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Last updated:
23 August 2017

 

BARC - CLUB NEWS


News for Club Members

This page is regularly updated

News items gradually recede to become links lower down the page

 

Proud Member

wia

 

BARC Members go Portable

August is a BIG month for the Bundy club.

This year members decided to go portable for the RD [Remembrance Day] contest.

They found a property North East of town and camped the night.

Then it was the ILLW [International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend] so it was off to the Burnett Heads Historical Lighthouse to play radio again.

Members enjoyed the sitting in the sun and chatting at both events.

 

RD1

 

A serene spot on a local property gave the members relaxing vistas and good clear air to play 'contest'.

 

RD1

 

Club members VK4JRO, VK4OH and VK4DN camped the night and captured this great morning shot.

And the following weekend, they did it all again....

 

RD1

 

The weekend of 19/20th of August was the ILLW and Dan's vehicle provided the backdrop for another Portable outing.

 

 

 

Hi Altitude Balloon Experiment II

Following the successful launch and recover earlier this month we've finally got some photos on the webpage for the HABE2 launch.

This is the HABE page link

 

 

Club Member Ron Graham S.K.

 

Sadly the club has lost a great friend and mentor in Ron Graham VK4BRG. flowers

Ron joined the Bundaberg club in 2009 but was friends with many members for quite a long time before that.

He was a true friend and inspiration to us all.

Ron was always there when we had technical questions and gave up his time to run the fortnightly tech-net for many years.

Last year Ron and Sue moved back to the Mackay area to be with their family and we've missed them.

On behalf of the President, the Management Committee and all members we offer our sincere condolences to Sue and the whole family, and while we couldn't send a representative to the service we sent flowers and our sincere best wishes.

The eulogy from Ron's funeral has been uploaded to our resource/documents area.

vk4brg_sk

 

Ron Graham SK.

The photo at right shows Ron doing what he did best, teaching us something new.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WICEN went to Lowmead May 2017

 

Club (and WICEN) members VK4JRO, VK4DN, VK4NEU and VK4ION went on the annual pilgrimage to Clarkeys Petrolhead Paradise to provide the Comms for the Curtis Coast Trail Riders annual "Clarkeys Reloaded" event.

Two days of motorcycles, mud and mayhem and it was fun.

clarkeys

 

Saturday night saw weary members sit around a roaring campfire

More images are being uploaded to the WICEN News page so do check them out.

You'll see that Clarkeys really is a paradise; in the hills up behind Lowmead. You never know, you might be tempted to come camping with us next year.... play a little radio... sit in the sun... take photos.... go for a bushwalk.... or just relax with a good book.

To save on travel this year the crew decided to camp on the Saturday night and after a great bush dinner they sat around the fire, chased a few satellites with handhelds and solved the problems of the world.

 

 

Working Bee Mt Goonaneman April 2017

 

Club members VK4JRO, VK4DN, VK4OH, VK4FABF, VK4ION, VK4FCCW & Heinz had a great day on the mountain.

The day started out bright and sunny.

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Darrall VKFABF and David VK4DN climbed the tower to fit a new antenna for the Sunshine Coast link.

 

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The ground crew sent up tools and juggled antennas, while keeping watch for falling hazards.... Darrall was prone to dropping things.

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It was ropes and pulleys and all the latest in safety harness and equipment.

 

Ever wondered what it looks like from up there?

 

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Looking down and the David's view... looking up.

 

As members know the weather can change in an instant up on the mountain.

 

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The sky turned black and it began to sprinkle... it was time to come down.

 

Lorraine & Gail scrubbed the shack and packed the shed.

There is now plenty of room in the shack for an additional 19inch rack and years of accumulated tools and fittings were sorted.

The shed now has all the ground maintenance requirements as well as tower fitting that aren't required very often.

 

wbee6

 

VK4FCCW & VK4ION with plenty of room to spare in the new shed.

All in all a very productive day and thank you to the members who once again gave up a Sunday to work for the benefit of BARC.

 

BARC at the 2017 Tegege Yesteryear Rally

 

The club is most grateful to David VK4DN for once again taking on this project.

He carried the gazebo and equipment, set up the display and camped on site this year.

tegege

 

VK4DN certainly presented a professional display for BARC at the Yesteryear Rally.

 

tegege1

 

It was a "yesteryear rally" so the display had some great early model equipment...

David did also manage to showcase the Balloon Project with posters and information so visitors could see that the club encompasses the past and the present.

