Another highly successful field day was the general conclusion at the end of the weekend camp on Cleeve Hill – in spite of the chilly and windy weather. The event started on the Friday afternoon with the erection of a couple of gazebos and a mast. And with the positioning of the club’s newly acquired “portaloo” in a quiet spot.. A few of us stayed overnight and were joined by a few more for a superb breakfast cooked by Rich M0XRB.
Most of the weekend’s activity took place on the Saturday with a good number of members turning up to play radio or just to chat and drink beer or cider. One of the highlights was the WW2 military truck owned by Tony G3YYH and Martin M0MGA equipped with a fully working station – a Wireless Set No12 transmitter and an R107 receiver – which was put to good use on 80m AM. Tony and Martin accompanied by Rich M0XRB will be taking the truck to France in June for this year’s D-Day celebrations in Normandy by which time Tony’s WS52 equipment, which he spoke about at our April meeting, will also be fitted into the truck. (Hopefully we’ll have more information about this trip nearer the time.) Another highlight was the HexBeam erected on site by Peter M1TCP – and very impressive it looked too. He worked some interesting DX in the couple of hours that the antenna was up in the air. Mike G8NSZ was active on QRP for much of the weekend with either an FT817 or an IC-705 and with end-fed wires in inverted V configuration. Although the antennas were only some 4m high at the apex, Mike worked across the pond to North America as well as all around Europe. Mike G4GHL spent some time operating the club’s station, signing G5BK/P, and he too made a number of interesting contacts mainly (all?) on CW. Other members operated from their cars or with hand-helds, so plenty of RF was generated on the site during the weekend. Some kite flying took place but none supported an aerial. Saturday afternoon/early-evening saw us joined by family members and friends for the customary BBQ with a seemingly endless supply of pizzas cooked by Smurf M0URF. Chatting and drinking went on until late into the night – for a few at least!
Sunday was lower key but members still turned up to chat and play radio. We started to dismantle the camp around mid-day and by 3pm we had packed up, were clear of the site and on our way home.
It was a great weekend. Records show that at least 24 members visited the site, plus three radio visitors and eight family members and friends. Considering the poor weather conditions that’s a good attendance. Many thanks must go to the organisers: Rich M0XRB, Smurf M0URF, Tony G3YYH and James 2E0RLE and to their many helpers, especially those who turned up to help with the “uping” and the “downing” of the camp. They all did a great job. We look forward to the next Fun Field Day – 16th, 17th and 18th September. Let’s hope for better weather.
In a change to the previously advertised meeting, on Thursday 19th May members are now invited to bring along something or somethings from their shacks which will be of interest to other members. May be something old, may be something new. May be something built. Maybe a useful software package. May be pictures of shacks or antennas, now or from the past. Photos of past club activities would be good to see.
Please do bring along something and let’s have a successful meeting with plenty to see and chat about.
Last month Chairman Tony G3YYH spoke to us about his ex-Army Wireless Set No52 and the work he had done to restore it from a “wreck” rescued from a junk yard to a fully working piece of equipment. This involved a good deal of time, effort and ingenuity including the building of a completely new power supply unit and the construction of a cabinet to house the three separate units – transmitter, receiver and power supply. The cabinet was made from steel sheet and angle – and was appropriately heavy, very heavy! Tony entertained us well not only with the description of the restoration project but also with interesting radio related stories. Our thanks go to Tony for a fascinating and enjoyable meeting.
The annual Constructors’ Exhibition, held on Thursday 17th March, was well attended considering it was race week in Cheltenham and the consequential heavy traffic.
Ten exhibits were on display, ranging from the large to the small, from the complex to the simple. It was pleasing to see such a wide range of excellent exhibits showing that home construction is still alive and well among CARA members.
The Bill Brown G5BK Memorial Cup for “Best in Show” went to Keith G3XGW for his recently built 1930s 0-V-1 TRF(Tuned Radio Frequency) receiver using components from that era. 0-V-1 indicates that the receiver had no RF stage, a detector (V) and one AF stage. It was a fine piece of home construction which looked looked very authentic and so it well merited the Best in Show award.
The Pat Moore G3IKR Memorial Cup for “Innovative Construction” went to John G8CQX for his stereo code processor using a home constructed and built PCB. The processor feeds left and right signals to stereo earphones which gives the impression that the signal is moving from left to right, or from right to left, as the receiver is tuned across the signal. A very useful technique for separating closely spaced CW signals. An excellent adaption of a technique first developed many years ago.
The Roger Kendall G0UPU Memorial Cup for best software and computer related project went to Rich M0XRB for his remote controlled station set-up. Rich demonstrated how he could control and operate his remote station using an iPad and a DJ console. The station consisted of a Flex-6400 SDR transceiver with a Palstar auto-ATU and a 122m wire loop above a metal roof; the station being controlled by a Raspberry Pi. A very impressive set-up well worthy of the award.
