A charitable entity (No. 555) pursuant to a Ministry of Finance announcement

RAST Archive: New Year 2007 through to April 2008

OpenCARE to establish emergency operations centre in Nonthaburi

The April RAST get-together at Sena Place Hotel heard of plans by the organisation OpenCARE, which stands for ``Open Exchange for Collaborative Activities in Response to Emergencies,'' to establish an operations centre at the Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT) facility in Nonthaburi, having gained the agency's approval for this.
Earlier, during a committee meeting, RAST Secretary Phatanadit Kulphaichitra (Khun Phat), HS1WFK, had briefed RAST officers of developments as well as about meetings he had had recently with the German Amateur Radio Society (DARC) and with the ITU in Geneva.
OpenCARE, which is supported by the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec), the Thai Red Cross and the National Telecommunications Commission, incorporates amateur radio for the role it can play in providing ad hoc communications after a disaster strikes. Work is now being done to co-ordinate and interlink repeaters nationwide as well as to engage provincial club stations as emergency operations centres.
Members heard how RAST would be able to use office and meeting room facilities at the OpenCARE operations centre in Nonthaburi. More details about OpenCARE can be found at the opencare web site and at you find some nice pictures of Khun Phat's activities here.

RAST Committee for 2008-2009

At the March meeting, members present voted for and re-elected Chaiyong Wongwuticomjon, HS1QVD, as President along with a team of officers to serve RAST for 2008 and 2009. The names of those eligible to serve have been submitted to the authorities.
Here is the line up of the RAST 2008-2009 committee, comprising both elected and appointed officers:

Advisory Chairman: Mrs. Mayuree Chotikul, HS1YL;
President: Chaiyong Wongwuticomjon, HS1QVD;
Vice President: Col. Prasit Neelayodhin, HS1DN (General Affairs);
Secretary General: Phatanadit Kulphaichitra, HS1WFK (General Affairs)
Treasurer: Mrs. Yanee Chullakesa, HS1LCC
Committee members:
Kunchit Charmaraman, HS1JC (Academic activities)
Uthai Kanokwuttipong, HS1RGF (Legal matters)
Maj. Narissara Chaowanasai, HS1CHB (Special Activities)
Sansern Reongrit, HS7XPE (Registrar/QSL Manager)
Tempark Phudtararutchapark, E20FWF, (Web Site Manager)
Finn Jensen, OZ1HET, (HS0AC Station Manager)
Dr David Furman, HS0ZDP (General Affairs)
Alexander Janssens, ON8JA (RAST Forum)
Anthony Waltham, HS0ZDX (International Affairs)
Winit Kongprasert, HS1CKC (HS0AC Deputy Station Manager)
Chalermpon Muangamphun, E21EIC (Contest Manager)
Pornchai Semjang, HS2JFW (Web site)
Simon Luttrell, G6JFY (General Affairs)

At the April meeting, President Chaiyong, HS1QVD, extended his thanks to Pornchai, HS2JFW, for sponsoring the web site www.rast.or.th and announced that he was in the process of setting up a 10-metre beacon on 28.225 MHz, using the callsign HS0AC

Update on RAST addresses

Here are the official addresses for RAST:
Address: P.O.Box 2008 Bangkok 10501 Thailand
The Office of the President : 251/206 Sammakorn 58 Ramkamhaeng Road, Sapansoong, Bangkok 10240 Tel: 081 9242466 (If calling from outside Thailand: +6681 9242466)
Registered address of the Society: 328/19 Sirinthorn Road, Bangbamru Bangplad Subdistrict, Bangkok 10700

Amateur radio training and exams being prepared

RAST is now in the process of organising a combined training session and examination for the novice class and intermediate class amateur radio licence, and Ajarn Kanchit, HS1JC, told the April meeting that the intermediate class exam would likely take place before the novice class event.
Dates have yet to be set, but will be announced as soon as they are known.

RAST Forum is up and running

The bilingual RAST Forum, which has had a fairly low-key introduction, is now up and running at www.rastforum.com and Forum organiser Alexander, ON8JA, said that he was looking for a moderator for Thai-language contributions.
The forum allows people to enter into discussions and share their viewpoints and knowledge interactively.

Roof work on HS0AC club station at AIT is finished

RAST Club Station Manager Finn said that the work on the new roof at HS0AC on the campus of the Asian Institute of Technology was completed and that the station was now ready to use.
Last month participation in the Russian DX Contest (RDXC) from HS0AC saw some 486 QSOs and over 712,000 points.

RAST to support the IARU at ITU Telecom Asia in September

From September 2-5 ITU Telecom Asia 2008 will showcase the latest ICT innovations, while a high-level forum will explore and debate key areas central to the growth of the Asia Pacific Telecommunication industry.
The International Amateur Radio Union Region 3 Association has been invited to participate in the exhibition with a booth and RAST has offered its support and will work with IARU Region 3 Director Gopal Madhaven, VU2GMN, the project manager, in this.

May meeting of RAST

The next meeting of RAST will be on Sunday, May 4, from 11 a.m. onwards, at Sena Place Hotel (Phaholyothin, Soi 11). A buffet lunch is available and all RAST members, their guests and any visiting radio amateurs are invited to attend.

