Amateur Radio

The Herald carries an article on this issue.. Good on em. The NSCC's proposed changes are rediculous, and make a mockery of the fact that Amateur Radio is a hobby at all, when it comes down to it. Not to mention long standing positive relationships between North Shore City Council's Civil Defence and the local branch.

I was one of the people to submit an objection to this, despite the fact i'm no longer a citizen - this could have far reaching impact if commonsense doesn't prevail.

Sad to note the passing of two 'character' Ham Radio types in Auckland over the last coupla weeks:

Eric ZL1UMX. I knew him through Papakura Radio club - the guy was notorious as a 'haggler' and trader of radio bits. He used to frustrate me a little, actually, as he didn't let go! But still, the club will miss his input, for-sure.

Irving ZL1MO. Got notice on this one just tonight, though I understand he has been unwell for a number of days. Irving was famous as the go-to man for info on Amateur Sattelites and used to delivery a weekly report on the Auckland VHF Group radio net, with latest news from the space as well as info on when and how sat's might be worked for people in the region.

A symptom of the aging community in Amateur Radio, I suppose - both of these gents were well over 70 - but sad nonetheless...

Had a chat with Simon ZL1SWW on the National System this afternoon.
He commented how he'd had a look at my site lately (wow, people read it!) so I googled him and eventually (skipping over page after page of APRS hits) found his QRZ site:

http://www.qsl.net/zl1sww/index.html

Its actually got some pretty damn cool stuff on it, if you're that way inclined.

So heres a free link, Simon. =)

Simon and I actually work in fairly similar industries so we have something to talk about in the geek-area. In the radio space, hes well out of my league - i'm barely able to assemble components, and he works with surface-mount! Mucho Respecto.

This is categorized Amateur Radio because its from that perspective that I write.

The Herald reports on how the US Plan:

"...proposed using very low frequency radio waves to flush particles from radiation "belts" above Earth and dump them into the upper atmosphere over either one or several days."

Thanks, USAF and DARPA.

"This deluge of dumped charged particles would temporarily change the ionosphere from a "mirror" that bounced high frequency radio waves around the planet to a "sponge" that soaked them up, Dr Craig Rodger of Otago University's physics department, said today."

Hmm. Bang goes Amateur Radio Services - among others.

Big eyebrows raised. Godsake, I hope they consider the cost-benefit ratio here. Theres more than just their sattelites up there / using that airspace!!

This was in the New Zealand Gazette, the NZ Governments official newspaper.

Radiocommunications Regulations (General User Radio Licence for Amateur Radio Operators)Notice 2006.

Interesting....

It basically puts into law exactly what has been in operation for the last ~3 years or so, and in practise looks pretty much the same as we've always had. The difference though is that it is a GURL, and to be covered by it you need to have passed the Amateur Radio Certificate of Competency - its now not referred to officially as a 'license'. *shrug*.

Very sad to hear about the passing of Dean Jackson, ZL1JJ.

Dean was in my form class for My Year 12 / Form 6 year at high school.
When I got my amateur license in Year 11, I made friends with Dean fairly quickly at that point (when I discovered he was also licensed). I actually met Dean through our mutual friend Ezekiel.

Dean did very well, given that he had been legally blind since birth. He used to commute via Taxi from Titirangi/Green Bay? to Manurewa High School because of the schools close ties to the Homai Blind College. Ezekiel was visually impaired, which is how it all tied together.

Dean ran a 'Young Amateurs Net' on the Amateur Radio National System, every tuesday at 1930hrs Local. I quickly got involved in this, usually via crossband links to start with (as I only owned VHF radio gear). This was the catalyst for the formation of YANZ by Dean, Myself, and the other net participants.

Anyway. This is the text of the notice posted to the AmateurRadio mailing list by Vaughan ZL1TGC, as originated by Jim ZL2BHF. Dean worked with Jim on aspects of the NZART Official Broadcast and Jim had always been a good friend to him as I recall.


It is with regret that I advise that Dean Jackson ZL1JJ became Silent Key at his home in Christchurch yesterday morning , Tuesday 11th of April. It is understood that his death was related to an epileptic seizure. Dean was just 26.

The funeral details for Dean ZL1JJ that will also be in tomorrows
newspapers are:

This Saturday 15th April at 11.30am at The Bible Chapel, 66-68 Lincoln
Road, Henderson, Auckland. (Note this Chapel is opposite the hospital in Lincoln Road).

Dean, i'm sorry we didn't keep in better contact over the last few years. I'm also sad we didn't get to clear the air properly after our last few conversations - which, ultimately, are insignificant. I had planned to look you up if/when I make it to Christchurch. However i'm sure you are now at peace.

73s my friend.

Mark ZL1VMF.

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/12/19/041205&from=rss

Short version is that a Ham Radio guy in the US with some knowledge of Satcom and Space Technology managed to pick up signals from the Mars Orbiter - some 45 Million Miles away. Pretty impressive stuff.

Through a Ham Radio forum i'm involved with I found out about http://www.warp-radio.com/. Tuned in for a while this evening and joined their chatroom. Interesting crowd!!! Must remember to get back in there, nice people and quite entertaining. Cheers guys. ;)
Now just to find some time... (and bandwidth to spare for streamed audio...!)

Unfortunately due to a security issue I had to pull http://yanz.nzart.org.nz offline. It was running Xoops, which whilst initially a fairly pretty UI, actually had some interesting limitations - annoying ones, actually. Also the upgrade path is fairly complex.

So we've moved to a new solution, with phpBB being the core. At least its a known quantity. :)

So check it out. A work in progress, of course, and aimed at Amateur Radio Operators and those interested.

Papakura Section AREC assisted the James Allan Rallysprint with Safety and results comms.

Dave ZL1DK and Jim ZL1AVR controlling two seperate channels (intended to be both Auckland AREC STSP's on 6825 and 6875, but due to interference, one channel was run simplex) with two stages running simultaneously, repeat times throughout the day.

Yours truly operating at the Start of Stage 2.
Initial confusion over the best method of getting the data back to HQ settled down after run number 1 and all was smooth.

Some photos [will be posted here later tonight].

Interestingly enough among the Marshalls at the Start of SS2 was Chris James, whos callsign I forget.... hes a licensed amateur and been involved with the Rally of NZ with me a couple of times.

Another successful event demonstrating the flexibility of Amateur Radio in conditions where other comms would have fallen over. (I didn't even have Cellphone Coverage for most of the day).

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