Fun Field Day

Over the weekend of 16th to 18th September CARA held another one of its popular Fun Field Days, this time from a field between Colesbourne and Wittington. A good number of members set up and operated their own portable stations and enjoyed the benefits of a very low noise rf environment, so quiet in fact that at times some of us wondered if our antennas were still connected! We also benefited from a spell of very good hf propagation conditions with some interesting DX being worked on QRP.

Early on the Saturday evening we were joined by a few family members and friends for one of Smurf M0URF’s excellent pizza BBQs. This was followed by much chat in a tent warmed by a lovely wood burning stove (with chimney exhausting through the tent roof) and by modest quantities of beer, cider and coffee!

Most of us packed up and departed early Sunday afternoon after a very enjoyable time spent playing radio and conversing with fellow club members. Very many thanks go to Rich M0XRB and Smurf M0URF and their helpers for all their hard work planning, setting up and clearing away the field day operation. There was talk of holding the next one in December!

September’s Meeting

On 15th September at a well attended meeting Tony G3YYH and Rich M0XRB told us about their trip to France in June to join the D-Day commemoration events there. They took with them (drove) an ex-WW2 CMP (Canadian Military Pattern) vehicle full of appropriate ex-military radios including an R107 receiver, a WS-12 transmitter, a WS-52 set, an R109 receiver and several other pieces of kit.. By prior arrangement they operated from a number of WW2 related sites, mainly on 80m AM. Tony and Rich’s talk, accompanied by many “slides”, was well presented and well received. Many thanks to them both for a very interesting evening.

June Meeting

On Thursday 16th June we’ll be “On-the-Air” at the Cheltenham Football Club. in Whaddon Road.  Members are invited to come along and operate /M or /P from the car-park.  If previous years are any guide, we’ll have members operating on bands from 1.8MHz up to UHF and may be even higher frequencies using voice, data and CW modes. With such a wide diversity of bands and modes on display, in past years these sessions have been good fun and instructive, and no doubt this year’s will be the same.  Let’s hope though for favourable weather!  Please come along and enjoy the evening whether you will be operating or not.  The bar will be open as usual, serving tea and coffee as well as beer.

Derek G3NKS Secretary

May Meeting

In a change to the previously advertised meeting, on Thursday 19th May members are now invited to bring along something or somethings from their shacks which will be of interest to other members.  May be something old, may be something new.  May be something built.  Maybe a useful software package. May be pictures of shacks or antennas, now or from the past.  Photos of past club activities would be good to see.

Please do bring along something and let’s have a successful meeting with plenty to see and chat about.

March Meeting Report

The annual Constructors’ Exhibition, held on Thursday 17th March, was well attended considering it was race week in Cheltenham and the consequential heavy traffic.

Ten exhibits were on display, ranging from the large to the small, from the complex to the simple. It was pleasing to see such a wide range of excellent exhibits showing that home construction is still alive and well among CARA members.

The Bill Brown G5BK Memorial Cup for “Best in Show” went to Keith G3XGW for his recently built 1930s 0-V-1 TRF(Tuned Radio Frequency) receiver using components from that era. 0-V-1 indicates that the receiver had no RF stage, a detector (V) and one AF stage. It was a fine piece of home construction which looked looked very authentic and so it well merited the Best in Show award.

The Pat Moore G3IKR Memorial Cup for “Innovative Construction” went to John G8CQX for his stereo code processor using a home constructed and built PCB. The processor feeds left and right signals to stereo earphones which gives the impression that the signal is moving from left to right, or from right to left, as the receiver is tuned across the signal. A very useful technique for separating closely spaced CW signals. An excellent adaption of a technique first developed many years ago.

The Roger Kendall G0UPU Memorial Cup for best software and computer related project went to Rich M0XRB for his remote controlled station set-up. Rich demonstrated how he could control and operate his remote station using an iPad and a DJ console. The station consisted of a Flex-6400 SDR transceiver with a Palstar auto-ATU and a 122m wire loop above a metal roof; the station being controlled by a Raspberry Pi. A very impressive set-up well worthy of the award.

Congrats to the three winners and many thanks to all the exhibitors for helping to put on such a good show,

CARA On The Air

In place of this month’s meeting, let’s get on the air and have a chat with fellow club members. Date: Thursday 19th March, from 20.00hrs onwards.

Try one or more of the following (in order of preference):

GB3CG Repeater on 145.725MHz or 145.400MHz FM.

  Or for those who don’t have access to 2m:

28.450MHz USB or 3.675MHZ (or thereabouts) LSB

Appoint a net controller who will ensure that everyone gets a turn. As there may well be newcomers, please introduce yourself by first name. Also these nets may be a good opportunity to offer help to members who are self-isolating or to ask to help.  

. Good luck and have fun. 73, Derek G3NKS

Annual General Meeting 2019

This year’s AGM will take place on Thursday 12th December at the Robin’s Nest, Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road, Cheltenham GL52 5NA.  Doors will be open by 7.30pm for an 8pm start.

Following the AGM there will be a social evening with light refreshments and a cash bar.

Foundation Course

CARA is pleased to announce that the next Foundation course will be held over the weekend of 18th and 19th of January 2020 with the exam the following Saturday, 25th January, at 14.00hrs.

For more information and to register for the course please contact Barry at 

Foundation Course

CARA is pleased to announce that the next Foundation Licence course will be held over the weekend of 3rd/4th December 2016 from 9am to 5pm each day.

The next Foundation exam will be held the following weekend, date and time to be confirmed.

W e are planning to run an Intermediate Level course and exam sometime in early 2017.  A Full exam will be held at the same time as the Intermediate exam.

For more information please go to the “training” page on this website.