VK2BV on the ISS

On 26 April, via technology managed by ARISS we participated in a contact with the ISS. It was a long signal chain that starts with a telebridge using a mobile phone link and PTT microphone that links to VK4KHZ (Shane) as a local moderator and ON4ISS (Jan) and then via RF to the ISS on 145.8 MHZ.

Our part was providing and environment and a local moderator VK2KZ Anthony Monger. There we some technical issues with a 6db variation in incoming and out going audio levels which produced a little sweating by the local operator in the room.

Following is the text of the ARISS Press Release:

ARISS News Release                                                                                                  No.   21-23

ARISS Contact Scheduled for Students at St Scholastica’s College, Glebe, New South Wales, Australia

April 22, 2021—Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact with astronauts. ARISS is the group that puts together special amateur radio contacts between students around the globe and crew members with ham radio licenses on the International Space Station (ISS).

This will be a telebridge contact via amateur radio and students will take turns asking their questions of Astronaut Victor Glover, amateur radio call sign KI5BKC. English is the language that will be used for this contact.  Both onsite and remote access will be provided to the student body at the time of the contact per Covid-19 guidelines. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHZ and may be heard by listeners that are within the ISS-footprint that also encompasses the ARISS radio telebridge station.

ARISS team member Jan Poppeliers, in Aartselaar, Belgium using radio call sign ON4ISS, will serve as the ARISS relay amateur radio station.

The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for April 26, 2021 at 6:34 pm AEST (Sydney), (8:34 UTC, 4:34 am EDT, 3:34 am CDT, 2:34 am MDT and 1:34 am PDT).

St Scholastica’s College (about 1000 students) is an Independent Catholic day and boarding secondary school for girls founded by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St. Benedict. St Scholastica’s College is located in Glebe, a suburb of western Sidney, Australia. The school offers courses in the fields of science and mathematics in their STEM curriculum. Students also have participated in the ACTURA space program in the U.S. with some students visiting NASA facilities through a program with University New South Wales.

As time allows, students will ask these questions:

1. How has being in the space station changed your beliefs and or perspectives of the universe?
2. What have you found out on the ISS that can’t be found out on Earth?
3. Has COVID-19 had an impact on life in the space station?
4. How do you keep in touch with your family when you are in space?
5. Do you ever feel existential terror from being in space and seeing how endless the universe is? / How do you deal with this?
6. I imagine your work, being so far away and of such a vast scale, would impact your mental health. Considering this, are there ways you work on your mental health onboard, and has your experience changed the way you think?
7. What was the hardest of the requirements for space travel for you to meet?
8. Do you believe that in the future, younger people will be able to go into space? 
9. What made or motivated you to want to become an astronaut?
10. Can you see the effect of climate change from space? And if so, what are the phenomena you have observed?
11. What would you say is the most important skill for astronauts to have and master?
12. If funding for space exploration became scarce, how would you convince the world that space exploration was worth the investment?
13. Do you believe that the tests and studies you perform will cause great change and progress in the way we live or view the world?
14. When first arriving into the space station how did you feel? And how do you feel now?             
15. Is there day and night in space?
16. Is NASA training similar to Roscosmos training? If so, how? What are the similarities/differences?
17. How long did you have to train and prepare to go into space and what was the training like?
18. Have you, personally, ever had to repair a part of the ISS due to damage caused by man-made space debris? And if so, what part of the spacecraft did you repair?
19. What is the best scientific advancement or discovery that the ISS has delivered to humanity?
20. Where does your waste (rubbish and sewerage) go?
21. Is the future of space travel likely to be in the hands of private companies like Space X or government agencies like NASA?
22. What impact do you think that the ISS has had on international cooperation?

Victor Glover – Expedition 63/64


Plans are afoot for the expedition to Tooraweenah this year after being frustrated by the COVID19 pandemic in 2020.

Notwithstanding change in public heath advise we are going. For the JMFD 2021 and we will compete in the 6hr All Modes Section. The start time will be decided by the competition manger to give us a chance at another category win.

Stand by for emails and other correspondence and put 19 – 21 March in the diary.  

If you have not been on the big field trip it is great fun!

New – 2 Letter Callsign – VK2YV

The club has been successful in gaining an additional 2 letter callsign. – VK2YV

It may be familiar to you.  It was Rob Bellamy’s (SK) call sign for a number of years. We were able to secure the callsign after a recommendation from the AMC when the call became available.

This additional call sign will enable us to operate from 2 locations as “the club” which will be useful for expeditions and away trips as well as competition. For example, it would be great to use for it the now annual trip to Tooraweenah as a commemoration of Rob. As well as maybe an additional anchor station for the ferry contest. Maybe at Circular Quay or even Manly.

We could also consider it for use during competition where the club might operate from say Robertson as well as another place.

To an extent we can make this up as we go along. Personally, I am incredibly pleased that we have been able to secure another 2 letter callsign, but more so because it was the callsign of our benefactor. 

Rob was one of a kind, a rare soul in these days of immediate gratitude and self-interest, he was a gentleman, a member of the bar, (ask any barrister, who will tell you it is an honourable pursuit, excepting for the following; the person on the bench, my learned colleague, and the defendant, unless of course you are appearing for the poor hard done by defendant)

We never saw Bellamy at the Bar it would add another dimension. Members of the bench say he was pretty-good; Had we need of a barrister we would hope for one with the integrity and skill of Robert Bellamy.

