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I was originally introduced to amateur radio in the seventies by my then neighbour Mr. Edward Blake VK3ZHA (sk). Ted had a modified SCR-522 aircraft transmitter for 2 meters AM into a 10-element horizontal yagi with a 2 meter valve converter for a Trio 9R-4J communications receiver. He also had an AWA MR10A on a ground plane antenna for 2 metres FM.

For a few years I was an avid SWL using a Trio 9R-59DS communications receiver. Then, due to Ted's encouragement, I obtained my own callsign in 1975, when I was 15. I converted an old AWA MR3A "Carphone" and built a quarter-wave ground plane antenna for 2 metres FM. I also worked on 2 metres AM with a Trio TR-2E transceiver into a 10 element yagi.

Later on, I got interested in AMSAT operation. I used a Yaesu FT-221 with a 20 element RHCP yagi on an Az-El mount on 2 metres SSB. I built and programmed an "automatic satellite tracking system" from scratch using a home-built Xerox-820 CP/M computer. It had a Z-80 with 64kB of memory and two 8-inch floppy disk drives. The OSCAR satellite orbital elements were downloaded, using a 300 baud modem, from the Celestial BBS run by Dr. TS Kelso. After translating the satellite tracking algorithms, published in the NORAD Spacetrack Report No. 3, from FORTRAN IV into PASCAL, I built a digital PWM controller for two TV antenna rotators, which were used to automatically steer the beam. Then for some years I also worked AX.25 packet radio on 2 metres FM with a TNC-220 into an Icom IC-22S.

After a long break I got back on the air, and on HF for the first time in March 2013. I am currently running an Icom IC-7200 transceiver into switched 80, 40 and 20 metre folded dipoles.

Professionally, I have 30-years experience in Defence Systems Engineering and have worked on a variety of major Australian Avionics, Radar, Guided Weapons, Command, Control, Communications, Computing and Intelligence (C4i) Systems including:

  • Government Aircraft Factories - Mk7 Ikara Rocket Launched Anti-Submarine Weapon.
  • GAF - Nulka All Weather Active Expendable Decoy Vehicle.
  • GAF - F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft, N23 Nomad STOL aircraft, Mk3 and Mk4 Jindivik target aircraft.
  • Aerospace Technologies - COMSEC project.
  • Rockwell/Tenix - Seahawk S70B Helicopter RAN/Role Adaptable Weapons System.
  • Telstra - Jindalee Over-The-Horizon-Radar Project.
  • TransLink Systems - Melbourne City Link eTag Tolling System Project.
  • Redflex Communications Systems/Exelis C4i Pty Ltd/Harris Corporation - SwitchPlusIP Voice Communications System.

I am currently the Systems Engineering Manager at Harris C4i Pty Ltd in Melbourne.

My other interestes include:

  • Freshwater Boating and Trout Fishing
  • 4WD'ing and Camping
  • Digital Photography
  • Hydroponics
  • Flight Simulators

My beautiful wife Julie VK3FOWL manages to keep all of these activities in some sort of balance. Julie runs three school amateur radio clubs in Melbourne, which I help her set up and promote. Please see our SARCNET website:

We are very active in any type of portable operations. Click on the following links to see what we do:

Other information, presentations, booklets and articles that we publish:




Amateur Radio Magazine Articles:


Keith Rojet Memorial National Parks Grand Slam Award for succcessfully activating and chasing all 45 national parks in Victoria. (Julie and Joe)
2014 Al Shawsmith Award for the best non-technical article in Amateur Radio Magazine, entitled "The International Museums Weekend at Melbourne Museum". (Julie and Joe)

On the third weekend of August 2014, 2015 and 2016, Julie and I activated the Queenscliff White Lighthouse AU-0051 for the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. Camping in front of the light house, we contacted 33, 29 and 24 other Lighthouses in Australia and New Zealand. Click here for more information.

On the weekend of 26 July 2014, Julie and I activated French Island OC-136 for the Islands On The Air (IOTA) contest. We made over 300 contacts and survived two three-hour pile ups on 20m.
International Museums Weekend Participation Certificate. Over two weekends in June 2015, Julie and I activated the Melbourne Museum. 

International Museums Weekend Participation Certificate. Over two weekends in June 2014, Julie and I activated the Melbourne Museum. We exchanged speeches on-air with Mayor of Melville WA Cr Russell Aubrey at the opening of the WA VHF Group premises at the Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum. Click here for more information.  

