Established in September 1961 and still going strong FIVE decade on

With the Australian Callsign VK4BW we're located in Bundaberg, Queensland and known as B.A.R.C.

QTH Locator QG65DC Latitude: 24°53.11'S, Longitude:. 152°18.52'E


Proud Member


What's NEW?


Club calendar for 2019 is being prepared

As soon as it's finalised we'll up load the link

Keep an eye on our Resource Area too for files and information.

You'll find a selection of documents which can be downloaded and printed.

Notes include Electronics Workshops as well as information on the Club's Child Protection Strategy.

Let the Webmaster know if you encounter any problems with documents.


CLUB NEWS will keep you up to date


Click here for the Club News pages and find out what members have been up to. You'll also find information on upcoming club meetings and training workshops. We also feature regular Radio Related science articles.

The club history through photos

Photographs received from current and past members are displayed in the following sections.

For photos 1961 to 1999 follow this link

For the decade 2000 to 2009 this is the link

For photos 2010 to current day this is the link

*Quick Link* Club Calendar


BARC in the Park! We use Field Days to improve our skills using battery power and take part international contests


Amateur Radio tends to be a solo activity



We meet On Air using the Bundaberg Town Repeater on 147.800MHz
Every Monday evening 7.30pm for general chat



We hold regular hands-on workshops to build antennas or electonic components



Club members work with Scouting Australia every October at the international JOTA [Jamboree On The Air] event.
In 2014 1.3million youth wolrdwide took part in JOTA



We enjoy a lunch or dinner together several times each year



This manual will open the door to Amateur Radio for you



Who are we?

First and foremost we are a group of Ham Radio enthusiasts from Bundaberg and surrounding regions. The word ham isn't used much these days, it's called Amateur Radio but even that doesn't describe some of the digital and TV interests our members have. The hobby can be laid back and chatty if that's what you want or it can be technology driven as you search for inventive ways to use the mystery of Radio Waves to communicate. The only real requirement to join us is an interest in radio communications.

You can be any age, male or female and we particularly encourage younger members who have an interest in electronics to join and see what challenges amateur radio can provide.

Whilst it may have started with fellows like Marconi using Morse Code, today modern radio comms can mean talking to astronauts on the ISS or even bouncing signals off the moon or an aircraft in flight if you want it to!

Because we build radio shacks at home it can seem like a solo hobby but we hold club activities to get us out and about, talking and swapping ideas. By becoming active in the club you'll never miss the tips & tricks to make your hobby more enjoyable.

There is a new Foundation licence category which has rejuvenated amateur radio and resulted in an influx of new hams across all the age groups and women and girls are well represented as well. This really is an equal opportunity hobby .

If so many beginners felt confident about about taking their first step towards an Amateur Licence... What about you ?


What do we do?


Australian Government Regulations say you CANT operate an amateur radio until you learn what its all about (and Yes Amateur Radio is different from CB Radio)

Foundation Licence

The first step is to get a Foundation licence which will take around 10 hours of training with the club instructor (and some home reading).

You will have to be assessed to be sure you're competent and then you'll receive a callsign such as VK4Fxxx.(you get to choose the last 3 letters of your callsign.

With this licence you can operate commercial amateur radio equipment on some frequencies at low power.

The club charges of $50 for Foundation Training which includes as much practical hands-on training with our radio equipment as each candidate requires. The cost of the Foundation Training manual is $25. Candidates are assessed when they feel they are ready. WIA exam fees and ACMA licence fees will apply at that time.

Detailed information on Foundation licences can be obtained from the Wireless Institute of Australia Website

Standard and Advanced Licences

If you choose to keep studying the next grades are the Standard and Advanced licences and how you achieve those is up to you.

There is reference material which progress you through what you need to know and this may appeal to someone in electrical or engineering trades.

TrainSafe Australia publishes a range of technical publications, including Radio Theory Handbook for Amateur Operators 4th edition. See the publications section of their web site.

If you prefer a structured study plan with a tutor, there is an alternative.

The Radio and Electronics School provides study courses for both Standard and Advanced licences.
Consisting of a DVD for the Standard syllabus and readings and online assignments for the Advanced, the courses take you from the basics up to exam level.

The Bundaberg club has two trainers who are certified with the RES so we can assist you with your continuing studies.
For full details of courses and requirements check out the Radio & Electronics School.

