Drawing about 25,000 radio amateurs with 800 of them from overseas the 62nd annual three-day Hamvention, the world’s largest, has been another success.
The many exhibits of wares and services, multiple topics at forums and a flea market with second-hand and disposal items all at Hara Arena on 17-19 May 2013.
The Advances in Software Defined Radio forum showed an increasing interest. The Hamvention had exhibits of new SDR transceivers. These were the Ten-Tec Model 506 ‘Rebel’ QRP transceiver, and the Zeus-1 15 W SDR transceiver from SSB Electronics.
Also released was the ICOM IC7100 transceiver with a remote control head and touchscreen, antenna analysers and other new items from MFJ, and antenna products from NCG and Comet.
The ARRL had several exhibits and forums, including the W1AW 75th anniversary at which was sung ‘happy birthday’ by the ARRL crew.
There was DXCC card checking, Power Line Interference, and a speech on the ARRL Second Century Campaign presented by its President, Kay Craigie N3KN, who stressed the need for the organisation remain strong.
ARRL Chief Executive Officer Dave Sumner K1ZZ, talked about national and international regulatory issues, and discussed the threat to our allocation at 76 GHz, that needs vigorous defence for future microwave technologies.
The RSGB General Manager, Graham Coomber G0NBI gave a presentation on the ‘100 years of international cooperation’ to mark his IARU member society’s centenary.
AMSAT-NA had a model of the Fox-1 satellite that is due for launch in November 2014.
The Hamvention included training from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications, emcomm vehicle display, amateur licence upgrading, live coverage including social media and a balloon launch.
With the digitisation of television comes a freeing up of the 6-metre band that originally had its first worldwide allocation to the amateur service at the 1927 conference in Washington DC.
With the arrival of television, the lower part of the band in some countries went to the broadcasting service. This occurred in January 1964 in Australia when 50 -52 MHz was taken away.
The 50 to 52 MHz allocation was to remain legally unavailable for 6-metre operators in Australia until July 1989.
Most International DX on 6-metres was in the sub-band, which remained unavailable in Australia until July 1989, when radio amateurs in South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and external areas were given access.
With the digitisation of television in Australia to be complete this year, pressure exists for the full return of the entire 6-metre band to all of Australia.
The existing Licence Condition Determination document from the ACMA restricts amateur stations in 50 to 52 MHz, to ensure no interference is caused to the reception of television channel 0 VHF transmissions.
The band 45 to 52 MHz is assigned primary to the broadcasting service, and secondary to radio amateurs which meant those in VK2, VK3, and VK4 were restricted in their operation.
The eastern states had reduced power and band access beyond 120 km from channel 0 transmitters and all are obliged not to cause interference with the broadcasts.
The Australian Government began a phased-in approach to digital television in 2007 which is due for completion in December 2013, and includes switching off analogue TV channel 0.
CQ magazine has included Michael Owen, the longtime president of the Wireless Institute of Australia and chairman of IARU Region 3, in its 2013 Hall of Fame inductees.
He passed away in September 2012 aged 75. His dedicated work since the 1960s has already been honoured by the WIA and the IARU.
The CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame honours those individuals who have made significant contributions to amateur radio.
Michael is among eight inducted who are Evelyn Garrison WS7A (SK) - amateur radio industry leader, Joel Kleinman N1BKE (SK) - former Managing Editor of QST magazine, Laurie Margolis G3UML/GPC3L - Longtime BBC correspondent and contributor to amateur radio magazines, Harry Rubinstein (ex-9EEV) (SK) - Inventor of the printed circuit, the slider potentiometer and the combination potentiometer/on-off switch, Walker Tompkins K6ATX - Journalist, author and historian, Joe Walsh WB6ACU - Rock music performer, William G. (Bill) Welsh W6DDB (SK) - CQ Novice Editor for 20 years.
The magazine has also announced its CQ DX Hall of Fame inductees as Vladimir Bykov UA4WHX/AC4LN, and Robert "Gary" Dixon K4MQG, while in the CQ Contest Hall of Fame it names Dale Green VE7SV and Charles "Chas" Fulp K3WW.
Ahead of the next World Radio Conference in 2015 the Israeli radio regulator is the latest to give permission for radio amateurs access to part of the 5MHz band.
This will be on a temporary basis on eight channels to General and Extra Class licence holders who apply and are accepted.
The Israel Amateur Radio Club goal is mainly to experiment for local short range emergency communication readiness, initially until March 2014.
The radio amateurs in Israel have communication networks used during times of crisis or emergency, and their professional knowledge and technical abilities are a valuable community asset.
The Federacion de Radioaficionados de Cuba has initiated an agenda item at the World Radio Conference in 2015 that the 5 MHz band be allocated to radio amateurs on a secondary basis.
The International Amateur Radio Union is working on the new propective allocation and gathering support at various regional meetings.
Some two dozen countries already allow some access for their radio amateurs to those frequencies.