HF networks VKS/HFOz

Submitted: Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 11:46
ThreadID: 78608 Views:3990 Replies:8 FollowUps:6
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I have a Codan 9329 and was a member of VKS737 till Christmas when their renewal letter bleep ed me off so I didn’t bother renewing.

I have now been looking at what to do about getting it back up for our little drive back east and found that HFOz seems to offer quite a good package including a position upload to a web site so people back home can track you. They also let you join for 12months from date of invoice as opposed to the November to November thing VKS has you on.

Anyhoo, the only thing I want to know before I drive down to dudes here in Perth that run it is;

Is there any real advantage with one or the other and,

Can I still talk to people on VKS737? Not the skeds, mobile to mobile. I know you are prolly not supposed too but do they do something in the system so you can’t?

Cheers
Joff
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Reply By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 12:22

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 12:22
Others may help you with the difference between the two I have only ever been VKS737 member because I have ham radio as well and that does my posits.

They don't do anything in the system to stop you talking to other VKS members, but you will be spotted in a second by Net control and others. Also if you try to use the skeds, they check your callsign on computer as soon as you call. No membership- no service.

Of course you still have the emergency button to RFDS.
AnswerID: 417374

Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 13:53

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 13:53
Hi Joff1,
legally, you can only use the VKS frequencies (no membership = no licence) in an emergency (in which case they are obliged to assist). So technically you are not allowed to use those frequencies to talk mobile to mobile unless it's an emergency.

I really like the facilities HFoZ provide, and they work well. You will need to check with HFoZ to see if all facilities they provide are able to be operated from your particular radio.

I really like the GPS positioning, txt and email facilities and use them on all my trips.
regards
Fred B
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Reply By: snailbait (Blue mntns) - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 14:06

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 14:06
joff1

HI
I have done the same thing as you did. I would like to suggest the HF Radio Club VKE 237 / VKE 469. There cost are very good. They have get gethers where they put on discussions and they will check your HF radio and put in the programmes and channel for you. They also have skeds in NSW/QLD/WA/TAS where the base station also the club has Telephone Interconnect [ TIC ]
The cost up front is $50.00 and the call charges are deducted from that.
Just google HF RADIO CLUB

I think you will not be disappointed
Terry





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Follow Up By: racinrob - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 14:21

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 14:21
Like Terry (above) says I suggest you check out the HF Radio Club before you commit, they offer several base stations including one at Albany WA. AM and PM skeds and lots of help both technical and otherwise, a good club.

Rob VKE237 selcall 6678
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Follow Up By: Member -Signman - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 15:03

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 15:03
Hiya Terry,
I recently joined HF Radio Club, and very disapoointed with the 'service'. Can't say about the West scheds- but the East scheds are nothing short of a 'dogs breakfast'. The 3 base stations are very un-reliable, and in fact most scheds. are by an operator setup up somewhere in a mobile home !!
Most of the members sound like frustrated ex 27mHz CB operators- and have no idea of sched procedure.
I still think VKS737 offer the most 'professional' (run by volunteers) service. And I wonder why VKS737 have twice as many members as ALL the other services combined!!
Do the other services have 24/7 emergency (by selcall) availability??
The HF Club have only three 'bases' as such- Casino, Sapphire & Albany.
Just my obseravtion by being a member of both services..

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Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 15:24

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 15:24
Have you let "them" know of your discontent?
Cheers Bruce
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Follow Up By: Member -Signman - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 15:28

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 15:28
Yes, I have let 'them' know...and the "dogs breakfast" description was in fact the quote from 'them'...So 'they' are aware of the short- comings !!



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Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 16:22

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 16:22
Fair enough, sounds like some thing that needs to be brought up at the AGM. Oh and one more thing ...you should have said that in your post, that you had made a complaint, instead of bagging them, hey.
And we have found HF Radio Club to be very helpfull, reliable and friendly.
Cheers Bruce
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 17:36

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 17:36
Each network has it's own rules (drawn from ACMA regs) regarding contact with other HF users - VKS73 for example don't permit contact with non members, unless in a bonafidel emergency. As for networks -v- networks..... I think effective coverage of the whole nation by the bases is important - followed by the opportunity to get a human on the other end at any time, if we strike drama in the bush. Next on my list is the messaging from home in case of drama there - the other bells and whistles offered variously are not much use to me. Bit like buying groceries I suppose - what do I want ? - where can I get them ? - how much do they cost ?
AnswerID: 417406

Reply By: Tonyfish#58 - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 17:51

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 17:51
Joff - So something as easy as paying your bill in November was an issue? Or was it if you did not pay on time then you did not keep your call sign?

Its a good way to get people to pay their due I would say

Go figure the way of the world :-)

Cheers Tony
AnswerID: 417408

Reply By: blue one - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 19:05

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 19:05
Joff,
Stay with VKS737. If you want more info send me a mm on the other site.

Cheers

Steve
AnswerID: 417414

Reply By: The Landy - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 23:53

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 23:53
I've found HFoZ offer a great service, the GPS posiiton feature works well and suits our purpose of having someone track our progress on trips.

Previously I found geeting on to some of the VKS 737 skeds a little difficult at times, and perhaps that is due to its popularity, so not knocking it.

However, the GPS feature with HFZ allows you to leave pricise tracking details for friends/relatives to check.

Horses for courses and depends on your needs. Remembering that with HF you can contact anyone in an emergency.

Good luck with it......
AnswerID: 417471

Follow Up By: snailbait (Blue mntns) - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 09:40

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 09:40
hi Landy
The Hf Radio club has all the features plus more at a cheaper rate than VKS and HFoz. VKS is run by a Manager on Salary and HFoz is run by business which is shown on the site
Terry
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Reply By: olcoolone - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 12:09

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 12:09
I think this is a classic case of "tall poppy syndrome".

Come on guys...there is approximatively $35.00 difference in the services...good to see your lives ARE NOT worth the extra $35.00 a year in additional membership to a well established organisation.

joff1...what bleeped you off with your renewal?

Why join a second rate service?

I have no complaints with the 4wd Radio Network and I think they are value for money.

Maybe it's the same reason people knock Telsta NextG and opt for 3 (THREE)...hell less range poor service....but I'm not going to let those greedy people at Telsta get my money?

I shake my head in disbelief.
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