VHF/UHF - AN EXPANDING WORLD
Eric Jamieson VK5LP PO Box 169 Meningie South Australia 5264
Fax: 08 8575 1777
All times are UTC
One metre days
This has been an interesting subject which periodically rises again as the result of new information. In this respect I recently received a letter from Max Meallin VK3ATK of Bendigo, in response to my article on the subject in November 1998 AR, which followed information from Ken VK3AFJ.
Max said he has known Ken for nearly 50 years, both on the air and personally, mentioning that he and Ken had contacted each other regularly on the one metre band in the 1950s.
Max wrote: In 1954 I constructed a modified version of the Radio and Hobbies 288 Meg. Modulated Oscillator. I used over 300 volts on the plates of the 7193s. They did not last long unless the overs were kept short, but there was a plentiful supply of them at disposals stores.
The one metre band was a good band for experimenting in those days and we had a lot of fun while that band lasted. Ken acquired a large quantity of bronze welding wire and gave me sufficient to construct a 16 element phased array which I fed with 300 ohm ribbon. With this beam I worked a portable station in the Pentland Hills which is well on the way to Ballarat.
The following contacts were made: 1953: Austin VK3ALO 1954: VK3s Bert AAF, Ken AFJ, Harold AHC, Geoff AHS, Max ALK, AMT, MB, John PL. 1957: VK3s Eric ADU, AFJ, Mac QO, Bruce VF, Bob ZAN, David ZAQ. 1958: VK3s Charlie AAK, ADU, AFJ, Wally AHZ, ALK, Geoff AUX, IE, OM, QO, VF, Ray ZAE, John ZAI, Bob ZAN, ZAQ, Jock ZDG, Frank ZDW, Wally ZDZ (now 3AHZ), Garth ZFA.
It is interesting to note that in all reports so far received on one metre operating, no contacts over extended distances appear to have occurred. Most were of the order of 50 to 100 km, no doubt due to the equipment used, usually relatively low power, small antennas etc. The 16 element phased array constructed by Max is about the largest to be mentioned so far. [My lowly antenna was a horizontal dipole but it provided strong signals to and from my mate 16 km distant. ... VK5LP] Thanks Max.
Wally VK6KZ advises that the Esperance two metre beacon has not been heard for a while but is believed to be operating. Albany is not on the air - it is to be re-located at the QTH of Tom Reid VK6TR; advice will be given when it is operating. The Cape Leeuwin beacons are ready to go but Wally so far has been unable to travel there to find a QTH.
David VK3AUU: The Mount Gambier beacon is in here all the time with the antenna pointing at it. It is detectable with my beam on Adelaide, which on the second side lobe is down 20 dB and about the equivalent of listening on a dipole when I fire up the HAMVIEW program and have a look for it. This is fairly remarkable when you consider that the troposheric path loss is about 220 db over that distance. My antenna needs a lot of work at present and I have no masthead preamp so my effective noise figure is around 3db. Also I have no rotator which means I have to climb the tower to turn it.
