wythall radio club

having fun with RF

Commonwealth Games on Air

August 03, 2022 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun, News

Wythall Radio Club celebrated Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games by hosting the special event callsign GB22GE.

Using SSB and FT8 data mode, we worked stations across the UK – from Peterhead in north Scotland to Plymouth in south-west England and Knighton in mid-Wales.  

Stations across Europe were also put in the log.

May be an image of 5 people and people standing

A special treat was to work Club members Jim 2E0BLP and John M6KET – a rare outing on SSB for 99%CW John, using is usual QRP power of 5 watts!  (Photo above: Ian M0LQY and Martin G8VXX are seen chatting to Jim.)

Meanwhile Lee G0MTN (photo left, Lee on far right) is assisting the Commonwealth Games HQ station and worked Club members Dave M0IFT and Chris G3YHF.


Roy Bartlam G0HDF (1951-2022) SK

July 21, 2022 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, News

An appreciation of Roy’s life by Chris Pettitt G0EYO and Peter Green G4LWF/G4MEB, after discussions with David Hillyer G0RQO (ex MEB), Emma Sedgewick and other friends.

It was with great sadness that Wythall Radio Club heard of the passing of long time member Roy G0HDF in June 2022 at the age of 71 after a long illness.

Born in Birmingham, Roy was a single man and lived most of his life in Weoley Castle and worked at the MEB until he took early retirement. He was active in Wythall Radio Club, participating in club contests, helping setting up and manning the doors at their radio rallies, social events and was a regular at weekly club meetings.

Roy’s association with the club goes back to the late 1980’s when he and his friend Tony G1PKG (who he met at a morse class in the early 80’s) became regular visitors. Tony tragically lost his wife in 1988 and Roy became sort of “uncle” to Tony’s daughter Emma, who was only 9 at the time. In fact, when Roy became ill in 2021, and could no longer look after himself, it was Emma who took him into her home with her family and nursed him up until his passing.

Photo below: At Wythall Radio Club August 2020: L-R: Kev 2E0NCO, Roy G0HDF, Les G0HOR, Mike G4VPD, Phil 2E0WTH and Pete M5DUO

A non-smoker, Roy found out he was a diabetic when he was younger and so he became a bit of a fitness fanatic to keep himself healthy.

He loved swimming and riding his bike, so it was ironic that following an accident on his bike where he hurt his hip, that other things where found to be wrong. His breathing became difficult, he was thought to have angina and fell into a diabetic coma a couple of times. Eventually they discovered he had a secondary cancer but could not establish the primary cause.

Roy was well known for his cheerful nature and after retirement he indulged his love of travel and spent many holidays in Spain, Cyprus, Malta, Egypt where he had friends and relatives. All his friends and family knew him as a very patient man who never had a cross word for anyone. But he could have a wicked sense of humour.

Roy had other interests than amateur radio and foreign travel. He used to be a keen bowls player, indoor in the winter and outdoors in the summer. He was also captain of his local team. Emma tells me that he was very keen on banger racing when he was younger.

Roy leaves an older sister Violet and her family who live in Banbury. He will be missed. RIP old friend. 

(Prepared by Chris Pettitt G0EYO following discussion with Emma Sedgewick)

Photo right: Roy G0HDF and Callum M0MCX at Wythall Radio Club VHF NFD 2013

The MEB Years by Peter Green

I first met Roy around 1980/81 when the MEB Radio Club was formed at the MEB Headquarters at the top of Mucklow Hill, Halesowen. At that time Roy worked for MEB in Birmingham as an electrical fitter wiring three phase meters at customer’s premises. Roy was a member of the radio club until we were forced out of Mucklow Hill and the Sports Club closed in 1998.

It was Roy who suggested those of us left should move to Wythall Radio Club and join in their activities. Roy was always an active member of both radio clubs supporting, field days, special events and at Wythall the annual Rally.

During the 1990’s we would take a portable station up Walton Hill (Clent) for an evening in June with generator and hand rotated mast plus vhf beam aerial. Operation would be from 7:30 pm local time until sunset when a strip down and pack away took place before we lost the light, coming down the hill in semi darkness. Roy along with Rob Jackson carried the generator up the hill and back down later on. One notable night we were tracked by a police helicopter while walking down off Walton Hill with the portable aerial, radios, toolbox, torches and generator. Roy waved at them at one point and they moved on.

