HF Radio networks

Submitted: Sunday, May 06, 2018 at 21:45
ThreadID: 136660 Views:998 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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I'm in the process of deciding on which support network I want to join.
I am not new to HF and I go back to the old Outback Radio network through the RFDS.
I'm looking at VKE and VKS.
At the recent caravan show in Adelaide, I spoke to 3 guys on the VKS stand and was very disappointed at how I was spoken down to about how to use their network.
I got told about wavelength and the ionisphere and the importance of following radio procedure, plus more.
I'm sorry, it did nothing to convince me that they were a family friendly network.
The additional frequencies fitted in my radio are for VKE, the HF Radio Club.
I'm looking for opinions from others who have used the networks - I'm not after a bunch of ham radio operators - just a friendly group of people to support outback travel.
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Reply By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Sunday, May 06, 2018 at 22:12

Sunday, May 06, 2018 at 22:12
I am a member of Austravel Safety Net VMD 750. I find it to be a friendly group.
AnswerID: 618712

Follow Up By: wombat100 - Tuesday, May 08, 2018 at 15:37

Tuesday, May 08, 2018 at 15:37
Hi Rod
What frequencies do VMD use ??
Do they have sched times ??
Cheers
David
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, May 08, 2018 at 19:30

Tuesday, May 08, 2018 at 19:30

VDM Selcall numbers...not frequencies..
Cheers
Greg
…leaving the river (Meerup), we came to another (Warren) with….heavy surf, and a remarkable sand-hill on the left. Lt Preston RN April 1831

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Follow Up By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Tuesday, May 08, 2018 at 19:54

Tuesday, May 08, 2018 at 19:54
Greg they are the base selcall numbers.
The frequencies are 3175, 5127, 5270, 6793, 7652, 9323, 10203, 13910 and 17463. Not all bases have all the frequencies.

There are morning and afternoon skeds for both eastern and western areas.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, May 08, 2018 at 20:22

Tuesday, May 08, 2018 at 20:22
Woops - just found it on there facebook page - their webpage seems to be down.

Cheers
Greg
…leaving the river (Meerup), we came to another (Warren) with….heavy surf, and a remarkable sand-hill on the left. Lt Preston RN April 1831

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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, May 07, 2018 at 07:17

Monday, May 07, 2018 at 07:17
I can't speak to the attitude of the VKS people you spoke to, other than to say I'm a member of VKS and have found them very helpful in all my communications with them.

Bearing in mind, it is mostly a volunteer organisation, not a sleek telecommunications company, so delivery of information may possibly seem imperfect to some.

Having been a member of other networks spanning a 20-year period, if you are looking for a recommendation, mine is the VKS network. I suspect they have the largest membership of the networks and therefore the best opportunity for you to make contact with others "in the field".

Good luck with your deliberations.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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it can be done shouldn’t
bother the person doing it…”

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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Monday, May 07, 2018 at 09:55

Monday, May 07, 2018 at 09:55
I totally agree with Baz.

The people "staffing" the VKS stalls at 4WD and camping shows are volunteers from the membership of VKS subscribers.

Like any other volunteers (Volunteer Fire and Rescue, Vounteer Ambulance, SES etc) that "staff" similar information tents they aren't media trained, but are very passionate about the organisation they represent and may come across as being a bit over zealous.

My personal experience with VKS operators in times of trouble, and face it - this is when you need them most, has been outstanding. Quick response to emergency selcalls, professional in getting information both from me and from the people they connect with to solve 'MY PROBLEM' and excellent follow up at the conclusion of the incident - to see we were OK.

Use of correct radio voice procedure is important (although not as strict as you probably imagine) - it is mainly to ensure smooth communications and after all, it is not a citizen band radio where anything goes. Yes you get some subscribers who are absolutely anal in their RVP, but mostly if you say your 'overs' and 'outs' in the right place and give your call sign you are doing a much better job than those who use the UHF. Even if you use apples, bananas and carrots instead of correct phonetic alphabet, you won't get cut off.

As for family friendly, I think they are. Our VKS Mail is always addressed to both my wife and myself, they always ask if my wife (and by name) is travelling with me when we call in for scheds, they talk to the kids on the radio (at the end of scheds) so they can learn how to use the radio and when you meet up with other users out in the scrub or in caravan parks, it is just like a family reunion.

Like Baz, if you want a recommendation for a HF network, mine would be VKS. This comes from membership of other networks as well.

Cheers

Anthony
VKS 3539
Work - a 40 hour interuption to my weekend!
Too many places - too little time

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Reply By: gke - Monday, May 07, 2018 at 09:21

Monday, May 07, 2018 at 09:21
As a long time VKS member I have always found the base operators friendly and helpful with information re. Weather and roads etc. Don't judge them all by just a few.
All the best, Graham.
AnswerID: 618719

Reply By: HKB Electronics - Monday, May 07, 2018 at 12:46

Monday, May 07, 2018 at 12:46
I remember when I first joined VKS that I asked them for some information on using the radio, I felt as you did Aussie Jeepster, that I was being spoken down to rather than them being helpful, when I receive my renewal notice it reminds me of the same, pay up, your responsibility, if you forget then to bad!

Having said that, in the many years I have been using the network I have found the operators to be very helpful and go out of their way to provide an excellent service. I have sat on the side as their operators have provided aid in life threatening circumstances and they have always acted with total professionalism
and going to extremes to help the unfortunate persons requiring their assistance.

The organisation and management can seem cold at times by the volunteer operators that man the radios are very helpful and provide an excellent service.
HKB Electronics

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