 

tegege2

 

Members loaned old equipment so that visitors could take a trip down memory lane.

 

There was one special visitor too, a young man travelling with his family from Brisbane.

At the grand young age of 10 meet VK4FBGR; yes he's 10 years old and has his Foundation licence, how exciting.

 

tegege3

 

Blake - VK4FBGR visiting the Tegege Yesteryear Rally with his family.

 

 

Well look at this - some surprises up on Mt Goonaneman

We thought Cyclone Debbie had passed us by but she took some revenge up on Mt Goonaneman.

Ross VK4JRO was travelling up for his work and Gary VK4MDZ wanted to do some checks on the shed... This is what they found when they started their walk up the hill...

outage1

 

Our power line to the Main Board on the Pole had been pulled down by a large falling tree, which had also brought down 2 others. 

 

Although the mains cable down the pole was ripped from the pole, it was still connected and delivering power to our switch board. (Yes It was Alive)

They rang Ergon to report the power line down, which in its self was a battle because they couldn't get to the meter to get the number and repeating that they were a customer named called Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club, but the service was "near Biggenden" was doing the operator's head in.  

 

outage2

They went off to work at the shack hoping that Ergon weren't tied up elsewhere with Cyclone Debbie priority maintenance.

On the way down the mountain about 2.30pm they met the Ergon team... YAY!!!

It was certainly an unusual situation because the power wasn't cut so our equipment couldn't give us any indication there was a problem.

If Ross had made it up there the previous week, as scheduled, we wouldn't have known about this dangerous situation until our next working Bee at the end of the month.

 

Ross is beginning to think there is some overall good plan to the universe..

 

Luckily Ross carries a toolkit which includes a chain saw so they cut up the tree to make the site accessible for Ergon.

outage3

 

The Ergon crew replaced the feeder line and made our site safe once again.

 

Weather watch - rain event - Ex Tropical Cyclone Debbie

As the old saying goes, we dodged a bullet but our friends to the North and South were not so lucky.

Our operators are no longer in Alert status and we thank them for their vigilance during the past 4 days.

Water in the Burnett River is due to peak at Bundaberg Sunday 2nd April with readings well below minor flood levels.

The links we used during this alert are;

Bundaberg Regional Council - LATEST Update 31st March 4.30pm

Bureau of Meteorology: BOM - bom.gov.au

To view the current weather warnings for QLD

River watch - Qld river systems - select the 4th group of rivers - Burrum, Burnett, Kolan - to check the river gauge data

 

 

We monitored Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

 

Whilst not a threat to our region, Cyclones can develop and change direction, shifting the zone of influence. It was a timely reminder that hams should ensure their 12volt batteries are charged and equipment tested.

 

debbie1

 

Official BOM path forecast for Cyclone Debbie as at 7am on 27th March...

 

 

 

Major Club Project gets underway

Our new storage shed

 

We've begun work on our portable storage shed up on the mountain and it's going to be a monumental project...

We toyed with designs like...

shed1

and...

shed2

And even........

shed3

 

But to see what we're really up t check out our new Shed Project page.

 

 

 

Welcome to 2017 - have you seen our Club Member distance records lately?

 

Late last year we had some heavy-duty distance record action happening between club members.

For those who aren't familiar, you might like to check out our contests page, you'll see we have a few different contests for members.

With David VK4HAX travelling to NZ, our HF members were in a chase to contact him and claim a HF distance record.

Two new records were set... there was no prize.... just bragging rights.

This is the link to the DISTANCE RECORDS.

 

 

 

Look what we found !

 

You should all know this picture, it has hung in the shack ever since SES was built.

sketchframed

 

It became the logo and has adorned our backs... well the back of our T-shirts for many years. It was time to take it out of the frame so we could have it digitized to make new shirts.....

Look what we found as packing behind the masonite! It's a real time-capsule.

sketch_unpacked

 

Opened the frame to have the sketch digitized and found a walk back in time

The newspapers are "The Sunday Mail" [Brisbane paper] and "Sunday Truth" both from February 2nd 1964.

There are the cartoon and kids pages and a wonderful column called "The Pen Pals Club" where people advertised their profile and hoped others would write to them.

You'll be pleased to know you could buy a Hoover Scrubber-polisher for 27 Guineas and why should you rake up the grass when you can buy a new invention! The rear catcher mower for a mere 63 Guineas.

In the "Round-up" section there was news from this area, about a morning tea in Rocky.

I love old newspapers - we'll store these at the shack so you can all take a look.

