Archive - January 2013

IIØXMAS cards in the mail


The Qsl Cards for II0XMAS arrived from IZ0VHY this afternoon.

Cards have been processed;

105 Cards to the Bureau,

7 SWL cards processed…

and a further 22 Direct cards will go with my next mailing on Monday 21st January 2013.

Any questions or enquiries contact me here.

Former Air Ambulance Pilot killed in Helicopter crash

K800 BBC pictures 063

Two people were killed and 12 were hurt when a helicopter crashed into a crane on a building in central London yesterday.

The helicopter hit the crane on top of The Tower, One St George Wharf beside the Thames at about 08:00 GMT. Cars and two buildings caught fire after the burning wreckage fell into Wandsworth Road in South Lambeth. Eighty firefighters tackled the blaze.

The pilot, Capt Pete Barnes from charter firm Rotormotion, was killed, along with a person on the ground. The Pilot was one of the best respected Helicopter Pilots in the UK and was the former Pilot of the local Yorkshire Air Ambulance (which donate to as regular as possible). Mr Barnes, 50 and who lived near Reading, Berkshire, had asked to be diverted to a nearby heliport because of bad weather.

It is thought some of the injured were hit by falling debris.

The Civil Aviation Authority said a warning about the crane involved in the crash had been issued to pilots in October and again on 7 January. But it confirmed that red aviation warning lights on tall structures only need to be turned on at night – and not during bad weather in daylight hours – because they are not visible in fog or low cloud.


47th (last) Japan Prefecture worked !!

2013-01-17 085226

It’s taken a while but finally got there!

Good conditions again this morning allowed a brief spell QRV on SSB. After a good session on 12m yesterday, today I took the plunge on 17M.


The first call in the log was Yuu JA1OCC, a regular on 17m with a good signal. Shortly after him I was called by Barry ZL1BWL. Qsb was evident and not too easy but 57 in the clear and no problem with the qso at all.


Then, at around 0820 I was called again from Japan by Takahide JA6CDC. We had a brief qso and I was delighted when he gave his QTH as Takeo City in Saga Prefecture, Japan. This was #47 of the 47 Prefectures I needed to claim the Worked All Japan Award! I had been chasing this Prefecture for well over 18 months so what a great morning to finally log it and wrap up that particular goal.


Thanks Takahide san!

Sunspot 1654 still dominates the visible Solar Disk


Sunspots are dark areas on the solar surface, contain strong magnetic fields that are constantly shifting. A moderate-sized sunspot is about as large as the Earth. Sunspots form and dissipate over periods of days or weeks. They occur when strong magnetic fields emerge through the solar surface and allow the area to cool slightly, from a background value of 6000 ° C down to about 4200 ° C; this area appears as a dark spot in contrast with the very bright photosphere of the Sun. The rotation of these sunspots can be seen on the solar surface; they take about 27 days to make a complete rotation as seen from Earth.

Sunspots remain more or less in place on the Sun. Near the solar equator the surface rotates at a faster rate than near the solar poles. Groups of sunspots, especially those with complex magnetic field configurations, are often the sites of solar flares. Over the last 300 years, the average number of sunspots has regularly waxed and waned in an 11-year (on average) solar or sunspot cycle.

Check out this link to see the YouTube movie of NASA SDO tracking of Sunspot AR1654

2013-01-16 151128

Sunspot 1654 captured at sunrise over Frösön, Sweden by astrophotographer Göran Strand on January 14, 2013 (Credit: Göran Strand/SpaceWeather)

ZL9HR….sadly the saga continues……

ZL9HR Campbell Island DX-pedition Business Summary

As you were a sponsoring organization of the ZL9HR DX-pedition, the non-HARAOA team members of ZL9HR wish to bring to your attention concerns regarding what, in our view, is a misappropriation of donations from the DX community by the officers of the Hellenic Amateur Radio Association of Australia (HARAOA) who are keeping your donations and not reimbursing those of us who paid for this DX-pedition. We believe your donation was intended to support the ZL9HR DX-pedition and not intended to be diverted to HARAOA’s general fund. 

