July Meeting

Date: Thursday 18th July, 7.30 for 8pm.

It’s a “let’s get on-the-air” evening! Please bring along your mobile or portable, or even hand-held, equipment and set up in the car-park. Demonstrate or simply display your station for the benefit of fellow club members and hopefully make a QSO or three. If the weather is wet then we can do the same indoors perhaps bringing long lengths of coax to feed the antennas outside.

Why not come along and join in this novel event for CARA – and if you can please take an active part. Let’s have some fun. The bar will be open as usual. Many thanks.

If you can’t make the meeting have a listen for members calling CQ on the bands, eg on on 160m, 80m, 70.450MHz, 145.500MHz or on the local repeaters. We’ll try to announce where we’re transmitting on the G5BK@io.groups forum (you have signed-up haven’t you!). The bar will be open as usual.

June Meeting Report

Last month we had the pleasure of a fascinating illustrated talk about Lundy given by Brian G4CIB, aided by his wife Leta G4RHK, both of whom are prominent and active members of the Gloucester club.

Lundy lies in the Bristol channel some two hours sailing time from Ifracombe in North Devon, it’s long and thin island about 3 miles north-to-south and about one quarter of a mile wide. There’s one pub, one shop and one landing stage. It’s had many owners over the years and is now in the hands of the National Trust but leased to the Landmark Trust as they are better placed to renovate and restore the old buildings which had been neglected by earlier owners. The only permanent resident on the island are employees of the Landmark Trust but there are a number properties of various sizes which are available for holiday lets and these have proved to be very popular. The island generates its own electricity using a large diesel engine which normally runs from 6am to mid-night. There are plans for a wind turbine, Lundy is a haven for wild-life, particularly puffins which have thrived since the non-indigenous black rats were eradicated several years ago.

Brian and Leta began holidaying on the island many years ago and quickly become so enchanted by the place that they’ve visited it every year, sometimes twice, ever since. They enjoy walking the island and watching the wild-life. And visiting the island’s pub! Radio gear is usually taken, which has to be lightweight because of baggage restrictions. Operation is usually fairly low-key with sessions around 7 to 9am and 4 to 5pm. Their next trip will be from 21st to 28th September.

The talk was very well received, members found it interesting and entertaining. We are very grateful to Brian and Leta for making the trip to Cheltenham to visit us. Incidentally instead of accepting expenses for their trip to us they asked that CARA make a donation to the Lundy Field Society which the club has now done – a nice gesture on their behalf.

May Meeting – Report

On 16th May we held an auction of, mostly, stuff from the shack of the late G7CVC (not a CARA member) from Tewkesbury. Tony G3YYH was, as usual, the auctioneer, Andrew M0MVA kept records of bids and successful bidders, Peter G3YJE collected monies owed, and Tim G8PZD acted as gatekeeper checking that lots were not taken away before payment had been made. They did a superb job and many thanks to them for all their good work. The bidding was a bit slow at times and Tony did well to ensure that everything was sold. All present appeared to enjoy the meeting and many thanks to those who opened up their wallets, so to speak, to make purchases.

May Meeting

A change to the previously advertised programme for May – we will now be holding an auction of, mainly, Silent Key (SK) stuff including an HF transceiver, various VHF and UHF FM handhelds, power supplies, antennas (mainly mobile whips) and books.

Everything is sold as seen and is bought at the buyer’s risk. Members must come prepared to pay for their purchases in cash.

Although we welcome visitors and prospective members, only CARA members may bid at the auction.

Thursday 16th May, 7.30 for an 8pm start at the Robin’s Nest, Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road, GL52 5NA.

April Meeting

At the next meeting we’ll hear two short talks, each lasting about 30 minutes, given by club members.

Peter G4ENA will present an illustrated talk called “Radio with Ropes Attached” relating his interesting experiences operating on the HF bands from his canal boat.

The second talk will be by Alan M0NRO on 3D printing – those of us who saw his “products” at the Constructors’ Exhibition will confirm that this talk will be well worth seeing.

