Skip to content The Open University


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

The inaugural meeting of the OUARC was held on the 16th November 1990. The lunch time meeting at Walton Hall was organised by Adrian G4KFC who became our first Chairman. Looking back over our first four years we have achieved a great deal, and with a hobby such as this there is no shortage of new projects to embark upon.

The club station has now reverted back to G0OUR, the GB25OU callsign having run out on the 24th October. In all we made around 1000 contacts using the special callsign, with stations in 70 different countries. Operation was on all HF bands SSB and CW, plus some SSB and FM on 2m. All QSL cards were sorted and despatched to the bureau on the 26th October, and we have a fast growing pile of incoming cards.

Back in early August we fitted the new top section and winch cable to the tower. The tower had been bodged by its previous owner, but is now restored to full working order, and can now attain its full design height. In November we fitted new guy shackles, a new head unit complete with rotator and a short steel stub mast. Above this is a 4m aluminium pole with a bearing at the top supporting the doublet centre piece. This will allow us to maintain the doublet apex at 75 feet once the beam is fitted. The doublet has been replaced with a new 270' length of hefty stranded copper wire, and a new length of open wire feeder has been made up. A heath robinson arrangement of spacers and flexible pipe takes care of the two rotating parts of the feeder!

The Cobweb has been removed in readiness for fitting the new beam. This aerial has given very good service and we hope to re erect it on a smaller mast for short skip and general omnidirectional use. The 2m ground plane remains on a cross arm at the 60' level. A second cross arm has been fitted which supports a balun for an 80m dipole, a 67' vertical, and the top of a 7MHz quad loop. The latter looks very promising, the first contact being with K6DC in Santa Barbara, California. That was at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon!

The HF beam (KLM KT34XA) was delivered in early September. We had heard that these aerials were a bit fiddly to put together, but we didn't realise that they come in over 1000 pieces! All the complicated sub sections, i.e. capacitors and linear resonators have been assembled. We hope in the coming weeks to complete the final assembly. We will then be able to do some basic tests with the aerial mounted on a short pole to make sure there are no problems. Finally the beam will be partially dismantled and reassembled on the tower.

In September we submitted a successful bid to GPFC for financial help to buy various ancillary items for the shack, i.e. dummy load, VSWR meter, 2 aerial switches, and an MFJ Antenna Analyser. This latter item is extremely useful when building and adjusting aerials, and is available for local members to borrow.

Jim G1HUE is a member of AMSAT UK and is very keen on putting together a club station for working the Oscar 13 satellite, which can give world wide coverage. The club already has a suitable 2m rig, and an 8XY aerial for which Jim is investigating a phasing harness. We also have other necessary hardware available such as a short mast, rotator etc. but we will need to look into buying a second hand 70cm rig.

On the packet front, our local BBS GB7BEN has been taken over by Dave G8TTK/G4NVB. We wish Dave all the best and also thank Chris G6WZD for all his help in the past. We still link to BEN on 6m but now using vertical polarisation. We are planning to replace this with a full duplex 9600 baud link in the future and work has started on a pair of UHF Westminster's. We have our end of a 9600 baud 430/439 MHz star link to GB7LWB up and running. The LWB end of the link is planned to come on over Christmas. Our 4m port has been moved from the Cluster frequency to 70.4875 since EB, who we link to on 70cm, now has a dedicated 6m link to the DXH Cluster. We can connect directly to GB7BED on 4m and hope to use this frequency in future for mail transfer to GB7ZPU. Thanks to a grant from the OU Club, we have managed to obtain a second hand USCC card which Ian has fitted to the TCP/IP machine. Unfortunately he has yet to obtain a version of NOS that supports the card! We have also bought a very good value (21 pounds !) 2m and 70cm VSWR/Power meter which is proving invaluable for setting up the packet rigs and aerials.

Tom G3LMX is building the clubs ATV equipment into a smart instrument case donated by Jim G1HUE. I understand the local TV repeater GB3TG is off the air at the moment and is being rebuilt following a lightening strike.

We welcome two new members. Firstly Robert Seaton who is a Trainee Electronics Technician in IFEC at Walton Hall. Secondly, David Lane G4MUY M4653142 of Dunston, Lincoln, whose course profile includes T102, DT200, and E208.

Unfortunately we missed the RSGB Club Calls Contest this year, but lets hope we can put in a good entry next time. GX0OUR was activated for a while during the CQ WW CW contest in November, and generated a few pileups. The K1EA contest logging program was used.

Our members profile this time comes from Paul O'Connor M4526219 of Edgbaston, Birmingham, who was one of the mainstays of the GB25OU operation on Open Day. Paul holds the callsigns 2E0AAV and G1ZCY. Paul's course history includes S102, T102, S236 and T223. He plans to study MS284, S281 and T202 in the future. In addition to OUARC Paul is a member of RSGB and the GQRP Club, and often mans their stand at the NEC. Paul also plans to join the OU Geological Society. He is secretary of Edgbaston Branch Labour Party. Current equipment comprises 2m and 70cm handhelds, a home made 80m CW rig and an HF receiver, plus a 286 PC used for his OU courses. He is also planning to get going on packet when funds permit. Paul lives in a radio 'black hole' so activity on the bands is limited, although he is within half a mile of the repeater GB3CB on RB14. Paul was one of the first Class B licensees to obtain a Novice A licence, being the first 5wpm testee in Birmingham.

Last but not least please remember that 1995 subscriptions are due on 1st January 1995. Subs remain at 6 pounds per annum, and cheques can be made payable to OUARC. Finally merry Christmas and a happy and successful new year to everyone.
Stop Press:

Please note our AGM will be held at 12.30pm in the Green Room (above the Lecture Theatre) on Wednesday the 18th of January. Everyone is welcome and will local members please make every effort to attend.
Contact: Adrian Rawlings