of getting people to come and try FreeDV!

1150pm – just tried a contact with K5WH on 700B mode – might have detected a few syllables but that’s about all. The ionosphere is not playing nice tonight…

Earlier in the day Saturday 12th

6 contacts were achieved earlier in the day on 40m with local Australian stations. Most of those were achieved using the newly released 700B mode. 5 stations succeeded in contacting VK100ANZAC using it. This lower bitrate mode has proved much more resilient in the poor HF conditions being seen this weekend. So, if you have an older version of FreeDV installed, then consider upgrading to the latest version and give the new 700B mode a try. (see for details)

(Note: unfortunately 700B mode isn’t supported as yet by the SM1000 hardware adaptors so to use it you will need the latest PC software).


Keep watching this web-post for updates on progress!

FreeDV QSO Party – QSL details for VK100ANZAC control station

The FreeDV International QSO party is coming up this weekend. Activity begins Saturday evening on the following schedule:

Bands and Times?

Various bands will be used, with thetiki-download_file2 primary call channels being 14236kHz +/-QRM and 7175kHz. The VK100ANZAC net control station will be listening and intermittently calling on FreeDV on the following bands:

  • Saturday evening September 12th from 1130UTC (9pm Australian Central Standard Time (ACST)) beaming short path North America on 20m (west coast).
  • Sunday morning September 13th from 2130-2330UTC (7am-9am ACST) on 20m beaming long path North America (east coast)
  • Sunday morning from 2230-0130UTC (8-11am ACST) will see local VK contacts targeted on 40m
  • 0430-0730 UTC (2-5pm ACST) will focus signals towards Europe Long Path as well as VK on 20m.
  • 0530-0830 UTC (3-6pm ACST) will see 40m targeting VK/ZL again
  • During the middle of the day on Sunday we may activate on 15m as well targeting Asia/Japan/Northern VK. Keep watching the AREG blog for details.

Many stations are already gearing up to take part and the operator team is getting ready to head to the station of Chris VK5CP for the weekend where the activity will originate from.

I’m a Foundation License holder – how can I get involved?

One of the very recent questions however was “How can Foundation Licensees take part in this event? While it is true Australian Foundation License holders can’t transmit FreeDV, they can still receive it. So why not have a go at installing the software on your PC, connect your radio’s audio output to your PC soundcard and have a listen around the bands for FreeDV signals!

You can provide feedback to the FreeDV operators during this weekend via Internet Relay Chat (IRC) on ( via the #freedv channel.

The FreeDV QSO Finder will also be used during the weekend. You can take a look and monitor the action here:  Note that the login system for this page uses the HamQTH Callsign Database, which doesn’t have many newer Australian Callsigns. If you get a “Callsign not found” error, you will need to register at: If you are listening only, you can log in as “SWL”.

You can also send us an SWL QSL Card via! When a user sets the SWL/HAM checkbox in his Profile to SWL, it automatically forces all incoming and outgoing cards to say ‘Confirming SWL Reception’ instead of the usual ‘This Confirms Our 2-Way QSO’. If you are an SWL, just make sure to go to My Profile and set yourself up as an SWL. If you are a ham, when you send an eQSL to an SWL, it will automatically put the correct wording into the card.eqsl-header

VK100ANZAC QSL Cards for this event

All amateurs can also receive a QSL card for working the VK100ANZAC freeDV station. The WIA VK100ANZAC QSL card policy is as follows:

QSL cards are softcopy only via:

vk100anzacLooking forward to working you all during the FreeDV QSO Party this weekend!


FreeDV QSO Party Weekend – September 12/13th

f-layer2The Amateur Radio Experimenters Group would like to invite all amateurs interested in HF digital voice communications to join us on the weekend of September 12th and 13th in a FreeDV Codec2 digital HF voice QSO Party! AREG in conjunction with David VK5DGR, one of the co-creators of FreeDV, will be activating a FreeDV HF station across the weekend under the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) special event call-sign VK100ANZAC. The aim is to encourage as many amateurs as possible to “come and try” this new digital HF mode, joining us and as many other FreeDV operators as possible in making contacts via digital HF voice around Australia and across the world.

Bands and Times?

Various bands will be used, with the primary call channels being 14236kHz +/-QRM and 7175kHz. The VK100ANZAC net control station will be listening and intermittently calling on FreeDV on the following bands:

  • Saturday evening September 12th from 1130UTC (9pm Australian Central Standard Time (ACST)) beaming short path North America on 20m (west coast).
  • Sunday morning September 13th from 2130-2330UTC (7am-9am ACST) on 20m beaming long path North America (east coast)
  • Sunday morning from 2230-0130UTC (8-11am ACST) will see local VK contacts targeted on 40m
  • 0430-0730 UTC (2-5pm ACST) will focus signals towards Europe Long Path as well as VK on 20m.
  • 0530-0830 UTC (3-6pm ACST) will see 40m targeting VK/ZL again
  • During the middle of the day on Sunday we may activate on 15m as well targeting Asia/Japan/Northern VK. Keep watching the AREG blog for details.

