OPEN UNIVERSITY AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
NEWS LETTER no:4
G0OUR Affiliated to the OU Club and the Radio Society of Great Britain
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
Please send any items for inclusion in the next news letter to Fraser.
That's about it for now. 73...
Contact: Adrian Rawlings email@example.com