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ISSUE No 16-17 7th October 2016

In this Issue:

  1. Business Meeting
  2. Review of the Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan
  3. Amateur Reciprocal Qualifications Review
  4. JOTA-JOTI 14th, 15th & 16th October 2016
  5. How the phonetic alphabet emerged
  6. Broke & fixed
  7. Reminders

1. Business Meeting


The next CCARC Business meeting will be held on Saturday 8th October 2016, commencing at 1300 hours.

2. Review of the Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan


The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has opened consultation on its proposed update of the Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan. The ACMA announced it on its website on 22 September 2016.

The Authority has issued a discussion paper and related documents, referring directly to possible changes, and invites submissions before 24 October 2016. The Spectrum Plan includes a table of frequency allocations from 8.3 kHz through to 420 terahertz (THz) that divides up the spectrum to show the general purpose of each band, to which services they are allocated, and associated footnotes relevant to particular allocations. It was last reviewed in 2013.

The Spectrum Plan reflects Australia’s treaty obligations following the International Telecommunications Union’s World Radiocommunications Conference in late 2015. The ACMA acknowledges that Australia was a signatory to the decisions of that ITU conference, was working with those affected domestically, but due to various factors, all foreshadowed changes may not occur by the end of 2016.

Also expected to be reflected in the remake is the Federal Government’s proposed new legislation that removes prescriptive process to replace these with a simpler, more flexible licensing system.

The updated Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan is expected to begin on 1 January 2017. Once the Spectrum Plan is amended subordinate legislation, such as licence conditions, will also be amended subsequently, as necessary. Any individual or group with an interest in radiofrequency spectrum allocations and use can make a submission.

As the peak representative body for the Australian radio amateur community, the WIA is preparing a submission. See the ACMA’s announcement on its website, via this Link

Roger Harrison – VK2ZRH

Source:  WIA News


3. Amateur Reciprocal Qualifications Review


The Australian Communications and Media Authority has reset the qualification equivalency of the US Technician Licence for new applications to that of the entry level Australian Foundation Licence. The majority of submissions to the ACMA inquiry fully agreed that the Foundation Licence was the most appropriate for reciprocal licensing purposes. Before the review it was set at the highest Advance Licence.

The ACMA said a report prepared by the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) indicated that the US Technician Class Licence was no longer equivalent to the Advanced Licence. The WIA sought to lower the level of reciprocity to the Foundation Licence. It also reflected the ACMA’s confirmation by independent inquiry that the basis on which the US Technician Class Licence was conferred had changed over time. The ACMA review asked: Do you support the ACMA and the WIA’s stance that the US Technician Class licence is no longer equivalent to the Advanced Licence and that the Foundation Licence is the most appropriate for reciprocal licensing purposes?
A total of 23 submissions received, 15 agreed, seven disagreed and one neither agreed nor disagreed with the proposal.

Among those agreeing was the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) that stated that the US Technician Class Licence was very close to the Foundation Licence, but not higher. (It was downgraded in 1999) Four respondents who agreed to the downgrade believed existing licensees should have their licences reviewed and possibly downgraded to Foundation Level. However five submissions who agreed to the downgrade, also felt that existing reciprocal licences already issued should remain, and that the downgrading start from the date of the ACMA decision. Those against the downgrading felt that the US Technician Licence was more aligned to the Australian Standard Licence than the Foundation Licence.

The ACMA said what must be assessed was the relative levels of each qualification – what level of knowledge was the best fit for each class of licence. Based on this test, the US Technician Class licence aligns best with the Foundation Licence. However, the ACMA ruling was not retrospective. Existing licensees who obtained their Advanced Licence based on the US Technician Class Licence were grandfathered and may continue to operate at the Advanced Level.

Phil Wait – VK2ASD

Source:  WIA News

4. JOTA-JOTI 14th, 15th & 16th October 2016


JOTA-JOTI is the largest Scouting event in the world with over 1 million Scouts participating across 150+ countries.

The event is held the third weekend of October – for 2016 it’s the 14th, 15th & 16th October.

This is the official World Organization of the Scout Movement’s website for JOTA-JOTI.

Source:  JOTA-JOTI




5. How the phonetic alphabet emerged


It was 60 years ago that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) finalised the phonetic alphabet – sometimes also called the NATO or North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alphabet.

Why do we have one?

It seems that sound-a-like letters such as M and N, D and B and others, can be confusing. The idea of a phonetic alphabet is not new, and earlier versions had other words.

For a time the Able, Baker alphabet, derived from WWII when the US air force entered the war, hung around in aviation for years afterwards.

However civil aviation begun to suffer confusion in South America where English words were not fully recognised. This is when NATO also had another problem, with different phonetics used by each of the army, navy and air force.

NATO had joint service exercises and different phonetics made it harder to communicate between the services. As an agency of the United Nations, everyone swung behind ICAO to create a standardised alphabet.

Its aim was to use English words common to all languages and pronounced easily. Professor Jean-Paul Vinay, of linguistics expert at the University of Montreal, was given the job which he finished in 1951.

It then faced resistance from some pilots who reverted to use the old phonetics.

However, after further work involving five minor changes and testing by ICAO member countries, the final phonetic alphabetic we use today began in 1956.

This is Victor Kilo Won-un Whiskey India Alpha

Jim Linton VK3PC

Source:  Southgate AR News




Nothing to report.


This section lists important announcements and possibly items from previous CCARC NEWS editions that are still current and may need your input:

Anyone reading this on the website who is not yet a member of the CCARC, please consider joining by emailing ccarc at ccarc dot org dot au for full details.

For submissions to this newsletter from CCARC club members please email the editor news-editor at ccarc dot org dot au

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.

Dave VK2DLS … News & Publicity Officer …

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