Progress Through Activity

Amateur Radio Club Inc.




The Westlakes Weekly Broadcast.

The Westlakes news broadcast is transmitted 
every Sunday at 9am on 2 meters at 146.775 MHz




WARC News Broadcast Sunday 15-4-2018

Firstly a note from our President.

The April General meeting was held at the club yesterday. The meeting room was quite full with many of our members contributing to the discussion. The major issues discussed included:

Members were reminded that the club’s inaugural Open Day is being held next Sunday 22 April and that although preparations are proceeding well, help from more members will be required next Saturday to help clean up the club and on Sunday at the Open Day to marshal and guide visitors, answer questions and help with security. Make sure you all attend on Sunday to ensure the Open Day is a success. We will be holding a debriefing session the week after the Open Day so make sure you record the good and the not-so-good things on the day to help us in the planning of next year’s event.

Nominations for executive and committee positions closed at 1300 hours yesterday and a healthy number of nominations were received which should see a number of new faces join next year’s committee.

A number of issues were raised on the Work Health and Safety front.
The club has five trained First Aid officers – Barrie Downward VK2QG, Jeff Green VK2MCD, Lloyd Jennings VK2XAA, Warren Payne VK2UWP and Barry Finlay VK2FIN. A sign will be erected on the noticeboard to ensure members are aware of these people.
An accident occurred at the club a few weeks ago where a member fell down the stairs near the club’s computer room and toilets. A number of points came out of this:
All members should check the club before they leave of an afternoon to ensure all have left safely.
An incident book is to be introduced to track all incidents in the club (to allow follow up). This will be a red folder near the sign in register.
The stairs will be reviewed against the building codes to determine whether work is required to improve them.
Building codes will be checked to determine whether smoke detectors are required in the club.
Electrical circuits and lighting will be reviewed to decide on appropriate maintenance/ upgrade requirements.
A staircase has been located which may suit the emergency exit adjacent to the shack, and appropriate enquiries have been made regarding suitability and / or obtaining same.

Significant discussion ensued on options available to fund new equipment for the club. Firstly, the new Icom-7300 for the club’s radio shack will be purchased from funds gained from the Open Day raffle and from the sale of radio equipment excess to the club’s needs. Secondly, other funding options will be examined including donations for specific items of equipment by members and by grants.

The Newcastle repeater is of course a major topic of discussion. The committee is exploring options for the return of an effective repeater to suit club needs.

The next big project at the club will be the refurbishment of the club’s Common Room so the donation of some of your time will be very much appreciated.
73’s Barry VK2FIN.

Now for the rest of the news. There must have been a meeting at the club on Saturday as the car park was full. Yes it was meeting day, as we have just heard. Activities were going on in the Activities Room with Col VK2YP making a VHF / UHF antenna, assisted by Maurie VK2CD and Les VK2LT. There were complaints that the measurements were imperial and not metric. One would have thought that those of us in senior years would be able to handle imperial measurements.

The seat of knowledge was popular for the day’s discussions about nothing in particular.

At the conclusion of the meeting the raffle was drawn and the lucky winner was none other than Ken VK2UTC. A worthy winner for all the work he has done in upgrading the Shack. Congratulations Ken and from all at the club, well done for your efforts over the past couple of months.

After the meeting there was the usual scurry down to the common room for the usual afternoon tea put on by Gladys and Christine. Even Ike, Steve Hallinan’s guide dog was interested in the smells of the afternoon delights. Dave VK2RD doesn’t know how close he came to losing his as Ike just about stole it from the plate right under Dave’s nose.

The news was also good from the Classroom / Shack as all Foundation students passed their exams, one student attaining 100% in the theory exam.

Monday on the airwaves showed conditions to be a bit tough. Glenn VK2GST still can’t find the source of the water running onto the road off his property, so while contemplating same he decided to mow the lawn before the heat kicked in. Dave VK2RD tried his favourite trick of talking into the mouse yet again. Dave reiterated the mention in last week’s news that the next two Wednesday’s become working bee days to get the clubrooms in readiness for the Open Day / Boot Sale.

Monday night saw four turn up for the net on 3.650 MHz where the discussions weren’t on strength signals and weather reports, but a more interesting topic was discussed. More on that later.