Report by Tony, HS0ZDX

February RAST meeting

The February meeting was the first RAST gathering of the year after the January New Year party was first postponed and then later cancelled out of respect for Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana, who passed away on January 2, 2008. RAST President Chaiyong and a party of 10 senior RAST members paid their respects to Her Royal Highness at Chitrlada Palace on January 23, 2008, members were informed at the meeting at Sena Place Hotel on February 3.
RAST President Chaiyong, HS1QVD, began the formal part of the get-together by asking members to stand to observe one minute's silence for Wattana Attagarn, HS1AFN, who became a silent key in January.
Next, he announced that the proceeds of hosting the Seanet convention in Lampang last November had resulted in a cash surplus of 27,195 baht, and that these funds had been transferred to RAST's main bank account. (A total of 100 conventioneers from 18 countries attended the convention, while income was 438,572 baht while expenses amounted to 399,916 baht, with outstanding expenses being 11,461 baht.)
Before the February meeting, RAST's committee had met to discuss various issues and the President briefed members on the proceedings, telling them that the society's officers had endorsed a suggestion that RAST propose to the ARRL that Champ, E21EIC, be appointed a DXCC field checker on behalf of RAST so that Thais wishing to apply for the popular DX award need not send their cards overseas (sometimes a risky business).
The committee had also examined the possibilities of arranging both a novice and an intermediate class examination for radio amateurs, and members present heard that it has appointed Kanchit, HS1JC, the explore this, along with conducting a training course prior to the exam.
Another proposal was that RAST ask the authorities for the Morse code examination be waived.
Last month, members heard that RAST Secretary Phattandit, HS1WFK, had delivered a lecture to representatives of the Human Resources Department about the use of Voice over IP communications. This had followed a request that had originally been submitted to the National Telecommunications Commission. However, the agency had reportedly declined to offer a speaker on the grounds that no one there was knowledgable about this subject. Phat was reportedly prepared to brief the NTC about this aspect of commmunications if he was asked to, members were told.
Those present heard about a generous donation of HF equipment including four transceivers and a linear amplifier made to RAST by Khun Thawatchai Sriprasert, HS1RU. Khun Chaiyong said he had written to thank Thawatchai (``Kareem'') for this donation, and the equipment is now at the RAST club station HS0AC.
Station manager Finn, OZ1HET, announced that the Asian Institute of Technology would start work to replace the roof of the club station from the beginning of February, and he said that the station would be closed until this work is finished.
The committee had also discussed the status of the Thai-language RAST web site, and Chaiyong announced it had appointed Champ, E21EIC, to help bring the site up to date and maintain postings to www.rast.or.th.
Apparently, the National Disaster Warning Centre is looking for 10 intermediate class radio amateurs who are prepared to act as stations in a standby emergency HF communications network. The agency has a budget of 500,000 baht for HF communications equipment for these stations, but so far has only had some three volunteers and anyone who would like to volunteer be a part of this network should contact Khun Pattanadit, HS1WFK.
Champ, E21EIC, announced that RAST member Manfred, HS0ZEU/DL2EBR was a member of the DX team that is traveling to Cocos Island (Isla del Coco) in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Costa Rica using the callsign TI9K and which is expected to be active from February 4-February 16, 2008. Champ asked for donations from members present and raised a total of over 2,000 baht, including a personal contribution. The money has since been transferred to the DXpedition team using PayPal.
In November, a team operating from RAST club station HS0AC during the CQWW CQ contest achieved a score of over 1.7 million points for the Frankford Radio CLub (FRC) and at the February meeting on behalf the FRC, John Gagen, W2YR/HS0ZDJ, presented a plaque of appreciation to each of three fellow operators, Winit, HS1CKC, Sam, HS0ZDY, and Finn, OZ1HET. John heads back to W2-land in the first week of February, but we look forward to welcoming him back to Thailand towards the end of 2008.
Thomas Johnson, HS0ZDF/AH6MQ, also drew members' attention to a web site about antennas and antenna modelling at www.cebik.com, which he highly recommended.
The meeting adjourned at about 2 p.m

Report by Tony, HS0ZDX

Over 3,000 attend NTC amateur radio convention Dec 1

Over 3,000 Thai radio amateurs participated in the National Telecommunications Commission's amateur radio convention held on December 1, 2007 to commemorate His Majesty the King's 80th birthday on December 5. Below, NTC commissioners and senior NTC officials are seen on stage where they paid homage by candlelight to His Majesty along with everyone in the audience. There were exhibits and demonstrations during the afternoon, followed by an evening of entertainment with a Chinese dinner and refreshments.

More pictures of this grand event can be found here

SEANET Lampang 2007 in pictures

Thursday, November 8 - the welcome dinner at the Wieng Lakor Hotel

Seanet Lampang in pictures

Preparing to relay Seanet to dinner venue on 2 metres - Gary, VK8GW and Winit, HS1CKC.

HS35SEA - Gary, VK8GW takes Seanet Nov 8; at right, flags representing the delegates present.

Two 'Fon Tee' (umbrella) dancers - Seanet opening night in Lampang Thailand; at right, the Lord Mayor of Lampang

The Lord Mayor of Lampang presents the key to the city to Mayuree, HS1YL, Chairperson of the SEANET 2007 organising committee.

'Fon Wee' dancers performing the fan dance on Seanet 2007 opening night at the Wieng Lakor hotel.

The Fon Tien (candle) dance is performed during the Wieng Lakor hotel welcome dinner.

