H F radio carriers?

Submitted: Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 09:02
ThreadID: 94861 Views:2361 Replies:2 FollowUps:13
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G'day all,
With all the HF radio carriers do you have to sign up for 12 months or are there any you can use for a month or two as I only need it for one trip. Is anyone better than the rest or are they all the same. Do any of them allow chatter as it is nice to hear if anyone is around you. Thanks, hoo roo
"the only thing constant in my life is change"




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Reply By: Member - Travelinglew - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 10:23

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 10:23
All will want a 12 month payment although, depending on when you join and when their financial year starts, you may get a Pro rata till the end of their year. Once you have joined you will need to get the radio configured with the appropriate channels.

These guys and gals, www.hfradioclub.com.au are the cheapest to the best of my knowledge and activly encourage use of the radio outside of SKED times. Also able to use them for phone calls, GPS tracking and a few other good bits and pieces. Web site has contact details and phone numbers if you want to have a chat.

The HF radio is not just limited to outback travel. It can be used to talk with members of the club at any time include when you are sitting in the home paddock.

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Follow Up By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 13:12

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 13:12
I have been with VKS737 for 7 years - excellent service and would always be my first point of call in an emergency. The have bases dotted around the country and some of their bases work in conjunction with the RFDS service.

There is no problems with using the frequencies out of sked times for channel chat and phone calls - though these are best done off their primary and secondary frequencies.

Cost is about $115 per annum and includes your license to operate HF - use of an HF radio without a license can incur heavy penalties.

John
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Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 13:16

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 13:16
I am a member of HF Radio Club to and find them very accommodating.
Cheers Bruce
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:17

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:17
John
Use of HF radio unlicensed can incur heavy penalties, but it's not against the law to own one and listen in, therefore in the case of an emergency you would use it, and if called May-Day any listener/base must answer, there would not in my opinion be a penalty.

.
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Follow Up By: racinrob - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:53

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:53
Doug T. Being a volunteer sked operator on VKE237 I can verify what you say, emergency calls from anyone would be acknowledged without question.
Last time I looked it was only $65 per annum to be a member of the HF Radio Club so why wouldn't you ?

VKE237 Sel 6678 rr
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Follow Up By: aussiedingo. (River Rina) - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:59

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:59
G'day all, thanks for the reply's - keep them coming! I have a current MROCP license after thousands of hours manning Coast Guard emergency radio, also a current pilot's license, a few years ago I was a member of VKS, but 12 months membership for 10 days maybe usage seems tooo much. I also have sat. phone's, thanks again, hoo roo
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Follow Up By: Ozzi Traveller - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 19:34

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 19:34
HF Radio Club (VKE 237) have a single Selcall Number in all of their bases to connect you with the RFDS.

The RFDS also have instant access to your information and GPS position.

These guys are by fare the most advanced network.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 09:04

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 09:04
Dingo,

I would like to clear one thing up. It may be obvious, but groups like VKE, HFOZ, VKS etc aren't carriers. Mobile phone subscription uses carriers like Telstra, Optus ( and if you stretch the definition of "carrier" - Vodafone) in that they carry the signal across the network from tower to tower providing a carrier service.

HF is a long distance "end to end" network, Mobile to mobile, or Mobile to fixed base with no intermediate "carrier".

The groups like VKS provide a service on top of the radio for help, chat, telephone interconnect, and logging services ( I guess a bit like Telstra's 1234 directory service sits on top of the phone network.)

The radios will work just as well with or without membership, just not legally.

Sorry if I am stating the obvious but there is often confusion about HF and calling them carriers may further confuse some.

Also I am not sure how you would use a HF for a short period given the installation cost and trouble which would probably cost more than a year's membership, even if you did it yourself. But if you had it and not used it unless in an emergency then it would be legal to call the groups. Also I would have thought the learning curve is over a few weeks.

