Choon, E20HHK (with microphone) explains the origin and history of the Thailand DX Association (HSDXA) as he stands with a group of HSDXA members wearing E2X T-shirts to mark the callsign allocated to their club station in Phitsanulok during the July RAST meeting at Sena Place hotel.
HS0AC gets ready to celebrate its 'rebirth' next month
Inside the HS0AC shack, three operating positions. The FT2000s donated by Yaesu Inc. sit side-by-side with an Icom IC-746 off to the left. This is one of the many photographs shown during the July meeting of RAST. This photo was taken by E21EIC on July 5, 2014.
There were several new faces, including a Japanese radio amateur who immediately joined RAST on arrival, attending the RAST meeting at Sena Place Hotel on July 6, 2014.
Introducing themselves were returnees Dave, HS0ZLG and his XYL Judy (KD6BBO), a group from Khon Kaen including Surachit, HS4HLW and Suwarapong, HS4LKW and two journalists from 100 Watts Magazine, Natty, E20YGG and Peeranat, E20PFE.
The new faces were Frank, N3PQ who lives in Chiang Rai, Toshiyama, JM1KNQ, Pawan, E23PKQ (the son of Ray, E23PKO) and Sathitpong, E21SNN.
The 40 metre beam goes up on June 29. Photos by E22ICQ.
Throughout the meeting a slide show was running that was projected onto a screen and which showed the progress of work to restore the HS0AC shack at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) over the past two months by teams of volunteers who also assembled and installed antennas outside on three towers.
RAST President Jakkree (Jack) kicked off the formal part of the meeting following the buffet lunch by summarizing the "hard work" that had been carried out over the past two months to get the station back up and running.
"Many hands make light work" is an old saying, but in this case the work was still hard but the camaraderie certainly helped! Photo by E22ICQ.
Now the interior of the station is complete with two operating positions and three antenna towers have been equipped, mostly with monoband Yagis, although the rotator needs replacing for the tower with the 40-metre and 10 metre beams.
The rotator problem is investigated. It turned out to be irrepairable and a replacement rotator is now being sought. Photo by E22ICQ
However, Jack announced that he had spoken to Charly, HS0ZCW who had said he would donate a rotator to the club station that should be sufficient to cope with the heavy load.
To mark the completion of work on the club station -- thanks to the generous donations that had flowed in following the disastrous flooding in late 2011 -- RAST will hold a formal opening party at HS0AC on the campus of AIT on the afternoon of Sunday, August 3, 2014.
Indeed, donations are still coming in and Jack thanked RAST committee member Dr Panit, HS1AAZ for generously donating over 8,000 baht along with RAST Treasurer Nong-ee, HS0VDX and Nongyao, HS9EQY who both had donated 1,000 baht and Weerawat, HS7JJY for his 500 baht donation towards ongoing HS0AC expenses.
Now the work has been done, come to appreciate the "handiwork" on Sunday, August 3 when the HS0AC club station will have an "Open House" on the campus of the Asian Institute of Technology. Photo by E22ICQ.
The August 3 "Open House" at HS0AC will be instead of the regular meeting at Sena Place Hotel for August and will begin at 1.30 p.m. with snacks and refreshments being served during the afternoon.
The next item on the agenda was the 50th anniversary celebrations of RAST which Jack said would be marked in December this year with a gala Chinese banquet being hosted at the Navy Club on the Chao Phya River near Sanam Luang in the evening on Sunday, December 7.
It is hoped to attract many foreign visitors to this event which will be combined with a four-day/three-night tour package that will include accommodation and guided tours to key attractions in and around Bangkok.
Jack then spoke briefly about the draft amateur radio regulations that had been completed by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission and signed by the NBTC Chairman on June 20 but which has yet to be published in the Royal Gazette which is the requirement before becoming law.
This will provide sweeping changes to amateur radio in Thailand which are outlined in the news item below and which will include an advanced class for qualified operators, access to six metres, an expansion of two metres and the 80- and 160-metre HF bands and a relaxation of type approval constraints.
Jack welcomed these developments, but said he would rather wait until the regulations become law and the schedule for implementation is announced before making any further comments.
Champ, E21EIC takes the microphone to explain the use of the HS50RAST callsign to commemorate RAST's 50th anniversary this year with Tony, HS0ZDX at hand to summarise in English. Photo by E21SNN
He then invited RAST Secretary Chalermphol (Champ), E21EIC to speak about the use of the special callsign HS50RAST which has now been authorised and also about the CQ World-Wide VHF Contest on the weekend of July 19-20, 2014.
Champ said that any intermediate class licence-holder may request to use the callsign HS50RAST and in order to do so he or she needs to send a copy of the licence, full name, address, phone and email address along with the dates requested for operations using the call HS50RAST to Champ (e21eic(AT)gmail.com).
