June RAST meeting
Suwarapong, HS4LKW explains how the Khon Kaen Amateur Radio Technology group (KART) is planning to celebrate 22 years of the HS4AK club station with a seminar on June 15 at the Rajamankala University of Technology to RAST members at the June meeting. RAST President Pornchai, HS2JFW is seated behind him at the podium while Teera, HS4UEL and Nares, E20YLM are standing at right. -- HS0ZDX photo
Khon Kaen gets ready to mark HS4AK club station's 22nd anniversary
A RAST member for almost 40 years, Eddy had helped the society in many ways, serving as international secretary from 1978-1980 and in other capacities after that as well as participating in all major RAST events.
In the late 1970's Eddy had joined the late Kamchai Chotikul, HS1WR-SK and Sribhumi Sukanetr, HS1SS, a former director-general of the Post and Telegraph Department on camera in a Thai TV Channel 4 programme to explain the benefits of amateur radio to the public.
Eddy's body was cremated on May 27 at Wat Nong Yai in Pattaya following a Catholic Mass and Buddhist funeral rites.
May he rest in peace before a joyous rebirth.
Introducing themselves at the June meeting were David, HS0ZLG, a US ham for 45 years along with his XYL Judy, KD6BBO, along with Tetsuya, JA6TWU, a Thailand resident for two years, and Suwarapong, HS4LKW from Khon Kaen. Also present at the meeting was returnee Eric, HS0ZLC along with IARU Region 2 Director Hans, DF5UG, HS0ZFU and 9M2QQ.
The turnout for the meeting was good with around 50 members attending who would learn about a seminar and other activities to be organised by the Khon Kaen Amateur Radio Technology (KART) group to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the HS4AK club station later this month.
The seminar, to be held on June 15, 2013, is called "Amateur Radio is More Than You Think" and will be one of several such seminars conducted in Thailand that aim to develop knowledge about various aspects of the hobby and promote the use of new technology and techniques for amateur radio communications. Previous such seminars have been held in Bangkok, Lampang, Surat Thani and Surin.
The day-long event will take place at the Rajamangkala University of Technology in Khon Kaen and will feature presentations about HF operating and contests, about satellite communications, packet radio, APRS, ARDF, EME, Echolink, ballooning and disaster communications using amateur radio, according to Suwarapong, HS4LKW.
Khun Suwarapong was accompanied by Nares, E20YLM and Teera, HS4UEL and the group has been selling T-shirts to promote the event and to raise funds. To coincide with the seminar there will also be a novice class amateur radio examination on the morning of June 15 and a VEC volunteer FCC examination for a US licence a the Rajamangkala University of Technology in the afternoon. (Please contact Champ, E21EIC if you intend to take this exam at e21eic(AT)gmail.com ).
There will also be a special team effort in the All Asia DX CW Contest over the weekend of June 15-16 from the HS4AK club station.
Also at the June meeting, Champ came forward with a DXCC Award for Sakol, HS1JNB and former RAST President Mayuree Chotikul, HS1YL made the formal presentation to Sakol (pictured below) for DXCC on the 20-metre band in the mixed mode category.
RAST President Pornchai, HS2JFW also announced that Thai amateur radio operators would participate in an international ARDF in Penang, Malaysia on June 30, while Rudy, HS0ZEA announced that John Vajo, HS0ZAA was selling two Kenwood TS-870 amateur radio transceivers and a Collins 30L1 along with four 572B vacuum tubes. Rudy may be contacted at ruri1(AT)gmx.net for more details or if you are interested.
The next RAST meeting will take place on Sunday July 7, 2013 at the Sena Place Hotel although RAST President Pornchai said he would not be present himself since he would be attending and participating at the Friedrichsafen in Germany where RAST will have a booth. He will be joined there by several Thai amateur radio operators and many RAST members resident in Germany, Switzerland and other nearby countries.
Eddy, HS0/EA4BKA is a Silent Key
Former RAST secretary succumbs to emphysemaEduardo Campos-Tortosa (Eddy), HS0/EA4BKA and formerly HS1ALP, passed away at 02.35 a.m. on the morning of May 23 from complications arising from acute emphysema. He was 72 years old.
Eddy, who had served for many years as a diplomat at the Spanish Embassy in Bangkok, had been a member of RAST for almost 40 years and he had helped the society in its long struggle for amateur radio to be recognized by the Thai Government as a legitimate and legal activity.
This included making an appearance in the mid-1970's on Thai Television Channel 4 with former RAST President Kamchai Chotikul, HS1WR-SK, and former Director General of the Post and Telegraph Department Sribhumi Sukanetr, HS1SS to explain amateur radio to the public.
Eddy had also served on RAST committees on several occasions, including holding the post of International Secretary for the society from 1978-1980.
He had been active on the air from Thailand under the callsign issued by RAST which had been HS1ALP and later, and up until he passed away, he had operated with the callsign HS0/EA4BKA from his station in Pattaya.
