wia
VK3XYZ

The VK3XYZ & VK3VED story


I've been an Amateur Radio Operator since 1978. I completed a course with the WIA when they were located in Brunswick St Fitzroy. It was conducted as a night course over several months and covered theory, regulations and morse code. A night course worked well considering I was in secondary school at the time. After passing the exam I was given VK3VED as my call. The V calls had only just been released in those days and of course most preferred the N calls to the Vs, I was happy with the V.

After a while I decided to go for the Limited call and in 1981 passed the advanced theory exam. I decided to opt for a callsign this time and chose VK3XYZ with an expectation that it was taken or would not be allocated, to my surprise neither eventuated and I was allocted the call.

When I first got the novice call the only equipment I had was a converted Hy-Gain V 23Ch CB. The conversion was done in accordance with the AR magazine article. Crystals were purchased from Hy-Q and the radio tuned up as the article described, produced around 5-10 Watts PEP. The antenna was a trimmed 27Mhz 5/8 ground plane. This configuration worked a treat with many DX stations contacted and I received many QSL cards from Europe, US, and beyond via the WIA bureau, it was a sunspot peak :)

The radio was also used numerous time at Clunes (near Ballarat) with a long wire made from solid Aluminium wire, about 2mm in diameter. It was made as long as possible, about 50+ meters, and was about 2.5 to 3 meters above ground. A basic tuner was used and long path to Europe was common place.

As time passed an IC-701 was bought along with an SC22-DX multiband trapped vertical from Scalar to give access to the novice 80m and 15m bands. The 701 was modified, again inline with an AR Magazine article (or was it ARA article?), to reduce the output power to 30W PEP for the novice limit. Later, swiss quads were added along with mast and rotator for 10 and 15m.

The limited call saw the purchase of an FT-290R 2m portable from Dick Smith, which was used pedestrian portable mostly (still in secondary school). I recall one trip to the local Westpac branch which drew a lot of looks from the tellers while I finsihed a QSO outside :)

These days I mainly listen to HF, including use of the PA3WFM WebSDR project, and indulge my penchant for collecting receivers and the ocassional Amateur transceiver.