RAST operates IARU Special Event Station with the callsign HS50IARU
The IARU Region 3 (Asia-Pacific Region) will grant the 50th Anniversary Award to radio amateurs who certify having contacted at least five contacts (QSOs) on different modes or bands with Special Event Stations for commemorating the 50th Anniversary of IARU Region 3 from eligible countries are those in Region III whose amateur societies are members of IARU Region 3.
Special event callsigns will have the number "50" as the prefix number and IARU as their Special Event Call Sign Suffix. (ie. YB50IARU, 9M50IARU, JA50IARU, VK50IARU, HS50IARU, BY50IARU, BV50IARU, VR50IARU. VU50IARU, etc)
The anniversary award rules can be found here.
The RAST booth at the Friedrichshafen Ham Fair in Germany.
Champ prepares to take part in WRTC in Germany in July 2018
The WRTC Championship takes place every four years and participants are invited based on their performance in various amateur radio contests over the previous three years. It is a privilege -- and a challenge -- to be invited, since the contestents will be competing with other top contest operators, and this year the event will be hosted in Germany.
This will be the second time that Champ has been a WRTC participant, the previous occasion being in Brazil in 2006, and Champ explained the various aspects of participating in the WRTC event in a presentation he made during the June meeting.
Khun Nopparat of G. Simon Radio (left) pledges support with a donation 30,000 baht towards Champ's expenses in his trip to Germany next month to participate in the WRTC championships.
RAST is supporting Champ financially with a 20,000 baht donation, while at the meeting, G. Simon Radio, the Icom dealer, also stepped forward to announce a donation of 30,000 baht towards his expenses. Meanwhile, RAST President also appealed to members at the meeting for donations to support his expenses for a three week trip to Germany, saying that those who made a donation of 1,000 baht or more would receive a free T-shirt.
Champ also mentioned that Zorro, JH1AJT and the Foundation for Global Children (FGC) was also supporting his participation with a donation.
There will be a total of 63 teams of WRTC contestants in Wittenberg, Germany this year and they will take part in the IARU Radiosport Championship next month.
Prior to this briefing by Champ, RAST President Jakkree (Jack), HS1FVL announced the results of the May, 2018 intermediate class amateur radio exam, which had a total of 70 candidates participating of which a total of 24 passed both the theory and the Morse code components. Morse appeared to have been the biggest challenge, with only 25 candidates passing this component.
Khun Orn donates a TS440S transceiver that had belonged to her late husband, Lyle Greeno who passed away last October in the United States. At left is RAST President Jakkree, HS1FVL and at right Champ, E21EIC.
Among those present at the meeting was the XYL of the late Lyle Greeno, HS0ZAM and W0OMK, Boungorn Greeno, (Khun Orn), HS0ZDU and KC0BVH, who donated a Kenwood TS440 transceiver and a Ballantine oscilloscope to RAST. Her husband had passed away in October last year after a bout of pneumonia at the age of 96. Originally from Thailand, she would be returning to the United States shortly after the meeting.
The day the meeting took place, the ARDF championships for Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn trophy were taking place in Surat Thani Province in the south of Thailand and before the meeting had ended the winning team had been announced: it was from Suphan Buri Province. The RAST participant had come in third place.
As the June 3 meeting took place, so the Friedrichshafen Ham Fair was underway in Germany, which is the largest ham radio convention in Europe, where RAST also had a booth -- thanks to a team of RAST members living in Germany.
During the meeting, RAST managed to make a brief video contact with those at the RAST booth in Friedrichshafen but unfortunately the Internet link was not sustained and what both parties had intended to be a live video stream -- RAST had a computer connected to a projector with a screen -- did not work well and there was insufficient time to troubleshoot the problems.
At left: RAST President Jack, HS1FVL can be seen at the notebook with the Internet connection. Unfortunately, the link worked only very briefly before failing altogether.
Only a brief contact was made and RAST offers its apologies to everyone in Germany who had worked towards this which everyone had hoped would have been a highlight of the meeting.
The next international ham radio convention where RAST will have a booth will be the Tokyo Ham Fair in Japan in August and the next meeting of RAST should be on Sunday, July 1, 2018.
Bob Kupps, HS0ZIA is now a silent key
Tribute by Barry Kirkwood
Born in 1955, Bob was first licensed as WN6CNX in 1970, and inherited his father's call N6BK in 1979. N6BK senior was the first to reach 300 countries DXCC.
