March Lunch

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.

March Meeting Report

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.

G3YYH with his homebrew WS19 set PSU.

The Pat Moore G3IKR Memorial Cup for Innovative Construction went to Stewart G0LGS for his ingenious 5.7GHz Wideband FM Transceiver.

G0LGS’s 5.7MHz 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.

March Meeting

Constructors’ Exhibition

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.

Intermediate Training Course and Exam

The Cheltenham Amateur Radio Association is running the following amateur radio training course and exams:

Intermediate training course: Saturday 6th May & Sunday 7th May 09:00-17:00

Intermediate exam: Sunday 14th May 14:00

As previously announced, an Advanced exam will also be held on Sunday 14th May at 14:00

Venue: Hatherley Scout Hall, Penrith Road, Cheltenham

For more information contact Barry at training@g5bk.uk

Full Licence Exam

CARA will be holding an Full Licence exam alongside an Intermediate Licence exam on Sunday 14th May, commencing at 2pm.

For more details, interested candidates are invited to contact Barry at:
training@g5bk.uk .

Book soon as spaces are limited.

January Meeting -Report

January saw our first ever “Skills Evening” meeting when several members manned tables to demonstrate or give advice on aspects of amateur radio.

We had eight tables around the room dealing with the following:

RSGB – manned by Giles G0NXA, the RSGB’s the Deputy Regional Manager for Region 5.  He promoted the RSGB and offered advice.

Programming hand-helds and mobiles – Stewart G0LGS was  programming VHF and UHF FM channels into members rigs.

D-Star and DMR Mobile Access  – a demonstration by Matt 2E0MDJ.

Workshop Techniques – a practical demo and display of tools and jigs by Colin G3VTS.

American Radio History – a promotion of the American website by Peter G3YJE.

DATA modes – a live demonstration of, eg, JT65 by Barry M0HFY.

SMD Techniques – Ken G3LVP showed examples of how to mount Surface Mounted Devices.

DXing – Tony G3SNN offered advice on working DX and displayed useful publications.

This turned out to be a very popular meeting with many members commenting how much they enjoyed the evening, with plenty to see and learn, and plenty of time to chat.

Many thanks to everyone who helped to make the evening the success it undoubtedly was, and especially to those who took turns manning the kitchen.

Xmas Day Net

The annual CARA Christmas Day net on 2m was exceedingly well supported this year, with over 20 members calling in to exchange seasonal greetings.  Fortunately not all appeared at the same time otherwise the net would have been somewhat unwieldy!  As it was Ken G3LVP, who kindly assumed the role of Net Controller, had a difficult task keeping track of those calling-in and those signing-out but he did a really sterling job and thanks go to him for keeping us in order.

CARA members taking part were: Giles G0NXA, Ken G3LVP, Derek G3NKS, Tony G3PJQ, Ian G3TDT, Graham G3VKV, Colin G3VTS, Tony G3YYH, Martin G4ENZ, Graham G4FUJ, Michael G4GHL, Tony G8JAY, Tim G8PZD, John G8TTJ, Barry M0HFY, Ian M0ITF, John M0JBM, Jon M0JMM, Jan M0UPA, Smurf M0URF, Christopher M0YNG, Eddie M6FYK.  Non-CARA members included Richard G4ERP and M6UBJ.

AGM Report

The 40th AGM of the Association was held on 15th December.

Tony G3YYH chaired the meeting which was attended by 32 members and 2 visitors. Fifteen apologies for absences were noted.

The Chairman’s and Treasurer’s Reports were approved without comment.

Certificates of Merit were presented to the section winners in the two CARA Challenges held during 2016.
It was announced that the Bernard King G3CEG Cup had been awarded to Graham G3VKV in recognition of his outstanding successes working through satellites and in particular through FO-29. Unfortunately Graham was not able to attend to receive the Cup, it will be presented to him later.
Exceptionally, the John Holt G3GWW Award went to three members of CARA in recognition of their sterling efforts and successes organising and running Foundation and Intermediate training courses: Ian G3TDT as the lead trainer for Foundation courses; Iain M0PCB as the lead trainer for Intermediate courses; Barry M0HFY for coordinating students, courses and exams.
Full citations will be posted separately and will also appear in CARA News.

It was agreed that the annual subscription should remain at £13.

The following were elected, unopposed, to serve on the 2017 committee.
Officers:
Chairman: Tony G3YYH
Secretary: Derek G3NKS
Treasurer: Peter G3YJE
Committee Members:
Christopher M0YNG
Graham G8URP

Tony G3SNN was re-elected Accounts Examiner.

Under Any Other Business:
The pros and cons of moving to Newlands Park were debated. Strong views were voiced for and against the move. The Chairman assured the meeting that no decision to move will be taken without further consultation with the membership.
The year 2017 sees the 40th anniversary of CARA, to celebrate the occasion a barbeque and special event station was suggested.
Jon M0JMM spoke about the desirability of, and difficulty of, encouraging youngsters into the hobby. Max M0VNG described his positive experience with National Science Week in schools. It was said that youngsters were often attracted by what might be regarded as peripheral, rather than mainstream, amateur radio activities eg DF events and Raynet.

The meeting closed at 20.45.

Annual General Meeting

The 40th AGM of the Cheltenham Amateur Radio Association will be held at 8pm on Thursday 15th December 2016 at the Brizen Young Peoples’ Centre, Up Hatherley Way. About a week before the meeting members will receive the usual “AGM Document” containing the minutes of last year’s meeting, the Chairman’s and the Treasurer’s Reports and the Financial Statement.

After the formal AGM the Membership-Secretary/Treasurer will be available to receive annual subscriptions for 2017.

Doors will be open by 7.30pm.

November Meeting – Report

1611-g4vxe-2

We were delighted to welcome Tim G4VXE back to Cheltenham to tell us about “Simple Satellite Operating”. He explained how with relatively simple equipment, such as a dual-band hand-held FM transceiver for 2m and 70cm with a hand-held yagi type aerial, it was possible to work through certain orbiting satellites by selecting the most appropriate orbit and time. He went on to describe the current amateur satellites in orbit and their various frequencies and modes of operation. Finally he mentioned the exploits of some of the leading proponents of satellite operating and the distances they achieve. In all a very interesting, informative and stimulating meeting and our grateful thanks go to Tim for the excellence of his presentation.

There was a good attendance, 37 people signed-in, well above the average number for most CARA meetings. Many thanks to everyone who turned out to support this special meeting. We were pleased to welcome several visitors and we look forward to seeing them again.

Most of those attending seemed happy with the venue, which was “on-trial”, in spite of the unexpected presence of others – we had been promised exclusive use of the room. Before the Committee makes any decision to move, the desirability or not of transferring to Newlands will be discussed at the AGM on 15th December at Brizen.