The unofficial website of the Melbourne Amateur Television Repeater (est.1977 - Web.1998).
This site aims to explain what Amateur TV is to the General Public and other Radio / TV enthusiasts.
welcome *
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Please click items of interest, thank you.
Page Time
Local Time


The official website is at:
www . vk3rtv . com


Status of VK3RTV ** ATV Operators **
email Signal Reports ATV Programmes
Receiving VK3RTV
Signals are not
intended to be
Comments and reports
on what you've seen
on ATV are always welcome.

What are all these things I see on my TV?

Strange pictures, model planes, workshops full of odd stuff, blokes talking, crowds passing by, intermittent TV signals, test patterns, snowy images, morse code sounds, skype hookups, space station contacts, roving broadcasts...


Free-view / free to air TV viewers in Melbourne, Australia, you may have seen these or similar images while tuning your TV receiver. You have not intercepted a new television service or the local terrorist or criminal underworld TV network, nor is it pirate TV, although some think we are all three!

What you have picked up is Amateur TV, its amateur (ham) radio except with pictures, which has been operating since ~1977 by amateur radio enthusiasts, for all enthusiasts interested in transmitting and receiving television.

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Ham radio got this nick name back in the 1920's when the technology was only AM radio and catching the imagination of the public in many countries. When commercial AM radio stop broadcasting for the evening (~9-10pm), amateur radio experimenters would put on their own version of live music selections or book readings or soap operas... Back then there was no recording / playback equipment except for the gramo-phone, very expensive in its day, so everything was live an un-editable.

Some of the amateur radio operators put on better material than the commercial stations and got bigger audiences in some cases, while others did poorly. It all became known as HAM radio during that time and that tag has stuck. All these activities were eventually stopped with frequency allocations and licensing regulations for strict commercial operation of the [540-1750Khz AM] band.

You can still hear amateur radio on AM today at [1800-1875Khz] and some still do a talk back show, while others have a general chit chat. Although most communications is via Single Side Band (SSB), your AM receiver will not decode the conversation without a beat signal to fool the AM receiver, but that is getting technical. Amateur Radio operates on many bands in the radio spectrum and you'll need a analogue / digital "short wave receiver" and/or "VHF / UHF Radio scanner" to pick up the more popular amateur radio frequencies...

Today's Amateur TV is a remnant or echo of those pioneer radio days except we have vast amounts of gadgets to play with, more material to use and a legal system (the fun police) that will stop us if we breach the rules. Hence most amateur TV operators are careful what they show, stuff like home movies and photo-slide shows. As a guideline most material is to comply with the "G" type classification as children may be watching... We also do the occasional technical or scientific "show and tell" on gadgets you can make or events we do, hence some think we are terrorists, pirates and a criminal underworld; seeing us set up gear in remote places, talking with people from far away lands or to off shore, airborne or orbiting space vessels...

Amateur TV in Australia origins go back to WWII ~1945 but can't be confirmed. 'Fast scan' analogue transmissions as 'point to point' contacts are known to have been experimented with since ~1972 and may be earlier but no records are known to this author.

Amateur Television is mainly used as a "Video Phone" contact with one or many participants sharing ideas, information and generally having a "chit chat" with other licensed amateur radio operators or members of the public via phone. There are no "programmes" as such, as the service is for the benefit of the transmitting station, amateur radio or associated community but not the general TV viewing public, however all are welcome to view and where possible participate.

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VK3RTV is a privately owned Standard Definition Digital TV repeater. It went DiGiTaL in October 2009 and previously was a "fast scan" analogue TV service put together in 1979 funded by a small number of individuals (hams). Over the decades with some additional financial assistance from the WIA, various Victorian radio clubs and interested public. VK3RTV has become one of the worlds first DVB-T multiplexed amateur TV repeaters and is active most of the time...

Licensed through the Wireless Institute of Australia and Amateur Radio Victoria for amateur radio operator use and related activities. The service broadcasts from Mt. Dandenong, Mt. Olinda really on 444.25 MHz analogue or 446.5 MHz digital. Sound output is usually mono but stereo is also activated and special functions are available by DTFM tone sequences.

The service is maintained by the " Melbourne Amateur TeleVision Group" a loose affiliation of amateur radio operators with some assistance from various radio clubs, related community groups, military and individuals. This Amateur Television Network uses UHF TV on 70cm with Uplinks on 13cm on 1.250 to 1.283Ghz, where both analogue TV-FM and digital DVB-S signals can be received, there are also other inputs available which change from time to time depending upon the technology being researched.

Generally images and sounds are "test" signals from the sending station(s) investigating some aspect of television or related activity. VK3RTV also has a "beacon mode" which is remotely activated and runs for 20 minutes to help operators and others set-up TV receivers. You can also watch VK3RTV 1 & 2 on-line via the the links above as flash Audio Video stream from the British Amateur Television Club's (BATC) UK website. There is a dedicated data pipe from VK3RTV in Melbourne, Australia to the UK and where most of the worlds amateur TV links are watch-able via this service.

Below is a list of amateur radio stations which have been seen on VK 3 RTV.

Gary, VK3KHB

Amateur Television Operators in Melbourne
July 2005 - 2016 (* links to station's web-site)
. .
VK3DQ ... ...
.. ..

All these stations and more form the Amateur Television Network. Experimenting with analogue and digital TV. For a list of DiGiTaL TV receivers that can pick up aTV see VK3 KHB's stb_atv devices page...

For more information contact one of the above operators via their email address or for amateurs on the MATVG - LIAISON FREQUENCY - 147.400 MHZ FM Simplex.

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