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2022 news stories

DEC - Maintenance Jobs to round out the year

The weather was taking its toll on the metal shed door and it was looking shabby.

David, Gail, Xavier and Liana decided to hit that door up with a good brushing and painting with metal paint.

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Job 2 - Erect some shelves and tidy up the shed

We had a donation of quality shelving from VK4ZGW in Brisbane and thanks to Michael VK4JAF, David VK4DN and Chris VK4CJF it was assembled and set in place.

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We now have extra space to house equipment and donations that we receive.
December closed out 2022 with preserving our assets so thanks VK4DN, VK4ION, VK4JAF, VK4CJF... our youngest club supporter Xavier, and Liana too, your efforts were greatly appreciated.

JUNE 2022 - Bunnings Sausage Sizzle

Club Fundraising Event

If you've followed club news you would know that we have some heavy expenditure from time to time and because we keep membership fees low, fundraising events can offset the rising costs.
There is nothing more Australian than a weekend sausage sizzle at Bunnings and now BARC has joined in that tradition.

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It was an early start and once we were setup we quickly had a steady flow of customers wanting their snags on bread.
The Bunnings 'hints & tips sheet' was pretty vague about 'usual quanities' and we thought we had ample supplies, but as the trade was brisk we ran out of everything and Marg had to make several trips to the shops to purchase more supplies.
We wanted to work with 2 shifts to spread the work load with VK4DAV, VK4WTZ, VK4DN, VK4WZ, VK4FCCW, Heinz & Tony on the early shift and with VK4JRO, VK4JAF (with Debbie) and Marg VK4FHAM on the later shift.

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Soldert a small LED kit

We sold our last snag a few minutes before closing so was a good finish to the day.
Thanks to all the volunteers who helped on the day and their family and friends who came along to support our club.

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BARC - hard at work selling Sausage Sangers

Bunnings have a great set-up of 3 gazebos which they give to the Clubs free of charge.
Everyone is happy with a good sausage sanger.
We simply can't thank our volunteers enough. Your support in this event ensures a stronger financial position for the club.



New Antenna and Battery Installation

Sunday May 29, Ross VK4JRO, David VK4DN, David VK4DAV (and XYL Natalie) together with Brady and Will from Luxfield Communications, ventured up the mountain to replace a lightning damaged antenna, and bring our 2Meter VK4RBU 146.800MHz repeater back to full strength.

Brady, getting his gear on

The Club has a great working relationship with Luxfield Communications who provided a replacement colinear antenna at cost-price and when we finally found a free Sunday for our members and Luxfield technicians the job could be undertaken with blue skies and little wind.
Rusty bolts!. The tower repair schedule included replacing some corroded bolts in the jointed-sections. Ross was able to source them and once the remedial work on the lower tower was complete, Brady could scale the full tower to install the new antenna.

Rusty bolts!. The tower repair schedule included replacing some corroded bolts in the jointed-sections
That's Brady heading to the top of the tower.
The ground crew fed the antenna to Brady at to top of the tower

Testing showed we had further problems! A transmission line had also taken internal damage from the lightning.
Ross has always ensured we had redundancy on the tower so he switched to some spare coax on the tower and "mission accomplished", we were back on air.

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New heavy-duty batteries were also installed during the visit, giving us 800AH of backup power

MAY - The WICEN team goes bush

Gets bogged..... Gets on Air.... Gets Rescued


WICEN members went up to Ubobo to provide comms for the trail ride weekend, near Ubobo in the Boyne Valley. This was our 7th year and we knew how to set up in the bush to assist the sweep riders.
What we didn't count on was so much rain! The full story of our dedicated team heading into the bush... getting caught behind rising creek waters, being bogged... and rescued... is at this link on WICEN NEWS

We used a portable station to call fo assistance
A lot of mud & 4WD Mule

APRIL - Workshop 'Flower Pot Men'

Flower Pot Antenna a simple antenna to inspire you.

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The April workshop was to construct the versitile Flower Pot Antenna, an easy to make vertical, costing about $10.
Members VK4DN, VK4JAF, VK4TTO, VK4KEL, VK4WZ, VK4WTZ, VK4UO, VK4WK and VK4JRO were in attendance.

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This antenna is simply a pvc tube, some coax cut to specific length, with the whole thing wrapped in shrink tube.
Six antennas were finished and resonant on 2Mtrs and 70cms with almost perfect SWR readings.


For newcomers to the hobby it was important to learn the tricks of careful measurement and the use of soldering irons to treat the heat shrink while securing the coax and shielding in place.
Thanks to those members who attended the workshop and assisted others, and incidentally we're not all flower pot men, the club has around 10% female members and they're 'flower pot men' too.

MARCH - Contesting in the "John Moyle"

We set up our portable station at Wyper Park

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The contest recognises the life, and dedication to Amateur Radio of John Moyle, and we worked 143 stations over the weekend, working every state in VK and even one ZL station, running on batteries and solar power.
Ross erected a 20/40/80 dipole between the trees and the SWR was almost 1:1 in the middle of the Band.


We weren't trying to win the competition - just to have some fun playing radio with friends and it was a great club event with plenty of people dropping by to say g'day.
Thanks to VK4DN VK4JRO VK4TTO VK4OH VK4JAF VK4WTZ & VK4KDS for your efforts.

The operators could enjoy David's home made curry

Serious Sleuthing on Mt Goonaneman

Troubleshooting intermittent fault at repeater site

Mount Goonaneman repeater site was experiencing mains power dropouts, sometimes lasting several hours so Ross, VK4JRO, David VK4DN, Keith VK4KDS and Dave VK4DAV travelled up the mountain on Saturday (March 12th) to investigate the "brownouts".

It was a process of elimination, check AC Voltage, and the fuse box, circuit by circuit. Everything checked out but quick switch off and then on again recreated the fault. It wasn't our equipment... it had to be an Ergon Energy problem and we could call them in.

Up the pole they went but it wasn't the fuse

It took 2 hours for the Ergon truck to reach our remote location and begin testing, checking pole fuses.. then the high-voltage transformer fuse assembly (11,000V). A close check resulted in a spark that shouldn't have been there. The cable was not making a solid connection and a new fuse assembly was installed to fix the problem. Ross double checked our gear and was satisfied all was fixed and it was time to come home. Thanks to those members who helped with this important maintenance job.

11,000v transformer fault found & fixed

New Members at the February Meeting

We welcome two new members

At the February General Meeting we welcomed two new members. Nicolas (VK4NIC) and Ron (VK4ADU). Nicolas has recently completed his Foundation training with the club and is now undertaking his Advanced study.
Ron was an Amateur many years ago and has reactivated his Advanced call and hopes to get into club activities with us.
A warm welcome to you both.

President Ross VK4JRO presents certificates to VK4NIC and VK4ADU and then it's hand sanitizer all round.

20220 Began with some Repairs

Let's get this party started - we head into 2022

The antenna array was holding up well at height, but the connection where it entered the building had come adrift in the high winds and needed to be repaired. Sincere thanks to President Ross VK4JRO and Secretary David VK4DN, for undertaking the work so that our shack remains in peak condition.

It's a long way to the top

Ross repaired the coax connections

Ross ran some HF tests to be sure the antenna was performing correctly

The old equipment you see in front of Ross is used for training students. Our trainees learn to make manual adjustments and understand how things actually work, rather than flicking a switch on the newer Yaesu and Icom transceivers.
Now that the HF array was tuned, the club's Foundation Training courses could continue.

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