Second Place, 2015 John Moyle Field Day Contest - Six Hour Portable, Single Operator, Phone Only, HF Only with 222 contacts and a score of 444 points, my personnal best.

Fine weather this time, but starting a bit late from the summit of Mount Donna Buang.  Click here for more information.

First Place, 2014 John Moyle Field Day Contest - Six Hour Portable, Single Operator, Phone Only, HF Only with 155 contacts and a score of 310 points.

Running on solar power during a violent electrical storm from the summit of Mount Donna Buang. Click here for more information.

First Place, 2013 John Moyle Field Day Contest - Six Hour, Portable, Single Operator, Phone Only, HF Only with 168 contacts and a score of 336 points.

Running on the car battery in the pouring rain from a secluded hill in Gippsland Victoria. Click here for more information.

VKFF Hunter Gold Award
VKFF Activator Silver Award
VKFF Top Activator 2013

Here are the details of my very basic amateur radio station in Oakleigh, Victoria, 16km South-East of Melbourne, Australia:

  • Home Station: Icom IC-7200 Transceiver, LDG IT-100 Autotuner, Daiwa CN-801 SWR/PWR Meter, Manson SPA-8230 Power Supply, COMET CF-50S LPF, Diamond CX310 Coaxial Switch, Bird 100-ST-FN Dummy Load, Lightning Arrestor, Ground Stake.
  • Audio Line: Redback C0379 Desk Mic, Mackie 402-VLZ3 Preamp, Behringer DEQ2496 Digital Audio Processor, KRK KNS-8400 Headphones.
  • Other Stuff: Raspberry Pi Internet Radio Gateway, CH FlightSim Yoke/Pedals, Paistos Disk.
  • Home Antennas: Three 6.5m Aluminium Masts, 80m, 40m & 20m Folded Dipoles with Dual Core Current Baluns.
  • Mobile Station: Barrett 2050 Transceiver, Barrett 2019 Autotune Antenna, FAMPARC 8-Band Whip, Andrews SB5B Dual Band Whip, Yaesu FT-7900R Transceiver, 400W Solar Panels, 240Ah SLA Batteries, N8XJK Super Booster.
  • Portable SOTA Station: Yaesu FT-817 Transceiver (Julie's), 40/20/10m OCF Dipole, Yaesu FT-60R Transceiver.
  • Portable Event Station: 80/40/20m Fan Dipole, Dunestar Triplexer, CQer, Three 8.5m Telescopic Aluminium Masts, Lightning Arrestor, Ground Stake.



That's all for now.

Cheers and 73,


7678814 Last modified: 2016-11-05 21:28:51, 14049 bytes

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QRZ Logbook Summary for - VK3YSP
Latest Contacts for VK3YSP at QRZ.com
dedateband mode grid Country op
VK3XV 2017-11-13 40m FreeDV Australia Tony J Hambling
VK5PAS 2017-11-12 40m FreeDV PF94kw Australia Paul SIMMONDS
VK3OHM 2017-09-30 40M SSB QF22oe Australia Marc Y Hillman
VK5AKJ 2017-09-30 40M SSB QF02id Australia Ronald K. JOHNSON
VK2JNG 2017-09-30 40M SSB JJ00aa Australia Gerard
VK3PNG 2017-09-30 40M SSB QF23js Australia Bruce Glasson
VK7JON 2017-09-30 40M SSB OF77wv Australia Jonathan M Clayman
VK7FOLK 2017-09-30 40M SSB JJ00aa Australia Helen
VK4TJ 2017-09-30 40M SSB QG62an Australia JOHN KIRK
VK5FMAZ 2017-09-30 40M SSB JJ00aa Australia Marija SIMMONDS
VK5KLV 2017-09-30 40M SSB JJ00aa Australia LR VIRGO
VK5PAS 2017-09-30 40M SSB PF94kw Australia Paul SIMMONDS
VK7KW 2017-09-30 40M SSB QE38ct Australia Keith W WINKLER
VK2STW 2017-09-30 40M SSB QF56jd Australia Stephen Weston
VK2GKA 2017-09-30 40M SSB QF55ch Australia KARL AHAMER

Book Totals: 4386 qso's   767 confirmed Get a free logbook at QRZ.COM

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