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

Please make a note of our forthcoming 2012 AGM on Thursday 19th January at 12.30pm.  We are in Central Meeting Room 07, on the ground floor. This is accessed from outside via the West Central Meeting Rooms entrance, near the shop. An email reminder will be sent nearer the time, and local members are urged to attend if they can. Subscriptions are due in January and remain at £5. Please send to OUARC, c/o F. Robertson, S1021 Venables Building, O.U., Walton Hall, MK7 6AA.

Firstly a belated welcome to new(ish) member Alan Wyatt G2DXU, who is an OU student and joined us earlier this year. Alan is from Torquay in the OU South West region 03. Alan started in amateur radio in 2010 and progressed through all three levels of licence, holding the calls M6DXU, 2E0DXU and M0WYA, and then registered the callsign of a silent key relative to finally become G2DXU. His shack consists of an Icom IC7000 and a Kenwood Th-F7E handheld. Alan says he is a beginner in Morse code and hopes to be able to operate CW at a reasonable speed in the future. Alan is a member of the RSGB, and also of South Devon Raynet.

This year we had two successful ‘boot’ sales. Firstly at Stockwell Park where we cleared £328. Then later in the year at Bletchley Park, where MKDARS kindly gave us a free pitch again, and we cleared £211, so totalling £539 for club funds. The picture below, taken by Paul M0OOM, shows our pitch at Bletchley Park.
Last year we changed the club/shack meeting day from Thursday to Tuesday of each week for a trial period. However we have since reverted back to the traditional club day of Thursday. We usually meet in the shack at lunchtime, from around 12.30.

In October we participated in the OU Club Fair, held during Fresher’s Week. Thanks to Tony G0LAX, Paul M0OOM, Chris G7BBD, Tom G0PSU, Jeff M3OUJ, and Fraser G4BJM for lending support to this.

There are plans to tidy up and redevelop part of the Field Research Site, as part of a project by the Waste Management Group. It’s long overdue a tidy up, we usually spend hours in the summer clearing brambles etc. from around the shack and antennas, so hopefully this will work out well for us. Part of the area in front of the shack, which was used by building contractors, has now been made into a small car park.

This year we were able to buy a Flex-1500 Software Defined Radio. We much appreciate the contribution from the OU club for help with this purchase. This radio covers all bands, 160m to 6m with a 5W output transmitter and general coverage receiver, and is performing well in the shack. We also bought and fitted the internal ATU for the K3, again thanks to the OU Club for their contribution towards this.

Next year we are hoping to buy the P3 panoramic display kit, which is an accessory for the K3. Steve M0BPQ has loaned us his LP-Pan and external soundcard which we are using / evaluating at the moment. We are still using Steve’s Wi-Fi dongle in the shack. This is now giving reliable access to the OU network since we added a homemade bi-quad antenna.

We still have yet to replace the guys and do other maintenance on the M100. The 80m feeder has become wrapped around the tower, which needs sorting out, and currently one leg of the dipole is down, after either wind or contractor damage. Apart from that, and a few minor issues repairing feeders, the antennas are holding up pretty well.

We were active again during the November RSGB Club Calls contest on Topband SSB, putting the G0OUR callsign on the map alongside other UK club stations. Having the internal ATU in the K3 made this much easier. Also there was a rule change this year which greatly simplified the logging process.

It’s good to see the sun spots finally co-operating, and ten metres in great shape. At a recent club meeting we worked K1KW, Chuck in Boston on 29.6MHz AM. He was using a Flex 5000A SDR with a homemade 8877 (1500W dissipation valve/tube) amplifier, driving a 40 element (4x10) logperiodic array mounted on a 120’ high rotating tower. Needless to say he sounded like the BBC. That was the first AM contact I’d had in probably decades. In doing so we discovered an RF feedback problem with the K3 audio, so that’s another job to sort out.

That’s about it for now; hope to see some of you at the AGM.

            Season's Greetings…
Contact: Adrian Rawlings