Project Horus LIVE: Pico-Balloon Flight in progress – heading for VK3!

UPDATE: This balloon has now burst and landed 60k to the east of Bendigo. Thanks to everyone for tracking! The following callsigns were recorded as contributing telemetry:
VK2PNH, VK3AH, VK3BQ, VK3DA, VK3DNS, VK3EEK, VK3FUR, VK3IK, VK3JED, VK3JL, VK3JUG, VK3MB, VK3OF, VK3OHM, VK3TNU, VK3UKW, VK3YD, VK5BRL, VK5HS, VK5IS, VK5LJG, VK5PE, VK5QI, VK5TRM
Here’s some entertainment for the VK3s & Southern VK2s/VK1s this weekend – I’ve sent another pico balloon (30 grams) careening towards the east, currently doing >280 kph!
If it ends up floating as intended (and it might not, these things are finicky…) then it should keep heading past Melbourne and off towards the east coast.
Tracking of the flight is available here: https://tracker.habhub.org/…
It’s transmitting the Project Horus ‘Horus Binary’ 4FSK mode on 434.200 MHz (tune to 434.199 MHz USB), and can be decoded using the Horus-GUI software: https://github.com/…/1.1-Horus-GUI-Reception-Guide…

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!

AREG Considering adding DMR to VK5RWN – Interested?

AREG is always looking to promote new and varied areas of experimentation in Amateur Radio. As the custodian and operators of the first digital VHF/UHF voice repeater system in South Australia (the VK5RWN D*STAR system), the group has now looked at what other digital modes are not yet available in Adelaide.

Image courtesy vkdmr.com

With the recent demise of the VK5RSF and temporary VK3RWW DMR repeaters that were serving Adelaide, AREG members interested in DMR started investigating what would be involved in hosting a replacement DMR system at one of the club’s existing sites.

After considering our options, filtering solutions, internet connections etc a proposal is in it’s final stages of development to add a DMR repeater to the VK5RWN site on 438.900 (-7MHz) overlooking the Adelaide metropolitan area.

What’s left to do you might ask? Funding the DMR repeater controller purchase and the last of the build costs. The ongoing operating costs also need to be addressed (namely the power bill) which will be considered against the number of members actively interested in DMR.

How can you help? If you are interested at all in DMR, why not consider becoming a member of the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group? If you have an interest in DMR or even skills to help maintain and operate a DMR repeater then we would love to hear from you. The more people interested in DMR that get involved with the group, the more likely it is that we will be able to bring this project to fruition!

Over to you!

Posted in DMR

AREG AGM: New Committee for 2021/22

The Amateur Radio Experimenter’s Group Inc held its Annual General Meeting on Friday July 16th. Our new office bearers for FY21/22 are as follows:

PositionName
President:Matt VK5ZM
SecretaryMark VK5QI
TreasurerGrant VK5GR
Committee:Kim VK5FJ
Committee: Gerard VK5ZQV
CommitteeTheo VK5IR
CommitteeDarin VK5IX
CommitteeJeff VK5AC
CommitteeAndrew VK5AKH

2020/21 was a big year for AREG. The following highlights will give you a sense of what was achieved this past year!

2021/22 looks to be bigger and brighter than ever too! We hope to see you there.

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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!

Central SA Repeater Network – Livestream Friday 16th July

The next meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenter’s Group Inc will feature a presentation by Dean VK5HMV on the development of the central SA repeater network over the past 3 years. This is the livestream feed for that event.

Sponsor of the VK5RSA and VK5RKW Repeaters

The stream will start at:

  • 7:45pm ACST
  • 8:15pm AEST
  • 1015 UTC

AREG members will be able to directly interact with the program via the members only Zoom channel.

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!

AREG AGM: Friday July 16th – Presentation: Central SA Repeater Network

The next meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenter’s Group will be our Annual General Meeting. This will be held on Friday July 16th.

The guest speaker for the evening will be Dean McGinty VK5HMV who will take us through the construction of the central SA linked 2m/70cm analogue repeater system and provide an insight into how it works. This is the network that the AREG Adelaide CBD Repeater VK5RSA is connected to on 438.025 MHz (-7MHz 91.5Hz CTCSS).

VK5RSA itself is proudly sponsored by KernWi-Fi who arranged access to the new home for VK5RSA atop Westpac House in the Adelaide CBD.

Presentation Details

The presentation will start at 7.45pm ACST, 8:15pm AEST (1015 UTC) from the club rooms at the Fulham Community Centre, Phelps Court, Fulham.

For members who cant (or due to COVID dont wish to) attend in person, the program will also be streamed via Zoom.

Online visitors will be able to watch the presentation via YouTube thanks to Hayden VK7HH’s HamRadioDX Channel.

Links will be posted closer to the event.


AREG AGM 8:30pm July 16th

At the conclusion of the presentation, members will be invited to participate in the AREG AGM via Zoom and in person. The AGM will commence at 8:30pm and is expected to last no more than 15-20 minutes.

The event down at the hall will be run as a COVID Safe event. Note that given the rapidly changing COVID lockdown situation, the AGM will be deferred to being an online presentation should we be prevented from holding it in person at the hall.


If you want to  visit us in person, you can find the clubrooms here:

map

We look forward to seeing you all in July!