Amateur Radio

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Bit of a yoyo coupla days in the radio space...

Earlier this week received the sad news that my old friend Robert Cazalet ZL1BNN has gone Silent Key (passed away). This was sad news indeed, as I was quite good friends with him (and also his son Raymond) through the Papakura Radio Club. A bit of googling tonight and I managed to find some email addresses, so have sent through my condolances. Definately sad news to hear - rest in peace my old mate.

On the upside, todays AREC training event in Upper Hutt was interesting. Well turned out (around 50 people) and material covered included Police SAR's perspective on emergency communications (and how Amateurs can - and do - help out) as well as some perspective on LandSAR (especially Wellington) and Civil Defence.

The AREC manual has been updated/replaced (the older edition released in 1997) and the new one looks pretty good at first glance. I'm yet to analyze whats missing/deliberately ommitted and decide if it's of value, though.

Still good to see some consolidation of AREC training material and some logic to its layout and delivery. I think part of what remains, though, is to ensure that individual AREC Sections maintain a level of 'competency' or at least some assurance that they are not 'incompetent'. One would think that meeting more than once a year would be a good start. ;-)

Beyond that it was a timely reminder that in order for volunteers to be of value in an emergency situation, they must first have their own house in order. That means, suitable equipment; power supplies and batteries; food and water; making sure their loved ones are sorted. Living in Wellington this is all stuff that is all too important, notwithstanding any other committments...

Have you got a survival kit?
Have you got a plan for when the Telecommunications networks (phone/fax/email) grind to a halt? (As they will...) [As soon as they are fixed, they'll overload.]

As reported at - Sir Angus Tait passed away this morning.

A true pioneer reflecting one of NZ's true business successes.
Especially significant to radio amateurs, as he was 'one of us' and of course his business is a key player in the commercial radio world.

Tait Electronics lives on, of course, but still, this is worth noting with some sadness and respect to a good man.

See also

'Stickybeak' scanning 2M Repeater frequencies picks up an emergency transmission and does the right thing.

Good on him. Another reason that Ham Radio is useful.

I was recently appointed the Webmaster of the Wellington VHF Group (Inc).

And here it is.. I used the latest Drupal - some of the new themes are pretty good - but I think it looks alright. One of these days i'll be able to customize the theme (its currently fairly default in a lot of respects) but theres a lot of very useful information on there, and that is, after all, the reason the site is there.

I'm kinda proud of it, anyway. :)

A Youtube video stolen from the NZART Infoline: - nice to see it spelt out clear as day....

Coincidentally, I also came across an article noting that the American Radio Relay League (The NZART equivalent in the USA) is raising a noise over their local BPL Pilots, especially in New York. Speaks volumes, really...

An interesting report: publication.

Wellington VHF Group report on the proposed General User Radio License for Amateur Radio.

The recently proposed version of the GURL is putting our very hobby at risk.
Amateurs must act now to prevent a future disaster.

Read on...

[Edit: Link updated. The source of the document is the Wellington VHF Group, Br 74 NZART. A copy can be found on their website,]

Why use a dish when a Wok will do?.

Sounds like something a ham radio operator would do...

Theres been a lot of debate - for months now - about NZART Administration and Callsign / Licensing issues, taking place on the NZART-provided 'AmateurRadio' mailing list.

It has (in my opinion) gotten to the point where much of the discussion is being instigated by a relatively small number of Amateurs, who obviously have very strong opinions on the matter.

Various other participants (myself included) have gotten frustrated with the ongoing nature of this discussion - but in the interests of fairness (and opinion gathering) i've set up a couple of Polls on the matter.

Firstly on the issue of the list itself - a little about its Moderation. Does it need Neutral Moderation?.

Secondly on the ZK series callsign debate specifically - Have we had enough of it?.

I can create further polls on the fly... but lets try this for starters. Please vote if you're an Amateur radio operator in particular, and most especially if you're aware of some or all of the subject matter. Obviously participants in the mailing list are the targets of these polls.

Note 1) If you can't vote due to a shared internet connection, contact me for a website login.

Note 2) Please choose the option in the poll that closest matches your position. I realise theres going to be some variation in peoples opinions, but can only put so many choices on the poll.


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