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Tiny radio signals travel the world!

May 02, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club

Travel 1100 miles on 1 watt of power?

That’s what was achieved with a miniature home made transmitter/receiver by Wythall Club members Sue 2E0LUJ and David G0HVN.

Signals from the Foxx transceiver were received across Europe. Their most distant report was from the west coast of Finland, over 1000 miles (1800 km) away.

This was Sue’s first venture into radio construction, and Dennis from Kanga Products (who supply the radio in kit form) provided lots of helpful advice and some spare components free of charge.

To celebrate, Wythall Radio Club held a ‘Foxx evening’. Other members brought their Foxx radios (all mounted in different sweet tins!) and other low powered equipment.

The Foxx 3 is very popular with radio amateurs who specialise in low power, and Sue and David’s results show what can be achieved with such a tiny radio!


Indian Ocean island contact!

April 24, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun, News

‘Chasing a DXpedition requires a certain amount of commitment!’ writes Wythall Radio Club member Tim Beaumont MØURX.  ‘A little studying of what the team’s priorities are, a close eye on the propagation to decide your best band choices and a little bit of luck along the way!’

Here’s his report of chasing 3B7A operating from the tiny island of Saint Brandon in the Indian Ocean.

‘Saint Brandon in the Indian Ocean was last activated 11 years ago in 2007 when we had similar low sunspot conditions and poor radio propagation.

So to contact 3B7A on high frequency (HF) I was going to have to work them either early in the afternoon or later afternoon around tea time. With no sun spots and a Solar Flux Index of just 67, propagation doesn’t get much worse than that!  

Saturday morning I had seen them spotted on DXCluster on 20m, 17m and 15m, but nothing was heard here. 

I came back after a couple of hours and they were still working North America on 15m phone.  Then silence….  Just a brief “3B7A – stand by 5 [minutes]”…. I set my transmitter 8 KHz up from their frequency and poised my foot over the radio foot switch, ready for them to get back on air.  

It seemed an age and I wondered if they had just changed bands or mode? I decided to stay put… then “3B7A listening all stations 5 to 15 up”. The adrenaline starts pumping…. “Mike Zero Uniform Radio X-ray” hoping that the DX was also listening on the frequency I was calling…. “M0URX you’re 59” . I reply quickly “59 TU [Thank you]”

Wow, it doesn’t often happen like that, right place right time and luckily the pile up was sleeping at the re-start. By 6pm 3B7A’s HF signal quickly dropped and was lost for the day.’

Read Tim’s full report here!

 


Wythall success in Club-of-the-Year!

April 23, 2018 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club

Wythall Radio Club are celebrating this week. 

2015 was the last time we held this trophy

That’s because we had news at the weekend that we have won the Midlands Region Club of the Year competition run by our National Radio Society. 

The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) run this competition and while Wythall doesn’t enter it every time, every year that we have taken part, pleasingly for us, we have won the regional heat.

Now we go through to the finals to compete with the other regional clubs for the title of “National Club of the Year”, something we have not yet attained.

Fingers crossed then…


Exam success at Wythall Radio Club!

April 23, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Training

Four candidates passed their Foundation exam at Wythall Radio Club on Sunday.  This enables them to apply for Foundation amateur radio licences and get on the air!

Ed, Emily, Stephen and Les (pic left to right) passed their practical assessments with excellent scores, having studied  Wythall Radio Club’s on-line course.  Emily is the daughter of club member Stuart M0SRZ. 

Given their high scores, we expect some of our successful candidates will want to progress on to the Intermediate course, which is also run by the Club.

All are Midlands based, so we hope to hear them on the air soon with their new call signs!!

The exam and assessments were managed by Wythall Radio Club members Chris G0EYO, Roger M0GWM, Peter G4LWF and John G4OJL.

The next on-line Foundation course starts on 21st May.


Easter contest winners’ chocolate smiles!

April 18, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club

Prizes of chocolate eggs delighted the winners of Wythall Radio Club’s annual Easter Contest!

Awards for the highest placed Foundation licencees were Juliet M6RSC (2m/70cm FM section) and Ian M6LQY (all bands/modes) (pictured).  Ian just pipped Harry M6NKW to this award by 1 qso!  However Harry’s high score and confidence on the air won him the Most Promising Newcomer prize.

The overall winner of the large and delicious Easter Egg for 2m/70cm FM section was Jim 2E0BLP, who is always highly placed in our Christmas and Easter Contests.  Mike G4VPD and Don G0NES were second and third.

In the all bands/modes section, David G7IBO achieved a very high winning score, followed by Simon G4TVR and Chris G7DDN.

The Club experimented with use of network radio in the ‘all modes’ section, using its private Zello group.  This was very effective at enabling contacts with members located further afield.  It also helped overcome the problem of Gorcott Hill – a local landmark that straddles our Club area and prevents contacts between members who live either side of it.


