29 Nov 2012 – DXpedition to Kiritimati Island

John Wayman, G4DRS spoke about the 5 Star DXers Association trip to Kiritimati Island  in the Northern Line Islands, part of the Gilbert Group.  Known as Christmas Island, but not to be confused with the other Christmas Island near Australia. This island is just about on the equator and just about in the centre of the Pacific.

After two years of planning, first class equipment, including 16 Yaesu FT 5000 transceivers and 16 Yaesu Quadra Amps, Yagi antennas, two 11 KVA generators and all that is needed to set up first class stations was packed in a container, complete with satellite tracking and sent on it’s way by ship to Fiji.  Unfortunately, the various shipping companies made promises they couldn’t keep and the container never got closer to it final destination than Tarawa Island which was about 2000 miles to the west. There were no ships available to move the equipment, so Plan C had to be activated in which all 38 operators in the team would hand carry the equipment on their flights.  They took Laptops, Yaesu  FT450 rigs and small amps along with the glassfibre poles, coax and wire  which would be used to make vertical dipole arrays on the beach.

John explained that each member paid their own way and the sponsor’s money and  donations were used for operational specific items.  The final QSO tally showed they had broken previous DXpedition totals by racking up 213,169 contacts!

John and his wife, Sandra are ex club members as were several other visitors who came to hear about this amazing DXpedition.

22 Nov 2012 – The Club Quiz

The annual Club Quiz was held last evening. An excellent quiz was prepared and delivered by David, G0UOD.

It was a shame that nearby clubs who had been invited to attend, did not come.

The quiz covered various subject, including history, politics, radio, mathematics, and general knowledge.  There were three teams of four members, however, the past winners could only field three members which must have contributed to their downfall.

The four members of the winning team received a bottle of wine each and the team of four who found themselves in last place received wooden spoons!   In all, everyone had a good time and we now look forward to the next Quiz!

8 Nov 2012 – VHF/UHF

Tim Kirby, G4VXE from PW spoke about the use and propagation of VHF/UHF.

Various methods of signal propagation were discussed which differ somewhat from those on HF,especially meteor scatter, aurora reflections and various propagations via ducting.

The onset of digital methods makes communications at VHF and UHF less tedious than in the past, since signals too weak to be audible can be copied.

A small USB SDR was demonstrated and worked exceptionally well considering it’s very low cost and ease of use.