Category Archives: News

Night on the air Part 2; vintage evening; drinks, 24-Aug 7pm

Next RADARC meeting is at Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park, Sonning Lane, RG4 6ST, Thursday 24th August, 7pm.

Given folk seemed to enjoy last meeting “Night on the Air”, we’ll do the same again. The reason it’s billed as “Drinks” is so we all get a chance to relax a bit but with a nod to health and safety, I think we can combine the two.

Feel free to bring along any portable gear to play/experiment with.  There was loads of stuff last time. Just be aware there may be 100W of RF kicking about on HF which delicate equipment may not appreciate if connected to any nearby antenna.

For fun, if you have any vintage/veteran gear you might want to
demonstrate to people (not necessarily radio) feel free to bring it.
Simon ZSU and I like Tilley lamps (i.e. paraffin storm lamps) and one
came out to play last time.

In fact – bring what you like. Even if you think it maybe of no interest
to others. You may be surprised.

Start 7pm but feel free to arrive earlier to help with setup or just
enjoy the evening. NOTE I’m going to start an hour earlier than the usual 8pm as it’s getting dark earlier. Don’t feel you have to be there for that time.

If you are new to the hobby this is a great opportunity to see amateur
radio in action and have a go at operating yourself.

We may also have Woodley air cadets joining us.

Should weather preclude outdoor operations we will meet anyway as the bar will be open.

A huge thankyou to people who brought stuff last time.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

73

John
G4RDC

“Night on the Air” 10th August, RRFC, Sonning Lane

Next meeting is at Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park, Sonning Lane, RG4 6ST, Thursday 10th August.

It’s “Night on the Air” so we will have a few stations set up – probably a couple of HF stations. Feel free to bring along any portable gear to
play/experiment with. Just be aware there may be 100W of RF kicking
about on HF which delicate equipment may not appreciate if connected to any nearby antenna.

Start 8pm but feel free to arrive earlier to help with setup or just enjoy the evening.

If you are new to the hobby this is a great opportunity to see amateur
radio in action and have a go at operating yourself.

With luck, we will also have a demo of an “Antenna test range”.

On the military kit side, with luck, we will also have a “Clansman”
dipole and 30-70MHz vertical antenna/dummy load atop. I suspect there will be some other “green” radios on parade.

Should weather preclude outdoor operations we will meet anyway as
the bar will be open.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

73

John
G4RDC

Thursday 27th July – ‘Fix it’ / Alignment evening

Next meeting is Thursday, 27th July, 8pm Woodford Park.

It’s a ‘Fix it’ evening (Alignment evening in old money) so bring along those radio/electronics items needing attention. Even if we can’t fix items on the evening we may be able to work out a plan for them.

I’ll try and make sure we have some test gear available (scope, maybe spectrum analyser, meter etc.)

Computers also welcome – I’ll bring a VGA/HDMI monitor.

As per last meeting, would be great if you can let me know what you’re bringing first but no problem if not.

Even if I have to use many kettles, we’ll do coffee, tea and biscuits. The urn was indisposed last time.

Signals Analysis of MH370

We have a special meeting forthcoming on 8th June (election day).

Venue: Palmer Building, Reading University, Lecture Theatre 109.

Use Shinfield Road entrance to campus. Post Code RG6 6UR.

Alan Schuster Bruce from Inmarsat will give a talk entitled “Signals
Analysis of MH370”.

He will talk about the innovative methods used in the analysis of
satellite radio signals from Malaysian Airlines MH370 to determine its flight path.

The disappearance of flight MH370 just over three years ago, you may recall, was an event of global significance. I personally was proud to see a UK company immediately leading the world in science and technology with heroic efforts to explain what happened. And particularly to see radio communications being “front and centre”.

It is a real privilege for us to be able to host this meeting.

It’s fine to bring guests but please let me know if you intend to do so
and how many.

