Saturday, September 19, 2020

Solar Conditions

  Space Weather Update:

Have you heard the news? Just yesterday both NASA and NOAA had a joint meeting to discuss the "official" status of the solar cycle. It should come as no surprise to everyone in this community that their joint consensus is that solar minimum occurred in December of 2019. We can finally celebrate the arrival of Solar Cycle 25! But, we knew that already. In fact, we have been watching the new cycle gain momentum for more than six months now. I remember discussions back at the AGU meeting in the Moscone Center last December (see the picture above), during which many of us progressives in the field already agreed the new cycle was starting. At the the time it was undeniable that we were seeing more new cycle sunspots emerging than sunspots from the old cycle. but we knew it could be at least another year before the official channels recognized the change. So glad we are finally here!
What does this mean for us? Well, one nice consequence of this official report is that it means there's enough evidence of new cycle activity to convince even the most conservative scientists in our field that Solar Cycle 25 has begun. It also means that activity will continue to trend upward, albeit slowly at first. This is good news, considering as of now, it looks like the Sun has hit the snooze button on that "new cycle" alarm. Perhaps the Sun hasn't yet gotten the memo officially recognizing what we already knew? Lucky for us though, we are still seeing solar storms being launched, including big filament eruptions again. Those we haven't seen in quite some time!
So in a way, this week's forecast can be considered the first "official" forecast of the new solar cycle. (I say that with tongue in cheek, of course.) To herald in the cycle, I do wish our star would show us a more lively face than the spotless disk that greets us right now.
However, as I write this, I notice a large bright region just beginning to rotate into STEREO's view on the Sun's farside. Sure enough, it has a Solar Cycle 25 signature and is likely a new cycle sunspot.
...well, whadda'ya know. Perhaps the Sun did get that official memo after all.
To keep you updated w.r.t. solar conditions, please visit her website:
The Space Woman's Forecast 
Posted by John Groffen at 7:49 AM
Categories: Club News

Friday, September 11, 2020

The New Committee


Even with COVID19 limitations and social distancing, the club has conducted its Annual General Meeting on the 9th September, 2020

The outgoing committee was congratulated and thanked for their hard work and effort throught 2019-2020 finacial year. The work has been particularly difficult witht the said Corona 19 Virus commonly referred to as COVID19.

It was not possible and highly impracticable to have face to face meetings and alternative solutions were sought.

The upshot was that ZOOM Video sessions were set up and deemed to be successful, once the process was understood and familiar to us.

The new committee for 2020-2021 consist of:

President: VK5YYY Roger
V/President: VK5ALX Alex
Secretary: VK5MSD Steve
Treasurer: VK5BD Bevan

I'm sure that you will support the new committee and work with them to make the club even better in the new financial year.

Posted by John Groffen at 9:55 AM

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

COVID19 Update

COVID 19 update

As it applies to club meetings.

Does the 4 Sq. metre rule still apply?
Yes. People and businesses should now practice physical distancing of 1 person per 4 Sq. metres where-ever possible.
Is there a maximum number of people I can have at my house?
Yes. You may have up to 10 people at a residential gathering. People at a gathering should practice physical distancing of 4 Sq. metres where and whenever possible.

As at time of posting.

Posted by John Groffen at 8:00 AM
Categories: Club News

More paperwork

Download membership form.

The membership form and constitution are now available for download from the club's website from the 'Meeting' web page.

Simply click on the link to view the .pdf file which can then be downloaded or printed.

Posted by John Groffen at 7:59 AM
Categories: Club News

Friday, July 24, 2020

ILLW Weekend 2020

Will it Happen?

Will the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend happen this year?

It is a question very much up in the air. The difficulty id whether the rules surrounding the corona virus (COVID19) are as they are now, tightened or relaxed. The truth is, we just don't know.

One good thing is that the council has provided the means to recoup our expenses for the rental of the Lighthouse cottages if we are unable to utilize the premisies.

So are we or aren't we. Its in the laps of the Gods... and the people of SA whether they obey the instructions to keep safe.

Posted by John Groffen at 11:21 AM
Categories: Club Events

Friday, May 29, 2020

Winter Field Days

WIA Winter Field Days


Aim Of The Contest

The overriding aim is to get away for the weekend and have fun! But next after that, the aims are:

  • to encourage more activity on VHF and microwave bands;
  • to encourage people to work greater distances than usual by operating portable, and
  • to provide opportunities for people to activate or work into new grid squares.

