My venture into 4 meters

On the 11th of march I bought a Simoco SRM9000 from Mike G4CDF. (Thanks Mike!) I finally had a 4 meter rig and he also let me borrow a 4m loop to get me started until I could make my own. I was pretty much working to get it all setup as soon as I arrived back home.

First question when putting any amateur station together is of course how on earth will this all go together and where can I put it?!

The antenna itself is not small and would not be the kind of thing I can just hang in my window. It also has a pole fixed to it for mounting vertically with a horizontal spacer between it and a mast. This made things more difficult as it could therefore not just be laid down on a first floor roof ridge which is close enough to my shack. Instead I settled for persuading my parents to let me stick my military fibreglass mast up on the corner of the house. Amazingly, it blends in quite well and just looks like a piece of guttering down-pipe that is rather small…. Oh and it also has a large chuck of metal hanging off to one side!!

So I have an antenna sorted and a mast for the antenna to go on. I setup the radio connected to the power supply that I have running my other radios on the desk and it immediately sprang to life. Great… I have a radio, an antenna, a microphone and speaker and power. I knew I was missing something.

Aaaaah…. Coax!!!

Next problem – how to get coax into the shack without drilling holes in the wall or doing anything else that seems to annoy my parents! So here is my solution:

It got a little cold last night because the window is now open just a crack for the coax to come through so i enlisted the ever useful duct tape method!!

Finally I was ready to get a QSO on 4m so I then experimented with all the buttons and I think I hit scan and heard Alison G8ROG doing a test. I quickly replied and sort of knew that I would manage to contact her given we are just across the valley from each other. Perfect 5/9 signal!!!

I was given various pieces of advice including about the local nets and events throughout the week and frequencies (Thanks Alison!!)

The important ones to remember are:

  • 70.425 – Local net frequency
  • Nets are on Tuesday evening’s at 20:30 and most members are from RADARC but it is not exclusive.
  • GB2RS news is also read out on a Sunday morning with a net on the same frequency afterwards.
  • Vertical Polarisation is the norm but some use horizontal

So my next steps now are to re-program the radio and have a browse through the settings and of course join in the nets regularly.

If you are interested in getting into 4 meters then there is a wealth of knowledge within the club. Just come along to one of our meetings and ask! We will be happy to help!

There are also some great resources for the Simoco SRM9000 series of radios on the Simoco post linked here

Listen out for me on the weekly nets and I look forward to speaking to you!

73 de 2E0JPM

53 years of Earth-Moon-Earth (EME), then and now

Folks,

Peter Blair, G3LTF, joins us on Thursday 9th March, 8pm at RADARC for a talk entitled “53 years of EME, then and now”.  He will take a look at how it started and then a look at the scene today, in particular the technology developments. The concentration will be on the bands above 144MHz.

Prepare to be amazed at the possibilities and see how you might get started yourself!

Venue: Woodford Park Leisure Centre, Woodley, RG5 4LY as usual.

Refreshments will be provided as usual.

73

John

G4RDC

 

Simple Satellite Operating by Tim Kirby G4VXE

Folks,

Next RADARC meeting is Thursday, 23rd February at Woodford Park,  Woodley, 8pm as usual.

Satellite operating is easier than you think! Tim Kirby G4VXE (of Practical Wireless fame – need I say more) explains how to get started on the amateur satellites as simply as possible. Hopefully afterwards, you’ll want to give it a go!

In the words of the great G3NGX “Get to your seat by 8.00.  Pin back your ears  at 8.10.  Digest what you have heard at 9.30 and wash it down with a  cup of RADARC coffee.  Consider how this could change your life for  the better.”

Looking forward to seeing you all.

Visitors welcome!

73

John

G4RDC

New GB3RD repeater. CTCSS only access, 118.8Hz. Voice ident every 15 minutes.

As of Friday 3rd February, a new GB3RD was put on air. It uses a similar type of base station but has new logic. The Repeater is now CTCSS only access so you will need to set an encode tone of 118.8Hz on your transceiver. The ident. is now by voice and occurs every 15 minutes.

