Category Archives: News

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

New 4 metre web SDR IN South herts.

John G3VHH notes we have a new 4 metre web SDR available to us covering 69.492 – 71.028 MHz

http://81.111.70.181:8091

IP address may change so look at http://websdr.org/ for a definitive address. Text is “4 Meter WebSDR Located in south Hartfordshire UK using a RTL Dongle”. Antenna is a 4 metre quarter wave ground plane.

Many thanks to John and Steven M0XVT for making this available.

73

John G4RDC

Peter G4JNU, SK

With a very heavy heart, I must report that Peter G4JNU died peacefully on Sunday 23rd December.

Peter was held in the highest regard by everyone who knew him. Here are just a few of the tributes:

“As usual I had an amazing demo of a magnificent piece of early 30 line TV equipment he had been working on” – Vin, G4JTR

“Terribly sorry to hear about Peter” – Sean, 2E0ZIP

“Very sorry to hear the passing of Pete, we will miss him” – Michael M0MPM

“I also have very fond memories of Peter, G4JNU. He will be remembered for his re-creation of Baird’s mechanical scanning TV system and the transmission by amateur radio to the USA of these images from the Amberley Museum. He has always been a great experimenter and home constructor.” – Harry G3NGX

“What a shock. Such a nice man and regularly saw his car (registration G4JNU of course) parked here in the village, visiting family or out walking.” – Don G3XTT

“What a huge shame. Peter was a stalwart of the club for as long as I can remember. A true gentleman and a real engineer of a kind you so rarely meet. He will be greatly missed.” – Baz G8DOR

“I mourn the passing of a gentleman in every sense of the word. Peter had so much to teach us all. ” – Ray G3SCZ

“Truly a gentleman in every sense and an inspiration to me and many, many more.” – Dave M0PMZ

“I am truly devasted by this news. Pete was a rock at RADARC and had energy and helpfulness which few could match. RIP Peter, I shall miss you.” – Robin G4IWS

“Peter was a master engineer and always ready to lend a helping hand where needed. The equipment he built and demonstrated were an inspiration to us all. A loss to RADARC. RIP Peter.” – Jim G0LHZ

“He was normally an early starter at the rally helping out where ever he could always with a smile and then going on to the club table. At meeting he would busy himself with getting the room ready before chatting to all. I was astonished by his knowledge on mechanical TV and was able to help him with a presentation he was doing. He gave more than he took.” – Min G0JMS

“A very sad loss. I have many fond memories of Peter over the many years that I have known him. A great enthusiast for all thigs radio and mentor to newer members of RADARC. RIP Peter” – Andy M5ALG

“I never heard Peter complain or judge any one, he always came to the Club Meetings with warmth and a smile. Following on from Min’s comments may I add the tables for the sound and projector were always in place in ample time for the AV. set up . He braved the pull up/fall down finger crushing screen on many occasions! Peter was a regular for NFD set up and tear down and the McMichael junk sale tables , in mature years struggling valiantly with heavy boxes and boat anchors. In memory of a true gentleman. Sadly missed” – Graham G3XYX.

“I always remember the first time I entered a construction contest and thought I was in with a chance with my MSF clock… only to have Peter lift a large box off of his built-from-scratch replica of a Baird televisor which immediately dashed everybody else’s chances. His knowledge of original TV systems led to him making things for a BBC programme a few years ago if I recall correctly. Rest in Peace Peter. You will be sadly missed.” – Des, G8FIF

“A sad loss to the club and to amateur radio. Peter had a great depth of knowledge and experience, he was always willing to listen to the other persons point of view and was greatly respected by all.” – Dave G4BOO

I will close by noting Peter was awarded the Bingham Shield at the RADARC AGM for his tireless support for the club and in particular for sorting through and testing hundreds of valves which raised a considerable sum at the McMichael Rally. Most recently he gave a beautiful demonstration of his ‘Marconi Detector’ at Dr. Elizabeth Bruton’s talk in October.

He was thrilled to bits with the award – particularly as it had his name on it. Peter – it’s yours for that and so, so much more.

I consider it a privilege to have known Peter. Brilliant engineer, gentle soul.

The funeral service will be at St Andrews Church, Caversham Heights, on Friday 11th January at 2 pm followed by a wake at a local venue to be decided.

See https://www.standrewscaversham.org/ for details on St Andrews.

73

John G4RDC

Graeme G4XOF, SK

Graeme G4XOF lost his battle with cancer Monday 26th November 2018.

Here he is last June proudly showing me his mobile HF antenna, mobile mount and describing how it can be used very effectively as a base station antenna. Ever the enthusiast.

Some tributes:

Sad news and he will be missed with his upbeat attitude on the radio to everybody He made the most out of the time he was given – Min G0JMS.

Still a shock even though I knew about Graeme’s condition. He was such a pleasant and helpful person –  Mike G4CDF.

