All posts by John Gumb

Reading Science & Tech Meetup Groups Summer Gathering – Tuesday 13th August 2019

There is a gathering of local tech/creative groups on Tuesday 13th August at the Walkabout pub (upstairs) in the centre of Reading, Friar st.

Wiston Terrace (off Friar Street) Reading RG1 1DG

see https://rdggeeknight.wordpress.com/ for details

The aim is to promote awareness of all the good stuff going on in Reading.

Someone from each group will say a ‘few words’ about who they are and what they do. Here are some of the groups:

  • Agile Valley
  • British Computer Society (Reading Branch)
  • ConnectTVT
  • Google Developer Group Reading & Thames Valley
  • IET Berkshire
  • Innovation Catalyst
  • Missing Maps
  • PHP Berkshire
  • Reading and District Amateur Radio Club
  • Reading Data Science Group
  • Reading Hydro
  • Reading Tester Gathering

Hope to see you there.

Thanks to Simon and “Reading Geek Night” for organising this.

73

John

G4RDC

“ACE HIGH” Tropo Scatter system

While researching for club talks, I ran across the following link regarding the tropo scatter system used in the 1970s/1980s with eye watering ERPs. A few members will know about this system, however many new to the club may not:

https://www.subbrit.org.uk/features/ace-high-nato-communications-system

Like Graham, G3XYX I have visited the Stenigot site in Lincolnshire wolds (in itself an incredibly beautiful place) – sadly only one dish remains now. Possible club talk if anyone knows a speaker…?

meeting 14th February – TELL US WHAT YOU’RE UP TO!

14th Feb Woodford Park meeting is a chance for us to catch up on the
various projects/activities we’re up to – in particular any follow ups
to the Great Construction Contest but not limited to that.

If you’d like a short (5 minute or so) slot let me know.

Doesn’t have to be stuff – could be contest updates or how RADARC
contributes comms to events like 3 towers etc.

Also – what would you like to see and I’ll try and arrange?

We can take contributions on the fly on the evening if need be.

  • Min G0JMS will kindly bring along a RigExpert HF to VHF SWR meter (Digital display) RigExpert to show you and VHF to UHF swr power meter (Cheap unit) which includes frequency. He will also do a brief demo of Yaesu Fusion – Wires X technology RF paths permitting.

If necessary, I’ll bore you for a few minutes before the bottles and
tomatoes start flying:

  • Geostationary satellite project – es hail 2. Mike G4CDF (and possibly others???) is making the running on this one but I will present on his behalf a very short overview. iirc it’s 2.4GHz up and 10GHz down. tx/rx is based on an SDR transceiver (lime sdr mini).
  • Adventures with FT8 internals and taxi radios (generating FT8 tones by pulling a carrier around) – update. TBH anything that generates a stable carrier and can be pulled a bit maybe down to 1Hz resolution looks like it might work – eg. voltage controlled oscillator.
  • cheap RTL-SDR dongles (£15 delivered). Mine does work but probably better to get the real ones rather than fakes like mine.
  • short gnuradio demo (maybe)

We’ll have the ICOM IC7300 out for people to have a play with and the spectrum analyser.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be in plentiful supply all evening.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

73

John

G4RDC

Stephen Coleman G4YFB, SK

Steve G4YFB


It is with a tremendous amount of regret that I have to let you know that club member Stephen Coleman, G4YFB, passed away on Friday 4th January aged 66.

He had been battling cancer having been diagnosed only 9 weeks ago.

Steve was a supporter of the Club and recently had been helping Ray with the Intermediate and Foundation courses. Going back to the 80s, he taught the RAE course.

Also, he was a member of the Thames Valley Repeater Group (TVRG) and had used his software talents to provide modern programming software for old PMR radios we had for sale. Those of you that were into packet radio may remember that for a period most of the U.K. mailboxes used the YFB software.

A man of hidden talents who will be very much missed.

” It is very sad to learn of this news. Steve always had a lot of time for anyone. I know he dedicated a lot of time to writing the programming software for the VX-10 before TVRG set about selling them a couple of years ago. He will be missed. ” – Jonathan M0JSX / K6JSX

“Steve gave a talk to the Farnborough and District Radio Society In 2016 and always greeted me when he saw me at rallies. RIP Steve gone too early.” – Phil G1LKJ

“Sorry to hear the sad news about Steve, much to young.” – Min G0JMS

“I am very sad to have lost an old friend and enthusiastic supporter of everything. His dry sense of humour and ‘can do’ attitude was always an inspiration. He will be a great loss to the club and the wider Amateur community.” – Baz G8DOR

“I knew Steve initially through the talk on the Development of Radar and Virtual Radar he kindly did for the club in May 2017. From that it was clear he was a prodigious software talent developing his own ADS-B decoding software. He was very thorough in the prep he did for the talk bringing along examples of kit and demonstrating them. He made it look easy. Anyone that’s ever tried to demonstrate stuff will know, it’s really not.

