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Archive for the ‘Fun’

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 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!

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.  

Exam successes at Wythall Radio Club!

July 15, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun, News, Training

Nine happy students passed their Foundation exam at Wythall Radio Club.

Congratulations to Terry, Tim, Marcin, Mo, David, Darren, Andy S and Andy W, and Paul!  We hope to hear them on the air soon with their new M6 call signs.

The photos show them completing their practical assessments, and three of the successful candidates – Paul, Darren and Andy.

We expect that some will want to progress to the Intermediate course offered by Wythall Radio Club’s training team.  And some of the graduates from this course have recently signed-up to study for their Advanced amateur radio licence!

Perhaps there are more aspiring radio amateurs out there who would like to study our on-line courses? 

Further details are on the Wythall Radio Club web site or visit the Club which meets every Tuesday evening from 8pm at Wythall House, Silver Street, Wythall!

Wythall Fun Run almost here!

July 04, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun, News

Runners and Wythall Radio Club members are getting ready for Sunday’s Wythall Fun Run 2018.

Over 20 members of the Radio Club will be providing communications and helping to marshal the event.

The Fun Run is a big draw for local runners and families.  Radio Club members always turn out in force, and use their skills and equipment to help ensure a successful and enjoyable day for all! 

 

GB3WL back on air

June 05, 2018 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, Fun, News

Wythall Radio Club is pleased to announce that GB3WL, our 432Mhz repeater is now back on the air. 

Thankfully the the flood damage was not too severe and power has now been restored. 

Indian Ocean island contact!

April 24, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun, News

‘Chasing a DXpedition requires a certain amount of commitment!’ writes Wythall Radio Club member Tim Beaumont MØURX.  ‘A little studying of what the team’s priorities are, a close eye on the propagation to decide your best band choices and a little bit of luck along the way!’

Here’s his report of chasing 3B7A operating from the tiny island of Saint Brandon in the Indian Ocean.

‘Saint Brandon in the Indian Ocean was last activated 11 years ago in 2007 when we had similar low sunspot conditions and poor radio propagation.

So to contact 3B7A on high frequency (HF) I was going to have to work them either early in the afternoon or later afternoon around tea time. With no sun spots and a Solar Flux Index of just 67, propagation doesn’t get much worse than that!  

Saturday morning I had seen them spotted on DXCluster on 20m, 17m and 15m, but nothing was heard here. 

I came back after a couple of hours and they were still working North America on 15m phone.  Then silence….  Just a brief “3B7A – stand by 5 [minutes]”…. I set my transmitter 8 KHz up from their frequency and poised my foot over the radio foot switch, ready for them to get back on air.  

It seemed an age and I wondered if they had just changed bands or mode? I decided to stay put… then “3B7A listening all stations 5 to 15 up”. The adrenaline starts pumping…. “Mike Zero Uniform Radio X-ray” hoping that the DX was also listening on the frequency I was calling…. “M0URX you’re 59” . I reply quickly “59 TU [Thank you]”

Wow, it doesn’t often happen like that, right place right time and luckily the pile up was sleeping at the re-start. By 6pm 3B7A’s HF signal quickly dropped and was lost for the day.’

Read Tim’s full report here!

 

Radio fun in southern Spain!

April 05, 2018 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun, News

There was plenty of radio fun during Wythall Radio Club member Mike G4VPD’s recent holiday on the Costa Brava.  

On the way to a local Spanish restaurant he noticed a portable radio setup in the church car park just a couple of hundred yards from his holiday villa.

The operator was Kico EA5GPC.  ‘We stopped and introduced ourselves – using a mixture Spanish and English’ reports Mike.

‘It turns out he is a taxi driver in Benidorm and had travelled to Javea to operate from its church in a ‘Work all the Province’s Churches’ radio contest (Diploma Ermitas).  He was doing pretty well ’till we interrupted him!’.  He had made over 100 contacts in just over an hour on 40m using his homemade dipole and counterpoise vertical mixture.

He welcomed the interruption and requested some photos be taken so he could prove to the contest organiser that he had been operating from the church!  Kico’s the right and Mike’s on the left.

Any amateurs visiting Benidorm should keep an eye out for Kico’s taxi.  It’s the one with the HF mobile antenna!

Besides this face-to-face contact, Mike also experimented with digital communications using FT8.

‘It took some time to get the software to transmit the digital tones via the USB cable of my mate’s (G8NOF) Kenwood TS-590 but I got there in the end!’ comments Mike.

‘There was very little to be heard on the 20m or 17m SSB (voice) frequencies, but the world was alive on the digital (FT8) frequency of 14.074 Mhz!’

During the morning he made digital contacts with New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Siberia, India, the Middle East states, South Africa and more, using only 50 watts.  Then in the early evening he contacted stations in the Caribbean, USA, Canada, Venezuela, Brazil – to name just a few.