HF Radio Feedback

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 23:04
ThreadID: 69704 Views:5872 Replies:20 FollowUps:4
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I am surprised at your bias towards the VKS737 network to the exclusion of others. My experience with VKS was not good due to a dictatorial attitude towards members by the administration, that was unsympathetic towards members having problems. Their large membersip caused problems with skeds as people will talk over each other making a proper sked contact almost impossible. The VKS network is much more expensive than Bush Telegraph and the VKE 237 network combined; these services together have 6 fixed bases Albany WA, Casino NSW, Cowra NSW, Derby WA, Woomera SA, Saphire QLD, 4 mobile bases 2 in Adelaide SA, Charters Towers QLD, Mayborough VIC.; the VKE 237 network has 4 frequencies for mobile to mobile use. Another Network is the HFoZ nework with basers at Newcastle, Perth and Alice Springs area; they offer SMS, Paghing, Email, and GPS logging as well as the usual services. And remember Radtel for your telephone interconnect service.
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Reply By: cobber - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 23:40

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 23:40
VkE237 HF Radio Club has 8 Frequencies for mobile to mobile use
AnswerID: 369442

Follow Up By: Member - Derek J O (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 16:45

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 16:45
My Authority for VKE 237 lists only 4 channels for dedicated mobile to mobile contact; they are 6790, 9380, 12197, and 15972 as of 4 Feb 09.

The other channels are 3995, 5135, 11487, 14662 and 7899.

I hope this clarifies the matter.
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FollowupID: 636939

Reply By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 06:52

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 06:52
Hi Derek,

You said
I am surprised at your bias towards the VKS73......

Who is your?
There is a lot of difference between
‘Human Being’ and ‘Being Human’.





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AnswerID: 369449

Reply By: Oldsquizzy (Kununurra) - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 07:10

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 07:10
I dont think it was bias....Think you will find that the people who answered the post were members of VKS737 not the other groups. It is a choice which club one belongs to the same as it is a choice to answer a post. 737 members chose to reply others didnt.
AnswerID: 369450

Reply By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 07:57

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 07:57
It is probably not so much intentional bias but ignorance of the fact that there are other networks around. VKS737 is the most well known. As well as VKE 237 (HF Radio Club) and HFoZ, there are other networks as well, the names of which do not readily come to mind. I am a member of the HF Radio Club, which suits my needs.
Rod
AnswerID: 369453

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 08:10

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 08:10
Hi Derek
Where were these networks back in 1993??

If it wasn't for the very dedicated work of Steve Johnston in Adelaide who wanted a HF Radio Network for the Four Wheel Drive Clubs of South Australia, it would have never got off the ground. The original network only had one base station in Woomera and served the SA Community so well, it went National and from Strength to Strength. Back then, you had to be a registered member of a Four Wheel Club to be able to join the Network. So good was our Network, Government Emergencies Bodies wanted to have access to it, as well as other Four Wheel Drive Clubs Interstate, as well as the general public.

I would say to the other Network, get off of our frequencies, do all the hard work of dealing with Government Bodies and get your own frequencies and then see how hard it is and how long it will take them.

I find the volunteer Radio operators are the most professional people to deal with and have always been there when you need them.

I first became a member in 1994 and have never let my membership lapse and have no intentions of doing so.

Cheers

Stephen
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AnswerID: 369454

Reply By: The Landy - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 08:56

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 08:56
I’ve been a member of Radtel for a number of years due to the ability to make phone calls, and recently signed up to HFoZ as I like the feature of being able to transmit GPS location which is accessible to others and shows plots on a map.

Whilst I had no issue with VKS-737 I have found getting onto skeds a little difficult due to the numbers.

Cheers
AnswerID: 369458

Reply By: Member - Footloose - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 09:20

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 09:20
I've never seen so many infomercials in the 1 spot :))
Derek, I can sympathize with tour sentiments, but not your open handedness. Most of us have some knowledge of the administrative problems that can arise, but choose to ignore them or quietly slide elsewhere.

