Question to HF radio Operators

Submitted: Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 13:15
ThreadID: 68467 Views:2523 Replies:8 FollowUps:3
This Thread has been Archived
I have recently purchased a second hand HF radio. Its a crystal radio with 10 channels. I have done some research and came to some conclusions which I am trying to confirm. Its voice only so no selcall or data.

1. VKS737 costs to join but you can call in and use the frequencies to talk to others or the radio operator. You get a "mobile" callsign.

2. RFDS doesn't cost but it's for emergencies only - no chatter/radio checks. You use your ACA VK2........ callsign.

Now being a crystal radio I have a limited number of channels. I am looking at doing a Cape York and top end trip this year. Would I be right in saying that the Cairns and Alice Springs frequencies should cover me for the trip?

Thanks in advance
Tim
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member - Lewis K (QLD) - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 13:50

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 13:50
first thing you need to do is make sure that your have your outpost licence from the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Without this it is illegal to use the radio at all. $39.00 this year so wont send you broke.
AnswerID: 362938

Follow Up By: Tim - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 14:11

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 14:11
That is in the pipe work as we speak.
0
FollowupID: 630572

Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, May 04, 2009 at 22:52

Monday, May 04, 2009 at 22:52
If you become a VKS737 member you can use their frequencies without getting any other licence.
0
FollowupID: 630892

Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 14:15

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 14:15
Tim

Lewis' answer is 99% correct, but in an emergency a base must respond to a distress call even if the caller is not unlicensed, I would recommend either VKS or the HF Radio Club, both have operators that will contact the appropriate organisation in the event of an emergency,
Yes you can if your a member of VKS call in during a sked or talk to another member off sked times and on the correct frequency, protocol is strictly enforced.

HF RADIO CLUB

VKS-737

.
still going strong with 836,179 K's

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 362942

Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 14:19

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 14:19
Tim
You do not need an outpost licence if you join VKS or the HF club.

And my post should read "caller is unlicensed"

.
still going strong with 836,179 K's

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 630575

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 14:29

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 14:29
VKS is $100 and you DONT need a licence, its part of the deal.

You DO need a licence to use HAM channels,





AnswerID: 362944

Reply By: Member - lyndon K (SA) - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 14:42

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 14:42
I think if using VKS, Charters Towers would be your most used contact point. The VKS network is fantastic ! Without selcal I don't think you will be able to contact a station outside of skeds but there will almost always be someone somewhere that will pick up your message and will be able to forward your message. This is also applicable during skeds if you have a bad signal, someone with a clear signal will help.
We were Badly bogged in Arnhem Land last year and put out a call for help, 700km away a VKS member picked us up and was able to relay our message to someone in the area who came to help.
I would recommend having a GPS as you will be able to tell people exactly where you are should you need to call for help.
This helped us as we had a rough idea of where we were but not exactly. The person coming to help us looked up the
co-ordinates on Google earth and could see the track we were stuck on.
Good Luck

Lyndon
Now is the only time you own
Decide now what you will,
Place faith not in tomorrow
For the clock may then be still

Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 362945

Reply By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 14:45

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 14:45
Tim,

I'd add to the above is that your authority to operate is inherent in your VKS737 membership.

In practice, 10 channels is ample, especially if you are paying for crystals. Assuming VKS737, you will spend almost all the time on channel 2, though it's worth having channel 1 too. The other "old" frequencies give a little flexibility but in practice are very little used. Several new frequencies have recently been allocated, and may be useful with more feature packed radios than yours (and mine!).

Lacking selcall may be a slight disadvantage, as it is possible to use selcall through the VKS737 network to reach RFDS and various emergency services.

HTH

John
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 362947

Reply By: Zebra400 - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 15:59

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 15:59
All HF frequencies require a licence to operate. If you want to use RFDS you need a licence. If you just want to use VKS then you need another licence for thatl. However, your annual VKS737 subscription incorporates your licence for using VKS frequencies.
AnswerID: 362963

Reply By: obee1212 - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 16:53

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 16:53
When I still had an Amateur license the law, for good reasons, provided that it is not illegal to use a radio without a license in the case of an emergency. I reckon that would still be the case.

Owen
AnswerID: 362971

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 18:01

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 18:01
My first HF radio was a crystal job - still going fas as I know - for voice only, using a tapped whip antenna, it was bullet proof with a great range and exceptional clarity, compared to many modern sets - I upgraded just to get into selcalling and Radphone.
Re $ outlay for licences and emergencies etc. It is true that you can legally comm with anyone, if unlicenced but only if you have a real emergency. Trouble is, healthy people experiencing an outback breakdown in a car full of food and water is not an emergency ! This potential situation is the one that prompts most outback travellers to join an HF organisation .... then when you simply need a hand to get out of a potentially difficult situation, you can talk for hours and days to as many members and staff as you like.

AnswerID: 362988

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (14)