Progress Through Activity

WESTLAKES
Amateur Radio Club Inc.

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The Westlakes Weekly Broadcast.

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


 

 

 

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 Consider"

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 secretary@westlakesarc.org.au . 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 herding cats.

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, etc.

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 resolved?

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 everywhere.

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 work out?

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 MHz FM.
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 website.

Well thatís all the news from Westlakes that I have for this week.

    

 

 

 


Westlakes Amateur Radio Club Inc. York Street, Teralba NSW