Wellington VHF Group
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The Wellington VHF Group Inc is Branch 74 of the NZART, and is based in Wellington, New Zealand. The Group is primarily made up of Amateurs from across the Wellington region, but also has both transmitting and non-transmitting members from other parts of New Zealand and also the world.
The Group has a stated mission: to foster activity in the VHF and above amateur radio bands but is a keen supporter of all aspects of Amateur Radio.
The Wellington VHF Group have established themselves as a forward-thinking, progressive organisation and are regarded as innovative and highly capable in their specialist field of VHF (and higher) radio operations. Members of the Wellington VHF Group have been key players in the establishment of many VHF+ amateur radio resources in New Zealand, including:
- The UHF National System. A pioneering nation-wide link of analogue repeaters that runs the length of New Zealand. Amateurs may access their local node on the 70cm Amateur Radio Band and hold conversations with participants able to access any of the other nodes, with coverage from the Bay Of Islands to Dunedin. Members of the Wellington VHF Group were amongst those who first suggested a National System of repeaters and provide engineering assistance to branches from around New Zealand. They also hold Trustee status for nodes located at Mount Taranaki/Egmont (Taranaki), Wharite (Horowhenua) and Belmont (Wellington). During 2008, Wellington VHF Group assisted in the establishment of the Taupo node at Maroanui.
- Amateur Television. The group has sponsored, supported and assisted with the engineering of numerous Amateur Television transmitters. ATV allows Amateurs to utilise uplink equipment within an Amateur Band (usually 70cm (~440 MHz) or 23cm (~1296 MHz)) and have the signal repeated into a portion of RF spectrum receivable on conventional Television Sets (usually on the UHF TV Band.,) These facilities allow Amateurs to experiment with methods of RF Television Delivery receivable by anyone with a conventional TV Set and appropriate antenna, with transmissions generated with the help of a cheap camcorder and a home-brew transmitter.
- Satellite Modes. In 2007 the Wellington VHF Group provided a 'seeding fund' donation of NZ$10,000 to the AMSAT-ZL group's Solar Cell fund. The KiwiSAT Project intends to launch mid-2009 and will be a significant achievement for this entirely New Zealand designed and built amateur radio satellite, carrying both communications equipment and a science experiment package.
Publications and Services
The Group have a monthly publication called Q-Bit (meaning 'a quality piece of information') which contains the latest news and views of the Group, as well as technical articles and information on current stocks from the group trading table. These technical articles are often sought-after by other publications including the NZART official journal 'Break-In' and other international amateur radio and electronics publications.
The Trading Table is a supply of specialist electronic components and equipment which often includes 'hard-to-find' items that are difficult for private hobbyists to access.