What is the contest?

Every year a contest is held that promotes HF contacts to and from amateur radio stations in the Oceana region as well as contacts between stations inside Oceania. Points are allocated for each contact depending upon the location. There is no penalty for working non-Oceania stations but contacts between non-Oceania stations will score no points or multiplier credits. Each contact or QSO is credited with twenty points on 160M; ten points on 80M; five points on 40M; one point on 20M; two points on 15M; and three points on 10M. Note that the same station may only be counted once on each band for contact points.

The aim is for Oceania entrants to contact as many stations as possible, anywhere in the world !! In 2020 over 1600 stations participated.

Oceania shortwave listeners should try to log as many stations as possible both inside and outside Oceania.

When is it on?

This year there are two separate contests held a week apart. The phone contest will be held on Saturday October 2nd from 06:00 UTC to Sunday, October 3rd 06:00 UTC . The CW contest will be held on Saturday 9 October from 06:00 UTC to Sunday 10 October 06:00 UTC.

Enter one contest or both! See summarised notes provided by the contest holders.

For a clearer map of Oceania click here

SPECIAL NOTES FOR THE 2021 CONTEST

  1. A reminder that the Phone and CW sections each start at 06:00 on Saturday and end at 06:00 on Sunday.
  2. The deadline for submitting logs is 31 October 2021.
  3. Entrants are reminded of the need to observe any COVID related restrictions (e.g. social distancing and travel constraints) that may be in place for the contest dates.
  4. Electronic logs are to be submitted using the form at https://ocdx.contesting.com/submitlog.php. Please contact the Contest Committee at info@oceaniadxcontest.com if you are encountering difficulty in submitting your log.
  5. Electronic logs are to be in Cabrillo format which is generated by all popular contest logging software programs. Alternatively, entrants can use the forms at http://www.b4h.net/cabforms.
  6. Only one entry may be submitted by each operator or team of operators (Rule 6a).
  7. If the station worked does not provide a serial number for the Oceania DX Contest, then log the received number as 001. See Rule 8.
  8. A reminder that logs from Single Band entrants must record all contacts made during the contest period, even if on other bands. Only contacts made on the band specified in the Cabrillo header or summary sheet will be used for scoring purposes.
  9. Indonesia entrants are reminded that the Indonesia amateur radio regulations do not permit the YH club prefix to be used in the OCDX and other national or international amateur radio contests. Only the 7A, &I, 8A or 8I club prefixes may be used for this purpose.
  10. All entrants are reminded that UTC must be used for recording the date and time of each QSO and that care must be taken to ensure the times are recorded correctly.

The Phone and CW contests are scored separately.

Prefixes are multipliers (e.g. N8, W8, WD8, HG1, HG19, KC2, OE2, OE25, LY1000, VK2 …) on each band on which you work them.

    • For multiplier purposes, prefixes and callsigns without numbers are notionally assigned a zero e.g. PA/N8BJQ counts as PA0, and XE/KT5W counts as XE0. All callsigns should however be logged as sent.
    • Maritime mobile, mobile, /A, /E, /J, /P, or interim license class identifiers do not count as prefixes.
    • Special event, commemorative and other unique prefix stations are welcome.
  • The total score is the (sum of the Contact Points) multiplied by the (sum of the Multipliers).

 CATEGORIES

  • Transmitting Single Operator:
    • QRP (SO QRP) 5 watts
    • low power (SO LP) 100 watts
    • high power (SO HP) the lesser of license limit or 1500 watts
  • Transmitting Multiple Operators
    • Single Transmitter (M1)
    • Two Transmitters (M2)
    • Multiple Transmitters (MM)
  • Short Wave Listener (SWL)
  • DXcluster assistance is permitted in all categories, with the usual restrictions (see the full rules for details)
  • Entries on individual bands are supported.
  • World Stations operate in a separate category to Oceania stations