Oceania Beacons as of 13/11/98 courtesy of JA1VOK Mobile Ham
50.014 V73SIX RJ38 10W Loop qsp V73AT 28.885
50.040 ZL3SIX RE66 70W Beam qsp ZL3TIC signs NW/NE
50.042 YB0ZZ/b OI33 05W GPlane qsp YB9ARA or YC0UVO.
50.0465 VK8RAS PG66 15W X Dip qsp VK8GF
50.0535 VK3SIX QF02 15W Yagi qsp VK3OT
50.0565 VK7RAE QE37 20W X Dip qsp VK7XR/VK3ATQ
50.057 VK8VF PH57 100W Loop qsp VK8AH/RH
50.058 VK4RGG QG62 6W Vert qsp 28.885
50.061 KH6HME/b BK29 20W Dip
50.065 KH6HI/b BL01 50W halo qsp KH7R 900m amsl
50.066 VK6RPH OF88 10W Dip qsp VK6HK
50.0775 VK4BRG QG48 6W T/S qsp VK4BRG 28.885
50.304 VK6RSX OG77 ? 50W Omni qsp VK6HK
50.306 VK6RBU OF76 10W 3 el qsp VK6HK Beaming Africa
51.029 ZL2MHB RF80 10W Vert qsp ZL2KT 28.885
52.325 VK2RHV QF57 10W Vert
52.3465 VK4ABP QG26 4W Vert qsp VK4ABP
52.370 VK7RST QE38 5W Vert Hobart 300m amsl
52.420 VK2RSY QF56 25W T/S 240m amsl
52.445 VK4RIK QH23 15W Dip
52.450 VK5VF PF95 10W T/S 690m amsl
JA and Regional beacons at 13/11/98 de JA1VOK.
50.010 JA2IGY PM84 10W 5x8 GP
50.017 JA6YBR PM51 50W T/S
50.027 JA7ZMA QM07 50W T/S x 2
50.032 JR0YEE PM97 2W Loop
50.037 JR6YAG PL36 10W T/S
50.075 VR2SIX OL72 7W 1/4 gplane - Hong Kong
50.480 JH8ZND/b QN02 10W 5x8 ground plane
50.490 JG1ZGW PM95 10W 7 el beaming South
There are several other beacons not regarded as 24 hour.
Wally VK6KZ reports that the new Exmouth beacon on 144.576 MHz was first noticed by Cec Andrews VK6AO at about 2310 on 29/11 and then copied by VK6KZ and Don VK6HK; it was through for about two hours by tropo. They were unable to trigger the repeaters at Geraldton or Exmouth - which is not unexpected with the advantages of CW over FM!
Referring to the same beacon, Don VK6HK reports that VK6RSX on 50.304 is almost always audible in bursts over the 1104 km path - presumably meteor scatter but could be aircraft specular reflections too. He has been looking at the signal using one of the DSP software packages which allow 2 Hz resolution for Doppler effect and has observed up to 50 Hz shift, but usually none. The path is exactly along the route taken by many of the international flights from Asia.
Leonids Meteor Showers
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all times for this section are for the UTC day of 16/11, or the local morning of 17/11 and on two metres.
Rod VK4KZR: 2057 VK3AFW 5x7, 2059 VK2TWR 5x4; heard VK3TMP, VK3AJN, VK2ZAB, VK2KU et al. Band still very active at 2135.
Ron VK4BRG: Heard/worked: 2049 VK1BG heard 3 times, called, no response heard; 2149 VK2KU ? gave 5x2 report, no report received; 2154 VK2TWR 5x1 received 5x7 good contact.
Six metres: 2118 VK2HO John, Lismore gave 4x1, received 5x1; 2122 VK2HO lot stronger ... heard 5x7 direct path.
17/11: 0004 VK2KU, 0025 Gordon VK2ZAB, both good contacts, 0026 VK2ZAB 5x9.
2045 VK4TZL 5x6 5x5
2046 VK2FZ/4 5x5 5x5
2054 VK1BG 5x7 5x3
2054 VK2KU 5x4 5x3
2100-2110 Called VK8GF after phone call to Jeff. Nil heard. Listened for VK8 beacon frequently but nil heard.
2126 VK2TWR 5x2 5x3
2126 VK2ZAB 5x4 5x3
2128 VK4BKM 5x5 5x5
2135 VK3TDV 5x3 5x1
2139 VK4KZR 5x2 5x2
2147 VK4RTT/b 549, heard whenever VK2FZ/4 was strong. ie 5x9+.
2148 VK2TWR 5x9 5x9
2215-2120 Looked for beacons from west - nil.
2228 VK2FZ/4 5x5 5x5
2232 VK1MP 5x5 5x6
2237 VK4ZBH 5x2 5x9 Running 4 watts.
2250 VK4JSR 5x5 5x7
2300 VK2FZ/4 5x9+ 5x9+
2331 VK4KK 5x4 5x4
Many signals peaked up to 40 over 9 for short times. VK2FZ/4 and VK2FU were Q5 with my beam 90 degrees off them. The band wasn't open continuously, but there were many periods of five minutes or so when it seemed to be. In between there were quiet periods with occasional weak bursts. Adrian, VK2FZ/4, said the band was open two hours before I arrived. Max VK3TMP went mobile with a halo and worked VK2FZ/4, VK2ZAB, VK2KU.
