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ISSUE No 12-46 23rd. December 2012

In this Issue:

  1. Merry Christmas from the ACMA with a new amateur band.
  2. Cheap digital interface for your rigs.
  3. A Ham’s night before Christmas.
  4. Broke and fixed.

1. Merry Christmas from the ACMA with a new amateur band.

The amendment to the Radiocommunication Licence Conditions was registered today 21/12/2012 with VK amateurs to gain access to 472-479khz as of the 1/1/2013.

Maximum radiated power of 5 watts pX EIRP


BUT! ….. reading through the explanatory notes, it becomes clear that this document, as well as giving us an extra 7 KILOHERTZ it also takes away10 MEGAHERTZ as this is also the authorisation to remove amateur radio access to the 420-430MHz frequency range (mostly used for linking repeaters and such tasks). We knew this change was coming and as always on bands where we are the “secondary user” nothing is safe.

Info from Chris VK2YY, additional comments from Ed VK2JI.

2. Cheap digital interface for your rigs.

Thanks goes to Clif of Avvid (Radio repairs) in the Kenwood TS-2000 yahoogroups news list for this one:

Search for Item number 221082800840 on eBay and you’ll come across this easy to construct (no surface mount components) A$8.49 audio interface board kit. The board isolates the audio connections between your PC and rig, enabling PC based software to run digital modes (TX & RX) through your SSB rig. Which modes are only dependent upon the (normally free) software you chose to install on your PC but include RTTY, CW, SSTV, FSK31, JT65, FreeDV(HF Digital Voice) etc. etc. The issue as usual with items from the states in that the postage costs far exceed the cost of the items. I have therefore purchased three of these boards to split the postal costs and should anyone require one, they will cost $15 each to club members. There are two available, first come, first served. Delivery will not be before the start of January. Most likely mid-January.


 3. A Ham’s night before Christmas.

The classic video now updated to high definition by Gary KN4AQ (who also supplies some of the videos for our VK2RTG ATV “test” transmissions).

In the same vein, here’s a Christmas poem dedicated to Don VK2ZCZ our long serving Repeater Manager (modified from one from my old repeater group in the UK):

A Repeater Keeper’s Night Before Christmas

It was the night before Christmas all through the land,
Not an amateur was using the 2 metre band.
Some were blaming the jammer but he wasn’t there,
When the ACMA had caught him he just didn’t care!

Had all the F-calls gone on HF instead?
Or, dusted off the CB that lay under their bed?
Had they gone QRT or “SWARed” up their twigs,
Or, spent all their money on new HF Rigs?

When out of the blue RAG’s Morse code came on air,
And a bleep from the D-Star; was there somebody there?
A flicker on  444  meg from the old ATV,
Was there really a picture or just snow to see?

All of a sudden whilst drinking my beer,
A thought of what might happen became really clear.
With no users, there’d be no repeaters, no beacons, all canned!
Surely they would auction off our VHF bands?

Whilst we still have repeaters, at least for today,
With electricity bills, insurance and site rental to pay.
We run them, fix them and clear weeds from the grounds.
So please “Use it or lose it” or you’ll spare us many pounds!

(Thanks to Andy, G0VRM for this poem)

(please note the use of the term “F-calls” above refers to holders of the Foundation licence not the 2 or 3 letter Advanced calls starting with F).

Listen for Santa’s station OF9X – details here care of the Southgate News.


 4. Broke and fixed.

A short update on current issues in the CCARC technical infrastructure.

  1. First the good news – the problem with the VK2RAG 438.075 MHz IRLP link has been found and corrected, thanks to Dave VK2JDH for tracking this down. The computer/Internet link side of this system is now ready for its move this weekend.
  2. The problems with the APCO P25 VK2RAG 439.950 MHz repeater are still being investigated, no ETA at present for a resolution.
  3. Now some non-repeater related information. The club rooms have not had any Internet connectivity (to the PCs or via WiFi) for the last week. After investigation it has been confirmed that the issue is not within the equipment in the club rooms, rather at the ISP. The executive have been informed about this and are also considering whether a change to a faster link with another ISP may be an option. It is very unlikely that the current problem will be resolved this year.


Anyone reading this on the website who is not yet a member of the CCARC, please consider joining by emailing ccarc @ ccarc.org.au for full details. We currently have no joining fee and the annual membership fee is A$30.00.

CCARC online links

Upcoming events of interest to the CCARC

For what’s coming up in the next few months at the CCARC, please check the club calendar, accessible from the header on any page on the website.

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