wythall radio club

having fun with RF

Archive for November, 2014

Preparing for Christmas – early!

November 30, 2014 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, Contest, Fun, News

Now December is almost upon us, the thoughts of many a Wythall Club member start to turn to the annual “in-house” Christmas Contest.

This event, probably the most popular in the Wythall Radio Club Calendar, started from small beginnings and has now become a major feature of members’ Christmas Celebrations. Some amateurs have been known to join our club just to take part in it!

The idea is to work as many members as possible every day from 2000 on Christmas Eve till 2000 on New Year’s Day.  It is not quite as straightforward as it seems though and there are bonuses to be gained for using different bands and modes as well as going portable, mobile and operating from each other’s houses! Phew!


The G7OJO Trophy & the 2m Trophy

The eventual winners are presented with the G7OJO Trophy (for all bands) and the 2 Meter Trophy (for members using 144 MHz only.)

This Tuesday 2nd December, there is a presentation by Contest Supremo Lee G0MTN about the history and development of the Contest and on the innovations introduced in recent years, which will include more on the latest updates to our fantastic logging spreadsheet and some online goodies to increase the fun level during the holiday season.

It will be a fascinating evening for sure. So be there at 2030 this Tuesday 2nd December in the Club Shack. It will be full, so arrive early!

Hog Roasts & Bargains!

November 26, 2014 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, Fun, News


Some of the motley crew of Wythallians from 2013’s Hog Roast!

You could be forgiven for thinking that the members of Wythall Radio Club are only interested in food, what with curry nights, barbecues and “nibbles” nights as regular features in the club diary… (actually a few of us like a drink or two too…)

However, this Saturday 29th November, it is not our turn to be the host but to be the visitors. That’s because it is time for our annual trip to Chertsey to visit our friendly Ham Radio dealer Martin Lynch and his family and staff.

Every year Martin puts on a bacon sandwich breakfast and a “Hog Roast” lunch for any radio enthusiasts who wish to visit his shop in Surrey. Last year we had a fantastic time, enjoying the company of friends old and new, as well as inadvertently purchasing too much radio equipment! And this Saturday will actually see the last of these events – well, only at the current premises – MLS is moving across the Thames, so we hear!

So expect to see up to a dozen or so Wythallians winging their way down the M40 once again this Saturday morning.  We are already looking forward to seeing many old friends – and the local bookmakers are taking no further bets on Wythall members returning with something substantial in their car boots! That, for once, really is a dead cert!

Hog Banner

PSK31… and Beyond!

November 20, 2014 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, Fun, News

You could be forgiven for thinking that the members of Wythall Radio Club are going Digital-mad! Hard on the heels of our recent successful D-STAR events, we now are turning to HF and “digimodes”.

What’s more, with our infamous internal Christmas Contest getting ever closer, there will be bonus points for using HF Digital modes. So it is just as well that our resident Digimodes Guru, Callum M0MCX, will be helping us out a little this week.

“PSK31 and Beyond” is the title of Cal’s presentation this coming Tuesday in the Club Shack. He will take us through a plethora of easily usable HF Digital modes and give us a beginners’ guide as to how to get on the air, simply, inexpensively and with no fuss – and it will done in his own inimitable, fun and entertaining style!

Make a date for Tuesday 25th November at 20:30 at Wythall House, Silver Street, Wythall B47 6LZ and let’s get digital!


D-STAR Delights

November 15, 2014 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, Fun, News, Training

2014-11-15 14.27.05

Just a few of the Wythall Members learning to have fun with D-STAR

Wythall Radio Club members turned out in force today for the Club’s first ever D-STAR Workshop. No less than 17 members attended for the hands-on day, led by Chris G7DDN.

Following a presentation on Digital Radio and D-STAR in particular, the group were led through the basics of operation (and some of the quirks!) of using this Digital means of communication. The workshop went well over time, not finishing till 1530, such was the enthusiasm of members present.

Our special thanks to our friends at Icom (UK) Ltd, who helped with leaflets and materials for the day.

The overwhelming sentiment by the end of the day was one of excitement and enthusiasm for making more of D-STAR, so expect to hear more Wythallians having fun with Digital RF before too long!