17/11: 1730-1745 VK2DVZ -- 5x5 incomplete; 1845-1900 VK5NY -- 5x1 incomplete; 1900-1930 ZL3TY nil heard; 2000-2030 VK8GF nil heard; 2032 VK2TWR 5x1 5x2 aircraft; 2033 VK2ZAB -- -- worked VK3TMP; 2034 VK1DO 5x7 5x7 aircraft; 2110 VK2FZ/4 5x1 5x1 but not in Adrian's log; 2115 VK5NY calling and VK2FZ/4 responding; 2125 VK4KK 5x5 5x5; 2200-2209 VK4KZR 5x7 5x9; long burn wraps up sked after 9 minutes.
John VK3ATQ, tells me that he worked VK2BA and half a dozen VK4s on six metres. Also active on six were Joe VK7JG, Norm VK3DUT, VK3YY, VK3GRL, VK3DY, VK3BQS.
Congratulations to Adrian VK2FZ/4 for the first VK international meteor QSO on two metres. He worked ZL1IU immediately the first sked on 16/11 commenced at 1700. i.e. complete in 10 secs. They repeated this three more times over half an hour. Today (17/11) it took 45 minutes to complete. I think Adrian should be awarded the title, Master of Meteors!
18/11: VK3AFW worked Guy VK2SU on a random meteor burst on 144.1 at 2059, 5x2, 5x2. Max VK3TMP heard VK2FZ/4 a little earlier.
David VK2BA: Thought that I should document the Leonids, from my perspective, in dark Megan near Dorrigo in northern NSW.
Visual perspective: Very disappointing, especially after all the mis-information on the TV and radio. For us, 30 km west of Coffs Harbour and at 2500 feet ASL, with a black sky and only slight cloud, we counted a meteorite approximately every five minutes, and in 1 1/2 hours of viewing from 2.30 am saw only two really "juicy" meteorites with tail etc. The rest were just little streaks of light. In all, not much more than one would normally see at that time of night from a dark country hilltop.
Radio perspective: On six metres I found activity on 50.110 and in about one half hour from 1740, (4 am daylight saving time) I worked the following stations:
1700 VK3ATQ 5x5 5x5, VK3WRE 5x5 5x9, VK3YY 5x1 5x1, VK3DUT 5x5 5x5; 1751 VK7JG 5x5 5x5, VK1MP 5x5 ??; 1752 VK3BQS 5x5 5x7; 1757 VK4 heard calling me but call not copied; 1808 VK3WN 5x2 5x3.
In all, an interesting morning. Pings were often long enough for several short two-way exchanges. The best signals were at 1809 (5.09 am local) when VK3BDL, VK3YY and VK3WN were all 5x9 and calling together.
Norm VK2XCI: We were blessed with clear skies, absolutely no light pollution and a beautiful evening, perfect conditions for viewing! We stirred the kids up at 0230 DST and went bush in downtown Mount Hope (pop. 12).
For those of you cursed with clouds, haze, rain and storms, you didn't miss too much. Besides the normal sporadic rate, the rate from the radiant was only about 10/hour. There were a few spectacular single events and one really spectacular fireball but by 0430 DST that was it! Not that I expected much more as the peak was to be 0700 DST, what did surprise me was that the rate didn't seem to pick up as the peak approached.
From 0430 to 0800 DST I had two metres running. There were a few pings on the Nimitable beacon lasting half to two seconds and nothing else heard on 144.100 etc.
Gordon VK2ZAB: VK2FZ/p4 5x3 - heard in virtually every direction of the compass up to S9 for five hours. VK4TZL 5x1 - heard frequently for several hours up to S7.
