South East Queensland ATV Group
Brief History of the SEQATV Group
The South East Qld ATV Group began its life in the late 1970's when a group of Ham Radio operators in the Brisbane area wanted to set up a television repeater. Until then all transmissions were simplex, but due to the line-of-sight nature of UHF signals, a better system was needed.
By the early 80's a repeater was in action. At first it was a low power operation from a house in the northern suburbs. After a few years permission was granted to transmit from a 10 story building at the inner Brisbane suburb of Spring Hill. The output frequency was in the 50 cm amateur band on 579.25 MHz vision with an audio carrier 5.5 MHz above that - in accordance with normal television procedure. Input was on 444.25 MHz. Power was 40 watts, increasing to more than 100 watts ERP in later years. A test pattern was transmitted from 0800 to 2400 hours when not in repeat mode. Reports were received over a wide area from amateurs and numerous non-amateurs tuning in as well.
The original Spring Hill antenna was a vertically polarised collinear whip. However a horizontally polarised Double Alford Slot antenna was constructed by club members to improve the signal to all suburbs. During the late 80s and 1990s the club expanded to more than 50 members.
The 1980s was an exciting period for the group. In '84 a special function was held to mark the 50th anniversary of the late Thomas Elliott's first experimental TV transmissions from the historic Tower Mill Observatory in Wickham Tce.
This was followed by the issue of The Golden Television Award to various members for the "pursuit of excellence in television experimentation"
1990 saw the group take on a mammoth task to provide communications for the 75th anniversary of Lamington National Park. This involved two-way video and audio links high in the mountains between O'Reilly's Guest House and Binna Burra, with the whole thing relayed to the Brisbane repeater almost 100 km away.
Other activities in the 1990s included a 40 km hook-up between Brisbane and Ipswich for the Engineers Society's Hawken Address , a link between schools on Moreton and Bribie islands, provided displays at various Hamfests, Jamboree of the Air and took part in the historic satellite relay to the nation from Gladesville ATV club in Sydney.
Unfortunately for us, the 50 cm band was also allocated to commercial TV and eventually the frequency was adjusted to 576.25 MHz (channel 35) to fit in with the band plan for mainstream UHF TV, as directed by the Department of Communications. By the new century the group had to relinquish the 50 cm band altogether and moved to an output frequency of 444.25 MHz in the 70 cm band. The input frequency was changed to 1283 MHz FM in the 23 cm band for better quality.
In recent years the repeater has been temporarily located at Mt Glorious to the west of Brisbane, Wamuran to the north, to where it currently sits on a very high spot at Ocean View. However these days it only transmits on demand.
That's a brief history of the group, but be sure to visit this page in the future as more details are added.
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