Retiring from a career in dentistry, Bob came to Thailand, at first operating HS0ZIA from his home in Pai. He began the HS0ZIA HF contest station project in 2007. Located out in the paddy fields near Doi Saket northeast of Chiang Mai, HS0ZIA has been active in most international contests usually as a multi-op entry.
By the beginning of 2018 the station was at an advanced stage of development with a workshop and generator house plus a ham shack with all conveniences. The shack is set up with two operating positions with K3 and Flex radios. There is an extensive antenna farm, the pride of which is the 60m rotating tower with yagis covering 80 to 10m.
HS0ZIA has scored many honours in contests, but more importantly has been a gathering place for local and visiting hams to experience high level contesting as guests of a genial and generous host.
Bob was a man of many talents, not only on the air but in it. He was a past member of the US national sailplane team and an expert aerobatic pilot. In Thailand he enjoyed flying his microlight and gained the name 'Cloudhopper' for his exploits with his back pack hot air balloon. An experienced yachtsman, Bob cruised his 56ft catamaran Shaman from December to May each year. He fell ill at the end of his 2018 voyage. It goes without saying we will not see his like again.
RAST returns to the beach in Rayong
Located at the Fah talay Resort & Spa and hosted by RAST's HS0AC club station team, this was the second year that such an event has been staged in Rayong and there were many amateur radio activities on both HF and VHF and in various modes.
In the evening there was a dinner party with refreshments. Kamol, E20EHQ, had also announced at the April RAST meeting that special event T-shirts (displayed here at right) would be available for 220 baht each at the party.
April RAST meeting
RAST President Jakkree (Jack), HS1FVL kicked off the announcements at the meeting by informing members that the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has offered to change the wording on Advanced Class amateur radio licences, which currently says "Advance Class". Anyone with such a licence who would like a revised version of their licence can obtain one free of charge from the NBTC Secretariat on Phaholyothin Soi 8.
Next month will be when the NBTC's next Intermediate Class amateur radio examination will take place and which will be overseen by RAST. This will be on Saturday, May 5 and consequently there will be no RAST meeting the following day at Sena Place Hotel. The next monthly RAST meeting will take place on June 3, 2018.
Jack also announced that VHF transceivers are now available that are capable of transmitting from 144 MHz up to 147 MHz, allowing Thai hams to communicate in the additional spectrum that has been allocated by the NBTC.
The RAST President also reminded everyone of the recent NBTC announcement authorizing additional spectrum in the 80 metre band and in the six metre band for a list of contests, as members had been advised by email and on the RAST websites.
Details, which extends contest activities on 80 metres from 3.5-3.6 MHz to 3.5 - 3.9 MHz and authorises activities on six metres from 50-54 MHz can be found below, and Jack reminded members at the meeting that for each contest that they intend to participate in they must inform RAST in advance, while also uploading their contest logs afterwards.
Members at the April meeting were also advised that the Belgian amateur radio association, the Royal Union of Belgian Ham Radio, or UBA, will celebrate its 70th anniversary later this year with 59 special event stations that will be active during the month of May 2018. The special callsigns of these stations begin with the prefix "OT70" and there are three classes of awards: bronze, silver and gold.
Sam, HS0ZDY also brought along a stack of QST magazines donated to RAST by Karl, K4YT and HS0ZDG.
NBTC grants temporary permission for expanded 80m band during contests
6-metres is authorised for six VHF contests
This authorisation, contained in a notification sent to RAST by the NBTC Secretariat earlier this month (March 2018), covers HF and VHF contests in 2017 and 2018 and allows licensed intermediate and advanced class amateur radio operators to operate on frequencies from 3.5 MHz to 3.9 MHz during eight international HF amateur radio contests and from 50-54 MHz during six VHF amateur radio contests.
Unfortunately, the dates for six of these contests that were approved have passed by, but another eight contests scheduled for later this year are upcoming.
This permission dramatically increases the bandwidth on 80 metres which is otherwise limited to 3.500 - 3.600 MHz while 6 metres (50-54MHz) is otherwise off limits. Potential operators should note that this permission is granted on a secondary basis and is valid until the last contest on the list which is in September this year.
A list of the authorised contests is displayed below and includes the upcoming CQ World Wide WPX Contest from March 24-26.
In order to take advantage of these opportunities, licensed RAST members are required to register in advance in order to participate in each one of these authorised contests on 3.500 - 3.900 MHz or on the six-metre band on VHF (50-54 MHz).
