MFJ-1836HK34 antenna upgrade!

It's certainly been a while since I've made an update to this site! But yes, rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated ;) I took a hiatus from my amateur radio hobby for a few months so I could focus on my not-for-profit, furry/otherkin oriented business enterprise called GekkoFyre Networks. Check it out! We provide web-hosting services such as virtual private servers, SSL certificates, over 485+ domain name extensions to choose from, hosted and managed groupware-based email offerings, WordPress hosting, soon-to-be-offered gaming services, and much more.

Lately with concern to amateur radio, I have been heavily exploring JS8Call and having conversations with others as far as the United States and even Sweden. The idea with JS8 is to take the robustness of the FT8 codec and layer on a messaging and network protocol for weak signal communication via HF, allowing more lasting conversations (of a somewhat simplistic nature) to be held. You are limited to exchanging just the most basic of details with FT8 as that is simply what it's designed for; short, abrupt messaging that progresses quickly. Therefore, you require a bit more patience in order to get good results out of JS8 but it's well worth it, especially if the HF band in your area is rather noisy regarding EMI.

As of yesterday, I finally purchased the MFJ-1836HK34 cobweb antenna upgrade for my pre-existing MFJ-1836H antenna, and boy have I been longing for this for some months now. Although I've had to firstly send it to a Shipito warehouse in California where it'll then finally be routed to my residential address in Australia, simply because directly shipping from DX Engineering costs a whopping ~USD$250 which is outrageous. I'm particularly looking forward to the 40 m band that this upgrade will enable, because it seems to have quite a bit of activity while listening to it currently on my transceiver. Plus atmospheric conditions seem to be favoring 40 m as of the past few months.

That said, I'm looking forward to the club meetup tonight in Morwell with Eastern Zone Amateur Radio Club (EZARC), since it's been some months when I've last done this~

ACMA Standard Licence Certificate of Authenticity received at last

I finally received my Certificate of Authenticity from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) governing body, which you may see attached to this article as a PDF file! I warn you though, it is quite a pretty document to behold :) Now I need to decide whether I should join a local WICEN chapter or not, as I've heard both good and bad things about such organizations. I'd love to get more involved in the local community and the idea of being involved with the local emergency services sounds thrilling, but not at the cost of being a potential burden either given that I'm quite physically disabled. Does anyone reading this article have any potential thoughts, maybe? It would be nice to hear them, thank you, as I'm honestly not sure how to proceed. WICEN define themselves as thusly:

WICEN consists of a number of state or territory based volunteer emergency communications service organisations whose members are primarily licensed amateur radio operators. Members are accredited to assist in emergency situations and are able to provide emergency and safety communications for other agencies when conventional communications networks fail or are inadequate. Emergency radio networks can be assembled quickly, taking advantage of both amateur radio frequencies and services and licenced non-amateur frequency allocations.
-- https://wicen.org.au/

That pretty much sums them up! But they were heavily involved in the extremely severe Black Saturday bush-fires that happened primarily in the state of Victoria during 2009, for instance, being a key part of the organization effort to tackle the firestorms that ensued. Those fires were considered some of the very worst in recorded history throughout all of Australia and given our current policies on managing shrub-land, fuel buildup, and back-burning, this is only going to occur again sometime soon once again with similar intensity, alas.

Download this file (acma_vk3vkk_standard_licence_certificate-authenticity.pdf)acma_vk3vkk_standard_licence_certificate-authenticity.pdf[ACMA Standard License Certificate of Authenticity for VK3VKK]3084 kB

Hello and Welcome!

Welcome to my little abode on the internet, where I keep information, advice, guidance, tips and photos largely pertaining to the world of amateur radio but also some other minor aspects of my life. My primary call-sign is VK3VKK and I'm a Standard licensed amateur as a citizen of Australia. The Foundation License comes before and the Advanced comes after, of which the latter I am strongly seeking and studying for currently. Sadly, the licensing fees in this country are exorbitantly expensive and I've already spent AUD$500+ so far in my quest for an Advanced License, of which the fees are divided up between the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). For further details about myself and the interests I possess, please see the About Me page. It's a good read even if you are just interested somewhat in how the amateur radio licensing works within Australia!

Other articles that are currently present on this website include one detailing usage and setup of the Yaesu SCU-17 USB Digital Interface with common software applications such as WSJT-X and FLdigi. There is also a photo gallery which contains images of the QSL cards I've collected thus far in my DXpeditions using mainly FT8, along with photos of my Bearded Dragon, Iggy :) I am slowly uploading some of the more recent artwork commissions I have obtained of my Dragon-side as well, given that I participate heavily in the furry and otherkin/therian communities. Lastly, there is a review that I have recently written up on the MFJ-1836H cobweb antenna which covers the HF bands from 20 to 10 meters, along with the 6 meter VHF band. I will be getting the MFJ-1836HK34 upgrade kit for it in the near future so you can definitely expect a review sometime soon for that too. It basically adds the 30 and 40 meter HF bands.

Now a ARRL Logbook of the World (LoTW) Member!

You heard right! I'm now an authentic ARRL LoTW member, having just received my TQ6 encryption certificate email this morning ^,==,^ I'm currently writing up a how-to regarding just wherein you yourself can become a member, and the steps that are involved in doing so. It'll be good for those who aren't quite so computer savvy and need a little extra help, so expect that article to either come out later today or in another day or two! I'm a bit sick right now having caught the flu or something similar so things are going a bit slow for me.

Addendum as of 22nd September 2018: I'm now Authenticized Guaranteed at eQSL.cc also, so double-bonus!