Latest News

STANDARD C-528 CTCSS Modules available again!

Last Updated: Sunday 17th January 2010 @ 20:42
The Standard C-520 C-528 C-620 C-628 C-220 C-228 transceivers are still a popular and sought after twin band VHF/UHF handheld radio.   The optional CTCSS module became unavailable many years ago and with many VHF and UHF repeaters requiring tone access these days, this became a significant limitation to their functionality.

Fortunately, Klaus DL8NAT and Matthias DG1NMT have developed a replacement CTCSS board for these units which is a direct retrofit of the original.

You can find all the information on Matthias's Web Site at:

BIRD 4314 RF Power Meter AC Plug

Last Updated: Sunday 29th November 2009 @ 17:09

The Bird 4314 RF Power meter operates in the same manner as a BIRD 43 but also has the ability to read Peak Envelop Power (P.E.P).

It is fitted with a pair of rechargeable NiCd battery packs for the P.E.P. circuit and it has an inbuilt AC 110/240V Transformer for charging the NiCd's.

If you're looking for a AC Power plug to suit a Bird 4314 RF Power Meter, you've probably found that they're not that common and that there's not much information on the Net about them.

I obtained two suitable plugs and some information relating to identification of the connectors.  

You can find the connector information here.

Chinese NiMh Battery Alert

Last Updated: Saturday 29th August 2009 @ 14:04  

Recently I purchased some batteries via eBay from a Chinese Seller with excellent Feedback.

These were brand new purple 2800mAh NiMh size Batteries in shrink wrap lots of 4.

After suspecting that they were not up to capacity, I tested them on a Powerex Battery Analyser and found that they were actually 500mAh 'AAA' cells in a 'AA' package labelled as 2800mAh.

A second lot of orange and green 3000mAh batteries from a different seller with excellent feedback showed identical characteristics.

You can review my findings on my Gallery Page link on this web site.

Very soon after I published the information on this Web Site, those pages were vandalised with comment spam and questionable & offensive web site links, resulting in this site being 'blacklisted' as an 'Attack Site' on Google for a while.

I guess that the scammers were somewhat upset by the fact that they'd been exposed!   I've now turned the comments feature off.   Buyer beware!

International Emission Mode Table

Last Updated: Sunday 22nd Feburary 2009 @ 00:00  

Are you trying to understand the International Radio Emission Modes Classification?

A while ago I tried to find the information on the Web and ended up hopping from site to site trying to figure it out.

After lots of frustration, I found some disparate information on various Web Sites and decided to put together a table to make it a lot easier to understand.

You can find the table here.

This Web Site is still heavilly under construction.   

Hopefully my current effort will improve as time  permits.
Heavy duty 40M mono band mobile whip and base build
VK3GJM & VK3KBC Picastar builds
300watt HF amp
1300watt, 13.8vdc power supply fully protected for HF work.
Tektronix 2465B repair
HP 8663 repair
Home made VHF/UHF diplexer
10MHz distribution amp
80/40M trapped dipole for confined space
tracking Gen for 492 using the Anritsu MS610
Loads of special manuals

Check out the recently added GN9120 DECT Headset conversion for Ham Radio Use.  It provides crystal clear remote mike and headset operation at up to 150m away from the transceiver.

It's in the Articles Section at the top of this page.
Times Technologies VHF/UHF Antenna Analyser Review

Last Updated: Friday, 12th November, 2010 @ 16:20

I've recently purchased a Times Technologies T100 Antenna Analyser and have provided some information that may be of interest to prospective purchasers.

You can find it under the Articles Menu

More Content Coming Soon!

Last Updated: Friday, 17th July, 2010 @ 00:25

There's lots more documentation waiting to be formatted and uploaded as time permits.
An easier way to make your own Printed Circuit Boards

There are lots of techniques on the Internet showing how to transfer laser printer PCB images onto photo paper for making Printed Circuit Boards.

John Wall, VK5CU, has found a better way using Transparency Paper instead.   His technique eliminates the need to soak the paper to remove it from the PCB.
Great Article on Building a HF Magnetic Loop

Michael Zingelmann, VK4AMZ, has written an excellent article on building an efficient HF Magnetic Loop Antenna.

This is not your everyday generic article on magnetic loops but an in-depth analysis and description of the trial and error he went through whilst developing the antenna and the testing he performed to assess its performance.  

He also addresses the common mistakes people make when building magnetic loop antennas and how to overcome them.

New Yagi Antenna Feed System Invented

Justin Johnson G0KSC, has pioneered a revolutionary new feed system for the Yagi directional beam antenna, which will see it's Debut in the next issue of DUBUS - the serious magazine for VHF and up. 

There is a .pdf file available from the download section of his Web Site describing the construction and theory of the new feed system.  It is well worth checking out.
STANDARD C528 Transceiver Electrolytic Warning

Last Updated: Saturday, 21st June 2008 @ 10:00 

I've posted an article on this site about leaking electrolytic capacitors in the STANDARD C-528 Twin Band Transceiver.

