CARA On-the-Air

Last night’s On-the-Air evening, held in place of the March meeting at the Robin’s Nest, was a great success. At least 20 members appeared on at least one band with several appearing on two or more bands Activity took place on 80m SSB, 10m SSB, 4m FM, 2m FM (simplex and GB3CG) and 70cm D-Star (GB7RC). Many thanks to everyone who took part, great to see so many members chatting to each other on the air.

Watch this space for announcements about further On-the-Air events.

CARA On The Air

In place of this month’s meeting, let’s get on the air and have a chat with fellow club members. Date: Thursday 19th March, from 20.00hrs onwards.

Try one or more of the following (in order of preference):

GB3CG Repeater on 145.725MHz or 145.400MHz FM.

  Or for those who don’t have access to 2m:

28.450MHz USB or 3.675MHZ (or thereabouts) LSB

Appoint a net controller who will ensure that everyone gets a turn. As there may well be newcomers, please introduce yourself by first name. Also these nets may be a good opportunity to offer help to members who are self-isolating or to ask to help.  

. Good luck and have fun. 73, Derek G3NKS

Important Announcement

a. The March and April meetings at the Robin’s Nest are cancelled. Instead you are invited to come on the air at 8pm. Check 2m – GB3CG and 145.4MHz.

b. Decisions about meetings from May onwards will be taken nearer the time.

c. The monthly lunches have been cancelled until further notice.

d. The Monday morning coffee meet at the Aviator is an informal gathering, not sponsored by the committee. Each member should decide whether or not to attend depending on his/her circumstances and vulnerabilities.

The committee considers that these are sensible precautions to take to minimise the possible spread of the virus among members. Members are encouraged to heed government and professional advice regarding symptoms of the coronavirus and to take appropriate action. Thank you for your co-operation and forbearance.

February Meeting

Table Top Sale – Thursday 20th February.

Please bring along items you wish to dispose of, find space on a table and sell to eager buyers. Please bring stuff that’s related to amateur radio – definitely no fluffy toys or chocolates!

If you can mark up the items with prices so much the better. However many members like to haggle over the asking price, so be prepared to do so – it’s all part of the fun! You will be responsible for taking home unsold items. Please do not leave them for the committee to deal with – unless they are worth lots of money! If you’re not selling please come along to buy.

Don’t forget to arrive with pockets full of cash and well loaded wallets! Visitors and prospective members will be warmly welcomed, as always.

Venue: The Robin’s Nest, Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road, Cheltenham GL52 5NA. Doors open at 7.30 for a nominal 8pm start.

January Meeting

A talk by Christopher M0YNG on his latest projects, such as pagers on 70cm, packet radio and “radio shows via DMR” and Hamshack Hotline maybe with a live demo.  He’ll also update us on the projects he spoke about last year.

7.30 for 8pm on Thursday 16th January at the Robins Nest, Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road, GL52 5NA.  Now that Boots Corner is open again to all traffic, getting their from the south and west of the town will be easier.

Visitors and prospective members will be warmly welcomed, as always.

Annual General Meeting – Report

CARA’s 43rd AGM took place on Thursday 12th December 2019 at the Robin’s Nest, Cheltenham Town FC, with Tony G3YYH in the Chair. Tony welcomed 33 persons to the meeting, There were 22 apologies for absence

The Minutes of the 2018 AGM were approved unanimously. The Chair’s Report, published in advance of the meeting, recorded another successful year for the club and highlighted many notable events including two enjoyable Fun Field Days, Foundation and Intermediate courses and the relocation of meetings to the Robin’s Nest. There were no questions. The Report was taken as read and approved unanimously.

Awards: The Bernard King Memorial Cup awarded for noteworthy and praiseworthy on-the-air activities was presented to Stewart G0LGS and Matt 2E0MDJ for their active involvement in VHF, UHF and microwave contests. The John Holt G3GWW Award for notable work for the club went to Rich 2E0KXL for his enthusiasm and services to the local amateur radio community through the provision of a 70cm digital repeater. A special award for the safe erection of antenna masts went to Stewart G0LGS and Matt 2E0MDJ.

