28 HAMILTON ST.  WEST HOBART   7000  TASMANIA.  AUSTRALIA                                                                              



President:         Claureen – VK3KMB                                          Vice Presidents:            Peter VK7PC

                                                                                                                                                Dale VK3YR

                                                                                                            Webmaster:                  Kevin VK2CE

Secretary/Treasurer:       David VK7KDO

Awards Manager/Publicity Officer:  Claureen VK3KMB


April 2008 Newsletter


A message from Bob – VK7KZ


After 20 years as President of The Central Highlands Amateur Radio Club, I felt that it was time for me to step down and hand over to someone more active than I have been, and at a recent meeting it was decided that Claureen would take the job.   Thanks Chloe.



Message from the President


Firstly I would like to thank Bob for his input over the past 20 years, for without him and Dave VK7KDO, there would be no Central Highlands Amateur Radio Club, and we would not have met such a large and varied group of friends.


Over the past few years since I have been involved in ham radio I have had the opportunity to meet up with and enjoy the company of many of our members.


The main function of our club is to ‘have fun’ and enjoy radio.   This is done in varying ways and the main club net is on Thursday evenings at 8.30pm on 3.585 or thereabouts, where we hold a trivia quiz night and chat session.


It was decided to appoint Col – VK3COL to be our quiz Controller, to be in charge of keeping the quiz in order and on track.  


You will see the guidelines in Col’s report further on.


The club also promotes the “Tassie Trout award”, which is available for anyone to get and makes a nice decoration for your shack wall.   Details on how to earn points and claim this award are available on the club website which can be found by doing a search on CHARCT on Google.


Thanks must go to Kevin, VK2CE for his ongoing care of our website.


Our one and only major function this year will be the ‘Tassie Hamfest’ to be held at Miena in December.  


Our club needs your support at this function and I’m sure Dave VK7KDO would appreciate some help before and on the day.


Anyway that’s enough from me,


Hope to hear you on air soon.                       Claureen (alias Chloe)  VK3KMB




A message from Dave – VK7KDO


Over the years since the decision by Dick Smith Electronics not to cover amateur radio gear, Tassie has had to rely on mail order to meet our needs.


One example was brought home to bear this week when calling on Hobart’s main electronics supplier to purchase 4 PL259's and joiners, guess what they did not have any .  To not be able to rely on such a basic item as this is a nonsense.


This inability to access or more particularly be able to see what is available leaves us down here at a disadvantage.


A classic case in question is the Diamond range of equipment, all first class and varied to suit a variety of applications.


As it was many years since a ham fest was undertaken in Tassie, 5 years ago with the help of various CHT members we launched the highly successful Ham Fest at Miena in central Tassie.  The venue was chosen for its excellent facilities and being in the high diddle, diddle was fair an equitable to all areas of VK7 .


Given the small population and the cost to traders to make the trip across the ditch it was decided to make it a biannual event.


GUESS WHAT this year it is on again on the 6th of December at the Miena Community Centre and indication has already been given by several major suppliers to support us once again.


As in the past entrance fee of $5.00 per family is to apply and free tea and coffee will be provided, hamburgers, sausages & the worlds best saveloys will be available for the health conscious to purchase on the day.


A lucky door prise will also be up for grabs via a raffle ticket which will be issued on registering.


Used equipment will also be catered for and a notice board will be provided for people not wishing to man stall space to advertise their pre owned goodies.


These events have been well supported and are also a chance for that eye ball contact and are a great deal of fun. Indications are that we will again have some interstate guests to join us on the day.


Whilst it is appreciated that the Hamfest is several months off this will give people time to collect their cordial bottles to have a few dollars to purchase that much needed item of equipment.


If there are any kindly souls who would be willing to contact me to provide some assistance on the day it will be greatly appreciated.  Hope to see you there.





                                                    THE QUIZ


The Central Highlands Amateur Radio Club of Tasmania on air highlight is the ever popular Thursday night trivia quiz. Currently the check in time is 8:20 – 8:30pm on 3.585 + or – if the frequency is in use, with the quiz kicking off at 8:30pm sharp and the last question being asked by 9:15pm. This time does vary from time to time due to conditions, daylight saving, etc, so keep in touch for the current times. People are most welcome to check in earlier and hold the frequency, just as they are welcome to stay for a chat following the quiz.

The format the quiz takes is:

If possible the winner is the quiz Master for the next week.

In the case of tied scores the winner is decided by mutual agreement, or if necessary one will be appointed by the quiz Controller, taking into account the frequency of wins and how well the person is heard.


This year there have been very good numbers participating, and it is great to see a number of VK7’s checking in once again, keep promoting it in VK7.

