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

Firstly a big thank you to all those who have already paid subs for 1998. If there is a red cross on this news letter your subs are due. As always your continued support is vital to the club and is much appreciated. Subs remain at £5 per year, payable to OUARC c/o F. Robertson, Venables Building, OU, Walton Hall.

Our AGM was held on Tuesday 13th January. Copies of the Minutes are available from the Secretary, Adrian Rawlings, c/o EMERG, OU, or email As usual the AGM provided some lively and interesting discussion. The plan to add six metre multimode facilities was reaffirmed, and we have some funds available for that. We are looking for a suitable second hand radio, possibly to replace the Corsair2. There were no changes to elected officers.

The last lunchtime video was ‘My Amateur Radio’, a biography of the late G2DPQ, Claude from Shefford. This gave an interesting insight into the early years of the hobby, and also the work of amateurs during the Second World War. The next video is ‘PJ9W – 1990 CQ WW SSB Contest’, showing at 12.30pm on Wednesday 22nd of April. This will be in room S1025 Venables as the usual venue is booked until October!

We have accumulated a large amount of ‘junk’ in recent months, more than enough for two boot sales. Therefore in addition to the MKDARS sale in September, we will have a stall at the Dunstable Downs RC sale on 17th May. Any help would be appreciated on the day, even if just for an hour or so. These sales always prove to be an amusing way of boosting club funds.

The HF station continues to work well and touch wood all the aerials are still intact. With the recent improvement in HF conditions the 80m dipole has been pressed into service on 17m and works quite well. There are plans to put up a dedicated aerial for that band, most likely a loop or vertical of some kind. Unfortunately the 2m/70cm colinear has developed a fault, so that will have to be investigated now that the weather is improving. In the meantime a temporary six metre dipole and borrowed rig provides a link from the shack to the OU node for cluster access.

Some experiments were carried out with the LF loop aerial as mentioned in the last newsletter. The bottom legs of the topband dipole were folded back to form a diamond loop, terminating at a relay box on the shack roof. The loop could therefore be opened to form a bent topband dipole and 40m ‘Bi-Square’, and closed to form a Lambda loop on 80m. Numerous comparisons were made against reference dipoles, and although the system worked it was not deemed impressive enough to keep!

Various field strength measurements have been made in an effort to reduce the field strength at the Security Lodge. Interestingly, folding back the last fifty feet or so of the big doublet halves the field strength at the Lodge on topband, but doubles it on 80m. So for all band work this is done to allow safe topband operation, and the lower dipole which is further away is used on 80m. The changes based on field strength measurements have paid off, and so far we have had no further reports of EMC problems.

The above arrangement was used successfully by Fraser G4BJM who took part in the FOC Marathon from the club shack in February. This is a 48 hour event and four other club members dropped in over the weekend. There had been plans to use a topband vertical supported by a helium balloon, but unfortunately it was too windy. This has been done in the past, with superb results.

The acquisition of land south of the existing field site has progressed and was due to be completed towards the end of March. However there are no plans to move users from the existing site in the foreseeable future.

The clubs Web site has been moved. We have a very nice new URL: Adrian is planning to bring the site up to date in the near future. If anyone has any contributions or links to suggest please let him know.

I am pleased to say the roof resurfacing work was completed in January and the packet node aerials have been restored to the top roof. The 4m beam now points to AYLS4, G3OZF’s node near Aylsbury, and this provides a reasonable cluster connection to either DXH or DXI. We also have a route north to DXB via NAPTON, G3OJI-7 as an alternative. A number of local amateurs are taking advantage of these links. Our mail forwarding links continue to be used almost constantly. There are various plans locally for faster trunk routes and a new TCP/IP BBS in Bletchley, but we are not likely to be directly involved.

A big welcome to the following four new members: Bert Lladwin G3FVO, who is a retired professional operator, and a neighbour of our Secretary Adrian M0ANS. John Ireland who joined the OU last year. John used to teach Morse in the RAF and is a keen HF SWL. He plans to take the RAE this year. Bill Mawson of Technology Faculty. Bill is also ex RAF, and often helps out with our aerial maintenance. Finally to Paul Brice-Stevens R1883150, G0WAT, who is currently studying S103. Paul operated in the Commonwealth contest from the O.U. shack in March and made 720 points from 144 QSO’s, a very respectable score. Also on the membership front we send best wishes to one of our founder members Jim Lee, who has moved down to Kent. Jim has put in a great deal of work on the clubs behalf over the years, in particular using his woodwork skills to provide us with solid bench areas in the shack. Jim has also donated a large quantity of good quality ‘junk’ for our sales over the last couple of years, as well as books and other items for the shack.

Finally a reminder that the next O.U. Open Day is on Saturday 27th June. It is unlikely that staff members will have much time to operate the club station, but any students wishing to do so will be more than welcome. Contact Fraser for more details. 73 for now…

Contact: Adrian Rawlings