All posts by John Gumb

Meeting Thursday 24th May Reading Rugby Football Club – informal evening

Next meeting is 24th May at Reading Rugby Football Club, Sonning Lane, RG4 6ST. Plan is to enjoy a beer/beverage, some sunshine, a bit of radio and have a natter. Hopefully the weather will be kind, Though the forecast could be better…

We’ll try to put on a simple HF station and maybe some 6m/4m/2m VHF. Should be a good opportunity newcomers to experience setting up a station.

Would be interesting if we can start to judge what the site is like RF
wise. At VHF it should be quite good as it’s not too far from where the old BK repeater used to be at Shepherd’s Hill.

By all means bring along any kit you’d like to play with. Just remember to keep an eye on it as it is a public space, try not to irradiate passers by etc.

Also be aware of high field strengths near antennas damaging kit – very unlikely anything would get damaged but something to keep in mind.

Check out FT8 on 6 metres for Es activity

I’m seeing tons of Sporadic ‘E’ activity (Es) on FT8 digi mode on 6. Running wsjtx. 50.313MHz.

Would be interested if anyone sees a double-hop – or further – as per Chris Deacon’s talk. Paths open to Finland this morning so maybe the JA path will open up.

Also how it compares to 10m, 4m, 2m. Haven’t seen any FT8 on 4m.

https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html

What’s interesting is WSPR seems dead on 6 but FT8 is hopping.

Ant is slim jim strung from a tree; motorola mc micro + 21.4MHz IF  tap into a funcube dongle. wsjtx-1.9.0-rc3 on Ubuntu Linux 17.4 on Dell M4400 2.8MHz Core2 laptop. Rx only. For now…

Very strong signals so Ian NXJ won’t be getting much sleep in the shack. With those sort of signal strengths, FM 51.51MHz calling will open up.

10th May meeting – what would you like to hear about/do?

Our speaker is being called away for a meeting with “UK Space Agency” on Thursday and sounds extremely busy.

This presents us with an opportunity.

So.

We will still meet at Woodford Park, Woodley, 8pm, 10th May as usual.

If you have a burning desire to talk about/share something, please let
me know! It doesn’t have to be a full on polished presentation. If fact
I’d prefer exactly the opposite this time round.

Baldrick has a few cunning plans. However, yours are most likely better.

So here’s my turnip:

* (All) brief discussion about the future of the club – get
feedback/ideas from you. eg. Maybe dial back talks a bit and dial up
more practical stuff? 10-15 minutes tops. Springboard for discussions
over a pint at the rugby club, perhaps.

Then break up, have tea etc and as parallel activities:

* short FT8 digimode demo
I realise computers and radio may not be everyone’s cup of tea but
having got FT8 going in Rx mode on 50 MHz I can see it’s huge potential.

* program up the club DMR handheld

* learn to use the Marconi 2955 test set we acquired from G8ZWN

* Zello https://zello.com/ demo – PTT on mobile telephones thingy;
network radios

* “gardener’s question time” type q&a for 5 minutes?

* ???? let me know!

This is literally just off the top of my head.

I will keep the website up to date as the evening shapes up.

73

John
G4RDC

meeting 26th April “UK Six Metre Group – the magic band” by Chris Deacon G4IFX

Chris Deacon G4IFX of the UK Six Metre Group (UKSMG) will be with us for
all things 50MHz including how to work Dx on 6 and how best to take
advantage of the forthcoming Sporadic ‘E’ Season. We hope!

Venue: Woodford Park, Woodley, 8pm as usual, Thursday 26th April.

For me, it’s a fascinating band sharing properties of HF and VHF. It’s
also fun waking Ian G8NXJ up by putting a call out on 51.51MHz FM when
he’s having a nap in the shack.

For full license holders, you do have to be a bit careful with that as
we are only secondary users in the ‘top end’ of the band (51MHz-52MHz)
and limited to 100W rather than the ‘usual’ 400W. For me, 5W from Earley
is usually enough to wake him. Also repeaters GB3AM (50.84/77Hz) and
GB3FX (50.81/82.5Hz).

Talk suitable for all levels of expertise. Newcomers most welcome.

http://www.uksmg.org/landing.php is the UK Six Metre Group website so
you can get your questions ready beforehand.

Coffee, tea and biscuits will be in plentiful supply.

73

John
G4RDC

meeting 12th April “Radios and systems used by the Soviet Reconnaissance Forces and Spetsnaz forces in the Cold War” by Tony Helm G4BCX

Folks,

On Thursday 12th we welcome Tony Helm G4BCX back to Woodford Park Sports Centre, 8pm to deliver a talk entitled “Radios and systems used by the Soviet Reconnaissance Forces and Spetsnaz forces in the Cold War”.

He is very much looking forward to this and enjoys RADARC company.

Tony’s special interests are around former eastern bloc countries and
their modern military/political history. He as traveled extensively
there and collected many tons of radios on the way. A few hundred
weight, at least, of those will be with us on the evening. So Tony will
need a hand getting set up. It goes without saying, Tony is an authority on military radio and an engaging speaker.

The talk content will be:-

1. How SOE and the Germans listening to them operated in WW2
2. The pitfalls for both sides in doing the job.
3. How the Soviet Russian Army got round some of the problems.
4. Burst morse and how it was developed by both sides.

