John Turner (ex-BG Group) joins us once again with an insight into the oil and gas industry to give us a view of the key process at the heart of most modern refineries: “Fluidised Bed Catalytic Cracking”. About 30% of the world’s petrol comes from this process. The talk will give an insight into the various parts of the process by someone who spent many years designing, upgrading, operating and optimising this strategically important plant. You can guess who that is.
If you’ve not seen John before, he’s an entertaining speaker. Given the technical challenges faced keeping such volatile substances safe, there should be some good stories. Not something you’d want to get wrong.
So…if you want to hear about excellence in engineering here’s where to be:
Venue: Woodford Park Sports Centre, Haddon Dr, Woodley, Reading RG5 4LY
Time: Thursday 11th Jan 8:00pm
Refreshments to be served as usual but with safety precautions probably not at a level acceptable to BG group. I’m sure John will tell you all about that. Won’t be quite as good as the nosh we had at the AGM (Min G0JMS/James 2E0JPM truly excelled themselves there) but hopefully the biscuits will be acceptable.
On the 11th of march I bought a Simoco SRM9000 from Mike G4CDF. (Thanks Mike!) I finally had a 4 meter rig and he also let me borrow a 4m loop to get me started until I could make my own. I was pretty much working to get it all setup as soon as I arrived back home.
First question when putting any amateur station together is of course how on earth will this all go together and where can I put it?!
The antenna itself is not small and would not be the kind of thing I can just hang in my window. It also has a pole fixed to it for mounting vertically with a horizontal spacer between it and a mast. This made things more difficult as it could therefore not just be laid down on a first floor roof ridge which is close enough to my shack. Instead I settled for persuading my parents to let me stick my military fibreglass mast up on the corner of the house. Amazingly, it blends in quite well and just looks like a piece of guttering down-pipe that is rather small…. Oh and it also has a large chuck of metal hanging off to one side!!
So I have an antenna sorted and a mast for the antenna to go on. I setup the radio connected to the power supply that I have running my other radios on the desk and it immediately sprang to life. Great… I have a radio, an antenna, a microphone and speaker and power. I knew I was missing something.
Next problem – how to get coax into the shack without drilling holes in the wall or doing anything else that seems to annoy my parents! So here is my solution:
It got a little cold last night because the window is now open just a crack for the coax to come through so i enlisted the ever useful duct tape method!!
Finally I was ready to get a QSO on 4m so I then experimented with all the buttons and I think I hit scan and heard Alison G8ROG doing a test. I quickly replied and sort of knew that I would manage to contact her given we are just across the valley from each other. Perfect 5/9 signal!!!
I was given various pieces of advice including about the local nets and events throughout the week and frequencies (Thanks Alison!!)
The important ones to remember are:
70.425 – Local net frequency
Nets are on Tuesday evening’s at 20:30 and most members are from RADARC but it is not exclusive.
GB2RS news is also read out on a Sunday morning with a net on the same frequency afterwards.
Vertical Polarisation is the norm but some use horizontal
So my next steps now are to re-program the radio and have a browse through the settings and of course join in the nets regularly.
If you are interested in getting into 4 meters then there is a wealth of knowledge within the club. Just come along to one of our meetings and ask! We will be happy to help!
The RADARC Annual General Meeting was held at Woodford park on Thursday the 8th of December. A great evening was had by all and was kicked off by Simon M0ZSU, and we started with a Chairman’s report. Overall the club has had its challenges over the last year however we have managed thanks to the brilliant help from volunteers from the rest of the membership.
We have a thriving membership of 87 members and we have been growing steadily.
Over the last year, a team of volunteers from the membership have formed a new group that was to take over the organisation of meetings. This worked out well even with the shift of Simon to being Chairman after the unfortunate loss of our previous Chairman, Pete Milton, G8FRC.
We also now have a new website setup by James 2E0JPM which will bring us new functionality and options for the future.
Our plans for a club shack are also still on the table and we are looking to re-start this project soon.
We plan to have much more variety and new styles of talks/evenings in the coming year and hope that we can develop the club to entice new members, young and old.
The New committee was confirmed with a vote by membership lead by Nick Challcombe. All of the committee have been “sworn in” for another year. The new (and old) committee were thanked with a large round of applause from the membership.
Overall, we as a committee would like to say thank you to the membership for their support and understanding over the past year. It has been a struggle but we have coped well. We look forward to the next year, 2017, and hopefully we can grow the club and the hobby.
Join us throughout 2017 for new and exciting talks!
At the end of the AGM we had the Trophy and award presentations and finally Cheese and wine!
On Wednesday the 23rd of November a group of members from RADARC headed down to find out more about the Reading Hackspace, known as “rLab”.
Upon arrival at the small industrial area in the centre of Reading, a small unit with nothing more than a door and a couple of windows sits quietly in the otherwise dead industrial area.
It is 8pm and we approach the door to be greeted by a member of rLab. They led us up the stairs and told us that there would be someone around to give us a tour. My first thoughts… WOW…
The first room we came to was the electronics and desk area. People are sat working all around the room on everything from CAD designs and soldering through to Hard disk recovery and coding. We instantly started asking questions and getting to know a little bit about the group.
Once someone became available we were led around the building being shown all of the awesome equipment, tools and machinery they have there. It was one hell of an eye opener to see that this whole community runs off membership donations and kindness. There were lathes, laser cutters, 3D printers and much more.
We then went back upstairs to the electronics/workbench area and “mingled”. There were some people playing around with LED light boards, clocks, Raspberry Pi’s, Arduino’s, Hard disks, coding on (very) old hardware and much more. We got a demo of the laser cutter which was seriously cool too!
All in all it was a very nice evening and we all look forward to getting to know the hackspace community. We hope that they will also come to find out more about RADARC in the near future. As always, everyone is welcome!
Stay tuned for more posts about our events in the future!
This is my personal page to remember which things need fixing/changing before this site is finished and ready for use.
Contact form email to send to. The email address that the contact form sends to is currently not set or is set as a personal address.
fix calendar API problem
check settings and confirm correct security settings
add users for all main members/committee/admins
It is worth developing a policy on usernames for committee members etc so it is obvious who it is.
Look into adding members to the system without them having to register.
gallery? create one using a plugin or just forward access to a proper gallery at something like gallery.radarc.org or www.radarc.org/photos etc.
Sharing settings: social media accounts for the club? im happy to run a twitter account if we want it? this will raise profile of club and allow integration to wordpress to post on twitter when there are new posts.
New pictures for committee members for the committee page
contact forms for any other aliases we want
Sift through all other info on the old website and copy/re-instate on new site
do we want to move “old news” into an archive? if so… where… how?
continue to port all history over
For sale page? or just leave that to be posts in the main feed…. (probably best like that)