MARA INC. NEWS. Mackay Amateur Radio Association Inc. Since 1972 July 2017

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1 MARA INC. NEWS Mackay Amateur Radio Association Inc. Since 1972 July 2017 Find us now on the web: Facebook: NEXT MONTHLY MEETING IS the AGM ON: 8 TH August 1930 Hrs Australia s Highest D-Star Repeater is now Operational! MHz -5MHz VK4RBM B The Blue Mountain repeater site is without any doubt Central Queensland s best amateur radio repeater location. Surrounded by thick tropical rainforest slopes and standing at 1040m, this truly is a remarkable site. Having such a picturesque, high elevation site does not come without other challenges, the main one being access. The answer is the help of a Jet Ranger helicopter and some superb piloting skills. Once the weather cleared, we jumped into the chopper and cruised up to the site. As we approached the site, the tower could be seen poking out above the thick rainforest. The landing site is a small rocky area with a tiny patch of grass. As we started to land, the view disappeared and we were surrounded by trees, then we touched down, unloaded the gear, and the chopper departed. We had a short time on site to install the new DSTAR, APRS, 3G modem and solar regulator. The work was completed in record time, and the chopper came and picked us up before the clouds rolled back in. Story by Waratah VK4BQ. Thanks Waratah for your awesome effort to get this to happen

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3 Blue Mountain D-Star & Second APRS Frequency So, we now have a 70cm D-Star Repeater running on Blue Mountain, Nebo. I d like to give a big shout out and thanks to Waratah Swinton, VK4BQ, for an awesome job he has done in building this repeater system. He successfully installed this new repeater via Helicopter flight to the Site. We also have a claim to fame, as this Repeater is the Highest Set Digital Mode Repeater in VK land. Check out below for the settings you need in your D-Star radio D-Star Radio Settings: MHz -5Mhz Offset ( MHz) URCALL: CQCQCQ RPT1: VK4RBM B RPT2: VK4RBM G We would also like to advise, that we know have a Secondary APRS Frequency available for use, on MHz This can be used stand-alone from the National frequency of MHz. This secondary frequency is a more suitable frequency to use at Horse Endurance & Car Rally events. This ensures that the packets you are wanting, will have a better chance of getting through, without the normal main APRS traffic. We will advise more on when and how this Frequency becomes active. Also check out the following for more info:

4 Blue Mtn APRS Wide Settings With the Blue Mountain APRS gateway running users should change their APRS settings to wide1-1, wide2-1. This setting gives two hops and will be the best setting for most of us in central Queensland. The old setting of wide1-1, wide2-2 gives three hops and can clog the network. I quick look on aprs.fi you can see that it is not likely that local uses will ever require 3 hops to get to an igate. Post Cyclone Debbie, Damaged Repeater Tower Repairs Considering the force and strength of Cyclone Debbie that affected our area, our repeater sites and towers held up not too bad. Midge Point Repeater Site, home of the MHz 2 Metre Repeater & APRS, which is linked into the Central Highlands Repeater Linking System was probably the worst affected and required a bit of a rebuild. It held up quite well, considering the Eye of the Storm was not very far from it, and it felt the very high winds associated with it. Solar Panels were damaged, the top of the Tower was snapped off and damaged of course, the antennas and cross bar mounts were also affected. So, after a few Trips between Roy, VK4RM, Lawrence, VK4YN & Waratah VK4BQ, the tower and antennas were resurrected and put back to life again. The Track up to the site was also a task in clearing trees etc, and Due to the damage of the track as well, access was only via 4-Wheeler motorbike. Check out the photos on the next page.

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6 Clairview Weekend another Successful Year!! Well once again, we have had a successful weekend at Clairview, in raising funds for MARA Inc. & RADAR Club to support the costs of keeping our licences and repeaters on the air. Once again, infamous Auctioneer, MARA Inc. President, Roy Moore VK4RM, was able to sell off some of the wonderful treasures that were once someone s junk! The number of attendees have been steady and similar to previous years which is great, as it hasn t been declining, and people are still generously opening their pockets. The new managers at the Barracrab Caravan Park were a great help, and seemed to enjoy themselves. Thanks Everyone!

7 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING The Annual General Meeting of the Mackay Amateur Radio Assoc.(inc) will be held at the State Emergency Services building in Ness St, Mackay at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 8th August All current financial members are asked to attend. As required by the constitution, please find attached (sent via ) a nomination form for positions on the Executive Committee. If no written nominations are lodged before the meeting, nominations will be taken from the floor at the meeting. Business for AGM: Receiving the clubs financial report for last financial year Present the financial report to the club for adoption. Electing members of the management committee. Looking forward to seeing you at the meeting. Yours faithfully, Gary Crothers. VK4CUZ Secretary NOTE: Annual General Meeting 2017 Special Edition Newsletter will be released after the AGM and will have the results and more articles published in it. If you have anything you wish to submit, please do so via

8 Breakaway Horse Riders Meeting The next monthly meeting will be Held at Harrup Park Country Club on Monday 7 th 1900 Hrs. Radio Operators are encouraged to attend to be informed of any upcoming events and or to discuss radio related activities between the clubs. I do receive s with notifications of Upcoming Events and also the monthly newsletter. Below is a snapshot of events for March till end of May. The Valley Riders & Endurance Inc. are having a Horse Endurance Ride at Denison Creek, on Saturday July 29 th Sunday July 30 th, from Midday 12pm on Saturday. Radio Operators are needed please, so if you are interested, please contact Gary VK4CUZ at: and Gary will provide you with more info.

9 Thanks for Reading this July 2017 Edition: Please me at: to Submit any Articles, News or Info or if you have something to sell or wanting to buy etc. anything to help build these Newsletters in Future! Thanks for Reading and 73! Published by Neil, VK4NB Vice President - MARA Inc. Website Manager - MARA Inc. & CHARC Inc. Publicity Officer MARA Inc. & CHARC Inc. Mackay Amateur Radio Association Inc. Web: Facebook: facebook.com/vk4wim Twitter: twitter.com/vk4wim Central Highlands Amateur Radio Club Inc. Web: Facebook: facebook.com/groups/ /

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