Australian Facebook News Blackout: Subscribe to our Announce Mailing List instead!

The ongoing dispute in the national media landscape between Facebook and the Federal Government has resulted in AREG no longer being able to directly re-post our own information, news and events from our Website.

So you dont miss out, why not consider joining our “AREG News Mailing List”?

Simply send an email to:
announce-subscribe@areg.org.au

 

Next Meeting: 19th February: Live ATV from 30km+ altitude! How to get involved?

Project Horus began in 2010 as the brain child of a group of radio Amateurs here in Adelaide. Now, 11 years later, one of the ideas that has been discussed many times within the group is finally going to be attempted. A flight is tentatively planned for Sunday March 7th that will carry aloft our first ever digital ATV transmitter.

Live ATV from 30km+ altitude!

Adelaide from 100,000ft – Horus 12

How can you get involved?

So that as many people as possible can participate or at least attempt to receive the ATV pictures, the next meeting of AREG on Friday February 19th will feature a presentation and Q&A session with Mark VK5QI. He will take you though everything you need to know about how to receive and decode the ATV signal.

What system are we using?

For the first launch, we are going to use the following transmitter settings:

  • Transmit Frequency: 445 MHz
  • Modulation: DVB-S, QPSK, r=½ FEC
  • Symbol Rate: 1Msps
  • Video Resolution: 704×400

This will produce fairly low quality video, but will give the best chance for the payload to be received. Once we understand what the achievable signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is for a typical flight, the symbol rate (and image quality) can be increased on future launches.

Receiving DVB-S Signals – Hardware

The most ideal way to receive signals from this payload is with a dedicated DVB-S receiver like the Minitiouner Express ( https://www.datv-express.com/ ), however it’s also very possible to receive it with Software Defined Radio receiver setups, such as the ubiquitous RTLSDR devices. You will also need a 70cm antenna with some gain, and a low-noise pre-amplifier.

While some DVB-S set-top boxes may tune down to 445 MHz, the very low bit-rates that we will be transmitting from the payload will likely be incompatible with them.

Suggested Software-Defined Radio Receivers

There’s a huge range of SDRs available which are fit-for-purpose in this application, provided you put a low-noise-figure preamp in front of them – ideally one with band-pass filtering. Examples include:

Mark testing the ATV receive across the bench

More detailed instructions and information will be posted to our website in coming days. Stay tuned!


Meeting Details

The main meeting will be held at the clubrooms, 1 Phelps Court, Fulham at the Fulham Community Centre. Doors will open from 7.15pm (ACDT) with proceedings starting at 7.45pm (ACDT) (0915z). For those unable to attend in person, we will have online options available too!

The meeting on February 19th will also be live streamed on YouTube thanks again to Hayden VK7HH and his HamRadioDX Channel.

For members unable to attend in meeting hall in person, there will be a members only Zoom channel available as well.

Links to these will be posted closer to the date!

January 15th Meeting: Electro-Mechanical Pin-Ball Machine Restoration

The next meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group will be held on Friday January 15th. The club will meet in person at the Fulham Community Centre, Phelps Court, Fulham with the doors opening at 7.15pm. The presentation will get underway at 7.45pm ACDT (8.15pm AEDT, 7.15pm QST, 0915 UTC).

This month’s topic is a little different, but equally fascinating. We will enter the world of Electro-Mechanical Pin Ball machine restoration thanks to Scott VK2JAX. Scott was talking about his activities during one of the clubs members Zoom round table gatherings, and enough interest was expressed that we decided to bring it to a main meeting to share with everyone!

Scott’s journey started in October 2019 when he was looking through Facebook Marketplace and saw a Pinball machine that was a little worse for wear. He couldnt resist purchasing it, and so began the long task of restoration. In this talk, he will go through the activities so far involved in restoring “Jungle”, an Electro Mechanical (EM) Pinball from 1972.

Topics covered will include

  • Why a Pinball for restoration?
  • Tools required
  • Different parts within a machine
  • The Back Box clean up (Stepper units, Score Reels)
  • Coin Door
  • Bottom Panel (Relay Bank, Score Motor)

You will learn about challenges faced, and the relaxing journey of restoring an EM pinball machine!


In addition to the face to face meeting opportunity, the meeting will also be streamed via Zoom for AREG members around Australia.

Non members will also get a chance to see the show streamed live via Hayden VK7HH’s HamRadioDX Youtube channel! Links for the specific Youtube live stream will be shared a few days before the event.

Keep watching the AREG website for details!

