The Brisbane Area WICEN Group is looking ahead to activities during the coming year, 2017. With the launch of our new website, we hope to bring you much news on upcoming events, general radio news and service announcements.
A big event already marked in our calendar is the International Rally of Queensland 2017. This motorsport event is one of the most significant annual events in which WICEN plays a vital role in providing a safety net and mostly via packet radio, reporting scoring information. The event will take place on the 26th, 27th and 28th May.
Later in the year, we also have the Bicycle Queensland Brisbane to Gold Coast bicycle ride. This is another big event on our calendar, where WICEN assists BQ in providing key welfare information cyclists as they progress along the 100km event between Southbank and Southport. The event takes place during October.
Brisbane Area WICEN Group also provides safety communications for a number of other bicycle events and endurance equestrian events in the South East Queensland area in an effort to provide volunteer communications for community events.
In the meantime, there is a lot of work under way, with the former QDG repeater network undergoing active refurbishment including:
- re-location and refurbishment of the Mt. Coot-tha UHF repeater
- refurbishment of the Mt. Perseverence repeater including a new 2m repeater (thanks to the Lockyer Valley Amateur Radio Club), this is in-situ and only awaiting completion of licencing approval
- a possible 6m/10m repeater at Mt. Cotton (under investigation, so early days yet)
- Repairs to the Wilkes Knob repeater were completed during 2016
Research is currently being conducted into the areas of packet radio for the purposes of general message passing ability so as to provide a community service for those in the Brisbane and South East Queensland area in times of need. We are in the process of upgrading the data network infrastructure using Raspberry Pi computers and PiTNCs.
We are also investigating a system targeted at providing a text messaging and low-resolution picture transmission service that is portable and independent of the usual telecommunications infrastructure such as the cellular mobile phone network, which often suffers greatly in times of natural disasters.
Summer is usually a period of quiet activity from an exercise stand-point. It is during this time that our focus shifts from providing services to local groups to instead keeping an eye on the weather conditions and keeping on stand-by for our northern neighbours during the cyclone season.
To this aim, we run regular nets both locally on the Mt. Glorious 2m repeater, VK4RBN, and two HF nets, on 20m and 40m covering far-north Queensland through to the NSW border. For those of you with suitable equipment, we invite you to join in on any of these nets.
Our first meeting for 2017 will take place on the 16th January, and for those who wish to come and meet us, visitors are welcome. Our meeting location and contact information can be found on our contact page.
We hope 2017 will be a prosperous year for all.