Rally report -August

Over the week-end of August 15/16th, SEAC hosted the 1st Round of the SA Rally Championship in and around the forests near SEAC Park, just west of Mount Gambier. Again, SERG received a request to provide all the communications to enable safe management of the event.

Sunday was a long day, with many arriving at their points at 7am, and not leaving until nearly 5pm. It was a huge dedicated commitment by all from SERG, where a large team was deployed to man every start & finish stage control, plus an intermediate point of each stage. Our members were able to quickly report the whereabouts of all cars, plus report back to the scoring team at Race Control all of the competitors Stage start & finish times to enable rapid compilation of results. Some points were even delegated the task of reporting any car making contact with a barrier which was then applied as a penalty to the drivers score.

All messages were relayed over our 2m repeater nearby on The Bluff which provided excellent radio coverage over the entire area of the event.  Radio traffic was constant & relentless, yet our repeater performed faultlessly.

I would like to thank the following SERG members for an outstanding job.

  • Tom VK5EE
  • Colin VK5DK
  • Tim VK5AV
  • Norbert VK5MQ
  • Owen VK5HOS
  • Greg VK5ZGY & Gabi
  • Hans VK5PHS
  • Phil VK5PCL
  • Phil VK5BVC
  • Andrew VK5VKC
  • Deanna VK5FDCS

Your contribution made my sometimes difficult job in Race Control so much easier.

Peter VK5BE

Rally Coordinator

Phil VK5BVC knows how to make a long day comfortable
Who needs a road

New power supply tray

On Sunday 10/8/20 Peter VK5BE installed the new power supply tray for VK5RMG. As always, a really professional looking job. The VK5RMG/VK5ROH gear is something for our club to feel really proud about.

The setup at The Bluff. Left cabinet from bottom. Cavities for 2M, PRF1520 2M repeater, Main controller and VK5RNC link, Sub controller and links to Mt Benson and Mt Eckersley, three uhf cavities for links
Right cabinet from bottom. 2M system backup battery, UHF filter in RX, PRF1520 UHF repeater, power supply for two metres, battery charger controller for UHF and power supply UHF, DC switching panel
Close up of new power supply panel/tray and VK5ROH

Club Awards 2020


Roy Goodwin Award

This is awarded annually to a Foundation Licence holder who has made a significant contribution to SERG, and this year it goes to Kate, VK5FKLY, for her outstanding work in recent years for the video switching at the Lakes Hillclimb.

Kate works quietly behind the scenes, rarely seen or heard, but does such an awesome job presenting the camera pictures on the TV screens that we all take for granted.

Congratulations Kate

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President’s Shield

This is awarded annually by the SERG President to anyone that has made a significant contribution to SERG. This year, in recognition of the great work behind the scenes throughout the year, the award goes to our Welfare Officer, David VK5HDW.

Each month, David has made countless phone calls to our members ensuring they are not forgotten when they are unable to attend meetings or if feeling less than 100%. His very detailed monthly reports are always well received and most appreciated.

Congratulations, David, on being awarded the President’s Shield for 2020.

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SERG helps out at Border Crossing


Today, July 24th, SERG received a request from our state’s emergency services for logistical support.  The request was to assist with improving the phone and data service at the Princes Highway road block at GLENBURNIE, on the SA/Vic border.  A recent announcement that SA residents may soon be refused entry back into SA, phone and data is a valuable asset to emergency services at the site. The location, unfortunately, has unreliable or little phone and data service due to being nestled amongst a pine forest.  SERG has an emergency communications trailer, which is fitted with a large pump up mast.

SERG members, Andrew VK5MAS, Tim VK5AV, and Peter VK5BE quickly mobilised the SERG Comms trailer to the road block location.  They set up a portable phone cell utilising a temporary antenna attached to the top of the trailer mounted pump up mast. It is all powered from the battery & mains charger in the trailer and provides a no-break cell for all the workers on site at the road block.

The emergency service workers at the road block were extremely thankful for the logistical support from SERG, as they can now do their border task more effectively.

