September 2020 Meeting – Don Robertson AREC National Director – followed by RemoteDX AGM

Due to the fact that we were still under Covid-19 Level 2 status, we were unable to meet on Sunday 20 September as planned at Waitohi (Johnsonville Library). Instead we had a face-to-face meeting at Bernard ZL2BD’s QTH at 1 Winsley Tce, Churton Park.

Don Robertson, National Director of AREC spoke about the restructuring of AREC and the opportunities available to members to be active in AREC and SAR.

We were also took time to discuss challenges Porirua City (Titahi Bay Branch 42) is facing with their proposed District Plan and to celebrate the Branch 74 (Wellington VHF Group) 50th anniversary. Branch 50 NZART assisted in getting the VHF Group underway, back in 1970. A celebratory cake cemented the celebration at 3pm alongside tea, coffee and egg sandwiches.

The Chair briefly updated members on the remainder of 2020’s programme of activities and members were queried as to who was planning to attend the Christmas Dinner.

At 2pm we moved into the AGM for RemoteDX. This included receiving the annual report from the Chair, approving the minutes of the previous AGM, confirming the annual financial statements, electing the next committee, considering minor amendments to the constitution, discussing the forward direction of RemoteDX and committing to a couple of substantial summer projects.

The meeting concluded with afternoon tea.

Mike ZL1AXG (Branch 50 Chair) and Don Robertson (Committee member of Branch 74 cut the cake)

CANCELLED: Branch 50 Meeting: 16 August @ Waitohi Johnsonville

WARC members admiring a Begali key. Trevor King ZL2AKW is on the far right


Trevor King, ZL2AKW, a former NZART President and Council member, has a long history of involvement in amateur radio, Trevor is also an honorary life member of Branch 50 NZART and has been coming along to our meetings for over 50 years (see Trevor on the far right in the photo above).

Trevor will be sharing about his career and interest in amateur radio over the years.  Trevor was first “on the Air” as a 14-year-old schoolboy living in Palmerston North.  That was back in 1948.  He was initially assigned the call-sign ZL2AGC.   

It is worth pointing out that Trevor was one of the founding members of the Branch’s earlier Projects Group that brought a number of kitset projects to NZ amateurs, and was also actively involved in contesting (with a special interest in CW) and in the Quartz Hill User Group.

Trevor’s Bio will contribute to our Member Bios collection that will shortly be made available to members  through our website (via login only).   

Shed Workshop: An introduction to a low cost SDR Spectrum Analyser

SDR Spectrum Analyzer

Our Ted Talk for the year (from Ted ZL2TB) was scheduled for Sunday 2 August from 1pm to 3pm at Ted’s QTH, 14 Quigley St, Newlands. Thirteen members enjoyed Ted’s introduction to his low cost SDR Spectrum Analyser (available for around $500) that can be procured through the internet. This device can be used for all sorts of purposes, with slightly differing models having slightly different features.

Ted gave a practical demonstration of potential use cases that reflected his personal interests in the VHF, UHF and microwave spectrum, such as looking at the output of the FM radio stations on Mt Kaukau in Wellington, the transponder outputs (including half transponders) from satellite signals able to be received in Wellington. Given the affordability of the device and potential to examine a broad spectrum all at once, this session was of interest to members.

50 Years for Wellington VHF Group

Wellington VHF Group was formally formed in August 1970, as a sub group of Wellington Branch 50. This August marks the 50th anniversary of this meeting, where Bill Hamer ZL2CD moved that the Group be formed.

According to the latest Q-Bit, the VHF Group is planning to hold a celebration to recognise reaching 50 years this August. They are looking for expressions of interest in the event.

They will hold their regular Thursday night meeting on the 27th August and dedicate the evening to short talks on events and projects that the Group has initiated, such as the Wellington Walkie, the UHF National System, Belmont repeater, ATV, various repeaters and other projects, even the DMR National System and the Colonial Knob project.

On Saturday evening, 29 August, they plan to hold a dinner as the main social event.

If you are keen to participate, the Wellington VHF Group would love to hear from you and if you have ideas to add, they would like to hear from you.

Please email the