The opening night in Lampang set the stage for four days of culture and friendship attended by over 100 radio amateurs from around the world.

Photos above by Tony, HS0ZDX

Please also see the photos posted at the SEANET 2007 website (our thanks to Godfrey, 9M6GY, for all his good work on the SEANET site)

Here are some other collections of Seanet 2007 photographs on Google's Picasa site (Click on the images to view the albums):

And in words:


by Steve Telenius-Lowe, 9M6DXX

My main interests in amateur radio are HF DX and contest operating. During the last 25 years I have been lucky enough to travel all over the world and have found that, without exception, if you seek out fellow DXers or contesters during your travels you will always be made extremely welcome and will have a great time with a good bunch of new friends. The 2007 SEANET Convention was like that too.
I must admit that I have never checked in to SEANET and, never having been to a SEANET Convention before, I did not really know what to expect. However, Eva, 9M6EVA, and I moved to South-East Asia over two years ago, so it was high time to attend our first Convention when it was being held in Lampang, a part of Thailand we had not previously visited. But would I feel out of place? Would I know anyone there? Would they share my own perhaps rather limited interests with me?
I need not have worried. Almost as soon as we arrived at the Convention hotel we were called over to a table by Martin, HS0ZED, and introduced to 'the gang' sitting around the table. As it transpired, this was the DXers and contesters group and as usual we were welcomed with open arms.
Immediately I met two fellows who I had spoken to on the air from numerous locations and on many occasions, but had never met before: Stig, LA7JO (aka 9N7JO, EP3UN etc), and Karl Renz, K4YT. Sam, SM3DYU / HS0ZDY, was also at the table and was delighted to speak to Eva in their common mother-tongue. After a few beers I was also able to join in their conversation (I always find a couple of beers makes my Swedish more fluent).
Later we also met Don, HS0ZEE, a fellow Brit who retired to Chiang Mai with his charming wife Carol about nine years ago. For many years Don was active from Bahrein as A92BE and became very well known on the bands. It was good too to renew a friendship with Fred Laun, K3ZO, who I met in the early 1990s when he and Somporn were visiting England, but who I first worked when he was HS1ABD way back in 1978.
There was a good showing of Japanese amateurs including two who I had the pleasure of operating with on DXpeditions in the past: Kazu-san, JA1RJU, who was on the 1998 9M0C Layang-Layang Spratly Island DXpedition and the 2001 D68C Comoros DXpedition, and Taizo-san, JA3AER, who was also a member of the D68C team.
Many of Thailand's growing number of young DXers and contesters were there too, including Champ, E21EIC. In total there were around 150 delegates, including many wives. It was good to see so many partners there also enjoying the socialising.
On the Sunday morning I gave a presentation on the 3B7C St Brandon DXpedition. I had been allocated 30 minutes, so I deleted many of the slides in the 1-hour PowerPoint presentation put together by Don, G3BJ, for the RSGB HF Convention in order to fit the time available. The presentation went extremely well. No fewer than 33 Thai amateurs worked 3B7C (a very high proportion of those active on HF from Thailand) and most of those 33 were there for the presentation.
One JA DXer present, Tachi-san JA1BRK, said he worked 3B7C on 22 band-mode slots (the maximum possible was 24 and the top JA made 23 of the slots), while Kazu, JA1RJU, worked 3B7C on 21. Around 60% of the audience had worked 3B7C at least once - and the room had many XYLs watching the presentation, so in reality the percentage of licensed amateurs there who worked 3B7C was probably a lot higher than 60%.
After the presentation Martin, HS0ZED, revealed some statistics that he had researched on the number of bands that Thai hams - both Thai nationals and the HS0Z ex-pats - had worked the DXpedition - thanks Martin! John, HS1CKC, was so interested in the presentation he asked me for the CD afterwards while Paul, 9V1PH, the only representative from Singapore at SEANET this year, who had been tasked to give a presentation on the SEANET Convention when he gets back to Singapore, also wanted a copy.
The Sunday morning 'plenary session' this year was almost entirely about DXing and contesting. In addition to 3B7C, Champ, E21EIC, gave two presentations, firstly on his participation at the World Radio Team Championship (WRTC 2006) in Brazil, where his multi-national multi-single team won first place. Champ had recently been in the USA and visited the K3LR mega-station and he also talked about that, then showed a 15-minute Icom video which features both the K3LR station and the RSGB IOTA programme. Despite being a commercial for Icom, the video is well worth seeing and it is available for downloading on the Icom USA website.
The cost, by the way, of the entire SEANET Convention was just US $175 per person. This included three nights accommodation in a good hotel, including all food and most drinks (Chang Beer, a Thai brewer, was one of the sponsors but wine or spirits were extra), two full-day excursions by coach, all entrance fees to attractions in the area, all entertainment (lots of pretty Thai lady dancers), and numerous 'SEANET freebies' including a very nice quality polo shirt, Chinese-style jacket, book on 40th anniversary of RAST in English and Thai (fascinating reading), a package of raw Thai silk, coffee mug with individual callsign, SEANET 2007 baseball cap, A3-size group photo, keyring and much more. Almost unbelievable value - I kept on wondering if I would have to pay the hotel bill in addition to the registration fee, but apparently it was all included!
Next year the SEANET Convention will be held here in Kota Kinabalu and in Kudat, at the northernmost tip of Borneo, from 21 to 23 November. I hope we will be able to put on as good a show as the Thais did! The weekend is the one before the CQWW CW contest and already there are plans for several of the contesters who were at SEANET this year to stay on after the convention to do the contest. These include Stig, 9N7JO; John, W2YR / HS0ZDJ; Sam, SM3DYU / HS0ZDY; Champ, E21EIC, and possibly Martin, HS0ZED, and one or two others. This is the group that has been behind the many contest operations from the HS0AC club station over the years.
I know that several members of the 3B7C team are also keen to attend the SEANET convention next year, including Gordon, G3USR, while Falk, DK7YY; Bob, MD0CCE, and Chris, G3SVL, have said they would also like to take part in the CW contest from Sabah. Also, Pete, SM5GMZ / HS0ZFI, is likely to be in this part of the world again at that time so we hope to see him too.
In writing this short report, I have concentrated almost entirely on the social side of meeting fellow DXers and contesters. However, almost all of amateur radio's various interest groups were represented (for example I had a fascinating discussion with a ham whose main interest is in installing 2m and 70cm FM repeaters) and it was great to see so many people from so many countries all with a shared interest in amateur radio getting together and enjoying each other's company. I have not even mentioned the tours of the local region (the elephants were great) or the gala dinners. One of the delegates described the SEANET Convention as being like a United Nations convention, while another talked about ``the SEANET spirit''. Both very apt.
All in all both Eva and I really enjoyed our first SEANET Convention. Since SEANET 2008 will be in Sabah, it certainly won't be our last, but we also hope to get to Seoul in 2009, another place we have never visited before. See you next year!