Quite a number of the regulars are doing their bit to keep the quiz running by attending whenever possible and giving advice and support to new members, particularly when being quiz Master for the first time.

Thanks go to the Stalwarts:











Apologies to anyone that may have been missed.


Before taking on the job as quiz Master for the first time it is necessary to avail yourself of the XL spread sheet to keep the correct order. This spread sheet can be either downloaded from the CHARCT web site, or by email to the quiz Controller (VK3COL).

A couple of tips to help make the quiz run smoother:

1/ If there is deliberate interference by an interjector, don’t respond to him/her, that is exactly want they want.

2/ If the quiz Master drifts on frequency, follow with your VFO, not your clarifier/RIT, this way we all stay on the same frequency.

3/ It is advisable not to ask Amateur Radio theory type questions that may embarrass contestants who feel they should know them.

4/ If you can’t hear the quiz Master when checking in, consider stepping aside for the night, or at least arrange for ONE person to be your relay. This will hopefully cut out the question being repeated over and over .

Remember, the quiz night is meant to be fun, so don’t get too upset if the quiz Master has what you are sure is the wrong answer, your turn will come around.

Catch you Thursday night……..                Colin VK3COL










New Member


Welcome to Tim – VK3MIT                           




New Zealand highlights.   By Bob Geeves


I recently went to the south island of New Zealand to attend The War birds over Wanaka Air Show.


It is the biggest airshow in the southern hemisphere and held every 2 years at Easter. I flew direct to Dunedin from Melbourne and stayed with friends for a few days whilst being shown the sights around Dunedin including bottle shops.


To my amazement the supermarket booze shops had Carlton Cold stubbies at around Aud$25-00 a box. I stocked up on heaps of them.

Thursday my friends and I set off for Wanaka about 4 hours away up in the highlands.   Such beautiful country we travelled through, stopping at small towns for snacks, comfort stops and for me to empty out the empty stubbies bag. Finally arrived at Wanaka and settled in to their “shack”. (valued at NZ$1million.)



The weather was so good and hot we stayed for 7 days, not the 3 we planned to.


Good Friday saw the start of the Air show and we spent all day walking around the static displays and watching all manner of aircraft practicing for the main events Saturday and Sunday.                                     


We returned on Saturday early to set up camera equipment and get a good position, but we were too late. We had to be happy with 8 rows of people back from the fence of the runway and stake our claim.


What a day of entertainment. I was blown away with the flying skills of the pilots of the dozens of different aircraft from triplanes, biplanes, all sorts of helicopters, gyrocopter, Mustangs, Hurricane, Catalina, DC3, Corsairs, many other early war birds and scared shitless by the F1-11 that appeared from nowhere at about 100 feet above us travelling at or near the sound barrier.


I had to go to the drinks tent for a gin & tonic after that. The prick came back doing a fuel dump and burn in front of us shortly after.


On the Saturday it was estimated there were 80 thousand people in attendance. Not bad for a town that has a population of 5000.


We drove to Queenstown on Sunday and again I was blown away by the scenery getting there. We came back to Wanaka via a different route, again stopping at small places along the way.


I will definitely be going back for another visit. It is so beautiful.


Yep they have lots of sheep as well. It’s a pity the people can’t speak proper English tho!







Tech Tips   - Dave VK3JKY


I recently had occasion to connect an Icom 706 to an amplifier that requires a contact closure to ground for PTT operation. 


Icom engineers did not figure the 706 deserved the luxury of a dedicated contact set for this purpose  instead, offering two lines on the accessory socket ‘HSEND’ (HF Port) and VSEND’ (VHF Port) for this purpose.   Connecting one of these lines directly to an amplifier PTT input is wrought with problems.    Refer to page 6 of the 706 user manual.

Both lines function in an identical manner, in receive mode the line sits at the +8V level in respect to ground while when transmitting the line goes to ground.


An interface that provides an isolated contact closure can be easily constructed using a couple of diodes and a small relay.   1N4001 or similar diodes are fine but the relay should have a coil resistance of at least 700 ohms as the current needs to be less than 20mA.   Altronics  part number  S4150 is a 12V DPDT relay  with a resistance of 960 ohms.


The above schematic is almost self explanatory.   D1 blocks the 8V present on receive and D2 serves a quench diode to absorb the de-magnetization energy stored in the relay coil. Contacts KL2 close the PTT loop for the amplifier and the contacts KL3 are unused.   The pin numbers refer to the pins on the Icom accessory connector.








Just a note to anyone receiving this newsletter by post, - if you have an email address please forward same to me to save the Club postage on future newsletters.



Claureen   -  email:    [email protected]


 Download this Newsletter as a Word Document here.