Eddy had also participated in all major events organized by RAST, including many Southeast Asia Network (SEANET) conventions, most recently being the convention hosted by RAST in Lampang in 2007.
He will be deeply missed by his family and his many, many friends around the world.
A funeral service and Mass in Pattaya was conducted on the morning of Monday, May 27 at St Nikolaus Catholic Church in Pattaya and this was followed by a cremation ceremony at Wat Nong Yai a short distance from the church. The services were attended by members of his family and relatives, close friends and representatives from RAST.
May Eddy rest in peace before experiencing a joyful rebirth.
Ballooning expedition presentation
is highlight of May meeting
Tanan, HS1JAN (left) and RAST President Pornchai, HS2JFW explain the MSBAT-3 ballooning event on April 21 when they describe and display the equipment used.
At the RAST meeting on Sunday, May 5, 2013, Tanan made a presentation supported with images and video clips of the event which detailed the devices and the technology used -- most of which had been developed and manufactured by Thais -- while comparing it to the two previous ballooning activities that were staged last year.
Unfortunately, the 3,000 gram rubber balloon from TOTEX Corporation used for MSBAT-3, suffered a scratch and had begun to leak so last month's expedition which had featured a live TV transmission on 54 MHz, beacons on 28-MHZ and 27 MHz, APRS and a VHF repeater had to be aborted.
When the next expedition comes around, the location chosen for the launch will be well clear of overhead power lines and other obstructions, the various radio and recording modules will be firmly connected together prior to launch and two or three balloons will be used rather than one, providing better lift and redundancy in event of any damage, Tanan explained.
His presentation related how the ballooning activities had been inspired by the vision of His Majesty the King and he compared the scope and the scale of the most recent effort with the MSBAT-1 and MSBAT-2 exercises conducted last year (an account of the MSBAT-1 activities can be found in our archives here).
The video below shows pre-launch preparations at Wat Ban Bua Thong on April 21 filmed from a camera aboard a drone helicopter:
This second YouTube video shows take off and subsequent entanglement with an overhead power line, followed by retrieval of the balloon and payload:
The event was sponsored by RAST along with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), 100 watts Magazine, APRS EasyTrack and SiamData.
Meeting begins with a minute of silenceThe May RAST meeting at Sena Place Hotel began with one minute of silence for former RAST member Bernd Wolfgang Wendpaap, HS0ZIK and for P. Krishnan Kutty, VU2PKK who both passed away during April.
Bernd, aged 70, had been active on the HF bands from Thailand, particularly 40 metres, and had been a regular participant in RAST monthly meetings while Kutty, 85 had been active on the HF bands for many decades and had joined a weekly sked with RAST members Fred, K3ZO/HS0ZAR, Sam, HS0ZDY, Tony, HS0ZDX and Charly, HS0ZCW over a span of many years.
May both these silent keys rest in peace.
The lobby-level restaurant in Sena Place hotel was busy on May 5 with around 50 members and guests, many of whom braved a heavy rainstorm in the morning to make the meeting. There were half a dozen or so first-timers or long-term returnees and these included Sukit, HS1GKR, Jeff, Ak6TG, Nimit, K6XOX/HS1IFU, Tom, VK4BR, Sarawut E22NCF and one guest who is not a radio ham yet.
RAST President Pornchai (Joe), HS2JFW provided an update on activities, briefly touching on the ballooning and announcing the forthcoming presentation before moving on to say that he had followed up with the authorities regarding the pending reciprocal agreements with Japan and Denmark. He said he was still awaiting a formal response.
There is also to be a high-level telecom meeting in Bangkok in June hosted by the NBTC and a working group that would include RAST representatives was being set up, he said.
Vikrom invites RAST members to his birthday partyGen Prasit, HS1DN, stepped forward to announce that former RAST President Vikrom Punyashthiti, HS1HB (pictured at left) would be celebrating his birthday on May 11 with a party and RAST members were invited to attend that evening from 5 p.m. onwards.
Admission to the party would be free but donations to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's charities would be welcomed with a donation box to be provided. Gen Prasit said that Khun Vikrom had said that he would match every donation made with an equal amount. Anyone wishing to attend is asked to call in advance to 081-916-4036. Gen Prasit added that HS1HB is active on 145.300 MHz each morning from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
RAST booths at two ham shows confirmed this yearChamp, E21EIC, announced that RAST would have a booth at the Tokyo Ham Fair in August and that he would be attending the event while RAST President Joe also announced that there will be a RAST booth at the Friedrichshafen amateur radio convention from June 28-30 where RAST's activities, details about amateur radio in Thailand, reciprocal licensing procedures, tourism information for visitors to Thailand and pictures of the flooding and details of support received would be provided.
A fruitful discussion about AIT club stationFinally, the RAST President announced that he had met with AIT representatives when he had broached RAST's proposal to build a second storey above the existing club station with a separate foundation. AIT believes it can be done, but cautioned that it would take a long time, possibly six to seven months, Joe added, suggesting or asking those present whether it might be better for RAST to put limited equipment in the existing station after replacing the main door to begin operations in the interim.