I heard him many times on the local repeaters during my journey to and from work, and his great personality and sense of humour always came bounding over the air waves, often making you laugh out loud. He will be missed. – Simon M0ZSU

Very sorry to hear about Graeme’s passing. A really nice chap to buy  a radio from. Honest and very thoughtful. A pleasure to do business with. – Harry G3NGX

In a multi-way QSO, late comers with the same name as established operators, would add a 02 ident to keep things simple for the life of net. I was always touched and humbled by Graeme 2 referring to me with respect for an old timer  as Graham 1 whatever the situation, eyeball or net. A font of shared knowledge at the informal Rugger Club gatherings. A help with e-bay bulk purchases saving time and trouble all round for the less adventurous net users . He was dynamic, pushing forward with technology , but always could take time out to explain something I did not grasp about new technology , a true gentleman . A great loss to amateur radio. – Graham, G3XYX.

I didn’t know Graeme well which makes this all the more difficult. I wanted to know him better. It feels like we’ve been friends forever which is a measure of Graeme’s warmth of spirit. We always had a laugh whenever we spoke either on air or in person. That said, Graeme knew his stuff. I affectionately knew him as XON/XOFF (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_flow_control). He visited me at home last June where we just talked for 20 minutes or so about 5MHz mobile contacts we’d had, the up-and-coming network radio technology and how he used his mobile HF antenna to great effect mobile and at home. We had a drink or two at Reading Rugby Football Club in Sonning during the summer and the last time I saw him was at the Flight Refuelling rally at Wimborne, Dorset in early August with a number of the RADARC crew where the weather was dreadful but he was chipper as ever.  Something to think about, that. A true radio man; one of a kind. I will miss him greatly.

The funeral is on Monday 10th December 3.15pm Reading Crematorium, South Chapel All Hallows Road, Reading, RG4 5LP.

John

G4RDC

Thankyou NADARS for a great Newbury Rally

Thankyou NADARS for all the hard work you’ve put into making this year’s Newbury rally a most enjoyable day especially in the challenging heat. Lots of folk from RADARC enjoyed it including me. Really great to see everyone and the impressive field of stuff, as ever!

73

John

G4RDC

Sharp Resonance: A Low cost Audio filter from Screwfix; mag loop update

Tony Canning G2NF has an intriguing evening lined up for us next meeting:

Thursday 12th October, Woodford Park Leisure Centre, Woodley, 8pm

Some of you will remember his superb talk on ‘Tricks with Coax’.

He states:

“Given my interest in coax related stuff and various tricks, I have been
playing with an audio filter that can give the user with no IF 200Hz
filter a similar tool in a pile up, and like wise for the SSB operator
an audio notch filter. There is no eltrickery, smoke mirrors or power
supply involved. I think its a great resonance demo, as the relationship to coax filters and tuned circuits is uncanny.

Can be made from house hold items or from Wickes / Screwfix or BnQ etc.

This is not about Audio DSP but my simple efforts do appear to offer
comparable performance to some at a fraction of the price but much more fun building and learning.”

Continuing the theme of sharp resonance, I’m trying to twist G2DD’s arm (Loz) into bring along the coax based magnetic loop antenna he’s been working on as I know a few people would be interested in having a go at making something. Or indeed – if you have been working on one feel free to bring it along and tell us what you’ve been up to!

Refreshments to be served as usual with an increasingly wide selection of biscuits of variable age.

73

John
G4RDC

HF Digital Voice (HF-DV) communications by Dr. Alison Johnston, G8ROG

Dr. Alison Johnston G8ROG will be with us on Thursday 28th September to tell us all about the “high quality” voice communications now possible on HF.

Venue: Woodford Park Sports Centre, Woodley, 8pm, as usual.

Modern digital modulation techniques allow more information to be
exchanged in the few kilohertz of bandwidth we typically use on SSB, for example. This enables near-FM quality.

We will cover a bit of theory, the practicalities of interfacing the
necessary computing equipment (maybe even mobile phones???) with (HF) radios and there will be a demonstration using a couple of HF sets.

For me, HF DV is in the true spirit of amateur radio and is an exciting
development as the technology is open to all. If you wish to experiment with the software, you can. As far as I am aware it is not covered by any patents.

Refreshments to be served as usual.

A huge thankyou to Alison for supporting us. Her knowledge of radio is, shall we say, expansive to say the least, as you may be aware. So if you have related queries I’m sure she would be interested to hear them over a cup of tea.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

73

John
G4RDC

The events leading up to and including the Battle of Britain by Chris Wren MBE

Next meeting is on Thursday 14th September entitled “The events leading up to and including the Battle of Britain by Chris Wren MBE”.

Venue: Woodford Park, Woodley, 8pm.
Refreshments to be served as usual.

Chris is the curator of the WW2 underground bunker and museum at RAF Uxbridge built in 1939 some 60 feet below ground. He will introduce personalities of the time including Douglas Bader who had a flying accident not far from the our very own Woodford Park on the Woodley airfield and the most successful fighter squadron at the time.

Churchill visited the bunker during one confrontation and enquired what reserves we had – the answer was “none”.

I look forward to seeing you there to look back on those perilous times and be inspired by those incredibly brave men and women to who we owe so much.