Please make a note of our forthcoming 2013 AGM on Thursday 17th January at 12.30pm. This year we are in Central Meeting Room 14, on the first floor. This is accessed from outside via the East 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.
This year we have been busy with maintenance work on the M100 mast and the antennas it supports. Actually we’ve been meaning to do this for several years, but finally there were problems with the 80 and 40m antennas, so something had to be done. The mast and antennas had been up for ten years, so it had done pretty well. The mast was down for a couple of months over the summer. During this time we replaced the guys and shackles, the winch cables, the 160, 80 & 40m antennas and the 80m balanced feeder, and fitted some new cable stand-offs. All in all very successful, and the mast is looking much better for it. Hopefully it will give further years of trouble free use. Many thanks to all who helped on this project: Paul M0OOM, Adrian M0ANS, Tony G0LAX, Bertie G3FVO, Jeff M3OUJ, Tom G0PSU, Fraser G4BJM. Apologies if I’ve left anyone out.
We have plans to do a similar maintenance job on the P60 that supports our HF beam and other antennas. We’re also planning to refurbish and make better use of our old P60 mast, which suffered storm damage some years ago. So there will be plenty to keep us busy once the better weather arrives.
The Field Research Site has also undergone a substantial makeover and is looking much tidier. (The photo below is pre-tidy up!). The poly-tunnel is due to be replaced with a more solid structure in January, and as part of that project a cable tray has been installed for us to route our feeders tidily. We’re in the process of doing this, although the freezing and wet weather isn’t ideal. The other good news is that network cables are being put in on the site, so we should soon have cabled network access in the shack.
A belated welcome to Frank Lees, M3ZVI who joined back in January. Frank writes: ‘I was first introduced to radio by my uncle Denley MW0RMS who was a radio operator on board submarines in the Royal Navy. One day on a visit he invited me into his shack, set up his radio and showed me what he did in his spare time. Listening to him sending Morse on his Kent straight key at what sounded like 100 words a minute (20-25 really) got me hooked for life and I knew I wanted to be just like him.
After this brief demonstration he said a friend of his GW0GSJ Eddie Hewins BEM (now SK) was starting a foundation course and would I like to put my name down. I said yes and started the course a month later at a primary school just down the road from Denley's QTH, I passed the exam and thanks to an extraordinary coincidence I bought my HF rig (Yaesu FT-1000MP Mk5 Field with a Diamond CP-6 now a useless dummy load) soon after from another friend of MW0RMS.
Since then I have bought two VHF sets, the first one was a Yaesu FT-1500M (2m fm only) and the Diamond X50 antenna (Fantastic kit still running!)....This rig now lives with my friend Dave 2E0DLJ who expressed a fondness for the little gem and as he was the person who sold me my second VHF radio (a Yaesu FT-897 with cw filters build in that once belonged to the legend of an op that is my Morse tutor Bill G0ELZ) I thought I'd let Dave have the first one as a gift.
I have now successfully learnt CW and graduated from the ‘ELZ’ school of hard knocks as a result I have a collection of Morse keys (both straight and paddle). I can be found on the VHF frequencies 144. 700 (‘Bill’s grumpy gits’ net 19:00-20:00 most weekday evenings) and hope to be heard on the lower bands bashing the key once I have a working HF ant. For more info on my key collection look me up on QRZ.com. 73 de Frank M3ZVI. Dah di Dah’
Unusually this year we didn’t manage to have a pitch at the DDRC Stockwell Park rally, due to members having other commitments. However we did get to attend the MKDARS sale, who very kindly gave us a free pitch again. Tony G0LAX and Paul M0OOM ran the stall, and cleared £164.50 for club funds. We also sold some ‘junk’ to a dealer, plus Paul had some very successful sales via EBay, so these more than compensated for missing the DDRC rally.
This year we bought a P3 panadapter kit for the K3. We much appreciate the contribution from the OU club for help with this purchase, and also to Paul M0OOM for building the kit. This adds another dimension to operating the K3 radio, band activity and conditions can be checked instantly, and it’s also useful for investigating signals and noise sources. In addition we bought various items for the M100 maintenance project, new cables, insulators, feeders, shackles etc.
Next year we are planning on buying new P60 winch cables and guys, a new stub mast, and possibly antennas for the WARC and VHF bands.
That’s about it for now; hope to see some of you at the AGM. Season's Greetings…