We are deeply saddened by the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts are with the King and the whole Royal Family at this sad time.
With immense sadness, I must report the following from Judith Bedwell, Graham’s wife. UPDATE 27th July:
You will be pleased to hear the celebration of his life was very well
attended both in general and by RADARC members. I suspect there were many BBC folk there too. The church was full.
“It is with great sadness that I write to tell you that Graham passed away on 9th July 2022, having had a severe stroke on 6th May.
A service of thanksgiving for Graham has been arranged as follows:
Venue: Rose Street Methodist Church, Rose Street, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 1XS
Date: Wednesday 27th July 2022
Should you wish to attend, you would be most welcome to help the family celebrate Graham’s 80 years of life. As you probably know, Graham didn’t like formality, so we would encourage you to attend in bright and casual clothing.
We would ask you not to buy flowers, but would welcome any donations you might wish to make to one of two charities close to Graham’s heart; the RNLI (The Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and Action for Children.
Any donations in Graham’s memory may be made via:
Tel: 0118 978 4040
Please note that parking is limited in the car park adjacent to the church and in Rose Street itself, but there are two public car parks a short walk across town off Easthampstead Road (East Car Park, RG40 2EG and Easthampstead Road West Car Park, RG40 2EH).”
Chris G0JTN writes:
Where ever you are I hope you are keeping all the PAT testing up to date and that all the PA systems are working well. I will miss our evenings about this time of year going through all your collection of excellently maintained audio gear. Inspection and test was always an important part of your maintenance regime keeping the equipment in tip top condition. The club benefited greatly from your outside broadcast skills that you learned at the BBC.
You will be greatly missed.
Brett 2E0HFW writes:
If there was a film in the style of Oceans 11 of Radio Amateurs, Graham would be in it.
And like the film, Graham was one of the “A listers” in the local amateur club and brought with him many specialist skills. For starters he was a technical master in broadcast audio and above all an amazing Story Teller.
Graham had lived his life to the max, travelling the world and meeting many people, which gave him the material for many stories, which he would entertain us with on club evenings and nets.
One such net runs on 80m on a Tuesday morning, which I listen to occasionally. Once the net had finished today I popped up just to say my good bye to him, in the hope he was listening on his new fancy radio in heaven.
RIP Graham. You will be missed.
“He was involved in a few different scout events that included Amateur radio, we had the RSGB satellite Van at Wings in Windsor park a week of International Scouts visiting the station, think he also did JOTA as well as many years at three Towers checkpoints including East Isley” — Ian G6IZA
From Charles Coultas:
During the pandemic, my doorbell rang. I gingerly opened the door and there stood Graham Bedwell, portable short wave receiver in his hand squealing away. Graham lives about 150 yards, line-of-sight from me. I got to know Graham through my work at Bletchley Park computer museum.
“There’s something broadcasting a strange noise on about 3.5Megs, and it seems to be coming from here.” he said.
“Well that’s very unlikely” said I, I am not an amateur but I do have have lot of electronic gear running in the house.
He stayed outside (distancing regs of course) while I went upstairs and started turning things off. He suspected a Chinese wall-plug power supply, I have lots of these. Eventually there was a triumphant shout from the open front door:
Graham: “That’s it, what did you turn off?”
Me: “The digital class D power amplifier that was driving two long unscreened cables to two loudspeakers”
Graham: “Well don’t turn it on again please!”
Me: “Very sorry, I now realise that class D amps modulate a carrier, up towards the megahertz region”
Graham: “Hmmph, that’s all right”. He walked back to his house standing a little taller.
Graham was a passionate defender of the airwaves – He cared deeply about the hobby and in particular, that the bands should be clear of man-made noise for the benefit of other amateurs.
That was the last time i saw Graham, my love and best wishes to Judith and his friends.
Ian Alderton G6IZA:
“He was involved in a few different scout events that included Amateur radio, we had the RSGB satellite Van at Wings in Windsor park a week of International Scouts visiting the station, think he also did JOTA as well as many years at three Towers checkpoints including East Isley”
From Simon G6ZTZ:
A photo of Graham “Ace” Bedwell (as he was known).
With Keith Burton on the right and Stanley Unwin centre
Colin M0XCA writes:
“Such sad news. I have often listened to Graham on the radio and the RaDARC Nets and will miss hearing him and his BBC memories.”
Graham was always someone I aspired to. Immensely talented and well known for his love of all things audio, it may be less well known his knowledge of radio and RF generally was second to none. Always miles ahead of me, his wit was always a pleasure to experience either in person or on air. But a kindler, gentler soul you could not wish to meet.
