Allaroundtheworld,governmentshaveallocated portionsoftheradiofrequencyspectrumforuseby licensedamateurradiooperators.Theseoperators, sometimesknownbytheirnicknameof‘HamRadio’ operators,explore,experimentwith,andenjoytheability ofradiowavesofvaryingwavelengths,topermit communication across distances without wires. PortStephensAmateurRadioClubexistsforthe purposeofencouragingamateurradiooperatorswithin itsregiontoenjoytheirhobby,andtoadvancethrough thevariouslevelsoflicensinginordertodevelopa greaterknowledgeandability.Themonthlybusiness meetingisusuallyfollowedbyatalkonsomeaspectof amateuroperations.Agreatdealofknowledgeisalso exchangedthroughtheinformalconversationsovera ‘cuppa’ around the tables after every meeting.
Would you like to become a
licensed amateur radio
Ifyouwouldliketoexploreamateurradio asahobby,youarewelcometocometo themeetingsandletpeopleknowofyour interest.Beforeyoucankeyyourfirst transmission,youmustobtainalicence fromtheAustralianCommunicationsand MediaAuthority(ACMA).Toreceivea licenseyoumustpassanexam,butthisis notnearlysohardasitmightseem.There arethreelevelsoflicence,andtheentry level is relatively easy.PortStephensAmateurRadioClubhas amongstitsmembersthosewhoare qualifiedtosuperviseexamsatallthree levels.Sowhenyoufeelready,youcansit for an exam at the club meeting site.
Next MeetingOur next meeting will be a meeting in person at the Lemon Tree Passage Bowling Club at 10:30 am on May 2, 2021. Come along and meet, (and optionally dine later), in COVID-19 safe conditions.Lunch may be bought from the Bowling Club kitchen after the meeting .Don’t forget to sign in at reception. They will tell you how.
Club repeater nets as follows:Tuesday nights 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm70 cm Analogue RepeaterFor frequencies & CTCSS see here.Thursday nights 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm70 cm Digital (DMR) RepeaterTalk Group 3809 or the bridged Brandmeister TG 5059For frequencies see here.All licensed amateur operators are welcome to join in the nets.
The Club’s DMR repeater has been replaced with a brand new one. Check the repeater page for frequencies.
Nowadays,radiotransmittersandreceiversaregenerally combinedintoasingle“transceiver”;andthepointatwhich electricalfieldseitherleapoutintotheworldas electromagneticwaves,orwherethosewavesareconverted backintoelectricalcurrent,isknownastheantenna.Much workisdoneexploringsophisticatedtransceiversandthe many different types of antenna that can be constructed.
Propagation of Radio Waves
Radiowavesareabletotravelbeyondline-of-sightbybeing refractedbyalayeroftheatmosphereknownasthe “ionisphere”.AtthecentreofourSolarSystemwehavea starknownastheSun.TheSunconsistsofmatter, compressedbyitsowngravity,tothepointwherenuclear fusiontakesplace.Oneconsequenceofthisisthatvast loopsofmagneticallychargedmatterleapupfromthe surfaceoftheSunandsometimesbreakfreeasCoronal MassEjections.Thesechargedparticlescollidewiththe Earth’satmosphereandcreatetheionisphere.Experience hasshownthattheSunfollowsanelevenyearcyclewith respecttothisprocess,sothattheabilityofradiowavesto be refracted by the ionisphere varies with this Solar Cycle.
Thereisanoldstoryaboutamanwhowaswatchinghiscampfireonenight. Thefirewasburningwell,buteverynowandthenanemberwouldbeexpelled fromthefirewithacracklingsound. Themanwatchedtheexpelledember,and soonsawitloseitsheat.Buttheremainingembersremainedinthefireand helped to inflame each other so that the fire kept burning.Asimilarthingsoccurswithourpassionforourhobbies.Onourown,wecan soonloseourenthusiasm.Inthecompanyofotheramateurswebounceoff each other and keep the passion alive.
Port Stephens Amateur Radio Club
PortStephensAmateurRadioClubexiststocreatethesecondexperience describedabove.WemeettogetheronthefirstSundayofeverymonthat10 am,andalsomakeon-aircontactintheintervalsbetweenthosedates.We learnfromeachother,andouron-airroutines,onceanoccasionforanxietty, become second-nature.
Joining the Club
IfyoufeelthatyouwouldliketobecomeamemberofPortStephens Amateur RadioClub,simplyaskforanapplicationform.Thereisanannual membershipfeeof$25peryear.Onceyouhavecompletedtheform,handitin withthefeetooneofourofficebearersandyourapplicationwillbeputbefore the next business meeting.
OurclubpresidentisRichardOsborne.Richardiswell-knowforhiscommunity service which has been recognised by the bestowal of an Order of Australia Medal.OurclubSecretaryisJohnProctor.Bywayofintroductiontothewidercommunity,…JohnwasraisedinCanada.Inschoolhe developedakeeninterestinelectronicsandhamradioand pursuedacareerinelectricalengineering.(B.Sc.E.E.-Queen’s University,Ontario).BeginningwithhisworkinR&DwithBell NorthernResearchDigitalEquipmentCorporation,Johnworked withmanycompaniesinTechnical,Sales,Marketingand CorporateManagement.HeretiredasManagingDirectorofBlack BoxNetworkServicesin2004,butcontinuestoworkinretirement,contractingin marineradioandon-sitecomputersupport.JohnmigratedtoAustraliain1977to escapethesnowandiceofCanada.Heworkedhiswayuptheamateurradiolicense levelstobecome“FullCall”in1979.Johnalsodevelopedaninterestinsailinginhis timewiththeRoyalCanadianNavyReserve,andhaspassedhisCertificateIIIMasterIV (Master of a vessel <35M).OurclubtreasurerisLeighAanensen.Leighhasservedadmirablyasclub Secretary for many years and has now accepted election as Club Treasurer.