Here follows some earlier information abour RAST activities.

SEANET dominates November meeting

The upcoming SEANET convention in Lampang was the main topic of conversation during the November RAST meeting at Sena Place and President Chaiyong provided an update for those present, announcing that online registrations indicated that 93 delegates would be attending.
These are mostly international delegates and many more are expected as ``walk-ins'' and last-minute registrations.
The Governor of Lampang and the Lord Mayor of the city of Lampang will grace events during the convention, while door prizes will include hats, world maps, log books and four QRP kits, while chair of the organising committee Mayuree Chotikul has donated silk as a prize. For other details see the SEANET website.
The callsign HS35SEA has now been authorised by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for activities from a special event station to be set up at the Wieng Lakor hotel in Lampang, where the convention is being held.
On Saturday, November 2, the NTC had called a meeting of amateur radio clubs and associations from all over the country to discuss the new amateur radio regulations that became effective on October 11 and which, among other things, permit operations on HF in the WARC bands (details are in a story below).
Representing RAST at the meeting was Khun Uthai, HS1RGF, Khun Narissara, HS1CHB, and Khun Kanchit, HS1JC, who attended the day-long meeting. At the end of the event, two amateur radio clubs, one representing radio hams in Nonthaburi, were given a liaison role to follow up on news from the NTC.
RAST President Chaiyong also announced that the society planned to organise an examination and training exercise for novice amateur radio operators next year, while the feasibility of conducting one for intermediate class operators would be investigated.
In October, RAST arranged a meeting between IARU Region 3 director Peter Lake and representatives of the NTC who would be travelling to Geneva to take part in the World Radio Conference (WRC-07). The meeting was a cordial one as Peter explained the reasoning behind the IARU's request for additional spectrum at 5-MHz and its potential and practicality in supporting amateur radio communications for disaster relief purposes.
The IARU has acknowledged this and has thanked RAST in writing for helping to make this meeting possible.
Last month, RAST also organised a merit-making ceremony to a temple in Nakhon Phanom when a total of 66,899 baht was raised in support of the temple.
The November meeting saw one new visitor and potential member, Jim, KH6JIM, and several returnees, including Rana, WB4NFO/HS0ZBK, Hans, HS0ZFU/DF5UG, and Khun Tham, E21CJN.

WARC bands open up

Thailand's Intermediate and Advanced class radio amateurs are now permitted to operate on the so-called WARC bands (10-, 18- and 24-MHz) as well as in windows in the low end of 80 metres (3.5-MHz) and the CW portion of the 160-metre (1.8-MHz) bands on a permanent basis.
The authorisation, granted in a new Act governing amateur radio in Thailand by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), follows years of lobbying by the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand (RAST). The details were published in the Royal Gazette on October 11, 2007, becoming effective the following day.
Up until this announcement, which is part of a complete revision and consolidation of amateur radio regulations by the NTC, Thai radio amateurs had only been able to operate on the 80- and 160-metre bands during international contests on weekends, while the WARC bands had been only authorised by the Thai authorities for use during certain special event stations on a few occasions.
Special permission to operate on the low bands during contests had been sought by RAST on an annual basis for more than five years to allow its members to compete internationally while also serving to demonstrate that there was no interference to other services.
Specifically, the increase in HF spectrum allocated to amateur radio in Thailand is from 1.800 to 1.825MHz, 3.500 to 3.540 MHz, 10.100 to 10.150 MHz, 18.068 to 18.168 and 24.890 to 24.990 MHz and operators should respect the International Amateur Radio Union Region 3 band plan.
No changes were made to the VHF bands, where 6-metres (50-54 MHz) and 1,240 MHz are still off-limits and 430-MHz (70-cm) is authorised for monitoring only, such as to listen to satellite downlinks. Two metres (144-MHz) is channelised and minor amendments were made to repeater allocations.
The full 37-page announcement of the NTC's Amateur Radio Act of 2007 is published in the Thai-language on the web here
RAST, will make an unofficial translation available soon as well as explaining some of the points in more detail at this website.

