QRM Guru news update
16 July 2022
- Interference (RFI/QRM/EMC) is an ongoing problem for Amateur Radio in Australia
- In line with Australian Federal Government Policy, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is implementing a deregulation agenda and a strategy of voluntary compliance
- The ACMA has fewer resources than ever to address low priority matters – in practice this means that we (being Amateur Radio technical hobbyists) must take a proactive and process driven approach to resolving our own problems before engaging the Regulator
- Should we need to engage ACMA to assist us in resolving an RFI/QRM/EMC issue, using the processes, methods, techniques and tools in QRM Guru will better inform the ACMA and greatly improve your chance of getting support
- QRM Guru fits perfectly with ACMA’s direction and preferred approach for the Amateur Radio Sector
- If your club would like an introduction and/or training in QRM Guru, please contact us
- If you or your club can assist with the continued development of QRM Guru, please contact us
Over the course of the last 20 years, QRM, RFI, and rising noise floors have become one of the biggest threats to Amateur Radio, not just in Australia, but world-wide. This is further complicated with imported electrical appliances and their inadequate RF filtering. A lack of appetite from Government Regulators to address these industry shortcomings only adds fuel to the fire.
As technical hobbyists we must take more ownership in the resolution of QRM/RFI problems. ACMA policies and resourcing models have changed. They now have a Compliance and Enforcement Policy and it is clear that Amateur Radio interference issues are unlikely to receive a high priority with compliance and enforcement responses.
The QRM Guru and RASA teams have been liaising with the ACMA for almost one year to investigate how QRM Guru and RASA could better integrate a sector-wide model for Interference Management that aligns with ACMA Policy. At our request, the ACMA undertook an internal evaluation of QRM Guru.
The ACMA regard QRM Guru as a “useful tool for self-diagnosis and management of interference by Amateurs to inform any request for assistance by the ACMA and is open to all members of the amateur community to use.”
This reinforces what the ACMA and the sector bodies (RASA & WIA) have already recommended as the way forward for Interference Management.
“The WIA also recommended that there is demand for an amateur community-wide information campaign on how to manage interference issues. The WIA suggested (to the ACMA) that self-education programs should be expanded and that regionalised self-help support groups should be established to help amateurs find technical assistance to resolve these problems. The WIA advised that it was prepared to provide more avenues for support in this area.” (ACMA: 4 July 2022)
WIA President Scott Williams VK3KJ cemented WIA support for QRM Guru when he awarded QRM Guru author, Ian Jackson VK3BUF with the WIA Technical Excellence Award for 2022.
So, what’s next for QRM Guru?
Now that ACMA have acknowledged QRM Guru we want to strengthen the underlying support platform and extend its features.
Initially, we are making some changes to the QRM Kill Kits. We are removing the five medium sized snap-on clips and replacing them with two 50mm ferrite rings. These rings are far more appropriate in dealing with RFI suppression.
For now, we wont be selling any more DF Loop Antennas. By their nature, these are expensive to post, and people have advised they’re able to purchase the parts locally. However, we still provide instructions and videos on how to build and use these in the field.
Next, we want to build a better help desk to provide online support for amateurs Australia wide. We’ll need financial and technical support to make this happen.
We also plan more on-the-ground presentations and training sessions. For these, we’ll need money and dedicated volunteers to assist.
If you, or your club can help in any way, please send us an email.
We thank our contributors, supporters and donors who have helped get QRM Guru this far… and we’re excited with plans for the upcoming 12 months.
Contact us at: [email protected]
Note: ACMA are not a contributor to the development of QRM Guru and neither QRM Guru nor RASA infer that ACMA are affiliated with our organisation or resources.
(This news item updated 3 August 2022)