G'day Everyone. Wherever you may be on planet Earth, Welcome to this Australian Amateur Radio website.  vk5sw.com

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 my friend's brother in law gave me a computer program called 'Front Page', 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 later, I 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 to improve 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. But as time went on, they appeared to me to becoming 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 it so much. I like the capability of using my imagination and being able to 'put it into a page' with the idea of adding enjoyment for others to it, one way or the other. 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 any of the pages if you feel so inclined.

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 about 20 minutes to reach Mars, depending on our relative locations in space, which changes in time. As our reach throughout the Universe increases, our reliance on radio communications will be forever more demanded. Without expansion, I don't think that we would be able to 'find our place in the Universe.' And without that awareness, I don't think that we can advance, either 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 to work together and expand our reach. We might, possibly, begin to leave conflict behind. I think that radio communication is that vital to our well being. 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.

Ham Radio is a great hobby and my hope is that this website goes some way towards promoting it. I feel that building this website is the best way for me to contribute to the hobby and possibly, 'leave a little of me behind'. Amateur Radio has been a terrific friend for me for almost 50 years now. Without it, I doubt that my life would have been as enjoyable. Radio communication for me and many others is a wonder and an exciting phenomenon founded upon natural, scientific laws. As our reach throughout the Universe expands, so will our reliance on radio communication become ever more important. This hobby can lead you to an exciting career in this forever evolving field of electronics and communications. Whether new to Amateur Radio or not, this website has been built to introduce you to AR or help you, and me, for that matter, and hopefully inspire you. Information can be found here about setting up a solar powered Ham Radio station, remotely controlling your station, constructing a 20 foot tower, putting together a Cubex quad antenna as well as building vee beam, ground plane and loop antennas. You may find the Interactive World Clock useful and you can also view videos and download Ham Radio Wallpaper. 'Amateur Radio Clip Art', 'Amateur Radio Signs', 'Armed Forces' and the biography, 'VK5SW' are the latest pages to this website. The VK3MO page gives information about 'Ian', an inspiring Australian Amateur. You may also be interested in my Youtube channel...   and books I've written...  

If you are a newcomer to Amateur Radio, here is an introduction for you...  

Due to nearby radiation from TV's, power lines and various other sources of electromagnetic interference, the background noise level on radios at the home Qth here in suburban Adelaide, South Australia is horrendous - strength 9. Nothing can be heard here. The background noise level on the radios at the remote location at our property is strength zero. Depending on Qrn and over the horizon radar, you can basically 'hear a pin drop' on the HF bands. This is the beauty of remote operating. Also, in this case, there is plenty of room for antennas. The station is 150 klms away from home, located on our Bush property. This remote radio link uses the Remote Rig system and a Wireless Internet connection (4G, 2.4Ghz) at the Radio End as the nearest town is about 10 klms away from the property. In my case, this has meant being able to operate remotely from the home Qth as opposed to not being able to operate at all. Thanks to the information given to me by Matt, VK5HZ, this system is once again operating properly after having been faced with what I thought at the time, was an unsolvable problem. For information about setting up remote capability, click on the 'Remote' link. Youtube videos about the system here can be seen below. The Internet has absolutely revolutionized and transformed our lives and our hobby. If not for the Internet, you wouldn't be reading this. I hope this website, in some way, is able to add to your enjoyment of Amateur Radio. 73, Rob, VK5SW.







Remotely controlling a Ham Radio station via the Internet is often desirable nowadays because of electromagnetic interference to radios in the cities due to power lines, TV's and many other sources. The 2 videos above show my setup using the Remote Rig system and Ham Radio Deluxe. The radio station is about 100 miles away from home out in the Bush, in the middle of nowhere, and about 10 miles away from the nearest town. The station is unattended and runs on solar power. A wireless 4G Internet connection is used between the property where the station is located and the town. A fibre optic Internet cable is used from home here in Adelaide to the town of Morgan in the Riverland district. These 2 youtube videos were recorded on my mobile phone. The 4 minute video on the left shows the reception from the IC-7300 remote radio, and the 10 minute video shows the reception from the IC-7600 remote radio at the home Qth. They were made in Dec., 2018.




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 7 minutes.