Contest History

The first VHF-UHF Field Day was run as a trial in January 1989. It was quite well received so it has continued since then. In 1998, there was a trial Spring Field Day which also proved a success. Support for the Field Days continued to increase, and a third event - the Winter VHF-UHF Field Day - was introduced in 2008.

In 2014, the WIA board decided that the contest should be run with two parallel sets of rules and scoring systems. John Martin VK3KM departed as Contest Manager after the Winter 2014 event.

Since the Winter 2019 event, the Field Days have used a single set of Rules, using distance-based scoring, as per the previous Division 2 Rules. This resulted from the clear preference of participation and log entries moving to Division 2 over Division 1 across the prior year.

The Whyalla Amateur Radio Club has been very successful in recent years and has a dedicated group of operators who have designed and built antennae for the occasion for the 6m, 2m, 70cm and 23cm bands


The contest will be on again on June 2oth and 21st, 2020. Interested?


The venue has not as yet been confirmed with Errappa Camp being the most likely site. But everything depends on the COVID19 situation and whatever the current and future rules and requirements may be.

Interested? Then let it be known to Steve VK5MSD or Bevan VK5BD ASAP...

Posted by John Groffen at 10:41 AM
Categories: Club Events

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom...

I was Zooming along...

Alex, VK5ALX and Steve, VK5MSD have opened up a brand new avenue that will help us toconduct our club business meetings without coming into contact with each other, as required by the everchanging CORVID19 pandemic.

Here is what the Zoom website says about the software:

"Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems. Zoom Rooms is the original software-based conference room solution used around the world in board, conference, huddle, and training rooms, as well as executive offices and classrooms. Founded in 2011, Zoom helps businesses and organizations bring their teams together in a frictionless environment to get more done. Zoom is a publicly traded company on Nasdaq (ticker: ZM) and headquartered in San Jose, California."

If you haven't used it yet, please take the time to investigate and see what all the excitement is about.


More than likely, the next few meetings are certain to be conducted using this media.

Posted by John Groffen at 2:58 PM
Categories: Club News

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Corona Virus Shake-up

The World Has Changed!

And not for the better!

The CORVID19 virus has had a devastating effect in almost every aspect in our lives...

You will have noticed that the club has had to adapt itself to On-Air meetings, the first one being held in March 2020.

After a shaky start and once everyone got the hang of it, It proceeded very nicely and in an orderly fashion and the meeting was completed in record time, which is not always a bad thing.

On the other side of the coin though, the general chatter and interfacing that usually occurs before and after the meeting was missed generally... And the 'Show and Tell' was a bit difficult, but may not be impossible in the future.

I have polished the dust of the crystal ball and did not achieved a vision of the future. However, I can make an educated guess... The virus will not dissappear totally, just like measles was nevery really wiped out completely. And therefore I predict that life as we know it may also never be the same again.

But we adapt and adopt as we have always done.

I wish my crystal ball was working so I could see the future. It could tell me why on earth people stocked up on toilet paper. Perhaps they thought the virus would give them the shits for a very long time.

In the mean time, keep 1.5 meters away from the radio and wear your mask with soapy water!

Keep smiling! We're all in this together...

Posted by John Groffen at 11:02 AM
Categories: Club Events, Club News

Thursday, January 30, 2020

New Tiny Url

Our new abbreviated Web Address...

Most of you have heard of where you can register your website address and get a much shorter weburl address.

Below is an introduction about Tinyurl.

"Welcome to TinyURL!™
Are you sick of posting URLs in emails only to have it break when sent causing the recipient to have to cut and paste it back together? Then you've come to the right place. By entering in a URL in the text field below, we will create a tiny URL that will not break in email postings and never expires."

The new address for the Club's website is now:

Posted by John Groffen at 5:48 PM

Foxhunt - Jan 2020

FOXHUNT 29-01-2020

The 1st Foxhunt of the year was held on a very warm evening with temperatures running at 39C.

But that aside, we did have a winner; and that was:


The Skyvision team of (l to r) Bevan - VK5BD and Roger - VK5YYY

Posted by John Groffen at 9:00 AM
Categories: Club Events