"I would say to the other Network, get off of our frequencies". Steven, the ACMA licenses some networks to co exist on the same frequencies. There is limited spectrum space available, and the frequencies DO NOT BELONG to any network exclusively. Part of the networks license conditions are to accept these facts.
As for 1993, I remember when such networks did not exist at all, and we relied on the RFDS network and amateur radio. But times have changed, and the acceptance of other networks and facilities is one of those changes.

Choice is a good thing. But let's not divide the 4wd community amongst the various networks with any degree of animosity.
AnswerID: 369463

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 14:34

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 14:34
Hi Footy
The point that I was making is that those that are new to the HF scene have no idea what so ever is or was involved in the starting of the VKS 737 Radio network here in South Australia for SA use only. Prior to 1993, I and any other HF Radio user had to apply for a Mobile Outpost Radio Licence from the Australian Communications Authority. When we were granted and given a call sign, we then had to register that call sign with every RFDS Base that we wanted to contact. During the early 1990's, there were Government moves to scale down the base stations and do away with the log in system and to only have the frequencies of the RFDS for emergency use only.

Enter Steve Johnston on behalf of the Four Wheel Drive Clubs of South Australia, who saw that there was a need for a dedicated four wheel drive HF frequency, for members to head bush and still be able to contact other members for log in and safety messages. It is because of this time that only members in SA were only able to join this network and had to be a registered member of a Four Wheel Drive Club here in SA.

After a lot of time and money, we were granted out first frequency and our first base station in Woomera. So successful was the SA Four Wheel Drive Association the new VKS 737 network that interstate four wheel drive clubs wanted a piece of the scene.

Like so many great things, the number of base stations, members and frequencies have grown greatly.

I am not trying to split the four wheel scene, but see red when people knock Australia's first true four wheel drive Radio Network.
Without knowing the true facts, I would like to know how many new frequencies have the other networks applied for and been granted.

Long the first and best.

Cheers

Stephen
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FollowupID: 636923

Reply By: Member -Signman - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 09:34

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 09:34
I wonder why then, does VKS737 have a much larger membership than all the others mentioned combined??
They must be doing something right. Even considering the more expensive fees.
Amongst other features, how many of the 'other' services offer a 24/7 'selcall' emergency system??



AnswerID: 369469

Reply By: olcoolone - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 10:17

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 10:17
VKS 737 works well and has everything in place.

Most people who travel use VKS 737.

I don't see people being bias if they want to be a member of the best network available.

I find they way they run things is very professional and easy to follow.

Out of sched times you can talk to others as much as you want.

I have always found they will give 100% if someone needs help.

I very very rarely hear other people talk over the top of each other during scheds, this comes down to new people not understanding how to use a radio.

VKS 737 has telephone interconnect.

Saying they are expensive is a stupid comment!

AnswerID: 369474

Reply By: The Landy - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 10:52

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 10:52
As Footloose noted above we shouldn’t become divided over the different organisations, as they all provide an invaluable service, and providing you can make contact with ‘someone’ in a time of need, that will most likely suit the requirements of all regardless of who is providing the service.

I think VKS-737 provides a great service, were pioneers in this area of communication for the four-wheel drive community, and its large membership endorses this. However, it is possibly becoming a victim of its own success highlighted by the ability, at times, to get onto skeds and gaining access to frequencies due to the level of traffic.

Other service providers have recognised this and offer alternatives. The ability to transmit GPS locations via HFoZ is a great feature and provides an alternative to those who don’t really want to have a ‘chit chat’ on a sked, but want some method of logging positions. I would much rather have a family member monitoring my progress, and reporting schedule, rather than leaving that to a third party. And that is no sleight at VKS-737, but my family can report a missed sked if it isn’t plotted when it should be. So there is a contrast in the service that these two organisations provide; VKS-737 aren’t monitoring your arrival to any particular destination, my family can. The HFoZ service eliminates the need for voice logging to a base operator and is far more reliable than voice-communications particularly in times of weak signal strength and poor propagation.

Radtel has an extensive number of emergency authorities linked to a single selcall number which allows quick calling to Police, RFDS, Coastal Patrol, Sea Rescue Authorities, National Park Services, and many other various Rescue Services. They also have six 'operator manned' ready to assist 24/7.