Australian Callsigns & finding other Amateurs

When you're first licenced you'll see callsigns which look like this... VK4F ? ? ?. The VK indicates Australia. The "4" indicates Queensland, the "F" means it's a Foundation Licence, now what about choosing those last three letters?

The WIA provides a live Public list of available callsigns so you can see which 'letters' are available. [you can accept the next available callsign from the WIA's list for $5 but if you want to be creative and choose your own then that costs $20]

Try your initials; VK4Fxxx in the search and you'll see if it's available, try other the Callsigns you like the sound of, it may already be taken or just sitting idle waiting for you.

Some people choose cheeky F calls like FULL or FUEL, FADE or FOXY, some choose their initials.

It's really up to you but just a word of caution, try saying it [your dream callsign] over and over and see if it rolls off the tongue or is it a tongue twister? Many beginners regret choosing letters with M's and L's close together or G's and L's... as a callsign sounds like this...

This is "Victor Kilo Four Foxtrot Golf Mike Lima". Say that a few times quickly and you'll wish you chose easier letters! smile

ACMA Searchable Database

The ACMA provides an Australian Callsign checking facility at their Callsign Search webpage and this is where you would track down old friends or new people you've discovered.

To use the ACMA site; In the FIND box select 'Licences'; In the WHERE box select 'callsign' and in the Blank box type the callsign you're searching for & hit the GO button.
Try VK4BW and you'll see the Bundaberg Club licence details.


The QRZ Webpage has a great search facility to find many Australian and international Amateur Radio operators. It is American and automatically downloads the ARRL list of Amateurs BUT... anyone can register with them so it's becoming a great unofficial world register of Amateurs.

We trust you've enjoyed this overview of the club and Amateur Radio in Australia.

Please contact us if we can help you in any way. The contact email addresses are listed below.

Our Members....

The club received a great recognition in 2010 when our President John "Rusty" McGrath received an award from the Bundaberg Regional Council as part of the Australia Day Awards celebrations. Rusty was honoured as Senior Citizen of the year for his work within the club and the community over many years.

He was instrumental in forming this club in 1961, served as President in 1964 and 1965 and as Secretary from 1975 to 2008. Becoming President again in 2008 he served another few years.

During the intervening years he has trained many new amateurs, taught workshops on antenna and equipment construction and trained the WICEN Bundaberg team in it's preparedness for times of natural disasters.

The Award was certainly well deserved and a humble Rusty received the award from Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch on 26th January 2010.

The Club turned 50

To celebrate the 1961 - 2011 life of the club we celebrated with a 50th Anniversary weekend in October 2011. We hosted a reunion luncheon and also the WIA Queensland President's function and visitors came from far and wide. The WIA national board was represented by President Michael Owen and Board Member Ewan McLeod.


25year WIA Membership Medal recipients


Repeater Callsign LocationFrequencyDetails
VK4RBU 2M Mt Goonaneman146.800MHz HASL - 620M: Footprint Gympie to Mirriam Vale. Link to Gladstone 2M Offline!
VK4RBU 70cm Mt Goonaneman438.775MHzHASL - 620M:
VK4RBU-3 Mt Goonaneman145.175MHzA.P.R.S. Digi Repeater
VK4RBG 2M Sloping Hummock Bundaberg147.800MHzHASL 100M: Footprint Bundaberg Region & coastal townships
VK4RBW 70cm Double Sloping Hummock Mt Watalgan439.775MHzHASL - 400M: Bundaberg; Childers; Hervey Bay; Gin Gin; Mirriam Vale
VK4RBW-3145.175MHzA.P.R.S. Digi Repeater
Additional Information
Site information on A.P.R.S. http://aprs.fi i-gate VK4BW: Digi Repeaters VK4RBU-3 & VK4RBW-3
Queensland Repeaters Queensland Repeaters Frequencies, Locations & Host Clubs
* HASL = Height Above Sea Level




Contact Details for the Club


If your inquiry is of a general nature please email the Secretary:


David Nebe VK4DN

Phone: 0410 121345


Our postal address is:

P.O. Box 129
Bundaberg QLD 4670

The Management Committee for 2018/19
















If you are interested in training with us or require an Assessment at any level please contact;


Trainer: Gail VK4ION

[Sorry but email addresses are not live links to avoid the dreaded spammers]