After the activity period is over, the operator must then send an electronic copy of the log (in .adi format) to Champ. Full details can be found at http://www.e21eic.net/rast50y_announce.php
As for the conditions for the use of the six-metre band which has been permitted by the NBTC for all intermediate class operators during the CQWW VHF Contest (July 19-20) this year they are summarised in the news item below.
The required data must be submitted to the secretary of RAST before midnight on July 18 in order for the applicant to be eligible.
At left, Mrs Mayuree Chotikul, HS1YL presents CQWW VHF contest certificates to E20YGG on behalf of HS1EFA and at right to E20GMY on behalf of HS6FUJ.
Mrs Mayuree Chotikul presents a plaque for the club station HS4AK in Khon Kaen to two of the operators, HS4LKw, left and HS4HLW.
Presentations of CQ World-Wide plaques and certificates were then made to winners or their representatives for 2013 and 2011 by RAST's former President and President of RAST's board of advisors Mrs Mayuree Chotikul, HS1YL.
Former RAST President Chaiyong, HS1QVD presents a letter of appreciation to HS4HLW on behalf of RAST for his support at HS0AC.
After that, former RAST President Chaiyong Wongwuticomjon, HS1QVD presented letters of thanks from RAST to members of a team from Khon Kaen who had pitched in to help at the HS0AC club station.
Then Champ, E21EIC showed the designs for shirts to mark RAST's 50th anniversary for sale at the Tokyo ham fair and to commemorate the "rise of RAST HS0AC station 2014" -- and which will also be available locally once they have been manufactured.
Finally, a group of Thailand DX Association (HSDXA) members wearing distinctive T-shirts bearing the callsign E2X posed for a photograph and Choon, E20HHK explained how the group had been formed in 1996 and had participated in many DXpeditions, including from Burma and Laos as well as from several IOTA islands in Thailand. The E2X callsign has been issued for use at the group's club station in Phitsanulok province, he explained.
During the meeting, Jack also thanked Champ, E21EIC for donating over 1,000 E2E QSL cards to RAST which he had designed and printed up.
Jack, HS1FVL accepts a donation of E2E QSL cards from RAST Secretary and QSL manager Champ, E21EIC who had designed and had them printed.
NBTC authorises 6 metre band for the CQ World-Wide VHF Contest
This year the NBTC is granting permission for all Intermediate Class amateur radio operators in Thailand to participate in the CQ World-Wide VHF contest on July 19-20, 2014 on the six-metre (50-54 MHz) band in addition to HS0AC and all other club stations in Thailand.
The contest rules (in Thai) can be found at www.e21eic.net/cqvhf
and a version of the rules in English is here
. The contest is from 18.00 UTC on Saturday, July 19 until 21.00 UTC on Sunday, July 20, 2014.
All stations that intend to participate in the contest on the six-metre band must register in advance with RAST and provide details of their callsign, name and address along with a copy of their intermediate class licence and a home or mobile telephone number. This information must be submitted to RAST by mail to P.O. Box 2008, Bangkok 10501 or by email to e21eic(AT)gmail.com. (Tel: 087-557-7773).
The deadline for providing this information is midnight on July 18, 2014 since RAST must forward these details to the secretariat of the NBTC prior to the contest.
As of mid-June all that remains to be done is to install new antennas and coaxial cabling and to set up the operating equipment on a desk in the shack.
June RAST meeting
Over 70 percent of work to complete the renovation of RAST's club station HS0AC at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) has been carried out, President Jakkree (Jack) Hantongkom told members at the June meeting on Sunday June 1 at Sena Place Hotel.
It had been less than 30 days since Jack, HS1FVL had been elected President of RAST and one of his commitments to members upon accepting the post had been to pledge that he would have the HS0AC club station fully refurbished and operational within three months.
He appears to be ahead of schedule and well within budget -- thanks to his efforts and to generous donations following the flooding that inundated the station in November 2011 to a depth of two metres.
Following the disaster
, work on restoring the station over the past two and a half years had been
Initially, there had been a debate regarding whether to relocate the station, and if so, to where. Then, finally, after the society had agreed to stay at AIT, the contractor who had been appointed to take on the task had been unable to start work.
At the well-attended June meeting with around 40 members and guests present Jack explained how, over the past month, many members of RAST had helped out at the HS0AC premises. (Our thanks to Champ, E21EIC for these photos)
With help from professionals, they had repaired the bathroom, replaced tiles, repaired cracks in the walls and had painted the interior.
"In under 30 days over 70 percent of the work at HS0AC has been completed," Jack said, adding that the renovation work would be finished in a further seven to 10 days. There would be security cameras and bars on the windows, while a new door would be installed. New antennas, mostly monobanders, would be stacked on the three towers at the station.