Early in 2012, it was announced that a DX-pedition to Campbell Island was being organized by HARAOA under the leadership of Tommy Horozakis, VK2IR as team leader and John Chalkiarakis, VK3YP, as co-team leader. These gentlemen are President and Treasurer of HARAOA, an Australian nonprofit entity.

As the roster of ten operators quickly filled, team leader Tommy Horozakis and co-team leader John Chalkiarakis issued emails on April 10, 2012 and April 12, 2012 to team members stating the approximate amount each operator would pay towards the DX-pedition, and that the final cost would be offset by donations received from others.(Attachment 1)

This arrangement was the understanding under which the eight non-HARAOA operators joined the expedition and each of us paid $8,700 (USD) or a team total of $106,448 (NZD) at the Oct. 15, 2012 exchange rate. By virtue of these two e-mails and our own experience with DX-peditions we did not probe the financial arrangements further. We understood that our travel and living expenses to and in New Zealand were at our own expense.

The DX-pedition began operations on Dec. 1 and ended on Dec. 9, 2012, yielding 43,000 Q’s. Near the end of the expedition, several team members asked for clarification of the financial arrangements. Based on our earlier involvement with the donors we knew that over $25,400 (NZD) as of Nov. 25, 2012 had been donated by the DX community before any QSL income. However, distribution of sponsorship funds had not been discussed in detail up to that time.

Because of a split operating schedule the entire team was never together during the bulk of the time at ZL9, but during the dismantling phase the majority of the group had one meal together, at which time the question of finances was raised with the team leaders. They made some vague promises about providing an accounting later but they provided no clarity on how much was donated or how this might be distributed.

It was not possible to discuss this further during the return voyage due to the rough seas although we expected to have a chance to continue the discussion after arriving at New Zealand. Unfortunately, the two team leaders failed to attend the planned last night celebration in Invercargill.  Later, by email, the non-HARAOA members of the expedition requested a detailed financial statement from HARAOA Treasurer John Chalkiarakis which we suggested be submitted by the end of January, 2013. (Attachment 2)

Mr. Chalkiarakis flatly refused and told us later in an email dated December 19, 2012 that we would not be getting any of the donated money nor would he discuss the issue any further. Note that the $5,000 (AUD) that Mr. Chalkiarakis mentions he put up for the customs bond will be returned to him in full when the equipment is returned to Australia. (Attachment 3)

A few days later in a posting on e-ham Mr. Chalkiarakis claimed that:

“At this point in time the DX-pedition budget is at a deficit and not in surplus. There will be NO donations paid to team members as this was never agreed prior to dxpedition. If there is any surplus and currently there is no surplus – funds will stay with HARAOA as a non profit organization to fund future events and sponsor dxpeditions.” (20 Dec).

Then, within days he returned $1,000 to the Northern California DX Foundation saying the money was ‘excess funds’. This is also being publicized on the HARAOA website, in our view, an attempt at damage control after a public backlash on various forums such as DX-World and e-ham after concerns over funding became public. (Attachment 4)

The non HARAOA team members found Mr. Chalkiarakis’ statements to be conflicting, confusing, filled with falsehoods, evasive and they included uncalled for personal attacks. Let’s be clear, we paid all major DX-pedition expenses “in full” before sailing.

–         Boat ($81,075 (NZD),

–         NZ permit fees ($8,165 (NZD)

–         Equipment shipping ($12,524 (NZD)

None of these major costs were reduced by your donations, as promised

Early in the schedule, a ZL9HR website was established to distribute information on the status of the expedition and to solicit donations. While the website solicits donations, it is (and was) silent on the now known fact that donated money goes to HARAOA, not to the ZL9HR expedition. (Attachment 5)

Even though we enjoyed ourselves and were successful despite the hardships of the trip, we paid for this DX-pedition in full and are saddened to have discovered late in the game that we (and you) were deceived by HARAOA’s officers into believing that we would be treated fairly, only to discover that their intent was anything but fair. We, you, and the greater DX community were misled since the donations intended for the ZL9HR DX-pedition are actually being kept by HARAOA.

