GB3BN net summary 9th April 2020

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)

Bill G4WJS

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)

Gareth M7GRB

Vin G4JTR (-100)

Gary G4ELD

Thanks to Bill for the signal reports on the input.

Next net: Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 8:10pm GB3BN

73

John

G4RDC

GB3BN net 8pm 26th MARCH – A Summary – thankyou!

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.

Other:

  • 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.

73

John

G4RDC

The net:

Bill G4WJS

Dave G0TKV

Graham G3XYX

Michael M0MPM

Jim G0LHZ

Tom M0LTE

Mike G4CDF

Simon M0ZSU

Nick G0LGG

Sergei M0TLN

Gareth M7GRB

Vin G4JTR

Denis G4KWT

Tom 2E0YGW

Robin G4IWS

James 2E0JPM

Chris G4CCC

Guy 2E0GDC

John M5ET (echolink)

Sean 2E0ZIP

John M7IJV

Loz G2DD

John G4RDC

Apologies for getting any callsigns wrong. Now you can see why. The raw material for this post.

Resources

Repeaters

The RSGB has basic information on using repeaters here:-

https://www.ukrepeater.net/operating.htm

Accessing repeaters is detailed here:-

https://www.ukrepeater.net/access.htm

Table 1 below shows the closest repeaters to where the club meets. If you live elsewhere you can go to https://www.levinecentral.com/ham/grid_square.php and enter your postcode to find out your grid location. Then go to https://www.ukrepeater.net/repeaterlist1.htm?filter1=analogue and enter your grid location and click on [km] to filter by distance.

There is a useful app called ‘RepeaterBook’ for Android and Apple devices which uses your location and shows the nearest repeaters to you of the selected type.

One thing which has caught me out is that new repeaters are required to support CTCSS however they often also support the 1750Hz tone burst. When CTCSS is used to access them then they are also required to output CTCSS. The mistake that I made was configuring the radio with the CTCSS tone for send/receive. I was missing some transmissions and the radio was indicating a CTCSS mismatch. This might have just been the the regular beacon they transmit but it might have been someone talking which used the tone burst to access. Switching my Yaesu from ‘T SQL’ to ‘T ENC’ resolved this issue.

Table 1
List of UK repeaters closest to IO91nk which is the grid containing the Woodford Park Leisure Centre.

IdOutputReceiveMode
A=FM
F=Fusion
LocKmDegWhereCTCSS
GB3BN433.0000434.6000AIO91OJ7129BRACKNELL118.8Hz
GB3RU433.2750434.8750AIO91LK11270READING118.8Hz
GB3FM1297.05001291.0500AIO91OF23166FARNHAM100.0Hz
GB3FN433.3750434.9750AIO91OF23166FARNHAM82.5Hz
GB3FX50.810051.3100AIO91OF23166FARNHAM82.5Hz
GB3RD145.6750145.0750AIO91JM24292READING118.8Hz
GB3AL145.7375145.1375AIO91QP28037AMERSHAM77.0Hz
GB3AU433.1750434.7750AIO91QP28037AMERSHAM82.5Hz
GB3AM50.840051.3400AIO91QP28037AMERSHAM77.0Hz
GB7NT430.9250438.5250AFIO91IJ29261NEWBURYunknown
GB3DI433.1500434.7500AIO91IN32296DIDCOT118.8Hz
GB3GF433.3000434.9000AIO91RF32135GUILDFORD88.5Hz
GB3NE145.7625145.1625AIO91HJ34263NEWBURY118.8Hz
GB3AW433.2500434.8500AIO91HH37248NEWBURY71.9Hz
GB3TU433.2250434.8250AIO91PS38017TRING HERTS77.0Hz
GB3SN145.7250145.1250AIO91LC38197ALTON HANTS71.9Hz
GB3HR433.3500434.9500AIO91TO39062HARROW82.5Hz
GB3AV433.0500434.6500AIO91OT42008AYLESBURY118.8Hz
GB3BV433.0250434.6250AFIO91SR43041HEMEL HEMPSTEAD82.5Hz
GB3VA145.7000145.1000AIO91LT43345BRILL118.8Hz
GB3XP145.6875145.0875AFIO91VJ46095MORDEN82.5Hz
GB3WH145.6500145.0500AIO91EM52280SWINDON118.8Hz
GB3HO430.8875438.4875AIO91TB54140HORSHAM88.5Hz