He was completely self-taught in software. With the hard stuff he was tackling and the results he got, that’s quite remarkable. I was hoping to learn more of the magical things he was doing with TVRG particularly in the area of software for commercial PMR sets.

Someone with Steve’s talent, experience and kind unassuming nature getting involved with training was always going to be a perfect match. I will very much miss him” – John G4RD

The funeral be held at the English Martyrs Church, 67 Liebenrood Road, Reading, RG30 2EB, Berkshire at 13.30 on Tuesday January 29th. This will be followed by a burial at Caversham Cemetery, All Hallows Road, RG4 5LP at approximately 15.00. A “reception” will then follow at the Travellers Rest Public House, 180 Henley Road, Caversham, Reading, RG4 5DL, at around 15.45 onwards.

Dress code is informal – what you feel happy with.

If you wish to send flowers, then these can be ordered via the A.B. Walker website www.abwalker.co.uk Alternatively donations can be made to the Sue Ryder charity, again via the A.B. Walker website, although at the time of writing this hadn’t been set up.

Chris G4CCC and John G4RDC

Memories of Peter, G4JNU

Peter G4JNU talking about his valve display 2017.
Peter in full flow at a RADARC meeting 2017 with his valve display.
Peter G4JNU at the McMichael Rally in 2008
McMichael Rally 2008
Peter G4JNU at RADARC's 70th.
Ever the creator, a demonstration for RADARC’s 70th year (2004). Some beautifully made equipment and some work in progress? Maybe someone can remember.
Peter's celebration of RADARC history at Reading Rugby Football club, 2014.
Peter’s consummately professional display celebrating our club’s history at RADARC’s 80th event (2014), Reading Rugby Football Club, Sonning.
Construction Contest 2013 - Peter presenting first prize to Jim G0LHZ
Construction Contest 2013 – Peter presenting first prize to Jim G0LHZ
Construction Contest 2014 - Peter presenting second prize to John G4RDC
Construction Contest 2014 – Peter presenting second prize to John G4RDC
RADARC AGM 2008
RADARC AGM 2008
Knowl Hill Steam Rally, early 1980s.
Knowl Hill Steam Rally, early 1980s. I can identify Peter, I think. Not sure who the supporting cast are! Health and Safety? Well it was the 80s….

Page to be updated as we get more photos and memories. If you have more to add or further information for the stories above, please use the contact forms via the Contact page.

meeting 10th Jan – Equipment + Alignment evening, Spectrum analyser Intro

Folks,

Happy RADARC New Year to you!

Next meeting is Thursday 10th January, Woodford Park, Woodley.

Eyes down 8pm.

This time it’s the club equipment that’s the star of the show with the new Rigol spectrum analyser and the Icom IC7300 transceiver “Top of the Bill”. However Ray G3SCZ will also give a short introduction to the spectrum analyser and what it’s capable of. Many thanks to Ray for that.

It will be less formal than ‘normal’ talk evenings. This is more a chance for you to play with stuff – and have a natter, of course.

Also note the “humble support acts” are very capable (antenna analysers etc.). If you haven’t used one and you enjoy messing with antennas do come along.

This is a great opportunity to see how test equipment can make your life much easier and what radio equipment we have that’s ready to use.

Bring along any filters you may need aligned, also attenuators and dummy loads to find out what they’re really doing, and antennas within reason. Alignment evenings reborn!

On show will be:

  • Icom IC7300 transceiver
  • Rigol Spectrum Analyser + tracking generator + VSWR attachment
  • MFJ259 + MFJ269 Antenna Analysers
  • FT100D HF Rig
  • Marconi radio test set (combination of sig gen + spec analyser iirc
    donated by Mick G8ZWN. Need to get to know this better.)
  • FL2100Z linear – even if we just admire the glassware on it. Needs bringing up on a variac.
  • FT757GT transceiver
  • Advantest 1GHz spectrum analyser

+more, will keep you updated.

This will also be a good opportunity to discuss what our next equipment purchase should be. One obvious thing I’d say is missing is a decent, modern (i.e. small, light, capable) RF signal generator. Others:

  • 10MHz GPS locked frequency source
  • Decent Frequency counter i.e. accurate and wide range.

Would be good to chat about what makes sense to purchase as a club and what not.

Tea, coffee, biscuits will be in plentiful supply – perhaps a bit
earlier than usual. But only for humans/our membership. A valve linear at full throttle drinking a cup of tea doesn’t bear thinking about! As ever, keep your meetings ideas coming. If you mentioned something to me before and I’ve not done anything about it, please nag me.

Season’s greetings all,

73

John
G4RDC

(Hopefully you can read this. I’m battling the new ‘wordpress’ interface as you may be able to tell.)