25 Sept. 2014 – Yaesu System Fusion Explained by Mr. Paul Bigwood

A good club turnout heard Paul explain the technicalities of Yaesu’s new VHF/UHF DR-1XE digital repeater system. The equipment is not meant to be a total solution, but a building block in which radio amateurs can easily configure or ‘add to’ in order to build a ‘personal system’.  Paul explained that full system information is supplied as well as many ports and connectors to enable user system modifications. Of course, the repeater could be used just ‘as is’, if necessary, often as a direct swop.

A quick demonstration showed the unit could handle inputs in both analogue and C4FM digital with outputs in either format as required, the selections being automatic and not necessarily selected by the users who can communicate freely between C4FM digital and analogue FM.

In use with the Yaesu FT1DE handheld or the FTM-400DE mobile, real-time navigation function transmitted together with the voice signal enables location checking at any time. The distance and direction to other stations on the system can be displayed in real-time while communicating with them.

Members got a taste of what the equipment was capable of, but in the short time available, it was obvious the equipment was capable of much more.

Left, Ken Amos, Chairman, discusses equipment with Paul Bigwood of Yaesu.
Left, Ken Amos, Chairman, discusses equipment with Paul Bigwood of Yaesu. Photo by G3JNB

18 Sept 2014 – Don Field, Editor of PW, Visits Club


G3XTTBryan Bourne opened the evening by telling us about Frederick James Camm who edited the first issue of Practical Wireless and continued until his early death in February 1959.  Then introducing the new editor, Bryan handed over to Don.

Don said how he became interested in amateur radio and began writing amateur radio articles on HF. including items for CDXC Digest, Amateur Radio Today and Ham radio magazine, which he enjoyed doing.

PW, along with the other many “Practical” magazines was moved to Bournemouth and when the publishers decided to close down these magazines, a management buyout took over PW (and Falconers). A very small staff for artwork, advertising, and editorial is all that is left.

Rob Mannion was employed by the new publishers and when he retired last year, Don Field took over on a freelance basis. He found this much harder than writing articles, as he was always under pressure to meet deadlines, to live within budgets, please the advertisers, increase the circulation, cope with the many reader’s view on what the magazine should be. As the only radio magazines that is now on sale mainly through W H Smiths – he feels a responsibility to keep the magazine going.

He has started to change the authors from Rob’s time and would like to include more constructional projects, but this seemed to him to be unlikely. All the text and pictures are now sent to him in Word format – no paperwork is involved. As editor it is a time consuming activity but he also has to find time for his family and other activities.

Brian Farey brought a selection of PWs to show how the magazine had changed since the early 30s (first issue in 1932) to the current issue. He also displayed examples of the various free gifts ranging from an early Blueprint to amateur radio data cards.

There was a good attendance, including visitors from nearby clubs.

The evening ended with questions from the members and Victor presented Don with a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of PW’s significant and historic role in informing, training and entertaining the countless generations of wireless enthusiasts and amateur radio operators since 1932.

L to R, John Burnett, Club Secretary, Don Field, Victor Brand
L to R, John Burnett Club Secretary, Don Field,  and  Victor Brand.    Photos by Paul Bradfield.  text by Brian Farey


11 Sept. 2014 – A Compilation video of Space and the Space Station

FERMI                                                                                   NASA Photo

Tonight’s presentation was  a video from NASA and ESA telling the story of FERMI, the Gamma-ray telescope in low earth orbit used to examine a ‘Transformer’ Pulsar which was revealed to be a binary constructed of two stars orbiting their common centre of mass.

This was followed by a video tour of the Space Station and finally how the Soyuz accomplishes the safe return of astronauts to earth.

space stationNASA Photo


4 Sept. 2014 – Welcome Back

We had a very good turnout last evening at the club; members told of experiences during the break and listened to discussions about up and coming events.

Next week, 11 Sept. will be a video evening featuring a compilation of reports about recent events in astronomy and space travel.

The following week, 18 Sept. the club will host Don Field, G3XTT, editor of Practical Wireless, telling of his first year with the magazine.