Roy was always involved in any maintenance, mainly aerials – both HF (G5RV) and VHF/UHF Beams at G4MEB. Roy’s interest in our club aerials allowed him to build his aerials at the home QTH as well as aerial switch boxes and a 150 watt 50 ohm dummy load in a large coffee tin good enough for HF use.

Roy retired from the MEB in 2002 and found more time to get involved with new interests such as stocks and shares, bowls – indoor, walking, riding a bike along the canals of Birmingham and swimming (at least twice a week for a mile each session). Regular Spanish holidays for weeks at a time plus Malta and Cyprus as other locations kept Roy fully occupied.

At that time Roy also became more active with Wythall Club projects either with or without his MEB colleagues. At Wythall Rally, Roy would attempt to be on site very early on both days and carryout whatever duties he was assigned.

I’m sure there is a lot regarding Wythall that I am not aware off. Roy always appeared everywhere in support of the WRC. He was a great character, a one off who got well known to many folk around the Birmingham area.

He will be missed by many as the cheerful guy who would pop up at any time and be welcomed.

Peter Green G4LWF/G4MEB
8 th July 2022

Field-day Fun at Wythall Club

July 17, 2022 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Contest, Fun, News

Warm weather, good company and lots of RF were on hand for Wythall Radio Club’s ‘Plug and Play’ field day last Saturday.

The advance party of Phil 2E0WTH and Kev 2E0NCO collected the pop-up gazebos from the club room at 8.30am, Martin G8VXX delivered his generator, and Ian M0LQY had the first station on the air by 9.15. 

12 members and Brambles the spaniel joined in the fun. 



We had 6 stations on the air on HF and VHF, using SSB, CW and FT8

Antennas included long wires, a delta loop, multi-band dipoles, a Moxon, vehicle-mounted HF and VHF verticals, and colinears for 2m.  Unfortunately, the wind was too light for the 5/8ths on 80m kite vertical.








We used a large field in Wythall Park, where our Club is located.  There was considerable debate about the best method to get cord over the oak tree branches to support the long wires. 

We used a fishing catapault and reel as well as a weight, both being successful (see photo)

We chose this Saturday to coincide with the IARU HF Contest so there would be lots of activity on SSB and CW, although we weren’t entering the contest and had lots of time to chat with stations on 2 meters FM and non-contest stations on HF

Lee G0MTN had several spells working contest stations on both modes.  He made over 100 qsos despite Brambles wanted him to throw a stick!(see photo).

Meanwhile, Ian M0LQY was busy on FT8 – especially on 20m and 17m – with DX highpoints working VP2EIH in Anquilla and Club member Chris G0EYO in nearby Redditch! 

He was using the new Xiegu600 – reviewed in a recent RadCom by Wythall Club’s own Dave G(M)3YXM – with a Xiegu linear and 124.5′ long wire with a 17′ counterpoise

PSK spots show he was getting worldwide coverage – nice!!


We were delighted to be joined by Jim 2E0BLP, and were able to present him with the Colin Baker G6ZDQ Easter Contest VHF/UHF Shield for winning this section in our Easter contest.








All field days rely on a good supply of nourishment, and some members brewed-up and cooked bacon and eggs.  Our fun day together ended with a fish and chip supper.

We packed up and left the field about 12 hours after we arrived – having had lots of fun with RF!

Besides those mentioned above, the Club’s field day also attracted:  Les 2E0LRV, Warwick G4WMH, Stu M0NYP, Milo 2E0YZW, Chris G3YHF and visitors Mike 2E0ILX and spaniel Brambles.




GB70E at Wythall Club

June 29, 2022 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun, News

Japan and Brazil were amongst the countries contacted by the special Jubilee station at Wythall Radio Club.

Call-sign GB70E (Great Britain 70 England) was used by Wythall Club members on data modes (FT8) and SSB voice, during their weekly Tuesday night meetings. 

This was part of the RSGB initiative to enable radio amateurs and clubs around the country to share in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Propogation was excellent for FT8, and contacts were made with 10 countries (see map).   A week later, radio conditions were poor and we only made contact with four countries by SSB.

A highlight of our SSB evening was to talk with John, the operator of GB70D – the special Jubilee callsign used from the Isle of Man.

[Map courtesy of K2DSL https://www.levinecentral.com/adif2map/]

Radio from the Hill – whatever the weather!!