I'm certainly no expert, but these 2 pages may help in setting up solar power / remote control,    / 


    26th December, 2018. I was very pleasantly surprised to receive an email from Matt, VK5HZ, without whose help this remote system would not be working, because of the CGN problem. It was sent from the Australian Davis Research station in Antartica where Matt is working. He is about to use the RemoteRig system down there. With Matt's permission, his email is reprinted below. As I type this, the expected maximum temperature here in Adelaide Australia today, is supposed to be 41 degrees Celsius, that's well over 100 F. I can only imagine what the weather is like where Matt is located.

Hi Rob,
I just read on your website that you have your RemoteRig up and running again, fantastic! Glad to hear that writing to Telstra to plead your case helped.
I'm in Antarctica working for the next year and purchased a set of RemoteRig boxes to use locally on the station LAN (no NAT issues thankfully..). The two huts where the transceivers and antennas are located are a bit of a walk from the main station so I bought the boxes to allow me to get on air a bit easier, particularly in the winter. The main antennas we have are similar to your terminated vee, being terminated triangles. Unfortunately they're not a very flat VSWR and most of the ham bands are around 2-3:1 or even more so I'll need to get a tuner going to get best performance out of them. I have an SPE amplifier coming down at the end of January that has a tuner good for up to 3:1 so hopefully this works well. During summer the antennas are used for aviation operations, but in the winter I'll be able to use them more regularly.
I have the call VK0HZ for down here, hopefully catch you on air sometime in 2019. I have a blog that I'm slowly putting up a few posts on, vkzero.com if you want to check it out.
All the best,
Davis Station, Antarctica

   3rd March, 2019. Very pleased to receive an email from 'Tony', VK1VIC, who is setting up a remote system using the Remote Rig method as well. He has a farm that he is going to rent out which also runs on solar power. He intends to move into the nearby town but remotely control his radio station on the farm where he has located a very nice antenna system.

Hi Rob,
Many thanks for your reply mate.
I currently have the 706Mk2 remoted from the woolshed across WIFI back to the main house.Through summer is was nice to sit in the kitchen and not in a bloody hot tin shed. HIhihi.Saved me from walking around in the dark when the snakes are out and about.
Will let you know how I go with the CGN. I have 3 commerical 3G routers that I plan to use.  Dual external antenna sockets.
Tony V  blog: https://vk1vic.wordpress.com



Just imagine this world of ours without Radio Communication. This world as we know it would be nothing like this. Communications nowadays, like most things, I think, is taken for granted.

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 on the forefront of expanding our reach into 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 its advancement.

With the 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.  QRZpage


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                          Worldwide HAM Radio QSL Website







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'You have to be Odd, to be number One.'  Dr. Seuss.




A 30 minute video of the launch of a satellite by 'Space X'  in California .




A short 5 minute video tour of a section of the International Space Station


Space  -  Nasa Website     ISS     ARISS     Space X Website     Falcon Rocket     StarTrek Website







G'day Everyone. Wherever you may be in the world, welcome to this section about 'me'. Hi. My name is Rob and I was licensed in 1970 when I was 19. My age is now 68. As a young person, I used to rifle through rubbish tips 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 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 49 years.

Early years in my life were very difficult. After high school, here in Adelaide, South Australia, I started a course in Electronics Engineering at the Institute of Technology. After 3 months, I gave it away, as it was apparent to me that I would not be able to pass exams as I could not pay sufficient attention to the lecturers. I then worked in a bank for 6 months, but it was obvious that I was not suited to that. There after, I applied for an apprenticeship as a 'Radio Tradesman' with the Dept. of Defence, then known as 'Weapons Research Establishment' (WRE) and although19 years old at the time which apparently was an old age for entry, they took me on and I started work there.

