Changes to Australian amateur radio licence conditions

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by VK3YE, Sep 25, 2019.

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  1. VK3YE

    VK3YE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Changes to Australia's amateur licence conditions released yesterday have increased scope for construction and experimentation.

    Holders of the entry-level Foundation licence are the biggest winners. Previously restricted to analogue voice and manually sent Morse with commercially made transmitting equipment, the new conditions allow use of digital and image modes. They can also use use a computer to send Morse and transmit with equipment they've built themselves.

    However the changes do not grant the extra transmit power and frequency allocations that some were hoping for. Consequently Australian Foundation hams remain restricted to 10 watts on the 3.5, 7, 21, 28, 144 and 430 MHz bands.

    There are few changes for Standard and Advanced licensed hams. However freed-up bandwidth restrictions on bands above 1.8 MHz will allow greater experimentation with wideband modes.


    A three minute video summary of key changes is here:

    Or you can view all the changes on the ACMA website at:

    Peter Parker VK3YE
    AB5WX, VK6APZ, KG4BFR and 3 others like this.
  2. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    If I read the ACMA document correctly, the bandwidth limits for any mode on HF will be pretty generous, 8 kHz, 16 kHz or 100 kHz depending on band, and the power density limit of 1W/100 kHz applies if the bandwidth is greater than this. For 6m and up the maximum allowable bandwidth for any mode is 100 kHz.
  3. W6RZ

    W6RZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Looks more like unlimited bandwidth above 52 MHz. See the actual rule changes here.
  4. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You’re right, I misread it, thanks. That limit would have prevented ATV, for example.
  5. VK3VM

    VK3VM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The condition has been freed up to permit those out there that want to use say FM on 80m for things such as production broadcasts !

    [ Note my view on this subject is that Community Radio is the forum for broadcasts ... not AR ].

    Yet you cannot read the omnibus documents alone - it must also be read with the Spectrum Outlook document. Put the two together and some interesting observations can be made....


    I suspect that regulators will be too frightened to address the "QRP" in this nation of ours ! The QRQ argument always goes away when solar conditions improve as they will by the time someone gets a serious ear of someone "at court" in Canberra !
  6. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Could you elaborate on what you think are the "interesting observations"? There's a lot of material to read there...
  7. VK3VM

    VK3VM XML Subscriber QRZ Page


    Peter has done a fine job publicising these advances - so hats off to Peter. If you don't follow Peter Parker's fantastic work in he AR community then you should.

    I can elaborate ... and please excuse the few additional comments in here to rattle a few cages... all are relevant so please no reporting and censoring this as we know can happen !

    The observation when read in conjunction is that our regulator, The ACMA, is quite open to reasonable arguments put before it from collective organisations. It uses the term "administrative burden" quite a bit - and that is concerning. Amateurs want and need regulation; we do not want AR to slide into the uncontrolled antisocial gutter-tripe-filth that CB in Australia has degenerated into !

    Arguments of our representative organisations appears to be being listened to by our ACMA (especially RASA) - yet many Amateurs have concerns around the toxic nature of the warring that is taking place between organisations that have the ear (or the gripe) of The ACMA (i.e. WIA vs RASA vs The Little Guy). There are only 10,000 of us individually and 14,000-odd licenses in a nation of 25 Million people; many hold multiple licenses as I do. We are NOT huge in numbers - and in order to survive we MUST grow. We also need international input and support in order to do that.

    Our Governments crave self-governance and self-regulation.... yet it failed here in Australia with CB. Likewise self regulation can be exploited by the undesirables, bullies and those that can see a dollar to be made .... and sometimes people that get the perceived "power" and "privelige" do not know when to train others and , as we say, "show the love"... and then act from emeritus positions.

    Back on pure target ... The High Power argument (that should be receiving supportive arguments and submission from all over the world) is still open and is tasked for 19 Q4. Send comments and support materials to (and this is a front-of-house mailer address) - and fast !