What is FreeDV?tiki-download_file

So, what is FreeDV you might ask? It is a new digital voice mode developed by an international group of amateurs, led by David Rowe VK5DGR. David was recently awarded the Ron Wilkinson Achievement Award for his work on Codec2 and FreeDV by the WIA. FreeDV operates at very low bitrates and narrow bandwidths using an open source digital voice compression algorithm (Codec2) developed by David. As such, it is ideal for use on HF. What’s more, being completely open source, it can be reproduced and adapted/extended by anyone who is prepared to follow the open source philosophy, unlike some other systems which have proprietary elements that limit experimentation.

Why is AREG Sponsoring this?

Why may you ask are we doing this? Like all new modes in their early days, like the early SSB developments in the 1960’s, finding like minded stations to make contact with can prove a little difficult. The aim behind this global event is to gather multiple FreeDV stations on air so that beginners in the mode can find others to make contact with, as well as providing support and help via SSB for those struggling to get the new technology to work. It is the perfect opportunity for you to dust off your radio-PC interfaces or finally wire-up your SM1000 digital voice adaptor and give this unique mode a try!

How do you get involved?

sm1000_enc_smHow do you get involved? There are several ways to get on the air with FreeDV. The most common is to download and install the FreeDV GUI application on your PC, and use a PC to HF radio interface, and a USB headset. More recently the stand alone SM1000 digital voice adaptor has become available which eliminates the need for a PC. Details of how to set up your station to run FreeDV can be found from the FreeDV project’s website .

Technical support during the event will be available via Internet Relay Chat (IRC) via the #freedv channel on ( )

The VK100ANZAC Link

The idea behind operating the FreeDV QSO party net vk100anzaccontrol station using the special event callsign VK100ANZAC was to provide a little extra incentive for amateurs to come and try this new HF digital mode. It will certainly provide a unique QSO opportunity! The weekend in question is also one of significance for the ANZAC story as it commemorates the 26th Infantry Battalion’s arrival at Gallipoli and their subsequent deployment to Taylor’s Hollow on September 12, 1915. Part of the event will commemorate those who served and the sacrifice they made.


We look forward to making contact with you over the weekend! If you want more information, keep watching the AREG website for regular updates and blogs of the weekend’s events as well as for information on operating FreeDV at

All contacts made will be recorded in ClubLog. will also be updated with the latest QSO information. We will also QSL any cards received either via the Bureau or via EQSL. SWLs will be eligible for a special card if they can confirm a full two way QSO.

Plans are also being worked on for a test and tune event the weekend beforehand. Keep watching the AREG website for details. See you on the air!

VI5MCP – On The Air – Saturday 18th Activity

11738029_10153032284891188_7409133067033900305_nThe special event station VI5MCP has been very active today with a large contingent of operators from the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group braving the cold but clear conditions to operate portable from the top of Morialta Conservation Park.

The station consisted of an inverted-vee on 40m and a portable hex beam for the higher bands. Operators included Bob VK5FO, Ray VK5RR, Ben VK5BB, Andy VK5AKH, Theo VK5MTM, Matt VK5ZM, Mark VK5QI, Lionel VK5UP, Kym VK5FJ, Dennis VK5FDEN and Peter VK5KX. Gary VK5FGRY was also on hand to record the events as well a number of other members.


Multiple HF bands have been activated today including 40m and 20m. Details of the contacts will be put into the logs online shortly. Keep watching here for updates. In total so far we have logged 150 contacts and 28 DXCC countries, and with another week to go for this special event call, there is still time for you to make contact with VI5MCP!

The activation will continue tomorrow (Sunday 19th) with plans for the station to be active at the conclusion of the WIA broadcast.  Plans are afoot to operate on 2m tomorrow as well to give some local VHF operators the chance to put this special event callsign in the log.

Picture Gallery – Saturday July 18th 2015

VI5MCP Update

AREG Members have activated the VI5MCP callsign 3 times so far.  The members have braved the elements and been out to get the station on the air.

Saturday 11th, Bob, VK5FO and Ray VK5RR set up and operated on 20M and 40M logging 5 countries and 19 contacts with 5 DXCC entities.

Sunday 12th, Bob VK5FO, Ray, VK5RR and Andy, VK5AKH Operated on 40, 15, 30 and 20M  A further 21 contacts were logged and 1 more DXCC entity.

Wednesday 15th the 100 year anniversary day, Ben VK5BB operated 40M and 2M adding a further 15 contacts to the log.

Take a look at the VI5MCP QRZ page to see the last 50 Entries in the logs.

More activities are planned and all are pending wx

AREG activates VK100ANZAC as the WIA National HQ station in IARU Contest

On the weekend of July 11th and 12th, the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group will be activating the WIA special vk100anzacevent callsign VK100ANZAC as part of this year’s IARU HF Contest as the official WIA Headquarters station.

The IARU HF Championships encourage amateurs to contact as many other amateurs, especially IARU member society HQ stations, around the world as possible using the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meter bands. Operation will begin at 1200 UTC Saturday and ending 1200 UTC Sunday (July 11-12, 2015).

Look for VK100ANZAC / WIA during this weekend and give us a call! Better still, why not give the IARU Championships a go yourself. Details are available on the ARRL website