The meeting will take place at 8pm on Thursday 18th April at the Robin’s Next, Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road, GL52 5NA. Doors will be open by 7.30 for an 8pm start.The meeting will take place at 8pm on Thursday 18th April at the Robin’s Next, Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road, GL52 5NA. Doors will be open by 7.30 for an 8pm start.

Visitors and prospective members will be warmly welcomed.

March Meeting – Report

CARA’s annual Constructors’ Exhibition took place on 21st March, a meeting where members show items they’ve built at home during the last year or two.   We were treated to a very interesting range of exhibits many of which were constructed to a high standard.

Here’s a list, in no particular order, of the items on display:

A partially complete LV and HV power supply for vintage ex-military equipment such as the BC-348 receiver and the Collins ART-13 transmitter – shown by Tony G3YYH.

A QRP Labs QCX 5W CW transceiver for 40m built from a kit (some 6,000 such kits have now been sold) – Peter G4IOA.

A range of products, including antenna insulators and small cases, produced by his 3D printer – Alan M0NRO.

A portable power unit with solar panel for use with an IC-706 HF/VHF transceiver – Christopher M0YNG.

A demonstration of Mastodon, a Twitter-like app specially adapted and promoted by the exhibitor for radio amateurs world-wide – Christopher M0YNG

A components tester which tests and measures transistors as well as resistors, capacitors and inductors, assembled from a kit – Derek G3NKS.

A CFR (Controller Feeder Radiation) half-wave vertical dipole for 2m for use with his motor-caravan – Derek G3NKS.

The judges, Jon M0JMM and Roger G3REB, made the following awards:

The Bill Brown Cup for Best in Show to Peter G4IOA for his superbly built QRP Labs kit transceiver.

The Pat Moore G3IKR Memorial Cup for Innovative Construction to Christopher M0YNG for his novel portable power unit.

The Roger Kendall G0UPU Memorial Cup for best Computer/Software related Project to Alan M0NRO for his 3D printer project.

Many thanks to all the exhibitors, the judges and everyone else who attended, we had an enjoyable and successful evening.

February Meeting – Report

The Table Top Sale on 21st February proved to be another popular and well attended meeting. The tables were well populated with items for sale, including antennas, linear amplifiers, hf and vhf transceivers, computers and test gear – plus lots of bits and pieces such as components, cables, tools and mast hardware. Something for everyone perhaps!

Some sellers were content but others reported that trade was disappointing. However that’s how it goes! Your reporter has often taken stuff to several rallies in succession without out any interest being shown in the kit, but then at the next one it sells easily!

We were pleased to welcome to their first meeting – Dom M7PKW and Shaun M6OII. We look forward to seeing them again soon.

The new venue again proved its worth, being comfortable with good acoustics.

The next meeting is the Constructors’ Exhibition on Thursday 21st March at the same venue, the Robin’s Nest, Cheltenham Football Club.

Derek G3NKS

February Meeting

Table Top Sale

Thursday 21st February at the Robin’s Nest, Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road, GL52 5NA.  Doors open at 7.30 for a nominal 8pm start.

Sellers – please display your wares (related to radio or electronics) on one of the tables and sell to the assembled multitude!  Bring a large cloth, eg an old blanket, to cover the table to avoid damage.   Sellers must be members of CARA

Buyers – come with well loaded wallets and have some fun buying items you didn’t know you wanted!

Visitors and prospective members will be warmly welcomed.

January 2019 Meeting

Michael G3PCL has kindly agreed to tell us about Baluns, devices which connect unbalanced coax to a balanced antenna. Different types of Baluns are discussed together with circuit diagrams and constructional details. Suggestions are made as to which Balun type to use with a particular balanced / unbalanced antenna. There will be lists of suitable components to use to make your own Balun and several home made Baluns will be on display.

Thursday 17th January, 7.30 for 8pm. New Venue: The Robin’s Nest, Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road, Cheltenham,, Post code: GL52 5NA

The Robin’s Nest is about half way down the right-hand side of the car park. Go through the main doors, cross through the bar, and into the meeting room. It’s possible that a door, a few yards further down the car park from the main entrance, which leads from the car park straight into the meeting room may be open, . Please note: the doors will not be open until 7.30pm