Congrats to the three winners and many thanks to all the exhibitors for helping to put on such a good show,
We had a successful auction disposing of radio related items from the shacks, workshops and garages of a couple of local “Silent Keys”. A goodly sum was raised for the beneficiaries, the families. Not everything was sold, mainly through not reaching the reserve prices. These lots will be either be advertised locally or taken to a radio rally later this year. Many thanks to Tony G3YYH who did a super job as auctioneer coaxing bids from members and to all who took part. This was our first proper face-to-face meeting for many months and it was great to see such a good turnout.
25th December – Christmas Day Net at 10am on 145.4MHz or an adjacent 25kHz channel.
1st January – New Year’s Day Net at 10am on 145.4MHz or an adjacent 25kHz channel..
The AGM and Social Evening scheduled for Thursday 16th December has been cancelled.
The decision to cancel was taken for two main reasons. Firstly to safeguard the health and wellbeing of members in the current Covid climate and secondly in view of the number of apologies for absence being received, many quoting or implying Covid as the reason. The rapid spread of the latest variant was also a cause for concern along with its potency and lack of knowledge about the consequence of infection.
Subscriptions for 2022 do not fall due until 1st January. Information about payment options will be issued in due course. The Committee has recommended that the annual subscription should rise from £13 to £15 and in the present exceptional circumstances (the Covid pandemic causing the cancellation of the AGM) this will not be put to the usual vote of approval.
The 2021 AGM will be held on Thursday 16th December at the usual venue, the Robin’s Nest at the Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road. Doors will be open by 7.30pm for an 8pm start. Here is the agenda.
1. Apologies for Absence.
2. Minutes of the 2020 AGM.
3. Chair’s Report.
4. Announcement of Awards.
5. Treasurer’s Report.
6. Annual Subscription for 2022.
Proposal by the Committee: That the annual subscription be raised from £13 to £15 with effect from 2022.
7. Election of Officers:
d. Membership Secretary.
8. Election of Ordinary Committee Members (maximum of three).
9. Election of Accounts Examiner(s).
10. Any Other Business.
Following the AGM there will be a social evening with a finger buffet and drinks.
CARA is resuming its monthly meetings at the Robin’s Nest, Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road GL52 5NA. These will normally be held on the third Thursday of the month, doors will be open by 7.30pm for an 8pm start.
Dates for the next few months: 16th September; 21st October; 18th November; 16th December. Details of these meetings will be published in due course.
Visitors and prospective members will be welcomed.
The 44th AGM of the Cheltenham Amateur Radio Association was held on 10th December, on-line using Jitsi. Some 30 members joined the meeting.
The Minutes of the 2019 AGM and the Chair’s Report were approved unanimously without comment.
Chairman Tony G3YYH announced the following awards: The Bernard King G3CEG Cup for noteworthy and praiseworthy on-the-air activities to Ken G3LVP. The John Holt G3GWW Trophy for exceptional service to the club to, exceptionally, three members who individually had helped members to keep in touch during the past difficult year:: Christopher M0YNG for IT support; Alan M0NRO for his webSDR which is used by members to overcome their local noise problems, and to Tim G8PZD for bringing members together at the regular Monday morning coffee mornings. The G3IKR Rose Bowl, a special award, went to Peter G3YJE for extended services as Treasurer and for scanning in 500 copies of CARA News for CARA’s archives and countless numbers of magazines for the World Radio History website. All the above awards were met with warm applause.
Treasurer James 2E0RLE said that the club had moved to digital on-line banking. His Report was approved unanimously without comment.
Chairman Tony G3YYH explained that, as the club had incurred very little expenditure during the past year, the Committee was proposing that members in 2020 should have their membership carried over to 2021 without further payment. The proposal was seconded and passed unanimously. Nevertheless several members expressed a desire to pay a subscription in 2021; it was recommended that instead they make a donation to the club.
The were no nominations for the post of Chair or Secretary. The present incumbents, Tony G3YYH and Derek G3NKS respectively, were, having served the maxi,um period of five years allowed by the Constitution, not eligible to put themselves forward for re-election but the meeting unanimously approved a proposal that they continue in post for another year. James 2E0RLE was re-elected as Treasurer and Andrew M0MVA as Membership Secretary. Alan M0NRO, Christopher M0YNG and Rich 2E0KXL were all re-elected as Ordinary Committee Members. Tony G3SNN was re-elected as Accounts Examiner.
Under Any Other Business: Max M0VNG asked when the GB3RC 70cm repeater on Cleeve Hill would be operational, Rich 2E0KXL replied that the project was well underway but he was currently very busy with other work. New member Michael G7PTV introduced himself to the meeting.
Members expressed their thanks to Tony G3YYH for chairing the meeting and to Christopher M0YNG for providing and managing Jitsi. The Chair thanked members for joining the meeting and closed the AGM at 20.38.hrs.