Monthly Meetings

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.

CARA AGM

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.

Bath Intermediate Course

Final call for Bath Based Intermediate Distance Learning

There are still some places available on the Bath Based Intermediate Distance Learning course which will run from November 2020 to March 2021

The deadline for applications has therefore been extended to Friday 23 October.

Students will receive weekly work packages via a virtual classroom and will have access to weekly on-line tutorials and revision quizzes. Students will also have access to one of the remote tutors who will provide feedback and additional guidance when required.

There will be lots of practical exercises to bring the theory to life. Students will be expected to do the exercises at home and report their results. At the end of the course there will be a number of mock exams.

There will be no charge for the training but a refundable deposit of £30 will be required to secure a place. Students will need to provide their own textbooks, electronic parts and tool kits. Students will also have to arrange their own exam at the end of the course, but advice will be provided. It seems likely that the exams will be on-line with remote invigilation.

For full details and an application form, please e-mail BBDL Team Leader, Steve, G0FUW, via g0fuw AT tiscali.co.uk

The team will be running a Full level distance learning course after the Intermediate course running from March to July but their current focus is on the Intermediate course. A further announcement will be made in the New Year when the Full course is open for enrolment.

Bath Based Distance Learning (BBDL)
https://badarc.webs.com/bath-training

RadComm Basics – Free issue

With more than 1,000 remote invigilation Foundation licence students having passed, the RSGB is making the July 2020 edition of RadCom Basics a special free-to-everyone edition.

With many radio amateurs world-wide still affected by national lockdown restrictions, RadCom Basics is an opportunity to introduce elements of the hobby to newcomers in bite-sized pieces.

To read the July copy of this bi-monthly online publication, go to rsgb.org/radcom-basics.

CARA-On-The-Air Thursday 2nd July

Just a quick report on the 145.400MHz “COTA net” last Thursday evening.

An excellent turnout of members (13,  from Malvern, Chalford, Highnam etc).  Several subjects were discussed, have to admit only remembering the usual favourite – “antennas” – and therefore who can hear who! Should have made notes on my “Log” but that amount of multi tasking while being net controller was beyond me that evening! (how did I manage volunteering for that executive position). I think a couple of stations who are antenna restricted are off to experimen,t improving their “metal” in the air after the evening conversations, look forward to reporting on their signals in due course.

I certainly enjoyed the evening and after 1 1/2 hrs a wee dram was called for! Roll on the next on air meeting and of course face to face at the Robins Nest, when permitted!

Many thanks to Tim G8PZD for this report.

CARA On-The-Air

The next COTA evening will be on Thursday 21st May in place of the meeting at the Robin’s Nest.

 Suggested frequencies are 1933kHz, 3700kHz (or thereabouts), 28.450MHz, 50.220MHz, 70.475MHZ, and 145.400MHz as well as GB3CG and GB7RC.  

Start time 8pm.  Do join in the fun.

Special VE Day Nets – Report

On Friday 8th May we held two special nets, in addition to our usual nets, to help celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

The first was at 9am on 80m SSB. This was a last minute arrangement to include former CARA Secretary Alan G3HCO in our celebrations. Alan now lives in Hampshire and so is too far away to join in our 2m nets. He was one of some 10 members and ex-members who joined this special 80m net. Although several of us keep in touch with Alan during the club’s 80m Slow CW sessions on Tuesday evenings, it was a real pleasure to hear his voice on the airways again.

The second net took place, as advertised, on 145.400MHz – the club’s usual net frequency – at 10.30am . It was well supported with 15 members taking part – a good turn out considering the timing of the net. We paused at 11am for two minutes to join with the rest of the country in remembering those who had paid the ultimate sacrifice in WWII to preserve our freedom.

CARA On-The-Air

In place of our monthly meeting scheduled for 16th April we held another CARA On-the-Air evening to encourage members to get on the air from their own shacks.

Activity took place on 160m, 10m, 4m and 2m. On the latter band QSOs were made on simplex, via GB3CG and via the digital voice repeater GB7RC.

Support from members was good with some trying bands they had not used for some time. We’ll hold another such activity evening on Thursday 21st May in place of that month’s meeting.

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