Category Archives: Events

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

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

Meeting Thursday 25th January: “Magnetic Loop Antennas” by Rael Paster, M0RTP

Folks,

Our very own Rael Paster M0RTP will be with us next Thursday 25th January telling us all about the amazing things he’s done making and
using Magnetic Loop Antennas.

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

“Mag Loops” are physically small compared to a typical wire HF antenna. They can be of the order of a metre or so in diameter. If you’re stuck for space for antennas, this talk is for you. Fabrication materials include 28mm copper pipe so you’ll gain plumbing skills by having a go at building one.

For transmission, even with relatively low powers the currents and voltages circulating in the loop can become substantial so interesting
devices such as vacuum variable capacitors are useful for tuning.

The talk will include a description of the “mag loop
controller” (typically a small computing device or microcontroller such as an ‘arduino’ board) as this integral to ease of use as the loops need precise tuning.

Rael has used WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporter) to great effect to map where he’s managed to radiate RF to – you’ll learn all about the possibilities there. (https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wspr.html)

All powered by tea and biscuits. Look forward to seeing you there.

73

John
G4RDC