VK3TMP 5x2, VK3TDV 5x5, VK3AFW 5x3 - heard frequently up to S7, VK3AXH 5x3, VK4KZR 5x3, VK4JSR 5x3, VK4ZBH 5x4, VK3TMP/m 5x4 - heard frequently, VK3XPD 5x5, VK4BRG 5x7, - heard several times, this contact the longest distance - about 1390 km as the crow flies.
VK5NY 5x5 and VK5ACY 5x6; these two may have been Es rather than meteor scatter. There is no way of knowing for sure. Tried to talk a couple of stations into trying 432 MHz but was not sure whether or not they got the message. Anyway I tried 432.1 MHz - no joy.
Alan VK5BWG: It was a "fizzer" here. Worth getting up and having a look but not the spectacular light show that it was made out to be. As for radio ... well, I must get my antennas back in the air!
Roger VK5NY: Heard a number of stations on two metres SSB starting 0012 - VK4s, VK2s. Seems like Es but could be the beginning of the Leonids? Still not sure, my time now 0400, can still hear signals on 144.100, short bursts can't identify.
Visually a real non-event but a few good contacts on 144 MHz after sunrise at 2115 to VK1, VK2 and heard VK4, tropo to VK3TMP. Appears morning of the 17/11 (16/11 UTC) may have been the big day.
Chris VK1DO: I have never seen such concerted enthusiasm. Lots of calling, CW and phone, lots of listening, beam turning and initial disappointment, partly confused by believing that I was hearing things. After giving up on ZL, I swung the beam north and northwest and the plethora of locals appeared. We had VKs 1DO, 1DA, 1VP, 1MP, 1ZQR, 1DC, 1BF, 1WJ, perhaps others.
About 1740, monitoring where I thought the VK4 beacon would be, using the sub-receiver in one headphone and 144.100 in the other, it all erupted. The strongest of the VK4s observed superb protocol in attempting to move off the calling frequency, but I think these were pretty short burns.
By sunrise, local time, I had only worked two VK4s. Later found Roger VK5NY chatting. I called him, received a response, gave a report and things crashed.
Then, the most astonishing series of contacts with various VK3 stations, many of whom I can normally work on aircraft, but for instance, Norm VK3DUT whom I haven't worked on 144 since he moved to Bairnsdale, was 5x7 and so forth. About ten strong VK3 contacts. The geometry suggests this wasn't meteor scatter but more likely combinations of different propagation modes.
Heard Joe VK7JG, with the beam turning toward Sydney and made a technical mistake and thought of six metres and Joe VK4JH, sign of only two hours sleep. Heard Gordon VK2ZAB exchange reports only to realise I was looking in the wrong direction.
Followed by a number of signals in the SWW direction, peaked by Roger VK5NY who was inundated and shifted to .150 to be worked by VK1DA, VK1DO, Rod 2TWR, perhaps others. There were other VK5s initially audible, but the geometry was obviously leaning toward Clare Valley.
Barry VK3BJM: Whilst operating mobile 1000-1230 ESST travelling from Melbourne to Echuca, and 2000-2300 returning home, I heard one burst of "2FZ/4" and several bursts of morse on 144.1, using the halo. Oh, to have been about Tuesday morning.
Alan VK3XPD: Between 0700 and 1100 EDST the activity (for me) was magnificent. I have never heard so many "pings" and varied stations to work on two metres.
There were VKs 1BG, 2FZ, 2ZAB, 2TWR, 4KK, 4IC, 4TZL, 4KZR and a few more that I probably missed. Signals were generally 5x2-5 but peaked 5x9 to me but often louder to Max VK3TMP and Ron VK3AFW. Some QSOs lasted more than 10 seconds.
Joe VK7JG: The meteor shower produced the most exciting signals that I have ever heard on VHF. At one stage I thought that it was an E opening as the signals were most consistent. I worked VK 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7 on two and six metres, once again no signs of VK5. I was surprised at the number of amateurs that were active. I had my first contact at around 0330 am local time. My final contact for the day was with Gordon VK2ZAB on two metres, I had turned the linear off and was running only 50 watts.