For an illustrated account of the ongoing efforts to restore the HS0AC club station click here
Several RAST members are also donating equipment for use at the club station and this includes an Electrolux microwave oven to be donated by Choon, E20HHK, while Ray, E23PKO has donated 25 down-lights to replace fluorescent lighting (to avoid using ballasts that can introduce RFI) and Phot, E20GMY, on behalf of the Thailand DX Association (HSDXA), has donated APRS equipment for RAST to use at HS0AC.
A table would be installed so that meetings could be held there and the next RAST committee meeting in mid-June would be conducted inside the HS0AC club house, Jack added, noting that during the month of July the station would be operational when it would be fully tested while the August RAST meeting would be held at AIT when representatives of amateur radio associations elsewhere in Thailand would be invited to attend the "HS0AC Open House."
The RAST President mentioned that the RAST committee had convened at Sena Place Hotel earlier that morning and that the committee would continue to hold meetings twice a month.
This year is an important year for RAST, being its 50th anniversary, and the occasion would be celebrated at the beginning of December when guests from overseas would be invited and a gala dinner would be staged at the Navy Club, Jack explained to those present.
He said he was designing a package for foreign guests including guided tours of Bangkok lasting three nights and four days around the anniversary dinner. Details will be posted on this website once they have been finalised.
The June meeting was well attended with around 40 members and guests present.
In other announcements, Jack said that RAST supported the JAISAT satellite project and that the society would sponsor this and would try to seek support from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).
Regarding the six-metre band, the RAST President noted that there had been a meeting with the NBTC the previous week regarding 50-MHz and both Jack, HS1FVL and Joe, HS2JFW, the former President of RAST, had represented RAST there when they had explained the reasons while this band should be allocated to amateur radio. Jack said that he was optimistic that there would be a favourable ruling soon.
Regarding the next intermediate class examination, Jack said that there should be authorisation from the NBTC for this in two to three months' time and after that RAST would immediately set a date for the exam.
Dr Jakkree (Jack) Hantongkom, HS1FVL was elected President of RAST for a two-year term during the society's May 4 annual general meeting (AGM) at Sena Place Hotel. Jakkree stood unopposed after the other nominee for president, Sakol Nakin, HS1JNB declined to run for election.
A nine-member committee to assist Jakkree in managing the society was also elected during the meeting.
Outgoing president Pornchai (Joe) Semjang, HS2JFW explained that work and family commitments precluded him for running for president again while he said he would continue to support RAST.
The committee members elected comprised Wanlop Tadsri, HS6MYW, Chalermpol (Champ) Muangamphun, E21EIC, Dr Noppadol (Mor Dong) Narupiti, E20MIO, Watcharapong (Tof) Chujinda, HS0NNU, Pornpimon Suksansomphop, HS0VDX, Anthony (Tony) Waltham, HS0ZDX, Pimchanok Palakawongse na Ayudhaya, E23PKO, Kriangkrai (Choon) Suriyakrai, E20HHK and Nukool (Nuk) Sukpol, HS7BHK. Another five committee members will be appointed by the President. See the full list of all committee members and their responsibilities.
The meeting saw a good turnout with almost 50 members attending and began with a head count in line with RAST's regulations which require a quorum comprising half the membership to be present.
Since RAST has over 800 members, mostly life members with many living overseas, there is an alternative and this is to wait for one hour, after which those present are deemed to constitute the quorum.
Initially, shortly after noon, the head count was 46 and an hour later at 13.15 it had increased to 49 which was declared to be the quorum and then the formalities proceeded with outgoing President Pornchai, HS2JFW thanking members for their support and help during the past two years.
He then invited any comments or suggestions from the floor and Charly, HS0ZCW mentioned that a US radio ham was now offering Thai radio amateurs the opportunity to rent a remote station in the USA and to operate that station over the Internet.
When asked what the fee for using this station was, Charly said that there were several packages, but it started at US$3 an hour, with five stations being available.
After this the 2013 AGM, which had been deferred from March, began with the approval of the minutes of the previous year's AGM with a show of hands.
Pornchai (Joe) then provided a summary of the activities of RAST over the past year, beginning with the New Year Party at the house of Noppadol (Mor Dong) in Lumlukka. He continued by noting that there had been many VEC examinations for a US amateur radio licence conducted by the team led by Champ, E21EIC and that following a dialogue with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) last year, the agency now accepted Thai holders of US general or advanced class licences as qualified to upgrade to a Thai intermediate class licence.
Other activities included several ballooning expeditions and the participation by RAST with booths at international amateur radio exhibitions in Friedrichshafen, Germany and Tokyo, Japan. Joe added that this year there would again be a RAST booth at both events thanks to the efforts of RAST members in Germany and to Champ, E21EIC and his friends in Japan.
