………In late August, amateur radio enthusiast Yukio Sakurai (59) from Matsuyama, Osaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, accidentally received a distress signal for a small boat drifting off the coast of Niigata Prefecture, and gathered information in collaboration with other enthusiasts. It was revealed on the 6th that the Niigata Coast Guard (Niigata City) helped two crew members………….Read MORE ………….
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
Some sad news first. John Rankin 2M0JCG from Saltcoats has recently become a Silent Key. He came to amateur radio in 2011 being a CB-er before that and spent 11 years in the British Army where he was no stranger to radio. He was a member of the Ayr Amateur Radio Club and Kilmarnock and Loudon Club. Out condolences go to his family.
With clubs beginning to meet face to face and enjoy other activities, please make sure you keep GB2RS up to date. We can now accept repeat information such as nets and meetings but you must let us know at least every three months that nothing has changed.
WoSARS this weekend from its new shack the club is taking part in the 144MHz Trophy portable operating weekend and the 24hr.SSB Field Day. Details at www.wosars.club .
Dundee Amateur Radio Club; Tuesday now sees a Club evening. Martin, 2M0KAU, 0776 370 8933.
Edinburgh & District Amateur Radio Club; this weekend the club is taking part in the 144MHz Trophy portable operating contest. Norman, GM1CNH on 0774 094 6192.
On Wednesday Lothians Radio Society has a net on 144.350MHz SSB from 8pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Falkirk Amateur Radio Club continues to have its net via GB3FE from 8pm on Wednesday. Peter, email@example.com.
Aberdeen Amateur Radio Society have resumed weekly meetings as of last week at 19:30 on Thursdays. Fred, GM3ALZ, 01975 651
Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club has resumed meetings on the first Friday of every month for a club night. Bob, GM4UYZ, 01875 811 723.
In this constantly changing pandemic situation, details of club activities can be found on the individual club’s website. To have your net listed on the WoSARS website (https://wosars.club/radio-nets/) or to report any changes, contact Tony, MM0TMZ by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember also to keep GB2RS updated via email to email@example.com. Please note that the deadline for GB2RS submissions is 10am on Thursdays.
Well it all started with an email from James 2M0RMP ………..
“…………..26th Oct 20……………….Jack can you email me your number I have a wind up mast that needs a new home…………..”
In discussion with James, he said he’d met a nice lady who lived just outside St Andrews in Fife and had a tower in her back garden with a ‘protrusion’ upon it; both were required to be removed.
Well what else could we do but help out this nice lady with a trip though to the sunny ‘Fife Rivera’.
And indeed, in June the ‘gang’, Alan GM4TOQ, Sam GM4BGS, Ted 2M0VGY and yours truly headed through to the ‘sunny’ east coast to administer the necessary surgery.
It was intended to try and remove the Ground Post from below the surrounding grass level but this proved beyond the kit we had with us on the day, resorting to cutting it off with a grinder. Not ideal but it did the trick.
And WoSARS would like to thank Alex Paris and family for allowing us to remove their elaborate ‘flagpole’ 🙂 and return it to it’s rightful place in the hierarchy of radio towers. Thanks folks!
And discussions are initially on-going within the Committee as to the use that the tower will be put to. These will be presented to the Members in due course as to their own thoughts.
And, who was the original amateur that owned the house? Alex had no information but did have some communication from Ofcom – with just a reference number on it, but no amateur callsign – a fat lot of use that is! Well I carried out a wee bit investigative work using QRZ.com’s search facilities and tracked GM4DPC ; still listed on QRZ, though a SK for many years? (he left the QTH many years ago). I contacted Ofcom on Alex’s behalf, to inform them that GM4DPC no longer lived at the QTH. They acknowledged accordingly and as a consequence his entry in QRZ maybe removed?
Oh the ‘Protrusion’? Not too sure, but I think it’s was being used as part of a Wi-Fi node for the village years ago when there was limited landline/mobile internet facilities? I have it at my QTH and at the time of writing this article, I have still to ‘sweep’ it?
“……………………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 firstname.lastname@example.org…………………”
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 email@example.com
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;
A team of operators from the (KL7RA) will activate W1AW/KL7 from Alaska between July 9-13th.
Wigi, KL0R, Station Manager of the North Pole Contest Group, reports that are currently planning to have four station locations in Alaska, including KL7RA in Kenai, KL2R in Fairbanks/Two Rivers, KL7AA in Anchorage, and one more station, most likely in Homer.
Activity will be on various HF bands (as many bands and modes as possible, plus EME), including activity in
the IARU HF Championship (July 10-11th) as HQ Station.