Rod VK2TWR: At 2112 worked John VK4LP 5x9 both ways; 2113 VK4BKM; 17/11/98, three years to the day and to within one minute, as they say what goes around comes around.
Andrew VK1DA: 1945 VK2FZ/4 5x5 559, 1950 VK4BKM 5x5 559, 2007 VK4FZ/4 5x5 5x5.
Bob ZL3TY: From 1900 all ZL and VK TV offsets were audible some at good strength. The VK7RAE beacon was in at around 519 between 2000 and 2100. Also audible were strong pings from the 48 MHz VK pagers.
Mike ZL3TIC: All morning signals were constant. I have never heard M/S like this, stations worked were: ZL3VTV/1 5x9, ZL2TPY 5x9, ZL2KT 5x9, ZL3NE/1 5x9, ZL2AGI 5x9, ZL2KT 5x9, ZL1THQ 5x9, all on 50.110.
Steve KL7SIX: Today on the 45 MHz TV video an occasional meteorite in the right direction lifted the signal level from NZ over 15000 km away.
In KL7 today (16/11) with AU Es always around it only took a burst or two to produce 5 or 6 minute burns on KL7NO at 250 miles and on VE8SIX at 750 miles. Steve KL7FZ had a burn on VE8WD 1500 miles away. But no lower 48 MHz at 2400 miles, just too far.
Here in the dark Arctic we saw long burn visual trails and actual smoke in the pure atmosphere trailing across the sky, not to be confused with vapour trails and ionised Stealth bombers.
Wally VK6KZ: Firstly no AU observations from over here. Several of us did look for propagation after reading the postings on the VK-VHF list. Guess our distance but more our latitude doesn't help.
Spring Field Day
The Spring Field Day was held on the weekend of 14-15/11. Here are some of the results and comments.
Ron VK3AFW: My QTH Mount Buller near Mansfield NE Vic. A very enjoyable Saturday afternoon. Due to battery problems I was restricted to 25 w on 6 and 10 w on 2 m. The 70 cm antenna problem proved to be too hard to fix, hence 70 cm station had a nice restful day out.
Portable stations worked: VKs 3WRE, 3BRZ 3XLD, 2TWR, 3BJM, 3DQW, 2XCI.
Best two metre contacts: (500-600 km approx) Andrew VK7XR Sheffield, Norm VK2XCI/p Mount Hope, Guy VK2FU Springwood, Fred VK2FWB Dubbo. Mount Gambier beacon heard all day but no VK5s.
Chas VK3BRZ: What a disaster! I might have to complain to my WIA division about the weather they put on!
David 3XLD and I operated from a site just on the northeast outskirts of Geelong (a spot called Lovely Banks, some 50 metres asl, but a good view all around). We managed a few good contacts, including VK7JG (QE38) and VK3BJM (QE23) on 1296.
More interesting though was David's QSO with Alan VK3XPD on 5760.100 MHz, distance about 60 km across Port Phillip Bay, with optical path. Alan was running 4 w, and David only 5 mW from a VK5 kit.
I also had a meteor-scatter contact with Adrian VK2FZ/4 at 1848 (Sunday morning). We heard a number of good pings, and one was good enough - 6 seconds or so.
Norm VK2XCI: The weather was more than kind and I had a most enjoyable Field Day Contest. I hardly look on it as a contest, more of a chance to sit high on a hill with the Wedge-tails for company and enjoy the hobby.
The "round the clock" system of calling and listening seems to be a waste of time, I'll abandon it in favour of the "wild west" system of listen, point and shoot! It amazed me how often one fortuitous contact turned into a instant pile-up, sort of like every-one waiting for someone else to break the ice! No VK4s or VK5s.
Barry VK3BJM: Weather turned out alright, at my mountain-top at least. Very pleasant!
Highlights were: Working Norm VK2XCI/p for the first time (487km); working Mark VK2EMA, for the first time, on 2 m and 70 cm (609km); working Bob VK3ZL, on 2 m and 70 cm - Bob was running about 3 watts on both bands (distance 235km); hearing noises from the west and finding it was VK5NY discussing the lack of contest activity with some other VK5 - then pouncing to successfully extract a contest number, just as the propagation started to weaken!