Ken VK2UTC told us of the glorious event he attended on Saturday that of his daughter’s wedding, in which everything went like clockwork without a hitch. Congratulations Ken on your acquisition of a son in law.

On Wednesday on the net we heard from Alan using his old callsign of VK1AL. Conditions were such that he could be heard from the ACT. Luke VK2LGW stated that now was going to be a good time to work some Slow Scan T V with the passing Space Station. Also we were advised that we were no closer to the answer regarding a dog and its bottom lip. Maybe Ike can tell us.

Wednesday at the club was a hive of activity with a working bee in progress working towards getting the Club Rooms ready for the Open Day / Boot Sale. Ken VK2UTC and Col VK2YP were busy making modifications to some of the antennas with the aim of having them resonate where they should. Barry VK2QG spent the morning going around in circles proving that he could handle the ride on mower. He even managed to cut a bit of grass on the way round.

Jeremy VK2LDX upset a lot of spiders by dismantling their homes from around the building. Jeff VK2MCD, our resident greenkeeper, just about ran out of nylon string on the whipper snipper as he gave quite a bit of the outlying areas a severe trim, and was last seen trimming or pruning the lower branches of the trees on the property. A fully laden Ute must have gone to the tip on the way home.

On Friday the conversations were all about Friday 13th and all the bad luck stories connected with same. However we did learn about how chickens get yellow feet. It was good to hear Steve VK2NCS on the airwaves again after a few weeks absence. He seems to have renewed his peddle power. At certain times everyone was going shush, what’s that sound? It sounded like someone was talking but who could it be. It was none other than Ken VK2UTC trying to make himself heard with what turned out to be a faulty microphone. A quick mic change sorted the problem. The topic changed to Morse decoders and their accuracy or lack of it. It was decided that the best decoder was the one between the ears.

Now back to the more interesting topic referred to on Monday night’s net. The comment was made that once upon a time, the bands were busy, one had to jostle for space to work a contact. People enjoyed the hobby of picking up a microphone and talking to someone. Dits and Dahs were heard all through the bands.

Some 63 years ago a gentleman by the name of Mr Seeger composed the well-known question “Where have all the flowers gone?” Well we might ask. Most of us say that they have gone to cell phones, Viber, Skype, Facebook, (we won’t go there), Instagram, What’s App, Twitter, (Well there’s not much room on there either), and all the myriads of other platforms out there of which there are many.
Now here’s the conundrum. When was the last time we heard “You’re a five – nine” on your cell phone. When did anyone go “CQ DX” on Skype? Heard any Dits and Dahs on Twitter recently? As the late Ritchie Benaud said once, “I’ve heard plenty of twits.” How many of what we would call traditional Amateur radio calls have you heard on any of the above mentioned media. Next to none I fear. That old song needs to be rewritten “When will all the flowers return?”
The above has been postulated for one sole reason, and that is to provoke some thought.

Any positive thoughts of a solution would be welcomed by all Amateurs.

Now for some items from the housekeeping department.

While talking of a red folder in which details of any medical mishap must be entered. Next it will be a yellow folder which is a sign-out, sign-in book for any piece of equipment or club property which is being borrowed by anyone. In short – If you borrow it, sign for it.

Also don’t forget April is amnesty month to facilitate the return of bits and pieces with legs which have inadvertently walked away from the club. If they arrive back wrapped in plastic or brown paper. Enough said.

From the reminder Department, don’t forget that next week is the Open Day / Car Boot Sale on Sunday 22nd. I know the boss has already mentioned it. One week today. As many as can roll up for set up at 0700hrs next Sunday, you will be gladly welcomed. One very slight change to proceedings is that the Radio or Red Balloon voucher raffle will be drawn at 1.30pm (not 12 noon). Also next Sunday there will be no Sunday Morning News Broadcast owing to the early arrival requirements for the Open day.

And now for this week’s pearl of wisdom. Winners always compare their achievements with their own goals, while losers compare their achievements with the failures of others.

This is the news we have for you this week. 73.





Westlakes Amateur Radio Club Inc. York Street, Teralba NSW