The Treasurer’s Report, also published in advance of the meeting, was approved unanimously. There were no questions. Given the healthy state of the Association’s finance the Chair, in the absence of the Treasurer, proposed that the annual subscription remain at £13. Simon G4SGI asked why it had not been raised to £15, the Chair replied that there was no need. Simon then suggested that the subscription could be raised to fund major projects, the Chair replied that if there was a justifiable need then the Committee would review the case for an increase in the annual subscription. The Chairman reminded the meeting that the Committee was always open to feasible proposals for expenditure of club funds. The meeting then approved, unanimously, that the subscription remain at £13 for 2020.

Committee Elections for 2019: In the absence of other nominations, the following were declared duly elected: Chair – Tony G3YYH, Secretary – Derek G3NKS, Treasurer – James 2E0RLE, Membership Secretary – Andrew M0MVA. The Chair took the opportunity to thank the retiring Treasurer, Peter G3YJE, for his valuable services over an extended period. Ordinary committee members – Alan M0NRO, Christopher M0YNG, Rich 2E0KXL. Accounts Examiner – Tony G3SNN (not a member of the Committee).

Any Other Business: Christopher M0YNG proposed a vote of thanks to the Officers for their work during the past year. Approved unanimously with acclamation. The Chair commented that the Committee was always receptive to ideas for meetings and events, and would always welcome offers of help.

Following closure of the formal meeting at 8.30pm, members enjoyed a light finger buffet and lots of chat.

Annual General Meeting 2019

This year’s AGM will take place on Thursday 12th December at the Robin’s Nest, Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road, Cheltenham GL52 5NA.  Doors will be open by 7.30pm for an 8pm start.

Following the AGM there will be a social evening with light refreshments and a cash bar.

November Meeting – Test Equipment

At this meeting members are invited to bring along radio related test gear for display and, ideally, demonstration.

Here a list of some of the equipment we’d like to see: Oscilloscopes Signal generators Frequency counters DVMs (digital volt meters) Antenna analysers SWR meters RF power meters R, L, C measuring devices. Transistor testers. Valve testers. “Grid” Dip Oscillators.

As some members may not be familiar with some of the test gear listed above please, if possible, lay on a simple demonstration of the use of the kit you’ve brought along. Not essential but would be good to do if you can. We should aim to share our knowledge and expertise for the benefit of other members, especially those new to amateur radio. So please help to make this meeting a success by taking an active part. Thanks in advance!

Venuw:  The Robin’s Nest, Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road, Cheltenham GL52 5NA.  Doors will be open by 7.30 for a nominal 8pm start.

October Meeting Report

Our last meeting was well attended, with an excellent display of QRP equipment, old and new, brought along by members.

Mark G4MEM showed an Elecraft KX1 portable QRP HF rig which he uses for SotA (Summits on the Air) activations.

G4MEM kit Mark’s KX-1 with wire antenna and support pole.

Graham exhibited an Icom IC-703 10W HF transceiver and a Thunderpole T-3000 modern CB rig.

G8XRS l-r Nick 2E0NRW and Graham G8XRS

Peter G4ENA produced an FT-70G 2 to 30MHz 3W AM/SSB/CW tx/rx which was designed for use by emergency and commercial organisations particularly overseas.

FT-70G Peter’s pint (or what’s left of it) and the FT-70G

Simon G4SGI had several QRP rigs on display, some build from kits and some neatly fitted into wooden boxes.

G4SGI kit Some of Simon’s kit.

John 2E0POE showed his BITX40 QRP transceiver which he built from a kit.

2E0POE l-r Tim G8PZD and John 2E0POE

Peter G3YJE had brought along a large selection of his QRP kit, including a GQ 40m CW tx/rx, a Heathkit HW-9 5W transceiver covering most of the HF bands with matching wattmeter, and an elderly Heathkit HW-30 2m AM rig,

G3YJE kit G3YJE’s HW-30 2m AM rig.

Derek G3NKS exhibited a number pieces of QRP kit, most of it home-brewed.

G3NKS kit l-r 80m dc rx with an active aerial, ATU, OXO tx, wattmeter, valve tx (on its side).

Tim G8PZD showed his Yaesu FT-817 3W HF/VHF transceiver. (Sorry, no photo.)

Apologies to anyone I’ve may have missed in this report. It was a busy and interesting evening, I’m not sure I managed to get round to all the exhibits.

Foundation Course

CARA is pleased to announce that the next Foundation course will be held over the weekend of 18th and 19th of January 2020 with the exam the following Saturday, 25th January, at 14.00hrs.

For more information and to register for the course please contact Barry at training@g5bk.uk