The repeater is located on a farm and there are many potential sources of interference. To minimise these we have had a 3dB attenuator located in the antenna feeder. This has now been removed so the repeater should be 3dB (which isn’t much) stronger and also receive should benefit by the same amount. The implementation of full CTCSS should minimise potential interference.

Chris,

G4CCC. o/b/o Thames Valley Repeater Group.

Didcot/Harwell Radio Rally Sunday 12th February 2017

Sunday 12th February 2017

HARWELL AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY are holding a Radio and Electronics Rally at Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot, OX11 8AY from 10.00am-3.00pm. There will be radio and electronics trade stalls, a Radio Society of Great Britain bookstall, information on local courses for those who would like to become a Radio Amateur and an Amateur Radio Demonstration Station. Refreshments will be available all day. Entry £3.00 (children under 12 free). Details from Ann G8NVI on 01235 816379 or [email protected]

 

‘Drones’ by Adam Juniper

Folks,

Next club meet is Thursday 9th February at Woodford Park, 8pm as usual.

Adam Juniper will give an introduction into the world of drones and advice on how to get started.

I wonder if it’s possible to string a top band vertical from one of those things….or whether it’s possible to get them to lift a line to the top of a tree for antenna stringing. Might even be safer than the traditional catapult.

Look forward to seeing you there and exploring the possibilities of these fascinating flying machines.

Refreshments to be served as usual.

cheers

John
G4RDC

Visit to a little Radio museum

Over the Christmas break I was lucky enough to be invited to a small private radio museum in Southern Hungary. I took a few pictures to look at if anyone is interested. There is one ‘propaganda box’ with featured a selected switch for tuning so that only approved stations could be heard! Naturally people hope modified them. I wish I had room to do this at my QTH! 73, Simon M0ZSU

‘Life on the Other Side’ Steve Venner, G0TAN

Folks,

Next RADARC meeting is on Thursday 26th January at Woodford Park as
usual, 8pm.

In a talk entitled ‘Life on the Other Side’ Steve Venner, G0TAN/W6TAN,
will give us an insight into what happens behind the doors of one of the
country’s biggest ham radio dealers. With a focus on the workshop.

There’s opportunity for lots of discussion here about the past, present
and future of commercial amateur radio gear so I am sure it will be an
enjoyable and informative evening.

I can also be certain you’ll all be asking for discounts and I can
probably be even more certain what the answer will be 🙂

Sadly I won’t be able to make this one but I’m confident refreshments
will be served as usual.

cheers,

John
G4RDC

RADARC AGM 2016

The RADARC Annual General Meeting was held at Woodford park on Thursday the 8th of December. A great evening was had by all and was kicked off by Simon M0ZSU, and we started with a Chairman’s report. Overall the club has had its challenges over the last year however we have managed thanks to the brilliant help from volunteers from the rest of the membership.

We have a thriving membership of 87 members and we have been growing steadily.

Over the last year, a team of volunteers from the membership have formed a new group that was to take over the organisation of meetings. This worked out well even with the shift of Simon to being Chairman after the unfortunate loss of our previous Chairman, Pete Milton, G8FRC.

We also now have a new website setup by James 2E0JPM which will bring us new functionality and options for the future.

Our plans for a club shack are also still on the table and we are looking to re-start this project soon.

We plan to have much more variety and new styles of talks/evenings in the coming year and hope that we can develop the club to entice new members, young and old.

The New committee was confirmed with a vote by membership lead by Nick Challcombe. All of the committee have been “sworn in” for another year. The new (and old) committee were thanked with a large round of applause from the membership.

Overall, we as a committee would like to say thank you to the membership for their support and understanding over the past year. It has been a struggle but we have coped well. We look forward to the next year, 2017, and hopefully we can grow the club and the hobby.

Join us throughout 2017 for new and exciting talks!

At the end of the AGM we had the Trophy and award presentations and finally Cheese and wine!

Below are some photos from the evening:

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Copyright 2016 © James Monahan

Website for the Reading And District Amateur Radio Club