The club tower in the field last year
This weekend, 30th & 31st July, Wythall Radio Club are taking to the field – to take part in the “Islands on the Air” radio contest.
IOTA, as it is known, is the Radio Society of Great Britain’s largest competitive event – and since the UK is an island, we get to be a multiplier for the contest!
Normally, we take part in VHF Field Day for our annual outdoor radio event and club barbecue, but this year, we thought we would try something different and join in with an HF contest instead.
We will be on Wythall Park fields all weekend (it’s a 24 hour event!) with our trailer tower and hopefully the bands will be humming with both voice and morse code transmissions.
We will set our sights high and see how we get on. Who knows? If it is successful, we might even repeat it next year!
The latest edition of the Wythall Radio Club Newsletter is out today!
Hot off the press from editor Chris G0EYO, this edition features M0IDR going QRP.
Also busy is M0MCX getting to grips with the WSPR mode, and a report of members visiting G4JGV in the Canary Islands.
More from M0IDR on the new Digital Fusion mode and how to use it with a DV4Mini dongle and of course there is the usual Training, editorial and Club news, with more about the Lew Williams Shield award, won recently by Kev G4XLO.
It’s a bumper edition, as always, and can be found here, or by clicking on the Newsletter Graphic on the right of this article.
Wythall Radio Club members are proud to announce a new arrival in the club shack!
Yesterday we took delivery of a new Icom IC-7300.
This is a radio which is taking the world by storm.
It is a true software-defined radio, but unlike most SDRs it doesn’t need a computer to work it. It has its own screen and software built in.
What is more, it is styled to look and work like a traditional analog radio, meaning the learning curve is very gentle.
The demand for these has been great worldwide and thanks to our friends at Martin Lynch and Sons, we have finally managed to get our hands on one!
At last night’s Committee meeting, Chairwoman Anita 2E0DUO perfumed the ceremonial unboxing (pictured) before a large group of excited members got their paws on it.
It’s early days but it looks like it is going to be the most popular radio in the Club shack already!
Why not click on the pictures for a closer view?
Last weekend was VHF Field Day here in the UK – and for a change, Wythall Radio Club decided to do it from the club shack!
9 members and visitors activated the club callsigns and made plenty of contacts.
It was particularly pleasing to see some folk who wouldn’t probably consider themselves contesters taking part and getting some operating experience.
Phil WTH and Roy HDF in particular took up the mic and worked a few stations. Even more nerve-wracking than usual with a few onlookers!
Conditions on VHF/UHF were not inspiring – no signs of any E’s or tropo, and online we could see that many other groups had showers and storms. Best DX on 2m was to France.
There was a break for a fish and chip (or kebab) dinner, where 2016 NFD will go down in history as “Curry-Sauce-Gate”. Don’t ask – especially don’t ask Pete M5DUO!
We will be out in the field soon though – IOTA weekend at the end of July is our big event this year – and of course there will be the annual club BBQ! Yum yum!
Fantastic news from the Wythall Radio Club Training Team – we have yet another 100% success from our latest Intermediate Course.
Michael M6GWQ, Terry M6KKO, Stuart M6GYF & Rob M6FRF with pass certificates
Lead Trainer Chris G0EYO explains, “I am pleased to confirm that last night’s four candidates passed their Intermediate examination with excellent scores, one even got 100% but I won’t embarrass Stuart by mentioning his name!”
Chris continued, “My thanks to the training team and invigilators who ran the course & exam very professionally as always. Click on the pic for the smiling faces.”
All four have expressed an interest in doing our Advanced Course starting this September.
Stu M0NYP & Ian M0IDR on duty at a checkpoint today
The members of Wythall Radio Club were out in force today for the annual Wythall Fun Run – not running, you understand(!) but, as you might expect, providing communications for the event.
Around 15 members handled two-way radio comms for all the control point marshals and for race control itself.
This is the third year we have done this and, as you might expect, we are getting better at it each time.
All involved reported that they had had great fun while helping the early morning event to go off as smoothly as possible.
GB3WL, our UHF repeater station, was pressed into service and performed admirably with talkback employed on 145.225 if required.
What great fun with RF and helping our local community to stay safe at the same time!
Adjudicator Lee G0MTN presents Kev G4XLO with the Lew Williams Shield
A very special presentation took place last night at Wythall Radio Club. The results of the Morse Activity Month were revealed – and several members were commended.
May is designated our special “Morse Appreciation” month at Wythall Radio Club – at the end of the month our band of intrepid adjudicators selects the people they feel have shown the greatest progression in either learning or improving in the mode for special recognition.
This year, Dave M0IFT, John M1JSS and Jamie 2E0SDV were singled out for special praise but the overall winner (and winner of the Lew Williams Memorial Shield) was judged to be Kev G4XLO.
Kev’s interest in Morse has blossomed from re-learning the code to being on air between 12-15 words per minute in what seems a very short space of time. He is now at the forefront of efforts in the club to get a CW net going!
So it’s a very well done to all our “commendees” but especially to Kev and we all look forward to working him on the key very soon.
A few Wythall Radio Club members are off to London this Saturday for a birthday party with a difference!
Martin Lynch, long-standing Ham Radio retailer, celebrates his 60th birthday this weekend with a party at his shop in Staines. But instead of inviting close friends (like most sensible people), he’s invited everyone in Ham Radio!!
Wythallians don’t need a second chance at an invite for free food, drink and entertainment, so a party of members will be on its way to Lynchies this Saturday morning (early!) to celebrate with the man himself (and of course have a good old gander at the latest technological radio goodies that will be on demo in the shop!)
It is rare that the cars come back from Lynchies with the same weight in them as when we go down there, so watch this space – there may be further news on purchases made on the Wythall grapevine in the future…
Back: Terry M6KKO, Rob M6FRF, Stuart M6GYF & Michael M6GWQ Front: Peter G4LWF & David M6KND
It’s all go for the current batch of Intermediate exam students at Wythall Radio Club. Yesterday saw them doing their practical assessments for the whole morning!
Amongst other things, they had to make up DC circuits, take measurements and do some calculations using Ohm’s Law. They also wired up a 13 Amp plug and put a PL259 connector onto a piece of RG58 Coaxial Cable. The grand finale involved calibrating a VFO.
A lot of fun was had by all, even though the principal tutor’s patience was sorely tried at times!
Despite his visual handicaps, Dave M6KND (the subject of earlier posts on this website) was able to do most of the practical work being assisted by tutor Peter G4LWF, who wielded the soldering iron.
There is still a long way to go, as the exam is not for another 4 weeks, but Wythall Radio Club tutors are sure that all will manage the much longed-for pass certificate!
Communications is what the hobby of Ham Radio is all about but this week at Wythall Radio Club, we will be learning about a slightly different communications infrastructure.
One of our newer members, Martin M6GYH is going to talk to us about a subject he is bit of an expert on, namely Trans-Atlantic cabling.
It was a real struggle to create the first few Trans-Atlantic cables and Martin will be telling us about the history of cross-continent communications.
He will also be bringing us bang up-to-date on the current state of communications under the oceans – he will introduce us to WDM (see, you don’t know what that is yet!), the use of infared laser technology and explain to us how in the 21st Century, Gigabits of data are transmitted around the world.
Wythall House is the venue, Silver Street B47 6LZ – Tuesday 24th May is the day and 20:30 is the time.
Get there early for the best seat!