Registration, which is obligatory, should be done at the RAST website by following this link and operators are also required to submit an electronic log of their activity to RAST within one week following the contest.
This authorisation also stipulates that only equipment that has been licensed by the NBTC may be used and RAST will be responsible for all operations and must file a report to the NBTC following each contest.
List of authorised contests
March 2018 AGM meeting
Ray, E23PKO, summarises the outcome of the RAST election for committee members during the AGM meeting on Sunday, March 4 at Sena Place Hotel.
RAST President Jakkree re-elected at AGM meeting on March 4
The meeting at Sena Place Hotel had been well attended with a over 70 members participating and after registration, a quorum of 50 members was achieved.
There was an announcement of RAST's activities over the past year, while a detailed summary can be found here. The RAST auditor for the current year was appointed and RAST Treasurer Pornpimol Suksansomphop, HS0VDX summarised the income and expenses of RAST over the past year. An increase in the annual fee for the auditor from 7,000 baht to 9,000 baht was also approved during the meeting.
Presiding over the AGM meeting was Sakol Nakin, HS1JNB, while the vote to approve Jakkree (Jack), HS1FVL as RAST President was unopposed and unanimous. The outcome of the votes for a total of 17 nominees to be committee members was recorded on a white board as they were counted the details can be seen in the picture above.
The nine elected members will automatically serve on the RAST committee for the next two years, while the President has the authority to appoint another five committee members. In addition to this, there was a vote during the meeting to approve an increase in the number of committee members by 3 to 5 persons to respresent regions of Thailand, notably, the North, Northeast and the South.
There was also a vote to revise the regulations regarding notification of an AGM by registered postal mail to members. In future, RAST will be able to notify them electronically, by email or by providing links to a website in lieu of this -- unless the member specifically requests notification by postal mail.
RAST Secretary Champ also announced the QSL statistics for 2017, with a total of 28,453 incoming QSL cards and 20,101 outgoing QSL cards for the year, a slight increase in the number of incoming cards when compared to the previous year.
The AGM meeting, which had formally begun at noon, drew to a close shortly before 15.00.
Re-elected RAST President Jakkree (Jack), HS1FVl, poses with eight of the nine re-elected committee members following the outcome of the voting during the AGM meeting on March 4.
The table distributing the yellow forms to sit the next Intermediate class exam in May was crowded during the February meeting.
Over 70 members and guests attend February RAST meeting
There were several new faces at the meeting, along with some returnees, plus at least one expatriate, Ernst, DL1GES, who is now resident here and who would like to apply for a Thai amateur radio licence.
After the buffet lunch, members were advised that the RAST Forum, a website for discussions about amateur radio issues in Thailand, is now down since, without notification, PayPal had suspended auto-payments to the website host for the past three years. RAST is now looking into this and may authorise a new web host for the forum and we will notify readers accordingly as soon
as we learn of the outcome.
Next weekend will be the CQ WPX RTTY Contest and the RAST club station HS0AC will be participating for the 48 hours of the contest (February 10-11) at its new location at Rajapruk University in Nonthaburi -- members interested in participating or in visiting the station during the contest are welcome.
RAST Secretary Champ, E21EIC then took the microphone to outline the Eritrea DXpedition that took place from January 14 to January 22 when a total of almost 34,000 QSOs were made by himself, Zorro, JH1AHT and others on the team.
He then awarded souvenirs to two Thai stations with the most QSOs on different bands with the station, including to Nikorn, HS5NMF, a RAST committee member (pictured at right).
RAST President Jack, HS1FVL also made a few other announcements and ended the formal session of the meeting by inviting everyone to attend the Annual General Meeting of RAST on March 4, 2018 when a new President and committee will be elected for a two year term.
The RAST New Year Party on January 14 was a big success
RAST President Jakkree, HS1FVL (at left) takes the microphone during the New Year party on Sunday, January 14, 2018.
Amateur Radio Day 2017 a success
"Innovation for Amateur Radio" was the theme for the day-long event at the NBTC Secretariat
With the theme being "Innovation for Amateur Radio," the annual event featured a series of seminars where the speakers included President of the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand under Royal Patronage (RAST) Jakkree Hantongkom, HS1FVL, Nimit Hongyim, HS1IFU, and former RAST President Pornchai Semjang, HS2JFW (pictured together on stage above).
Along with Suebsak, E20JFX, Deputy Secretary of the Telecommunications Assocation of Thailand (TCT) under Royal Patronage, they spoke about technology trends for amateur radio in Thailand.
