This is a new page, aimed at bringing you important or interesting developments in Ham Radio. New equipment, events, regulatory changes, etc etc.


Information has been received from the Australian Maritime College, that the database of publicly available call signs is now live and can be found at https://csdb.utas.edu.au/Callsign/SearchUnallocated.

Another QRP compact HF radio!

There has been a spate of new QRP radios coming on the market over the last few years, with the Elecraft KX2 and KX3, and the new Icom IC-705 at the top of the pile in terms of features. Now there is a new one, the Discovery TX-500, from 599Labs. We don’t know anything about this company, their website only showcases their new HF/6m compact SDR. It is supposed to be available in fall 2019, so presumably it is from the USA and will be available in our spring, ie soon. Price indications are around $700 USD.

Pic from the 599Labs website

ABC on-line news features Tony VK5ZAI and ARISS

A great article with lots of photos is featured prominently on the ABC online news site. It tells the story of Tony Hutchison, VK5ZAI and his long association with NASA and the ARISS program (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station).

Some SARC members may remember the ISS contact at Teven-Tintenbar public school, which took place in August 2006. This was a direct contact, with antennas set up outside the building. Former SARC member and VHF/UHF enthusiast Nick VK2ZTY was the ground station operator, and the ISS expedition 13 contact was Jeffrey Williams, KD5TVQ.

This was a very special experience for all those who were there, the air of expectation as the ISS came into range that evening was electric and people were buzzing afterwards!

Genuine Expedition 13 embroidered badge – collection of VK2ACD

Changes to Licence Conditions

Following the ACMA review, changes have now been made to Australian amateur licence conditions. The most notable changes are for the Foundation Licence, with digital modes and equipment construction now permitted. There have been no changes to power limits and the 3-tier licence structure remains. Details are on the ACMA website, however the info is probably more accessible via the WIA website.