Contesting on the Mull of Kintyre takes a good bit of forward planning. Paul, G1GSN, Howard, G0VTL and Keith, G4ODA , all members of the Five Bells Contest group made the journey in two four-wheel drive vehicles. Including the loading up, the trip took a whole day. The site had been preselected after some earlier contest operations and discussions with a local farmer who informed them that other contest groups had used the site in the past.
While the site looked ideal at 300 ft asl, getting on it proved to be a problem since once off the track the vehicles were in danger of sinking into the boggy ground.
For power the group relied on a 2 KW generator powered by liquid gas. The unit proved to be fine for VHF although it did make noise at HF. This was not a problem since the team were there to participate in a four metre FM/SSB contest. The assembly of the two eleven element homebrew beams was quickly accomplished and the two antennas were mounted one above the other with one wavelength separation. The contest went well, even without access to a data link for the cluster. The radio equipment was a homebrew transverter and a homebrew amp.
They had arrived on site on a Friday to set up for the contest on Sunday. By 3 o’clock Sunday the contest had finished and by 4, the entire outfit was packed and ready to set off for home.
We’re back after a short break. Hope you like the “new look.”
Our PowerPoint Quiz turned out to be a bit more taxing than expected. The inclusion of questions concerning radio amateurs from America was a surprise to most as were some of the more ‘obscure’ country capitols and prefixes. Most members judged the quiz to be ‘interesting’ and the winning team was John West, Gareth Howell, Alan Little and Ian Jefferson who each received a bottle of the red stuff.
In the first instance, Larry, G4OXY, the regional representative for region 9, asked the members how many radio amateurs there were in the UK. Most guesses were rather wide of the mark of 40 to 50,000. The apparent vagary in the numbers is caused by amateurs holding more than one callsign. However, it was revealed that the RSGB membership now stands at 21,500 members. When a poll was taken of members present, only a very few were non members of the Society and Larry offered to sign them up right there and then!
Larry went on to show the many ways in which the Society helps amateurs. The list which was not definitive but listed services such as support of Contests, Planning assistance, EMC , Propagation information, IOTA, Technical forum, Spectrum Planning, Exam activities, NOVs, ARDF, Beacons and Repeaters, GB2RS news, Awards, Intruder Watch, Aros, and Ofcom and IARU liaison.
The problem facing many clubs is the ageing membership and what to do to get younger people interested. It was mooted that modern technology would be more of interest and to that end the idea of remote control of communications equipment might give the possibility of using amateur radio in areas where big masts and large antennas are not possible.
25 members arrived in time for a 20:00 start to the Club’s 66th Annual General Meeting. Business flowed steadily with no major sticking points. All the Officers and committee members were returned unopposed and we also welcomed back to the committee our webmaster. The elected are:
Ken Amos, G4YRF, Chairman
Bryan Borne, M0BIK, Vice Chairman
John Burnett, 2E0OAK, Secretary
Steve Durham, M0DYR, Treasurer
Don Ross, G4LOO, Equipment Officer
Paul Bradfield, G1GSN
John West, G6RHL
Paul Godfrey, M0PSW
David Lloyd, G8UOD
Ian Jefferson, G1JCC, webmaster