    Secondly it states that the 60m argument is still open and is tasked for 20 Q1.

    The fact that the 3600 MHz segment was subsumed (and supported in our largest Telco's submission - Telstra) should be of concern. Moonbounce and satellite comms operators - that use such frequencies extensively - should be concerned. It shows that the power of the corporate dollar subsumes international interest. This is where The International community (and the IARU) should be taking greater interest.

    There was no IARU submission to our extensive consultation process here - and I find that concerning.

    One needs to look constructively and positively at any gains that are offered; one also needs to read behind the lines that reasonable arguments put before our regulator will be actioned under the current Australian climate. Yet you cannot help but notice that The ACMA is trying to wash its hands clean of Amateurs ...

    I hope that I have made myself Clear Bob.

    73, Steve I (VK3VM / VK3SIR)

    Ps: You highlighted my comments on Amateur Radio "Broadcasts as well - so this deserves a commentary - but separate to what I have commented on above. There is an explosion of "broadcasts" here in Amateur Spectrum here in Australia. Whilst I am supportive of broadcasts and productions I feel that they should be an "exception" on AR spectrum and not the norm as it is fast becoming. Clubs rebroadcast-after-rebroadcast etc. ad-nauseum on their repeaters ... sometimes on HF programmed broadcasts just commence without regards to pre-existing traffic ... and this has on occasions disrupted pre-existing sometimes prioritised comms. Productions rebroadcast down here on local repeaters in my parts (SW Victoria) are near unintelligible due to unreliable on-air links.

    The AR charter is for self-experimentation and self - learning - and is two way - requiring someone to transmit, then someone to listen, and then an interaction to commence. The medium for productions and broadcasts is Community Radio - where there is no expectation of back-interaction as the norm.

    If one wants to rally and unite people then the best way to do it would be around a special broadcast/net at a specified time ... i.e. such broadcasts (even if weekly) should be used and rebroadcast SPARINGLY and only under-licence with strict originator control - encouraging as many to listen at the one place/network at the same time. I restate that this way you can rally and unify. The current willy-nilly practise here in Australia of any club broadcasting - sometimes disrupting traffic - fragments support - and opens up inquiry to our spectrum with others that do not have the roots of AR at its heart !
    N0TZU and KF4ZKU like this.
  8. KD7TTT

    KD7TTT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank God the government was there to help.
  9. VK2OZ

    VK2OZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well here we go again the only winners here are the Foundation calls again can anyone see the A.C.M.A policing the new rule can you police if i built something as well as all this they now have the use of digital modes "but mind you only equiptment they built themselves" whom does one think they are kidding it is a farce this lot of F calls have more priviledges handed to them then did the Novice licence holders and the exam they have to pass can be achieved by a 5 year old .This is all with the blessing of our Wireless Institute Of Australia who used this whole issue to try and bolster their falling membership ,There was nothing wrong with the Novice entry level okay take that awful morse away but the rest was not so difficult to attain but let's make it easier come on have a listen on our 40M band even 80M all you hear is people talking no callsigns swearing operation, standards have gone to level seen on the 27 meg C.B band .I was an instructor of Novice classes i even applauded the introduction of this licence so i do not see myself as an obstructionist but this licence standard is a joke i have been on the air for 60 years + what i see now is disconcerting .
    VK4JJJ, VK6NO, VK6NSB and 3 others like this.
  10. VK3YE

    VK3YE Ham Member QRZ Page

    In relation to operating standards and ease of entry, the worst behaviour often comes from old timers who passed all the exams, are technically clever but may have personal or social problems.

    Something happened in their life that made them unleash their craziness on the bands.

    A well documented example is Robert Lear, VK2ASZ etc. lear.htm

    It looks to be similar elsewhere. Eg a not insignificant proportion of those shut down by the FCC are long-time and/or Extra class hams.

    Hence making entry harder would not necessarily fix the biggest (or possibly any) behaviour problems on the bands.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
    VK4TI, KD4AYU and KE0HTG like this.

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