May 26, 2022 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun, News

Wythall Radio Club members have been taking to the hills to operate portable.  Here, John M6KET reports on a recent dxpedition to Bredon Hill – where we had 4 seasons in one day!

They’re a hardy bunch these SOTA (Summit on the Air) guys, undaunted by the weather conditions, well organised and scrambling up the hill-side like a mountain goat (GOTA?), lean muscular machines with only one aim in sight – the trig point on the  summit.

Our aim was Bredon Hill, Worcestershire – approached by the northern (and more difficult!) route.

Trailing behind like a malnourished Sherpa, I possibly delayed the arrival time by half an hour but we were soon into the swing with Chris G0EYO responding first to my rare outing with the 2 meter Handie, followed by Don, G0NES: both good signals.

This novice watched in awe as Chris G3YHF threw up the inverted V trap dipole and we were away on 40m SSB with 9 watts (Wot, no SOTA calling frequency?) and Sid, G6UT was quickly in the log from his club station in Harlow.

As the clouds gathered again, the really exciting bit followed with 2 way QRP CW QSO’s with Yann F6LAW on 40m and then with German stations on 30m.

With better weather and we might have stayed longer, but this was late May and the hail stones at our feet and the stinging nettles we dropped our coax plug into suggested hometown and we returned, more quickly and safely, by the scenic route.

A great experience and, for me, really exciting to see how a portable operation can be mounted quickly, given organisation and planning.  Something elemental too about being outside with 9 watts, a simple dipole and real QSO’s.

The radio used was a Discovery 500 and was incredibly quiet with the signals standing out beautifully from the speaker mic and no need for earphones.

Big thanks to Chris for patiently guiding this SOTA novice through the experience: I’m off now to find some batteries for the KX3 and .. work on my fitness!

PS Don’t be misled by the apparently balmy conditions in the photos – only tough hombres could have survived the hail stones and cold driving rain we experienced as the squalls blasted through!!

Easter Contest Fun at Wythall Club

May 11, 2022 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Contest, Fun, News

Wythall Radio Club’s eagerly awaited Easter Contest Results are out!!

Keeping up his excellent track record, Jim 2E0BLP is the winner of the 2m / 70cm FM Section and the G6ZDQ Shield with 800 points, well clear of Simon G4TVR in second place. 

Clive M7OCB was the leading Foundation operator in the 2m/70cm section, and third equal with Pete M5DUO.

In the All Bands/Modes section, Chris G3YHF is the winner of the G0ICJ Shield with 364 points.  Ian M0LQY was second (only 12 points short!) and Chris G0EYO in third place.

During the contest, Stuart M0SRZ, Clive M7OCB and Chris G3YHF scaled Walton Hill – a local highpoint – and activated it for SOTA (Summits on the Air) points.  

It was a lot warmer than their previous activation, and contacts were made with Club members as well as other stations.

The picture shows Clive on 2m FM using his wire J-pole slung from a 7m SOTA mast, and Chris trying to get some cw qsos on 40m using an FT817 and 40m inverted V dipole from an 8m SOTA mast.

Sadly, Jim 2E0BLP has announced that he is going to retire from serious club contest efforts.

We thank Jim for his enthusiasm over many years. 

Jim has won the Easter contest more than any other member, is a joint leader of the Christmas Contests with Kev 2E0NCO, and overall has won more club contests (11) than any other member – ever!!

The photo shows Jim receiving the Trophy for winning the Christmas Contest 2m/70cm section from Kev.

We hope Jim will continue to be on the air during future contests with his reliable signal, even if he’s not making a serious entry! 


Update on Wythall Radio Club Training Programme

March 23, 2022 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun, News, Training

We have paused our Foundation and Intermediate Training Programme due to recent RSGB syllabus changes that require major updates to our training materials.

There is an update from Chris G0EYO, our Training Coordinator, and suggestions for alternative providers on our training page (click here).

Activity Weekend Fun at Wythall Radio Club

March 02, 2022 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun, News

Having fun with RF!’ – was how Wythall Radio Club members spent last weekend.

The Club’s Activity Weekend brought members on to the bands to operate portable, work DX, try out new antennas and modes, and get the best from their gear.

