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G0OUR Affiliated to the OU Club and the Radio Society of Great Britain

Welcome to our tenth news letter. The clubs AGM was held on the 18th of January, copies of the minutes are available from the secretary, Ted Fountaine (G0GCG) Estates, Walton Hall. We were very pleased to welcome Paul O'Connor G1ZCY to the meeting, who travelled down from Birmingham for the occasion. Paul spent some time in the shack after the meeting, giving the club call an airing on 40 and 80m.

In January of each year, O.U. Clubs are invited to bid for funds to the O.U. Club. As a result of discussions at the AGM, it was decided we would bid for funding to help us set up a satellite station for Oscar 13, using the 2m and 70cm bands. Specifically we asked for money to enable us to purchase a second hand 70cm multimode, and aerial, since we already have a suitable 2m rig. We were very fortunate to have our bid accepted, and we are now scouring the second hand ads (again!). The O.U. Club also pay for the G0OUR licence each year and for our RSGB affiliation. We are very grateful to them for their support. In considering our bid, the O.U. Club were impressed by our fund raising activities, including 'junk' sales and Disco's! While on the subject, in conjunction with the O.U. Disco, we are putting on another 60's night on the 10th of June, and would be grateful for assistance from members. This mainly involves checking tickets on the door, selling raffle tickets, and clearing up the mess afterwards! In June we plan to have a stall at the new rally to be held in Bletchley Park, and we will of course be at Cranfield again in September all being well.

We now have some OUARC pages on the Internet. Our URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is Various useful information is included: An Introduction to the club, some colour pictures of the aerials, node, and QSL cards, club newsletters, and member profiles. In addition there is entry to a number of ham news groups, Web ham sites, other interesting Web sites, and the O.U. Web main entrance. Any member wishing to add their profile, or any other information, should contact Ian Cameron G0TLB at Walton Hall. If you have already sent in a profile for the newsletter and don't mind us including it in the club pages, please give Ian the go ahead and he will do the rest. Ian can be contacted via packet @GB7BED, or Email You could even drop him a line at Walton Hall or give him a ring! (01908 655162).

The last news letter reported that the HF beam was nearing completion. I am pleased to say that assembly was completed on the 16th of January, and on the 1st of February the beast was cranked airborne for the first time. Due to restricted space around the tower, it was impractical to fit the beam with the tower tilted over. Instead the tower was lowered to its minimum height, and the beam hauled into position using a rope and pulley system, with a ladder up the side of the tower to facilitate final fixing. We are very grateful to everyone who helped in this project, which included quite a few non club members. Our equipment officer Tom G0PSU proved himself on this and subsequent occasions, to be a dab hand up a ladder. Fortunately for us, the beam performed first time according to its specification, fine adjustments would have entailed dropping it down to ground level again, a major task. One reason this aerial was chosen was for its wide bandwidth, important for a club station catering for both SSB and CW advocates. We were not disappointed, the SWR is excellent across each of the 3 bands. In use we have received some very gratifying reports form all over the world, with comments like "outstanding signal" being common, G0OUR is now firmly on the world map.

Since putting the beam up we have suffered some very windy weather, so the tower has been up and down like the proverbial yo-yo. We have just completed some essential maintenance as we had some problems with the rotator and cables. The guys have been replaced with much stronger UV resistant rope, and the guy stakes are now extra heavy duty! Ted G0CGC did an excellent job splicing the ropes for us. An aerial system of this size needs continued care and maintenance and Tom, our equipment officer is doing a great job organising this (and doing most of the work!). Unfortunately our ladder has been stolen, which complicates matters somewhat, and we will most likely have to buy a replacement in the near future. We still have the big doublet up at 75' for 160 and 80m. On 40m we now have a dipole at 60' and a base fed sloper, with the tribander for HF. The aerial switching system has been greatly simplified using a pair of coax switches. We don't currently have any aerials for the WARC bands, but the doublet could be pressed into service if required.

Having sorted out the HF aerials we now need to get cracking on the VHF/UHF front. Jim G1HUE is looking into a suitable aerial system for the satellite link. We plan to erect 2m and 70cm horizontal beams for normal terrestrial working. Perhaps the two can be combined somehow. It has also been suggested that we replace our aged 2m ground plane with a dual band colinear. The local TV repeater is now operational again, and Tom G3LMX plans to fit a 3cm receive horn on the tower next time it is lowered.

