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Tuesday
May192015

New Licence Issued

The other day I was notified by the ACMA that my new callsign/licence has been issued. So now I have both VK2 & VK3 callsigns.

Under my current ACMA customer number I have 4 licences.

Amateur Radio Licence, Standard - callsign VK2PNH (my main callsign)

Amateur Radio Licence, Standard - callsign VK3PNH

Amateur Radio 2 metre (VHF) Repeater - callsign VK2RBL

Scientific Licence - callsign AX2NXR 

It's funny as back in the 1980's when I first held my amateur licence I also held 4 radio licences. Back then you were meant to have a licence to use the CB bands so I used to hold both a 27MHz CB licence and a 477MHz CB licence. Plus I also held a scientific licence and a commercial VHF licence. How things always come back around to the beginning again :)

 

Wednesday
May062015

New Call Sign Granted

Today I received an email from the WIA saying I have been granted the call sign VK3PNH. I put in a request the other week for it as it wasn't taken when looking at their database for available call signs.

I decided to request the VK3 version of my call sign as a lot of people (friends) I've spoken to have mistakenly said my current one with the VK3 prefix. This happens because most of the people I speak to are in VK3 (Victoria) and forget that I'm a VK2 (NSW). So now it won't matter which one they say it will be correct :) and I won't have to correct them.

Yes I can hear some say WHY? Well there is a lot of people that have more than one call sign for all sorts of reasons and seeing my current VK2 call sign letters are available in VK3 and that I was born and breed a Victorian I felt it was the right thing to do. I wasn't born in NSW and seeing all my other important licences are Victorian why shouldn't I have my amateur licence the same. 

Anyhow it's now wait until the letter comes from the WIA and then it's send the paperwork into the ACMA and wait. I don't think I will make it in before the ACMA closes their licencing department for two weeks but it's not like there is a hurry as it's not like I can't be on air.

I have also gotten the domain name vk3pnh.com which like my current one, vk2pnh.com takes you directly to this website. Like I said the other week, it's time to show my new life and let go and move on from my old. My website was the last thing that needed changing and that's now completed :)

Wednesday
Apr292015

New Call Sign

After a long think about it I've decided to get my current call sign letter in VK3 (Victoria). Because I live so close to the border of NSW and Victoria and that most of my fellow amateurs up here seem to get me mixed up with VK3 I've decided to do something about it and have both VK2 and VK3 call signs. My current letters, PNH is available so I have requested the VK3 version. If I can't get those letters then I won't bother about it but currently they are available so why not.

Anyhow I have to see how quick the WIA is at issuing the letters so I can see if I can get it in before the shut down of the licensing area of the ACMA for a month. Worse case is I can't get it the call sign until June, which will be fine by me.

Sunday
Apr192015

Unwanted RF

Oh yes it's one thing you never want to have issues with in your station. I had a friend tell me I had a buzz/hum in my transmitted audio. So I had to find what was causing it and in the mean time I had another issue hit me, RF into my shack, it's one thing you never want. The problem was I had RF into my headphones, it wasn't getting into my TX audio but I could hear it and that was bad enough. After many hours and days trying to find where it was getting in and with help from friend I was able to fix it and have no more stray RF. All it took was a earth lead between my mast and house roof. It's amazing that a simple thing can make.

I also had a second issue, this was with my HF antenna. I had the HF (random wire) antenna runnign form the tuner which is mounted on my mast running to a gum tree and then to an almost "L" shape down to the backyard. I had a friend over the other weekend and we were looking at ways of putting up my G5RV antenna once I put my tower up and we noticed that the gum tree had a big crack in it. If the gum tree was to come down it would more likely also either bring down parts of my mast or damage the tuner to where it would be unusable. So the HF antenna had to come down. 

The antenna ended up going up the next day using another tree and a pole I had here for my tower. One good thing is with the move is the new mounting has now made it much easier to put up my G5RV without having to worry about the tower. I can now have the tower used only for the VHF yagi's. All I need to do is save up for an antenna tuner and I'll finely have a good HF antenna up. A big saving of about $440 for a good tuner that will last me for many years down the track.

One good thing it the moving of the HF antenna didn't bring back the stray RF into my shack so I'm very happy and people I've spoken to on air have all told me my signal has improved which is another good thing.

 

Friday
Mar202015

Station Update and Changes

I have been doing a lot of work on my station on the inside. I've finally got my new microphone & PTT switch built, tested and working. I've made new panels for the switching panel and test antenna panels on my radio cabinet and I've even made a bypass switch for the Tait radio so you can use it without going through the switching panel.

On this microphone switch I have built into it a bypass for the Cobra, 27MHz CB radio so it can be used without goign through the switch. I've now also done this with the Tait radio. The Icom radio must be used through the switch and can not be bypassed. I've built the bypass into the system just in case I need to use either radios at the same time. You just never know when I may have a second operator here and need to use two radios at the same time.

I'm still working on the 2 metre repeater for here. I'm waiting on the guys to come do a site look over just to see what's needed or what's not needed. We have the equipment and I have some equipment on the way to me for linking. So hopefully in the coming months it will be installed and on the air. You can be kept up to date on how things are going by going to the VK2RBL page.

I'm also looking at putting up a UHF CB repeater for here. I need to look at seeing if I can get hold of a complete repeater that can do the job. Just something I need to look into. Hopefully I can get one donated :)

On another note I have a tower laying on the ground at the moment waiting to be fixed before it goes up. I'm currently getting all the bits and pieces ready for it so it's ready to go once repaired. I'm getting two big 10 ro 14 element VHF yagi's to put up on the tower and I have plans to move my current dual band VHF/UHF vertical antenna which will be put at the top of the tower. The tower I have is a 16 metre, 2 stage wind up tower. I can't wait for the day it goes up :)