Other new provisions in the Act

Under the new regulations, all club stations in the provinces were also given 180 days to register as a society which must have a minimum of 20 members, while there is a requirement that each club station must operate for at least three hours a day, which is a reduction from eight hours under the previous regulations.
The syllabus for the amateur radio examination has been revised and a new requirement for Intermediate class operators who are able to operate on HF frequencies is that they must be at least 15 years old. Morse code is retained as a requirement for the Intermediate class licence with the proficiency in sending and receiving being set at eight words a minute.
As word of the new regulations and of activity by HS and E2 stations on the WARC bands spread after several of Thailand's amateur radio operators began making contacts, so the pile-ups began. Thailand and CQ Zone 26 are in high-demand by award-chasers, both on the WARC bands as well as 80- and 160-metres.
It has been pointed out that the 80-metre allocation (3.5-3.540 MHz) does allow for SSB QSOs, with the IARU R3 bandplan specifying Phone above 3.535MHz, while noting that "where the total band available nationally is 100kHz or less, phone operation may commence at 3.525 MHz). So, if you need HS and/or Zone 26 on 80 metres, remember to listen at the low end of the band.

(Report by HS0ZDX, Oct 16, 2007)

Good turnout for October meeting

The October meeting saw a good turnout, with overflow from the main meeting spilling into the adjacent dining area and members welcomed two new expatriate visitors, Bob, N6VK, and Chris, HS0ZFE and KF6VCI, while introducing himself as a returnee was Gopal, VU3GBG, who teaches at an international school here.

RAST President Chaiyong, HS1QVD, began the formal after-lunch announcements by asking for one minute's silence to mourn the recent deaths of four prominent radio hams: M.R. Kanoktan Worawut, HS1RM (ex VR029), who passed on in June this year; Festus Havelock, 9M8FH, who died March 9; Jiro Miyoshi, JA3UB, who died August 27 and who like Festus had been a regular attendee at Seanet conventions; along with former IARU Region 2 President Tom Atkins, VE3CDM, who died on September 18.

At left: Tom Atkins (SK)

WRC-07 takes place in Geneva in mid-October

Earlier that morning the RAST committee had met to discuss several matters, including a request from IARU Region 3 directors to meet with the Thai delegation who will be travelling to Geneva in the middle of October to attend the World Radio Conference (WRC-07) which will consider spectrum issues.
The IARU hopes that the Thailand delegation will support the allocation of 5.26 MHz to 5.41 MHz to the amateur radio service on a secondary basis and emphasises the importance and role of amateur radio operators for disaster relief. The RAST committee agreed to try and meet with the representatives of the National Telecommunications Commission and with the Ministry of ICT to explain these advantages before they depart later in the month.

Proposal will end CW exam for Intermediate Class

Those present also heard that RAST had also submitted a letter with proposed modifications to the amateur radio regulations in advance of a public hearing, including that the CW requirement for those taking the Intermediate Class examination be dropped, along with the condition that an amateur radio club station serving to monitor transmissions must be established in each province and it is also urging that the construction of transmitting equipment be permitted by law (this is not provided for under existing regulations.)

Video documentary proposal considered

The RAST committee also reviewed an outline for the making of a video about the role of amateur radio in Thailand prepared by Charly, HS0ZCW, K4VUD, and later discussed this further with him in person. During the meeting, Charly said he would soon be looking for video and still photographs featuring amateur radio in Thailand to incorporate in this documentary.

The organisers of Seanet in Lampang this year hope that one couple attending the convention will tie the proverbial knot and get married ... on an elephant, which would be an e-wedding. This will be followed by a northern "Kan Toke" dinner for everyone.

79 registered for Seanet in Lampang so far

Finn, OZ1HET, who is handling the online registrations for Seanet in Lampang next month, reported that 50 persons had registered so far, representing a total of 79 delegates.
Tony, HS0ZDX, asked for a show of hands from those present at the meeting who intended to attend the convention and over a dozen arms were raised. Then he asked those who had already registered to lower their hands and several arms were still raised -- indicating that many who intend to travel to Lampang have not registered yet, and suggesting a good turnout.

HS0AC active in contests

Finn also reported on activities from the HS0AC club station at AIT, including the fact that the CQWW SSB multi-multi entry in October 2006 (Ops: HS1CKC/Winit, HS0ZDJ/John, and HS0ZCG/Bob) took first place in Thailand with a total score of 990,627 points.
Finn reported that operating from HS0AC he took part in the Scandinavian Activity Contest (Sept 15-16) and in the CIS DX Contest (Sept 22-23), although propagation had not been good for either contest and he averaged around 140 QSOs in each contest.

Merit-making for Ray, HS0ZDZ, and housewarming

Lawan, XYL of Ray, HS0ZDZ/G3NOM, who suffered a heart attack almost three years ago and who is still recovering although is unable to talk, has asked RAST to let Ray's friends know that she is hosting a merit-making ceremony and housewarming party at their new QTH near Rangsit on November 12, the morning of the day after the Seanet convention in Lampang.
All friends of Ray are invited to attend. RAST will announce details of how to get there during Seanet and may organise transport to his house, which is much closer to central Bangkok than where they lived previously in Nakhon Nayok province.

