WIA Politics… Again

In a “Night of the Long Knives” the esteemed and long serving Editor of “Amateur Radio”, Peter Freeman VK3PF, has been dismissed and replaced by an “Editor-in-chief” of the Committee’s choosing. I refer you to the WIA weekly news item. The reason given, quite frankly reeks:
“The apparent values of the editor of AR are not conducive with those of the WIA and the Board has decided that they were unable to continue to work together to meet the goals, objectives and aspirations of the Institute.”
More gobble-de-gook, bad grammar and all, from the Institute’s secretary. Perhaps he meant “compatible with those…”
Peter VK3PF’s heinous crime was to expect the WIA’s committee to honour an apparently long standing bilateral agreement on remuneration for his efforts. If there is a bilateral agreement, writen, spoken or handshake, IT IS NO LONGER AN HONORARIUM but payment for services! We shall probably never know the full story unless Peter gets a chance to tell his side. Was it an honorarium, decided unilaterally by the committee, or an agreement between the two parties.
Editing any publication is a time and resource intensive exercise. I know this because “I are one.” It can also be thankless, as Peter VK3PF now knows.

So it seems that the new guard are as bad as the old, and bean-counting trumps providing service to members. AR Magazine went from monthly to bi-monthly to save some money. Now the Highly Esteemed Editor has gone for the same reason. Would it not be easier just to scrap AR altogether? Or perhaps they have already thought of that?
My very humble opinion is that we are headed in the wrong direction. To reiterate from a post at the start of all this nonsense:
…It always troubles me when the bean counters get the reins. They seem to have a different mindset from the  proletariat.  A myopic view of “cut costs – cash flow positive” . Perhaps we need a salesman at the helm? An equally myopic “increase income” view of the world. At least we wouldn’t lose half of AR.”

Norm, vk3xci


WWFF and Board Comments


Well, I didn’t make this activation either. Still suffering from whatever bug it was I caught and truly just could not get the required enthusiasm. I’ve covered all of the Victorian National Parks in Mildura/ Mallee so no KRMNPA day trips available either. There’s a few WWFF possibilities both sides of the border but since all weekends up to Xmas are spoken for they would have to be quickies too!

Board Comment Dec. AR

As is my want, I carefully read Justin Giles-Clark’s Board comment in December AR. I watch in almost morbid fascination as leak after leak of our precious funds is revealed, even if I do have to “Google” every second word or phrase. Justin may be a great bean counter, a communicator he is not! It always troubles me when the bean counters get the reins. They seem to have a different mindset from the  proletariat.  A myopic view of “cut costs – cash flow positive” . Perhaps we need a salesman at the helm? An equally myopic “increase income” view of the world. At least we wouldn’t lose half of AR.

I must take Justin to task over the comment  “costs incurred … to react to the demands raised by a small group of agitator members”. For a starter, it’s not a small group. They had widespread support among the “thinking” membership, and that “thinking” membership finally dumped the Old Guard in favour of the  New.  How soon we forget



Sunday November 12th 2017.

It’s an old saying, but very true. Men make plans while The Gods laugh. Friday  I was all set up, packed and ready to spend the weekend in Murray-Sunset National Park. Felt a little doughy going to bed Friday night, awoke Saturday morning with a headache, temperature, sore throat, and harsh cough. Put a stop to festivities right there!  I couldn’t even  give out reports as all the gear was packed in the car and anyway, the high QRM around here makes it almost impossible to work the lower HF bands.

Today I feel a little better, temperature gone, headache gone, no sore throat, just a runny nose and general malaise. I had thought to do a quicky activation but one step outside dissuaded me. Too damned hot, the way I feel.  Oh well. There’s always the WWFF activation on 25th and 26th of this month. Don’t even think I’ll unpack. I’ll try Hattah-Kulkyne this time, I can take the ‘van and be a little more comfortable.

Which brings me to another point. Why is it so damned expensive to camp overnight in OUR National Parks with the most basic facilities? On a recent “half lap” my XYL Bernadette and I stayed at “Fardooley’s Bush Camp” outside Rockhampton. Twelve dollars a night for a grassed site, water but no power, flush toilets, hot showers, a camp kitchen, firewood, fireplaces, friendly hosts and a “Happy hour” each evening, and this is a commercial venture.

Contrast this with Hattah-Kulkyne. Somewhere around $30 for non-flush toilets, fireplaces and picnic tables on a dry, dusty site. Same again for Wyperfeld NP. It’s almost as if they don’t really want us there.

Just saying.

Of Words and Pings

Of Words.

Just read and re-read “Board comment” by Justin Giles-Clark in the latest AR magazine. As erudite as I am, I had trouble deciphering some of the “management tribal speak”. Phrases such as “…provides an opportunity to transition the content in the magazine”, and “…addressing single point sensitivity” or “… inform actions going forward,” make little sense to the average Ham.

I might say that an email to the Editor was quickly answered and resulted in an explanatory  e-mail from Justin almost immediately. Thank you both for your courtesy, there is too little of it these days. However, the use of tribal-speak (remember “pig Latin?”) raises suspicion in lay minds; things like “What is this bloke trying to put over me”, or “he’s got to be hiding something”. In fact the opposite is true and our new Board is trying to be as transparent as possible.

So people, how about you eschew obfuscation and espouse elucidation, such will assuredly promote transparency and engender certitude among the members.

Of Pings

Well, the weekends attempts at 2M meteor scatter was a bust. This happens when you try to do too much at once. I put my refurbished 2 meter beam up on an existing “hockey stick” mount replacing an old TV antenna. Didn’t have time to set up a rotator so I pointed it east towards Sydney. Two mistakes right there. First up. looking at the map on http://www.vklogger.com/ it would appear that there is very little action there. Unfortunately there is a roof peak and huge gum tree to the north and there’s no way I can point at Brisbane. I did point to Tassie… which also happens to point straight into the back of my neighbor’s TV antenna. He was very polite! I did manage to decode a callsign from Rex VK7MO, who coincidentally was my 1st ever MS contact back in December 2002 as VK 2 XCI.

No time to follow that up at the moment, I’m busy getting set up for the KRMNPA weekend so there’ll be a short hiatus.

First blog post

This is the first of what I hope will be a weekly post on Ham Radio happenings, both technical and political. Yes, I do find the political machinations interesting, I’ve been involved since around 1990.

My primary interest is the technical side, particularly home brewing (of both persuasions.) Originally an avid VHFer, I’m finding a growing interest in portable HF operations since moving to Mildura. There aren’t that many hills for portable VHF operation, tho I do a lot of WICEN VHF/UHF portable. In fact I have a permanent “grab and go” kit, thanks to the kindness of Peter VK3JUG.

So this week, as well as preparing for the Keith Roget Memorial National Park activation, I’m having a fiddle with an old friend… 2M meteor scatter. Since the cold wind from yesterday has abated, it’s onto the roof to put the beam up