Category Archives: meeting report

March Meeting Report

On Thursday 15th March we held our annual Constructors’ Exhibition preceded by a short auction. It was a really great meeting, with one of the best attendances for a very long time.

The meeting commenced with an auction of 15 lots from the shack of late CARA member Ian M0ITF. Our Chairman Tony G3YYH did a super job as auctioneer extracting bids with much skill and humour. Every lot was sold, some at higher than expected hammer prices. Ian’s family were well pleased with result.

The Constructors’ Exhibition was fairly well supported but with fewer exhibits than in recent years. Nevertheless there was much of interest to look at. The Morse Keys made from clothes pegs by Jon M0JMM attracted much attention and really should have won a prize had there been a suitable category! Two pieces of home-brew from the early 1970s, built by Ken G3XSJ, also attracted much attention – as being examples of construction techniques from yesteryear. The “741” op amp constructed from discrete components by Simon G4SGI was considered an excellent teaching aid. The Tuna Tin transmitter for 40m fascinated many.

The well deserved winner of the Bill Brown G5BK Cup for “Best in Show” went to Colin G3VTS for his home-constructed 5-band cobweb type antenna – exhibited as photos rather than the real object! The Pat Moore memorial Cup for “Innovative Construction” and the Roger Kendall G0UPU Memorial Cup for “Best Software or Computer Related Project” were not awarded as there were no suitable qualifying exhibits. The judges were Peter G4ENA and Ken G3LVP to whom go many thanks.

Here’s a full list of exhibits, in no particular order:
HF2V shorting strap for 30m operation – Tony G3SNN.
Selection of Morse Keys made from clothes pegs – Jon M0JMM.
KRC-5 80m direct conversion receiver – Derek G3NKS.
5-band cobweb antenna – Colin G3VTS.
Audio modules for 6cm wide-band FM transceiver – Stewart G0LGS.
160m valve transmitter 1971 – Ken G3XSJ.
PW Clubman receiver 1970 – Ken G3XSJ.
Tuna Tin 300mW transmitter for 40m – Walt G3NYY.
Discrete “741” op amp from a Mad Scientist kit – Simon G4SGI.

On display but not in the formal Exhibition:
An unfinished 4-band 45W transceiver – Colin G3TA.

Many thanks to everyone who helped to make it such an enjoyable meeting, and particularly to auctioneer Tony G3YYH, and to Peter G3YJE, Alan M0NRO and Smurf M0URF for manning the kitchen.

February Meeting Report

The meeting started with a short auction of Silent Key items. There were about a dozen lots including an elderly FT-102 HF transceiver, an external VFO and speaker units for the FT-102, two scopes, two AVO multi-meters and two power supplies. A couple of the lots failed to reach their reserves but the rest went for good hammer prices (for the benefit of the family).

The main activity that evening was the “Table Top Sale” where members brought along items no longer wanted to sell. There was plenty of interesting stuff up for grabs, some at very low prices, Andy M0JLY was disposing of several of his home-brew projects several of which were quickly snapped up. Other sellers included Tony G3SNN, Colin G3VTS, Jon G0FJT and Peter G3YJE (apologies to anyone missed). Reports suggest that both sellers and buyers were pleased with the outcome even though some of the tables didn’t empty as well as was hoped. As usual there was lots of chat – it’s great to see members getting together seeking advice, swapping stories and enjoying each others company. Surely that’s what clubs are all about! Finally, many thanks to Colin G3TA for manning the kitchen.

January Meeting – Report

The meeting saw one of the largest attendances for a talk for some time, no doubt because of the popularity of the subject matter, Data Modes, and the speaker, Barry M0HFY.

Photo by Peter G3YJE

The meeting began with a couple of presentations carried over from the AGM in December.

The Bernard King G3CEG Memorial Cup, for noteworthy and praiseworthy on-the-air activities went to Simon G6AHX in particular recognition of his VHF DX successes.

Simon G6AHX receiving the G3CEG Cup from Secretary Derek G3NKS. Photo by G3YJE.

The John Holt Award, for exceptional services to the club, went to Jon M0JMM in particular recognition of his work creating and managing the CARA Fun Activity Challenge.

Jon M0JMM receiving the G3GWW Award from Derek G3NKS. Photo by G3YJE.