Graham was ever generous, particularly in his support for RADARC for which we owe a huge debt of gratitude.
RIP Graham. You will be missed.
We are stunned to hear of the sudden loss of Bill G4WJS:
“Sad news and so suddenly for him to be taken from us. I remember when Bill moved to Stokenchurch and his tower went up and I spoke to him just before we moved from that high location. Bill treated everyone the same and would help with his knowledge, a sad loss to us all. “ — Min G0JMS
“A most helpful gentleman. I had several contacts with him on the Bracknell 70 CM repeater using a Baofeng BFT-1 mini walkie talkie on the Sunday 1700Z net. SK was most unexpected. DE G4ELD“
“That is very sad news indeed, he helped me a lot and he was always available. Even when his status on Discord was set to offline he was often still monitoring and answering. I worked him many times from home and from S5 in different modes, not just FT8, and only last week we discussed possible solutions to my windows-10 laptop crashing repeatedly. He will be missed,R.I.P. Bill G4WJS” — Michael M0MPM
“Bill was humble yet definitive at the same time! He is very well known in Amateur circles because he got involved in lots of conversations with new and old amateurs a like. You’d not necessarily know, that this man was instrumental in one of the leading digital modes that is used by many ham radio enthusiasts on the planet. Bill made his mark in so many ways. He is a seriously clever bloke! His depth of knowledge and understanding of a myriad of topics was outstanding. When Bill gave an opinion on something, you’d get the feeling that he had played through the thought process that came to the decision like a master chess player. Checkmate every time. Bill really knew his stuff. He was very kind with sharing his knowledge. He held strong to things he believed in. Bill was a star. The shiniest of stars, but he wouldn’t subscribe to that opinion of him. He would just carry on shining. ” — Brett 2E0HFW
“Bill helped me with many activities including testing my new 2m and 70cm antennas, my first MS contacts and my first EME contacts. He even persuaded me to try a 2m Ionsospheric scatter contact (yet to be achieved). We had lots of discussions both on the air and via Discord and Zoom. Bill was a true inspiration. RIP Bill” — Mike G4CDF
“I first met Bill around 20 years ago when he moved to Stokenchurch and became active on the VHF Bands. We had a common interest in VHF dxing and Contests. Bill was degree educated, Chemistry if I remember correctly, but worked as a Software Engineer for local companies. My background was in mechanical engineering, so we were able to readily exchange ideas. During the following years we did many contests together from 160m to 70cm with the Maidenhead Amateur Radio Club of which we were both members and of which he eventually became Chairman. Following the clubs demise, we both joined the Reading club of which he was an active member until his death.
During our early exchanges I mentioned that I was using a piece of software called WSJT which had originally been given to me in 2002 at the Prague EME conference and updated at subsequent EME conferences. We spent many hours discussing this and my hardware disasters trying to use it. Following a call for help by Joe Taylor sometime around 2008, we discussed how he may be able to help. That led to his involvement with the WSJT-X program.
Bill had endless patience and had the unique ability to resolve issues over email in a way that very few people could. I remember one evening, we were doing a Pub Quiz, in the interval he was answering questions posed to him on the WSJT reflector, and there were many, all answered with the same patience and understanding.
More recently during the recent SV5/HB9COG EME dxpedition, there was a problem with the way Q65 was treating compound callsigns, Bill was able to remote into my shack PC and effectively sit on my shoulder and see what was going on in the software that was causing the decoding problem.
RIP Bill, you will be fondly remembered. ” — Dave G4RGK
Terrible news, hugely shocking. In amongst the tributes flooding in, there is a very touching tribute from Paul G4YKQ on the WSJT-X mailing list which I would like to draw people’s attention to: https://wsjtx.groups.io/g/main/message/30558. On November 14th, Bill sent the following photo of the birds on his mast to the antennas channel on the club’s Discord. It stood out from the noise to me somehow. I wanted to share it a little wider, I hope you don’t mind. — Tom M0LTE
Bill said “Getting to that time of Year when the Starlings really like aerials to perch on.”
Whilst most will know of Bill through WSJT-X, we were privileged to see many different sides to Bill. He loved amateur radio in all its forms. This shone through in his contributions to the club. He was equally at home encouraging newcomers or working through some tricky technical issue with the most experienced members on anything from RF/electronics to propagation queries. His knowledge and experience were truly vast.
As has been noted elsewhere, his clarity of thought was legendary. This wasn’t just evident technically. My phone QSOs via GB3BN with Bill when out walking were a delight. It’s a measure of the man that he could go to the most technically rarefied areas of the hobby such as weak signal work at VLF but still be quite happy to have a chat on 70cm FM.
