Similar to lectures, these presentations & discussions are on a range of interesting topics. All Topics-in-a-Nutshell sessions are in lecture room 2. Located in the public bar on the ground floor of the main building.


Workshops will be in the Public Bar/Bistro on the ground floor.


Topics in a nutshell


09:00 – 09:30
The crystal set explored
Brian Clarke VK2GCE

Are crystal sets simple or complex? They were there at the beginning of radio-telephony and they’re still alive and kicking strongly today. But there is a strangely hidden story about why they work at all. And it’s not in the crystal! 

 Brian will take you through some of the ins and outs of this long-enduring design. There will be some simple construction ideas as well as some hints on improving performance. The chances are you have most of the components already to hand to make your own. 

 Some of these hints may well be valuable for other radio set designs, eg, LF, VLF and ELF. 

 Bring along your own crystal set, and tell us about it: what worked for you, and what got in the way. Alternately, bring a photo and a circuit diagram in electronic form so we can see it in Technicolor on the big Cinerama screen – an image or two on a USB stick will be just fine.


09:30 – 10:00
FreeDV – New modes
David Rowe VK5DGR

FreeDV is Digital Voice for HF radio. You can run FreeDV using a free GUI application that allows any SSB radio to be used for low bit rate digital voice.

Two new modes will be presented in this talk:

FreeDV 700D uses a 700 bit/s speech codec, combined with a powerful FEC code and new modem specially designed for HF digital voice.  The result is better performance than SSB on low SNR channels.

FreeDV 2000 is a wideband audio mode that encodes 8 kHz of audio bandwidth in just 2000 Hz of RF bandwidth.  It represents a totally new approach to PTT radio.


10:00 – 10:30
ATB Transmitter
Ray Robinson VK2NO

This is a WW2 transmitter normally used in aircraft
with the ARB receiver. It produces 20 Watts AM. It is quite rare.
This one is believed to have been flown across the Pacific from the USA in
1943 when Australia purchased 18 Catalina flying boats.


10:30 – 11:00
Operating Quadcopters
Rhys Evans – Phaser computers

In this lecture we will outline the operation of drones, construction, costs and rules.  An explanation of the control  of these devices and the use of FPV ( First Person View)using goggles, a laptop computer and radio controls.  Rhys will have a stall selling drones, associated equipment and computer components.


11:00 – 11:30

The VHF/UHF weak signal group meeting
Roger Harrison VK2ZRH

The VHF/UHF weak signal group meeting.  If you are interested in QRP/weak signal operations please come along.


11:30 – 12:00
TFT colour touch screens for single board computers
Bob Mutton VK2ZRM

Smarten up your latest project with a colour, TFT touch screen.  Bob will give a presentation  on TFT  Touch Screen Technology, and a” show and tell”, of several TFT touch screen projects.


12:00 – 12:30
FT8 Digital mode
Karen Boskos VK2AKB

The new digital mode called FT8 has taken over the HF bands in popularity. The amazing part is, an FT8 transmission’s total occupied bandwidth is 50 Hertz. This allows dozens of stations to operate in one allocated spot per band, that takes up less bandwidth than a SSB transmission. The lecture will describe FT8, how to get started, the software and general setup.


12:30 – 13:00
Ionospheric modelling and WSPR at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology
Phillip Maher – Space weather services

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology  – Space Weather Services (SWS) operates a Vertical Incidence Sounding ionosonde network with stations located around the Australian mainland as well as Niue Island, Cocos Island and the Australian Antarctic regions.  Currently on loan to SWS is an Oblique Incidence Sounding (OIS) receiver from the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG). The Digital Oblique Receiver System (DORS) can scan up to 9 separate oblique HF radio paths delivering high cadence rate ionograms and true height profiles. This presentation explores two key areas of research here at SWS 1) the benefits of combining both the VIS and OIS data for Real Time Ionospheric Model (RTIM) improvement and 2) Use of the WSPRnet database for validation of both the RTIM and the effects on HF propagation during short wave fadeout



08:30 – 09:30
Operating satellites – Live Demo Outside
Bob Hudson VK2AOR

Live Demo of operating satellites outside on the grass when 5 satellites will be passing across the sky about 15 minutes apart.


09:00 – 09:30
What is a Diplexer , where do we use them and how do we test them?
Kevin Jardine VK2KVJ

Kevin has built 2 different designs and will take you through the process of testing and evaluating them.   Kevin has produced an excellent presentation,  not to be missed.  Bring along your diplexer and see how it compares.


09:30 – 10:00
What do you do with a superseded /discarded microwave oven?
Col Hodgson VK2ZCO

A quick description  on converting a microwave transformer to a Spot Welder. Some measured performance data included.

A few words on the basic theory and practice of Resistance Welding.

Followed by an audience “hands on” session welding some basic wire strutters and inspection of some examples (antennae and models).


10:00 – 10:30
Update on what LEO satellites are working and an evaluation of their performance.
Bob Hudson VK2AOR

Bob looks at the simple way to work FM satellites (Easysats)  and SSB satellites.

Check out his workshop on building simple IOIO antenna  on a piece of conduit for hand held antenna  and radio. How to adapt a smart phone for tracking.  Practical operations using full duplex radio or 2 non duplex radios.


10:30 – 11:00
What is a Diplexer , where do we use them and how do we test them?
Kevin Jardine VK2KVJ

Additional workshop time for Kevin Jardine to complete testing.


11:00 – 13:00 as needed
JOTA 2018 planning session
Karl Humphreys

Everyone that is involved in the Scouts JOTA 2018 please come along and help shape a successful JOTA 2018 operation.