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.
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
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.
A few quick snaps taken of our members Michael M0MPM, Harry G3NGX and Jim G0LHZ enjoying a play with some man-portable vintage ex-military gear. With one of the radios dating back to WWII, and with the split frequency operating figured out, at least one legitimate QSO was had, with good reports both ways. With the solar cycle in full swing a new DX record was set, with a mighty 0.2km achieved across the front of the rugby club.
With thanks to our members for supplying the pictures.