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

I am pleased to report that our shack has recently been fitted with a burglar alarm system. This is largely due to the efforts of Ian G0TLB, who did most of the work building and installing the system. The alarm is key operated and members can sign out the alarm and door keys from the East Gate Security building adjacent to the shack.

Preparations are underway for the GB25OU special event station. We plan to activate the station for 28 days, commencing June 25th 1994 (Open Day). The General Facilities office have agreed to fund the printing of special QSL cards, which will sport the OU jubilee logo. Since the '25' digits fall outside the usual callsign format, a letter of support had to be enclosed with the application. This was provided by Dr. Daniel, the Vice Chancellor, who expressed interest in the project, and wishes to be informed of our progress. We are therefore optimistic that this appropriate callsign will be issued.

We would like to hear from any members who would be interested in helping out with this project, particularly on Open Day itself. This would provide a great opportunity for those living further afield to meet other members, and operate the club station. Some members who work on campus will no doubt be tied up with other activities on Open Day, so we will need to ensure that the shack is adequately manned. We also request that any members with special interests, e.g. meteor scatter, FSTV, SSTV, FAX, Packet, QRP, contesting etc., write a short article to form part of a display in the shack for Open Day. This will give visitors an insight into the many varied facets of our hobby. The event is obviously some way off, but please bear the above in mind.

We will once again be having a stall at the MKDARS boot sale, held on 5th September at Cranfield. Last year we raised around 90 pounds for club funds, and we hope to do as well or better this time. A steady supply of 'junk' has been coming in, with promises of more on the way. We have temporary storage space available for this. Please take this opportunity to have a clear out! We could if necessary collect your junk (locally). If you are able to help out on the stall it would be much appreciated. Last years event was quite a laugh and there were some interesting bargains to be had.

The luffing cable on the club mast has now been replaced which makes aerial work somewhat safer. The welding work remains to be done, hopefully before winter arrives (are we too late already?). The 2m ground plane has been repaired and repositioned on the mast, and is providing good local coverage with access to several repeaters. A 4m 5/8 vertical has been constructed and mounted at the very top of the mast at around 70'. This has improved the reliability of our Cluster access node on 70.325MHz. The 'Cobweb' continues to give excellent service on the HF bands, and the LF doublet works well on 160m through to 30m. We may add dedicated nested dipoles or loops for the LF bands in the future.

As for equipment, both the HF and VHF rigs are working well. We recently received a very generous donation from Vince, WB2EZG in NJ, comprising 250 & 500Hz filters for the Corsair2. This has totally transformed the receiver, and we are very grateful to Vince for this. The filters are not readily available in this country, with a quoted delivery time of 6-8 weeks, and a cost of around 150 pounds for the pair!

The 2m 'Wessie' that we were given has now been modified and is working well on 144.650MHz with the clubs Baycom system. We hope to erect a second 2m aerial shortly since the ground plane is currently being shared between this and the Icom 'talk box'.

Disaster struck the 4m packet station literally minutes after the erection of the new 5/8 antenna. A severe static storm managed to damage two 4m rigs and the most expensive chip in the clubs TNC! Both rigs were on loan from members, one of which suffered a complete write off. Not to be put off by such trifles, the TNC was swiftly repaired and a single working Wessie produced from the two smouldering ones. This rig (belonging to Graham) remains on loan to the club, and is giving good service now that the protective earthing arrangements have been improved! Graham will be returning to Surrey University soon, so we are currently on the look out for a replacement 4m rig. We also hope to obtain a further Wessie to put on 6m for a dedicated link to the local mailbox GB7BEN.

Thanks to Chris G6WZD, sysop at GB7BEN, we now have an OUARC directory on his file server. This directory contains introductory information on the club, copies of the news letters, and our student/ham database. These are therefore available using the REQFIL facility via the packet system. Chris has also set up a carbon copy facility for us, so that we can mail all members and other interested parties in one foul swoop. Further on the packet front, we still plan to implement a four port node as and when the hardware becomes available. We have been offered the loan of a 70cm rig to this end. The major stumbling block is the cost of TNC's, even building them ourselves would mean an outlay of several hundred pounds. We are looking at cheaper alternatives, like the possibility of building an internal 4 port PC card. If any members can provide information on such a beast it would be very helpful. Another alternative is to use the much cheaper Baycom style modems, and running G8BPQ Switch software with a suitable driver program, although I gather our slow XT would not be up to the workload of running more than a single port in this way. Any ideas?

Returning to HF, the club call has been on the end of a few fierce pile ups recently, it seems that using the GX0 prefix can attract quite a lot of interest, presumably from the worlds lesser informed DX chasers! Running full legal power to the Cobweb on 20m with a borrowed linear, stations from far Russia, USA, Japan and Australia have been worked during a single lunch time session, not to mention dozens of Europeans. Needless to say the QSL cards continue to roll in from around the globe, two new batches arrived this morning. I guess its time we put some of the more interesting ones on display around the shack wall.

One or two members recently have mentioned the possibility of a club net, and perhaps it is time we did something about this. I think a good starting point would probably be on 80m SSB, say the first Sunday of each month. Any suggestions regarding a suitable time and frequency would be appreciated and we can start the ball rolling.

Finally, for our next major project we hope to obtain a heavy duty rotator, plus either a yagi or quad for HF. Our 2m beam would then be mounted at the top of the stub mast. We are currently looking into fund-raising for this project. It would be great if we could have this ready in time for Open Day.

Please send any items for inclusion in the next news letter to Fraser.

That's about it for now. 73...
Contact: Adrian Rawlings