There is a map below with details of how to get to their home, which is close to where the eastern outer ring-road crosses over the Rangsit-Nakhon Nayok highway.

Directions: If you are travelling north on the eastern ring road (Kanchanapisek), take the exit signposted Nakhon Nayok. Continue under the ring-road for a few hundred metres, take the very first U-turn, and then turn sharp left and drive over a canal bridge into Mooban Prathana (Phardtana Country Home Village). Continue for about one kilometre, passing a second guard post. The house, No. 139/17, is on the left. The invitation is for all friends of Ray on November 12, 2007, from about 9.30 onwards.

A photograph of Ray taken in June this year.

For a blog with a collection of photographs of Ray please check out raylawan.multiply.com

Reciprocal licensing progress

John/Narissara, HS1CHB, in response to an enquiry about the progress regarding reciprocal licences, said that documents from three countries were in the processing stages, with Belgium being the most advanced and which was just waiting for a new elected government to take office for an agreement to be signed. Documents from Spain and Canada were now with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he added.

November meeting to precede Seanet

The next RAST meeting will be held on Sunday November 4, a few days before the Seanet convention in Lampang, at Sena Place, Phaholyothin Soi 11, from 11 a.m. onwards.

August 2007 meeting

Funds raised towards HS0AC repairs

More than a dozen RAST members pitched in during the August meeting at Sena Place to donate a total of 10,000 baht towards roof repairs for the RAST club station at the Asian Institute of technology.
The individual contributions followed an appeal from HS0AC station manager Finn Jensen (OZ1HET), who explained that while the RAST's rental contract with AIT for the premises of the club station did not oblige the society to pay for routine repairs, several members felt it would be appropriate to show financial support for repairs to the roof which had been damaged in a storm.
Finn explained that AIT had sought financial support from RAST and several members had indicated that they felt that it would be appropriate to help out. Finn also said that some members might now fully appreciate the value of the club station on the university campus and he pointed out that since he had been appointed station manager over 20,000 QSOs had been made from the station.
Members operating from HS0AC had participated in 51 international contests and had won some 13 diplomas. Finn also recounted the history of the station and noted the financial support from the Yasme Foundation, thanks to Fred Laun, HS0ZAR/K3ZO.
Last month, four members using the station and from their home QTHs _ as permitted in the rules for this contest _ had taken part in the IARU RadioSport contest in the multi-multi category for the RAST headquarters station.
Propagation was not that good, Finn said, but a total of 1,063 QSOs were made for some 756,000 points. On July 28-29, HS0AC was activated during the IOTA contest, with 361 QSOs being made for 63,800 points, Finn related.

New faces

The August meeting saw many new faces. Visitors included Mike, NK2R, Porn E20NTZ, Helmut, DL1FCV, Suchart E20WGQ, Paul, KO6H/HS0ZAC, returning after an absence of many months and his wife-to-be Suthada, along with and Suthep, HS1HJC.
Members heard that President Chaiyong and some other committee members had represented RAST during national telecommunications day celebrations on Saturday, August 4, at the National Telecommunications Commission Secretariat on Soi Sailom.
A new-format amateur radio operator's licence was launched that day that can produce a credit-card sized licence within minutes.

Seanet update

Online registrations for the Seanet convention this year in Lampang now number 18 and all members who plan to attend the convention from November 8-11, 2007 are encouraged to visit the SEANET website to register their participation.
Members also heard that the request for the special callsign HS0SEA to be used during the SEANET convention had been submitted to the NTC, but that the secretariat had asked who would take responsibility for operations at the station.
It was announced that during the committee meeting, Narissara (John), HS1CHB had agreed to take responsibility for this.

Lions to stage convention

Next year, Lion Clubs International is staging the 91st annual convention in Bangkok and a district governor and Lion Nirun Pilomlapa, HS1EIK, has approached RAST to seek help in establishing a special event station to mark the event. The convention is expected to draw between 30,000 and 40,000 participants and RAST will help with advice and in seeking a special callsign to commemorate the event.


Members also heard about Charly's (HS0ZCW) proposal to make an hour-long video of amateur radio in Thailand which would include footage of His Majesty the King's leadership role if Royal permission for this is granted... That the NTC had said that permission would be granted to import the Elecraft K3 transceiver in kit form if the manufacturer would provide a letter stating that the 50MHz module would not be included in shipments to Thailand... That the NTC had sought additional information about VHF beacons in IARU Region 3 in response to the proposal from HS0ZFD, Bob, to operate a smart beacon network... and that a new round of amateur radio examinations would have to wait for the approval of new rules and regulations jointly by the NTC and the yet-to-be-formed National Broadcasting Commission. Also, later this month there would be a public hearing about the type approval of equipment, when RAST's representative would be Narissara, HS1CHB.

June meeting round-up

Those attending the June meeting of RAST at Sena Place on Sunday June 3 heard how club activities during the 1980s from an amateur radio station established at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) helped to keep amateur radio alive when all other on-air HF activities had been banned.

This was related by veteran RAST member Professor John Hugh Jones, who returns to Thailand from his home in Berlekey, California every year to attend the graduation ceremony at AIT, where he had served for many years in positions that included being Vice President of the technology institute.