AnswerID: 369480

Reply By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 11:39

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 11:39
Same as buying a vehicle, phone or anything else. Do your research and pick what is best for you. The different networks do much the same thing, so it's a personal choice.
AnswerID: 369487

Reply By: anglepole - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 12:37

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 12:37
I completely agree with Rod. It is "horses for courses"

Find out what you want from a HF Network and make an informed choice then join what best suits your needs.

I have to say I am often bewildered by the large number of VKS members who fell the need to report their position in a caravan park. (ie Alice Springs Coober Pedy etc)
AnswerID: 369494

Reply By: anglepole - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 12:37

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 12:37
I completely agree with Rod. It is "horses for courses"

Find out what you want from a HF Network and make an informed choice then join what best suits your needs.

I have to say I am often bewildered by the large number of VKS members who fell the need to report their position in a caravan park. (ie Alice Springs Coober Pedy etc)
AnswerID: 369495

Reply By: anglepole - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 12:38

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 12:38
I completely agree with Rod. It is "horses for courses"

Find out what you want from a HF Network and make an informed choice then join what best suits your needs.

I have to say I am often bewildered by the large number of VKS members who fell the need to report their position in a caravan park. (ie Alice Springs Coober Pedy etc)
AnswerID: 369496

Reply By: Member -Signman - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 14:21

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 14:21
Hey Derek- I seem to remember a similar post you made a few months back??
Is still the same ' bee in ya bonnet' you had then??
It might be a good idea you DON'T join the VKS 737 network as I'm sure you'll never be satisfied !!

AnswerID: 369509

Reply By: Member -Signman - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 14:28

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 14:28
Hey Derek- I seem to remember a similar post you made a few months back??
Is still the same ' bee in ya bonnet' you had then??
It might be a good idea you DON'T join the VKS 737 network as I'm sure you'll never be satisfied !!

AnswerID: 369510

Reply By: Member - Bytemrk(VIC) - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 15:07

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 15:07
G'day Derek,

It's interesting, I have just joined VKS737 as a new HF user. I recently posted here to see if I could get some real life feedback from current network users ( Thread 69386).

And as you will see 99% of the reply came form VKS737 users that all appear very happy.

The one communication I tried to make with VKE237 via email - had no reply. while VKS737 processed my application and got there information mailed back to me in only a few days.

I went with them, purely because the feedback I have had on them is very positive and that to me a larger user base is a positive not a negative if you are looking for assistance when stranded somewhere remote.

At some point I may well try the others, but in my case it's not a bias at all.. it's purely a decision based on feedback form several sources - this being only one.

Cheers, Mark
AnswerID: 369514

Reply By: Member - The Bushwhackers -NSW - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 16:22

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 16:22
Hi Derek, no bias here, I don't own a HF set, and obviously not a member of VKS737. The way I see it is that there are a number of 'providers', make your choice, then you will have nothing to whinge about.
Whacker
AnswerID: 369528

Reply By: Member - Derek J O (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 16:38

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 16:38
Don't remember bitching about VKS in the past.

My comment was to question ExploreOz for not mentioning the other networks.

I made the comment that VKS was expensive, because it costs $100 a year and Bush Telgraph plus VKE 237 costs $40.

Glad to see a good set of responses.

AnswerID: 369533

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 18:06

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 18:06
$1.00 a week differance! Mmmmm
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FollowupID: 636953

Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 18:37

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 18:37
I sent a suggestion recently to Exploroz regarding updating the members profile area so that you can indicate membership of other HF networks. They are going to look into this.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 636958

Reply By: Member - Dick (Int) - Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 16:39

Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 at 16:39
VKS737 were the pioneer of HF Networks for 4WD owners travelling in remote area's and they deserve continued support even now there are alternatives. If you need help in a remote area there is a far better chance of a VKS737 member being the closest to help you out.

In addition to VKS737, I have Radtel and before I go out on my next trip I will also have HFoZ. I find all these networks have their place, and I know if I need to contact Doug from anywhere in Australia he will do what is needed to get me out of trouble. For this he will always have my support.

HF Networks are a personal choice and the important thing is to have one of them so that you can maintain contact in remote area's.

Cheers
Dick







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AnswerID: 369534

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