Seasons greetings. Please make a note of our forthcoming AGM on Thursday 13th January 2005 at 12.30pm. As usual, this will be held in the Green Room above the old Lecture Theatre. An email reminder will be sent nearer the time. Also a reminder that subscriptions are due on 1st January, and remain at £5 per annum. Subs can be paid at the AGM, or a cheque made payable to OUARC can be sent to the Treasurer, Fraser Robertson, S1021 Venables Building, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA. Your continued support of the club is appreciated. Copies of the 2004 minutes can be obtained from the Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Welcome to new member Michael Sewell, G7PBO (M1635171). Michael does not live too far from campus, so we look forward to seeing him over at the shack soon. Presently he is only active mobile, having recently moved house, but he has plans for a shack and array when time permits.
John M0AWI moved down to Devon in the summer, and we wish him a very happy retirement down there. During his time with the club John was a great asset, especially when it came to aerial work and maintenance. In particular he did a lot of the assembly and installation work of our Optibeam tri-band Yagi last year.
Linda M0CMK and Les M3TAY have also moved away, to Wisbech, Cambs. and we wish them all the best in their new home. Linda remains as the club QSL manager, and also drops into the shack to do some operating from time to time.
Congratulations to Tom G0PSU who retired from the Physics department in September. Tom has been granted a Research Fellowship so is still often at the OU, and remains active in the club.
I'm sorry to report that Len Killip G0APZ passed away on 18th September. Len was one of our student members (L0163645), and had been in the club for ten years. He was a keen aerial experimenter, being a friend and near neighbour of the late Louis Varney, developer of the world famous G5RV aerial.
We have been busy on the aerial front this year. The M100 mast that carries the LF aerials was taken down for much needed maintenance. The aerials have been refurbished and the winches and cables greased. The P60 has been down twice for maintenance, and is due to be taken down yet again since the rotator has packed up. It looks as if we've lost one of the motor connections, so fingers crossed it will be a straightforward repair. We have also been working on the old P60 and hope to get it up again soon in some form or another. This will support the 6m/2m/70cm colinear, plus some HF wire aerials, probably loops or dipoles for 40m and the WARC bands. Many thanks to all who have helped with the aerial work; in particular Geoff, Adrian and Fraser.
We have made some changes in the shack too. The FT1000MP has been replaced with an Elecraft K2/100 transceiver, along with the matching KRC2 band decoder for aerial switching. The K2 is fitted with the SSB option, analogue audio filter and topband/2nd receive antenna board, plus the 100W pa. See www.elecraft.com for more details.
The other main change in the shack is that our long serving TL922 amplifier has been replaced by an ETO91β.This is a more rugged amplifier which incorporates comprehensive protection features, and properly covers the WARC bands. Unlike the TL922, it also presents a near perfect input match on all bands, important for the K2 as we don't have the K2 auto atu. (With the FT1000MP and other previous rigs, we had to make use of their internal tuners to match into the TL922).
This year we had stalls at two local 'boot sales', the usual Dunstable Downs club sale at Stock wood park, Luton, and the MKARS sale just a few miles from campus. We cleared £103.50 and £162.10 respectively. We are also very grateful to the OU Club for their grant, which pays for our licence, RSGB and QST magazine subscriptions, plus a contribution towards the purchase of the K2 transceiver and 91β amplifier. We have also renewed our subscription to CQ magazine, which had lapsed.
Once again we took part in the IARU contest, hosting the 80m SSB RSGB headquarters station GB5HQ, along with guest operators Lee G0MTN, Tim M0BEW and Richard M5RIC. As last year, GB5HQ comprised numerous stations dotted around the UK, covering all twelve band/mode slots, all being linked via the internet to a central log server and private DXCluster based at the BT Research centre, Martlesham. Overall we slipped down a little from our second place position of last year - thereSs some stiff competition out there.
Unfortunately we were not able to take part in the RSGB Club Calls contest this year, but we were active in other contests, e.g. CQ WW, ARRL, and in the WPX CW and SSB contests as GX0OUR.
The new library (close to the field site) opened early this year. I'm pleased to say the access road and car park is all finished, and once again we have good access to the shack without having to walk or drive through a mud bath.
Not much is happening on the packet front. Although we do not do BBS mail forwarding anymore, we have left the OU node up and running as it serves as a useful beacon, plus it provides several access ports into GB7IMK, with whom we have a 9k6 link on 70cm. Among other facilities, GB7IMK runs DXSpider (Cluster) which proves very useful to us at times.
The last club video was 'DXpedition to Howland Island (1993)' back in March. The next video will be shown on Thursday 17th, starting at 12.30pm in N2028 Venables Building. This video was produced by the Five Stars Dxers Association, and covers their 3B9C Rodrigues and D68C Comoros expeditions, the largest ever mounted in the amateur radio world. Everyone welcome.
73 for now