The years at WRE were very difficult because I had a mental illness. Known as 'Schizophrenia', it means that your perceptions are not always, the same as most people's. In other words, you believe things that are not real, but to you, they are. I am told that it is caused by an excess of dopamine in the brain. In my case, I believed that people didn't like me and I felt that I was an uncomfortable person to be with, and so, I tended to keep to myself, afraid of being with people because it caused much fear in me. So, as a consequence, isolation and loneliness were the result. I felt ashamed that I had these feelings which developed into self hatred and as I said, isolation. Self hatred or low self esteem, is in my opinion the cause of emotional problems. Even so, I worked at the Dept. of Defense for 18 months and then, I had to resign. The trauma, simply too much. I didn't want to resign but had to. As a matter of fact, it was the only time, while resigning, that I've broken down and cried. It meant that much to me. I then saw a psychiatrist, who put me onto the appropriate medication at the time, but in those days, the medication was such that it blanketed a large part of your mind, resulting in a depressed, non energetic state of mind, which basically subdued the personality characteristics of the patient. I fought a number of times to come off the medication and in one instance, it led basically to death, but the will wanted this bloke to live. They say what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. The personality at the time was obliterated, there being no person present in the body, but there was only the will. It wanted the body to keep going, so it would cause meaningful coincidences to occur, which even in my state at the time of no mind, were meaningful. This is known as Synchronicity. For example, when in a catastrophic mental condition, I telephoned the doctor's rooms to make an appointment, the doctor himself answered the phone, which he had never done before. Instantly, he could tell from the tone of voice, my mental state. He saw me that day and was prepared to handle the interview in such a way, whereby he was able to 'treat me with kid gloves' and gradually bring me back to health, over many months, years really. He having answered the phone, enabled this to happen. Had he not, I should think that my condition was such that it was really beyond help and I think that I would not have been able to survive the mental torture and trauma. I believe that I would have had to have died. This being only one of many other meaningful occurrences which then helped me to very gradually come back to mental well being. I understand if you do not believe this. I probably would not either, had I not have been through it. These synchronistic occurrences happen for me very often these days and they may do for you too although, you may not notice. These days, they also work to improve my life and your life, one way or the other. In those days though, I was very confused for many years and life was terrible. I am not telling you this as a way of looking for sympathy, not at all. That would not do me any good, anyway.

Nowadays, medications are available which target certain areas of the brain, not the majority of the brain, thereby enabling less suppression of personality traits. Apparently they 'regulate' the transmission and reception of dopamine between the synapsis of the cells. I have been taking this new medication for about 18 months now I guess, and it has helped me immensely. Also, from a mental health point of view, and therefore from every other point of view too, I thoroughly recommend that you take up meditation.

Of course, I have to ask myself again, why I am telling you this. I don't feel it is doing me much good telling you this, as I already know these facts. I think what I am trying to do, is encourage you, the reader, to 'keep going', even though the going presently may be very tough.

While I was working at the Defence department, I sat for my full Amateur Radio licence in 1970 and obtained it first go, despite the mental anguish. I must have really liked the hobby then too. I had taken no lessons at all about Amateur Radio. I studied by myself, reading books which I had purchased from books stores and the Wireless Institute of Australia. It gave me a passion which enabled me to forget my problems temporarily and made my life much more tolerable and enjoyable at the time. I don't think anything else did in those days, although I did buy a motor bike which must have helped until I came off it one day and that was the end of that. So, I think you can see how I feel about Amateur Radio having given me pleasure in those many dark days when nothing else did. I suppose this is why I have devoted so much time and energy to the website. I guess I believe that it may help someone else discover a past time which can give them comfort too.

By the way, I eventually went to work with my Dad, who built fences for a living. These fences were only built here in Australia and are known as 'Brush' or 'Broom' fences and are constructed by weaving branches of melaleuca bushes between wires. Dad taught me the ropes and after a while, I went and worked with other fencing companies and did that for the rest of my working life. I worked for a couple of companies in particular, the bosses of which are my very good friends to this day. I have been retired from it for about 5 or 6 years now. I enjoyed the outdoors but am now enjoying retirement too. While putting up fences, one of our customers for whom we worked, eventually became my very good friend too. She is shown in the picture on this page. We don't live together. She lives a mile or two away from me but we see each other most days. We have known one another for about 30 years now. She lives in her house and I live in mine. I look after my elderly Mum who is nearly 93.

Life is a learning experience and I think that the better we understand Human Nature, the better we will be as individuals, and also the better off will be those around us. Even though we are so different as individuals, you could say, in a way, that there is only one person. ie. human nature.

I would have to say that my life at present is the best it has been since I was a teenager. Having said that, I guess I will soon fall in a heap and pass on. Hi. Hopefully not. One of the main lessons learnt from life for me though, and I'm sure I share this with most people, is to follow your passion. That is the way of some pleasure and persistence when times become tough. Also, always do what you believe or know to be the right thing. The Universe will get behind you when you do that, unless it eventually proves not to be the right thing. Being an Amateur Radio operator, you can always turn on your radio. That would be a good thing and that will help.

73, Rob, VK5SW.

If, as an Amateur Radio operator, you have reason to believe that this biography reflects badly on the hobby, please rate it poorly and after some time, if I can see that you disapprove, I will delete it. It's up to you.






VK5SW Space X