 CQs and EXCHANGES

  • Participants typically call “CQ Oceania” on phone, and “CQ OC” on CW.
  • Contest exchanges are signal reports plus a serial number, starting at 001.
  • Be careful to log callsigns and reports accurately, especially multipliers, since typos can be costly.
  • If someone does not send you a serial number, log them as serial number 001.
  • To help the adjudicators cross-check other entrants’ logs, please log every completed QSO:
    • Log zero-point QSOs (e.g. if DX stations work other DX stations)’
    • Log any duplicate QSOs’
    • Single band entrants: log your QSOs made on all bands (the Cabrillo header tells us which band you are entering)’
    • If you participate but choose not to enter, a checklog would be welcome for the same reason.

 SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

  • The OCDX contests are adjudicated electronically, hence we need your electronic logs.
  • If possible, use contest logging software to generate a Cabrillo file, then upload it using the on-line submission form.
  • Otherwise please use the online form or some other means to generate a valid plain text column-aligned Cabrillo file, then upload that.Provided you made less than 50 contacts, you can mail in a legible paper log with a summary sheet (see the official rules for details).
  • Get your log in before November!
  • Every submitted entry will be checked and given a final score as part of the adjudication process … but naturally you are welcome to calculate your claimed score and hope that’s close!
  • A veritable profusion of certificates, trophies and plaques will be awarded.
  • Please email the Committee at info@oceaniadxcontest.com if you have any problems entering.
  • Good luck!
  • Click here for the contest rules

 

 

amateur radio nets australia

We all love to communicate, why not take a trip around the world with radio!! No internet connection or mobile phone signal is needed! Talk to other amateur radio operators across the world, maybe even in unusual places or as far as space!

Yes, that’s right, the international space station carries amateur radio equipment on board and there are always licensed amateurs among the crew who enjoy using it to communicate with operators all over the world. Youtube features several recordings of amateur radio operators communicating with space crew!

What to listen to

You can listen to local radio stations from around Australia, and even the world via shorwave.

 HF aircraft channels, weather reports, and amateur radio nets. For those new to listening on the HF bands, nets are an ‘on-the-air’ gathering of amateur radio operators. chatting and passing messages, normally via organised radio nets, on a predetermined frequency at the same time every day.

These nets can range from discussions on areas of interest, to emergency messages or simply as a regular gathering of friends for conversation. 

Here are some of the most common radio nets.

DX Nets

DX nets are one of the most fascinating and are often organized to help amateur radio operators make contact with stations in distant locations or regions where amateur radio operators are scarce. 

Imagine randomly tuning across amateur bands and being able to listen to another station you may not normally be able to hear, by simply tuning into a DX net.

Club Nets

Amateur radio clubs organise nets between members on a regular basis. The topics are often of special interest and can vary from vintage radio equipment, locating unique stations in Australia and around the world, using and discussing the AM mode of voice transmission and many more.

These nets foster communications members across geographic locations and special interest clubs, and make fascinating listening for shortwave enthusiasts, whilst providing an open communications link for those in isolation.

Traffic Nets.

Traffic nets operate primarily to relay written messages. Both routine and emergency messages have been passed on behalf of others as a public service mission for decades.

Often used for training purposes or during emergencies such as natural disasters when there are power outages traffic nets are used to pass on crucial information to the affected areas. Often relayed by emergency services or ham radio users where possible.

If you are looking to add a shortwave radio to your collection we have a fantastic selection available on our webshop like The Tecsun PL880 Radio 

*Info from the Wireless Institute of Australia 

 

A radio contest designed to encourage community, improve operating skills and encourage the participation of radio users.

 This event is held to commemorate the Amateurs who died during World War II.

This year, the event will be held on the weekend of August 14 and 15, 0300 UTC Saturday to 0300 UTC Sunday.

The Aim of the contest: Amateurs try to contact amateurs in VK call areas, ZL and P2 on all bands except WARC bands. Modes allowed are PHONE, CW and RTTY, modes that were used during WW2. 