The event's theme of innovation was also reflected in a competition that displayed equipment that had been created by Thai hams to help out in emergencies, to save on energy resources and to help cultivate crops.
Various products in four different categories were on display, including a battery-powered bicycle, a bicycle that can charge a battery, portable equipment for use in emergencies, including a mobile repeater and equipment for smart farming.
A team of judges evaluated the equipment in each entry and listened to the contestants' explanations as to how it operated and was beneficial before awarding prizes in the evening.
Nimit, HS1IFU won two of the awards (shown at right) and NBTC Commissioner Gen Sukit Khamasunthorn presents one of them during a ceremony on Saturday evening.
The Icom booth (above) was popular while at the RAST booth, which was next to it, the society was demonstrating operating on HF using the special callsign HS17NBTC, along with a VHF station and also a satellite station that made contacts over the LAPAN-A2 (IO-86) Indonesian satellite.
There was also a presentation about the role of amateur radio in case of an emergency or a national disaster when the speakers were Voluntary Radio Association (VRA) Deputy President Manas Songsaeng, HS1DE, Gen Sawasdi Sawateuk, E24SCW of the National Disaster Warning Centre and Thida Denpreuktham, HS1ASC, Editor of 100 Watts Magazine.
In the afternoon there was a fox-hunting (ARDF) competition in the extensive grounds of the NBTC Secretariat which is in the northern suburbs of Bangkok off Phaholyothin Road.
Amateur Radio Day has been staged by the NBTC since 2014, although last year the event was cancelled to respect the passing of His Late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. This year, Amateur Radio Day began with a ceremony in respect of the late monarch, who was the patron of RAST and had held the callsign HS1A, as well as VR009, and who had been an inspiration to all Thai radio amateurs.
There was also a display of His Late Majesty's radio equipment at the exhibition and in the evening the event concluded with a memorial ceremony with candles in his honour.
RAST to host ARDF Championships on December 17, 2017
There will be six categories for winning contestants to receive a trophy from RAST in conjunction with our supporters and there will also be a special prize for a lucky contestant.
Details can be found in Thai in the poster above and contact information is on the RAST Thai-language website here.
KMUTNB's Prachinburi Campus is located at 129 Moo 6, Tambon Noenhom, Amphoe Mueang, Prachinburi 25230.
Many new faces at the November RAST meeting
German DX Foundation (GDXF) President Franz Langner, DJ9ZB and HS0ZLP, introduces himself during the November RAST meeting while RAST President Jakree (Jack), HS1FVL (right) looks on. Franz was in Bangkok following two recent DXpeditions to Bhutan with Champ, Zorro, JH1AJT, and Jin, JF1IST from the station A5A. The main purpose of the trip to Bhutan was to support the launch of the Paralympic Committee in Bhutan with Bhutan Olympic Committee.
No RAST December meeting this year
Attending a RAST meeting for the first time were Franz Langner, DJ9ZB and HS0ZLP, Somsak, HS7JPW, Worayot, E22QJZ, Kampanart, E25APP, Pakorn, HS1EFA, Attawit, HS0QNI, Noratigorn, E24YVI, Titigan, E24VRP and Capt Suriyan, HS5YSU of Thai Airways International.
In addition, returning to a RAST meeting after a long absence were Stig, HS0ZGD and LA7JO (pictured at right, with Sam, HS0ZDY and Franz, HS0ZLP) along with Naomichi Numatan, HS0/JK1GVN who previously had attended a RAST meeting 24 years ago.
After the buffet lunch, RAST President Jakkree (Jack) thanked the RAST members who had helped out at the HS0AC club station as net controllers to receive tributes over the air from Thai amateur radio operators to mark the royal cremation of His late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, HS1A.
Jack, HS1FVL, also described the atmosphere during the CQWW SSB contest at the HS0AC club station, which had been relocated earlier this year to the campus of Rajapruk university in Nonthaburi.
It was also announced during the November meeting that there will be no RAST meeting in December since on the first weekend of next month the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) will be hosting its annual "Amateur Radio Day" exhibition from December 1-3, with the highlight of the event being on December 2 with the exhibition on the grounds of the NBTC Secretariat on Phaholyothin Soi 8. RAST will have a booth there and all members are invited to attend.
The next meeting of RAST will be in January when it will take place on the second Sunday of the month with a New Year Party hosted at Rot Meu Mae restaurant in Nonthaburi. The party will be on January 14, 2018 and will begin at 3 p.m. To view the location in Google Maps please click here.
