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

It’s been some time since the last newsletter, club activities having been severely dampened for many months of this year due to the EMC problems with the Security Lodge. I am pleased to report though that we have been given a clean bill of health by the RIS inspectors, when they eventually turned up. Unfortunately that is not the end of the matter, since little has been done to improve the immunity of the effected equipment, so we are having to tread very carefully. We are however back on the air, and so far there has only been one minor incident of break through reported. This was quickly ‘cured’ by dropping down to half legal power.

Please make a note in your diary of our AGM on Tuesday 13th January at 12.30pm, to be held in the Green Room above the Lecture Theatre at Walton Hall. All subscriptions are due on the 1st of January, and remain at £5 per annum. Your continued support for the club would be much appreciated.

The last lunch time video was ‘Space Shuttle W0ORE Tony England’ back in May, which gave an interesting account of the first amateur in space. Our next video is on Tuesday 9th of December at 12.30pm in N2028 Venables Building. The video is titled ‘My Amateur Radio’, a biography of local character Claude G2DPQ from Shefford. This one hour video depicts his lifetime in the hobby, and was made in 1996 just before he died.

A big thank you to all those who turned out to help on our stall at the MKDARS Bletchley Park boot sale in September. As usual it proved to be good fun. Our stall attracted a lot of attention, and lots of ‘junk’ changed hands. We also sold some items on behalf of MKPAC, and so were able to make a small contribution to their funds. In all we cleared £151.34 which was put towards club funds. We did not bid for any equipment money to the O.U. Club this year, but they generously agreed to pay our licence and RSGB affiliation fees, and we are very grateful for their continued support.

During our time off the air the LF wire aerials took a battering in the gales, so we were left with only the HF beam operational. The LF aerials have now been repaired and we are active again on all bands. Fortunately it was possible to fish the open wire feeder for the topband dipole out of the tree where it had been tangled for months. This was an unexpected bonus, as replacing the feeder would have been an awkward job. The 80/40m parallel dipoles were replaced with a single 40m dipole, fed through a Force 12 current balun and W103 low loss coax. The parallel combination had proved tricky to set up, and the wires had a tendency to twist together in strong winds. A new 80m dipole has been put up, running away from the tower in the opposite direction to the Security Lodge, so hopefully that should reduce the risk of breakthrough. This dipole is fed with 450W ladder line. Finally the old 30m 3l /2 dipole has been resurrected, and seems to work well. Both the topband and 80m dipoles work on 17/12m, giving us nine band coverage.

The main problem now aerial wise is that one end of the topband dipole ends very close to the Security Lodge. There are plans to bring the bottom ends in to form a loop. Apart from reducing the risk of EMC, this opens some possibilities for experiment. The ends can be joined to form a full wave loop on 80m, or left open to form a bent dipole on topband, and a ‘Bi-Square’ 2l loop on 40m, giving some broadside gain. Since the bottom apex of the loop will end up at the shack, it will be a simple matter to do this, either directly or with a relay. A similar system has been reported to give good results in SSB field day, so it will be interesting to try it out, and we’ll report findings in the next newsletter.

There are still plans longer term to relocate the entire field site further south, although this does not seem to be as imminent as first intimated by Estates. Although it would cause us a lot of work and possible expense, it would give the opportunity of getting well clear of potential EMC problems.

Packet wise, the OU node continues to perform a much appreciated link between local mailboxes. The 4m beam was repaired and re erected following storm damage early in the year. The flat roof where most of the aerials are located is due to be resurfaced/weather proofed in the near future, so we will have to take the aerials down while this work is done. We have been promised adequate notice by Estates, most likely this side of Christmas.

Tests are currently taking place to establish alternative links locally, so hopefully that will take the pressure off the OU node. In which case we may be able to turn attention to improving DXCluster links into the area, which are currently very poor. Currently the 2m multimode is being used for packet in the shack, since the 4m aerial was damaged, and the 4m rig has developed a fault. These will be repaired in due course.

The club station was active during the Club Calls contest on topband at the beginning of November, and gained a respectable score of 1754 points. 138 contacts were made in three hours, all on SSB. Of these, 41 contacts were with other U.K. club stations, and 63 were club members. Only one OUARC member was worked, that being Tom G0PSU. Fortunately this event passed with no EMC problems. It is hoped to activate G0OUR for a while during the forthcoming international CQWW CW contest at the end of November. Anyone wishing to have a bash in the shack will be most welcome.

Finally please note that the next O.U. Open Day is on Saturday 27th June, and we hope members will be able to activate G0OUR. More on that in the next newsletter. That’s all the news for now. Seasons greetings and 73…

Contact: Adrian Rawlings