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Archive for 2018

Exam success at Wythall Radio Club!

December 22, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club

There were happy faces at Wythall Radio Club as the results of the recent Amateur Radio Exams were published! 

Jonathan, aged 16, became the youngest Wythall Radio Club member ever to gain an Advanced licence.  He has a shiny new callsign M0JSL.

He passed his Foundation exam in 2016 aged just 14, followed by his Intermediate in 2017 and achieved his Advanced qualification just in time for Christmas 2018!

He was one of seven candidates – including Club members Ian and Neil – who passed the Advanced exam.  Ian and Neil now have their new callsigns – M0LQY and M0LUH.

We also welcomed the success of Wythall Club member Miles (on the left of the photo above) and Colin (who is a MARS member, on the right above), displaying their Foundation level pass certificates. 

These were presented after they successfully completed a morning practical assessment. Both scored highly, with Miles achieving 100%. 

Miles and Colin were self-taught, but had a long held interest in CB and short wave listening. Miles now has his new M7ACN callsign, and Colin is M7CFL.

Finally, Ed M6ODQ took his Intermediate level examination on-line and passed with a high score.  He took 14 minutes to sit what was an 1hr and 25 min exam!  The photo shows the candidates hard at work on their exam!

The Foundation level assessment provides a straight-forward way to gain an Amateur Radio licence, giving the holder basic privileges to communicate with other amateurs worldwide using low power.  Foundation and Advanced exams are more complex, and give holders the opportunity to use higher power, construct transmitting equipment and operate on a wider range of frequencies.

These results reflect the commitment of the Wythall Radio Club’s training team, including Chris G0EYO, Roger M0GWM, Peter G4LWF and John G4OJL.


Celebrating Christmas!

December 17, 2018 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, Fun, News

Wythall Radio Club members, families and friends enjoyed the annual Christmas Party at the club this weekend. 

It was a great turnout with all the tables occupied – and even Santa paid a visit!

There was much discussion over festive drinks about the various exam successes the club had achieved over the last week, together with the anticipation of new callsigns. Other members were sharing their plans to take part in the forthcoming Christmas Contest.

The American Supper highlights included the famous G3YXM Tagine, the authentic G4VPD Spanish meatballs, not forgetting the 2E0DUO roast pork.

And of course, the usual games – the skittles competition, stand-up bingo and of course the traditional raffle.

Our thanks go to Kev 2E0NCO and Anita 2E0DUO for their work organising the party. Perhaps we will see you there next year?

Pictures from Space Received by Wythall Radio Amateurs!

October 31, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun, News

Antennas were turned skyward last weekend as Wythall Radio Club members listened for signals from the ISS – the International Space Station!

Slow Scan Television (SSTV) pictures were transmitted from the ISS amateur radio station using the callsign RS0ISS. 

Keen Wythall club members tracked the ISS’s location (see map below) and received the transmissions during its six 10-minute passes over Wythall during the weekend.

The pictures commemorate important events in space exploration.

The ISS used a VHF transceiver with 25 watts output.  This provides a very strong signal on 145.800MHz enabling reception using simple equipment – signals were even received on a handheld radio with a simple whip antenna!  These SSTV transmissions are planned to fit around the ISS crew’s normal duties, so there are usually only one or two each year.

Each SSTV transmission lasted 2 minutes.  As you can see from some of the pictures, we were unable to receive the complete transmission before the ISS travelled over the horizon and contact was lost.  Compare the quality of the picture on the right with the much better reception of the same one above! 

Luckily the same pictures were transmitted on several passes!

This event continues Wythall Radio Club’s activities with space radio – for more information click here.  You can track the ISS and other satellites here and see views of earth from the ISS here.



Wythall Radio Club is Club of the Year (almost!)

October 01, 2018 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, Fun, News

Peter Waters G3OJV with WRC members Chris G7DDN, Phil 2E0WTH, Roger M0GWM, Peter G4LWF & Roy G0HDF

At the weekend, Wythall Radio Club members were celebrating again! We came runners-up in the National Radio Club of the Year Competition.

Club of the Year is run by the Radio Society of Great Britain and supported by Waters and Stanton radio retailers. Each year most clubs from around the UK compete to see who will be honoured with the title of Club of the Year.

Wythall RC has been the regional winner every single time we have entered, but we have never made it to the finals, until now!

Coming second to the excellent Essex Ham group is nothing to be ashamed of either. Essex Ham are probably the most progressive forward-looking Radio group in the country and are blazing a trail in how to re-invent such clubs for the 21st Century.

So we are very proud of our achievements and apparently we have a £250 voucher to spend in Waters and Stanton‘s store too!

What will we be getting next?

Wythall Signals from Space!!

September 26, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club

What circles the earth 400km up and is as big as a football field? 

Yes, its the International Space Station! 

Communication via the ISS’s amateur radio installation has been a focus for Wythall Radio Club members in recent weeks.

The ISS’s ‘digipeater’ (digital repeater) receives messages send by radio amateurs and re-transmits them back to earth.  Using a hand-held digital radio (see picture) and a simple antenna, Wythall Club members Lee G0MTN and Chris G3YHF exchanged greetings over the 800km path to the ISS and back.  

