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Archive for March, 2014

Curry Night at the Monsoon

March 31, 2014 By: G7DDN Category: Club, Fun, News

We are very fortunate that,very near to Wythall Radio Club, lies possibly one of the best Indian restaurants in the area! The Monsoon is very popular with families all around South Birmingham and people travel for miles to visit it for a meal out.

Since Monsoon is just a short walk from the club HQ, it is no surprise that the members of Wythall Radio Club use it for a regular social evening! 2014-03-31 20.07.43

For those who don’t know, the social side of being in an Amateur Radio “family” like this is really important. For example, every Friday several of us meet for nibbles and drinks in the club shack; our Field Days and Training days are also excuses for more food and drink; and then every last Monday of the month, as this evening (pictured!), we descend on the Monsoon in force and present the staff with the difficulties of catering for 15 or so hungry radio hams! It all helps the bonding between members.

Just another part of life at Wythall Radio Club – albeit one that has too many of us going on diets so we don’t end up more “shack-bound”!

Having fun with CQ WPX!

March 30, 2014 By: G7DDN Category: Club, Contest, Fun, News

Wythall Radio Club’s Contest training day yesterday proved to be a real success!

We achieved our goal of providing an opportunity for club members relatively inexperienced in HF contesting to have a no-pressure guided play on-air. It was particularly encouraging that so many of our Foundation Licence holders and newer club members got their first taste of the huge event that is the CQ World Prefix Contest.

Getting on for 20 members worked many countries including Australia, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Ceuta and Mililla, China, the Netherlands Antilles, Palau, Puerto Rico, Sardinia, the United States, Venezuela, and West Malaysia.

Special mentions go to Dawn M6UDY, John M1JSS, Kevin M6NCO, and Terry G7NWA who all really got stuck in in a serious way! Dawn M6UDY worked Australia with 100w to our club doublet, and Terry G7NWA, who has recently returned to the hobby, was running a pileup of USA stations on 15m just before we pulled the big switch late into the evening.

What with a fantastic takeaway meal as well, all eating around one of the large club tables, a great time was had by all, participants and spectators alike! The question we are being asked now is, “When’s the next one?”

Contest Training Day

March 28, 2014 By: G7DDN Category: Club, Contest, Fun, News, Training

Many Wythall Radio Club members enjoy the radio sport of contesting. It is fun, after all, to test your station and your operating skills against other radio enthusiasts, whether locally, in the UK or worldwide. Yet taking part in a contest can seem pretty daunting for newcomers to the hobby, even downright frightening for many more experienced ones too!

udy-jss

Club husband & wife team, Dawn M6UDY & John M1JSS operating the Elecraft K3 in a recent pile-up

With one of the largest world contests taking place this weekend on most of the shortwave bands, it seems like a good time to help folk improve their Radiosport operating skills and give members a taste of the excitement that is radio contesting.

CQ WPX (World Prefix) is the training ground and the Wythall Club shack and equipment are the weapons of choice. This is not a “serious” entry, just a great opportunity for members to be helped in how contests work, learn how to operate logging software and try to to improve one’s technique so as to get maximum enjoyment (and maybe points too!) from the activity.

Starting at 1300 tomorrow, Saturday 29th March, come and join top UK contester Lee G0MTN and a few other club contesting maestros for some hands-on fun! Mistakes are very welcome as that is one of the ways to learn, so don’t be shy.

We will be on the air until at least 1800 when we intend to finish the day with a mass takeaway of all world cuisines to match the world-wide contacts we will have made! With all the fun going on and it being a 48 hour contest, I wonder what time we might finish though?

2014 Tower Maintenance

March 27, 2014 By: M0MCX Category: Club, Fun

25 years ago, the permanent antennas, rotator and coax runs at Wythall Radio Club HQ in Silver Street, Wythall, were installed on a retractable 40 foot tall Versatower in the backyard of Wythall House.

Since then, other buildings have sprung up around the House and Park where we meet – all this means that tilting our tower over for maintenance purposes can be a little more difficult than in the past – but not impossible, as you can see in the pictures!

On tower duties today, Mike G4VPD, Dave G3YXM, Jon M1JSS, Stuart M0NYP and Andy M6CYY with Rob 2E0MEX acting as official photographer! It looked like a cold day!

Ascending to new Heights!

March 23, 2014 By: G7DDN Category: Club, Fun, News

This week, the members of Wythall Radio Club are looking forward to reaching new summits in the pursuit of our Amateur Radio hobby! That’s because our visiting guest speaker this week is representing the “Summits on the Air” programme.

SOTA

Radio + stunning view = happiness, SOTA-style!

Summits on the Air” is an Amateur Radio award scheme that promotes getting outside onto high spots around the country (and indeed the whole world!) and making contacts. There is a lot to “SOTA” as it is known and this Tuesday, Wythall Radio Club welcomes Brian G8ADD to tell us a whole lot more about it.

With (hopefully!) warmer weather coming this summer, some of us will be persuaded to give getting involved in SOTA a shot. In any case, it will be fascinating to learn first hand just how the scheme works. For those of us less active, there are still ways we can take part in SOTA and enjoy the activations of hills that others make.

Our guest, Brian G8ADD says,”Worldwide, SOTA currently has nearly 100 Associations in around 50 countries, with almost 3,500 activators and about the same number of chasers. Close on 20,000 summits have been activated so far totalling well over 2 million contacts!”