Parking permits are not required on site. The closest car park to Palmer is Car Park 4.  Please see Whiteknights campus map and keys 2016 (1)

73

John
G4RDC

Thursday 11th May meeting: Emergency Services Communications – a perspective from recent history

Folks,

Peter Butcher is with us on Thursday 11th May for the next club meeting.
Venue: Woodford Park, Woodley as usual.

In his own words:

“Communications between the Emergency Services, Police, Fire and
Ambulance have always been a problem. Complete inter-operability has been an elusive goal since the 1960s, so what has changed?
Three disasters; The East Coast Floods, the Isle of Wight Air Crash and Lockerbie prompted the Home office to take action and a set of
frequencies was allocated for the Emergency Services to allow
inter-operable communications. Planning rules were established and the question arose as to how many radio sites would be needed for a network to cover England and Wales.

A contract was awarded to Racal Radio in 1993 to calculate that number and I worked on that report as a Consultant, having recently retired from the Racal Radio Group.

The paper describes that work in detail, showing how time consuming and difficult propagation predictions were in those days and how two
different methods; manual calculation and early computer-aided
prediction gave sensibly the same results.
How that information was used and where we are now gives an interesting insight to government. After some long winded correspondence, the Home Office gave me permission to re-publish my historic report and added their version of today’s position.
Basically this paper is an historic archive of how things were and how
much, or little, things have changed!
Peter Butcher.
April 2017”

A big thankyou to George M0GXB for helping organise this one.

Refreshments to be served – or perhaps more accurately to be made
available. Audience participation may be required to make them happen.
There will be many, many biscuits. Some of them in date.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

73

John
G4RDC

Magnetic loop antennas and fundamental antenna questions – Prof. Mike Underhill G3LHZ

Folks,

At our next meeting we welcome Prof. Mike Underhill G3LHZ to tell us all about magnetic loop transmitting antennas including the latest research. He will bring a selection of loops.

Venue: Woodford Park, Woodley, 8pm as usual, Thursday 27th April.

Further, Mike will address fundamental questions about antennas in
general.

Mag loops offer interesting possibilities where space is at a premium –
a number of them we are hoping will fit in the tea room at Woodford
Park.

Also, if extreme volts and amps are your bag – this is definitely one
for you. I’m no expert (Rael is, M0RTP) but the tuning caps need to be
specially designed to handle the high voltages (often involving vacuums) and the loops themselves need low resistance.

Tuning of said caps offers challenges for micro controller/computer auto tuning so there’s something for Arduino/Raspberry Pi enthusiasts etc. – indeed Rael has done quite a bit of work here.

Refreshments to be served as usual.

Looking forward to seeing you on Thursday.

Many thanks to Rael, our own mag loop exponent, for helping organise this meeting.

cheers

John
G4RDC

Reading Hackspace

Reading Hackspace Visit

On Wednesday the 23rd of November a group of members from RADARC headed down to find out more about the Reading Hackspace, known as “rLab”.

Upon arrival at the small industrial area in the centre of Reading, a small unit with nothing more than a door and a couple of windows sits quietly in the otherwise dead industrial area.

It is 8pm and we approach the door to be greeted by a member of rLab. They led us up the stairs and told us that there would be someone around to give us a tour. My first thoughts… WOW…

The first room we came to was the electronics and desk area. People are sat working all around the room on everything from CAD designs and soldering through to Hard disk recovery and coding. We instantly started asking questions and getting to know a little bit about the group.

Once someone became available we were led around the building being shown all of the awesome equipment, tools and machinery they have there. It was one hell of an eye opener to see that this whole community runs off membership donations and kindness. There were lathes, laser cutters, 3D printers and much more.

We then went back upstairs to the electronics/workbench area and “mingled”. There were some people playing around with LED light boards, clocks, Raspberry Pi’s, Arduino’s, Hard disks, coding on (very) old hardware and much more. We got a demo of the laser cutter which was seriously cool too!

All in all it was a very nice evening and we all look forward to getting to know the hackspace community. We hope that they will also come to find out more about RADARC in the near future. As always, everyone is welcome!

Stay tuned for more posts about our events in the future!

Written by James 2E0JPM