… and additional Committee Members
Learning and Licensing
… and the rest of the crew
President: Richard VK2OKR, O.A.M.
Secretary: John VK2DLP
Treasurer: Leigh VK2KAL
Executive Committee: Diane VK2DNE
Learning Coordinator: Leigh VK2KAL
PORT STEPHENS Amateur Radio Club
Contesting and Awards
Welcome to the world of contesting! This covers an area where amateur radio operators use their knowledge and skills to make numerous on-air contacts in challenging situations. Some contests for 2021 are listed below.•The Russ Hull Memorial VHF/UHF Contest will be held throughout January, 2021. It is held in memory of the pioneering research done by the late Ross Hull into tropospheric propagation in the higher bands and the development of equipment and techniques for such bands. The aim of the contest is to encourage and reward achievements in DXing in these bands. For more information, see the following webpage on the website of the Wireless Institute of Australia.The Ross Hull Contest•John Moyle Field Day 20-21st March. Club usually takes part in this contest. •Harry Angel Saturday May 1st 1000 - 1146 UTC This is a good little contest to take part in.•TransTasman 17th July 160 80 40 plus Digital modes. 1800 to 0000 local time. •Remembrance Day 14th and 15th August. CW SSB RTTY No WARC bands allowed. VK ZL and P29
Have You Heard About World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio?
Adam, VK2YK, went on an expedition to an island by kayak. Then, out of a small bag of tricks, he pulled out the components of a radio system and began to make contact as part of the World Wide Flora & Fauna (WWFF) contest. You can see Adam in action in the short YouTube video made by VK2MRX. Click on the Play arrow in the graphic below. For more in formation on World Wide Flora and Fauna in amateur radio, check out the following links: http://wwff.co/https://www.wwffaustralia.com/index.html
PORT STEPHENS Amateur Radio Club
To get HF predictions from VOACAP you will need one of the following browsers:•Mozilla•Firefox•Google Chrome•Microsoft Edge
The Port Stephens Amateur Radio Club now meets at the Covid-19 safe location of the Lemon Tree Passage Bowling Club at 10:30 am on the first Sunday of every month. “Club LemonTree” can be found using the map on their website. It’s simple. Coming in along Lemon Tree Passage Road, turn right immediately after the Lemon Tree Passage Motel. See here: Club Lemon Tree
PORT STEPHENS Amateur Radio Club
The Club’s UHF Analogue and Digital RepeatersTherehavebeensomeexcitingdevelopmentsinourRepeaterProject. AftertheestablishmentofourinitialUHF analoguerepeateronGanGanHill,wediscoveredthatourlicenceconditionspermittheoperationofasecond repeater.Projectleader,VK2DLP–John,suggestedasecondrepeateroperatinginaDigitalMobileRadio mode and this move was endorsed by the Club.Ifyousimplywanttojumptothefrequenciesandtonesnecessarytooperatetherepeaters,clickhere:Tableof Frequencies and Codes.DigitalMobileRadio,(hereaftersummarisedasDMR),canoperateinsimilarwaytotheanaloguerepeater, linkingoperatorswithinphysicalrangeoftherepeater.However,DMRalsoofferstheabilitytospeaktoother operatorsallaroundtheworldthroughpredefinedInternetlinksofmanyrepeaters.Operatorscanchoosethe scope of these Internet links by configuring the channels in their transceivers. Consequently,someoneoperatingonahandheldtransceiverneartheClub’sDMRrepeateratNelsonBay, NSW Australia,canspeaktootheroperatorswithintheState,withinthenation,oraroundtheworld,depending onthewaytheyhaveconfiguredchannelsintheirdigitaltransceiver.MembersofourClubarecurrently learninghowtodothisbyimportingintotheirtransceivers“codeplugs”,whichhavechannelsalreadysetupfor this purpose. Ourdigitalrepeatercanalsooperateinanaloguemode.However,whendigitaltransmissionsareflowing throughtherepeater,theanaloguefunctionislockedout.Aftersomediscussion,itwasdecidedtocontinueto use the original analogue repeater for our Tuesday night nets (7:30- 8:30 pm).Getting the repeater antenna up or “Climbing a Stairway to Heaven”Clearly,theheightandradiationpatternofarepeater’santenna willaffectitsperformance.TheUHFanaloguerepeater’santenna isanomni-directionalverticalfoldeddipolewhichsitsataheight ofapproximately167metresabovesealevelandhas“unitygain”.Thismeansitsradiationloberesemblesadonutandismore effective at reaching transceivers which are close to and below it. TheUHFdigitalrepeater’santennaisanomni-directionalvertical co-linearwith9dBdgain.Thismeansthatitsradiationpatternis concentratedintoaflatterplanethantheunitygainantennaused fortheoriginalanaloguerepeater.Thankstotheassistanceof Gencom,wewereabletohavethisantennamountedbya licensedriggerhighatopthetoweronGanGanHill. Consequently,theClub’s9dBdantennaforthedigitalrepeateris mounted at a height of 169 metres above sea level. The adjacent photo shows the rigger ascending the tower.Signal ReportsWhiletheoreticallythe9dBdantennashouldnotperformaswellastheunitygainantennaforthosecloseto andbelowtheantenna,signalreportssofarsuggestreceptionisfineinthoselocations.Longdistancereports areverypleasingaswell.ClubmemberVK2FMET–Alanhasbeenbusytestingrangeandexpressingit graphically below. Signal reports should be sent to Alan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Table of Frequencies and CodesNote that transmit and receive frequencies of your transceiver are the opposite of those of the repeater; and that no CTCSS tones are to be used when operating a digital channel.