It should be a really fascinating evening, so why not pop along to the Darts Room at Wythall House this Tuesday? The talk starts at 2030 and you can find Wythall House on Silver Street, B47 6LZ. Can’t wait!

New callsigns

March 20, 2014 By: G7DDN Category: Club, News, Training

It is with great pride that we can now reveal how Wythall Radio Club’s recent exam successes have translated into new Amateur Radio callsigns.

Examinees

Jamie, Gavin, Kevin, Darren & Craig all now have their M6 callsigns and are getting on air!

From our Foundation batch of students, 14-year-old Jamie Williams  is now M6GDI, Gavin Weston is M6GWG, Kevin O’Reilly is M6KOR, Darren Meehan is M6UDM, and Craig Wright has his call too!

M6LTE

Is he “KID”ding us about his callsign? :-)

Our self-studying Intermediate, George Ifrim is now the proud owner of 2E0KID and is sure to be instantly recognisable on the air with a callsign like that!

All the members of Wythall Radio Club congratulate our latest batch of students on their successes.  That won’t be the end of it though – there is another batch of Foundation students who have been doing their studies online and they are gearing up to take their exam on Saturday 29th March – we hope for yet more successes to report on soon!

Radio Contesting

March 16, 2014 By: G7DDN Category: Club, Contest, Fun, News

There is a very popular section of the Amateur Radio hobby known as “Radio Sport” or “Contesting”. The idea is to make as many (accurate!) contacts as possible within a specified time period. It is something which appeals to many Wythall Radio Club members!

OH8X

Some stations will be using antenna arrays like this one at OH8X! Phew!

To get us in the mood to have a go at a big contest, our “top gun” Radio Sportsman, Lee G0MTN, is putting together one of his famous presentations to enthuse us to all to take a shot at entering the next large-scale event –  the CQ Magazine World Prefix Contest (known as CQ WPX). It takes place on the last weekend of this month.

This year we thought we would have a go at something a little different – Lee is going to use the Saturday of the contest as a kind of “Beginner’s Guide to Contesting” workshop using the WPX event as a practical training ground. We will be training all afternoon and hope to finish the day off with a traditional British curry! This will be a fantastic way of learning the “how to’s” from some of the club’s top guns!

To explain more about how the day will work, Lee will reveal all this Tuesday night at our regular club meeting. So if you have little or no idea what the “contesting” bug is like, why not come and catch it at Wythall House, Silver Street, B47 6LZ this Tuesday at 2030? You will be very welcome!

2014 Wythall Rally Success

March 09, 2014 By: M0MCX Category: Club, Fun, News, Rally

Fantastic weather has helped to make this year’s Wythall Radio Rally an unqualified success!

Traders began arriving in glorious sunshine from 0700 this morning and, helped by the enthusiastic members of Wythall Radio Club, it wasn’t too long before all the stalls were ready. Bacon Rolls from our caterers helped the morning go quickly and before long it was 10.00 and opening time!

DSC_0051-1000

Traders were seen making brisk deals, visitors were caught between the many offerings on display and wanting to stop to catch up and chat with old friends – and despite our inability to use the school playing fields for our car park, the vast majority of visitors were very understanding and helped make today’s event the undoubted success that it was.

Thank you one and all, traders, visitors & hard working Wythall Radio Club members – we cannot do it without you!

Enjoy our pictures of the day below – maybe you can spot yourself in one of them? Also our latest club newsletter with longer stories is now available here!

Good weather for Wythall Radio Rally

March 07, 2014 By: G7DDN Category: Club, Fun, News, Rally

With one of the wettest Winters on record behind us (fingers crossed!), members of Wythall Radio Club have been heartened by the change in the weather forecast for the annual Wythall Radio Rally this Sunday.

It seems it is going to be a really sunny, even warm(!) day for our big event, which takes place at Woodrush School in Shawhurst Lane, Wythall B47 5JW.

sunshine

This year, the Radio Gods are blessing us with weather like this!

Sadly the better weather isn’t coming in time to allow us the luxury of parking on the school playing fields. They are still saturated from the drenching we suffered this past few months!

Street parking is the order of the day then, so have a look at our local area on Google Maps and follow the instructions on the day from our team of intrepid car parkers.

We will have refreshments available so that you can get a warming breakfast before the doors open at 10am.

Members are very excited about the rally this year and we will be pulling out all the stops so that our many traders and visitors have a memorable day out.

We hope to see YOU there!

Yet more exam successes

March 04, 2014 By: G7DDN Category: Club, News, Training

Examinees

Jamie Williams (age 14) , Gavin Weston, Kevin O’Reilly, Darren Meehan & Craig Wright – our latest Foundation successes!

In amongst our hectic preparations for this weekend’s Wythall Radio Rally, it must not be overlooked that Wythall Radio Club’s training scheme has once again produced another batch of successful entrants to the hobby.

M6LTE

Self studier George Ifrim M6LTE will soon be a 2E0

Last night, our 5 Foundation Course Students all recorded passes at the first time of asking (three with 100%!). If that wasn’t impressive enough, one of our other members, George M6LTE, passed his Intermediate Exam, having undertaken most of the course as a self-study module and working with our trainers on the practical modules.

All the members of Wythall Radio Club extend our warmest congratulations to all 6 students, pictured here. We very much hope you will enjoy the hobby and also enjoy being part of the great Amateur Radio fraternity of which Wythall Radio Club is proud to be a part.

The excitement isn’t over yet though – there will be a new raft of callsigns coming to these folk, maybe by the end of the week. It’s going to be a rally to remember for our intrepid six!

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