All posts by sadars

Licensed as M5KVK.

4 Oct 2018 – 70 Years of Shefford Radio Society

The Shefford and District Amateur Radio Society celebrated it’s 70th year of continuous operations on Thursday, the 4th of October 2018.   —Click on any photo to see a larger size view—Use back arrow to go back to the site.

With almost 70 attending, the Chairman, Ken Amos, welcomed everyone and gave a short run down of the Club’s history.

Chairman’s (L) welcome speech

The Chairman  introduced the Mayor at Shefford, Councillor Paul Mackin

(L) Mayor, Councillor Paul Mackin

Views of some attending      Next to address the assembled group was Steve Thomas, M1ACB the General Manager of the Radio Society of Great Britain

(L) Steve Thomas General Manager of the RSGB

The Bacon brothers with Steve Thomas.

(L to R) Jim Bacon, Steve Thomas and Dick Bacon

Just one of our two cakes!
Steve Thomas cut the  cake for us

After the cake cutting the Mayor signed Brian’s book, The History of the Shefford and District Amateur Radio Society.

The Mayor signed Brian’s book which was published today!

And so the evening came to an end.  I would like to offer a BIG THANK YOU to all those who helped on the night, specially the wives  and partners who pitched in to help with the clean up operations. Thanks also to the committee members who helped with the planning and execution, specially David Lloyd, our secretary and his wife Jackie.

 

 

Baldock Radio Monitoring Station Visit

The evening kicked off at 18.30 hours with a visit to the anechoic chamber used to test aerials looking for nulls and unwanted problems. The chamber is completely isolated from outside RF interference to enable near perfect test conditions.

We were also shown some of the vehicles used to monitor different frequencies in remote locations. These vans have been specially designed to enable RF to reach the equipment through plastic panels in the roofs. The vehicles are fitted with a variety of aerials to meet the specific test needs.

After a short tea break we were taken to the Spectrum Monitoring Operations Room where Iain gave us a comprehensive guide through all the different types of equipment used to monitor and analyse the frequencies under review.

The facilities are very impressive with the ability to analyse different bands as well as DF specific frequencies to locate interference. This equipment can accurately give a heading to within a couple of degrees, however it can also give the inclination of the received signal.

Different parts of the spectrum are analysed over a 24 hour period to check for unusual signals, there is also equipment to look for RSGB Intruder Watch requests.

The Station communicates with other similar organisation globally to pass on data to help resolve problems.

The station is manned 24/7 to help reduce RF interference. The station also provides a monitoring service on 3G and 4G frequencies to ensure that the coverage offered by suppliers meets their claims.

A big thank you to the Ofcom team for a splendid evening.

(report by David, G8UOD)

21 June 2018 – A Visit to Moonraker UK Ltd.

The visit to Moonraker went well. There were 22 visitors who were given an outline of the business, their market and the size of their customer base, much of which is mail order, covering a large geographical area selling products all over Europe. (www.moonraker.eu)

The business has changed over the past few years and the old small shop/showroom has now become large with a very broad selection of amateur equipment, including many transceivers, both handheld and base station. They sell a large variety of antennas and the accessories to go with them.

Some visitors made purchases of equipment, while others asked questions. For this visit the  group was split into two for a guided tour around the warehouse, offices and the workshop where aerials are made. The business has grown substantially over the recent past and Moonraker has become a market wholesaler as well as retailer.
Coffee, tea and soft drinks with biscuits were provided. All in all, an interesting evening.

(Report by David, G8UOD)

14 June 2018 – Mobile DF hunt

This year David, G8UOD was the ‘Fox’ and was ready for the start at 2000 hrs.

There were six hounds:

Ian G3ORG >
Martin M0XMP >shared a car
Paul G1GSN
Derek M0DLM *
Geoff G3XDE * Shared a car
Alan G4PSO

Ian and Martin were the first to find the ‘Fox’ in 6.4 miles. at 20.38 hrs.  Derek and Geoff were next, just in time at 10 miles. at 21.10 hrs.
Alan gave up and went home as did Paul, but he met up with us at the watering hole.
Everybody thought it was a good hunt and the hide was a good one.

(report by David, G8UOD)

26 APRil 2018 – Baldock RADIO station HISTORY by james loughlin

James Loughlin (picture from LinkedIn)

James Loughlin was the OFCOM UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) Technical Manager before he retired in April 2017.

A very good turnout of members and visitors enjoyed James history of Baldock Radio Monitoring Station.

Initially (around 1930) the station received Transatlantic radio telephony signals from New Jersey USA, and continued to use HF bands to monitor international Radio Circuits operated by the GPO.

The station is now called the OFCOM Baldock Radio Monitoring Station and the frequency range covered is 9 kHz to 3 GHz.

On receiving complaints of interference, the station can deploy remote monitoring systems placed around the UK together with measuring vehicles if necessary, to track interference sources.

One time the interference being assessed was found to be caused by Jammy Dodgers biscuits being cooked in an oven!!

James described how the station has been testing the use of drones for example to help diagnose problems with radio masts.

Passers-by have recently asked them to broadcast a request as they thought it was 3 Counties Radio.

The station has an amateur radio call sign of G8GPO and is active on 475kHz and other bands.

(Report by Alan, G4PSO)

 

For more information see: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0032/35879/baldock.pdf

22 Feb 2018 – Computer Logging by Gareth, M5KVK

Gareth began by asking members how many used computer logging. The answer was interesting in that only about half of the members present indicated they did. He then continued by noting that although logging is no longer required, in most instances, by Ofcom, there are numerous reasons to keep a log. Those working toward awards need to keep a close tally of the stations they have worked, both for awards and to send and receive QSL cards. PC logging might be for personal satisfaction or data analysis as well as social history.  It was noted that eHam lists no fewer than 140 PC logging programs, some free and others to buy.  It would appear that Log4OM is one of the most popular free logs, followed by Ham Radio Deluxe which used to be free but is now closely maintained, for a price. Gareth asked how many members used their PC logging program to control their rig and the uptake was much less than half of those present.

Several screen shots of Log4OM and Ham Radio Deluxe were shown in order to point out the info provided while operating and logging.

Gareth finished by giving a short rundown of logs that can operate remotely. Using his phone as an internet hot spot, he connected to his home rig and tuned around the bands but didn’t make transmissions.

A copy of Gareth’s presentation can be seen by contacting Ken for a link.       (Members only)

5 Oct. 2017 – Preparations for CQWW 28-29 Oct.

Don began by looking back at results from past years and how we had finished with regard to world wide entries and entries from Europe and the UK.

A review of equipment and logging software followed by a request for members to sign up for Friday setting up, operating during the contest and then packing up on the following Monday.

The current state of the operating rota can be seen under the ‘Contests’   tab on this website.

2016 Club Lunch

8367
L to R Victor Brand, Mrs A. Brand, Owen Williams, Brian Farey
8342
L to R Mrs. Amos, Ken Amos, John Airey, Mrs Airey
8346
L to R Brian Farey, Steve Durham, Mrs. N. Durham
8351
L to R Ian Taylor, John Burnett
8359
L to R Mrs Williams, Victor Brand, Mrs. Brand
8334
L to R Steve Durham, Mrs. Durham, Mrs. Amos, Ken Amos
4 presentations
Top left Victor wins G2DPQ cup, Top Right Steve Wins G4CBI cup. Bottom Left, Brian wins the G3JKK shield, Bottom Right, Owen receives the Club Quiz trophy on behalf of the team.
Don wins First Place in Major Project competition
Don wins First Place in Major Project competition