Copyright Essex Hams:
“Essex Ham’s been trying to find new ways to promote the hobby online, and to make “getting started” information as easy as possible to find online. Our most recent example is our two-minute video designed to get across what we do in a short-and-sweet package. It’d be great to see this shared by the community via Youtube, Twitter and Facebook (Now referred to as YouTwitFace!)… that’s where youngsters hang out – on the social media platforms, and it’s often all about video.”
Iain M0PCB told us about his March trip to Montserrat where he rented a villa complete with antennas and spent a week working the world with a rare’ish DXCC callsign – VP2MXI. He took his own gear, a K3 and amplifer, plus laptop of course. Although VP2M is not that rare on the DXCC most wanted list, when he appeared on the bands he faced large pile-ups and a seemingly never ending queue of stations wishing to make contact. The main reason for his trip was to take part in the RSGB’s Commonwealth Contest, a 24 hour CW event during which stations in the British Commonwealth work each other. He managed to spend some 22 hours in front of the rig during the contest and made over 1200 QSOs. In the “Claimed QSOs” list Iain is in 4th place worldwide – a superb achievement. As well as photos of his station he also showed photos of the island and told us something of its recent history.
Very many thanks to Iain for a really interesting and very inspirational evening.
In a change to the earlier published programme we were treated to three short presentations.
Simon G4SGI began by telling us about his /M activities on two wheels, describing his radio set-up and showing a short video of him pedalling away and in QSO – a sort of video “selfie” perhaps!
Simon then went on to talk about HackRF, an interesting new Software Defined Radio with open source software which transmits and receives over the range 10MHz to 6GHz. He may buy one and return to the club later with a longer talk and demo.
Finally Doug G4IGN related his plans for Railways-on-the-Air (RotA) in September when we’ll be operating two HF stations from the Cheltenham Racecourse station of the GWR Heritage Railway, with a tower and an HF beam. One of Doug’s main aims is to encourage our newly licensed members to come along and operate on HF from a station with a decent antenna and may be work some interesting DX. There then followed a G4SGI video of an earlier RotA operation.
All three presentations were well received and much enjoyed. Many thanks to Doug G4IGN and Simon G4SGI for filling in the gap in our meeting programme at short notice.
Advance Notice! This year Chairman Doug G4IGN is planning a big operation for Railways-On-The-Air. As usual we’ll be at the Cheltenham Racecourse Station of the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway. However this year we’ll have two stations on HF plus tower and beam so there will be plenty of operating opportunities. He hopes that many club members, and especially those newly licensed, will wish to take part and join in the fun. The event takes place over the weekend of 27th/28th September with set-up on Friday 26th. Please earmark these dates in your diary now!
The annual CARA Constructors’ Exhibition took place on Thursday 20th March. A primary aim of the meeting is to demonstrate that home construction, or “home-brew” if you like, is alive and well in the Cheltenham area. This is certainly true as there was a massive turnout of projects, many of a very high standard.
Two trophies were presented: The Bill Brown G5BK Cup for the “Best in Show” and the Pat Moore G3IKR Memorial Cup for “Innovative Construction”. Judges this year were Bob, M0NQN, and Jon, M0JMM.
Here’s some of what was put on show…
The winner for “Best in show” went to Colin, G3TA, for his Morse key constructed from scrap metal.
The prize for “Innovative Construction” went to Andy, M0JLY, for his magnetic loop made with under soil heating pipe.
With the help provided by WillHosts Ltd, we now have the latest installation of Bootstrap, which makes front-end web development faster and easier.
We have added drop-down menus and as you can see, an image carousel. Simon G4SGI is kindly going to providehas provided some images in the form of montages, of photos from various CARA events. The CARA logo needs a tidy up and that is on my ‘to do’ list. A new shiny logo has been provided by Graham G3VKV.
On mobile devices the body of the site now proceeds the left column. You will also notice that we now have a sticky nav bar.
A short talk and demonstration by Roger, G3REB, of a potential extra project for all those who completed the FoxDelta antenna analyser club project.
Roger described a graphical interface and controller to go with the FoxDelta SWR Analyser which some 20 members built from a kit last year under the club’s “Assisted Build” project. The Graphics Adaptor appears to be a very useful addition to an already very useful piece of test gear and, like the SWR Analyser, it is available as a kit so is a contender for another “Assisted Build” project.
Unfortunatelty the advertised talk entitled “A Day in the Life of an Air Traffic Controller” did not take place due to a last minute change to Tom’s work commitments.
This is an extremely popular annual event and a great opportunity to meet up for a chat and restock the shack at the same time. Members brought along their unwanted radio equipment, components, aerials, and all sorts of items, found a free table, and sold to the multitude over lots of friendly haggling and a cup of tea. Everything offered for sale had some relevance to radio or electronics, and as usual there was a very wide selection on offer. A great time was had by all.