Amateur radio operator Ray Mulder will be helping visitors to HMAS Gladstone connect with other operators during International Museum Ships weekend.
Amateur radio operator Ray Mulder will be helping visitors to HMAS Gladstone connect with other operators during International Museum Ships weekend. Mike Richards GLA310518RADO

Gladstone to be Australia's voice on the world stage

AMATEUR radio operator Ray Mulder will be transmitting call sign VK4GLA from HMAS Gladstone to the world airwaves for International Museum Ships Weekend.

Ray is a member of the Rockhampton and District Amateur Radio (RaDAR) club and wants local radio operators to participate in the international event.

"HMAS Gladstone is the only registered ship in Australia taking part in this and we will be using our own equipment hooked into the ship's antennas," Ray said.

This weekend, 106 decommissioned naval ships have registered from around the world to take part in this fun event in which amateur radio operators can communicate with each other.

The international host ship for this radio event will be the Iowa-class battleship USS New Jersey, located on the east coast of America in New Jersey.

Ships taking part in this international event range from aircraft carriers, battleships and destroyers to cruisers and patrol boats.

While the international date line may provide some communication difficulties, Ray was confident there was fun to be had by all.

"We are trying to get a bit of interest in amateur radio and it's very good for students to learn about science, physics and computers," he said.

"There could be a restriction due to different time zones, but Saturday evening will be the most likely chance we get to contact the northern hemisphere operators."

Ray said visitors might be able to communicate with other operators around the world.

"Any operator from around the world who contacts at least 15 ships is entitled to apply for a certificate from the USS New Jersey and there will be a lot of amateur radio users around the world," he said.

The HMAS Gladstone is located at East Shores with tours on Saturday and Sunday to start 10am, last tour at 4pm. Secure footwear is required to board. Entry cost is $10 per adult, $5 concession and child, and tours take about one hour.



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