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.
This weekend (15-16 June 2019) it’s time for another “Exercise Blue Ham” event – Exercise Blue Ham 19 on 60 metres. The RAF invites all full licencees to take part and make contact with their special callsigns.
While researching for club talks, I ran across the following link regarding the tropo scatter system used in the 1970s/1980s with eye watering ERPs. A few members will know about this system, however many new to the club may not:
14th Feb Woodford Park meeting is a chance for us to catch up on the various projects/activities we’re up to – in particular any follow ups to the Great Construction Contest but not limited to that.
If you’d like a short (5 minute or so) slot let me know.
Doesn’t have to be stuff – could be contest updates or how RADARC
contributes comms to events like 3 towers etc.
Also – what would you like to see and I’ll try and arrange?
We can take contributions on the fly on the evening if need be.
Min G0JMS will kindly bring along a RigExpert HF to VHF SWR meter (Digital display) RigExpert to show you and VHF to UHF swr power meter (Cheap unit) which includes frequency. He will also do a brief demo of Yaesu Fusion – Wires X technology RF paths permitting.
If necessary, I’ll bore you for a few minutes before the bottles and
tomatoes start flying:
Geostationary satellite project – es hail 2. Mike G4CDF (and possibly others???) is making the running on this one but I will present on his behalf a very short overview. iirc it’s 2.4GHz up and 10GHz down. tx/rx is based on an SDR transceiver (lime sdr mini).
Adventures with FT8 internals and taxi radios (generating FT8 tones by pulling a carrier around) – update. TBH anything that generates a stable carrier and can be pulled a bit maybe down to 1Hz resolution looks like it might work – eg. voltage controlled oscillator.
cheap RTL-SDR dongles (£15 delivered). Mine does work but probably better to get the real ones rather than fakes like mine.
short gnuradio demo (maybe)
We’ll have the ICOM IC7300 out for people to have a play with and the spectrum analyser.
Tea, coffee and biscuits will be in plentiful supply all evening.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Website for the Reading And District Amateur Radio Club