For this year’s JOTA the Sevenhampton Scout Group camped in a field near the masts on Cleeve Hill. The Scout Leader Stuart G7IHN was assisted by Giles G0NXA who provided much of the equipment.
CARA made available an 80m loaded dipole which also resonated on 40m and this was strung between a convenient telegraph pole and a 42′ portable mast. Used in conjunction with a TS570 this offered good performance on both bands. The following morning a Capco SPC matching unit was added which extended the coverage from 80m through to 10m.
On 2m operations commenced with an IC271e feeding a mag mounted car aerial, coverage was never satisfactory. On Saturday, this was altered to use the pump up mast on Stuart’s Vauxhall Frontera to support a rotator and J Beam quad. Performance fell below expectation but some local contacts were made, so effort was concentrated on HF. This is perhaps to be expected as there was no testing prior to the event.
All the Scouts who attended the site were able to talk to other stations and several were heard talking to their parents about Foundation Courses. Stuart, the Scout Leader, is going to follow this up in the immediate future.
Simon G6AHX, Tom M6TWR and Rick G6UZT assisted Adrian G0VLG in running JotA station GB0TWY at Twyning School.
They ran various laptops with Skype and path profile programs, and operated on hf and vhf/uhf. Adrian is a scout leader in the village and has a pump-up mast for his job. This mast was set up in the school playing field adjacent to the school. Rick had made a 2m/70cm aerial for the top and Giles produced a 40m dipole. Simon produced a PSU and rig for 2m/70cm.
They had visits from various local groups staggered by an hour each. This allowed the visiting scouts to speak with GB2SSG and GB1GLO during the day until 1600 when the station was closed.
Plans for CARA’s activation of the RSGB’s Centenary Callsign G100RSGB on 2nd, 3rd and 4th November are well advanced. Martin G4ENZ will host the station on Saturday 2nd and Monday 4th assisted by Derek G3NKS, Ian G3TDT and Iain M0PCB. Stewart G0LGS will host the station on Sunday 3rd assisted by Matt 2E0MDJ and Nick G4WLC. Twenty-four hour operation over the three days is being planned. More details nearer the time.
For this year’s Jamboree on the Air (JOTAJOTI) Simon, G4SGI, provided an HF receive station and a 40m transceive station at 1st Hatherley scouts. Doug, G4IGN, kindly provided him 40m portable vertical antenna.
This was some of the hardest work of the year, but also the most rewarding because of the enthusiasm from the scouts, their energy and interest in what was going on. At 1st Hatherley (@1stHatherley) almost every scout who wanted to talk on the radio did so, and we had several expressions of interest from both scouts and parents on how to get licensed.
The transatlantic rowing team (@OceanRowing2013) were also there and had a lot of custom from the scouts. Watch this space for further developments regarding their ambition to include HF amateur radio on their trip.
A new distance learning course for the amateur radio advanced exam will be starting in January
The course, which starts in January 2014, runs until July.
There are no course fees but students are required to make a deposit towards their exam up front, as an incentive to keep going; if they drop out, the money goes to a radio charity, if they see it through they get it back to pay for their exam.
Each week students will receive directed reading instructions and a set of revision questions, every three weeks they will also receive a progress test and mock exams at the end of the course. Students’ answers are marked and worked solutions provided. Allocated e-tutors are available to fill in gaps and provide clarifications when required.
You will need your own copy of the Advanced textbook, a non-programmable scientific calculator and access to the internet; material is distributed via a dedicated Yahoo Group.
You will need to set aside at least two hours a week. Applicants should not underestimate the commitment required to do this home study option, but those that have seen it through to the end have had a very high pass rate (over 95%).
The course team are based in Bath but have a growing number of remote tutors across the UK.
Further details and enrolment forms can be obtained by contacting Steve Hartley, G0FUW, by e-mail: hartley_steve<at>hotmail.com
Some 15 people attended the CARA Summer Garden Party on Sunday 25th August kindly hosted by Rosemary and Ken G3XSJ at their delightful QTH near Wotton-under-Edge. The gathering was blessed by warm and sunny weather and plenty of excellent food. So a good time was had by all. Our grateful thanks go to Rosemary and Ken for their generous hospitality.
The results of HF CW National Field Day in June are now available on the RSGB website.
For various reasons G5BK/P was active for just a few day-time hours on the Sunday instead of the planned 24 hour period of the contest. The revised plan had been to enter the Low Power Section (5W, 12 hours max) but a misunderstanding of the antenna rules (by G3NKS!) meant that the entry had to go in the Restricted Section (100W and 24 hours). Not unexpectedly G5BK/P came 20th out of 20. Had the entry been eligible for the Low Power section the result would have been much better: 6th out of 10, not bad for just 7 hours of operation out of the 12 allowed and with no operation on 160m where there was a “times-two” points bonus for each QSO. However the exercise proved that QRP operation was fun and could produce good results, something to remember when future CARA entries in this annual event are being considered. The operators were G3NKS and G4ENA. The rig was an Elecraft KX3 and the antennas were dipoles for 40m and 20m on a common feeder. See photos elsewhere on this website.
The final results of the RSGB 80m Club Championship 2013 are now available.
For those not familiar with this annual competition, here’s a brief outline. Every month from February through to July there are three short 80m contests held during weekday evenings, one each on SSB, CW and data (PSK and RTTY), the days on which the contests take place vary from month to month (and often clash with CARA meetings). Clubs can field as many stations as they can muster. There are two categories: Local: where members taking part normally reside within 35km of the club’s meeting place, and General for clubs with a regional or national membership.
CARA enters the Local Club category and this year we achieved 8th position out of a total of 37 clubs in that category. This is a very pleasing result considering that we did not participate in three of the 18 sessions and that several of our higher scoring members missed other sessions too (often because of a clash with our meetings). Six CARA members contributed to the total score of 15,323 points: Martin G4ENZ (4,382 points), Derek G3NKS (3,914), Peter G4ENA (2,912), Gordon G3MZV (2,645), Ian M0ITF (1,286), Don G3ZKN (184).