Princes’ Highway border crossing with comms trailer in background
The trailer in action
The SERG Team: President Peter (VK5BE), Andrew (VK5MAS), Tim (VK5AV)

WIA President’s Commendation

Congratulations to Tony VK5ZAI on receiving the President’s Commendation Award at this year’s WIA AGM.

It was for his excellent contribution to Amateur Radio through his involvement in the ARISS Program. The members of SERG are proud to have Tony as one of our members and join with the President of the WIA in congratulating Tony.

Bluff repeater now ready for Portland

On Sunday 5 July 2020 The Bluff repeater was upgraded with an improved power distribution system and the link to Mt Eckersley near Heywood was installed.

The working bee was attended by Norbert VK5MQ (the new power distribution system), Peter VK5BE (temporary antenna and spanner operator) and John VK5DJ (installation of the new link system).

A temporary antenna on 449.875MHz was installed on a fence post but it is anticipated that the yagi will be installed in a week or two about half way up the Gambier Electronics tower. Testing through 449.875MHz simplex is invited. If you operate on the simplex frequency you’ll be heard on the 2M repeater, Mt Benson, Naracoorte and Willalooka. You’ll be able to hear the action come back on 449.875MHz.

A big thanks to Brian VK5VI who did the TAIT chassis build and preparation of the transmitters and his help with the design of the sub controller.

The Mt Eckersley end is held up by weather and general conditions at the Heywood end. The hill is quite steep and wet so work is restricted to preparing the hut. Spring will bring better weather and drier hillside for the move to the top of the hill, construction of a fence and installation of the tower.

From top: UHF cavities for the three links, next the links to Mt Eckersley and Mt Benson with the sub controller in between, below this is the main controller and Naracoorte links, then the PRF1520 2M repeater and finally the 6 cavities for the repeater.

The second cabinet has the new power distribution system at the top and the battery at the bottom. The 70cm repeater is temporarily moved to the VK5DJ shack for new wiring and controller.

President Peter VK5BE and Norbert VK5MQ relax after a hard day’s working bee.

Tony Hutchison AM

Congratulations to Tony VK5ZAI on his becoming a Member of the Order of Australia. His AM was announced today on the list of  Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients.

Tony is recognised for his twenty year involvement with ARISS and NASA. In this time he has done much to promote Amateur Radio to many young people who had their first experience with Amateur Radio during his many, many school ARISS contacts to the Space Station.

All of this happened at significant cost to Tony and Jill, but that was never a factor in his dedication. Jill was always there alongside Tony and I’m sure Tony would credit  much to her support.

Tony has always represented our hobby in a professional manner and no doubt has prompted young people to further careers in electronics and communication and maybe even an upcoming astronaut or two.

Well done Tony, our club salutes you.

Re-arranged controller for VK5ROH

I’ve used the old Naracoorte Mk1 controller and installed it on a face plate to be used for VK5ROH. It will make it easier to see what is going on in future. One day Peter and I will install it at The Bluff. It may require some re-wiring of the plug but at least it will be ready for the IRLP/Echolink when we get our WIFI connection from the clubrooms.


Waiting for labels and the cover

UHF repeater relocated

Peter VK5BE, Andrew VK5VKC, Colin VK5DK and Leith VK5FLAR installed the UHF repeater (439.825/434.825) at The Bluff on Sunday 24/5/20. The unit is now running off mains power.

The antennas are temporarily placed at this time until tower issues are resolved. In the meantime there are much improved signals, especially to the NW. Well done fellas. There was quite a lot of activity testing the repeater this afternoon. Not as good in Mt Gambier as expected – it’s a long way away, but still usable mobile. David VK5HDW had usable signals mobile in Millicent.

2 metre repeater in left cabinet, 439 MHz repeater in right cabinet with 2M backup battery. The Portland link will require some re-arrangement to go in the left hand cabinet.
The workers (Leith, Col, Andrew), with Peter as photographer
UHF antenna in temporary position