Florence Violet McKenzie OBE (nee Wallace) A2GA/VK2FV/VK2GA
Probably the best known lady amateur operator in Australia is Florence McKenzie (nee Wallace). Born in 1891, she became Australia’s first tertiary educated female electrical engineer, and opened a wireless/electrical shop in Royal Arcade Sydney in 1921. In 1925, Florence obtained her amateur licence and the callsign A2GA in 1925, our first known licenced lady amateur.
During 1922 Florence was involved with starting the Wireless Weekly magazine, along with three other people. This magazine later morphed into Radio and Hobbies and later still, Electronics Australia. The 1948 call book lists her as VK2FV which lapsed about 1959. Regaining interest in amateur radio in 1979, Florence again became 2GA, this time VK2GA, which she held until her death in 1982. In the mid 1930s Florence established the Electrical Association for Women which appears to have been formed mainly to teach women how to use electrical appliances in the home; she also wrote a cookery book for electric stoves, when none were available.
When Florence realised that war was imminent, “Mrs. Mac” as she was fondly known, became acutely aware of the need for radio communications as part of our defence, and the need for people trained in Morse code. She established a no-charge training school in a loft near her shop. Her students were initially, predominantly women and the school became known as the Women’s Emergency Signaling Corps. (W.E.S.C.) During 1940, in response to a newspaper advertisement by the Navy, appealing for trained amateurs to enlist as telegraphists, she offered her trainees. The Naval Director of Signals and Communications recommended to the Naval Board that they be employed at shore establishments and fourteen selected applicants took up their duties at the Harman Wireless Station in Canberra. From this beginning the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) was established in 1941. It grew to a peak of 105 officers and 2,518 ratings during the war.
Mrs. Mac trained the women to teach the thousands of men who wanted a skill to offer the Services. She could also see that if there were women in the services, who were competent in communication, it would free the men for other duties. In her valedictory published in Ditty Box, the ex WRANS magazine for June 1982, she was reported as being “eventually responsible for training more than 12000 servicemen”! American servicemen who were based in Australia were sent to Mrs. Mac for refresher courses. Initially skeptical, they were soon won over by her training methods. Continuing after the war, she trained many QANTAS pilots in Morse code.
Florence McKenzie was awarded an OBE in 1950 and became a SK in 1982 (2021-6-14 ALARA Column A.R. Issue 4 – Jen VK3WQ
“……………………The Bath Based Distance Learning team is now planning another course for the Full level exam syllabus. The course will run from the end of August to December this year. Students will receive weekly work packages via a virtual classroom and will have access to weekly online tutorials. Students will also have access to one of the remote tutors who will provide feedback and additional guidance where required. There will be no charge for the training but applicants must work through a pre-course classroom and quiz to be eligible for a place. The deadline for course applications is the 4th of August. For full details, and an application form, email email@example.com…………………”
CLUB NEWS & NETS
The GB2RS News Service is seeking a volunteer in the Caithness and Orkney area. The successful candidate should have a good 2m FM signal into the GB3OC repeater. They would be joining the existing team that reads the news each Sunday morning at 0930 UK time. If you would like to find out more, without obligation, please contact the GB2RS News Manager, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
To celebrate the first one-way amateur radio QSO across the Atlantic that took place on the 12th of December 1921, there is a plan to re-create the event in December this year. Those involved are still looking for volunteers and anyone with vintage 1920s equipment that they might consider loaning for the accompanying exhibition. See GM0DEQ on QRZ.com for email details. (More info within POSTBAG – HERE )
The GB3FE repeater serving the Stirling area is now back in service, operating on reduced power.
TAGS: (Within GB2RS Script)
IARU workshop; Antenna Build Off; Bath Based Distance Learning; Full level exam syllabus; QSL Bureau sub-manager for the G4T to Z group; GB4RS; GB2RS continues to expand; Finningley ARS Car Boot; The Wiltshire Radio Rally, Electronics Fair & Car Boot Sale ; Dartmoor Radio Rally; GM7V during next weekend’s IOTA contest; C6AHA; GM3RCV; MM8C; 18th, the International Low Power contest; 24-hour Islands On The Air contest; UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC; solar flux index remained in the 70s last week; a large solar coronal hole impacted the Earth; University of Massachusetts Lowell Observatory has now been fixed; Sporadic-E remains; Tropo ducting;
The GB2RS service is seeking a newsreader to cover the Western Isles of Scotland. You would be joining an existing team as a reserve reader and there are opportunities for more than one applicant to broadcast the News on Sunday using HF, VHF or UHF. You should be an RSGB Member and have good coverage of the region. If you want to find out more without obligation, please contact the GB2RS Manager at email@example.com.
Now the listing of all known nets in Scotland, which is collated by RSGB Regional Rep Tony, MM0TMZ in association with Jack, GM4COX and the West of Scotland ARS and published at www.wosars.club/radio-nets.
