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School Amateur Radio Club Network

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Media Releases

  • August 2017: SARCNET @ FoBI Electronics Prototyping Workshops at Festival of Bright Ideas in Hobart, Tasmania.
  • July 2017: Four SARC projects presented at GippsTech 2017.
  • June 2107: Year 3/4 SARC students activated Churchill National Park.
  • May 2017: SARCNET @ Hahndorf all-day activity for Hahndorf Primary School students
  • May 2017: SARC presentation ate 2017 WIA AGM in Hahndorf SA.
  • April 2017: The first SARCNET Electronics / Microcontroller workshop was held at Moorabbin and District Radio Club.
  • April 2017: ANZAC day Amateur Radio Special Event at Moorabbin and District Radio Club. The successful even attracted some 80 school students, scouts and their families.
  • March 2017: Demonstrated the MkII rotator to members of the University of Melbourne Space Program team.
  • March 2017: "Mini Satellite-Antenna Rotator MkII" article submitted for publication in AR Magazine.
  • Febuary 2017: SARC Presentation at Moorabbin and District Amateur Radio Club.
  • Febuary 2017: SARC Presentation at Shepparton and District Amateur Radio Club.
  • December 2016: SARC presentation at the Eastern Zone Amateur Radio Club.
  • November 2016: School Amateur Radio Club station VK3SRC participated in the annual Keith Roget Memorial National Park Award activation weekend at Point Nepean and Morning Peninsula National Parks. The station received an award for contacting 25 National Parks.
  • October 2016: SARC presentation at the Eastern and Mountain Districts Radio Club.
  • October 2016: "School Amateur Radio Clubs" article published in Amateur Radio Magazine.
  • August 2016: ANZAC day amateur radio special event published in AR magazine.
  • June 2016: Four SARC projects presented at GippsTech 2016.
  • May 2016: "AIS Saves Lives" article submitted for publication in Amateur Radio magazine.
  • May 2016: "A Speech Synthesiser for the Yaesu FT-817" article submitted for publication in Amateur Radio Magazine.
  • May 2016: "Mini Satellite-Antenna Rotator" article published in Amateur Radio magazine. SARC satellite-tracking group on front cover.
  • April 2016: ANZAC day amateur radio special event publicised in school and scout newsletters and on WIA broadcast. The successful event attracted some 200 school students, scouts and their families.
  • April 2016: SARCNET call sign "VK3SRC" was issued by ACMA.
  • March 2016: The name "School Amateur Radio Club Network" was registered.
  • February 2016: "School Amateur Radio Clubs" article was re-submitted for publication in Amateur Radio magazine.
  • February 2016: An abridged "School Amateur Radio Clubs" article was published in the Term 1 2016 edition of Education Today magazine.
  • December 2015. A "Mini satellite-antenna rotator" article featuring SARC members using a solar-powered amateur radio satellite ground station was submitted for publication in Amateur Radio Magazine.
  • December 2015: Three school newsletter articles published summarizing the SARC achievements for the year.
  • November 2015: "School Amateur Radio Clubs" article was submitted for publication in Education Today magazine.
  • August 2015: "School Amateur Radio Clubs" article was originally submitted for publication in Amateur Radio magazine, but was later withdrawn.
  • September 2015: Two school newsletter articles published with a report on the popular electronics kit construction activity.
  • July 2015: Three school newsletter articles published provided an update of activities offered by SARC.
  • June 2015: MARTG entry into GSBC presented at GippsTech 2015.
  • April 2015: Three school newsletter articles advise of SARC activities.
  • February 2015: Three school newsletter articles published to advise the introduction of school amateur radio clubs. The article provided the purpose, background, format and operation of the clubs.

News

This page contains all the latest news about school amateur radio clubs. Please contact us to add your SARC news to this page. Send us a picture and description of your SARC activities. Remember to get parental permission to publish student photographs on this site and in our newsletters.

