Just what you've been waiting for, issue two of the clubs news letter! It's been several months since the first offering, and during that time the club has continued to develop. This news sheet should serve to keep everyone up to date.
As far as the shack is concerned, Jim Lee has finished building a substantial bench and has also fitted some new shelves. Ted is arranging for power points to be fitted behind the new bench when time allows. Tom Smith has installed a temporary background heater/thermostat. This maintains a reasonable minimum temperature during the winter months in order to keep the equipment dry and in good order. We also have a large convection heater which keeps the place cosy when people are in there. The Estates dept. have provided us with a fire extinguisher which is fitted near the door. We now have a growing amount of equipment in the shack, and really should revive our plans to fit a simple alarm system. Anyone willing to put effort in that direction please step forward!
We still have Toms FT401 on loan, he and Ben are in the process of realigning it, replacing valves and components where necessary. Geoff has rebuilt the SWR bridge and it has been properly calibrated. He has also built a Baycom modem, which augments the clubs packet station.
The club has an old XT PC on loan, which we hope members will put to good use. A variety of software has been installed to date, including a very good Morse tutor program for anyone going for a class A licence. There are a number of packet programs, a logging program and some aerial analysis programs. We have some FAX software which just requires a simple interface to be built, and Ian may tackle that project in the future.
The club has adopted a policy of QSL'ing 100%, and cards have already gone out via the bureau to countries all over the world. So far we have received three batches of cards back, and no doubt there are many more in the pipe line. Any queries to Ben Bristow, our QSL manager.
An RAE class is running on campus again this year, tutored by Dave McQue G4NJU. Club members Ian and Graham sit the RAE on 7th December and we wish them luck. Ian is also learning CW and plans to go straight for a class A licence. Ben now has the call G7NRQ.
Fraser has been representing the club at the Field Site Users Group meetings. Although it is unlikely now that the tower is up that we will be doing anything that would effect other site users, it is important to retain this connection. If for example the need arises to erect temporary aerials or supports extending into other users' areas, we have a list of contacts of people who we can consult. This co-operation works both ways and should ensure the smooth running of the site.
We have bought a 50m drum of coax and some wire, the plan being to replace the existing 80m doublet with a nest of resonant dipoles for the lower bands. With Toms 'Cobweb' this would give us coverage of all nine bands without fiddling with matching units. The 4m aerial is still going strong, although the 2m ground plane at the top of the mast has suffered crow damage, they seem to enjoy sitting on it! There is some welding work to be done on the tower, so we hope all the above jobs can be tackled in one session, probably during a weekend, and hopefully this side of Christmas!
Last but not least, fund raising. We have had two very successful events recently. Firstly the MKARS "Boot" sale. Chris, Ben and Ian set up the stall at the crack of dawn, and four other members turned up later to help. Chris's trailer van proved invaluable as the heavens opened, and we were able to continue trading, out doing the competition! It would be an understatement to say a good time was had by all, and none of us could avoid the temptation to pick up a few bargains. At the end of the day we had all but sold out, clearing 90 pounds and 50 pence. We have already started collecting 'junk' for the next one, all donations welcome. Secondly Graham, Ben, Ian and Fraser helped out with an O.U. Disco 50's and 60's night, netting 100 pounds for the radio club coffers. We are grateful to the Disco club for this opportunity.
We have now paid off the remainder of the loan from the O.U. Club, and are able to embark on new projects. Some ideas include a VHF or HF radio for the club, or some beam aerials. Ted will be arranging an AGM early in the new year so that we can discuss these matters, and then put in a bid for funds before the end of January. Please do your best to attend.
Finally, it's not too early to send in your subscription for 1993, the annual sub remains at 6 pounds. We are of course keen to retain membership at least at its present level, and hopefully see the club grow still further in the new year. Any items for the next newsletter please send to Fraser. CU at the AGM if not before.
73's for now...
The AGM has been arranged for Wednesday 13th January, at 12.30 in the Green Room (above the Lecture Theatre). Please make a note in your diary.