Skip to content The Open University


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

Please make a note of our forthcoming 2009 AGM on Thursday 22nd January at 12.30pm. We could not get our usual room (CMR7); this year we are inCentral Meeting Room 3, which is on the ground floor and is close to the Airport Bar. It is accessed outside via the East 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 2008 minutes can be obtained from the Secretary, .

We have recently been informed that Estates have applied for planning permission to greatly extend the library car park. If the full plans go ahead this will mean losing the entire Field Research Site. Over the years Estates have always maintained that should relocation of the site become necessary, the costs would be covered within the project’s budget. We await to hear the planners decision, and what proposed alternative sites are on offer. Suggestions of suitable alternative sites would be welcome.

This year we welcome new member Paul Maher, M0OOM. Paul was first licensed as a novice in 2002 as M3KTF (Kermit The Frog), through the Northampton Radio Club. He worked mainly PSK and was pleased to achieve eQSL DX25 on 10W. In November 2007 he took the intermediate and full license exams on the same day, at the the HF Convention in Bedford, and was licensed as 2E0VER and M0OOM. Paul works mainly on PSK, often using QRP with an FT817. He says he’s mainly interested in mobile and portable HF data operations but will get involved with just about anything related to amateur radio. Paul is active regularly from the club shack and has wired the IC7400 for data modes, putting G0OUR on the PSK map for the first time.

We have had a very successful year in terms of sales, in particular the DDRC sale at Stockwood Park back in May which was our best yet. We have also sold surplus components to a dealer; these had been donated to the club following a clear out of old home kit stocks at the OU’s Wellingborough warehouse. Finally we have had two surplus equipment sales, again selling off old kit that has been donated to the club.

Back in July we purchased an Elecraft KX1 ‘ultra portable’ transceiver with some of the money raised. This is a miniature portable four band (80,40,30,20m) transceiver, and is actually a complete station in a box, including batteries, auto antenna tuner and Morse paddle. The KX1 is only available in kit form, but we bought ours ready built from the U.S.A. although in virtually new condition. It came complete with a rugged Pelican protective case and wire aerial/counterpoise, so truly is a portable station in a box. We tried the rig out on the club’s beam and instantly worked a string of low power stations on twenty metres, most of whom were using very simple low power equipment. Great fun. The KX1 is available for loan to members and is ideal for taking hiking, cycling or camping. Throw the wire into a tree and you’re on the air.

We decided at last years AGM to upgrade the club’s Elecraft K2 radio to the new higher performance K3. We successfully bid to the OU club for a contribution towards this project. Currently the K2 is up for sale, the proceeds of that along with our reserves from sales and the OU Club grant will enable us to start the K3 project. We will most likely buy one in kit form, and add additional modules, e.g. the second receiver and optional filters as funds become available. We have swapped out the K2 from the shack, the HF radios being the Omni6+ and the IC7400.

Recently the remote pair of 160/80m active receive loops stopped working, and it was discovered that an animal had chewed through the feed cable (again) at the remote end. The cable has now been repaired, and the loops replaced with a single untuned loop feeding a home brew balanced preamp, which works from VLF through to HF and the lower VHF bands. The new loop enables us to listen on any band while transmitting on the main radio/antennas, and it worked quite well, although now seems to have developed a problem. The West pointing Beverage receive antenna is still working and sometimes proves useful, but does suffer from local computer network noise since it runs between the Library and the Business School Buildings.

When the weather gets better we really must do some maintenance on the M100 mast and associated aerials. The 40m bi-square is just about still hanging together, and the feeders for the 160m and 80m dipoles are wrapped round the tower.

Steve M0BPQ operated from the club shack for a while during the CQ WW SSB contest in October, then in November Fraser G4BJM operated in the CW leg. Steve has plans to upgrade the main shack PC, and is donating a 2.4GHz machine.

We were approached by the GB5HQ organiser this year (actually it’s GB7HQ now) to host the 15m SSB station. We agreed but in the end it did not go ahead due to the EMC problems we have when beaming North, the usual RF noise problem on receive, and the lack of a proper internet connection in the shack.

In November we took part in the RSGB Club Calls contest on topband SSB, although it was a low key entry again this year. Still it was nice to air the club call G0OUR in this event, and a modest entry was submitted.

The OU packet node is still running, as is nearby GB7IMK. We remain grateful to David G0TWN who runs GB7IMK for providing us with reliable 2m DXCluster access. Steve M0BPQ is sorting out the hardware for us to run an APRS node here on two metres.

Season's Greetings… 
Contact: Adrian Rawlings