Tony says “Please note that I will be only talking history up to the end
of the Cold War.”

Informally, I am sure Tony would be willing to give a view on very
recent events in Salisbury.

Refreshments to be served as usual.

73

John
G4RDC

Grand Junk Sale Thursday 22nd March

Next meeting is Thursday 22nd March and it’s the RADARC Grand Junk Sale – so it’s time for a shack spring clean! (Note to self…)

Please bring along any unwanted broadly tech based items in order to support the club. RF based junk is always very desirable.

Venue: Woodford Park, Woodley as usual. The auction will start 8pm sharp
so it’s best to arrive early (eg. 7:30pm) to have a look at the wares.

Please note a couple of things:

  • If you successfully bid on something, you’ll need to wait until the
    end to settle up.
  • If you bring junk along and it doesn’t sell then please be prepared to
    take it home with you. My car is full.

Also please read the rules available at
http://www.radarc.org/Files/2016/Rules%20for%20Junk%20Sale%20_2016-03-03_.pdf

If you have not been before – it’s a hoot. It is an auction run by the
club’s very own top auctioneers/jesters. Particularly with the lot I’ve
got lined up for you… Even if you don’t wish to buy, the evening is
always entertaining.

73

John
G4RDC

‘Death Rays: Fact or Fiction?’ by Peter Butcher, Thursday 8th March

Next RADARC meeting Thursday 8th March, Woodford Park Leisure Centre, Woodley.
Eyes down 8pm.

Peter Butcher returns to deliver the intriguingly titled talk ‘Death
Rays: Fact or Fiction?’

You may remember Peter is an excellent speaker from his talk on
Emergency Communications Planning.

Sayeth Peter:
“Ever since the first recorded death by electrocution of J.G.
Doppelmayer in Nuremburg in the year 1750, the Military have pursued all new scientific discoveries as a means of killing without warning; the so called ‘Death Ray’.

This talk traces the evolution of these ideas from Doppelmayre through to the present day and shows how the various scientific discoveries were followed up. Electricity, Lightning, X Rays, The Electromagnetic Spectrum, Engine Stopping Rays and Nuclear Physics were all explored. Gradually, as all were rejected, Military thinking changed, as the type of warfare changed and today we have developed ‘Weapons of Denial’ as opposed to mass destruction”.

Then, enjoy a nice cup of tea and a biscuit or two.

Look forward to seeing you there.

talk “Height Matters” by Mike Naylor G4CDF, 22nd February 2018 8:00pm

Height Matters – by Mike Naylor G4CDF on Thursday 22nd February 2018 at 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM Woodford Park Leisure Centre, Haddon Dr, Woodley, Reading RG5 4LY

During a recent shack tidy Mike G4CDF encountered many QSL cards from his student days. On looking though them Mike was surprised by what was achieved (mainly VHF/UHF I believe) using the presumably modest station set up at the time. This lead him to thinking about how the location it’s associated attributes affected communications.

No doubt with a splash of reminiscence and a good helping of nostalgia, this should be a very interesting talk, and I am sure we will all learn something including some details on to build a station that can regularly communicate over distances of several hundred kilometres, the effects of antenna size and height, and the effect of local terrain, power level and local noise levels.

We look forward to seeing you there.

[New year’s resolution diet busting refreshments will be served – G4RDC]

73

Simon, M0ZSU, RADARC

meeting Thursday 8th February: Noel Matthews‏ G8GTZ : The Portsdown Digital Amateur Television Project

On Thursday 8th February, we welcome back “Professional radio amateur” Noel Matthews‏ G8GTZ to tell us all about the Portsdown Digital Amateur Television project. You may recall his last talk on cubesats where they used magnets to orient the craft in orbit…we all liked that.

Venue: Woodford Park Leisure Centre, Haddon Drive, Woodley, RG5 4LY
Time: 8pm

So…continuing the theme of elegant engineering:

“The Portsdown DATV project provides an easy way to “get on air” with Digital ATV at relatively low cost. The Portsdown system enables amateur radio operators with little or no knowledge of Digital ATV to construct the hardware elements, load and configure the software and use the system to send live Digital ATV signals across town on their existing aerials. It includes the new Reduced Bandwidth modes and the ability to transmit to local repeaters using the more traditional 2 and 4 Msymbol DATV modes. Frequency coverage of 71 MHz, 146 MHz, 437 MHz and 23cms bands.”

Our very own Simon M0ZSU is also involved with the project and is
building one himself.

Noel and Brian Coleman G4NNS (who also gave us a talk on mapping
galaxies from your back garden using hydrogen line astronomy iirc!!) are now global super-stars after their appearance on Michael Portillo’s “Great British Railway Journeys” BBC programme using the Goonhilly 32m GHY6 dish for 3.4GHz and 5.6GHz EME operation.

Now RADARC members aren’t backward in coming forward so perhaps we can extract some stories about that too. There must be some.

If we ask nicely, Noel might also tell us about his web sdr which I find
very useful for monitoring:

http://farnham-sdr.com/

Tea/coffee/biscuits (many thereof) as usual.

73

John
G4RDC