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Archive for March, 2018

Another Fantastic Hamfest!!

March 26, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Hamfest

Almost 500 radio amateurs visited Wythall Radio Club’s 2018 Hamfest. 

Visitors arrived from as far away as Devon and Cambridge – and the sun came out, too!

There was plenty to offer our visitors, with 39 traders in 4 halls.  And our Club room was packed to hear Chris G7DDN’s talk on network radio.

Thanks to Wythall House for letting us use their facilities, our traders, Burger Bob for his tasty refreshments – and our Club helpers, especially Warwick G4WMH for his skill in winching Radioworld’s van and three cars off of the soggy grass!




Parking at Wythall Hamfest

March 17, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club

There’s lots to see at this year’s Wythall Hamfest – with 39 traders, 110 tables, 4 halls, food, a licensed bar, Chris G7DDN’s talk on ‘network radio’…. and more!

Here is important parking news for your visit on 25th March.

The recent prolonged heavy rainfall means that on-site parking may be limited due to water-logging. 

We will do our best to accommodate as many cars as possible on-site, but please be understanding if we have to ask you to find a location nearby where you can park legally and safely, especially as Silver Street will be coned off by the Police (as in previous years).

Please consider sharing cars where you can.

Thank you!  

Your Wythall Hamfest Team



Tanworth Scouts on the Air!

March 15, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club

Talking on-air to a Danish amateur was one of the highlights when Wythall Radio Club hosted 1st Tanworth-in-Arden Scouts.

Operating from Sjaelland Island, Denmark, Frank OV1CDX very generously exchanged greetings messages with all eight Scouts on 40m SSB, even though he was being called by many stations.  

Thank you, Frank!  You gave the Scouts a real buzz!!

Here’s Pete, M5DUO, in QSO with Frank.

They developed their skill in copying SSB for the first time, and on the noisy 40m band, as a result of a practice session with David, G0HVN, on the Club’s much quieter 2 meter FM channel earlier in the evening.

The eight Tanworth Scouts spent the evening with us training for their Communicator Badge.  The Scouts used QSL cards to identify country prefixes, learnt about propagation using WebSDR and moon-bounce, and started logging amateur stations – they need 25 for their badge. 

We also talked about JOTA and introduced the opportunity to study on-line with the Club for a Foundation licence.

We wish ’73s’ to Caitlin, Alex, Sean, Thomas, Izzie, Daisy, Erin and Olivia, and Scout Leader Karl!  And we look forward to hosting the second group of Tanworth Scouts next month!

Jamie’s amateur radio takes him far!

March 14, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun

Wythall Radio Club member Jamie, M0SDV is off on his travels again!

Jamie, who is still relatively a youngster at the tender age of 17, will shortly be operating from Bonaire, a small Caribbean island in the Leeward Antilles.  

From March 24 – 25, he will be joining an international team of operators for the global ‘CQ WPX (Worked Prefix) Contest’. 

The team – who in addition to Jamie include Philipp DK6SP, Steve PJ4DX, Peter PJ4NX and Bert PJ4KY – have been allocated the call sign PJ4V.

Good luck, Jamie!  More news as we receive it!



Special lecture at Wythall Hamfest

March 12, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun, Hamfest, News

What is so different about this HT?

Wythall Radio Club is pleased to announce a special lecture at this year’s Hamfest.

Club member Chris G7DDN will be giving a talk entitled “Network Radios – The Next Big Thing?”

If you’ve not heard of Network Radios, then this would be a good time to find out what all the fuss is about – if you have heard of them, this is a good opportunity to lean more and even have a bit of a hands on!

Chris’s writings on the subject have already created a bit of stir in the Amateur World. Extracts of his articles are being featured in upcoming editions of Practical Wireless magazine. You can read Chris’s musings on Network Radios here and here, if you want to gen up before the day.

The lecture will take place in the Wythall Radio Club shack at 11.00am on Hamfest day – Sunday 25th March.

Another good reason to come along this year!

