Scout Radio & Electronics Service Unit

World Wide Flora & Fauna – Australia

Australia has over 680 National Parks, which provides a lot of places to visit. Scouts of all ages can have fun combining a visit to a new National Parks with Amateur Radio activities.

A popular activity for Amateur Radio Operators is to take their equipment portable into a new National Park, set up the portable station and make radio contacts with other like-minded people.
See for lots of detail.

While you do need an amateur radio license to transmit, logs can be submitted by just receiving the signals from other people’s transmission. This takes a little research and practice but it is good fun once you get it right.

A number of Awards are available by logging your Amateur Radio activation of National Parks and if you are interested in walking up hills, Summits on the Air (SOTA) too. or

If you are interested in logging your contacts on an Android device (with a reasonably sized screen) we recommend Peter (VK3ZPF)’s VK-Portalogger app. See

If you are interested in logging with an Apple device see Sue (VK5AYL)’s site

Have fun! – Philip VK3JNI

Project Horus

Amateur Radio Experimenters Group Inc – have an interesting project running for Radio Active Scouts to follow. Attaching a Video Camera to a high altitude balloon has many technical challenges. Receiving the images in real-time poses significant challenges. Follow the project on

Radio Active Scouts can even receive the Telemetry from some of their balloon launches. This takes a bit of setting up and you may need some help but it can be good fun.

AREG are an active group of Amateur Radio operators who do some really cool stuff. They were very active at AJ2019 Amateur Radio Station.

Short Wave SDR – On Air


Many radio enthusiasts including Scouts are experimenting with Software Defined Radio (SDR) modules to listen to various frequencies around the world. Unfortunately the radio frequency noise floor around many of our cities makes reception difficult to all but the strongest stations but don’t give up.

In recent times, many of these SDR receive stations are being placed online. When the receivers and antennas are located away from the city or local noise source, we can have a lot of fun listening to and identifying radio stations from around the world. You may hear news, music and many data transmissions from around the world. Some of the data transmissions you can even decode with a computer or smartphone app. More on how to do this in later posts.

Many online SDR stations can be accessed via the Kiwi-SDR project via this web site
You can also get information on each station via the interactive map Click on the flag to find out more about each station.

Please remember that most of these SDR stations are run by volunteers and at times Internet Bandwidth may limit the number of participants.

Have fun and let us know what you hear.

Have fun,

Philip – VK3JNI (16/Jan/2021)

Talk via new ISS Repeater

ISS 437.800 MHz cross band FM repeater activated. Scouts and Girl Guides with an Amateur Radio License may wish to try to work other Amateur Radios stations via the new Cross Band FM repeater being carried on the International Space Stations (ISS).

Early reports are suggesting that the repeater can be worked while the ISS is in our sky via a dual band hand held and a dual band 2/70cm external hand held beam antenna. Note with-out a directional antenna, reception may be very noisy.

For the technically minded, the ISS FM cross band repeater mode is using an uplink frequency of 145.990 MHz with an access tone [CTCSS] of 67 Hz and a downlink frequency of 437.800 MHz.

Scouts and Girl Guides with out an Amateur Radio License may receive any contacts via an external antenna and a scanning receiver tuned to the down link frequency when the ISS passes over head. For more details see

CQWS – CQ World Scout Contest – HF

CQWS – CQ World Scouts Contest HF is always in the 2nd full weekend of April, from 1600 UTC (1300 PY) on Saturday until 1600 UTC (1300 PY) on Sunday. Count down to event

What time is this in Melbourne?

See the full details:

The CQWS – CQ World Scouts Contest is an annual activity, promoted by the Scouts of Brazil – UEB and recognized by the World Organization of the Scout Movement – WOSM. The main purpose of this activity is to promote the practice of Radio Scouting among members of the Scout Movement, with the help of Ham Radio Clubs, Associations and experienced operators, promoting Scouting and preparing our young people and adults to the skillful use of their stations, support to Scout activities and civil defense. CQWS is a gateway to the world of contesting and a challenge to all participants to contact as many amateurs and prefixes as possible during the contest period.

