On the evening of what should have been the spring junk sale 2020, postponed due to COVID-19, we had a net on GB3BN with 23 stations joining. Now, more than ever, communication is important . We did that in spades.
I thoroughly enjoyed running the net. It was fantastic to combine getting on the radio and having a club meeting. Looking back, we really did that using the technology we love. At 8pm, I didn’t know that would happen. All I had was a beer and the radio by my side. By 10:30pm I had a list of 22 callsigns (with ticks against them, finally, to indicate signout) and it really felt like the end of a normal club meeting, or even better because everyone took part and contributed. This virus will not stop us.
Operating procedures were first class. Everyone. No exception. New M7 operators/callsigns? Flawless.
Because it was so productive, I thought I’d try and capture a few points.
Firstly, it was wonderful to be able to collectively say THANKYOU to our magnificent NHS together, on air, using BN’s huge coverage area.
- In these uncertain times, this net is a place where we can all gather on 2nd and 4th Thursdays where we would have had a face to face club meeting. To ‘check in’ if you like.
- Following on from the BATC’s support for online meetings and their offer of support for clubs, it is clear they are something RADARC needs to pursue. In particular, a number of members enjoyed Noel G8GTZ’s QO100 talk.
- Lots of practical tips for surviving the ‘lockdown’.
- Finding out about other nets (eg. G1RAF has a net on GB3TU 433.225MHz: 12:00 and 19:00 daily).
- Discussion about new conferencing technologies: eg. zoom, discord.
- Propagation news: HF, VHF. There are some signs Sporadic E is starting on the high HF bands and 50Mhz. The Poldhu net on 80m was in fine fettle.
- Virtual sharing of beer and biscuits (Jammie Dodgers no less) in the finest Reading tradition. (There should be bulbs in there also – gardening did feature).
- Updates on construction projects – reports of exploding tantalum capacitors.
- The trials of home working.
- Clarification on how the local repeaters work with CTCSS. You get a ‘T’ in morse if you’re running CTCSS, ‘K’ otherwise. Soon, I think, you’ll need to run CTCSS. see http://www.tvrg.org.uk/ for details.
- Our ‘YouTube’ channel with videos of previous talks (thanks to James 2E0JPM) is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChamISEy8HRvKmWN0-GTWpA
- Loads more. If I’ve missed anything you would like included here then please let me know.
Thankyou for a special evening.
John M5ET (echolink)