Wythall Hamfest latest update

March 11, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club

Wythall Hamfest is well and truly full, report Wythall Radio Club. 

All tables for Sunday 25th March have been taken. 

We welcome back Radioworld UK – one of our regulars – as well as new traders – including Sotabeams and Stick ‘n Stich.

Click here to take a sneak peek at who will be there!  Or see the panel to the right of this post.

Doors open 1000 (0930 for disabled access).  You might need to set your alarms, as the clocks go forward that weekend.

More news on our Hamfest as the date approaches, but it is looking like being one of, if not THE best, yet!


New Trader at Wythall Hamfest

March 08, 2018 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, Fun, Hamfest, News

As part of an occasional series, we are featuring some of the new traders you will see that this year’s Wythall Radio Club Hamfest

The SNS Workshop near Wythall

Stick ‘n’ Stitch are a local embroidery company who produce, among other things, the Wythall Radio Club Polo Shirts and other clothing. 

In addition they produce other promotional items such as mugs. 

Wythall Radio Club members have been pre-ordering purchases from Stick ‘n’ Stitch, as there will be a limited amount of embroidery they will be able to do on the day, due to time limitations.

If you are interested in having your callsign on a piece of clothing, why not have a look at their website and pre-order too?

Remember the Wythall Hamfest is on Sunday 25th March at 10am. Don’t miss it!

No frozen toes at Wythall Radio Club!

March 06, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club

This could have been the operators meeting at Wythall Radio Club’s usual Friday-morning-in-the-shack during the current snowy spell…..

…. But we instead we met up on the air!!

John M6KET sensibly called a postponement.  And rather than meet in person we had some CW qsos on 80 meters, involving Club members John M6KET, John G4OJL and Chris G3YHF.

We then adjourned to 2 meters FM and had additional contacts with Club members Jim 2E0BLP and Pete M5DUO/M.

That /P in the snow does look like a novel kind of ‘fun with RF’, though!  Maybe next year! 

Network radio – can we afford to ignore it?

March 04, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club

“Network radio expands our hobby”, Wythall Radio Club members were told at a talk by Chris G7DDN

This growing network of handheld and mobile radios has global coverage, via WiFI and the cellular 2-4G network.

And the International Radio Network (IRN) allows licensed radio amateurs to use their mobile phones, tablets, computers or network radios to transmit RF from the many repeaters, hubs and nodes around the world. 

“It’s easy to dismiss the whole network radio phenomenon as ‘not real Ham Radio'”, says Chris, “But there are plenty of folk enjoying radio-like experiences without the necessity of transmitting on certain specific bands.”

Members of the Wythall Radio Club tried out network radio after the talk, using the free Zello app. 

“As we go further into the 21st Century,” says Chris, “I think we will see the lines between ‘naturally propagated’ signals and ‘artificially propagated’ signals blurring further.”

Read more at Chris’s blog and on Duarte, CT1EIZ’s, web-site.

Guides on the Air!

March 02, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club

There was a fun evening on the air when Wythall Radio Club hosted a visit by Girlguides from the 132nd Birmingham Senior Section.  

Sophie, Yasmin, Gemma, Naomi and Lara, with their Girlguide leader Liz, hunted satellites using a Yaesu FT-857 Radio and satellite tracking software

They used Morse Code (CW) and digital communications (RTTY) to talk to each other via FLDigi, and saw how far the Club station’s short-wave signals could reach by using the Reverse Beacon Network

WebSDR illustrated the connections between computing, physics and amateur radio.

Lee, G0MTN, who hosted the evening with Anita, 2E0DUO and Peter M5DUO, fired up our 2 meter rig and the Guides passed greetings messages to Chris, G3YHF. 

“They were very confident on the mic,” commented Chris, “and even used the phonetic alphabet to spell their names.”

“Thanks for a brilliant evening.” said Liz, the Guide leader, after the event.  

We hope to continue our co-operation…. but next we have some Scouts visiting us!  Watch this space.