More information contact your Scout Radio and Electronics Team

JOTA goes Digital

DMR Radio and Hotspot.

JOTA for many years has relied on HF Radio for many of our long distance radio contacts. Many scouts will know that this requires good radio propagation and low noise levels for good clear contacts around the world. HF Radio will still be in common use but we now have something new.

With the recent changes in Amateur Radio Licensing in Australia, many JOTA stations will taking advantage of the current surge in Digital Radio modes. To help meet the expected demand over the JOTA weekend, the Digital Radio Modes will be reconfigured.

For VK3 JOTA Stations who have requested Scout Callsign – these have been registered with an DMR ID. If you are in Victoria (VK3) and wish to use the DMR for your allocated Scout Callsign, please send email request to Scout DMR registration at  –

Technical Stuff

The VK-DMR Network will have Time Slot 1 Available for JOTA, with the Following Talk Groups, TG 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 These will be all on TS1 and the rest of the TG’s 5, 3809, 3810, State TG8’s will be turned OFF for the JOTA Weekend.

Please added TG 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 to your Radios, for the JOTA Weekend.

This will also be available for Hotspots for JOTA as well, as the IPSC2 Repeater server and the IPSC2 Hotspot server will have these linked

If you wish to use DMR at your JOTA station, please send email request to Scout DMR registration at  – before Thursday 17 Oct.

Proposed changes to amateur licence conditions

Hi Radio Active Scouts,

The ACMA have invited comment on proposed changes to the Amateur Radio rules in Australia. This consultation could have a significant impact on participation and interest in STEM activities, including JOTA / JOTI within Scouting. Let’s make sure we have a creditable response. Let your voice be heard. Consultation Closes 9 August 2019.

If you feel that you wish to put in an individual submission, go right ahead. If you would like to have your comments considered for a combined response, please forward to me by 3 August 2019.

Where do you find the documents? Click Here.

Issue for comment

The ACMA is seeking submissions from interested stakeholders on the proposals set out in this paper.

Comments are invited on:

  • the proposed changes reflected in the draft Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Omnibus Amendment Instrument 2019 (No.1) and written notice 
  • other changes for possible inclusion in a future amendment instrument
  • any other issues relevant to amateur licence conditions and licensing arrangements, including opportunities that would reduce regulatory burden on licensees while not detracting from other legitimate uses of the relevant spectrum.


Philip Adams – VK3JNI
State Leader – Radio
Radio and Electronics Team

Don’t bin your old EPIRB or PLB

Beacons don’t belong in the bin! On 21 June AMSA we received a satellite detection of an unregistered EPIRB, 5km offshore of Avoca Beach. We tasked a Toll Ambulance Rescue helicopter RSCU206 with a specialist paramedic and retrieval doctor on board, and VMR Cottage Point to the area. RSCU206 couldn’t detect a signal over the water however homed the EPIRB to the nearby Kincumber Waste Transfer Facility. The crew landed at the tip and used a handheld homer to locate the beacon, before destroying it.

Incidents like these are a waste of time and emergency services resources. Signals from incorrectly disposed distress beacons can also interfere with passing air traffic and take rescue resources away from real community protection. Learn how to dispose of your unwanted beacons:

Amateur Radio Training and Assessments – Mk2 – 2019

We are pleased to advise that a new format of Amateur Radio Training will recommence from June 2019.

The program will initially be offered to Scouts, Venturers, Rovers and Leaders. The program will separate training workshops from the formal Amateur Radio assessments.

We anticipate this will enable more scouts of all ages to engage in the workshops without feeling the pressure to cram for the assessment.

Boot Camps will be scheduled each year for Scouts, Venturers, Rovers and Leaders wishing to go wild, pre-study and achieve their amateur radio license.

For more details of the new assessment system see

Watch for further details or drop us a message via the contact us pages.

YIS Philip – VK3JNI

© Scout Radio & Electronics Service Unit