The VK6 Portable Field Day in 2011 was a great success and rumours of another one being organised are true. Thanks to the encouragement and support of Allen VK6FLUX we're going to Yarloop in April. On the weekend of Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14th of April we'll be setting up camp so we can play with radios. It's going to be a show and tell, so bring your adventures, your bits, things you'd like to test and all the stuff you'll need to camp and eat and we'll have a radio party.
If you're coming, please fill in this form and we'll be in touch with navigation details and other information.
Echolink and IRLP are working well and we're getting more and more people coming on-air to say hello. If you feel inclined, feel free to join in the fun. We're here to welcome new and returning Hams, and it's not exclusive to Foundation Licensees, so tune in and key your mike - we'd love to say Hello.
Over the next fortnight while I'm away, F-troop is going to be hosted by a guest host. Thanks to Kevin VK5FKWE for stepping up and having a go. If you'd like to host F-troop, get in touch.
On Saturday we also had our 400th call and welcomed three new stations on-air. Allan VK6FAST and Carl VK6FQRP both made their first ever on-air call to F-troop. Dave VK6FDAV checked in and made his second on-air call. To all of you, welcome to the hobby of Amateur Radio. I hope you have lots of fun and that you will make many more contacts.
Onno - VK6FLAB
F-troop runs for about an hour every Saturday morning at 08:00 WST, or midnight UTC and as of two weeks ago you don't need to be in range of the VK6RAP repeater in Roleystone in Western Australia to participate. Thanks to the work of Ronald VK6XS and the conference run by Tony VK3JED, we now can announce that F-troop is also available via Echolink and IRLP.
To participate, you need to either connect your local repeater to the 9558 IRLP node, or connect to the *VK3JED* Echolink conference.
Every Saturday morning at the same time as we hold F-Troop, there is another Net on air. It's called the Friday Night Technical Net and it has been running for 538 weeks. Next week, edition 539, its host Reg VK6BQQ and F-Troop are going to experiment with introducing F-calls into this net.
We'll host the normal F-Troop at 08:00 and at 08:30 we'll switch over to the Fremantle Repeater, VK6RFM on 146.950 where Reg will be hosting the Tech Net.
There will be people from all over the world on this Net and we'll be guests there. Reg knows we're coming and we'll fit right in. There are amateurs there, like yourself, who've had their license anywhere between "just recently" through to "before your mother was born", so you'll feel right at home.
Checking in is a little different from how we do it in F-Troop. Reg will call for check-ins and that's when you can respond. I'll be there too, so you won't be on your own.
So, all you need is a radio and you're good to go. If you have Echolink installed, you can alternatively join the VAN-IRLP conference node and participate that way. Don't be surprised if Reg calls on you before you call him, as Echolink connects are logged and visible to all participants.
73 - Onno VK6FLAB
During F-Troop this morning, Eddie VK6YA gave us a tip on IRLP node availability. The link provided is:
It's time to celebrate. We have cracked 60 contacts, lucky 60th call-sign was Reg, VK6BQQ, who runs the Friday Night Technical Net each week. He's been running that for well over 500 weeks, that's 10 years - some way to go before we have F-troop on that scale - Hi Hi.
If you'd like to check in next week feel free to tune to 146.700 MHz, VK6RAP and join in.
Every week since June there has been a local 'net that is open to all callers, but specifically intended for new-comers to Amateur Radio. The 'net is called F-troop and it runs every Saturday from 8:00 to about 9:00 on the VK6RAP repeater.
Since our first F-troop, we've had contacts with 34 stations across the metropolitan area. The format is simple, relaxed and you're encouraged to join in and key your microphone.
Yesterday we talked about building antennas, how to check an SWR meter and dummy loads.
As the host of F-troop, I'd also like to thank those stations with more experience who take the time to join in and share the benefit of their experience - without you, F-troop would just be a kindergarten without any teachers.
So, feel free to listen in, better still, don't be shy, join in and participate. If you're unsure how to actually do that, the frequency for the VK6RAP repeater is 146.700 MHz FM and the input frequency is 146.100 MHz. If you've not set your shiny new transceiver up for repeater use, visit the Hills Amateur Radio Group web-site at harg.org.au and click on the F-troop link. If you're furiously scribbling, the frequency to listen on is 146.700 MHz in FM and the website is harg.org.au.
We've been running F-troop on the Tick-Hill repeater for about a month and the turn-out has been excellent! During that time some F-troopers have contacted me directly indicating that they'd like to participate as well and that they have trouble getting into the repeater. In addition, my QTH is now behind the hill I was previously living on-top-of, so a discussion was had and it was concluded that 8:00am on Saturday morning on the Rolystone repeater would be a suitable alternative.
As of 16 July at 8:00am (0:00 UTC), F-troop will be held on VK6RAP, 146.700 MHz FM with an input frequency of 146.100 MHz.
As fate would have it, I'll be in the middle of the VK6 Portable Field-day on the Harvey Estuary, so I won't be able to host the first F-troop at this new time and place, but Miles, VK6MAB has graciously offered to be the host.
If you're a Foundation license holder, or if you'd like to welcome Foundation licensees into Amateur Radio, please feel free to join in.
1-8 of 8