Careful planning is needed, as the digipeater can only be accessed when the ISS is passing over central England.  This takes place once or twice a day, and each pass only lasts 10 minutes. 

The ISS’s Russian crew have also been transmitting pictures, and these have been received by Neil 2E0LUH. 

The ISS crew occasionally use voice transmissions to call schools and radio amateurs.  We’re hoping to catch one of these rare opportunities in the near future!

This is all part of the exciting ARISS (Amateur radio on the International Space Station)  project.

Wythall goes worldwide!

September 11, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun, News

“How many different countries can you contact by radio?” That’s the challenge for Wythall Radio Club members!

Almost 700 amateur radio operators in 163 different countries have been contacted by Club members in the past month – and several of our operators have contacted 100 or more countries each. 

The map shows in green the countries one of our members has contacted.  Still a lot of countries in Africa and south east Asia to talk with!

Members are using voice, Morse code and digital transmissions in their quest to span the world! 

Some are having great success with simple antennas and low power – you don’t have to be high tech to work stations around the world!

Our Wythall Worldwide Awards competition runs for 6 months.  There are 339 different countries for amateur radio purposes so there are lots more opportunities for Wythall radio operators to reach around the world!

In memory of David G0ICJ

August 18, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club

On Friday 17th August, with other members of Wythall Radio Club, I attended the funeral service of long time member and former Treasurer David Dawkes G0ICJ. The service to celebrate the life of David was held in the Kingswood Meeting House Chapel in Packhorse Lane, Hollywood.

About 150 plus people were in attendance and the service had to be relayed onto a screen in the adjacent meeting room  as there was not enough space in the chapel to accommodate everyone. The Rev Ant Howe conducted the ceremony and I have to say it was a beautiful and moving affair, concentrating on David’s life, his family and his interests.

Mike G4VPD had the privilege of being a bearer of David coffin into the chapel. Several tributes were read out from David’s friends, former work colleagues and Wythall Radio Club members.

After the service the close family left for a private committal service at the Crematorium whilst the rest of us relocated to the Hollywood Golf Club for refreshments and were joined later by David’s family.

Whilst a sad event, the whole day was a true celebration of the life of a wonderful man, husband, father and grandfather. Jackie, Angela and Claire and their partners and children were very strong and thanked mourners for their presence and messages of sympathy.

Chris G0EYO

Wythall radio fun amid downpours!!

July 30, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club

Heavy downpours at the weekend didn’t prevent the fun at Wythall Radio Club’s annual portable radio operation and bar-b-q!

Club members participated in the Islands on the Air (IOTA) competition, contacting over 800 other stations around the world – many also operating (like us) from an island. 

Lee G0MTN and team operated throughout the 24 hours of the contest with a portable radio station – the tents proved dry and warm despite the windy wet weather outside! 

And our top bar-b-q chefs Anita 2E0DUO and Mike G4VPD were on hand to deliver excellent food. 

More fun was had when our special ‘antenna team’ replaced the Club’s old HF beam with a new lightweight version – with thanks to antenna maestros Vinnie, Craig and James. 

David Dawkes G0ICJ – Silent Key

July 22, 2018 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, News

It is with extreme sadness that Wythall Radio Club informs both its members and the amateur community at large of the passing, early this morning, of David G0ICJ.

David was a member of WRC for many years and served as a senior officer in the role of Treasurer for a long period too. A former member of the banking profession, he proved to be an excellent pair of hands when the finances of the club needed careful attention.

However, it will be as a person that David will be most remembered. David was a man for whom nothing and no-one was too much trouble.

He would often be the first person to welcome enquirers or visitors to the club; he was someone everyone in the club knew, respected and admired. He had time for everyone and a caring nature which he used to good effect, often sidling up to a member who looked a bit under the weather, whereupon he would encourage and inspire in equal amounts.

Naturally he was a stalwart at many club events, leading the Bring and Buy at the Hamfest, and helping out at many of our radio operating and social events. He was also known to newer members of the club through his work invigilating exams.

Sadly declining health in recent years meant he was unable to take part in club events quite as much as he used to, but nonetheless he was around and about even earlier this year.

David was also a member of the Radio Society of Great Britain for over 50 years and appeared in the Society’s journal RadCom, for his notably long membership of the RSGB.

All members of WRC send our thoughts to his wife Jackie and his family at this sad time. 

Rest in peace David G0ICJ SK.

Fun weekend at Wythall Radio Club!

July 17, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Contest, Fun, News

Wythall Radio Club was in full swing ‘on the air’ last weekend!

Members braved the hot weather to operate all manner of portable radio equipment and antennas and contact other stations around Europe on Sunday morning.  Operating from the field near our Club HQ, this ‘Plug and Play’ event is one of many activities Wythall Radio Club offers to its members.

Cool drinks and a camping grill kept the group hydrated and energised!

At the same time, two Club members were contacting stations around the world in an international radio competition – making over 13,000 contacts in a 24 hour period!  

Lee G0MTN and Jamie M0SDV used powerful radios and antennas on 60 foot towers, as part of the UK national radio society’s ‘M6T’ team based in Suffolk.