Jonesy (WA3SLK and formerly HS1AIT) explained that he also makes a point while here each year to visit the resort of Hua Hin and to attend a RAST meeting. He was wearing a RAST "SEANET 88" T-shirt, the last two digits also coinciding with his age, he explained.

Back at the end of 1982, the Post and Telegraph Department asked RAST to instruct all radio amateurs to cease operating for an interim period as regulations to govern the activity of amateur radio -- allowed by law but not governed by regulations -- to be drawn up. All privately-owned transmitting equipment was inspected and sealed, thus to ensure that signals from Thailand continued to be aired on the ham bands, active members of RAST sought to operate during major contests from a club station located in a non-private location: on the AIT campus, thanks to the endorsement of Prof Jones.

This permission was applied for and granted by the PTD for many consecutive years both before and after the amateur radio regulations were issued in 1987, and enabled RAST members to operate and keep Thailand's profile on HF amateur radio an active one. This also helped establish a long-term relationship between RAST and AIT, where the society now maintains a club station on the campus, some 42 kilometres north of Bangkok.

RAST sells tower

Those present at the June meeting also heard that Gen Prasit, HS1DN had raised 5,000 baht for the RAST committee with the sale of an old tower belonging to RAST and that the callsign HS35SEA had been asked for to commemorate the 35th annual SEANET Convention to be held in Lampang later this year.

Members were also told that there would be discussions during the coming week between RAST and the National Telecommunications Committee about conducting training and an examination for novice amateur radio operators.

Here is an article from the RSGB bulletin about the meeting and a summary (in Thai) of the meeting with ARRL officials. Both articles open in a new web page.

RAST Secretary meets RSGB and ARRL officials

They also learned that RAST Secretary Pattanadit (Phat - HS1WFK), had recently met representatives of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) in the United Kingdom about disaster communications and had visited the (American Radio Relay League) ARRL HQ in Newington, Connecticut, in the USA following a trip to Georgia to attend an ISO conference in his capacity as an adviser to the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (NECTEC)'s OpenCare project.

Khun Phat had also been busy advising the Thai Red Cross to help the organisation improve its communications networks by incorporating HF amateur radio and VoIP traffic, members were told.

SEANET update

Plans for the forthcoming SEANET Convention were under way, and there was a possible change in the programme with the gala dinner to be staged at the ballroom of the Mae Moh. An online registration form was being drawn up and will appear on the SEANET website in early June, while it is possible for RAST members to pay the registration fee directly into a Krung Thai Bank account no. 034-1-86101-4 and to provide information in Thai over the phone to Khun Yannee at 08-1640-7897

A tentative programme for the technical session on Sunday, November 11 is a presentation by Kenwood on the digital technology used in communications using its D-Star as well as a presentation by a representative of the NTC.

Telecom encyclopaedia

RAST President Chaiyong, HS1QVD, also announced that several RAST committee members had been invited to join a committee to draw up a Thailand Telecommunications Encyclopaedia.

Royal documentary planned

Towards the end of the meeting, RAST member Charly (HS0ZCW, K4VUD), who is a professor of the Entertainment Media Program that is cosponsored by Mahidol University and Kantana, announced that he was intending to make a documentary film about His Majesty the King of Thailand as an amateur radio operator, HS1A.

He said that this project would not go forward without the full knowledge and approval of the Royal authorities, as well as RAST and other affected groups. It would proceed in stages, with script approvals obtained, followed by submission of the draft finished film for final authorisations, and Charly noted that he had a Thai production associate to help him in this who had made two other documentaries about the King.

SEANET 2007 Lampang (March meeting)

You are invited to exotic Lampang in northern Thailand in November this year for four fun-filled days when the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand (RAST) is hosting the 35th annual Southeast Asia Net (SEANET) convention.

With activities that include an opportunity to take part on a traditional wedding ceremony on elephant-back -- either as the bride or the groom, or as a well-wisher -- the organisers are sure that you will have a memorable "ham-holiday" and will enjoy mingling with over 100 like-minded radio amateurs from Thailand and around the world between November 8 and November 11, 2007.

Lampang is Thailand's fourth-largest city, and is some 200 years older than the better-known northern capital Chiang Mai (an hour away by car) and which dates back to the 11th Century. It is a centre for teak forests, ceramics, has the world's first elephant hospital and training centre and is also known for its horse-drawn transport.

A special SEANET convention station will be open to delegates at the Wienglakor hotel and if you would like to get on the air from HS-land, this is a perfect opportunity to experience the pile-ups that our HS35SEA special-event callsign will be able to generate.

Please check out our SEANET 2007 website for more details, bookmark it and check back for additional information including a registration from and details about packages including accommodation and registration that we plan to add soon.

NTC rejects request for 80-metre contest window

Those attending the March AGM meeting of RAST were given an update of RAST activities over the past year (details are here) by RAST President Chaiyong, HS1QVD, and learned that a request for an SSB window on 80 metres (during contests and on weekends) had been rejected by the National Telecommunications Committee. Permission was, however, granted for operations on 80 and 160 on frequencies of 1.800 - 1.825 and 3.500-3.536KHz (a request for 3.750-3.800 in addition was denied). The NTC also said that applications for reciprocal licences should be approved within two weeks. A novice class examination will also be held in May this year with an HF (intermediate) exam coming later in the year, as John (HS1CHB) reported.

