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Membership of the Cheltenham Amateur Radio Association (CARA) is open to everyone with an interest in amateur radio, whether they hold an amateur transmitting licence or not. The club aims to cater for the broadest possible range of interests from data-modes through voice-modes to Morse, from the LF bands through HF and VHF/UHF to the microwave bands, from home construction to the latest commercially available equipment, from rag-chewing through DXing and award chasing to contesting. CARA has over 80 members, not all of them live in Cheltenham.
The club currently holds one main meeting a month with a varied annual programme which includes talks, demonstrations, a constructors’ exhibition, sales of surplus equipment and informal “natter nights”. The club organises various Special Event Stations for occasions such as Railways-on-the-Air and it supports other similar activities. It participates in nation-wide contests such as HF National Field Day and encourages members to take part in the various RSGB’s Affiliated Societies Contests, the RSGB’s 80m Club Championship Contests and other competitive events. A recent development has been the introduction of club projects with “Assisted Construction” meetings; further projects and associated meetings are planned.
A monthly newsletter, CARA News, is produced and sent to all members either by email or by post.
Several local nets take place on a daily and weekly basis, and a slow Morse Activity Session is held every Tuesday on 80m – see elsewhere on this site for details.
CARA manages the callsign G5BK which originally belonged, many years ago now, to the late Bill Brown who was an active and well known Cheltenham radio amateur. The callsign is used in contests such as National Field Day and occasionally at other events such as local fetes.
On the social side members and their spouses/partners meet for lunch once a month and every year the club aims to organise a garden party/BBQ and sometimes an annual dinner.
CARA is affiliated to the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB).
In addition to this website, CARA has:
a groups.io forum access to which is currently restricted to members only.