Tim M0URX kindly arranged a sked with Arthur ZL1AZM so that Club members could try some early morning antipodean DX!  If conditions were good, there was a chance that Arthur’s 3 element SteppIR (see photo) would put a good signal into G-land.  

After having to move frequency several times due to QRM, both Tim and Lee G0MTN worked Arthur.  Their beams made a difference, as other Club members with wire antennas had difficulty copying ZL and couldn’t make the trip. 

Perhaps this will be possible later in the sunspot cycle!

Meantime, Clive M7OCB and Chris G3YHF had some fun out SOTA’ing to activate Walton Hill, to the west of Birmingham (see photo). 

Despite the strong wind, they erected a 7 meter fishing pole mast bungeed to a fence, supporting a homebrew wire collinear J-Pole for 2 meters and a 40 meter inverted V dipole. 

Using 5 watt handhelds, they had over a dozen QSOs, as far afield as Bristol and north Wales – and locally with Club member Don G0NES.  Unfortunately 40 meter ssb was wall-to-wall French contest, so the little FT817 wasn’t used. 

After an hour in the strong cold winds, it was time to pack up and head for home!

Operating on FT8 HF, Dave M0IFT, Jim 2E0BLP, Chris G0EYO, Ian M0LQY and Mike G4VPD were being heard all around the globe.

The screenshots show the reach of G0EYO’s 30 watts to a low end-fed wire on 20 and 15m (left) and G4VPD’s success with working DX on 10m (right).


Meanwhile, John 2E0XET/M6KET was on the key on 30m using QRP to work stations around Europe.


2E0BLP wins 2E0BLP in Christmas Contest!

January 27, 2022 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Contest, Fun, News

Jim 2E0BLP won the ‘Voice of the Midlands’ 2E0BLP Trophy in the Wythall Radio Club’s Christmas Contest 2021!

The Trophy was named for Jim’s longstanding involvement in Wythall Radio Club, and until recently he often topped the 2meter/70cm section of the contest.  This time, his 96 QSOs with 30 Club members over the 7 day contest knocked Kev 2E0NCO in to second place after several years at No. 1!  Miles 2E0YZW was in third place.

In the ‘all bands and modes’ section, Don G0NES made a spectacular charge to first place.  He secured this with 75 contacts with Club members and a clean sweep of the band, operating and mode bonuses.  

Don secured the maximum 450 band bonus points by working Club members on 160m, 80m, 40m, 10m, 6m, 4m, 2, 70cm and 23cm!  The 23cm qso was achieved at the last minute with a borrowed handheld, and saw Don gradually driving closer and closer to David G7IBO’s qth to bring him in to range to secure those elusive 50 extra points!

He also gained the maximum 300 bonus points with QSOs on all modes – FM, SSB, CW, FT8, Network Radio and Digital Voice – and the maximum 100 by operating portable and mobile!

David G7IBO and Chris G0EYO came second and third.

In our ‘Top Scoring Foundation Licencee’ section, Sylwia M3SSP came first in the 2 and 70 category and Clive M7OCB in the ‘all bands and modes’ section.

Some Wythall Club members braced themselves for the cold, and operated portable and mobile.  

Clive M7OCB (photo left) and Chris G3YHF spend a chilly 40 minutes at the top of Lickey Hills using handhelds and a 3 element SOTA beam.  Lee G0MTN and Sylwia M3SSP visited the site a few days later and grabbed some QSOs (photo right).

Chris G3YHF was out ‘bicycle mobile’ around Wythall on several mornings, while other members operated /M from the comfort of their cars! 

QSOs between Club members averaged over 100 per day, with over 30 members active, demonstrating the Club’s motto of ‘having fun with RF’! 

Attention now turns to a February activity weekend and the Easter Contest in April.


400+ Squares Worked on 6M in 2021!

January 10, 2022 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Contest, Fun, News

Over 400 squares were worked by Lee G0MTN and Mike G4VPD on 50 MHz during Wythall Radio Club’s 2021 ‘6 meters and up’ Challenge!

The map shows contacts as far apart as Japan and central America!  

Lee achieved 461 squares, just pipping Mike on 447, both making great use of FT8.

Impressive results were also achieved on the other bands.

Mike G4VPD worked 94 and 87 squares on 4 and 2 meters respectively, while Simon G4TVR achieved 18 and 12 squares on 70cms and 23 cms respectively.

Keep tuned to those higher bands during 2022 and see what can be worked!