On the QSL front, we are still receiving lots of cards from the bureau, both for GB25OU and G0OUR. We have just had another 1000 cards printed as we were nearing the end of our last batch. The O.U. Public Relations dept. kindly updated the design and had the cards printed for us at their expense. A copy of the new QSL is included with this newsletter. It is on slightly heavier card, the layout has been improved, and equipment/aerial details are now included, so saving time when filling them in.

Not a lot has happened on the packet front of late. One of the nodes we link to (EB-G4BHT) is closing down in July, so there will be some reorganisation of mail forwarding locally. Dave G4NVB, our new sysop at GB7BEN, is doing a great job after pulling most of his hair out chasing hardware teething troubles! Dave is now able to forward directly to GB7BED on 70cm, and hopefully will be able to set up a direct link to GB7LWB before EB closes down. OU will continue to provide Dave with a link to GB7AVM in Oxfordshire. The trial link to GB7ZPU on 70.4875 did not work too well, so our 4m port has been returned to the Cluster frequency. We now provide the only link to GB7DXH in the area, since the DXH/EB 6m link has failed, and will not be reinstated due to the EB shut down.

There are no new members to welcome this time. Our members profile comes from Brian Davies G3OYU. Brian thoughtfully sent in a copy of his monologue on disk, and so has saved my fingers some work! Here goes:

From my call sign, and O.U. records, you can determine that I am pretty old, some would say 'yes and decrepit'! Actually I am 60, but in keeping with tradition only feel around 30 most of the time. I first became interested in radio during the second world war. I used to cycle to school with two neighbours' sons the father of one being an electronics engineer with RCA, the Radio Corporation of America. The son, Tommy, was very much a genius and went on to become a research engineer with Marconi. As kids we used to knock up radios of various types starting with crystal sets. The crystals we used were lumps of crystal and the well known cats whisker. For an aerial I well remember hooking onto our telephone overhead line, isolated with a small capacitor. I then moved on through various projects mostly to do with early model radio control. My first and lasting set used two PM2HL directly heated valves in the transmitter and an acorn valve in the receiver. It never worked properly and for several years after I had little to do with radio. Then around 1955 I became interested again and by the end of 1956 was working for Radio Rentals firstly rigging aerials and subsequently installing TV sets and radios. After a couple of years I had sufficient experience to start servicing. Around that time I became acquainted with a customer who was also a radio amateur, G3OKY Denis still a friend today. By now it was 1959 and I had joined the Clifton Amateur Radio Society at New Cross, G3GHN, and signed up for the RAE at Croydon Technical College under the most well known tutor, locally, Captain Jackson. I passed the exam in 1960, sat the Morse test early in 1961 and received my call sign shortly after. The next few years saw much change in my life as I moved into industrial electronics and eventually in 1969 I started my own company servicing radios and televisions.

Throughout this time my one other burning activity was music, I could not play an instrument other than a turntable and I got into the then fledgling disco scene. Determined to do the job properly I took myself off on day release to the North London Polytechnic to learn all about sound, recording and reproduction in all its detail. This was the beginning of the learning bug. By 1974 I had passed the City & Guilds Telecoms part three 'Sound Studios and Recording' and still wanted to learn more. I was encouraged to take education much further and was finally pushed to apply to the O.U. and started the long haul to a BA in 1975, finally graduating in 1986. The courses I took were M100; S100; TS282; T291; ST291; S271; S236; MST204 and M351. Subsequently I have taken T363; M205 and M261. My current course this year will be M355. I shall soon transfer to the BSc Honours for obvious reasons. My own company has changed direction several times over the years. I no longer service domestic electronics, the general reliability of televisions and radios has improved so much that it became difficult to make a reasonable living. I am now running a successful mobile disco mostly at weekends and during the week I service industrial electronic apparatus, mostly on the photographic side of aerial survey. I am, and have been for several years, teaching at local adult education centres. I currently teach the RAE on a Tuesday; GCSE Maths on a Wednesday and Photography for beginners on a Friday. I have demonstrated for T281 for the past few years at Summer School and hope to continue this with T203 this year. On the radio front I am active on 2m and 70cms from home and the car, and can make the HF bands given a few minutes notice. I am also trying to get active on Amtor et al.

Well that rounds up another newsletter. Please send any news for the next one to Fraser at Walton Hall.

Have a good Easter. 73...
Contact: Adrian Rawlings