RADARC branded clothing / accessories

Announcing the grand opening of the RADARC official tat shop!

We have today launched an online store with a wide selection of goods proudly showing off the RADARC logo.

Caps, polo and tee shirts, hoodies, coasters, mugs, water bottles, phone cases, stickers and more – we’ve got it all. Items are made on demand by the shop supplier and not handled by the club.

The store is set up as a non-profit store, that is, the club does not take a margin on sales, and nor is there any cost to the club. This is just about getting the word out there and looking your finest!

Visit the online store and make your purchases today at https://radarc.myspreadshop.co.uk

15% off for the first two weeks!

CW National Field Day 2023

NFD 2023 Report by David Honey M0DHO

Setup started at 10:00 Saturday in sunny conditions on a different field from our usual one. Setup went well, and we seemed to be operational by about 13:00. Initial testing of Jim’s automatic switched dipole showed it was working as expected on all bands. So it seemed like we we’re going to be gremlin free. Spoiler alert – that wasn’t to last!

Conditions seemed good on 15m and 20m, but with 5W QRP, it seemed to be a struggle to work on 15m. A few hours later, on trying to open the multipliers window on the 1st laptop, Win-Test crashed, and any attempt to open the contest file resulted in Win-Test crashing. Panic! Fortunately the 2nd laptop had its own replicated copy of the contest, and I was able to export Cabrillo, share it across the network, create a new contest file on the 1st laptop and import. However, about an hour later Win-Test crashed again. I decided to switch to DXLog which fortunately was installed on both laptops. Exported the log again from 2nd laptop, and imported into DXlog on 1st laptop. The Win-Test crashes lost us about 30 minutes operating. DXLog was mostly trouble free.

Late in the evening, we tried 160m, but this time, the antenna would not tune as it had done earlier. Investigation showed that the switch box at the end of one of the 80m ends was not working – it must have failed in some way. We found that if we bypassed it, the auto ATU at the feedpoint would tune OK for 80m and 160m, so we had a workable solution. That probably lost us about 15 minutes operating time. So in total, these various gremlins cost us 45 minutes.

Conditions were variable. 20m was a solid band for us. During the day, 40m seemed more of a struggle, but was better in the early morning and late evening. Conditions on 80m and 160m seemed OK – it was nice not to have heavy static crashes on those bands that sometimes plague NFD.

But there seemed to be fewer German portables, and less activity on both lower bands than I remember from previous years. Perhaps we were a little late switching to the low bands. There had been good signals on 15m when we started, but it seemed to be struggle to be heard with 5W. The only significant opening on 10m was on Sunday. There was Es around, but not often to southern UK.

Operators rotated mostly around Jim G0LHZ, Michael M0MPM, Geoff G4AAO, and David M0DHO,  taking turns operating and spotting. It was cold overnight – I could see my breath in the tent in the small hours of Sunday. I was glad when Nick M0NPK relieved me around 4am on Sunday – by then my hands were getting cold and I was glad to climb into my sleeping bag to warm up!

There was the usual Saturday evening BBQ, and the Sunday morning cooked breakfast, both courtesy of Simon. Chris bought down his recycled washing machine drum for a camp fire along with firewood. Tear down was in sunny conditions but not too hot, and went smoothly.

Many thanks to all who operated, helped with set-up and tear-down, or just visited us.

Thanks to Ace G0ACE for the photos!

RADARC VHF/UHF WebSDR

We are excited to announce that RADARC’s experimental web SDR has received some TLC including upgrades by member Ian G5IPX which seems to have markedly improved its performance and reliability.

Therefore it seems the right time to take the “experimental” label off the service and officially launch this hopefully valuable service.

RADARC’s WebSDR covers 6m, 4m, 2m and most of 70cm and is located at RRFC in Sonning. It utilises the club V2000 colinear antenna and the site has fairly low noise, easily picking up GB3VHF. There is even decoding of various digital modes including digital voice, as well as the usual FM, SSB etc.

You can access the club SDR at the following address:

https://sdr.radarc.org

Please feel free to share the link beyond RADARC members, and please report any issues or feedback to Tom M0LTE / Ian G5IPX via the club mailing list.

RADARC Construction Contest 2022

The RADARC Construction Contest 2022 was great success with so many brilliant entries it was almost impossible to choose a winner.

Joint second prize winners where Chris G0JTN with his SINAD meter and Denis G4KWT with his 70cms repeater for RayNet.

First prize went to Mike G8GYW for his HF QRP Power and SWR meter.

All the other entries where of a very high standard, a frankly all deserved a prize – thank you to Loz G2DD for organising it and to all those who entered and came along, it was a very enjoyable evening.

Graham Bedwell G3XYX SK

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

Time: 2.30pm

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:

Website: www.abwalker.co.uk

Email: heidi@abwalker.co.uk

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).”

Graham G3XYX SK

Chris G0JTN writes:

Graham, 
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.

Chris G0JTN

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.
Brett 2E0HFW

“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.

Charles Coultas

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.

John G4RDC

Encrypted radio signals, Enigma, Lorenz, and Colossus – presentation by Charles Coultas

We were recently delighted to welcome Charles Coultas for his club presentation on “The discovery of encrypted radio signals, both Enigma and Lorenz leading to the development of Colossus” for a lecture covering:
– Why Bletchley Park was chosen, and who worked there
– Government concerns about what is going on in wartime
– Alan Turing who joined at the outbreak of WW2
– Enigma, how it works and how it was broken by Turing
– The purpose and importance of radio communications
– The mathematicians at Bletchley Park
– A light hearted dip into some aspects of cryptography
– The strange radio signals from 1941, what they were and how the code was broken, and how this shortened the war
– How the “computer” came about and Turing’s part in it

We’re pleased to say you can re-watch Charles’ whole presentation right here:

With thanks as always to our video editor Chloe 2E0JPM.

UK Radio Astronomy Association talk with Paul Hearn

Further to the January 2022 RadCom article entitled “A Collaboration of Enthusiasts”, we recently welcomed club member Paul Hearn who gave us an introduction to Radio Astronomy and the UK Radio Astronomy Association.

Paul kindly gave his presentation in person at our new venue, the Scout hut. There’s something for all wavelengths here from VLF to microwaves!

You can re-watch the full presentation right here. Don’t forget to check out all of our other videos on our YouTube channel.

Website for the Reading And District Amateur Radio Club