He was a commissioned officer in the RAAF, we can forgive him being a member of the junior service but apparently the Airforce uniform is prettier, and you get more girls! Also, the toys are better in the Airforce.

There is a pattern, he liked things involving costumes!

Rob lived life on the edge, the criteria, went something like this…

  • Will it be fun?
  • Will I learn something?
  • How close to the edge?
  • Do I get to play with clever stuff?
  • Does it have me understand the physical world more?

Lighthouse Day

Our club plans to activate Macquarie Light again this year for the International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend on Saturday August 22.

We’ll be setting up portable in the surrounding grounds with plenty of room for social distancing!

Active bands will be most likely 40M and 20M in CW and SSB, running on battery power.

Even if you can’t come and join us on the clifftops at Vaucluse, there will be plenty of lighthouse stations on air to make an interesting day’s listening.

WARS has been activating Macquarie – the first lighthouse in Australia – since 2003.

Ferry Contest–One more sleep…..

The WARS annual Ferry Contest is on tomorrow. This has meant a period of preparation which has included charging batteries, checking radios, updating programming, printing log sheets, packing backpacks, arranging water and snacks and may other similar tasks. For those new to the event you can inspect some useful hints regarding travel and what to bring in our On the Day section on our website (https://vk2bv.org/sydney-amateur-radio-ferry-contest-2019/ferry-contest-on-the-day/).

As of today (18:30) the following checks have been made:

  • There are no alerts on the public transport system for the Ferries. Service should be as usual.
  • The weather forecast predicts “18-24 degrees with a 40% chance of rain of 0-1 mm. Partly cloudy. Medium chance of showers, most likely in the morning and early afternoon. Winds southerly 20 to 30 km/h in the east, tending south to south westerly 15 to 25 km/h in the west”. It would be wise to pack a rain jacket as well as a means of battling excess ultra violet radiation.

Please check in to the WARS Club Station on the Paddington 2m repeater prior to the commencement of the contest for a chance to say hello and enter the draw for one of our fabulous prizes.

I look forward to seeing or hearing from you tomorrow.

Contest Manager

Ferry Contest Update

The Ferry Contest will soon be with us on Sunday 8th March 2020 for the fifth incarnation of this unique event.

For this year we have introduced a “wildcard” category of contacts where our “pop-up” station will be available throughout the day for contacts with famous seafarers that will score a bonus of 10 points per contact with a maximum of 6 contacts over the course of the competition. This is a great way to add to your score.

Further details will be available within the contest rules section prior to the contest start along with instructions of how to log the contact to claim the points.

We will be operating our check-in facility in the two hours prior to the contest with each contestant that checks in eligible in a draw for one of our fabulous kit prizes.

This is a fabulous way to “get out of the shack” and participate in amateur radio in a fun day on Sydney’s world renowned harbour.

Why not come along and join in? If not then consider turning on your radio and providing some contacts for those participating in the contest and submit a log for the landlubber certificate.

Watch our website and check the Sydney AR Ferry Contest Facebook page for further updates………

Ferry Contest 2020

Save the date! The date for the 5th edition of the Sydney Harbour Amateur Radio Ferry Contest is set for Sunday 8th March.

As usual the contest will operate between 10:00 and 16:00 local time. Further details will be published in the new year with the contest rules and procedures as well as other helpful information.

Why not plan this as an event for your club or Amateur Radio friends. You can either go hard for the awards or just cruise around for a day of fun on the harbour. We will have a club station operating at Rose Bay for contacts, eyeball contacts and general information.

More to follow…………

WARS Special Event: Wed 21st August 2019 7:30 pm

The Waverley Amateur Radio Society has great pleasure in hosting Kerrie Dougherty who will present:

The Dish was not the whole Story: Australia’s Role in the Apollo Lunar program

The Dish is a delightful Aussie film about Australia’s role in the Apollo 11 lunar landing. However, while it’s “based on a true story”, we have to remember that it is only a movie: its focus on the crucial role played by the Parkes Radio Telescope in bringing the live television broadcast of the Apollo 11 lunar landing to the world leaves untold the much larger role in the Apollo program played by space tracking facilities in Australia.

  • How did a lightning strike help to bring satellite communications to Australia?
  • How can an Australian experiment placed on the Moon during Apollo help with future lunar exploration?
  • How did the Parkes telescope contribute to NASA’s Deep Space Network?
  • How did Australia really bring the Apollo 11 landing to the world?

Join space historian Kerrie Dougherty as she delves into the larger story behind The Dish to find out the answers.

Kerrie Dougherty is an independent space historian, curator and educator, who was previously Curator of Space Technology at the Powerhouse Museum. She is the author of Australia in Space, a comprehensive history of Australian space activities, a lecturer in space humanities for the International Space University and an elected Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. Kerrie works part-time for the Australian Space Agency and has written several science fiction guidebooks as well as numerous articles on Australia’s space history.

Please join us at Club Rose Bay, Vickery Ave Rose Bay for this prestigious event. RSVP to secretary@vk2bv.org in order to assist us with organisation of the venue.

Parking is available at the adjacent council carpark.

Australia's oldest continuously licenced amateur radio club


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