G'day Everyone. Wherever you may be on planet Earth, Welcome to this Australian Amateur Radio website.  vk5sw.com

My name is Rob and I was fully licensed in 1970 when I was 19. My age is now 68. The radio shown above was the FT200 which in the USA was called the Tempo One, I think. I remember that I took out my first bank loan to buy it. Along side of it, can be seen a small 3 inch Oscilloscope which I had built. In those days I was working at the Dept. of Defence (WRE) as an apprentice Radio Tradesman but due to mental illness, eventually had to resign. As a young person, I used to rifle through a rubbish tip with my friend 'Lee' who lived across the road from us, looking for discarded radios and electronic bits and pieces. An old short wave radio, found at the tip, was eventually pressed into service with the addition of a beat frequency oscillator, 'bfo', which enabled me to listen to Radio Hams talking to each other. By slowly turning a shortened plastic knitting needle protruding from an IF can, the single sideband signals were able to be resolved. It was very exciting in those days to tune into a Ham Radio operator from overseas. I asked myself - 'how does the radio signal get here?' With my interest kindled, I pursued the hobby and have now been a Ham for nearly 50 years. A book, which I borrowed from my high school library at the time, called 'Adventures in Electronics' also inspired me. While in my teenage years and beyond, I built many electronic circuits including short wave radio receivers, CW transmitters, the CRO, a gdo, audio amplifiers and many other circuits which I felt to be useful at the time.

These days I really like building website pages and I hope that you find some of the pages on this website to your liking. It would be about 9 years ago now, I think, when the brother in law, 'Garry', of my very good and long term friend, 'Lisette' gave me a computer program called 'Front Page' by Microsoft, which enables you to create website pages. With no idea of what I was doing, I played around with it and found out quickly that I liked trying to improve the page that I was working on. Some 9 years or so later, I quite often find my mind working unconsciously on the current page as I may be reading a book, for example, and an idea will butt in, and suggest to me a way of improving the page. I then come into this computer room, after having put the book down, and implement the idea. It nearly always improves the page, in my opinion. At first the website pages which I made were very basic, usually a little text and a picture. For example, here is a front page made in 2014. Click here. But as time went on, they appeared to me to be better than they used to be. So, I kept building pages and now this current website is the latest version. The reason I have spent so much effort in building this website is because I enjoy doing it so much. I like the creativity of using my imagination and being able to 'put it into a page' with the idea of adding enjoyment for others to it too. The background pictures on the various pages are meant to create an appropriate atmosphere and feeling. I hope I have done a good job of that. Please rate the pages to let me know.

HF Radio waves travel at about the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second. So, radio communication here on earth is basically instantaneous. When I think of the physical distances involved when having a conversation with you in say, North America from here in Australia, the fact that our voices are heard by each other as they are spoken, seems incredible to me. Hardly any time delay at all, even though the distance between us may be 15,000 miles, on the long way around the world, for example. Radio signals can take up to about 20 minutes to reach Mars, depending on our relative locations in space, which changes in time. As our reach throughout the Universe expands, our reliance on radio communications will be forever more critical. Without expansion, I don't think that we would be able to 'find our place in the Universe.' And without that wider awareness, I don't think that we can advance, neither personally nor collectively. With a more expansive and less constrictive outlook, and a feeling of greater insignificance in the scheme of things, I think would come a greater willingness of countries around the world to work together and expand our collective reach and capabilities. We might, possibly, begin to leave conflict behind. I have used some of the background pictures on this website to bring to mind the fact that we are on one planet, only one of the innumerable out there.


An old 'ZL special' antenna that I used in the old days. To the left, can be seen the

rotatable 15Mx dipole above my Ham Shack. That's 'Mitzie', our pet dog in the foreground.





This Youtube video was made in 2011, before remotely controlled. It shows the location in the Bush and the main solar shack. It runs for 7 minutes. Speakers on.

  Sorry, but the audio volume is a problem on these videos. Unfortunately, I can't correct it.



This upgraded 9 minute High Energy, High Definition Drone Video shows, from above, my 4 Solar Powered Amateur Radio Shacks on our property in the South Australian Bush.

Uploaded on 26th January, 2020. Australia Day. Featuring background music sung by Australian country music legend, Lee Kernaghan. Runs for about 9 minutes. Speakers on.

The videos need a fast Internet connection.


I'm certainly no expert, but these 2 pages may help in setting up solar power / remote control,    / 




Our worldwide scientists, experimenters and radio predecessors, through creativity, perseverance, hard work and never say die attitudes, have given us a hobby which, nowadays, has capabilities beyond their wildest dreams. Amateur Radio Operators of today stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. Of course, those who have fought for our countries to give us our way of life, have given us freedom to follow our interests, like Amateur Radio. We are forever indebted to these great people.

We are on the forefront of expanding our reach into Space, the Unknown. In order to do that, Radio Communication is vital. Many people who are employed in the scientific, communication and various other technical industries, can trace their spark of interest to their hobby of Amateur Radio. Our hobby always has been, and always will be, I believe, an introduction to radio communication and a catalyst to careers which contribute to the advancement of Communication systems and therefore our way of life.

With the relentless march of technology, in this case the Internet, our hobby of Amateur Radio is becoming more and more sophisticated, but the fundamentals will always remain the same for us.

The wonder and excitement of radio communication.

73 from the land of the kangaroo - 'Rob', VK5SW.  QRZpage


My Mum in the center, her parents either side and my sister and I. My Dad would have taken this picture.



Our Mum, my sister Sandra, her dog, Maggie and me. Greg, my brother in law took the picture.





'Rob'  VK5SW, talking about the 2 Amateur Radio books which I've written.












An  Australian  Amateur  Radio  Station