The GB3FE repeater serving the Stirling area is now running on reduced power and this will affect the Stirling and Falkirk nets.
TAGS: (Within GB2RS Script)
RSGB National Radio Centre; G-QRP Club Convention; EMC help desk; Ofcom; AM QSO Party; Dragon Amateur Radio Club; East Suffolk Wireless Revival and McMichael rally & boot sale; Finningley ARS Car Boot; C6AHA; RI0FM; GB1COC & GB8CCC; IARU HF Championship; solar flux index declined this week ending at 76; Sporadic E season also continues to delight UK amateurs;
Ukraine has declared that the enormous Duga-1 radar array is a protected cultural monument.
Almost 2,300 feet long and more than 450 feet high, the steel beams of the radar tower over the surrounding forest. From a distance, it appears to be a massive wall or the start of a cage.
Extract from Wikipedia:
“………………….Jamming the Woodpecker
To combat this interference, amateur radio operators attempted to jam the signal by transmitting synchronized unmodulated continuous wave signals at the same pulse rate as the offending signal. They formed a club called The Russian Woodpecker Hunting Club. Core group members would frame the “Official Practice Target” in their radio shacks……………………”
The first one-way amateur radio QSO across the Atlantic that took place on 12 December 1921. The ARRL have joined with a group of UK operators who plan to recreate the event in December this year.
To celebrate the centenary of Paul Godley – 2ZE’s success, in collaboration with North Ayrshire Council, special event stations GB2ZE and GB1002ZE respectively will be operating from 1 to 28 December 2021 (added to CALENDAR).
“……………………During the ARRL Convention held in Chicago that year (August 31 – September 3, 1921) is was announced “to a wildly enthusiastic audience” that a second series of Transatlantic tests would take place in December and that a well-known American amateur (Paul Godley, 2ZE) would be going to Europe……………………..
………..Godley duly arrived at Southampton on November 22, 1921……………………”
Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor and the person who first adapted radio waves into a functioning communication system. After the initial idea of interconnected telegraphic systems, many people began experimenting with possibility of making it wireless. At the break between 1800’s and 1900’s wireless was completely unregulated, as nobody really knew how it worked with all the transmitters and receivers, resulting in many people experimenting with their transmitters and receivers.
It’s hard to tell who was the world’s first radio amateur. Rumours are that it could have been M.J.C. Dennis from London, UK. Influenced by Marconi’s experiments, Dennis reportedly built first non-professional wireless station in the world in 1898?
1. Yuri Gagarin (UA1LO Used by another Russian Amateur?)
Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space in 1961. This historic flight brought him immediate worldwide recognition. However, only few people know that Russian cosmonaut was also a ham radio operator. Most of the members of today’s astronaut corps are licensed amateur radio operators.
[EDIT: Les is a Past Member of The Radio Club Of Scotland – HERE . Put his callsign in the Search Box ]
Les Hamilton was a Scottish ham radio operator who first alerted the British government that the Falkland Islands had been invaded by Argentina. During the occupation he was the only person in Britain to be in regular radio contact with the islanders.
3. John Sculley (K2HEP Not QRZ.com Listed?)
John Sculley, the former president of PepsiCo (1977–1983), became the CEO of Apple Inc. in 1983 and he is also a licensed radio amateur. The marketing genius remained on the position for ten years and even saw the great Steve Jobs resign from his position after the fight between the two of them.
Qaboos bin Said al Said is the Sultan of Oman. And not just that. The country’s leader is a radio amateur as well! Qaboos bin Said al Said became the Sultan of the country of Oman in 1970 and has remained in the position till his death in January 2020.
Last Tango in Paris, The Godfather, Julius Caesar… Who hasn’t heard of these cult movies? They all have one thing in common. It’s Marlon Brando, one of the best actors in history. And there’s more. Marlon Brando was a licensed radio amateur, with the callsign FO5GJ.
Five thousand copies were printed of the first issue of Barton’s Boys’ Life, published on January 1, 1911. The more widely accepted first edition is the version published on March 1, 1911. With this issue, the magazine was expanded from eight to 48 pages, the page size was reduced, and a two-colour cover was added. In 1912, the Boy Scouts of America purchased the magazine, and made it an official BSA magazine. BSA paid $6,000, $1 per subscriber, for the magazine.
The 2nd of November marked the centennial of US radio station KDKA.
The station originally began operations in 1916 as an amateur radio station, callsign 8XK. After WW1, the operators reorganised the station as a commercial AM radio station.
To celebrate this historic milestone, Pittsburgh area amateur radio operators will take to the airwaves with a series of special event stations, K3A, K3D, K3K, and W8XK. These will be set up at several locations in Pennsylvania during November.