All posts by G3NKS

Foundation Licence Course

CARA is please to announce that all four candidates who completed the recent Foundation Licence course and exam run by the club were successful. We offer them our congratulations and hope to meet them on the air and see them at future meetings of the club.

If you are interested in joining CARA’s next Foundation or Intermediate courses and exams, please contact Barry at training@g5bk.uk

CARA Fun Activity Challenge

Members are now getting into the swing of the new club challenge, with people operating from the most weird and wonderful places in order to score points and get on the club leader board, we even had radio operations from a CARA club night . Some of the rarer activities to-date from our challengers are – activating a castle, activating a relative’s house and visiting another amateur radio club. Each month the leadership has changed and this month we have a new leader who is now only 7 points away from his bronze award. Please send your score sheet to CFAC@g5bk.uk or bring it along to any club night and we will get you in the running for certificates and prizes.

Below is the current leader board from 8th place up to the September meeting, congratulations to Christopher M0YNG who has jumped into the lead this month.

Position Callsign Name Score
1 M0YNG Christopher 18
2 G3NKS Derek 15
3 G6AHX Simon 15
4 M0URF Andrew (Smurf) 11
5 G0NXA Giles 7
6 G3YJE Peter 6
7 M0HFY Barry 5
8 M0JMM Jon 4

Report by Jon M0JMM

October Meeting

The main feature of our meeting on 19th October will be a “Bring and Show” event. We’re looking forward to seeing something new, something old or something unusual from members’ radio room/shacks. Perhaps a new acquisition or a piece of treasured gear from the past, perhaps something which other members may not have seen before.

The meeting will start with a short, and we do mean short, auction to dispose of a few items of SK stuff including a 3 ele 6m yagi, an old LW/MW/SW valve receiver and a 12V 6Amp PSU. Cash payment only on the night.

As usual doors will be open by 7.30 for an 8pm start. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available – a volunteer for kitchen duties would be appreciated please.

Visitor and prospective members will be made welcome, as always.

Thursday 19th October 2017 at the Brizen Centre, Up Hatherley Way located Between Morrison’s and the Shurdington Road.

Beware of the height barrier when entering the car park.

September Meeting – Report

At Septembers meeting we were entertained by Roger, G4BVY, who is very well known in contesting circles and headlined his talk as one not having any equations in it! His trip to Suriname operating as PZ5K which, of course, we all knew to be at the top end of South America, was their location for the CQ WW SSB Contest.

Having rented a ‘Shack’ from a guy they had never met, at a place they had never seen added quite a lot of risk to the venture. However, the whole experience turned out to be very successful, especially when the shack comes with two multiband beams on two large lattice towers in a 400m x 80m plot. In addition, they also had 80m dipole, 160m ‘T’, a Beverage and a Butternut vertical and some big amplifiers to play with. Their logging programme (not Roger’s favourite) was ‘Win-Test’.

Roger described the interesting collection of boxes from the weighty hand luggage linking the aerials to provide diversity operation. They had the pleasure of W6s in the left ear and W1s in the right! Quite a lot of analysis on good QTHs to maximise contest points had preceded the trip. Certain spots in the world work consistently well, although PZ did rely on double hop propagation quite a bit. They came creditable 6th.

My highlight of Roger’s talk was the 100 seconds recording of the contest station on 15m working US stations at a rate of 320/hour. The calm efficiency and relentless attention to keeping each contact to the minimum time was fascinating to hear.

So, for about $1000/person, they enjoyed full board and lodgings, a shack and an aerial farm. A return visit is on the cards.

Report by G4ENA

September Meeting

Roger G4BVY will be visiting CARA this month to talk about his expedition to Suriname last year to take part in the popular CQ Magazine’s Worldwide SSB DX Contest. In his words the talk “will contain many items from being a travelogue, bits of radio and antennas, what we did while we were there, and some local sights and history and, most importantly, there will be no equations!”. He’s previously given this talk to several other club where it’s was very well received.

Roger is a much travelled, enthusiastic and interesting guy. He has just returned from a three week trip to the USA “eclipse hunting”! So whether or not DXpeditions appeal to you, Roger’s talk promised to be wide ranging and entertaining. As he’s travelling some distance to visit us, let’s have a good turn out please to make his trip worthwhile.

