(OT?) Custom gear for RFDS HF comms

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Hi, In the past I've hired a small HF SSB set from RFDS to take on trips
to out of the way locations. Does anyone know whether it's possible to
produce your own set, and get it licenced for the same purpose? I have an
old ham set (Atlas 210X) that could easily be xtal locked to the RFDS

Checked some of the prices for the commercial gear, f**ing ridiculous. I
guess it's peanuts for a mining outfit.

Re: (OT?) Custom gear for RFDS HF comms
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  For emergency use it may not even need licensing, would it??

Re: (OT?) Custom gear for RFDS HF comms
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From: http://www.jimshire.aussiewide.com/rfds.html

"Where should RFDS frequencies be used?

The RFDS frequencies have been assigned specifically to allow the
provision of a medical emergency service to people living and working
in, and travelling through, remote areas. To ensure the RFDS frequencies
are not congested when people in remote areas need to use them, they
should not be used in areas where there is ready access to a fixed
telephone, even if it is to contact someone who is in a remote area. In
particular, it is not permissible to set up an HF transceiver at home to
keep in contact with people you met while in a remote area.

Licence required

An Outpost (Non-assigned) licence is required to authorise the use of
RFDS frequencies, whether the transceiver is mounted in a vehicle, is
portable or established at a campsite. Communication is authorised with
RFDS or St John Ambulance control stations and other outpost stations�
on the condition that both parties are in a remote area and there is no
possibility of interference with a control station. The use of the
Telstra Marine Radphone service is also authorised by an Outpost
(Non-assigned) licence.

Licences may be obtained from any ACA area office, either over the
counter, while you wait or through the mail.

Licence fees

The annual fee for an Outpost (Non-assigned) licence is currently $30. "

Re: (OT?) Custom gear for RFDS HF comms
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Wouldn't a satellite phone be a better idea?
You can hire them, or buy a second hand one and use a pre-paid SIM (I've
heard there is a way to do that).


Re: (OT?) Custom gear for RFDS HF comms

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Building an SSB set from scratch is not for the faint-hearted and it would
need to be type approved.

The time/cost would be higher than buying a secondhand Codan etc.

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I used to have one of those.

It's VFO controlled but if you gutted it and changed some tuned circuits it
could possibly be modified to RFDS etc. But it
would be difficult to keep it as an amateur set.

But it wouldn't be type approved and it's less robust than a Codan etc.
Also they need the SWR to be spot-on, which might
not be the case with a makeshift antenna.

Re: (OT?) Custom gear for RFDS HF comms
On Wed, 08 Apr 2009 04:25:28 -0500, bruce varley

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To use a radio on the commercial HF bands it must be "type approved"
and the Atlas would not be.  However, as someone else pointed out, you
can use any radio on any frequency in a "real" emergency.  You could
think about buying a second hand Barrett, Codan, Q-mac, IPC/Perth
Comms radio.

Use the Atlas for amateur use while you're travelling and programme in
the RFDS channels just in case.  Don't forget that you will also need
to make a two tone emergency alarm generator to trigger the RFDS base
alarm (880Hz and 1320Hz).

I always recommend taking an EPIRB/ELB with you for the occassion when
you can't contact anyone via radio.

Having said all that, there are a lot of people using amateur radios
on the commercial HF bands.
Sell your surplus electronic components at
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Re: (OT?) Custom gear for RFDS HF comms
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I forget the exact wording, but maintaining an unlicensed radio "to only be
used in an emergency"
is specifically made illegal in the Rad Com act.

You can use a ham set on emergency frequencies in an emergency, but you do
have to have a ham license in the first place.

To put it another way, there are various legitimate reasons to own an
unlicensed transceiver (resale, for instance), but owning it for "use in an
emergency" isn't one of them.

regards ............ Zim

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