G'day Everyone. Wherever you may be on planet Earth, Welcome to
this Australian Amateur Radio website. vk5sw.com
My name is Rob and
I was fully licensed in 1970 when I was 19. My age is now 68. The
radio shown above was the FT200 which in the USA was called the Tempo
One, I think. I remember that I took out my first bank loan to buy it.
Along side of it, can be seen a small 3 inch Oscilloscope which I had
built. In those days I was working at the Dept. of Defence (WRE) as an
apprentice Radio Tradesman but due to mental illness, eventually had to
resign. As a young
person, I used to rifle through a rubbish tip with my friend 'Lee' who
lived across the road from us, looking for discarded radios and
electronic bits and pieces. An old short wave radio, found at the tip,
was eventually pressed into service with the addition of a beat
frequency oscillator, 'bfo', which enabled me to listen to Radio Hams
talking to each other. By slowly turning a shortened plastic knitting
needle protruding from an IF can, the single sideband signals were able
to be resolved. It was very exciting in those days to tune into a Ham
Radio operator from overseas. I asked myself - 'how does the radio
signal get here?' With my interest kindled, I pursued the hobby and have
now been a Ham for nearly 50 years. A book, which I borrowed from my
high school library at the time, called 'Adventures in Electronics' also
inspired me. While in my teenage years and beyond, I built many
electronic circuits including short wave radio receivers, CW
transmitters, the CRO, a gdo, audio amplifiers and many other circuits which
I felt to be useful at the time.
These days I really like building website pages and I hope
that you find some of the pages on this website to your liking. It would be about 9 years ago
now, I think, when the brother in law, 'Garry', of my very good and long term
friend, 'Lisette' gave me a computer program called 'Front Page' by Microsoft,
which enables you to create website pages. With no idea of what I was doing, I
played around with it and found out quickly that I liked trying to improve the
page that I was working on. Some 9 years or so later, I quite often find my mind
working unconsciously on the current page as I may be reading a book, for
example, and an idea will butt in, and suggest to me a way of improving the page. I then come into this computer room, after having put
the book down, and implement the idea. It nearly always improves the page, in my
opinion. At first the website pages which I made were very basic, usually a
little text and a picture. For example, here is a front page made in 2014.
here. But as time went on, they appeared to me to be better than they
used to be. So, I kept building pages and now this current website is the latest
version. The reason I have spent so much effort in building this website is
because I enjoy doing it so much. I like the creativity of
using my imagination and being able to 'put it into a page' with the idea of
adding enjoyment for others to it too. The background pictures
on the various pages are meant to create an appropriate atmosphere and feeling.
I hope I have done a good job of that. Please rate the pages to let me know.
HF Radio waves travel at about the speed of light, 186,000
miles per second. So, radio communication here on earth is basically
instantaneous. When I think of the physical distances involved when having a
conversation with you in say, North America from here in Australia, the fact that our voices are heard
by each other as they are spoken, seems incredible to me. Hardly any time delay
at all, even though the distance between us may be 15,000 miles, on the long way
around the world, for example. Radio
signals can take up to about 20 minutes to reach Mars, depending on our relative
locations in space, which changes in time. As our
reach throughout the Universe expands, our reliance on radio communications will
be forever more critical. Without expansion, I don't think that we would be able
to 'find our place in the Universe.' And without that wider awareness, I don't
think that we can advance, neither personally nor collectively. With a more expansive
and less constrictive outlook, and a feeling of greater insignificance in the
scheme of things, I think
would come a greater willingness of countries around the world to work together and expand our
collective reach and capabilities. We
might, possibly, begin to leave conflict behind. I have used some of the
background pictures on this website to bring to mind the fact that we are on one
planet, only one of the innumerable out there.
An old 'ZL special' antenna that I used in the old days. To the left, can be
rotatable 15Mx dipole above my Ham Shack. That's 'Mitzie', our pet dog in the
This Youtube video was made in 2011 before remotely
controlled. It shows the location in the Bush and the main solar system. It runs for
This is the new 10 minute High Energy, High Definition Drone Video showing from above my 4 Solar Powered Amateur Radio Shacks
on our property in the South Australian Bush.
The picture shows the home Qth from where the main station is remotely
controlled, a distance of 150klms..
Made on 30th Nov. 2019. Only runs for 10 minutes. Will open in a new window. Speakers on.
I'm certainly no expert, but these 2 pages may help in setting up
solar power / remote control,
Our worldwide scientists, experimenters and radio predecessors,
through creativity, perseverance, hard work and never say die attitudes,
have given us a hobby which, nowadays, has capabilities beyond their
wildest dreams. Amateur Radio Operators of today stand on the shoulders
of those who have gone before us. Of course, those who have fought for
our countries to give us our way of life, have given us freedom to
follow our interests, like Amateur Radio. We are forever indebted to
these great people.
We are on the forefront of
expanding our reach into Space, the Unknown. In order to do that, Radio
Communication is vital. Many people who are employed in the scientific,
communication and various other technical industries, can trace their
spark of interest to their hobby of Amateur Radio. Our hobby always has
been, and always will be, I believe, an introduction to radio
communication and a catalyst to careers which contribute to the advancement
of Communication systems and therefore our way of life.
relentless march of technology, in this case the Internet, our hobby of
Amateur Radio is becoming more and more sophisticated, but the
fundamentals will always remain the same for us.
The wonder and excitement of radio communication.
73 from the land of the kangaroo - 'Rob', VK5SW.
My Mum in the center, her parents either side and my sister and I.
My Dad would have taken this picture.
Our Mum, my sister Sandra, her dog, Maggie and me. Greg, my brother in
law took the picture.
If you would like to see a short one minute video of me talking about
the 2 books I've wriiten, click on the picture above. It will open in
a new window.