2014 Club Calls report from G0WRC

November 09, 2014 By: M0MCX Category: Club, Contest, Fun, News

The “G0WRC” WYTH team went /P this year to Paul Marland’s farm at 1,000 feet, a couple of miles south of Broadway Tower. Just 95 in the log this year which is a wee bit lower than we’d wished for. The good news is that three club members operated, all at different “contest” skill levels so overall, a very good show and a super experience.

We used a tuned dipole at around 50 feet with a manual coax tuner to increase the bandwidth. I had made a 25 turn RG58 balun on a 4.5 inch former prior to the event which failed – probably a rubbish connector. Dropping the mast (in the gale!) and taking that out of line was the only option.

Rain and cold hampered us but the wind dropped in the end which gave us a break by the end of the contest. Tearing the station down only took one hour and we left by midnight.

As well as myself, M0MCX, I thank M0RKX & M0JMM for running the rig- and double thanks to M0NYP and 2E0NCO for helping out and letting me shout at them in the gales as we guyed out the mast!

Many other club members were heard and worked including our Club Station, GX4WAC, our Top Band experts; G3YXM and Chris G7DDN and also Simon G4TVR, who seemed to be running hard and fast. I also heard Chris G0EYO and Rob 2E0MEX. I know there were others from WYTH and I’ll unpick the log sometime to work out who was on.

73, Callum, M0MCX

More fun with D-STAR!

November 04, 2014 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, Fun, News, Training

index_img_0Following the success of our recent talk on “Getting Started in D-STAR”, where close on 40 people turned up, Wythall Radio Club is now pleased to announce a “Hands-on” Workshop day.

On Saturday 15th November, Chris G7DDN will be in the club rooms, taking members (and visitors) through the steps of programming for D-STAR and how to get the best from the D-STAR ecosystem.

There will be plenty of opportunities for Questions and Answers and with Wythall House bar open across lunchtime, there should even be some drinks and snacks available.

The day will start at 1100 and go on till about 1400 or 1500, or whenever people have had enough. Our friends at Icom UK have also promised to send some giveaway goodies to make the day go well.

If you are interested in taking part, please register for the day with Chris G7DDN who is at [email protected] and remember to bring your radio if you have one – we already have around 15 delegates booked in and there may have to be a limit!

Preparing for the Club Calls Contest

November 02, 2014 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, Contest, Fun, News

Is it really that time of year already? When the members of Wythall Radio Club start getting into gear for one of their favourite events of the year? Well, yes it is!

CC Cert

Can we get a higher placing than 3rd place this year?

The RSGB’s annual Club Calls Contest is almost upon us again. It takes place next Saturday evening and requires as many members as we can persuade to get out a signal on 160m.

Wythall Radio Club have finished 3rd for the last two years in this event, but not too many points behind the winners. So maybe this year…?

This Tuesday evening’s meeting at the club will be hosted by Dave G3YXM, our resident 160m expert and veteran of this contest. He will be taking us through the rules of the contest and what our strategy will be to try to get higher in the placings this year.

Should be an inspiring evening, so feel free to pop along to Wythall House, Silver Street, B47 6LZ anytime from 1945 on Tuesday – we will start the meeting around 2030 down in the shack.

Perhaps we will see you there?

Helping at the Wythall Bonfire

November 02, 2014 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, Fun, News


Marshalling means you don’t get the best view, but at least you get a view!

It doesn’t take much to enthuse the members of Wythall Radio Club when it comes to “having fun with RF”.

Our hosts and landlords at Wythall Community Association put on an annual Bonfire and Fireworks display at Wythall Park and each year the call goes out for volunteers to help with marshalling the thousands of people who come to enjoy an evenings out with their families. Well…  …any excuse to get the handheld radios out and play with RF at the same time as helping out in the community!

It’s not the first time the members of Wythall Radio Club have been doing that this year – regular readers of this website will recall the fun we had in the Summer assisting with communications on the Wythall Fun Run.

The weather may not have been as warm or bright, but much fun was had with RF and AF last night. So it’s a big thanks to the 9 members who turned up to help out. The evening finished with a few drinkies in the shack, so we did get warm in the end…