Please make a note of our forthcoming AGM on Thursday 12 th January 2006 at 12.30pm. We have had to change the venue, as the Green Room is fully booked every lunchtime by other clubs. Fortunately we’ve been able to book Central Meeting Room 7, which is on the ground floor, and is very close to the Airport Bar and Green Room. It can be accessed from the Airport Bar area, or outside via the West Central Meeting Rooms entrance. An email reminder will be sent nearer the time. Local members are urged to attend if possible.
A reminder that subscriptions are due on 1 st 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 2005 minutes can be obtained from the Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Some items that should have been included in the last newsletter: Congratulations to Tony Duggan G0LAX and also to Danny Waite, on their retirement from the OU. We say goodbye to Liz Brown G4STK. Liz is no longer active in amateur radio; we thank her for her support of the club over the years. Also a belated goodbye to Linda Waddoups G0GNZ who has emigrated to the USA. We wish them all the best for the future.
Back in April we purchased a second-hand Ten Tec Omni6+. These are quite rare in the UK, and this one came fully loaded with all the optional filters, and the external VFO. It is doing sterling work in the shack, putting out a good signal and sporting an excellent receiver. We are grateful to the OU Club for contributing towards the cost of this radio. We still have the Elecraft K2/100 in the shack as a back up rig, and as a second receiver. Both rigs are hooked up to the PC via serial to USB port adapters. We have installed the K2 PA upgrade and screening kit, and recently bought the optional VCO screening kit.
Fraser G4BJM operated the club station using the call GB5CC back in March, for the RSGB HQ station in the Commonwealth Contest. A total of 752 contacts were made on 80-10m during the 24 hour contest.
In July we hosted the 80m SSB RSGB HQ station for the IARU (International Amateur Radio Union) contest. This is our third time in this contest. As before were joined by Lee G0MTN and Tim M0BEW, other operators were Linda M0CMK, Dave M0BZK, Fraser G4BJM, with support from Les M3TAY. Previously Lee has brought his rig and PC, but this year the club’s Omni6+ and PC were both up to the job, which simplified the setup. In total GB5HQ made 12,817 contacts in the 24 hour contest, giving us a claimed score of 14,887,653 points and putting us in 4 th place before adjudication. The claimed top score again goes to the German national society DA0HQ, claiming 15,722,382 points. Our 80m SSB station contributed 1184 contacts, of which 61% were with the UK. As in the previous event, we had a temporary network link in the shack, joining us with the other GB5HQ band/mode stations via a central server. The software used was StarLog by G3WGV.
In November we took part in the RSGB Club Calls contest on topband SSB. Dave M0BZK did the operating, with Adrian M0ANS logging, 61 contacts were made in the three hour period.
We attended the usual two boot sales this year. The DDRC sale at Stockwood Park netted us £99.50, and then the MKARS sale locally, where we cleared £128. So these sales continue to make a useful contribution to club funds. We are also very grateful to the OU Club for their grant, which pays for our licence, RSGB and QST magazine subscriptions. This year we also successfully bid for a phasing unit which will be used to construct a 40m vertical array - a project for the better weather.
We have completed work on the old mast. Jeff M3OUJ was kept busy de-rusting and hammeriting the bottom section, and the bottom half of the broken middle section. These were assembled together, with the repaired 30’ x 3” boom of the old KT34XA beam forming a substantial stub mast on top. This gives us a tilt over mast with a total height of 57’. Currently it supports a 7MHz dipole fed with 450 Ω line, so it can also be pressed into service on other bands, usually 30m and 12m. We had planned to mount the VHF/UHF collinear on top, but this along with its feeder proved to be too heavy for the makeshift mast. During the summer a 17m delta loop was fitted to the P60. This has a λ/4 matching section/choke balun made of 70Ω coax, then a run of W103 into the shack. The aerial gives a good account of itself, and being suspended away from the tower it does not noticeably affect the performance of the beam. The other aerials remain unchanged.
The RSGB has decided not to send Radcom to affiliated clubs anymore, instead they provide the RSGB Yearbook, which is packed full of information, and has proved useful already in the shack.
The OU packet node is still ticking along. We are grateful to GB7IMK which provides us with an excellent DXCluster link into the shack via 2m. Also we are pleased to see that the local BBS GB7BEN has returned to the air after several years break.
Again we have lost part of the Field Research Site, this time to another Security Lodge extension. We have arranged to run EMC tests when it is commissioned, since it contains servers and camera interfacing, and is quite close to our HF beam. Fingers crossed. The site is also being used as a temporary dumping ground while contractors install a new water main around the campus, so again access to the shack is via a mud bath. Following a FSU meeting in October there are plans to fence off the site, so hopefully safeguarding it better in the future.
The last club video was from the Five Stars Dxers Association, and covered their 3B9C Rodrigues and D68C Comoros expeditions. Our next showing is a collection of DVD’s from the Vintage Wireless Society, courtesy of Tom G0PSU. These show the construction of early valves and radios. This will be in the ICT Library, N1015 Venables Building (not the usual room) on Thursday 5 th of January at 12.30, everyone welcome.