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Australian Contest Scene

The Australian Contest Scene is dominated by the VK Contest Club - this club is unique... it was formed by Mirek VK6DXI, Nick VK2DX ,Mike VK4DX , Bernd VK2IA and Sergey VK2IMM.

The club runs as an informal yahoo group - there is no structure, no committee, no dues..but is organised along the lines of the socialist principles. When funds are needed an email is forwarded to all members and they are donated - there is no pressure to contribute - likewise when a project is needed, input from the group as a whole is sort and a steering committee is formed.
The VKCC welcomes members from anywhere but it is a very good way to contact Australian operators when you might like a chair at a VK station for a contest. The club has a website and sponsors several awards in VK.
The club is actively working towards increased power for VK operators and late in 2010 the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) put forward a proposal to the authorities to increase the CW power level from 120w to 500w and the SSB level from 400 to 1000w. This is being veiwed favourably and is thought it may be approved in the first half of 2011.
The club has also longed for shorter callsigns and in a similar manner to the power proposal a short callsign similar to the New Zealand model is being sought - this would see callsigns in the 2X1 format - Australia is not just VK - we also have AX, VH, VI, VJ, VL, VM, VN and VX however these alternatives are rarely heard on the ham bands.
It may seem odd for a national organisation but the licensing authorities (ACMA) in VK will not allocate a callsign for competitive advantage. This means for example that even the WIA cannot compete in the IARU Radiosport under a special callsign -

ACMA Rules for Special Event Callsigns

The use of a special event callsign is subject to certain rules imposed by ACMA. In addition, the WIA is bound by the Business Rules in respect of callsign pursuant to the Deed between it and ACMA. Those Business Rules repeat what is published by ACMA on its website in relation to special event callsigns, namely:

“Requests for special event callsigns will not be accepted for the purposes of:
• gaining an advantage in on-air competitions; or
• for use during Islands on the Air (IOTA) competitions, DX expeditions, or fox hunts and the like; or
• annual events.”

Local Contests
Australian Contests, due to the low numbers in VK most contests are very different to Europe or North America. Local contests usually allow multiple contacts during the contest - the most popular splits into three hour segments - so after three hours you can make a contact for the second time without dupe penalties and claim a second QSO -
The most popular are :
John Moyle,
is the principal field Day contest in Australia - it has activity from HF through to Microwave - most operators sepnd the evening portable and as it is usually in Early Autumn the weather tends to be very good. The Field Day will be held over the weekend of the 19 - 20 March, 2011 and run from 0100 UTC on Saturday till 0059 Sunday. The aim is to encourage and provide familiarisation with portable operation, and provide training for emergency situations. The rules are therefore designed to encourage field operation.
Remembrance Day
This contest commemorates the Amateurs who died during World War II and is designed to encourage friendly participation and help improve the operating skills of participants. It is held on the weekend closest to the 15th August, the date on which hostilities ceased in the southwest Pacific area.

It is preceded by a short opening address by a Guest Speaker transmitted on various WIA frequencies during the [rd 2010 will run for 30 ] minutes prior to the contest. During this ceremony, a roll call of amateurs who paid the supreme sacrifice during WWII is read.

A perpetual trophy is awarded annually to the Australian state or territory with the best performance. The name of the winning State or Territory is inscribed on the trophy, and that State or Territory then holds the trophy for 12 months. The winning State or Territory is also given a certificate, as are leading entrants.
Amateurs in each VK call area will endeavour to contact amateurs in other VK call areas, ZL and P29 on all bands except WARC bands. On 1.8, 28, and 50 MHz and above, entrants may also contact other amateurs in their own call area.
DX contests from VK
Oceania - The Oceania DX contest is Oceania's only international style contest where contacts with stations all over the globe are able to participate and enter a winning log. Oceania stations may contact any station for QSO points whilst non-oceania stations are required to contact any station in Oceania for QSO points.

Oceania Stations

The aim of the contest is for stations within the Oceania Region is to contact as many other amateur radio stations as possible within the 24 hours of the contest on any of the 160/80/40/20/15/10m amateur bands. Each prefix worked on each band is counted as a multiplier.

DX Stations outside Oceania

The aim of the contest for stations outside the Oceania Region is to contact as many amateur radio stations within Oceania as possible within the 24 hours of the contest on any of the 160/80/40/20/15/10m amateur bands. Each prefix worked on each band is counted as a multiplier.

There is a separate contest for both CW and phone, each running for 24 hours.

VK Shires-

ALL HF Bands available to Standard licencees - 80~10

Modes are SSB and CW and stations can be worked once on each mode.

ROVER stations as well as portable entries make up part of the character of the VK Shires as well as the timing to take place over an East Coast Long Weekend.(Queens Birthday) early June every year The objectives of this contest are for amateurs around the world to contact as many VK shires as possible in the contest period. around 700 mults per band
VK amateurs are to work the world including VK, whilst the rest of the world can only work VK.

Next week I will outline some of the VK Contest stations who will be active in the WPX and where to find them -

VK4KW has new 80M capability and will be in the DX window for those who need zone 30 on 80M

Photo up tower is me installing the 15M yagi at VK4KW

73 Trent VK4TI

VK4UC CQWW SSB 2010: The team - Scott VK4CZ, Tony VK3TZ, Oliver W6NV, John VK4UC (host), Trent VK4TI (team 'captain'), Bernd VK2IA.

VK4TI 15m Yagi VK4KW
VK4TI installing the 15M Yagi at VK4KW - an old Hy Gain that still works a treat, original balun has been replaced with Coax Choke

Andrew VK4HAM and Peter VK4LAT from St George western Queensland- the Antenna is a 2 element 40M made in Australia by Comantenna

Pechey Tower
Located North of Toowoomba is the location for John Moyle Field Day for VK4TI and team

John Moyle Field Day Contest

typical competitors setup for John Moyle Field Day

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