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.
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.
On Thursday 20th April Ken G3LVP will explain the vagaries of radio propagation in a talk entitled “The Next Solar Cycle?”. His explanations will cover such terms as Maximum Useable Frequency (MUF) and Critical Frequency, as well as how signals are refracted by the various ionospheric layers depending on the time of the day, the seasons and the state of the nominal 11-year sun-spot cycle. If time permits he may also mention propagations modes such as Sporadic E (Es). We look forward to an interesting meeting.
Brizen Young Peoples’ Centre, Up Hatherley Way, Cheltenham, located between the Shurdington Road and Morrisons superstore.
Beware of height barrier when entering the car park.
Door open by 7.30pm for an 8pm start.
Tea, coffee and biscuits should be available after the talk.
The monthly lunches at the Toby Carvery, at Brockworth, continue to be well supported and March was no exception when 19 people sat down for an enjoyable meal and lots of friendly chat. This was the largest number for some months; we were very pleased to welcome Mike and Jan for the first time.
A reminder that all club members and their spouses/partners are welcomed to attended.
Our annual Constructors’ Exhibition took place at the March meeting and was well attended. The number of exhibits was down on previous years as several of the club’s prolific home-brewers were not able to be present. Nevertheless we saw some very interesting and original exhibits, and were able to chat to the constructors at length.
Peter G4ENA and Colin G3TA were the judges and they made the following awards.
The Bill Brown G5BK Cup for “Best in Show” went to Tony G3YYH for his excellent home-built power supply unit for a WS19.
The Pat Moore G3IKR Memorial Cup for Innovative Construction went to Stewart G0LGS for his ingenious 5.7GHz Wideband FM Transceiver.
The Roger Kendall G0UPU Memorial Cup for “Best Software or Computer Related Project” was not awarded as there were no qualifying exhibits.
We were pleased to welcome several visitors to the meeting. Thanks go to Alan M0NRO and Geoff M6OGR for kindly manning the kitchen and providing us with the usual refreshments.
This is the occasion when we demonstrate that home construction is still a popular activity locally. Members may enter items which are small or large, simple or complex, hardware or software based, use vintage or modern components and techniques. Anything which has been constructed, or heavily modified, to do with amateur radio will be welcomed and these may be built from a kit of parts, based on a magazine article or entirely original. Items must have been constructed within the last few years and not have been exhibited before.
Three awards are on offer:
The Bill Brown G5BK Memorial Cup for the “Best in Show”.
The Pat Moore G3IKR Memorial Cup for “Innovative Construction”.
The Roger Kendall G0UPU Memorial Cup for “Best Software or Computer Related Project”.
Members may enter as many items as they wish.
Thursday 16th March at the Brizen Centre, Up Hatherley Way, located between Morrisons and the Shurdington Road.
Doors will be open by 7.30 for a nominal 8pm start. Beware of the height barrier when entering the carpark.
Visitor and prospective members will be warmly welcomed.