wythall radio club

having fun with RF

Archive for 2012

All change!

November 17, 2012 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club

A late change to our club programme this week; James M0YOM is sadly tied up abroad on work and his talk on “Filtering in the Shack” has therefore been postponed till next year. Instead, Chris G7DDN will host another of our popular “Internet Nights”.

This takes the form of a “round table” – we visit a selection of ham radio websites of which members may not yet be fully aware.   It is easy in our modern connected world to think everyone already knows about the many resources available at the click of a mouse or press of a button, but this is not always the case. You are also encouraged to contribute by bringing along useful links to sites that you may have discovered which might enhance the hobby for us all.

Last time out, a can of worms was uncovered! Several members discovered the delights of webSDRs which has enhanced the hobby for many of us. What will Tuesday night bring this time around? 2030 in the Club Shack.

It’s always worth entering a contest!

November 14, 2012 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Contest, News

Imagine your correspondent’s surprise when he received a large A4 size letter postmarked from the USA recently!

Not expecting anything from “across the pond”, it was opened with a mixture of anticipation and wonderment.  It turned out to be a certificate for a placing in the 2011 CQ Worldwide Contest for CW.

Now this was a surprise! I had forgotten entering this event, probably as I only operated for a short time and made just 19 contacts on just one band, 80 metres.  It turned out that I had won 1st place in England in the Low Power section for a Single Operator on 80 metres. OK, so I was about 4th from the bottom in the world, but as no-one else from England had bothered to enter that section, I won it! Rather a nice piece of wallpaper for the radio room, methinks!

See, it’s always worth submitting an entry to a contest. You never know what can happen!

Club Calls 2012 (G7WAC)

November 11, 2012 By: M0MCX Category: Club, Contest, Fun

We operated as G7WAC from 1,000 feet in the Cotswolds at about 2.5c. It was very cold but very amusing and great fun. A picture tells a thousand words so perhaps you might skip to the sequence below.

125 QSOs, FT1000MP, Full size inverted V 160m Dipole at 65 feet AGL. Dipole legs were cut at 37 metres each leg giving us a tune-up at 1.850. Ideally, the maths told me to cut another metre off, but we ran out of time to become operational just 6 minutes before the off at 19:54.

Operators, Stu M0NYP, Jon, M0JMM and myself Callum, M0MCX. Thanks for working us.

Are you an “Antenna” Dummie?

November 02, 2012 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, News

A strange title admittedly, but then not every radio ham is adept or as knowledgeable as they might be about antennas. That’s why, this coming Tuesday 6th November, Callum M0MCX will be telling us more about the basics of wire antennas for shortwave.

On another tack, this week’s offering is a good example of how being in a club like Wythall Radio Club can work for you. Someone posted on our internal email reflector that they needed help with an antenna and apart from getting that help, it prompted Committee Member Callum to offer one of his famous “short talks” so we could all benefit.

Most members know what we mean when we say Callum’s approach to presentations is… well… “unique”. Hence this week’s talk title, “Wire Antennas for Dummies”!

So why not come along to the Club Shack this Tuesday at 2030 to Wythall House on Silver Street and find out more? You will be made most welcome!

Club Calls Contest is Coming!

October 18, 2012 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, Contest, Fun

One of the perennial favourite contests in the RSGB Contest Calendar is fast approaching.

The “Club Calls” Contest, originated by the Verulam Radio Club, has always been a fun relaxed event on 160m. Wythall Radio Club started taking part in this contest a little more seriously over the last two years.  In 2011, our club station actually managed to finish in 3rd place and won a certificate!

This year the event is on the evening of Saturday November 10th (2000-2300) and we are hoping to try to get as high as possible in the results table, but it has to be said, we do treat the event as a fun event first!

Dave G3YXM (of “Olympics” fame – see the previous post) is our lead member when it come to this event and has been entering it in one guise or another for many years. This Tuesday at our regular club meeting he is going to tell us a bit more about the history of the contest, how easy it is to enter it and what we can do to improve our standings in the results table!

As always, it will be a fun event. 2030 in the Club Shack this Tuesday 23rd October, at Wythall House, Silver Street, Wythall B47 6LZ. See you there?

