Installation of Club’s new 2 metre Yagi.

On Monday 5th. November The Club held a working Bee at the Clubrooms.

Colin, VK5DK, had made arrangements for Blue Lake Cranes to come along and help us to swap the old and dilapidated 2 metre antenna for the brand new one built by Ian, VK3DNQ and modified by Trevor, VK5NC.

With plenty of willing helpers the exercise went well, (after a few minor hiccups) and the new antenna is now ready to use.

Here are a few shots taken of the event by Club Treasurer Andrew, VK5VKC.

2018 Jamboree Of The Air

Let the Hunt begin

        

The South East Radio Group supported the local Scouts and for the first time in a very long time the Girl Guides in a combined event. Andrew VK5KET, Tim, VK5AV, and Col, VK5HCF, met at the S.E.R.G. Clubrooms to hide the transmitters and setup the receivers, also known as sniffers. The Scouts and Guides were doing J.O.T.I. at the scout hall and from there they were going to do the fox hunt.

Scouts, Cubs and Guides paired off to find a hidden transmitter. Once found they were to return and get another one to hunt. To make it even more confusing they were not all hunting the same transmitter at the same time. To prove they had found the transmitter they had to report back the numbers.

Some pairs were quicker than others, however once they found the first one, they were all eager and keen to find the next one. Overall 9 pairs were fox hunting for the afternoon. Everyone found at least 2 transmitters.

At the end of the event we were asked into the hall where a senior scout thanked us for putting on the foxhunt. Koala asked the troop if they wanted us to return next year and it was a very loud yes from the kids.

Special thanks to Tim, VK5AV, and Col, VK5HCF, for giving up their afternoon to help put on the activity.

73

Andrew

VK5KET

 

Working Bee Willalooka

After meeting President Peter at Penola on Friday 12/10/18 at 8:00AM to collect the antenna analyser and climbing harness, we refused to have him in the car as he appeared to be near death with the flu. We sent him home to bed.

Our working bee  began in earnest at Naracoorte to remove the backup antenna from the tower at VK5RNC. Tom VK5NFT climbed while John VK5DJ manoeurved the ropes and avoided a nose bleed caused by climbing higher than 1 metre.

Once at Willalooka we were joined by Alan VK5ZLT with his recently (that morning) finished 2* 5/8. A quick test with the club’s antenna analyser showed a nice broad banded response with SWR less than 1.2VSWR across more than 5MHz and relatively low reactance across the same spread.

So with the aid of his ladder Alan ascended to a lofty height of 6 metres to temporarily attach the antenna. The antenna replacement was necessary as we currently have intermittent problems with the main antenna losing signal strength at a distance and mixing interference from an AM station near Horsham. We suspect a poor connection at the antenna or damaged coax. The working bee was held to establish a test if the main antenna/coax is the cause of the problem.

Unfortunately an interference problem at one site has an effect on the whole four linked repeaters. We now need to monitor for a few weeks before tackling the next step.

Results as Tom and John travelled south indicate we haven’t lost much (if any) range as a result of the low antenna, although toward Kingston it may well be shaded by the tower.

Tom and Alan examine the new antenna
Alan VK5ZLT works on the installation

What’s next? Once we know where the problem lies we’ll get a tower climber to replace the old antenna and install better coax than the existing RG213.

Balloon chase. Thursday 11th. October 2018.

Greg, VK5ZGY, and Gabi salvaging the balloon

Gabi, Greg, VK5ZGY, and I looked at the prediction for the weather sonde for 11/10/18 and decided that it would be an easy one to recover.

On the morning of Thursday the 11th Gabi, Greg and I jumped in the car armed with smart phones and an ipad with the idea of tracking the weather sonde for the morning.

We had a few issues on both the ipad and the phone with the website not loading the data for our local sonde. A quick trip home later to collect the laptop ensued. The problem was quickly sorted with Tom, VK5EE advising us to clear out the search bar and press enter.

This resulted in Greg getting the ipad working as well.

Because we were only tracking the sonde via the webpage we had to be sure that the receiving stations, (VK5KET and VK5TA), could always hear the sonde and that we had 3G coverage.

 

The Sonde finished up landing in an open grassy paddock in the Burrungule area. It was a very easy recovery of the sonde as we had a visual from 3000mts. We were able to watch the sonde land in a clear paddock just 50 metres from the car. (using the binoculars of course).

It was amazing how easily we could see the sonde from such a high altitude. We had to drive around the block, (a very big block at that), to gain access to the farm house to ask permission to enter the paddock. The owners granted permission without fuss. A quick walk and we found the sonde and proceeded to pack it up.

This is just the second sonde I have collected and the first for Gabi and Greg. It was interesting morning and hope to collect more as time and weather permits.

Charles. VK5HD

2018 A.R.B. PINES ENDURO

 

This year with 4 new Pines Enduro volunteers we thought we would make it a little easier for the newbies to find their positions. So late Saturday arvo I headed out to the 4 checkpoints, and marked each one with a sign and wooden dropper. Sheryl also escorted 2 of them right to their positions, after handing them their safety gear, and getting them to sign on.

The day ran really smoothly. The only exception was a Buggy accident, where 2 ambulances had to attend. As a result of race cars stopping to render assistance, or stopping to relay information at checkpoints, this time was taken off their lap times. We were able to give race control the order as the cars went past checkpoints before and after, so race stoppage time was easily worked out. Just an example of the many reasons we are needed out there for this type of event.

We managed to squeeze in a tiny bit of time to check out the video footage. From what we saw it was a fantastic effort, congratulations to all involved. Well done!!

With the early race start of 8am, we managed to be packed up and on the road home before 3pm.

A big thank you to the Naracoorte Radio Group – Ross, VK3KBO, Allan, VK5ZLT, Darren, VK5HBL,   and Phil, VK5PCL, for putting their hands up and helping out for the day. Hope we see you all back there next year!

Some stats for those who are interested.

2017 – 64 Started, 21 Finished = 33%, 3 Engine failures.

2018 – 51 Started, 27 Finished = 53%, 8 Engine failures.

Andrew, VK5FCLS, & Sheryl.”

Reidy Park Centre Open Day.

The Club’s video group met at the Clubrooms today to test and refine the equipment to be used in next weekend’s Pines Enduro video coverage.

After a bit of head scratching, falling over cables and the odd light-bulb moment all was working perfectly and the Group headed off for greener pastures.

 

The day was also host to the Reidy Park Centre Open Day although it was really all about the Orchid Society.

We had a few members of the Public come through our rooms but not much more than idle curiosity was shown.

At least we know all is good for the Pines Enduro.