Well, here we are again fast approaching the end of another year. Please make a note of our forthcoming 2017 AGM which is on Tuesday 10th January at 12.30pm. This year we’ll be in: Central Meeting Room 06, on the ground floor. This is accessed from outside via the 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 Treasurer, Paul Maher, IT, Berrill Building, O.U., Walton Hall, MK7 6AA. Email email@example.com.
You may notice from the above that we have a new club Treasurer in Paul M0OOM. Paul and Fraser have swapped roles since the last AGM, so Fraser G4BJM is the new club Chair.
Equipment wise all is working well touch wood. We bought a Winkeyer (USB keyer) kit to replace the old home made one that was on loan. Thanks to Paul M0OOM for building the kit, which is now working well in the shack. Early this year we had to take down, or at least move the bottom legs of the 40m bi-square antenna. That was to make way for the erection of a new building, parallel to the Waste Management building. This is to house a Mars landscape and will facilitate STEM student experiments via the web. One set of guys for the M100 mast had to be relocated, which was done by the contractors (AJS) and co-ordinated by OU Estates. It looks like there is just about space to get the bi-square back in position. Unfortunately the matching unit somehow got filled with rainwater while the aerial was out of use, so it needs refurbishing or rebuilding. Meanwhile we still have the 40m doublet on the old P60 tower, which can be used on 40m and 30m.
We’ve been doing some tidying up of the weeds, in particular clearing around the guy stakes. Thanks in particular to Adrian M0ANS who used his scything skills to clear around the M100 base. Adrian has been quite active from the club in recent months using QRP CW.
We discovered that the builders had removed some lower guys and moved in one of the M100 mast base outriggers. Fortunately we noticed this and fixed it before any problem occurred. Very remiss of the builders though.
Thank you to Paul and Tony who manned our pitch at the DDRC Stockwell Park boot sale back in May, raising money for club funds, and further reducing our ‘junk’ pile. Thanks in particular to Paul for also taking the trouble to sell some club junk items on eBay. Unusually we did not bid for OU Club funds this year, and have had minimal expenditure. We are looking at replacing and upgrading our rather shabby selection of tools, which will be long overdue.
Jeff and Paul have done an excellent job of tidying up the shack and also our adjacent storage shed. The shed now has a useful workbench area with some test gear and a small stock of components and other useful items. A far cry from a year or so back when you could hardly get in the door due to the piles of junk.
In November we bid farewell to Ian G0TLB, one of the longest standing club members. Ian is leaving the OU having worked here in the electronics labs (IFEC) for over 25 years. He is off to travel the world, starting in India where he plans to stay into next year, then on to SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and that’s just for starters. We’ll miss him, but wish him all the best on his travels. Ian was very active in the early days of the club, in particular setting up the club’s AX25 and TCP/IP packet node. In it’s heyday running five VHF/UHF ports, plus an internet gateway. In those days 1200 baud and a staggering 9600 baud! Much of the mail forwarding for the local BBSs was through the OU. The node has not been in use for some years. Last year we took down the antennas from the Venables Building roof, and this summer Ian and Fraser removed what remained of the equipment from the node cupboard. Hopefully we can get a few quid for some of the old node gear, and Ian has donated his collection PMR radios too.
An old photo of the G0OUR packet node in full swing
OUARC member Tony G0LAX is one of the volunteer operators and demonstrators at the RSGB’s National Radio Centre in nearby Bletchley Park. Tony says club members are always welcome. They have a very well equipped station, with the latest SDR technology from Flex Radio, the flagship Yaesu FTDX5000 radio, and a 3 element SteppIR beam. Tony is there almost every Sunday and would be very happy to show members around the displays (one of which was designed and built by our own Paul M0OOM). There is free access to the NRC. Also, RSGB members can download a voucher which gives free access to all the interesting Bletchley Park exhibits. Tony also gives weekday BP tours a few times a month.
This year has been fairly quiet in terms of club activity, and we urge members to make use of the excellent G0OUR station, and in particular to put in an appearance at club meetings in the shack on Thursday lunchtimes, from 12.30ish. New active members are also very welcome.
That’s about it for now; hope to see some of you at the AGM on the 10th of January. Meanwhile, premature Season's Greetings…
Contact: Adrian Rawlings firstname.lastname@example.org