The leaking caps will damage the PCB and plated through holes, so to prevent that damage occuring, you'll need to replace them with tantalums.

Check out the Articles Page for more information
Welcome to the VK3KBC Amateur Radio Web Site

VK3KBC Web Site Re-Design

Last Updated: Tuesday, 11th October 2011 @ 00:41 

I've redesigned the web site to make it easier to update and add content.   Hopefully it works well.  

T100 Antenna Analyser Utility Software Update Available

Last Updated: Tuesday, 11th October 2011 @ 00:41 

David Holas OK1WTX has advised that an update is available for the T100 Utility Software.   This software can communicate with T100 Antenna Analyser, collect data from it and after that, process the data in some well-known forms, such as a SWR chart, Smith chart and Return loss chart.   It looks good and is available at

Pneumatic Antenna Launchers in Australia

Last Updated: Tuesday, 11th October 2011 @ 17:20 

There has been an upsurge in interest in the use Pneumatic Antenna Launchers recently.   More and more designs are appearing on the Internet and I've noted that quite a few VK's are also building and experimenting with them.

Unfortunately, these devices are illegal in the State of Victoria and probably in all other States and Territories of Australia.   Because the antenna launchers use compressed air to discharge 'a missile', they fall under the classification of a Firearm in Victoria and are subject to Victoria's strict licensing laws regarding possession, use and storage. 
I have been investigating what legal options are available to amateurs to possess these devices in Victoria and you can read about my findings here.   As I discover further information I'll update the page accordingly.

Motorola Spectra UHF VCO Modification for 70cm

Last Updated: Monday 11th June 2012 @ 02:20 

A large number of Motorola Spectra UHF transceivers have recently become available to Australian Radio Amateurs after the South Australian Police Department disposed of their fleet via Public Auction.

Most of these radios were fully functional post decomissioning and only needed to be reprogrammed for Amateur use.   The Spectra radios are capable of both Analog and APCO P25 operation on the 70cm band, making them ideal for digital experimentation.  

In the United States, many hams consider APCO P25 radios a digital mode alternative to DSTAR and following in the same trend, a number of P25 repeaters are now operational in VK also.

Whilst most ex-SA Police Range-1 (403-433 Mhz) radios operate perfectly to 440 Mhz, some radio VCO's unfortunately cut out at around 435 to 437 Mhz, making them useless for Amateur Repeater operation on the 70cm band in VK.

After hearing that a few amateurs had attempted different methods to extend the VCO range with varying success, a group of local amateurs including VK3CSS, VK3DPM and VK3KBC examined the radios and found that a simple modification to the VCO steering lines would remedy the problem, thereby allowing any radios with limited VCO range to be quickly and easily modified to perform satisfactorily to 440 Mhz +.

Nite Ize® LED Upgrade IQ Switch® Repair

Last Updated: Tuesday 19th June 2012 @ 02:30 

Whilst this is not an amateur radio related article either, I thought it would be worth adding anyway.

The "NITE IZE®" L.E.D. Upgrade & IQ Switch® is a great way of improving the performance of your trusty "Maglite®" torch.   I've found that the IQ switch in particular, adds a very useful feature in being able to adjust the brightness of the Maglite® LED between low, medium and high output.

I've owned two of these upgrade kits for a number of years, however both IQ Switches had suddenly stopped operating inexplicably.

When my second one failed a few weeks ago after reliably operating on a daily basis for approximately two years, I decided it would be worthwhile investigating to see if I could find out why the unit had died.

You can find the details here.
Ultrafire WF-1800L CREE LED Flashlight Repair

Last Updated: Friday 22nd June 2012 @ 21:42 

Whilst this is not an amateur radio related article, I thought it would be worth adding anyway.

The "Ultrafire WF-1800L CREE®  LED Flashlight (or Keygos KE-7)  is a high power flashlight which uses 5 Cree Q5 L.E.D.'s to generate a bright light of supposedly around 1800 Lumens.   In reality, the outputs quoted are theoretical, based upon the aggregate of the maximum output available at the surface of an individual chip as stated in the manufacturer's Data Sheet.  

Practically, the total output is more like 900 Lumens at the lens face, which is still quite bright for the size of the torch.

Unfortunately, after about a year of providing good service, this flashlight died too, so I thought I'd pull it apart and see if it was repairable.  

You can find the details here.

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NASA Live Video from the International Space Station

Last Updated: Sunday, 8th June 2014 @ 23:45 

If you're interested in the ISS, you've got to have a look at this!  

Yaesu FT100 Transceiver's SRF7043 VHF/UHF PA Module Replacement

Last Updated: Tuesday, 24th May 2014 @ 02:34 

The Yaesu FT100D is a great transceiver and many owners believe that it's better than any of the current mobile alternatives, however it does have an Achilles heel; its VHF/UHF RF PA Module.   The original SRF7043 is now obsolete and extremely difficult to source.  

Scott, VK3CSS, has successfully developed a repair for the FT100 using an inexpensive MRF1570 module. 

You can find the details here.