Thursday 21st September at the Brizen Centre, Up Hatherley Way, Cheltenham, located between Morrisons and the Shurdington Road. Beware of height barrier when entering the car-park. Doors will be open by 7.30 for an 8pm start.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available.

Visitors and prospective members will be welcomed.

August Meeting – Report

In August we saw yet another auction of, mainly, Silent Key (SK) stuff. It was another success with, from memory, all the lots being sold thanks to the persuasive powers of Tony G3YYH who once again did a superb job as the auctioneer and entertainer! It’s been suggested that the next auction should be advertised as “An evening of hilarious entertainment accompanied by some selling of equipment”! Tony was ably assisted by Barry M0HFY who kept track of the successful bidders, Peter G3YJE who collected the monies due, Tim G8PZD who acted as gatekeeper whose job was to ensure that everyone took away everything they bought (believe it or not, some do forget to do so!) and Derek G3NKS who collected and catalogued the lots beforehand.

Thanks also to everyone who turned up and so helped to make the evening the success it undoubtedly was. Colin G3TA manned the tea bar, thanks go to him too.

August Meeting

Another auction sale of (mainly) SK items. Lots of other interesting stuff including antennas, antenna bits, cables, components, nuts & bolts, soldering irons, speakers, test gear, tools, transformers and wire. Plus several boxes of irresistible collections of miscellaneous items.

Doors will be open by 7.30pm for a prompt 8pm start. If you intend to bid, please collect a bidding card from Peter G3YJE on the way in.

Payment – cash only.

Please read the terms under which the auction will be run – see:
The Club/Auction Rules on left side-bar.

Only members of CARA and invited guests may bid. However, visitors and prospective members will be made welcome.

Date: Thursday 17th August. Venue: Brizen Centre, Up Hatherley Way located between Morrisons and the Shurdington Road.

Beware of height barrier when entering the car-park.

JULY MEETING – REPORT

Iain M0PCB is probably the club’s most travelled and experienced DXpeditioner. His experiences range from his first solo trip in 2007 to Jersey when he made just 90 QSOs to the big DXpedition to Ghana earlier this year when as part of the 9G5X team he made several thousand QSOs. At the meeting on 20th July he spoke to us about planning and preparing for such a trip. He suggested starting by considering the following points: Where to go, people to take with you, time of the year to go, what kit to take, travel arrangements, definition of success (which may be simply to have fun). Other factors include: how easy is it to get a licence? Is a visa needed? How easy is it to find a site and what’s the QRM/EMC situation like? Can radios be easily imported? Is the country safe to visit? When considering the best time to go, a study of propagation forecasts is necessary to pick the optimum band conditions between the DX location and the parts of the world you wish to work most. Finally Iain showed photos of various DXpedition stations and locations. A really interested talk which was well received by those present. Many thanks to Iain for his time and trouble.

Jon M0JMM reminded us about the CARA Fun Activity Challenge which started on 1st July and announced the leaders to date – top of the table was Simon G6AHX.

Derek G3NKS then lead a short discuss on communications within the club. Were members satisfied with current methods of communications. Could communications be improved, if so how? Unfortunately time did not allow a full discussion, so this topic will be probably be raised again at a future meeting.

June Meeting Report

Another two-part meeting.

Jon M0JMM introduced a new challenge for club members. This challenge was initially devised for newly licensed members but was widened to included all members of CARA. Its aim is to encourage members to get on the air more often by trying new activities such as different bands, different modes and different locations. It’s known as the CARA Fun Activity Challenge and has a start date of 1st July 2017. Regular reporting by members is encouraged, and a leader board will be displayed at the monthly meetings and on this website. (Subsequently, an email describing the challenge in detail, along with a score sheet, was sent to members by email. The contents of that email will be posted on this web-site shortly.)

Derek G3NKS then displayed and spoke about the three project kits which have been described in CARA News and invited members to place orders. If there is a demand, Assisted Construction meetings will be held later in the year where members can build the kits with help and advice.