 

 

 

 

WICEN gets ready for the Storm Season

 

Our WICEN team has begun the 2016-17 storm season training, and it's been gratifying to have 5 new members join the ranks.

At this time of year there is some revision of the training manual, then they get down to the interesting work, learning to use the portable stations to efficiently sent and receive communications.

November training was a 4 station hook up using the Yaesu and Icom gear, and proved successful and a lot of fun..

Prior to the December gathering there will be on-air training from the Members own QTH, so listen out for them on Wednesday evenings on Mt Watalgan 70cm repeater.

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wicen_nov

 

VK4FIBN, VK4FORD, VK4FSTU, VK4HAX and VK4MOO
Our new recruits to WICEN 2016

We thank these new members, and all the long-term WICEN members as well, for giving up their time on a regular basis.

We are always prepared to help the community in times of need and couldn't do it without your support.

 

 

 

 

Our Spring Workshop in September

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Active workshop participants

This workshop was for members to bring along their current projects to share with the group and to learn from what others are doing.

It was a very interesting "Show and Tell" session! - Peter VK4FPDG discussed some of his projects as well as demonstrating the SDR Play hardware and software.

Ross VK4JRO gave a very interesting presentation about different antenna designs and had some interesting electronics on display.

David VK4HAX gave a brief introduction to Arduino boards and shields - All who attended enjoyed the afternoon with plenty of questions about the items discussed.

 

 

VK4BW on air for International Lighthouse Weekend

illw1

Dan VK4OH and Darrall VK4FABF getting set up for the 2016 International Lighthouse Weekend

illw2

 

VK4OH coordinated the weekend and had plenty of members come and visit to chat with lighthouses

There were over 450 lighthouses registered for the event this year, and 26 of those around Australia's coastline.
Dan and the members made a total of 46 contacts over the weekend.

We're very grateful to the Burnett Heads Progress Association for allowing us to use their Hall situated beside the lighthouse. It meant a quick set up and take down for our gear and we were still attached nicely to the historical lighthouse.

 

 

Welcome to our newest members

members2016

 

Top: Stu VK4FSTU, Centre: Isaac VK4FIBN and Lower: Tom VK4FORD

Welcome to you all

 

 

 

BBQ @ WOODGATE WITH HERVEY BAY CLUB

We get on well with our Brother Club from Hervey Bay so it was time to travel to a mid point and meet them for a Barbie.

We went to the park on the esplanade at Woodgate.

We only had 6 members attend and were well and truly outnumbered by HBARC.

Thanks to Keith VK4KDS & Judy for the photos

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VK4ION & VK4FCCW enjoying the sunshine

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The weather was glorious for a winter's day )

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VK4KDS and Judy made the trip

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It was time for our sausage Sizzle

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The BBQ facilities are first-rate at the Woodgate park (thanks to the Council

 

 

HELIUM BALLOON PROJECT - A SUCCESS STORY

Sunday 3rd July and the launch from the Roma area - a successful launch and recovery.

Members who made the journey out to Roma for the launch

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And some photos lifted from the onboard video camera - yes, that's SPACE folks.

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And a view looking back to earth, after the balloon burst.

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The payload was tumbling before the parachute opened and the temperature was minus 50 Celsius.

We have a new webpage dedicated to this project

 

 

 

WORKSHOP - MAKING TRAPS

What a great workshop!

Members made coax traps for use on HF antennas and everyone went home with a pair... tested and complete

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Thanks to Ross VK4JRO for the work in setting up and running the workshop and to everyone who attended.


And thanks to Dan VK4OH for the photos

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May... its was time for WICEN to go bush

 

In May each year the Curtis Coast Trail Riders club hosts a Motorcycle event at Clarkeys near Lowmead.

Anyone who knows that terrain can appreciate that the club's CB radios wont work over the 38km track through the bush so they call on us to come up and provide the comms.... and we love it.

That's Darrall operating the Base station.

base

 

For the full story and photos visit our WICEN NEWS page.

 

April trip to Mt Goonaneman

 

It was time to trim the lawn and install some new equipment and climb the tower for inspection and repairs.

That's Darrall and Brett nearing the top of the tower.

tower

 

Our team was lucky enough to get a tour of the Broadcast Australia facilities.

wbee

 

Mt Goonaneman Official Commissioning of Upgrades

 

On Sunday 21st June we travelled up to Mt Goonaneman to officially commission the upgrades that have taken place over the past 2 years.

