Bayside District Amateur Radio Society

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BDARS Soldering Practice Night – A Great Success!

On one of our regular social/technical club nights this month, Dave VK4ZF took a practical class on soldering techniques.

Dave provided us soldering irons, tools, cleaning materials and that most useful item of all – magnifying visors!

The practice board was a pre-drilled and tinned pcb, into which we were to install a neat row of ten or so resistors.




Dave then led the group of 12 enthusiastic club members through the important steps – cleaning, cleaning and cleaning….

And the right accessories – tip cleaning, iso-propyl alcohol, silicon soldering pad and the best cutters.

Dave also explained the right temperature and type of tip to use, along with best solder types for good results.



Armed with that knowledge, we set to work, cleaning boards and resistors, cutting to length and then soldering – ideally with a neat smooth, shiny dome of solder .

We all learnt a lot –  and I’m sure many of us have headed to eBay to stock up on those essentials.

A big thank you to Dave VK4ZF!



The VK4PK Whispering Pi

Glenn VK4PK has built and installed a Raspberry Pi powered (and controlled) WSPR transmitter for the 20 M band.

He gave BDARS members an excellent presentation at our November club meeting – covering the design, his construction and packaging, and his roof-mounted installation.

The background is covered in the attached pdf prepared by Glenn


The-VK4PK-Whispering-Pi-v1.5 comp

BDARS Members Help Scouting Movement – JOTA 2017

Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) 2017 was held at Mount Cotton on the Scout Association’s property Karingal, at Campsite ‘JOTA Ridge’ on October 21.  Our scribe, Glenn VK4PK was one of our team of volunteers and sent this report…..

Our JOTA 2017 started in the rain and finished in the rain. Everything was damp except our spirits.
Stephen VK4CJ arrived first and by the time the workers arrived at 8.00 am, had started setting up the temporary shack in his inimitable, professional style.

Tables were laid out, transceivers unpacked and positioned, antenna positions selected with precision and the mandatory earth stake driven into the ground and connected to anything with an earth lug. Stephen articulated with joy “hear that, the noise level has risen now we are earthed”.

Now, we workers were set to our tasks – Peter VK4YPB, and I untangled the antennas, and laid them out on the ground, while Victor VK4WST assembled his antenna-launching equipment.

Victor’s prowess with the bow and arrow has been perfected over years and is a delight to watch. He made it look so easy that Peter and I decided to have a go. After several failed attempts and the arrow and cord tangled in the branches, we handed over to Victor to complete the task of getting the fine bricklayer’s cord over the selected branch. We then hauled up the thicker and stronger ropes and tightened the antenna into a near horizontal position.



Around 10 am the scouts and guides started to appear. Steven called “CQ JOTA” on 40 meters and after making a contact moved to a working frequency. Our job was to coax the children to complete a successful QSO.

Bob VK4DXX arrived to help out and manned the 20 meter set. We could not stop the youngsters talking when they waited in excitement for their turn. But in front of the radio it was often down to one word at a time(!) We would suggest “Ask them how old they are”?
“How old are you?”, pause, “Over” and back would come “Ten”, an even longer pause and then “Over”. That was how the day went.

It was enjoyable watching how each of them handled the experience. Even in the five minutes each child had in front of the mic, their proficiency increased. They began to relax a little as the minutes ticked by. I am sure we all forget how we felt the first day we picked up the microphone. They however, will remember the day they talked on the radio for years to come.

There were the club chats in the kitchen area over tea and biscuits. Everyone had a story and I learnt more about my peers and the hobby.


At a final presentation we all received the traditional “B-R-A-V-O” and a JOTA 60th / JOTI 21st 2017 badge, which was all the reward we needed after seeing about one hundred young people have their first experience with amateur radio.

The day ended about 4:30pm, after many successful QSO’s on 40 meters and a couple on 20 meters. The day finished as it started only this time we were packing up antennas in the rain. We also managed to retrieve one of Victor’s arrows, which had got caught in a tree, with the pole from the disassembled dual band antenna.

Thank you Brad VK4FBJT, scout leader and club member, for co-ordinating the event and supplying generous morning and afternoon teas and for making us all feel welcome on a rain-soaked ‘JOTA Ridge’.


Raspberry Pi Course

With all this availability of low cost, high performance digital processing power, BDARS is organising a course to let members learn at their own pace about the Raspberry Pi, Linux and all the basic elements of getting to grips with this new technology.

It is envisaged that upon successful completion the participant will be able to install the RPi OS and use common Linux Apps and networking. They will become conversant with basic terminology and methods commonly used with basic RPi operations in the workshop.

The current status of this predominantly online course is that it is at a level where interested students could gain useful knowledge from the content; there are still some gaps in the courseware, so further contributions are gratefully requested.

The great thing about learning this material is that it applies to a broad spectrum of modern Linux based hardware, not just the Raspberry Pi.  These small low cost Linux based single board computers are being used in many modern Amateur Radio Projects.

If you are interested in either contributing to, or becoming a learner on the course, please contact the BDARS committee .

‘Raspberry Pi’ is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation

Lighthouse Weekend 2017

Every year, the Lighthouse and Lightship Foundation organise an international event to promote the recognition of the important role these structures play in keeping the maritime safe.

As part of the activity, BDARS set up a temporary base at Cleveland Point, adjacent to the lighthouse, where the plan was to contact as many other amateur stations as possible. In particular, the stations that were also operating from lighthouse locations was of particular importance.

Despite a increasing level of wind, we were able to make contact with a good number of other stations. Radio conditions were good, but weather conditions deteriorated.

Thanks to the team led by Steven VK4CJ and Paddy VK4JPD for running the show. There were many visiting operators from the club, including Damo VK4FDPM and his guide dog Ebony. Well done guys!

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