My suggestion is either bite the bullet and join either HFRC or VKS and do it at least a month before you go so you can learn how to use it ( or re familiarise yourself). A HF radio is not simple like a UHF and is almost useless if you don't know how to use it properly.
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Follow Up By: aussiedingo. (River Rina) - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 10:03

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 10:03
Thanks boobook for the reply, I used the word "carrier" for the want of a better word, but you got the message anyway, that is what I wanted. I am very familliar with the use of varios radios, I have been flying for over 35 years, thousands of hours on Coast Guard radios, daily UHF 'n more. My HF radio is a Codan that I have had for a lot of years & only fit it in the car when I go on remote trips as the risk of theft is always there. (They'l break into a car if they can see a gold coin!) I have been with VKS737 before, thanks again,
"the only thing constant in my life is change"




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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 15:23

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 15:23
Ok no problem.

I think the issue with short term subscription is that these are largely volunteer organisations and the paperwork of getting members on and off the records would be overwhelming if people signed on and off for trips.



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Follow Up By: Ozzi Traveller - Saturday, Apr 21, 2012 at 07:57

Saturday, Apr 21, 2012 at 07:57
Hi

Another point of interest is the the ACMA are cracking down on people with radios that to not hold a license for the channels that are programmed in them.

For example. If you are a member of VKS but you also have channels programmed for transmitting on VKE or even the RFDS frequencies.

I think this is ludicrous for in an emergency situation you are permitted to use any means possible to gain assistance.

I am already aware of a few people who have been given spot check by the ACMA and issued fines because of it.


VKE 273
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Follow Up By: 43RD888 - Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 11:29

Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 11:29
There is nothing the Radio Comms Act that allows you to possess a radio simply to use it in an emergency. If that was the case I would have my own personal police radio under the pillow :)
All frequencies need to covered by an appropriate license.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Friday, May 04, 2012 at 15:57

Friday, May 04, 2012 at 15:57
Quote - "Mobile phone subscription uses carriers like Telstra, Optus ( and if you stretch the definition of "carrier" - Vodafone)"

Vodafone is the third carrier. They share the radio sites with Optus but have their own base station radios and antenna.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, May 04, 2012 at 16:17

Friday, May 04, 2012 at 16:17
Peter they may share *some* of the sites ( and still share some sites with Telstra from the old Three agreement), but their service is woefully over subscribed and under engineered. It doesn't come close to Optus, who are a mile behind Telstra.

It's dreadful.

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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Friday, May 04, 2012 at 17:03

Friday, May 04, 2012 at 17:03
"43RD888 posted:
There is nothing the Radio Comms Act that allows you to possess a radio simply to use it in an emergency. If that was the case I would have my own personal police radio under the pillow :)
All frequencies need to covered by an appropriate license. "

Further to that here is the appropriate clauses from the Radiocommunications Act 1992

47 Unlawful possession of radiocommunications devices

(1) Subject to section 49, a person must not have a
radiocommunications device in his or her possession for the
purpose of operating the device otherwise than as authorised by:
(a) a spectrum licence; or
(b) an apparatus licence; or
(c) a class licence.
Penalty:
(a) if the radiocommunications device is a radiocommunications
transmitter:
(i) if the offender is an individual—imprisonment for 2
years; or
(ii) otherwise—1,500 penalty units; or
(b) if the radiocommunications device is not a
radiocommunications transmitter—20 penalty units.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the person has a reasonable
excuse.

48 Additional provisions about possession of radiocommunications
devices

(1) Without limiting section 47, a person is taken, for the purposes of
that section, to have a radiocommunications device in his or her
possession for the purpose of operation if it is in his or her
possession, otherwise than for the purpose of supply to another
person, and can be operated merely by doing one or more of the
following:
(a) connecting the device to an electric power supply by means
of an electric plug or other electrical connection;
(b) connecting a microphone to the device by inserting a
microphone plug into the device;
(c) switching on the device;
(d) switching on any other equipment relevant to the device’s
operation;
(e) adjusting settings by manipulating the device’s external
switches, dials or other controls;
(f) connecting the device to an antenna.
(2) Subsection (1) only applies in the absence of any evidence to the
contrary.
(3) A reference in this Division to a person having a
radiocommunications device in his or her possession includes a
reference to the person having it under control in any place
whatever, whether for the use or benefit of that person or another
person, and although another person has the actual possession or
custody of it.


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