Directions: Head north from Bangkok along Vibhavadi Rangsit Highway and after the Ngarmwongwarn Road intersection take the frontage road. Turn left into the road signposted "North Park" (2.25 km beyond Ngarmwongwarn intersection). Follow this road for one and a half kilometers to a roundabout. Exit left and after 100 metres the Rot Meu Mae restaurant will be on your right.
Those attending should bring a gift-wrapped present valued at 500 baht or more for exchange during the party.
Among the guests at the November meeting was Franz, DJ9ZB who had accompanied Champ, E21EIC and Zorro, JH1AJT to Bhutan to put this rare DX country on the air from a special event station A5A which had been active from September 29 to October 8, 2017 and again from Oct 27 - November 3, including during the CQWW SSB contest. Franz, DJ9ZT and also HS0ZLP, is the president of the German DX Foundation (GDXF) and he was invited up to say a few words during the meeting.
Thanks to Champ, E21EIC for the update and the photos from the November meeting -- HS0ZDX.
Antenna towers now adorn the rooftop at Rajapruk University above the HS0AC club station.
HS0AC update at the October meeting
He told the gathering of some 45 members and guests present that there were now three operating positions for HF and that three new transceivers had been donated to the station. Antennas had been erected and work on the new station was 80 percent complete, he added.
Dr Panit Chantrabhakdee, HS1AAZ had donated two Icom transceivers, an IC 7800 and an IC 7700, while G. Simon Radio had donated an Icom IC 910 to the station and members applauded the generosity of the donors for their contributions to the station.
Antennas erected will enable communications on the amateur bands from 1.8 MHz to the VHF bands, with satellite communications being possible. Work would be completed this month and Jack thanked RAST committee member Nikorn Deesai, HS5NMF for helping to co-ordinate the efforts.
The RAST President then referred to the recent meeting of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) Secretariat at the beginning of September when it had been announced that the two-metre band allocation had been expanded to cover from 144-147 MHz. However, currently there were no transceivers on sale with the capability of transmitting above 146 MHz.
In addition, RAST has been assigned to endorse applications for amateur radio club stations with HF capabilities while it had also been announced that in future the NBTC will use computer terminals for candidates taking amateur radio examinations.
Jack also announced that the issuance of a 1-kilowatt station licence to holders of advanced class amateur radio licences had been suspended, with the limit remaining at 200 watts, based on advice from the Thai military. However, licences already issued would still be valid.
Those present at the meeting were also informed that the next FCC VEC examination to be conducted by RAST would take place on October 14 in Maha Sarakham Province in the Northeast.
RAST Secretary Champ, E21EIC was not present at the October meeting since, at the time of the meeting, he was participating in a micro DXpedition to Bhutan, operating with the callsign A5A and he would be there until October 7, Jack explained.
Champ has been an active participant in many DXpeditions that include the recent DXpedition to Eritrea, operating as E31A. Indeed, Champ was honoured at the 2017 Japan International DX Meeting during the JARL Tokyo Ham Fair on September 2 by having been invited to give an account of that DXpedition to everyone there.
RAST committee member Nukul, HS7BHK (left) related this after being invited to say a few words about the Tokyo Ham Fair which had been attended by a total of seven RAST members this year. In addition to the RAST booth at the event, there were also booths from the Malaysian Amateur Radio Society (MARTS) and the Indonesian society (ORARI) while new equipment had been launched during the event by Icom, he said.
After the announcements from the RAST President, the JAISAT-1 satellite pioneers Tanan, HS1JAN and Anant, HS1GAB (pictured above with some of the equipment they described) took the microphones to provide an update about progress of the work on the amateur radio satellite, while some of the components and circuit boards were on display during the October meeting.
The next RAST meeting will be held on Sunday, November 5, 2017 at Sena Place Hotel.
RAST introduces young students to amateur radio at Satit Kaset school
Demonstrations included sending Morse code and operating on both HF and VHF bands. - Thanks to Champ, E21EIC for these photographs
RAST provides training in HF operating to new Intermediate Class hams
On Sunday, August 20, 2017 a team of RAST committee members led by President Jakkree, HS1FVL conducted a series of presentations about operating on the HF amateur radio bands at Rajapruk University for those who had passed the recent Intermediate Class amateur radio examination conducted by jointly by RAST and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) on May 21, 2017. - Thanks to Champ, E21EIC for these photographs
Please click on this link to view the archives of the RAST website for the past year.