All posts by John Gumb

McMichael Rally 2018 – 22nd July 2018 – Call for Helpers!

Folks,

“Our”rally is coming up soon. We need all the help we can get with prep on the Saturday and running the show on the day.

It is a significant South of England rally thus important to the amateur community as a whole. Newbury, Luton, Wildhern et al. put on a great show this year – let’s do the same for our guests!

The McMichael Rally Committee have put in a lot of hard work in getting to this point. They deserve our support now.

Please contact Denis G4KWT if you are able to help. As he says,

“*** YOUR RALLY NEEDS YOU ***”

Thankyou,

John
G4RDC

Satellites, Sporadic E and Social

Folks,

Next meeting Thursday 28th June, RRFC.

Venue: Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park/Sonning La, Sonning, Reading RG4 6ST 8pm til late. (get there earlier if you wish – the bar will be open)

If you have anything to work satellites we’ll try that this time so
bring along your VHF/UHF gear and prediction gizmos.

Also last time I didn’t get round to evaluating the site RF wise so if
anyone has a wideband SDR, would be interesting to see how RF
noisy/quiet RRFC is.

As ever at this time of year, 21/28/50/70MHz – or even 144MHz Sporadic ‘E’ is likely to be happening so if you have any portable gear covering those bands I’m sure others would be interested. Also it might be a good evening for NLC or “Noctilucent cloud” spotting which I think is a similar phenomenon.

We do have the room upstairs if we want it, but Wx this time looks good so enjoy the sunshine and a beer!

73

John
G4RDC

Antennas evening 14th June, 50MHz UKAC

Folks,

We meet again this Thursday 14th June.

Venue: Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park/Sonning La, Sonning, Reading RG4 6ST 7pm til late.

This time we’ll have a go at the 50 MHz UK Activity contest. Aim will be to introduce people to contesting. It runs from 8pm to 10:30pm BST. There’s also a 50 MHz FM contest from 7pm to 8pm before that for the really keen. I for one would be at least interested in giving some points away in that.

We will also try and do a bit of an RF site survey at RRFC just to get
an idea of how noisy/quiet it is. So I’ll bring up some SDR kit
(software defined radio) of some sort – probably an airspy and SDR
Sharp.

We will have some sort of HF station also. I think Wally wants to
experiment with a 20m/40m cross dipole. Not sure what he did to upset it.

I’ve not run this by the committee yet but we might have a look into why the cheapie icom club rig we have is deaf as we established last time. It’s not much use as a rig at the moment so we might as well learn something from it. I’m thinking for those who wonder “what’s in the box” it might prove of passing interest.

As ever feel free to bring along anything you feel may be of interest.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

We will adapt activities (QSY the bar most likely) if the weather is not clement.

Refreshments provided by the bar!

73

John
G4RDC

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