Wythall Radio Club Member thanked by Ofcom for helping during the Olympics

October 17, 2012 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, News

Dave Pick G3YXM (left) receiving the Wortley-Talbot Trophy for best technical article in RadCom from RSGB President Dave Wilson M0OBW in 2010

Wythall Radio Club member Dave Pick G3YXM has received an honourable mention from Ofcom this month.  It was for his assistance in and contribution to the success of the London 2012 Olympics. The statement from Ofcom reads “We could not have provided such a good service to our customers without (your) help”

Dave was one of the Spectrum Engineers in Ofcom’s “River Zone” team. He worked primarily at the ExCel Centre and in North Greenwich for the duration of both the Main Games and the Paralympics. He was one of 7 UK Radio Amateurs singled out for praise in the official statement made by Ofcom, which has been published in the November issue of RadCom, the Radio Society of Great Britain’s monthly journal.

Needless to say, Wythall Radio Club is also very proud of the work Dave did during the Olmypics.  Dave is well known to many via his regular LF column in the RadCom magazine, as he is also one of the UK’s foremost authorites on LF (Low Frequency) design and operation.

The Good News just keeps coming…

October 16, 2012 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, News

Hot off the press from our esteemed Treasurer, Ian M0IDR…

Martin Lynch and staff awaiting Wythall Radio Club’s arrival!

“The paint was hardly dry on our new Kenwood TS590S when yet more good news arrived from our friends at Martin Lynch and Sons. Wythall Radio Club has won the MLS raffle which ran for the duration of the National Hamfest! Our prize is a very generous £600 gift voucher to be spent on goodies at Martin Lynch’s shop!

Our sincere thanks go to Martin, who not only gave us an unbeatable deal on our new TS590S but has now given the Club the opportunity to add further value to the Club Station. We will enjoy spending the voucher and we are already browsing the pages of the Martin Lynch website to choose some goodies!”

Wythall Club Members visit RSGB Convention

October 15, 2012 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, News

Peter Hart G3SJX’s talk on HF Transceivers

The annual RSGB Convention is a weekend of lectures and demonstrations with some good Ham Socialising added in! It was good therefore to see a few members of Wythall Radio Club getting down to Milton Keynes this weekend just gone to visit this prestigious event.

Tim M0URX with Chris G7DDN

Many friendships were revisited or even made anew.  It is surprising how many faces one is able to put to callsigns at the Convention. More specifically, Chris G0EYO was seen lurking on the Saturday while Chris G7DDN and Tim M0URX were even pictured there together on the Sunday! We even had some exciting news for the Club from Martin Lynch, but more of that in a day or two.

Perhaps next year we can expect a few more visitors from the club to make the short journey to Buckinghamshire for what is a superb programme put on by our National Radio Society.

An excellent weekend!

Another new licensee!

October 11, 2012 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, News

Chris G0EYO congratulates Roy Friar (right)

Wythall Radio Club’s training programme continues apace. A handful of candidates continue to study the Advanced License Course every Monday evening throughout the Autumn under the tutelage of lead instructor Chris G0EYO, but meantime, we have had yet another successful Foundation License Pass!

Roy Friar is the latest in a long line of folk to pass the Foundation License at Wythall and the happy candidate is pictured here with Chris G0EYO receiving his pass slip.

Roy will be doubtless foaming at the bit to get his callsign from the Ofcom website just as soon as he can! Meantime, we hear through the grapevine that he is yet another person who we will be seeing regularly at club nights – a little bird has even mentioned that he may be interested in starting to learn Morse Code! Tuesdays at 1945 Roy!

The “Perfect Mobile Radio” from Atlas Inc.

October 10, 2012 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, News

This coming Tuesday, Wythall Radio Club welcomes a speaker almost “white hot” from the RSGB Convention, Mark Hill G4FPH.

Mark is a friend of the club, often helping out at our annual Radio Rally, and has visited us before, educating us about such concepts as remote operation (interestingly, this coming Sunday, the RSGB Convention gets the benefit of his knowledge on that subject!)

A nice example of an Atlas 180

On Tuesday 16th however, Mark is coming to visit us at Wythall to share his encyclopaedic knowledge of the “Perfect Mobile Radio from Atlas Inc.”

Atlas radios are part of the venerable history of Ham Radio and Mark will doubtless be showing off some fine examples and explaining what HF mobile radio was like in the early days of Solid State Transceivers. Not to be missed – Tuesday 16th October at 2030 in the Darts Room in Wythall House, Silver Street, Wythall B47 6LZ