Well, another year has flown by. Please make a note of our forthcoming 2014 AGM on Thursday 23rd January at 12.30pm. We’re in the same room as last year: 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.
Following on from our successful antenna work last year, this year we have been refurbishing our original standard duty P60 tower, purchased back in late 1991 (the club started at the end of 1990, initially with a simple mast and wire antennas). The tower went up in early 1992 supporting LF dipoles, a cobweb five band HF antenna on loan from Tom G0PSU, plus a 4m vertical and a 6m/2m/70cm colinear. In 1994 the Cobweb was replaced with a KT34XA tribander. The P60 suffered storm damage in 2002 and was replaced by a heavy duty P60 in 2003. Since then we’ve used parts of the original P60, along with the boom of our old Yagi as a makeshift mast to hold up a 40m doublet at 53’. We are very grateful to José Valencia of MCT who repaired and welded the broken middle section. The mast is now a few feet shorter than original, but is fully usable with new guys, steel ropes and telescoping winch, (the luffing winch had already been replaced). The mast will support a new 40m doublet (for 40m and 30m use), our old colinear, and be topped off with a new Broadband Hexbeam antenna, turned with a Yaesu G650 rotator.
This Hexbeam antenna is a development of an old idea, and is the result of much painstaking modelling and practical testing by Steve Hunt G3TXQ (not far from us in MK). These can be home made, but are also commercially available from several sources. We bought ours from Ant, MW0JZE, who has done a fantastic production engineering job. The antenna went together perfectly and without a hitch. Thank you to Edward, Paul M0OOM’s son, who turned out on a grey Sunday afternoon to help us put it together – see photo over the page. The antenna gives us a two element six band Yagi, for 20/17/15/12/10/6m; our first directional antenna for 6m and the WARC bands, plus a backup / alternative direction antenna for the traditional HF bands.
At the time of writing, the new antenna system is still not quite finished. The nearby trees and bushes have grown over the years, and Estates are getting them trimmed back for us to allow enough space to raise the antenna. The new building that replaced the old poly-tunnel also restricts our space. We’re hoping to be able to get it up soon, and are looking forward to trying it all out.
Congratulations to Frank, formerly M3ZVI, who has upgraded his licence and now holds the callsign 2E0YAR. He is also booked on the advanced course and hopes to get the call G0HNU by March / April next year.
Paul M0OOM and his son Edward – the Hexbeam was bigger than we anticipated!
Off topic, but members may be interested in the following very interesting website which shows in real time the nation’s total real-time electricity usage, and how that power is generated, along with a host of other interesting information. http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/.
Another unrelated but interesting event this year was the launch of the 10cm cube ‘FUNcube’ amateur satellite. Details of this project can be found at www.funcube.org.uk. The first command was sent to the satellite from the National Radio Centre at nearby Bletchley Park. (OUARC member Tony Duggan G0LAX is a NRC volunteer, and Paul M0OOM designed and built one of their displays). The first edition of the free “FUNcube Handbook” available at:
Unfortunately we were not able to attend the DDRC sale at Stockwood Park this year. However, Paul and Edward had a very successful day at the MKARS sale, making £322.70 for club funds, almost double last year’s takings. Thanks again to MKARS for the free club pitch.
That’s about it for now; hope to see some of you at the AGM in January. Season's Greetings…