Radio fun in southern Spain!

April 05, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun, News

There was plenty of radio fun during Wythall Radio Club member Mike G4VPD’s recent holiday on the Costa Brava.  

On the way to a local Spanish restaurant he noticed a portable radio setup in the church car park just a couple of hundred yards from his holiday villa.

The operator was Kico EA5GPC.  ‘We stopped and introduced ourselves – using a mixture Spanish and English’ reports Mike.

‘It turns out he is a taxi driver in Benidorm and had travelled to Javea to operate from its church in a ‘Work all the Province’s Churches’ radio contest (Diploma Ermitas).  He was doing pretty well ’till we interrupted him!’.  He had made over 100 contacts in just over an hour on 40m using his homemade dipole and counterpoise vertical mixture.

He welcomed the interruption and requested some photos be taken so he could prove to the contest organiser that he had been operating from the church!  Kico’s the right and Mike’s on the left.

Any amateurs visiting Benidorm should keep an eye out for Kico’s taxi.  It’s the one with the HF mobile antenna!

Besides this face-to-face contact, Mike also experimented with digital communications using FT8.

‘It took some time to get the software to transmit the digital tones via the USB cable of my mate’s (G8NOF) Kenwood TS-590 but I got there in the end!’ comments Mike.

‘There was very little to be heard on the 20m or 17m SSB (voice) frequencies, but the world was alive on the digital (FT8) frequency of 14.074 Mhz!’

During the morning he made digital contacts with New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Siberia, India, the Middle East states, South Africa and more, using only 50 watts.  Then in the early evening he contacted stations in the Caribbean, USA, Canada, Venezuela, Brazil – to name just a few.


Another Fantastic Hamfest!!

March 26, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Hamfest

Almost 500 radio amateurs visited Wythall Radio Club’s 2018 Hamfest. 

Visitors arrived from as far away as Devon and Cambridge – and the sun came out, too!

There was plenty to offer our visitors, with 39 traders in 4 halls.  And our Club room was packed to hear Chris G7DDN’s talk on network radio.

Thanks to Wythall House for letting us use their facilities, our traders, Burger Bob for his tasty refreshments – and our Club helpers, especially Warwick G4WMH for his skill in winching Radioworld’s van and three cars off of the soggy grass!

 

 

 


Parking at Wythall Hamfest

March 17, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club

There’s lots to see at this year’s Wythall Hamfest – with 39 traders, 110 tables, 4 halls, food, a licensed bar, Chris G7DDN’s talk on ‘network radio’…. and more!

Here is important parking news for your visit on 25th March.

The recent prolonged heavy rainfall means that on-site parking may be limited due to water-logging. 

We will do our best to accommodate as many cars as possible on-site, but please be understanding if we have to ask you to find a location nearby where you can park legally and safely, especially as Silver Street will be coned off by the Police (as in previous years).

Please consider sharing cars where you can.

Thank you!  

Your Wythall Hamfest Team

 

 


Tanworth Scouts on the Air!

March 15, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club

Talking on-air to a Danish amateur was one of the highlights when Wythall Radio Club hosted 1st Tanworth-in-Arden Scouts.

Operating from Sjaelland Island, Denmark, Frank OV1CDX very generously exchanged greetings messages with all eight Scouts on 40m SSB, even though he was being called by many stations.  

Thank you, Frank!  You gave the Scouts a real buzz!!

Here’s Pete, M5DUO, in QSO with Frank.

They developed their skill in copying SSB for the first time, and on the noisy 40m band, as a result of a practice session with David, G0HVN, on the Club’s much quieter 2 meter FM channel earlier in the evening.

The eight Tanworth Scouts spent the evening with us training for their Communicator Badge.  The Scouts used QSL cards to identify country prefixes, learnt about propagation using WebSDR and moon-bounce, and started logging amateur stations – they need 25 for their badge. 

We also talked about JOTA and introduced the opportunity to study on-line with the Club for a Foundation licence.

We wish ’73s’ to Caitlin, Alex, Sean, Thomas, Izzie, Daisy, Erin and Olivia, and Scout Leader Karl!  And we look forward to hosting the second group of Tanworth Scouts next month!


Jamie’s amateur radio takes him far!

March 14, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun

Wythall Radio Club member Jamie, M0SDV is off on his travels again!

Jamie, who is still relatively a youngster at the tender age of 17, will shortly be operating from Bonaire, a small Caribbean island in the Leeward Antilles.  

From March 24 – 25, he will be joining an international team of operators for the global ‘CQ WPX (Worked Prefix) Contest’. 

The team – who in addition to Jamie include Philipp DK6SP, Steve PJ4DX, Peter PJ4NX and Bert PJ4KY – have been allocated the call sign PJ4V.

Good luck, Jamie!  More news as we receive it!