The prize for this contest is a perpetual trophy awarded to the state or territory with the best performance.

This is also a great opportunity for shortwave listeners to test their antennas, receivers and reception techniques over the weekend.

Contest Rules

As a mark of respect, stations are asked to observe 15 minutes silence prior to the start of the contest, during which the opening ceremony will be broadcast.

Categories

Single Operator

Single Operator – QRP

Multi-Operator – Single Transmitter (Multi-Single)

Multi-Operator – Unlimited (Multi-Multi)

Sub-Category Modes for Single Operators

Phone (AM, FM & SSB)

CW (CW & RTTY)

Mixed

Permitted Bands

Contacts may be made on MF (160M), HF and VHF & above bands except for WARC bands (10, 18 & 24 MHz) which are excluded by IARU agreement from all contest operations.

HF SSB Voice transmissions should be within:

1843-1875, 3535-3570 and 3600-3700, 7080-7300, 14112-14300, 21150-21450, 28300-29100KHz,

otherwise, disqualification or points reduction may result.

For additional contest rules, how to enter please click here. 

Operators using Ex WW2 equipment will be awarded with a special certificate acknowledging their participation and use of such.

Suitable Tecsun receivers for this contest would be the PL-365, PL-330, PL-880, PL-600 and 660.

 

DRM radio

After many years of stagnation, DRM is emerging as a perfect fit for shortwave broadcasters seeking to increase their audience, and at the same time reducing their energy consumption.

DRM is an open source, non proprietary standard for terrestrial broadcasting, promoted by the DRM Consortium, a group of transmission equipment and receiver manufacturers as well as international broadcasters.

Over 30 broadcasters from around the world now carry DRM broadcasts. The latest schedule can be found here: http://www.hfcc.org/drm/

To receive DRM broadcasts a suitable receiver is required. The GR216 receiver, https://www.tecsunradios.com.au/store/product/tecsun-drm-radio/, promoted by Tecsun Radios Australia is a high-performance receiver, both on DRM and analogue shortwave. It is a self-contained unit, with provision for the connection of external antennas for shortwave and FM.

The receiver includes a self contained linear power supply which eliminates interference caused in  receivers powered by switch mode power supplies.

drm radio australia

 

We recommend an external antenna for good DRM reception and our MW/SW Outdoor Antenna  https://www.tecsunradios.com.au/store/product/tecsun-shortwave-outdoor-antenna/ is most suitable. This antenna incorporates a 9:1 balun to provide the correct impedance for most shortwave receivers with an external antenna socket.

antenna shortwave drm

The typical improvement over the same length of wire without the matching components is between 10 and 15dB in signal level.

A word about antennas:

Directional characteristics of random wire and long wire shortwave receiving antennas are dependent upon the antenna length, height above ground, received frequency and directional orientation of the antenna wire. The four elements are interactive.

Generally the antenna should be aimed so that the transmission source is at 90 degrees to the antenna. So if the transmission source is to the West, run the antenna on a North South direction if possible. This works best on antennas that are less than a quarter wavelength in length and mounted a quarter wavelength above the ground (such as the antenna mentioned above).

In the case of a simple longwire without matching, the length of the wire cut for one quarter wavelength at popular DRM frequencies is as follows:

13Mhz: 6 metres in length, 15Mhz: 5 metres in length, 7 Mhz: 10 metres in length

A simple long wire antenna will work better at greater elevation above the ground, ie the higher the better. Multistrand insulated wire will work better and for longer that solid copper wire, which will weaken with repeated movement.

In practical terms, a DRM receiver with an external antenna will be able to hear most current DRM broadcasts from 13-18Mhz. Check the broadcasting schedule for the appropriate times.

Remember that all times are given in GMT and that means AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time) is 10 hours ahead of GMT. Hence (for example) the BBC Relay from Singapore on 15620Khz will appear between 2pm and 8pm AEST.