Next AREG Meeting: A Virtual Christmas Party – Friday December 18th

Merry Christmas everyone from the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group!

We have finally made it to the end of 2020 and what an unprecedented  year it has been! To draw a line under this year’s events, we are inviting our members to gather online this Friday night for a Christmas Chat on Zoom, hosted by our president, Matt VK5ZM. Bring your glass and share some cheer as we all start planning for 2021.

The Zoom session will open at 7.45pm ACDT (8.15pm AEDT, 7.15pm QST) and will last as long as the merriment prevails!

AREG will resume meeting in person in January and has some events in the wings for the fox hunters as well as a club picnic being planned.

Stay safe everyone and we wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2021!

AREG November Meeting ONLINE: Thanks to Ham Radio DX!

AREG would like to thank Hayden VK7HH for streaming our Friday night (20th November) presentation on FM Radio DXing by Andrew VK5LA to amateurs across the globe via the Ham Radio DX Channel. You can watch the stream here!

Times:

  • 7:45pm ACDT (South Australia)
  • 7:15pm QST (Queensland)
  • 8:15pm AEDT (New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania)
  • 6:45pm ACST (Northern Territory)
  • 5:15pm AWST (Western Australia)
  • 9:15hrs UTC

 

AREG November Meeting now exclusively online

COVID-19 has made an unwelcome reappearance here in Adelaide. As a result, the state government has tonight mandated that all COVID-Safe events (which includes our in person meetings) have been cancelled for the next 2 weeks.

The AREG meeting will now take place exclusively online on Friday night. Members will have access via Zoom while Non-Members will be still able to view the livestream on Youtube.

Links and details will be made available shortly!

AREG Meeting 20th November: FM Broadcast DXing

Often, during the summer months, it is often possible to hear FM broadcast stations from far and wide thanks to the Ionosphere and Troposphere bending signals over the horizon. There are a few tricks to getting the most out of tuning the broadcast band looking for that distant station however.

At the next AREG meeting on Friday the 20th of November, Andy, VK5LA will give a presentation on “DXing” the FM band. He will discuss, what gear is needed, what gear works best and how to identify stations you don’t normally hear and cover topics like locations, antenna polarisation, and explore the RDS station ID feature built in to most modern FM receivers.

Andy will also discuss using the ACMA database to determine if that exotic station you’ve just tuned in to is 70, 700 or 1700 km away and describe the various propagation modes that make this interesting activity possible. Finally he will take a look at how that information can be used to predict openings on the 6 metre (50MHz) band and above.


How can you take part in this meeting?

  • Due to the latest COVID-19 restrictions, the presentation will be via Zoom for members starting by 7.45pm South Australian Summer Time.
  • Visitors will be able to watch the lecture via Hayden VK7HH’s HamRadio DX Channel on YouTube.

We hope to see you there!


For interstate viewers the times are:

  • 8.15pm AEDT (Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, Canberra)
  • 7:15pm QST (Brisbane)
  • 6.45pm CST (Darwin)
  • 5:15pm WST (Perth)
  • 09:15 UTC

VK5RWN DSTAR – We’re Back!

We are pleased to report that thanks to the hard work of our dedicated volunteers, in this case Matt VK5ZM, Ben VK5BB and Bob VK5FO, we have completed the cut-over to our new Internet link!

The VK5RWN D*STAR repeater has been reconnected to the internet as has the Weather Sonde receive station. The VK5RWN D*STAR Gateway is active and hotspot users should also be able to connect again to our host server.

(Note: Hot spot users may have to wait a few days to allow the Host Files to update VK5RWN’s IP address. It is also recommended that hot spot users log into their hot spots and force an update to the Host Files).

AREG has now moved to a new internet provider. We would like to thank Phil and Christine at Kern Internet for their help in re-configuring the on site router!

Other Dash Boards associated with VK5RWN are also back online, including the registration page and user access to their accounts.

(You may need to allow a security exception to access the pages the first time you log in via the vk5rwn.areg.org.au.)

Adelaide D*STAR users who are not already members of AREG are encouraged to join our group or make a yearly donation to our running costs, to support the D*STAR system here in Adelaide.

We hope you enjoy our return to service!

  • VK5RWN 2m 147.0375 +600kHz
  • VK5RWN 70cm 438.400 -5.4MHz

Note if there are users in Adelaide that want to experiment with the 1.2GHz ports, please contact us and AREG can look at re-activating them. They were disabled originally after they sat idle for 2 years consuming power for no reason. If interest in D*STAR on 1.2GHz returns we can turn them on again.