We ask that you, as a ZL9HR sponsor, demand a detailed accounting from HARAOA which clearly explains how funds to support the ZL9HR DX-pedition were used to reduce the overall cost of the DX-pedition to those who put up the money to fund the project. Given the conflicting private and public statements by HARAOA, we believe that only an expression of concern from the significant donors will lead to the possibility of a clear accounting of the expedition’s finances being provided.

It is truly unfortunate that the HARAOA leadership team’s misrepresentations and outright falsehoods were not discovered earlier. Several of us were actively engaged in soliciting funds from our own and other clubs and foundations in support of this effort and we are extremely embarrassed by having been deceived. At this point, none of us have high expectations that we will be reimbursed for even a small fraction of our expenditure to fund this DX-pedition. However, we are concerned that this unethical behavior will weigh upon future DX-petitioners, sponsoring organizations and individuals. We want to ensure this never happens again.

Additionally, we are pursuing other remedies in dealing with HARAOA and their misappropriation of your donations and our operating funds.


32 X Scam 12m Masts for sale

K800 DSC 0063

This message received from Mark Hammond yesterday evening;

”I am the holder of the UK MoD surplus contract for the next 4 years. I have taken possession of 32 x SCAM 12m masts today. All are fully serviced and are available for sale”.

If you are interested or have further questions about these items, please contact Mark direct on this email address;

Please note that the photo above is a mast I purchased a few Years ago and is not included in this sale. I have no connection with the MOD Sales, I am merely passing on the message which I hope some of you may find to your advantage.

Observatory captures aircraft in front of the Sun

2013-01-14 145021

Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) recorded an interesting image of the Sun on the 12th January 2013 at 07:57 UTC.

Using Kanzelhoehe H-alpa filters to spot the active regions of the Sun, BBSO telescope captured a plane and contrail flying in front of the Sun as seen from the Earth.


Red Dust Storm in OZ !

2013-01-12 063258

While fires burn across southeastern Australia and the northwest braces for Tropical Cyclone Narelle, Australia’s volatile weather has produced a spectacular red dust storm.

Striking images have emerged of a massive dust storm, which rolled across northwestern Australia and out to the Indian Ocean just before sunset on Wednesday evening.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Austen Watkins told the West Australian the phenomenon was created as wind and rain caused the thunderstorm to dump sand and dust it had picked while passing over the coastal town of Onslow, in the Pilbara region.

The phenomenon is known as a “haboob” by meteorologists.

VK5PAS – new Website launched

2013-01-12 052940

Take a tour of the new website from Paul VK5PAS.

The site holds some nice information and photographs from his QTH in Mount Barker in South Australia of his family and also on the hobby we share.

It also contains some good facts and information about Australia, Kangaroo Island, ILLW. Check out the ”just for laughs” page which will put a smile on your face for sure. Click here to see website.

Well done Paul – good job mate!

New Island emerges from North Sea

2013-01-12 051841

An island ground composed of sandbanks emerged in North Sea, 24 km (15 miles) off the coast of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany’s far north.

This is the area of a shallow body of water with tidal flats and wetlands. A discernible landmass composed of sandbanks grew gradually over the past few years in a stretch of coastline near marine national park Wattenmeer, mostly created by tidal actions.

The new island was named Bird Island after seabirds population which nest and feed on the sand dunes. Some of the inhabitants of an islands are the gulls, grey geese, eider ducks, common ringed plovers, peregrine falcons and more. Various seeds were blown by winds from all across the Europe and so far 49 species of plants have been detected on sandy landmass that is up to 4-5 meters high.