Other pleasing contacts were Laeli VK2LO, Murrumbateman on 2 m; Joe VK7JG, in QE38 on 2 m (just failed on 70 cm); VK3AEF, Nhill, QF03, on 2 m; VK1s BG, MP and ZQR on 2 m; VK2TWR/p on 2 and 70 - unfortunately no go on 1296; and working Ralph VK3WRE/p, Gippsland, on all bands 6 m through to 23 cm, several times during the contest. Also worked on 1296 were VK3s XPD, TLW, KWA, BRZ/p, and XLD/p.
16/11 1035 VK6RSX/b 50.304 heard 599 by JR2HCB
Mike ZL3TIC: 27/11: 2200 very strong VKTV 46.240 5x9+ also 35 MHz pagers 5x9, 2245 57.240, 250, 260 all 5x9, 2300 XE2UZL/b 5x9! 2310 XE1KK/b 5x9, both of these beacons were in for 1.5 hours!
Called on 50.110, 125 and 130, other ZL3s calling were ZL3ADT, ZL3NW and ZL3AAU. Would be interested to know if anyone heard us?
2325 55.240 (zero beat) NTSC video up to 5x9. This was possibly mainland USA or Mexico. 2330 strong VKs off back of beam.
28/11: 0005 strong ZLTV from north 45.240, 250, 260, 55.240, 250, 260 all 5x9; 0035 ZL1WTT 5x9.
Grid Square League Table
Guy Fletcher VK2KU has indicated that he will pick up the Grid Square Table in the absence of anyone else offering to run it.
Submit number of grid squares claimed as worked on 144, 432, and 1296 MHz. No details of actual squares/stations required. Starting date for contacts: 1st January 1990 (as for WIA Awards). No distinction between modes (CW, SSB, FM etc.) at this stage - a square is a square. EME claims to be listed separately.
All squares claimed must be worked from locations within a single limited "region", which can be encompassed by a circle of radius 50 km. Entry is open to any VK, not just subscribers to VK-VHF. The Table of Standings will be posted on this Reflector roughly every 3 months.
Updates to me at any time by email/mail (QTHR 1999).
If you move house to a new "region", you have to start again, though your old score still stands of course. Tough, but imagine if Gordon VK2ZAB and Chas VK3BRZ exchanged homes for a month.
The intention is to encourage portable operation (up to 100 km from home) to overcome the limitations of a home QTH, but not to an extent which confers an unreasonable advantage.
If you regularly go portable to a different "region", you can keep a separate tally for the /p operation.
If Eric (VK5LP) wishes to copy the Table into his AR column from time to time, that would be nice. [He will. ... VK5LP]
There is no minimum number of squares to start - you don't need to have 50 squares on two metres! Please enter at any level so that we may all enjoy watching the growth of your tally.
I note Chas's comments about reverse contacts back into one's home square with considerable sympathy, but I want to keep it as simple as possible.
If you're not into grid squares, that's fine, but my limited experience suggests that the need for a square (on 432 MHz) which ought to be more populated than it is can act as a healthy stimulus for getting stations back on the air.
We need at least 10 or 20 people on the list to make the whole Table worthwhile.
No correspondence will be entered into by me regarding the veracity of people's claims. If you want more details from someone, please email them privately and not through the Reflector. Dire punishment for transgressors!
Guy VK2KU email@example.com
Chris Edmondson VK3CE advises: I'll publish the Table in Radio and Communications, Guy, if you supply it to me in an appropriate text form. I'm keen to promote activity on the bands!
The same offer has been made by me (VK5LP) to publish the Table in Amateur Radio magazine.
Ken Ellis G5KW
Major Ken Ellis, G5KW, the well-known pioneer 5 and 6 metre operator and founder member of the UK Six Metre Group, is now of a grand age of 91 and rather unwell at present, being cared for in a residential home. These places can be rather lonely as we all know too well.
