First repeater

WARG was formalised as a club in August 1975

WARG 1975

Amateur Radio Magazine reports the formation of WARG August 1975

As described in AR magazine for November 1988, WARG was formalised as a club in August 1975, the year colour television started in Australia.

WARG COMMITTEE 1975/1976 - Formation - 23rd August 1975
Meeting held at Don Reimann VK6DY's home.

President                                            Igor Iskra                  VK6ZFG 
Vice Pres & WIA Liason                  Don Reimann            VK6DY
Secretary                                           Will McGhie              VK6UU
Tres                                                    John Farnell              VK6ZJF
Tres                                                    B.J.Dolphin               VK6ZJD
Broadcast Off                                    Rod Henderson         VK6RH

Prior to WARG's formation, the "club" was made up of enthusiasts who were excited by the development of the new frontier, voice repeaters. The VK6 WIA had a "Repeater Sub Committee".  

Money was an issue, not that much was needed then, but what was, came from those that were involved with VK6's first repeater, and donations from the VK6WIA.

The lack of Equipment

Another major issue was equipment. Decades ago ready made amateur equipment was just not available in the vast amounts it is today. Apart from finding suitable X commercial equipment to make repeaters, amateurs had to modify X commercial equipment in order to use these repeaters. When a 70cm repeater was first discussed, with the intention of putting one on air in Perth, a major issue was what would amateurs use to access this repeater. How many users would there be that would make the jump from 2 metres to 70 cm...? This limitation can not be stressed too much and took up a lot of WARG's time in sourcing equipment and often ending up with less than ideal outcomes.

equipment 1981
WARG's equipment register, 1981

WARG subs
WARG subs back in 1979

Reading through the early secretary's correspondence (Jill VK6YL) there was a lot of efforts to tackle the problem of the lack of cohesion and communication between repeater organisations, or individuals and the P&T department (ACMA) and the WIA, both State and Federal.

Even the VK6WIA needed information about the new club and this is part of several pages Jill (VK6YL) forwarded on to the VK6WIA.

WARG 1981
Correspondance from WARG to VK6 WIA 1981

Note also in the above letter to the VK6 WIA, the Sunday morning net was already taking place on CH4 Tic Hill....146.800 repeater.

The WIA was the recognised body that the P&T department dealt with, but the WIA did not always have the understanding of the new and rapidly expanding voice repeater systems. Not the WIA's fault, just the obvious problems when individuals within the WIA had to become "experts" in dealing with what repeater builders wanted and what the P&T department would allow.

Six metre repeaters are an interesting example, as they were not allowed for several years after 2 metre repeaters were. There is a lot of correspondence in the early minutes in regards to obtaining a licence for a 6 metre repeater. What had to be overcome was convincing the P&T department to allow 6 metre repeaters.

Note in the letter from the P&T department below it is not a licence but a permit if granted.

6M application
 The 6 metre repeater "Permit" application.

Wagin repeater group telling WARG of their expensive purchase of a commercial repeater, at the cost of $1015, which is about $5,000 in 2012.

WARG meeting 1980's
Typical WARG meeting at Jill VK6YL's QTH during the 1980's

WARG survey....No date but late 1970s

Repeater list
Repeater list 1981