We were fortunate to have the Honorable Stephen Bennett, Member for Burnett, and Councillor Lynne Forgan and Gil Forgan, make the trip with us to officially turn on the repeater and inspect the upgrades.

 

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Cr. Lynne Forgan, Hon. Stephen Bennett & President Ross Orpin inspect equipment in the repeater shack at the Official Commissioning of Upgrades in June 2015

 

Funds from a Queensland Government, Gambling Community Benefit Fund financed the replacement of 30 year-old equipment with modern Repeaters, Controllers and ancillary equipment to see us into the future.

President Ross Orpin VK4JRO thanked the Queensland Government for the grant and explained the workings of our flagship repeater site. Stephen was awed by the panoramic Woowoonga National Park and was a quick study in understanding what the Club and our WICEN group had accomplished.

Stephen made mention of how our Club had put Grant funds to such good community use and Lynne acknowledged WICEN's role in Council's Disaster Coordination plans.

Stephen then used the appropriate DTMF tones to officially switch on the VK4RBU Repeater Site.

 

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Speeches are important but then again... it's important to have a laugh and enjoy the day!

 

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It was a brisk 10.5 Celsius on the mountain this morning so we were all rugged up against the chill but the breathtaking views made the morning trek well worth the visit.


Lynne Forgan and Ross Orpin VK4JRO (left). Joe VK4FDJB and Dan VK4OH emerge from the rainforest into a shaft of sunlight. (right)

Photos courtesy VK4FTWO & VK4OH

 

 

 

15MtG_jun6 15MtG_jun7 15MtG_jun8

 

 

 

*5&9

5&9 was the BARC Newsletter when the club formed in 1961.
Re-introduced as a mail-out in the mid 1970's and we proudly display it again in the 2010's to commemorate our past.

Links to Previous News Items

Do you know any deserving young hams? Details of a give-away by a U.S. company is at:  http://www.amateurradiosupplies.com/youth-s/222.htm

Link to WICEN Exercise Contact2012 in June 2012, testing radio comms between Bundaberg and Gayndah - What a success! WICEN Contact2012

Hepburn Charts: This is a link to William Hepburn's Worldwide Tropospheric Ducting Forecasts.

Follow the first commercial venture into space www.spacex.com

50th Anniversary celebrations 2011. This Anniversary link has photos and stories of this great club milestone.

Buxton BBQ with Hervey Bay club in 2011. Some photos of the day.

You'll find information about Bundaberg WICEN at this link and also current WICEN news here

APRS gateway is beaconing from VK4BW and it uploads data to the international aprs site http://aprs.fi (yes, that's Finland!)

Archive of old club photos in 3 areas. Years 1961-1999 here. Then years 2000 to 2009 here and finally 2010 onwards at this link. Enjoy the walk down memory lane.

What if your Amateur Radio gear was stolen? This site TheRigRegister is a place to record you gear and check on stolen items (hopefully before you purchase??)

A map to find your callsign location from Krump Spench RF maps

August 2010 BARC had an exhibit at the Lifestyle Expo

VK4ION SOLAR PVI electricity generation project

July 2010 saw a BBQ for members of HBARC & BARC at Buxton

2010 our most senior member VK4APQ Keith Haverfield is SK

Official Opening VK4RBW Mt Watalgan repeater May 2010 along with President Rusty McGrath's opening address.

VK4ION Bigpond NextG Wireless Internet Yagi project at NextG Wireless Yagi

The 1964 Deltahet Project by Arch Lewis (SK) story and photos

Rusty McGrath - 2010 Senior Citizen of the Year Award

Check out the new APRS Links page and get into APRS

ARCOM Controllers USA for Repeater Controller solutions

What's happening with SUNSPOTS? spaceweather.com.

VK3UM RF Safety Calculator software available for download

VK4JRO Television Interference article TVI Quarter Wave Stub Filter

VK4SR - Overcharging Gel Batteries Myths about gel batteries.

APRS installed on Mt Goonaneman VK4RBG-3 follow www.aprs.fi .

International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend 2009 Club station event

Bundy Youth Electronics Group: BYEG Basic electronics students

BARC V's Hervey Bay!!! Read all about it at this Buxton BBQ link

Sunspot story from NASA explains what our sun is up to this cycle

Workshop - 10 happy hams make Fox Hunt Yagi's

2009 RADAR Visit - we partied with the Rockhamption members

VK4UD and Wireless - an article written by VK4UD

 

 

If you wish to contact the club please email:

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If you notice any errors on this page please email:

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