Champ, E21EIC, announced he would be travelling to the USA where he will take part in the Dayton Hamvention in May when he will make a presentation on amateur radio activity in Thailand. Champ will also visit the ARRL Headquarters office, the Yankee-Clipper DX Contest club and attend the Visalia convention in California during an extended tour of the USA when he hopes to also be able to promote the SEANET convention in Lampang.

February meeting

Plans for the 35th Seanet convention in Lampang were announced while the approval of an SSB allocation for 80-metre contest operation by the National Telecommunications Commission was a highlight of the February 4 meeting of RAST at Sena Place Hotel.
A working committee led by immediate past president of RAST, Mrs Mayuree Chotikul, HS1YL, has been appointed to organise the 2007 Seanet convention in Lampang later this year, President Chaiyong, HS1QVD told the 40 or so members present.

'e' is for elephant

Among the highlights in the proposed four-day programme for Seanet, which is to be at the Wienglakor Hotel from Nov 8-11, 2007, will be an ``e-Wedding'' that takes place on the back of an elephant as well as a visit to the Mae Moh lignite power plant.
Members also learned that the RAST office on Phaholyothin Soi 11 will no longer available to the society and members wishing to contact RAST by mail for the time being are asked to use the address at P.O. Box 2008, GPO, Bangkok, 10501.
The Seanet programme features registration and a welcome party on November 8, followed by alternate tracks on the Friday: either to join in the e-Wedding festivities when delegates may sign up (either to marry or to remarry) in a glamorous ceremony steeped in tradition, or to go on a sightseeing tour that includes a ceramics factory. For both groups there will be a northern ``Kan Toke Dinner'' in the evening.
On Saturday, Seanet delegates will have a chance to visit the Electricity Authority of Thailand's Mae Moh lignite-fired power generation plant while there is an optional shopping tour during the afternoon.
A grand gala dinner will take place on Saturday evening while the plenary or technical session takes place on Sunday, with a special track on activities in Thailand about disaster communications. The farewell luncheon follows that.
Details are being finalised and Godfrey Yin, 9M6GY, has very kindly agreed to be the webmaster for the Seanet 2007 web site where delegates can keep track of the programme for Seanet this year, as well as being able to register online or pose questions to the organisers. (There will be a link here once this site is up and running, which should be by mid-February.)
The Seanet working group includes Polawat, HS1XIM, as the co-ordinator in Lampang, Prasit, HS1DN, Chaiyong, HS1QVD, Thida, HS1ASC (public relations), Tony HS0ZDX (International) Yanee, HS1LCC (treasurer) and Narissara (John) HS1CHB.

80-metre SSB window sought

Hopes were raised for low-band DXers and contesters with John, HS1CHB, announcing that permission from the NTC had been sought to operate in two windows on 80 metres: 3.500 - 3.536 MHz for CW and 3.750-3.800 MHz for SSB. For top band, a channel from 1.800-1.825 MHz has been again sought, with the usual stipulations for use only during contests and logs to be submitted to RAST (car of Winit, HS1CKC)which would present them to the NTC at the end of the year .
John also announced that the NTC had still made no decision on granting use of the WARC bands to Thailand-based hams and noted that new HF licences applied for under reciprocal agreements may now take three weeks instead of the previous five days because of a ruling that the chairman must personally sign each new licence.

Beacon proposal

During the meeting, Bob, HS0ZFD presented a proposal to establish a beacon on 2 metres which he outlined in detail offered to administer, asking RAST to apply for a special licence from the NTC to operate this.

Amateur radio's role in disaster communications

Members present also heard how RAST Secretary Phat, HS1WFK had attended a regional ITU conference on disaster communications in December when he had presented a paper explaining the role of that amateur radio can play and outlining the scope of TARES (for details in Thai see here).
He had earlier told committee members that he had also sought funding for this that that this proposal had been accepted to be brought into the second round of talks.
Khun Phat had told committee members that he had also joined a humanitarian workgroup in January in conjunction with the upcoming joint Thai-US Cobra Gold exercies here where he had proposed a role for amateur radio in protecting civilians caught up in a battle zone and that had also held discussions with the Red Cross, outlining procedures as to how ham volunteers could assist nurses and other agencies in handling communications traffic for their own Nightingale Network during the upcoming Red Cross Fair.

Next meeting is RAST's AGM

The next meeting of RAST is the AGM, although there will be no election of a new committee this year and everyone is encouraged to attend on March 4, 2007, from 11 a.m. onwards. A buffet lunch costing 200 baht is served during the meeting, QSL cards are available to members and those present are brought up to date about amateur radio activities in Thailand.

RAST New Year Party 2007

From left: RAST President Chaiyong, HS1QVD, Winit, HS1CKC, Previous Past President Mayuree, HS1YL, and Gen Prasit, HS1DN, and some RAST members gather on the lawn at HS1YL's QTH on Sunday, January 14, 2007 for the annual RAST New Year party. In the foreground is "The Back-Up" who provided musical accompanyment to karaoke singers on stage during the evening. HS0ZDX photo

The TH6DXX of the late HS1WR (and stacked 6-metre yagi arrays that have not been activated for many years) overlooked the party activities.

In all over 50 members and guests attended the party, including some radio amateurs living in Thailand who chose to make the party their first exposure to RAST, including ON8JA and F8DEG.

For news about RAST during the second half of 2006, please click here For our archive for 2005, please click here for the archive and for April and May 2006 click here