Other achievements over the past year included permission to operate on 6-metres during the CQWW VHF contest with many club stations in the provinces joining in while RAST had worked closely with the NBTC in drawing up new regulations to govern amateur radio, providing information and making several proposals regarding this.
This dialogue was ongoing, Joe explained, and there were more meetings ahead scheduled for this month, he said, adding that another development last year had been to test the D-STAR digital mode on two metres in conjunction with the NBTC.
Joe then mentioned that there had been one outstanding task at the end of his term and this was the HS0AC club station where work to refurbish the premises at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) had been unable to resume after the contractor had been banned from working on the campus.
The next item on the agenda was to appoint an auditor and Joe said that the auditor for the previous two years, Prateep Saengthammarat had performed well and he proposed that Prateep be appointed for another two years. This was approved unanimously.
Joe then reviewed revenues and expenses for 2013 and, speaking on behalf of the treasurer, he stated the income as being 431,815.32 baht with expenses of 455,401.59 baht, or a net decline in finances of 23,586.27.
However, Joe said that these figures were misleading because 50,000 baht had been withdrawn from the RAST deposit account to pay the contractor for work on the HS0AC station at AIT, but that nothing had been paid because the work could not be performed and so RAST had an additional 50,000 baht in hand.
Joe also announced that RAST now had 832 life members and 16 ordinary members.
Then it was time for the election of a new president and committee and Joe began by inviting former RAST President Chaiyong Wongwuticomjon, HS1QVD to preside over this. Chaiyong accepted and asked for some assistants to help him, while a white board had been provided to record the outcome and voting slips were handed out by Champ, E21EIC.
Nominations were then invited for the position of President of RAST and Jakkree (Jack) Hantongkom, HS1FVL was nominated along with Sakol Nakin, HS1JNB. Both candidates were invited to the front of the room to say a few words when Sakol thanked the person who had nominated him but declined to run.
Sakol, HS1JNB (right) declines to run after being nominated so Jakkree stood for election as RAST President unopposed.
Jack then said that if elected president he would pledge to do three things:
-- to have the club station completed and ready to operate within three months
-- that this year's 50th anniversary of RAST would be a major celebration, the biggest ever
-- he would raise the profile of RAST. Everyone must know about RAST and RAST must be accessible, he said.
There would also be intermediate class and advanced class amateur radio examinations this year, he added.
The election was then conducted with a show of hands and support for Jakkree was unanimous.
Nominations were then accepted for RAST committee members for the next two years, with a total of 10 nominees being proposed and their callsigns were written on the white board. Members then wrote down the names of up to nine of their preferred candidates to be committee members and the votes were collected in a box before being counted. The vote outcome was updated on the white board with the finally tally shown in the picture near the beginning of this report.
After the vote count was complete the nine elected committee members were invited to stand with President Jakkree and former President Mayuree Chotikul for the photograph you see at the top of this page.
Finally, Jakkree, formerly secretary of RAST under the presidency of Pornchai (Joe), thanked Joe for his strong leadership of RAST over the past two years.
After being elected president, Jakkree (Jack), HS1FVL seeks a blessing and advice from former RAST President Mayuree Chotikul, HS1YL.
Record of QSL cards handled by the RAST bureau
RAST's QSL Bureau manager Champ, E21EIC provided this report with statistics about the number of QSL cards handled by the bureau. Cards are distributed free-of-charge to members at every meeting of RAST and are displayed as shown in the picture below taken during the May meeting. To offset expenses outgoing cards are charged at a rate of two baht a card.
Note that the number of cards received reflects both the level of activity and the need for radio amateurs to have a QSO with Thailand confirmed and reflects the rarity of HS/E2 on the bands.
There were more QSL cards received (and outgoing) over the past year than in the two previous years, while in the year 2010-2011 the levels were about the same.
-- Report and photos by Tony, HS0ZDX
The RAST meeting at Sena Place Hotel on March 2 was presided over by Jack (Jakkree), HS1FVL, who took the place of RAST President Pornchai (HS2JFW) after lunch when he made some announcements.
Jack explained that the RAST President had been unable to attend the meeting due to a prior commitment.
This meeting had been a regular meeting of RAST and was not the annual general meeting (AGM) as had been announced earlier on this website.
The AGM is being rescheduled and the date will be announced here as soon as it is finalised. RAST members will also be notified in advance by postal mail in accordance with RAST regulations.
The March 2 meeting had been well attended with a buffet lunch for members and guestsserved and, as usual, QSL cards were made available for members to pick up by RAST QSL manager Champ, E21EIC and his XYL JC, E20NKB.
Subsequently a follow-on meeting was conducted at Sena Place Hotel on March 30, but there were fewer than 40 members present and a vote was taken to defer the AGM meeting to May 4.