It goes without saying his contribution to to WSJT-X is vast terms of code written. More often that not, Bill would be “pulling a release together” or working through some tests – never the easiest of tasks. His diligence and thoughtfulness in his support work speak for themselves.
Bill loved writing code. Any software engineers out there know what I mean. To this end, he had a few projects lined up involving microcontrollers, FPGAs and DACs. It’s impossible to believe they won’t now happen.
I only ever know Bill through local QSOs or through online media such as video conferencing or the club online discussion forum. His presence was always such that I can hardly believe this is the case.
A star that shone so brightly.
Update 29th January 2022
Bill got a great sendoff yesterday at Amersham. A beautifully conducted service by a close friend, we learned of Bill’s other passions including fast cars (preferably being driven by him), real ale/beer, sailing, scouting and the great outdoors. A difficult day for everyone (I can certainly attest to that) but a get-together at a fine establishment in Bolter End provided a chance for us to support each other and celebrate his life. I’m not sure Bill would approve of the “celebration of him” bit, but he would certainly would approve of us all enjoying a drink together.
The Reading area Sunday 4 metre net will take place at 9:30am on Sunday 27th December. Usually it follows the RSGB news. There is no RSGB news.
Look forward to hearing you here!
Wonderful to hear so many people on BN again. Here are a few of the salient points:
Great discussion about birds and wildlife. Some thoughts there may be changes in red kite behaviour in that they may take small prey. Robin G4IWS reports on turf wars over his nesting box; nuthatches involved. Graham G3XYX reports it’s great to hear the song thrushes in full voice.
Lots of projects on the go, too many to mention – Tom M0LTE using ammo cases as enclosures/housings; Loz G2DD looking to calibrate his power meter. Simon fixed an IC260 2m rig – dead ‘OR’ gate CD4071 IC I think it was and is now being driven mad, like me, by a microwave modules transverter.
Big shout out to Gareth M7GRB for supporting our carers by 3D printing face shields.
On that front, remember there’s the RSGB ‘Hope’ QSO party (can’t remember who mentioned that): https://www.rsgbcc.org/hf/rules/2020/rhqp.shtml
Min G0JMS has had a shack tidy, or so he claims 🙂
A possible talk we could look into is Dud Charman G6CJ’s Aerial Circus – or recreation thereof.
Dave’s WIRES-X/Yeasu fusion gateway MB6IOX is there for all to use (https://www.ukrepeater.net/my_repeater.php?id=3214). Min and Gary G4FLY also have gateways.
A source of RF noise found and summarily shot: a talk talk router and possibly a USB charger.
John bemoans the lack of the old GB3RAL beacons (28.215, 40.050, 50.050, 60.050, 70.050)MHz and GB3BAA on 50.016MHz and 70.016MHz and wonders if RADARC might be able to support at least getting something back on air in the lowband VHF region.
Here is the full cast list, with signal strength in dBm on the BN input at Bill G4WJS’s location in Stokenchurch (where recorded):
Tom M0LTE (-125)
Graham G3XYX (-109)
Chris G4CCC (-103)
Mike G4CDF (-118)
Chris M1CYE (-128, then -120)
Michael M0MPM (-122)
Jim G0LHZ (-125)
Simon M0ZSU (-121)
Andy M7ANR (Fleet) (-124)
Loz G2DD (-128)
G4ZRZ (sorry – didn’t get a name, could have been via echolink)
Robin G4IWS (-119)
Min G0JMS (-99)
Dave G0TKV (-102)
Vin G4JTR (-100)
Thanks to Bill for the signal reports on the input.
Next net: Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 8:10pm GB3BN
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)
I am delighted to announce further intermediate level success at RADARC.
Left to right:
Graham Walker, M7MRG
John Holden, M7AHY
Ray Brown G3SCZ (RADARC training guru)
André Broodryk, M7VWB
Graham Aisbitt, M7GRA
Ray’s T-shirt says ‘I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you’. Clearly both activities happened with great success so well done to all!
A particular thank-you to Ray for all the preparation and hard work that goes into making events like this happen – also to everyone supporting him.
Callsigns to be updated in due course.
73, John G4RDC.
Chris Brockley-Blatt is unwell so the Solar Orbiter talk planned for this evening is postponed.
We will still meet at Woodford park for a natter night and chance for anyone to do a short talk if they wish.
We will also have a go at the 50MHz UK Activity Contest
Speaking with Mark from rLab at the recent Reading tech group meetup, we were discussing “MEMS” or “Microelectromechanical systems”
These are tiny mechanical systems on chips.
These devices are available for us all to play with now! Nanotech is with us. I’m getting old!