Barry began by explaining how radios and computers could be connected together for working data modes, starting with the simplest form of inter-connections to more sophisticated arrangements using interface units. He then spoke about popular modes such as JT65 and FT8 – noting that the latter is rapidly becoming the data mode of choice for very many operators. Several screen-grabs of JT65 and FT8 in action where shown. A fuller report will appear in February’s CARA News.

Many thanks to Barry for a really interesting talk, as evidenced by the many questions asked of him, and to Alan M0NRO for manning the kitchen.


This is a brief report on the AGM. A fuller report will appear in an early issue of CARA News.

Twenty-five members and one visitor (who subsequently signed-up as a member) attended the meeting.

The minutes of the 2016 meeting were approved followed an amendment

The Chairman’s and Treasurer’s reports were approved unanimously.

The proposal to keep the annual subscription at £13 was approved.

The following were elected unopposed to serve on the committee for 2018:
Chairman: Tony G3YYH
Secretary: Derek G3NKS
Treasurer: Peter G3YJE

l-r: Peter G3YJE, Tony G3YYH, Derek G3NKS

Committee members: Christopher M0YNG (Editor of CARA News)
Graham G8URP who will continue to act as Membership Secretary.

Accounts Examiner (non-committee post): Tony G3SNN

It was suggested that the club should buy equipment, especially test gear, for loan to members. Another suggestion was that a survey of members’ opinions about the club and its activities should be conducted. The Chairman said both these suggestions will be considered by the 2018 Committee.

It was confirmed that the committee was still seeking a better venue for our monthly meetings, two had been considered but rejected as being unsuitable.

The meeting closed at 20.18 following a vote of thanks to the committee for doing a good job during 2017.

After the formal meeting, we enjoyed much chat and a generously provided finger buffet and a bar.

Barman Tim G8PZD sampling his wares!

October Meeting Report

The “bring and show something from your shack” meeting on 19th October produced a wide and fascinating display of exhibits. Here’s a list, in no particular order, of the items on show and their owners:

Baofeng 70cm handheld costing £15 new! Graham G8XRS.

Tytera MD-380 DMR radio talking to a Bluestack hot-spot. Malcolm G0TMP.

GCR9 (“Angry 9”) military HF AM/CW radio, Codar AT5 (160 & 80m AM/CW transmitter) with PSU, Heathkit HW-9 QRP HF CW transceiver with tuner and watt meter, Heathkit HW-12 80m SSB transceiver, laptop accessing old radio magazines. Peter G3YJE.

Pye PCR2 (WW2 vintage LW/MW/SW “domestic” receiver as used in NAAFIs etc). Derek G3NKS.

Vertical hand-drill, modified for some unknown purpose (any suggestions?) Tim G8PZD.

Icom IC-706 HF transceiver with matching unit and power supply. Christopher M0YNG.

High Power ATU type BC-939A for BC-610 AM transmitter, ex-US military. Tony G3YYH.

ETM9COG Morse memory keyer, paddle and Morse reader. Giles G0NXA.

Step-ladder steady made using scaffolding clamps bought at a recent CARA sale. Small computer HP260. Colin G3VTS.

Display of Morse paddles, mostly home-constructed. Colin G3TA.

FreeSat receiver type V7HD, costing £20. Simon G6AHX.

Demonstration of how to unsolder quad packaged ICs using “magic” metal. Ken G3LVP.

A good evening with much interest being shown in the exhibits – and lots of chat.

Many thanks to Tony G3YYH for manning the kitchen.

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

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.


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.


Over 30 people attended the auction on 18th May. With some 120 lots it was a busy meeting and the auctioneer, Tony G3YYH, did well to get through that number of lots in the time available. He worked hard, encouraging bidders to come forward and may be even to bid when hesitant to do so! Some of us think that Tony could even sell snow to those living within the Artic Circle! However, several of the transceivers remained unsold as the reserve prices were not reached. These items may well be advertised for sale here
– so watch this space,

Barry M0HFY did a super job recording bidders and prices, and Peter G3YJE a super job collecting monies owed. Thanks to those who arrived early to help set-up the room and to those who stayed on to help clear away at the end of the evening. Their efforts were much appreciated.

It was a very successful and entertaining evening, with Tony and others injecting much humour into the proceedings. As we have a lot more SK stuff to dispose of, we’re planning another auction on 17th August – put this date in your diary now.