Category Archives: Events

meeting 22nd November: A brief history of RAF ASV radars 1940 to 2010 by Simon Watts G3XXH

All,

Next meeting (22nd November) Simon Watts G3XXH joins us to give us a brief history of RAF ASV radars from 1940 to 2010. (ASV = airborne surface vessel, radar for maritime patrol aircraft)

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

The history of airborne radars developed in the UK for long range
maritime surveillance by the RAF spans from 1940, when ASV Mk. I entered service on Sunderland and Hudson aircraft, through to the 1980s, when the Searchwater radar entered service on the Nimrod MR2. This history came to an end in 2010 when the Nimrod MRA4 programme was cancelled and the Nimrod MR2 taken out of service. The early radars operated at VHF. Following the development of the high power magnetron, operation moved to S-band and then to X band. Searchwater was a complete departure from earlier radars, incorporating a TWT transmitter, modern signal and data
processing and computer control.

This talk will give an overview of the design and evolution of these
radars, the aircraft they were used in and the performance they
achieved, detecting ships and submarines.

Simon Watts G3XXH is Visiting Professor in the department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University College London and formerly deputy Scientific Director and Technical Fellow in Thales UK.

Whilst googling ‘ASV’ I found this interesting link:
https://uboat.net/allies/technical/uk_radars.htm

Min G0JMS also spotted “The Secret of Tuxedo Park” on PBS America talking about the development of radar by Wall Street tycoon Alfred Lee Loomis:

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/secret-tuxedo-park/

Thankyou to George M0GXB for making this meeting happen.

Refreshments afterwards as usual.

73

John
G4RDC

Construction Contest on Thursday 8th November!

It’s the RADARC Construction Contest on Thursday 8th November!

Venue: Woodford Park

Start time: 8pm

TWO trophies to be won (1st and 2nd prize).

Just bring your “thing” along on the evening in good time (plan to arrive before 7:45pm) to get a place on the tables. If you need the projector (eg. for a video or a software entry) then please let me know.

Depending on number of entries, expect 5-10 minutes or so to present your entry.

Entries so far:

  • A multiband microwave antenna feed: Mike, G4CDF
  • Guy 2E0GDC: an electrical noise detector
  • Bernard M0PIK: CW dual paddle iambic key using SMD components
  • Simon M0ZSU: Construction group update
  • Jim G0LHZ: Mystery software entry (now with one less bug)
  • Robin G4IWS: Two tone test oscillator to check audio distortion on an HF rig
  • Adventures with FT8 and an FM taxi radio: me

Both Mike and I still have work to do so you’ll be in with a very good chance.

Have a go and support your club!

Many thanks to Robin G4IWS for running proceedings.

Homebrew Asda biscuits, tea and coffee afterwards as usual.

73

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.

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

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