The Westlakes news broadcast is transmitted
every Sunday at 9am on
2 meters at 146.775
WARC News Broadcast 23-7-2017
Good morning, and hopefully you are keeping warm
wherever you may be! Activity continues at our club,
with various activities being undertaken. The week just
gone has seen Jeff VK2MCD continuing the Foundation
course on Tuesday night, with some greatly appreciated
assistance from Alan VK2JED. Luke VK2LGW, Alan VK2JED
at the club on Wednesday for the 80m net.
Alex VK2ZM attending to the Bureau etcetera as per
normal on Thursday and Friday, and Friday also seen Glen
VK2VAE, Jeff VK2MCD and Luke VK2LGW attending to some
painting, cleaning up and sorting the contents of the
container and miscellaneous odd jobs.
As always, Saturday was the big day of the week and what
a big day it was! The fun began shortly after Alan
VK2JED arrived about 8am when the electricity was
disconnected due to a planned outage by our electricity
supplier,. No tea or coffee available, or heating or
lighting provided a gloomy start! Even worse was the
Foundation Licence assessment day being held by John
VK2EV and Steve VK2LW, talk about keeping candidates in
the dark. hi hi . Some alternative arrangements were
soon made to get some hot water, and as we couldn't
provide our regular pies and sausage rolls bread and
sausages were sourced and a barbeque was organised
instead. The club's motto was temporarily changed to
"Progress through Perseverance"
Regardless of the cold weather and other challenges, a
great day was had and thanks go to all those that helped
out, including masterchef Alex, VK2ZM on the bbq.
The Foundation assessments were completed, and even with
power failures and other challenges, all four candidates
passed the assessments. Hopefully some new callsigns
will be heard from Peter from Singleton, and Andrew, Joe
and Matt from Lake Macquarie. Congratulations guys, and
thanks to John VK2EV and Steve VK2LW for conducting the
assessments, and VK2POP for his assistance. We still
have another four to be assessed in coming weeks, along
with two more waiting for the next Foundation course.
Busy times in the education area!
Likewise Aly and his team continue to be busy in the
store, and would like to remind all that they are in
desperate and urgent need of shoeboxes and empty ice
cream containers for component storage etcetera. All are
asked to try and assist if possible.
With some of the usual suspects away yesterday, Dennis
VK2XDW managed to sneak in and win the coveted meat
tray! Well done Dennis.
The car boot sale may have only been last week but it's
already time to start preparing for this years Annual
Westlakes Field Day on September 17th. There's already
lots of great items on hand for the famous Westlakes
Auction where many a bargain can be had, and a bumper
raffle to be drawn on the day. Details to be revealed
next week and hopefully in the next newsletter also.
The words sleek and slick can describe a couple of
people this week, firstly Luke VK2LGW has upgraded to a
very good looking Commodore wagon, and a fast red one at
that! Also Steve VK2UD has become unrecognisable due to
a new taut trim and terrific figure, look closely next
time he's at the club, you may not recognise him at
first! Well done to both of you.
Another date for the diary is August 5th. It is hoped to
have an outdoor brainstorm and idea exchange on vehicle
antenna and radio mounting commencing at 1pm. The
highlight will be checking out a Landrover County that's
about to undertake an around Australia tip, and
advice/discussion from experienced members on the best
ways to install and maintain mobile equipment. The more
that can attend will mean the more ideas and knowledge
that can be shared. Like they used to say on TV, "Please
All members are encouraged to offer suggestions for
activities, fundraising and any other matters in
relation to our club. Attend the meetings, advise a
committee member of even just email the secretary at
firstname.lastname@example.org . Remember it's your club,
and your help and input to it's running is not only
wanted but needed!
Foundations of Amateur Radio
For the most part of my Amateur Radio life I've been an
active contester. I have spoken about why I love
contesting and why I think it's an important aspect of
this amazing hobby. Today I want to talk about how
contests are run, specifically how complaints are
handled and how we could improve.
I must at this time acknowledge that organisers are
volunteers, just like many other Amateurs, giving of
their free time, in this case, to manage and score a
contest. Like much volunteering it's an invisible,
sometimes thank-less and unenviable task, often akin to
To set the scene, a contest is an organised activity run
by one or more people or groups that has a published set
of rules, a set of aims and objectives as well as the
mechanics of things like on-air conduct, point scoring,
A contester who decides to participate in a contest is
expected to read the rules, abide by them and conduct
themselves in an appropriate manner, that is, keep
accurate logs, follow the log submission rules, etc.
What happens after the logs have been submitted to the
organiser is rarely spoken about. There is an assumption
that the results are published, that complaints are
handled fairly and in a timely fashion and that the
outcomes are fair for all participants.
In my experience, it's understood that if the rules
don't specifically exclude a particular event, like say,
using a Satellite contact during a VHF contest, those
are fair game. Of course the response to such a thing is
to update the rules to exclude that interpretation for
the next contest.
So, there are rules for the contesters, but are there
rules for the organisers? What happens if they don't do
their part? What process exists then? What if the
results take over a year to be published, or you
witnessed cheating, or you submit a log that has a score
that differs from the results? If you bring that to the
attention of the organisers, what is a reasonable
response and how would you expect the issue to be
In the past, any suggestion that there could be a place
for a standard set of rules for organisers has been, in
my experience, ignored or ridiculed with the notion that
"We're all Amateurs here, stop taking things so
seriously." In my opinion, that's not a reasonable
response and it makes for uncomfortable interactions
between contesters and organisers who are attempting to
resolve a dispute in a civil way.
In sailing, where the participants are amateurs, as in
non-professional sailors, contesting is alive and well.
Most weekends see a sailing race on a local water and
protests are common. A standardised set of rules exist
to handle disputes in a formal manner and raising a
protest flag is the beginning of a set of steps that
ends up with a ruling.
In the case of contests in the Amateur Radio field, no
such thing happens.
As an example, I have personally raised a protest with a
contesting organiser and have spent the past months
attempting to get the results updated to reflect my
actual score. I'm patient and persistent, I document
every step, but ultimately I'm at the mercy of the
organiser. Their decision to handle my protest is
entirely arbitrary. In my opinion, this is not how
contesting should work. It should be a fair contest
between stations to apply the rules and come to a score.
I've purposefully not named the contest or the
organisers, since this is not specific to my protest.
This is an issue that affects contests in Amateur Radio
What about looking at the sailing community and learning
about their protest procedures? Are there contests that
you participate in that have a formal complaints process
and how well does it actually work? Have you ever had a
contest protest that needed adjudicating and how did it
I'm Onno VK6FLAB
Sunshine Coast special event callsign
Until the end of September, VK4's Sunshine Coast Amateur
Radio Club is operating Special Event Call sign, VI 4 SC
50 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the official
naming of the Sunshine Coast on 1st August 1967, and is
proudly supported by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council
with a grant of $1250 to go towards expenses such as
QSLís and certificates etc.
Receiving pictures from space
The International Space Station is transmitting SSTV
pictures to radio amateurs around the world on 145.800
The Slow Scan Television image transmissions are
expected to continue until 1800 GMT Sunday, July 23 and
can be received on simple equipment such as a handheld
radio or scanner with an outside antenna. Luke, VK2LGW
was able on Friday to receive four transmitted SSTV
piuctures, received in two fly overs from the ISS. The
piuctures are available for viewing on the westlakes
Well thatís all the news from Westlakes that I have for