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having fun with RF

Archive for the ‘Fun’

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.

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!

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!

Latest Wythall Radio Club Newsletter out now

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

Wythall Radio Club Newsletter Editor Chris G0EYO has informed us that the March edition of the Club Newsletter is out now.

Click here to see a copy or follow any of the newsletter links on the left sidebar of this site for more information.

We hope you enjoy your latest read!

Network Radios – The Next Big Thing?

February 23, 2018 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, Fun, News

Scary Radios? Find out on Tuesday!

Another fascinating talk is in store for you at Wythall Radio Club this coming Tuesday.

Chris G7DDN is giving a presentation entitled “Network Radios – The Next Big Thing?”

There has been a buzz in recent months in certain parts of the Ham community about these devices. Many have not even heard of them or understand what they do.

Chris will be trying to take the lid off the can of worms that is Network Radios – and in so doing he tells us he has found some real challenges they pose to the very nature of the hobby.

According to Chris, “It will be a talk that will, in turns, enthuse, provoke, annoy and fascinate you – and it will challenge what it means to be a Radio Amateur in the 21st Century”

Sounds scary – be there in the Club Shack at Wythall House B47 6LZ this Tuesday 27th Feb at 8.30pm to find out more… Visitors welcome, as always!

REMINDER – Special Talk this Friday!

February 21, 2018 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, Fun, News

Just a reminder that Steve Venner from Martin Lynch & Sons is visiting Wythall Radio Club this Friday 23rd February.

Steve is bringing the very eagerly-awaited new IC-7610 SDR from Icom with him to the club.

Apart from listening to Steve’s stories of “Life on the Other Side”, what a fantastic opportunity to see one of the latest ham radios close up and have an unfettered play! 

Remember, the talk is at 8pm (earlier start than usual!) in the Darts Room at Wythall House, B47 6LZ and visitors are welcome!

I’d get there for 7.30 and get a drink from the bar & reserve my seat, if I were you. :)

Icom IC-7610 coming to Wythall

February 16, 2018 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, Fun, News

Further to the news that Steve Venner from Martin Lynch & Sons is visiting Wythall Radio Club on Friday 23rd February (see previous post), we have some additional news to add.

Steve has informed us that he will be bringing the very eagerly-awaited new SDR from Icom with him to the club.

What a fantastic opportunity to see one of the latest radios close up and have an unfettered play! We wonder if we can persuade him to forget to take it back with him… Hmmm…

Remember, the talk is at 8pm in the Darts Room at Wythall House, B47 6LZ and visitors are welcome!

Exciting talks coming up!

February 14, 2018 By: Chris G7DDN Category: Club, Fun, Hamfest, News

Steve G0TAN with his best friend, an IC-7300!

Advance notice for a couple of events coming up at Wythall Radio Club before the end of the month. 

Programme Co-ordinator John G3VRF explains, “On Friday 23rd February, Steve Venner G0TAN, Engineering Workshop Manager from Martin Lynch & Sons is driving up from London to give us a talk on ‘Life on the Other Side’.

He’ll be talking about issues encountered when repairing equipment and why some of that equipment needed repairing in the first place!” Sounds fascinating!

Please note this is a change of evening from our normal schedule, so pop Friday 23rd Feb in your diary and see you in the Darts room at Wythall House B47 6LZ at 8.00pm. Visitors, as always, are welcome.

Following that, on Tuesday 27th Feb, Chris G7DDN will be doing a presentation on “Network Radios – The Next Big Thing?”  This is a fascinating insight into how the latest technology is expanding the range and scope of Amateur Radio. It will also touch on exactly what Ham Radio may look like in the 21st Century. Chris will be giving this talk again for visitors to the Wythall Hamfest on Sunday 25th March, so if you cannot make it on 27th Feb, don’t despair, there is a repeat!

We look forward to seeing you at these events. If you are first-timer, please feel free to come along unannounced – we will give you as warm a welcome as we can!