The Westlakes news broadcast is transmitted
every Sunday at 9am on
2 meters at 146.775
WARC News Broadcast 21-5-2017
Welcome again to the Westlakes Amateur Radio Club weekly
The club had an excellent turnout yesterday although the
numbers did dwindle for a short period, while the new
Club Committee met for its first committee meeting of
the year. Our new President Barry, VK2FIN, chaired the
meeting. The meeting was quite productive, with the
committee agreeing that firstly, the aim should be to
keep the club on the even keel that Dave, VK2RD, and his
committee set over the past few years and secondly, to
identify and act on new initiatives to improve the club
for existing members and to grow club membership. As our
President will be overseas from next Friday for a month,
our Vice President Barrie, VK2QG will preside over the
coming monthly meeting.
Although the Club Committee identified a number of
initiatives to enhance the club experience for members,
all members are encouraged to send in any suggestions on
how you think the club would provide better experiences
and value for all.
In the news broadcast last week it was announced that
the June meeting would be held on the third Saturday of
the moth, 17th June because of the long weekend earlier
in June. Additionally, this meeting will begin at 1300
hours rather than the usual time of 1330. Some members
have suggested that an earlier starting time would be
preferred so the new starting time will be implemented
from the June meeting.
As usual, there was considerable discussion in various
groups (almost evenly split between the shack, the
common room and the lecture room) on issues ranging from
the technical details of radios old and new, to the
state of the Australian Tax Office and the Whitehouse.
Norm, VK2KNC and Col, VK2YP worked on realigning an MFJ
antenna tuner in the activity room. Despite what some
say about this gear, the tuner appeared to be
beautifully made, a real quality piece of equipment….
The unit was taken to the shack where a number of tests
using the large loop, were conducted by Dave, VK2RD with
all declared OK and fully operational. The tuner was
last seen in the hands of Jeremy, VK2FROT where he will
be conducting testing on his new antenna system. Thanks
All gathered, however, at around 1330 hours for the big
event of the afternoon – the drawing of the meat raffle.
And the winner was Geoff, VK2GW. Hope it is to your
Last Thursday we learnt of the passing of a long time
member, John Macarthur, ex VK2EV, late of Toronto. John
has not enjoyed good health over the past 2 or 3 years
and sold up his station a year or so back. A celebration
of John’s life was held 2 weeks ago at Ryhope Lawn
Cemetery. He was 88 years of age.
VALE’ John MacArthur.
It was good to see our retired President, Dave VK2RD
relaxing and socializing yesterday. Hopefully all
retiring committee members can enjoy their free time
knowing they have done their bit for the Club. Perhaps
Dave can get back to designing and playing air guitars….
As a way of spreading the workload, various roles will
be shared out to willing participants in coming weeks.
The first of these will be Norm VK2KNC and Lloyd VK2XAA,
who have agreed to be the Caretakers of the Activity
room and associated equipment. A big job to be done at
first, but these two knowledgeable gentlemen should have
it under control in no time.
Whilst de-centralization is an often-mentioned political
football, at Westlakes we are doing the opposite.
Efforts are being made to ensure that all Club records
and files are on hand at the Club. If you have any club
documents or similar club property, please forward them
to the secretary at the club or via email at email@example.com.
As always, please let the Committee know of any ideas
for lectures, activities, money making initiatives or
any other input you wish to offer, yes even negative or
critical comments if necessary.
Foundations of Amateur Radio
The hobby that we call Amateur Radio has been around for
over a century. During that time we've seen it evolve
from capacitors, inductors, through valves, then diodes
and transistors, through to integrated circuits, chips
and surface mount components. Along the way we collected
a vast body of knowledge and experience which combine to
make the hobby what it is today.
You might have noticed that the progression of our hobby
didn't stop with surface mount components, it's still
evolving through software and the next frontiers are
already tentatively being explored and offered for sale
to curious amateurs.
In my day job I'm a software engineer and I adopted
Amateur Radio as my hobby of choice because it was
technically diverse, had a rich history, a large
community and had little to do with my day to day
pursuits in computing and information technology. How
wrong was I?
This morning I started writing code to visualise audio,
specifically in my case to make a video version of this
weekly segment, but also to experiment with how we as
humans use our senses to decipher information. As I was
buried inside the decoding of audio it occurred to me
that what I was doing was the equivalent of soldering
together a circuit for the purposes of learning more
about some aspect of my hobby.
This in turn made me realise that as we dive deeper and
deeper into the software defined radio universe, more
and more of what we as individuals can do will be based
on computers, algorithms and maths.
On the face of it, this is an enormous shift in
perspective, but I'd hazard that it's no different from
moving between a spark-gap transmitter and an AM
transmitter, or moving from AM to SSB, or the
introduction of transistors. Each of those changes now
look pretty small with hind-sight, but at the time that
they occurred their impact must have been immense.
I made contact with the software defined radio community
a few weeks ago and in between my work I'm slowly
beginning to explore this new universe that is beginning
Of course, as this evolution happens, while we're in the
middle of the transition, as-in right now, there'll be
discussion about the difference between digital and
analogue, between hardware and software, about the
benefits and pitfalls, no-doubt mirroring prior
discussions that have been had across the past
generations of amateurs.
A new dawn has come and the future is here, come and
join the fun.
I'm Onno VK6FLAB
Well that’s all the news from Westlakes that I have for