I know that he would be delighted to hear from his many friends, or anyone who has some six metre stories to tell, it would cheer him up tremendously. Anyone wishing to drop him a line should write to:
Major Ken Ellis, Whitegates Residential Home, Whitegates Close, Hythe, KENT, UK. Thanks, Chris, G3WOS
Doug VK4OE reports: During the 'Spring Field Day' my operations were somewhat curtailed compared to my earlier plans (weather eventually became fine....Murphy must have been laughing!). I spent time only on 432 and 2403 MHz bands.
The NSW and Queensland distance records for the 2.4 GHz band were sitting there waiting to be broken, and that's what Adrian VK2FZ/4 and I (operating portable in VK2) set out to do. Adrian had improved his system quite a lot recently, particularly involving a 1.2 metre dish.
So what did we achieve? Approximately 380 km from Adrian's QTH at Maleny about 100 km north of Brisbane, to my 'beside the highway' portable station near Ben Lomond between Armidale and Glen Innes in the New England region of NSW was our enjoyable best. There could have been more distance possible, but I didn't have the time to add another couple of hundred km to my driving total. Equipment: VK2FZ/4 20W to 1.2M dish + LNA; VK4OE/2 4W to 2 x 45 el loop yagis + LNA.
Bits and pieces
Joe Gelston VK7JG advises that after about eight years he has finally put all my antennas on the tower.
They are: 28 element loop yagi on 1296, fed with 7/8 Heliax; 48 element Jaybeam on 432; 15 element Quad driven yagi on 144; all have mast head pre-amps; 6 element yagi on 50 MHz.
During the VHF contest I worked across Bass Strait on all frequencies, but to my surprise I did not hear any VK5s on the air, however VK5VF/b on 144.450 Mhz was audible for most of the Saturday morning.
End of an era
One cannot but help to feel a sense of nostalgia on the realisation that the December 1998 issue of Amateur Radio was the last to be produced by Bill Roper VK3BR.
Bill and I have had a long, comfortable and amicable arrangement in our common association with AR. When I first began writing these columns in 1969, Bill was a member of the Publications Committee, moving on to become the Editor in 1972 following the introduction of the Federal Body of the WIA. In 1976 he relinquished the position but returned in 1988 as General Manager and Secretary, effectively again at the helm of AR.
In 1992 he was recognised as the Publisher of AR, moving on to becoming Production Editor. When the Federal Office decided to contract out the production of AR, in 1996 Bill formed his company vk3br Communications Pty Ltd, successfully tendering for the production of AR. Drawing on his considerable computer skills he produced a new-look AR which has continued to the present, further aided by his computer typesetting commencing in May 1998.
During the past 29 years of supplying VHF/UHF information to AR, the method of presentation has seen changes. At first it was by double spaced typewritten material and this did not change until about 1990 when Bill accepted computer disks, first the 5.25 then 3.5 inch floppy disks. These were delivered by Autralia Post.
In the last couple of years another step forward has been with the transmission of information by electronic mail (e-mail). Once a few incompatibility problems with programmes were worked out, the passage of information to Bill has moved smoothly.
Time marches on and changes are made. Bill will be missed for his typesetting and formatting skills, but these will now be channelled into his other considerable interests within his company. I wish him every success in his new ventures, shared with and supported by his wife Wyn. Au revoir Bill.
Welcome to Bob Harper VK4KNH of Shadetree Publishing at Beerworth, Queensland, who now takes the publishing helm in concert with Bill Rice, the Editor. If the association with Bob Harper is as amicable and productive as it was with Bill Roper, then Amateur Radio magazine will continue to be a successful mouthpiece for the Wireless Institute of Australia in particular and amateur radio in general. Good luck Bob, I'm ready to work with you.
It has been relatively quiet on the six metre scene but with summer now with us propagation should improve. It seems inevitable that as F2 rises then Es wanes. You are urged to support the Ross Hull Memorial Contest and the VHF Field Day, both running this month.
Closing with two thoughts for the month:
1. Man's mind, stretched to a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions, and
2. An apology is a good way to have the last word.
73 from The Voice by the Lake.