Intermediate Training Course and Exam

The Cheltenham Amateur Radio Association is running the following amateur radio training course and exams:

Intermediate training course: Saturday 6th May & Sunday 7th May 09:00-17:00

Intermediate exam: Sunday 14th May 14:00

As previously announced, an Advanced exam will also be held on Sunday 14th May at 14:00

Venue: Hatherley Scout Hall, Penrith Road, Cheltenham

For more information contact Barry at training@g5bk.uk

January Meeting -Report

January saw our first ever “Skills Evening” meeting when several members manned tables to demonstrate or give advice on aspects of amateur radio.

We had eight tables around the room dealing with the following:

RSGB – manned by Giles G0NXA, the RSGB’s the Deputy Regional Manager for Region 5.  He promoted the RSGB and offered advice.

Programming hand-helds and mobiles – Stewart G0LGS was  programming VHF and UHF FM channels into members rigs.

D-Star and DMR Mobile Access  – a demonstration by Matt 2E0MDJ.

Workshop Techniques – a practical demo and display of tools and jigs by Colin G3VTS.

American Radio History – a promotion of the American website by Peter G3YJE.

DATA modes – a live demonstration of, eg, JT65 by Barry M0HFY.

SMD Techniques – Ken G3LVP showed examples of how to mount Surface Mounted Devices.

DXing – Tony G3SNN offered advice on working DX and displayed useful publications.

This turned out to be a very popular meeting with many members commenting how much they enjoyed the evening, with plenty to see and learn, and plenty of time to chat.

Many thanks to everyone who helped to make the evening the success it undoubtedly was, and especially to those who took turns manning the kitchen.

Xmas Day Net

The annual CARA Christmas Day net on 2m was exceedingly well supported this year, with over 20 members calling in to exchange seasonal greetings.  Fortunately not all appeared at the same time otherwise the net would have been somewhat unwieldy!  As it was Ken G3LVP, who kindly assumed the role of Net Controller, had a difficult task keeping track of those calling-in and those signing-out but he did a really sterling job and thanks go to him for keeping us in order.

CARA members taking part were: Giles G0NXA, Ken G3LVP, Derek G3NKS, Tony G3PJQ, Ian G3TDT, Graham G3VKV, Colin G3VTS, Tony G3YYH, Martin G4ENZ, Graham G4FUJ, Michael G4GHL, Tony G8JAY, Tim G8PZD, John G8TTJ, Barry M0HFY, Ian M0ITF, John M0JBM, Jon M0JMM, Jan M0UPA, Smurf M0URF, Christopher M0YNG, Eddie M6FYK.  Non-CARA members included Richard G4ERP and M6UBJ.

AGM Report

The 40th AGM of the Association was held on 15th December.

Tony G3YYH chaired the meeting which was attended by 32 members and 2 visitors. Fifteen apologies for absences were noted.

The Chairman’s and Treasurer’s Reports were approved without comment.

Certificates of Merit were presented to the section winners in the two CARA Challenges held during 2016.
It was announced that the Bernard King G3CEG Cup had been awarded to Graham G3VKV in recognition of his outstanding successes working through satellites and in particular through FO-29. Unfortunately Graham was not able to attend to receive the Cup, it will be presented to him later.
Exceptionally, the John Holt G3GWW Award went to three members of CARA in recognition of their sterling efforts and successes organising and running Foundation and Intermediate training courses: Ian G3TDT as the lead trainer for Foundation courses; Iain M0PCB as the lead trainer for Intermediate courses; Barry M0HFY for coordinating students, courses and exams.
Full citations will be posted separately and will also appear in CARA News.

It was agreed that the annual subscription should remain at £13.

The following were elected, unopposed, to serve on the 2017 committee.
Officers:
Chairman: Tony G3YYH
Secretary: Derek G3NKS
Treasurer: Peter G3YJE
Committee Members:
Christopher M0YNG
Graham G8URP

Tony G3SNN was re-elected Accounts Examiner.