SARCNET @ Churchill National Park

Year 3/4 and SARC members at Churchill National ParkOn Wednesday 7 June 2017, the whole of year 3 and 4, including members of the School Amateur Radio Club in their hi-viz vests, turned out for a day of adventure at Churchill National Park. The day began with an educational presentation about the history, flora and fauna of the park from the park ranger. Then everyone was split up into six groups of six. Each group rotated through five 30 minute activities including HF Amateur Radio Communications and a simulated Search and Rescue activity.

For the HF Communications activity, the park was activated using the call sign VK3SRC/P for the Amateur Radio World Wide Flora and Fauna program. Contacts were made to stations in all southern states.

Meanwhile an aircraft, "crashed in nearby bush land", was located using Amateur Radio Direction Finding equipment. The survivors were rescued and treated with first-aid. The teams learnt valuable bushwalking, navigation, triangulation, portable radio operation and first-aid skills.

Teachers and parents all agreed that the students did a wonderful job.

SARCNET @ Hahndorf, South Australia

Hahndorf primary school studentsOn Sunday 21 May 2017, SARCNET provided a free and exclusive opportunity for Hahndorf Primary School students to get some extra hands-on experience with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The event was held at Hahndorf Oval in conjunction with the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) annual general meeting and "Radio is Magic" expo.

Students from years 1 through 7 participated in a range of activities including:

- Shortwave and Line-of-Sight communications
- Use of Portable Radio Equipment
- On-air and Emergency Procedures
- Call signs, Radio Alphabets and Codes
- Hidden Transmitter Hunts Locations,
- Bearings and Direction Finding
- Navigation and Triangulation

SARCNET Electronics / Microcontroller Workshop at Moorabbin and District Radio Club

SARCNET WorkshopOn 2 May 2017 the first weekly SARCNET electronics / microcontroller workshop was held at the club rooms of the Moorabbin and District Radio Club.

Students investigated the concepts of voltage, current and resistance using a power supply, conductors, semi-conductors, insulators and resistors.

A semiconductor, optoelectronic, Light Emitting Diode (LED) became the focus of a number of experiments as the students tackled with the challenge of how to make this 2-volt device work when connected to a 5-volt microcontroller. The characteristic curve of the device was even plotted on a graph. The problem was cleverly solved by using a resistor to convert excess energy into heat.

With the resistor securely soldered to the leads of the LED, this hybrid component was inserted into a microcontroller prototyping board and was made to flash, on and off, under program control.

The exercise was precisely designed to give the students a preview of SARCNET workshops. Each week the workshops will combine elements of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, requiring investigation, intuition, problem solving and above all fun!

SARCNET gets involved in the Melbourne Space Program

Melbourne University Space Program DemonstrationOn 18 March 2017 the SARC-inspired Mini Satellite-Antenna Rotator MkII and Portable Radio Terminal projects were demonstrated to members of the Melbourne Space Program. The demonstration covered the history, theory and art of tracking amateur radio and weather satellites, with an outline of the practical considerations of building a reliable satellite ground station.

The demonstration proved to be a success, with the members tracking the UKUBE-1 satellite (The UK Space Agency’s first national spacecraft). There was also lively discussion on a number of related topics, including suitable equipment, antennas, Doppler effect, encoding/decoding and even platform stabilization, from the very enthusiastic team.

The Melbourne Space Program hopes to launch a 1U Cubesat in 2018. The tracking demonstration, held in the open at University Square, was arranged by Mr. Stuart Cooper, the Melbourne Space Program's Telecommunications Team Leader.

It was agreed that Melbourne Space Program and SARCNET should collaborate in some way to help make the project a success and to get primary school students involved. The details of this collaboration will be the subject of future SARCNET news items.

Information about the Melbourne Space Program can be found at http://melbournespace.org/.

2016 SARC Excellence Awards

Top SARC students, Ciara, Kyle and Emilka each received their SARC excellence awards for shortwave communications together with a prize sponsored by the Altronics Springvale store. The store manager Mr. Harold Mollaneda said the prizes including a soldering iron, solder, tip cleaner and wire cutters would help the students continue their interest in electronic kit building at home.