A discussion followed with Gen Prasit, HS1DN suggesting that the AIT campus would be unlikely to flood again and a consensus seemed to rally around the observation made by Sam, HS0ZDY who observed that if it were to become vulnerable to flooding again we should have plenty of warning of flood waters moving down from the north towards Bangkok and we could then move any equipment out of harm's way in good time as a precaution in those circumstances.
This would avoid a heavy investment in a second floor and free up funds for equipment and operating resources while allowing operations and enhancements to the station to proceed quickly.
April RAST meeting
Another ballooning expedition is scheduled -- watch it live on TV!
The April meeting saw RAST return for its monthly get-together to the lobby-level restaurant at the Sena Place Hotel in Phaholyothin Soi 11, its regular venue for over a decade, when the society's President brought those present up to date on developments. Also attending the meeting were former RAST presidents Mrs Mayuree Chotikul, HS1YL and Chaiyong Wongwuticomjon, HS1QVD.
Following the buffet lunch, RAST President Pornchai (Joe), HS2JFW began by welcoming returning member Karl Renz, K4YT/HS0ZDG, before announcing developments regarding the HS0AC club station and speaking about an upcoming ballooning expedition planned for later this month.
The third amateur radio ballooning expedition, or MSBAT-3, is scheduled for April 21, 2013 when a large multipurpose stratospheric helium balloon (such as the one pictured at right used during the first ballooning exercise in January last year) will be launched from the outskirts of Bangkok and tracked as it drifts with the winds while gaining in altitude.
This time, the balloon will be larger -- weighing three kilograms it will be three times the size of the previous balloon used -- while the payload will also be greater, including a dual band repeater, beacons for 10-metres and 11-metres (CB) and a live video camera transmitting on the former Channel 3 frequency around 54-MHz (the 6-metre amateur radio band).
This should enable anyone in the Bangkok area who has an analogue television and an outside antenna to monitor live video from the balloon following its ascent on April 21 by tuning to their old TV Channel 3 frequency, or by scanning the TV VHF spectrum if they have deleted that channel which is no longer used in the Bangkok area.
Funded in part by the NBTC which is supporting this event with a funding of 80,000 baht, the launch will begin at 9 a.m. from Wat Ban Bua Thong School in the northwest suburbs of the city.
As expenses will exceed this amount, the organizers of the event are seeking to raise additional funds by marketing T-shirts that commemorate the occasion and these can still be ordered from Champ, E21EIC with samples shown here:
HS0AC club station likely to be rebuilt and enhanced on the AIT campusThe RAST President also related how last month IARU Director Gopal Madhavan, VU2GMN (pictured below at right) had visited Bangkok to attend an APT meeting and had met with RAST President Pornchai who outlined the issues regarding the reactivation of the HS0AC Club Station.
Pornchai said he had escorted the IARU director to inspect the AIT (Asian Institute of Technology) campus and the club station building following the severe flooding of 2011 to see the damage for himself and he had also taken Gopal to visit the N-Siri Resort where RAST had considered relocating the club station to.
In August last year, during a visit to Thailand Gopal had presented a US$1,000 donation to RAST on behalf of the International Amateur Radio Union Region 3 from "9V1UV Selva's Special Fund" to support the society's efforts in restoring the club station and he had been most interested to learn of developments and ongoing plans.
He said that Gopal believed that AIT would be the best location, but that a second storey to the building should be built, if permission for this is granted.
Pornchai added that many RAST members had advocated retaining the club station at AIT while RAST has also received an assurance about the future of AIT and its location on the Rangsit campus.
At the meeting Sam, HS0ZDY proposed that the second storey for HS0AC be built using new foundation piles and to be above but separate from the ground storey building which should be the most efficient and most economical approach.
Pornchai said he would discuss this further with RAST committee members and the authorities at AIT, while Gen Prasit, HS1DN suggested that the society should be able to obtain a budget for this from the government, given that RAST had helped during the 2011 flooding in many ways.
The RAST President added that the society needed to move forward on this matter urgently now.
RAST President to go to FriedrichshafenMany of the non-Thai members of RAST reside in Germany and several of them have come together to organise a RAST booth at the International amateur radio convention in Friedrichshafen this year and which is from June 28-30. In recognition of this, RAST President Pornchai will be attending the convention -- Europe's biggest amateur radio event -- himself and some posters and flyers about the convention were on display at the April meeting.
Self-supporting tower donated to RASTPornchai also announced a generous offer of a 36-metre self-supporting tower in a donation to RAST that had been made by Chalermchai Saisuphan, HS0PYY and he added that arrangements had been made to dismantle the tower although the society had not determined where it would be relocated to yet.
For earlier reports, including the March AGM meeting please see our archives, with details listed above, at right.