Under Any Other Business:
The pros and cons of moving to Newlands Park were debated. Strong views were voiced for and against the move. The Chairman assured the meeting that no decision to move will be taken without further consultation with the membership.
The year 2017 sees the 40th anniversary of CARA, to celebrate the occasion a barbeque and special event station was suggested.
Jon M0JMM spoke about the desirability of, and difficulty of, encouraging youngsters into the hobby. Max M0VNG described his positive experience with National Science Week in schools. It was said that youngsters were often attracted by what might be regarded as peripheral, rather than mainstream, amateur radio activities eg DF events and Raynet.

The meeting closed at 20.45.

Annual General Meeting

The 40th AGM of the Cheltenham Amateur Radio Association will be held at 8pm on Thursday 15th December 2016 at the Brizen Young Peoples’ Centre, Up Hatherley Way. About a week before the meeting members will receive the usual “AGM Document” containing the minutes of last year’s meeting, the Chairman’s and the Treasurer’s Reports and the Financial Statement.

After the formal AGM the Membership-Secretary/Treasurer will be available to receive annual subscriptions for 2017.

Doors will be open by 7.30pm.

November Meeting – Report

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We were delighted to welcome Tim G4VXE back to Cheltenham to tell us about “Simple Satellite Operating”. He explained how with relatively simple equipment, such as a dual-band hand-held FM transceiver for 2m and 70cm with a hand-held yagi type aerial, it was possible to work through certain orbiting satellites by selecting the most appropriate orbit and time. He went on to describe the current amateur satellites in orbit and their various frequencies and modes of operation. Finally he mentioned the exploits of some of the leading proponents of satellite operating and the distances they achieve. In all a very interesting, informative and stimulating meeting and our grateful thanks go to Tim for the excellence of his presentation.

There was a good attendance, 37 people signed-in, well above the average number for most CARA meetings. Many thanks to everyone who turned out to support this special meeting. We were pleased to welcome several visitors and we look forward to seeing them again.

Most of those attending seemed happy with the venue, which was “on-trial”, in spite of the unexpected presence of others – we had been promised exclusive use of the room. Before the Committee makes any decision to move, the desirability or not of transferring to Newlands will be discussed at the AGM on 15th December at Brizen.

FOUNDATION COURSE

The Amateur Radio Foundation Level Course being held over the weekend of 3rd/4th December 2016 is now full.

We are planning to run further courses during 2017, dates will be announced here when known.

If you wish to register your interest in a future course, please email Barry at training@g5bk.uk

FOUNDATION COURSE AND EXAM

There are still places available on the Foundation level course being held in Cheltenham over the weekend of 3rd/4th December.

The Foundation level exam will be held on Sunday 11th December at 2pm.

For further details please contact Barry at training@g5bk.uk as soon as possible.

November Meeting

This month CARA will be meeting at a different venue which may become our regular venue: Newlands Park, the home of Cheltenham Rugby Club and formerly the Smiths Industries Sports and Social Club.  As many of you will know it’s located just off the A435 between Cheltenham and Bishops Cleeve.  From Cheltenham turn right at the “Smiths” traffic lights and the entrance is a little way along Southam Lane on the left.  A licensed bar will be available.

The speaker will be Tim G4VXE who used to live in Cheltenham and was, form many years, an enthusiastic member of CARA.  He was very active on the air and continues to be so today.  He is currently the “World of VHF” columnist for the monthly PW magazine.  The subject of his talk will be “Simple Satellite Operation” which will appeal to many in the club.

Please note that the meeting will be on Wednesday 16th November and not on Thursday 17th as previously advertised.   We look forward to a good attendance at the meeting; to justify asking Tim to visit us from his home near Oxford and also so that many members will have a chance to experience the venue and to comment before the Committee decides whether or not to move there from Brizen.  If the decision is to move, it will not take place until next year.