Ciara receiving her excellence award Kyle receiving his excellence award Emilka receiving her excellence award

School Amateur Radio Clubs article published in Amateur Radio Magazine

Forward by Principal Michael Day

Michael Day Principal St. Kevin's Ormond.It is interesting that in this day and age of mobile broadband networks and social media that Amateur Radio, the pioneering radio hobby of the last century, would be an excellent way of introducing science and technology to young children today. Amateur Radio enthusiasts are an amazing, untapped resource for educators. They are hidden away in every community, and can provide their own equipment and expertise. They also have a zeal to pass on this technology to the next generation. And, I would say, their aging ranks could do with some new recruits from us. So this largely free and enriching collaboration between the schools and the Amateur Radio fraternity is a classic win-win situation. When I first introduced the school Amateur Radio club at St. Kevin's Primary School in Ormond Victoria, I had no idea what a success it would be. We were lucky to have an Amateur Radio enthusiast within our ranks, so the introduction was initially driven by this staff member. The teachers, parents and students are now raving about it. To see the children confidently building electronic kits or talking to other schools over shortwave radio is quite incredible. I am now exploring ways to expand this program. The following article, by Julie and Joe Gonzales, (our staff member and her husband) introduces the modern world of Amateur Radio. It explains how they set up Amateur Radio clubs at three primary schools in Melbourne and it provides all the information needed for other schools to get involved.

AR Magazine Front Cover

2016 ANZAC Day Amateur Radio Special Event article published in Amateur Radio magazine

August AR Magazine front coverThe School Amateur Radio Club Network and the Melbourne Region Scouts joined forces to present their inaugural ANZAC Day Amateur Radio Special Event at the 1st Bentleigh Scout Hall at Victory Park in Victoria.

The all-day event was attended by some 200 school students, Scouts and their families.

Highlights of the day included a high altitude balloon launch, a very moving ANZAC day ceremony and many radio-related activities and displays.

The progress of the balloon, which was tracked by local amateurs, was closely monitored by the children on their mobile devices.

The electronics soldering activity, first aid - CPR demonstration and a historic WW2 radio display also attracted a lot of attention.

Mini Satellite-Antenna Rotator article published in Amateur Radio magazine

Amateur Radio magazine front page with rotator articleThis article describes the design and construction of a mini antenna rotator for tracking amateur radio satellites. The inspiration for this project was to provide a portable and appealing demonstration of amateur radio satellite operation for our primary school amateur radio clubs. The results have been completely satisfactory.

To communicate via amateur radio satellites in low earth orbit a directional antenna with even a few decibels of gain is a definite advantage. However, the antenna must be pointed at the satellite for about 10 minutes during a typical overhead pass.

Our problem was that holding the antenna and pointing it in the right direction for an entire satellite pass was a real chore for small children. It detracted from the novelty of amateur radio satellite communications. So it was time for technology to step in and make our lives easier. This mini satellite-antenna rotator was the result.

SARC article published in Education Today magazine

Education Today logo
A one-page, abridged version of our SARC article was published in the term 1 2016 edition of the prestigious Education Today magazine (The "school principals' magazine" with a readership of over 8000 school principals). Entitled "School amateur radio is set for a comeback with SARCNET" the article was expertly condensed by ET Staff to fit the single page format of the magazine. Many thanks to ET editor Mr. Bill Minnis of Minnis Journals for the great work and all the help provided along the way. For more information on Education Today magazine please see: http://www.educationtoday.com.au/

Education Today magazine article

2015 SARC Excellence Awards

Top students, Isobel, Zara and Isabella, from three primary school amateur radio clubs in Melbourne each received excellence awards for shortwave communications together with a prize sponsored by the Altronics Springvale store. The store manager Mr. Harold Mollaneda said he was delighted to sponsor the prizes of a soldering iron, solder and wire cutters to students who had excelled in school amateur radio club activities including electronic kit building. The clubs promote concepts of science and technology to an enthusiastic group of young students through the fascinating hobby of amateur radio. For more information about school amateur radio clubs please contact Julie VK3FOWL by emailing info@sarcnet.org

Sponsored by
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Isobel's certificate Isabella's certificate Zara's certificate