New information

The remote system is working and went live at 9:00am local
27th November 2021

Contacts on 144 MHz have been made across the Great Australian Bight from the remote, on SSB and many using digital modes. These started late December.

Stations worked on SSB have been, VK3ZAZ, VK5DK, VK5TN, VK5BC/P, VK5AKK.

Digital contacts too many to list...
A Total on December 29 to 30 of over a 100...Just too many to count.
Digital signal to noise as high as +13dB...More than strong enough for analogue contacts.

The 15 element horizontal polarised Yagi for 23cm

The 7 element horizontal Yagi for 144MHz & the 12 element horizontal Yagi for 432MHz

IC-9700 - computer - WiFi equipment - 13V 20A  DC power supply

Historical information about the Great Australian Bight Project

ICOM Australia have offered on a long term loan a IC-9700.
Thank you ICOM Australia.

With the long term loan from ICOM Australia, the remote station is planned to be operational for the coming summer.

The ICOM IC-9700 has arrived in Albany.

Also of great help has been Ross (VK3MY) from Strictly Ham, who put us in contact with the manager of ICOM Australia, and Bob (VK6KJ) from Leading Edge communications in Albany who has organised the delivery of the IC-9700 to his QTH in Albany.

The Southern Electronics Group are in the design stage of a remote 2m - 70cm - 23cm station to be located in the Albany area, with the specific purpose of contacts across The Great Australian Bight towards Australia's Eastern capital cities, excluding Brisbane due to beam width limitations.

The Great Australian Bight is one of the World's best tropospheric locations and is ideal for a remote station to be established for more amateurs to enjoy, which is normally only available to the few amateurs who live in the area or amateurs who visit.

The Basic Concept

With an ICOM IC-9700 connected to Remote Hams, remote control via the Internet is then available to amateurs to use the IC-9700 as if  they were at the remote site. The IC-9700 covers the 3 bands (2m - 70cm - 23cm) on SSB - FM - CW with many of the 9700 functions available from your PC. The antennas would be designed to point East from Albany and have a beam width that would cover from Sydney down to Hobart.

The design of the Antennas would most probably only be horizontally polarized but if an easy way can be found to have both horizontal and vertical then FM simplex and FM repeaters could also be able to be worked. Even if only horizontal polarization is used it may still be possible to have vertically polarized contacts.

There are a lot of options when it comes to the antenna setup but simplicity does have the advantage that there is less to go wrong. Also depending on the site, only limited antennas may be possible.

Proven Expertise

The Southern Electronics Group already have two remote sites in operation, one in Perth and the other in Carnarvon, and this design would be used. The success of both these sites gives this project a proven track record of success.

VK6CRO Carnarvon Remotehams PC display

Finding A Site

Finding a site is the most difficult part of the project. The site has to be along the Southern cost at Walpole, Albany or Denmark and have access to mains power, Internet and with basic security and long term access. No point in working hard to find a site only to lose the site some time later. Any thoughts on a future sites would be appreciated.

A site is available until a better site is found and has antennas on 2m and 70cm. The site is located on the South coast of Western Australia. A 23cm antenna is already available to be added to the mast. It is possible to have the site on air for the comming tropo season across The Great Australian Bight.

Looking East across The Great Australian Bight


Immediate funding is available for use.

Funding of the project has been offered, either as a complete cost, or after donations, the shortfall to be made up. The cost of the project is under $5,000 but as it is the very early stages of discussion an exact cost is not yet known.

Equipment and Costs

IC-9700 $2,350 A supplier has been approached with a cheaper cost yet to be decided.

13.8V 20A power supplies x 2 for redundancy -$500

Windows 10 mini PC - $300

Internet wifi router - $50

Arlec wifi switches (to reboot equipment & switch power supplies) - $80

Wifi link from office to ham shack (Ubiquiti) - $200

Coax & connectors - LMR400 or equivalent. - all new - $300

Antennas - Yagis for 2M, 70CM & 23CM. (total $600)

Mast if required (site may already have)

This comes out at about $4,000 but donations would reduce this cost and perhaps the total cost of the equipment would be closer to $3,000. There is the ongoing costs of license, Internet and power.

Funding donations

The project has been funded so it can move along with equipment, installation and making the remote site available for use. However donations of equipment and money is being sort for those who would like to be part of this project. This money will reduce the original donation made.

Donations so far from.

VK6... wants to remain anonymous

Design Thoughts

Some speculation about the design is worthy of discussion. For example the gain of the antennas. As a site has been offered to get the remote system working soon, further input on design would be welcome. For example antennas, which are a balance between size, gain and beam width.

A gain figure of
10dBd for 2m, 
13dBd for 70cm
15 dBd for 23cm
is perhaps the best compromise for physical size and beam width but needs detail figures in order to cover the desired area on the east coast which comes out at 21 degrees from Albany.

Distance and direction from Albany.

Adelaide:  1880kms @ 84 deg
Melbourne: 2435kms @ 89 deg
Canberra: 2823kms @ 81 deg
Sydney: 3042kms @ 78 deg
Launceston: 2636kms @ 96 deg
Hobart: 2672kms @ 99 deg

Your thoughts and support