Logging & QSL

I use https://www.qrz.com/ for looking up callsigns as it seems very popular and it is nice to see a bit of information about the person you are speaking to in addition to being an additional check you have recorded their callsign correctly.
If you sign up you should be able to get someone else to add your callsign to the database. If that doesn’t seem to work or you prefer you can go onto their forum and provide basic information and someone there will add it for you. It took a couple of days for someone to update my callsign so that it was associated with myself correctly. Once it is all setup you can update some information about yourself and use the online logbook.
If you prefer windows software then I have played with ‘log4om’ which seems pretty good. If you want it to automatically post to qrz.com then you need to subscribe to at least the qrz.com xml logbook package which is around $30/year. Personally I just use qrz.com but if you are using HF and have a link to the computer so log4of can read the radio settings and are making a few contacts then I can certainly see the benefit in it.

Although using the qrz.com logbook you can request confirmation you don’t get any form of QSL card. The RSGB offers a bureau service (https://rsgb.org/main/operating/qsl-bureau/) but a lot of people seem to use an electronic version like https://www.eqsl.cc. Basic access is free but you can pay for various additions such as bronze membership which enables you to upload your own custom card design plus additional benefits.

Tom M0LTE Suggested https://www.magicbug.co.uk/cloudlog/
“You mention logging, which reminded me – for anyone interested in logging, might I also suggest Cloudlog, a modern web app fit for this decade, which has just been launched as an inexpensive subscription service (previously your only option was to install it on a webserver of your own – you can still do that for free but it’s hardly worth the hassle for £4/month).”

Other Links

There are various web based SDR’s that you can use to listen on different bands at various points around the world. http://websdr.org/ is a very good list and the Farnham one can be accessed at http://farnham-sdr.com/

http://www.echolink.org/ is a system where you can use a PC or an app on a mobile phone to link to other Echolink devices. You do need to upload your Ofcom certificate to get the account validated but I found this was very quick. Other devices can be other users, groups or even repeaters.

73

Gareth M7GRB

Junk Sale (26th March) postponed

Dear Members,

For reasons I am sure you can guess, we have decided to postpone the junk sale scheduled for the 26th March. As you know the room is always packed, and with various things changing hands it would prevent a high risk of spreading the virus. We are sorry about this and I myself am disappointed, but, we are hoping to be able to reschedule it later in the early summer.
Unfortunately the lectures planned for April will also be postponed for similar reasons, but again we hope to run the same lectures later in the year or early next year.
As we are radio amateurs, we hope to make use of this to stay in contact and socialise over the air waves, so we will be announcing at net to take place at the time when we would usually have a  ‘pass out’ so at least we can still chew rag!

We will send out regular emails with any further news.

Take care, and good health to all of you, do keep in touch.
73 Simon M0ZSU

6 more intermediate passes!

I am delighted to announce further intermediate level success at RADARC.

Left to right:

Graham Walker, M7MRG

John Holden, M7AHY

Kim Hiscock

Ray Brown G3SCZ (RADARC training guru)

André Broodryk, M7VWB

Graham Aisbitt, M7GRA

James Wynne

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.

RADARC Secretary.

Solar orbiter talk postponed

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

GB7PY Repeater Stolen

Some unfortunate news from our friends over at Cambridge Repeater Group:

[DMR Repeater] GB7PY has been stolen from Madingley, Cambridge, on 23rd December at approx 2115hrs.
Repeater info:
Motorola SLR5500 UHF:
Model: R10QCGANQ1AN
Tanapa : PMUE4392AA
Serial: 478IRW1189
Also stolen was a Teltonika RUT950 4G router:
IMEI on the Router ends with 6502, which has been network blocked and will therefore not work on any network now.
Any information, please pass to Cambridgeshire Police quoting crime reference number 35/92597/19.

Obviously this is a significant loss for the group. Can members please be on the lookout for this equipment through the various channels, and should anything come to light please do the right thing and pass on any details as requested, however insignificant it may seem.

Website for the Reading And District Amateur Radio Club