One more factor that can influence the success of your reception is the direction in which the signal is being beamed.

This information is also available on the DRM HF schedule site. If you are in the target area you will have a much better chance of sucessfully receiving DRM broadcasts.

Target areas can be seen here: https://www.drm.org/what-can-i-hear/broadcast-schedule-2/

There are many stations that can be received if suitable attention is paid to antenna orientation, and broadcasting schedules, with more stations being added to the schedule every month.

Good Listening !

Tecsun Radios Australia are proud sponsors of the two upcoming field day events.

The CCARC Wyong Field Day “MayHam”2021 on SUNDAY, 30 MAY 2021

And the ORARC 2021 Field Day on Saturday and Sunday the 12th and 13th of June 2021 during the Queens Birthday Long Weekend.

mayham field day central coast

MAYHAM at Wyong will feature car boot sales, new product releases, opportunities to attain or extend or upgrade your radio licenses as well as a fantastic range of lectures on a variety of topics including noise reduction, operational amplifiers, and tube radio.

Tune in while you find a bargain at the car boot sale.

fox hunt radio comp

Have you heard about the fox hunt? 

Radio direction finding (Fox Hunting) is used to find sources of interference to any form of wireless electronic communications, including broadcast and two-way radio. Amateurs use RDF for a variety of reasons, but more often, they use it just for fun. Hidden transmitter hunting has been done by amateurs for many years. Using ‘hide-and-seek” procedures, amateur radio operators (“Hounds”) take up the task of finding hidden transmitters (the “Fox”). Numerous cunning tricks are played by those hiding a Fox as they seek to elude the Hounds. In Australia, Foxhunting includes travel in a car, and DFing a hidden transmitter on the move, whilst following all current road rules. Then the Hounds, become pedestrians to discover the hiding spot of the transmitter, the “Fox”. Foxhunts can also be held over relatively short courses requiring Hounds to do all of their DFing on foot. Sometimes the”Fox” may be disguised to make the hunt more difficult, so watch out for “Wolves” when you are hunting too. Whatever the case, it is a fun activity!

Fox Hunt Purpose:

  1. a) Provide practice and enhance skill in radio direction finding for and by radio amateurs.
  2. b) Promote teamwork within the amateur community.
  3. c) To help newcomers and old-timers alike in the skills of radio direction finding.

But most of all:

  1. d) To have fun!

Tecsun Radios Australia is offering free tickets to this event, simply send an email to hello@tecsunradios.com.au with the subject line FREE TICKETS and we will have your name added to the door list.

 

The Oxley Region Amateur Radio Club annual Field Day will be held at the Wauchope Showground hall with all the usual field day activities on Saturday and Sunday the 12th and 13th of June 2021 during the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend.  The Field Day dinner will be held at the Port Macquarie Golf Club on the Saturday night.  Mark your calendar now.  The Wauchope Showground permits camping so it is possible to stay on site in your own motor home, caravan or tent with power and amenities.

Tecsun Radios Australia have contributed a PL-330 receiver to the ORARC 2021 Field day raffle that will be held during the event.

 

anzac day military radio history

As ANZAC day approaches this year, it’s a good time to reflect on how radio communications has evolved over time, accelerated by wartime conflicts, and how difficult it must have been during times of conflict.

Prior to the introduction of radio communications, messages during wars were sent using dogs and homing pigeons. Short range communications utilised signalling lamps and mirrors with limited success

Towards the end of World War 1, the introduction of “spark” or “loop” radio sets, operating on the longwave band, and utilising CW (morse code) was recognised as a great step forward in technology. These sets were used between different groups on the battlefield, as great improvement over messengers who were continually under fire from snipers.

In September 1914, one month after the declaration of war, at the battle of Bita Paka, Australian forces attacked the German South Seas Wireless Station on the island of New Britain, conquering German New Guinea.

