OPEN UNIVERSITY AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
NEWS LETTER no:17
G0OUR Affiliated to the OU Club and the Radio Society of Great Britain
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
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.
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
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.
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 email@example.com