By the end of World War 1, despite the equipment being heavy and bulky, CW communications had been used by Australian military forces on land, sea and air.

Considered to be more advantageous to naval and airborne forces, where existing telegraph lines could not be employed, this technology paved the way for more advanced voice communications employed after 1920.

Between wars development of radio communications equipment continued, as the benefits of instant communications to direct armed forces was realised.

By 1939 local industry was gearing up to manufacture radio receivers for expected consumer demand of the new technology which provided news and entertainment from around the world.

Governments around the world soon realised that radio was a very effective propaganda tool. Nazi Germany and the British government used it to muster support from their respective populations. In fact the German military arranged the manufacture of millions of radio receivers which were subsidised, allowing access to the general population.

In America, the Office of Co-ordination began providing programming to commercial shortwave stations, in order to spread the news of the war in Europe and the Allied response.

At the end of August 1939 in Australia, all shortwave transmissions professional and amateur, were ordered shut down.

A few weeks after the declaration of war in September 1939, Mr (later Sir) Robert Menzies, the Prime Minister, inaugurated a government controlled overseas shortwave service to counter German propaganda in the Pacific. Initially called “Australia Calling” and using the callsign VLQ2, the service commenced on his birthday, December 20 1939. This service later became Radio Australia.

Whilst telephone and telegraph cables carried some traffic in war zones (a cable was laid under the English Channel between France and England), radio communications became a necessity during World War 2 and the simultaneous development of radar technology accelerated the development of “portable” radio transceivers, so large and heavy that they had to be transported by cart or jeep. In Australia, manufacturers like AWA, STC, Astor (Radio Corporation of Australia) and Kingsley began manufacturing radio equipment for land sea and air forces. Coastwatchers in northern Australia, Solomon Islands and New Guinea used AWA’s 3BZ receiver and 3BZ Teleradio transmitter to intercept Japanese communications and relay important information to the Australian and US navies patrolling the pacific.

3BZ Teleradio system

Typical of the bulky equipment of the time was the Number 11 set was manufactured by AWA. It was a combination transmitter receiver, operating on the HF bands, and drawing 2.9 amps on receive and 3.3 amps on low power transmit (1 watt), a far cry from today’s modern transceivers. It weighed 20Kg.

No. 11 Transceiver Anzac             Subsequent to the World Wars and both before and during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, communications equipment was developed and refined to suit modern warfare techniques.

By the early 1950’s military communications equipment had progressed significantly. AWA were making the A-510 transceiver which was a portable, battery operated, 4 channel crystal controlled transceiver covering 2-10Mhz. Despite the low RF power output of 150mW when using voice communications, the established range was over two miles in the portable configuration and over 100 miles when used with a half wave dipole in “ground station” mode. It weighed 9Kg

anzac radioBy the beginning of the Vietnam War, most military radio communications equipment was manufactured in the USA. Troops in Vietnam used the AN/PRC 25, a valve, multichannel VHF FM transceiver with a power output of 2 watts and a range of approximately 5 miles. It weighed 12Kg. This model was superseded by the PRC-77 which was also VHF FM, had the ability to use voice encryption, and had a solidstate power amplifier, reducing the weight to 6kg.

PRC-77 Transceiver

By the 1970’s AWA was producing a fully solid state HF transceiver covering 2-12Mhz in 1Khz steps, utilising CW and USB modes, operating from an internal Nicad battery, and was capable of 10 watts PEP output power. The receiver drew 35mA, and the entire transceiver including backpack weighed just 9 Kg

This snippet of radio equipment development history allows us to contemplate the huge improvement in performance, and at the same time give thought to those who persevered with heavy cumbersome and poorly performing equipment, during times of conflict.

Lest We Forget.

 

 

Images courtesy of Kurrajong Radio Museum

world amateur radio day

World Amateur Radio Day

 A celebration of how radio has been serving people for over 100 years.

Date: April 18, 2021

Time : All Day

This year’s theme is “Amateur Radio: Home but Never Alone.”

Every year on April 18, Radio Amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of Amateur Radio.

The theme of World Amateur Radio Day (WARD) is celebrating Amateur Radio’s Contribution to Society which is incredibly relevant given the isolation and need for communication as we enter a 2nd year living with the global pandemic.

As we have mentioned previously the increase in interest in amateur radio during the pandemic was significant with many amateurs supporting each other by creating nets or on line meet ups.

A humbling reminder that we are a global community that has united during a time of isolation to ensure we remain connected and available to assist those in need.

Radio is a fantastic way to discover radio programs from different regions both music and news from unfiltered sources, in addition, a fantastic way to receive crucial weather, aviation and safety broadcasts whilst out of many standard network zones.

Take some time on Amateur Radio Day to explore the world of Amateur Radio and discover what new friends and communities exist all over the world.

A fantastic radio to use on World amateur radio day is the Xiegu G90 transceiver.

To celebrate World Amateur Radio Day, with every G90 purchase we will include a free CE-19 expansion interface worth $80. Use the Expansion interface to connect your G-90 transceiver to a PC, data terminal or modem for operation in digital modes.

Limited time offer only available this weekend till midnight Sunday the 19th April.

Tecsun pl 330 shortwave radio

The Tecsun PL-330 is the latest pocket-sized portable receiver offering SSB capability. This feature, coupled with direct frequency entry makes the PL-330 the ideal receiver for those wishing to listen to shortwave radio utility stations, amateur radio transmissions as well as regular shortwave broadcasts.

Our Tecsun PL 330 has been featured in the latest edition of Australian DX NEWS For those of you considering adding a PL 330 to your collection, this review is thorough and comprehensive.

Read full article below or click link Australian DX News Tecsun review

Tecsun PL330n review.

As mentioned this lightweight SSB radio is feature-packed click here to view all the features of the PL-330 and buy your own. Priced at just $145 this radio is also the perfect gift for fellow radio enthusiasts or soon-to-be hobbyists.

A schedule change for RNZ, Radio New Zealand is set to take effect from March 28 as it launches its Summer Schedule.

Please find new frequencies below.

Radio NZ offers a variety of news, music, and lifestyle radio shows. Broadcasts are beamed to the South Pacific Islands.

Reception of RNZ Pacific is possible at times outside our region.

RNZ also welcomes reception reports, which can be verified by email.

RNZ Pacific no longer processes postal reception reports, however, they do have a web form you can send your QSL reports to.

Happy Listening!

 

As the weather begins to cool, it is a great time to set up and organise your radio shack.
Crucial for wireless communication, the first radio shacks were aboard ships in the 1900s, several radio units were housed above the bridge in wooden structures.
Similar to a man cave the radio shack is essential for every shortwave listener, it is your place to get away from the hustle and bustle.

image via qsl.net

Many radio shacks are set up in basements, garages, or spare rooms.
Some important factors to consider are.

Location: Ensure your radio shack is as close to the ground as possible with accessibility for routing wires in and out of your space.
Comfort: Get yourself a large desk that can accommodate lots of radios and a comfortable chair so that the time you spend in your shack is enjoyable. Get yourself a good set of headphones that can plug right into your radio, preferably like our Tecsun communication headphones that feature an extra-long cord so it can reach even the higher up radios in your radio shack.
Ease of use. We mentioned the large desk earlier, it is important to have your units within close reach, at least within arm’s length. Buying some shelving for vertical storage is both a great use of space and helps accessibility.
The Extras, just for fun! Get yourself a big clock that shows Zulu or UTC time so you can always see what time it is overseas, plus these look pretty cool!
Get yourself a corkboard that you can pin your QSL cards, decoded images, and other notes.

For those of you who have a radio shack we would love to see your photos. Take a photo and either email it through to hello@tecsunradios.com.au or post your photo and tag us @TecsunAU and #TecsunAU.