This week at Pine Trees we will be holding a members equipment (Spring clear out) sale.

This is the ideal place to find that Ham Radio bargain or sought-after part for your next project.

Bring along any Amateur Radio related items you wish to sell or just browse & buy what others have for sale.

All welcome.
Visitor Entry : £1
Visitor Tables : £3
Refreshments : £1
Members entry & tables : Free
On-site parking available.

Last Thursday was the annual construction competition. Here are a few photos of the entries and the prize winners.

Our speaker this week at Pine Trees needs no introduction, being our very own Dennis, G3LLZ.

Dennis will be speaking to us about the history and development of the Morse key, one of the many subjects Dennis is well versed in speaking about.

Despite no longer being a requirement to pass a Morse test, apart from the ‘Morse Appreciation’ in the Foundation exam, Morse or CW still has a healthy following among Radio Amateurs. The Morse keys themselves can be highly collectable and their history right from the early beginnings of Telegraphy is a fascinating one.

Dennis will doubtless give an excellent talk on them, so please join us from 7pm on Thursday 12th March to see his presentation.

Lawrence, 1918

This week we welcome John B Winterburn to our club night, who will be speaking to us about the search for Lawrence of Arabia’s Desert Camp.

John is an archaeologist, researcher and lecturer and has recently been heavily involved in the search for the desert camp of Lawrence of Arabia. He is interested in all periods of archaeology and in particular Modern Conflict Archaeology, the Neolithic and Roman periods as well as the archaeology of the 20th and 21st centuries.

John is also a Chartered Engineer and has a passion for the links between present technology and past industrial archaeology. He is also a licenced Radio Amateur and holds the call G4NSB.

Thomas Edward Lawrence or Lawrence of Arabia as he is better known, is perhaps one of the most fascinating characters from the WW1 era.

Born in 1888 and tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in Dorset in 1935, he was an Archaeologist and an Officer in the British Army. His exploits during this period were famously portrayed in the 1962 film staring Peter O’Toole in the lead role.

With John’s expertise in this subject matter, this is sure to be a fascinating presentation and one not to be missed. So please join us on Thursday 19th February from 7pm at Pine Trees to meet John and see his presentation.

Worked All Counties Update #2

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We now have people entering QSOs for the Worked All Counties club competition which is brilliant. Keep making contacts!

I was asked if it was possible to see what counties have been worked. To keep everything transparent and introduce chatter, entries now appear in a table underneath the leaderboard. You will see each county worked and by who. If a 1 appears then it means the county has been worked at least once. If it is blank then the county has yet to be worked.

Only counties which have been worked at least once by someone will appear in the table.

Have fun!

Worked All Counties Update #1

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It has only been a few days since the competition was announced and as it starts on the 1st (Sunday) I felt it was important to get this out quickly. We have a dedicated page for the competition now and at the bottom of the page you will find a league table. You will be able to see who has entered, what category they are in and how many counties they have worked during each of the three periods.

To make this possible I have created a form for you to populate with each QSO you make. It asks you the same questions as you would fill in to the paper version. We would appreciate if you could use the form to submit your scores as it will make adjudicating it much easier and give everyone else a realtime view as to the state of the contest.

You can find the form by visiting

You will need to submit an entry for each QSO you wish to be considered. If you are reading this then you already have everything you require to make a submission. You can still log on paper if you wish but our preference is electronic for obvious reasons.

If you have any feedback please pass it to the committee.

Good luck

Worked All UK Counties Award 2015

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Last evening Den, M0ACM introduced the club to the 2015 “Members Only” Award Scheme to encourage on-air operating, to have some competitive fun playing radio, to raise the profile of SDARC on the air and to reward members making consistent use of their radio gear. Go on, have a go !!


  • Every licensed member of SDARC is encouraged to enter, using your own Call Sign.
  • Your Aim is to work as many UK Counties as you can during the Award period.
  • ALL UK Counties are valid (…eg Wiltshire); English Unitary Authorities are NOT (= Swindon).
  • The list of valid Counties comprises only those included on the Progress Form.
  • Work stations normally aiming to identify as many Counties as you can. -There are 88 ‘possibles’ !
  • Explain to stations being worked about the SDARC Club Award and why you need their “county”.
  • QSOs may be made from 1 February to 31 October 2015. You have NINE months in all.
  • The Award is divided into three periods (Feb, Mar, Apr); (May, Jun, Jul); (Aug, Sep, Oct)
  • You can enter all three (for the ‘Full Year’ award) or any combination of the 3 periods
  • You can use ANY Mode… Phone, CW or Data (SSB, FM, AM, CW, RTTY, PSK, SSTV…)
  • You can use any amateur Band for which you are licensed … 135 kHz to light
  • You choose ONE of four TX Power categories, as permitted by your licence (10/50/100/400W).
  • You may operate from anywhere within 25 miles of your licensed address. (ie: home, /P or /M)
  • Your transmitter & antenna that put RF into the air must be within 25 miles of your QTHR.
  • Direct contacts only… no repeaters, satellites or Echolink/Internet contacts.
  • Each County worked counts ONE point in each period (and may be worked again in a subsequent period) but dupes will be removed
    from scores for the ‘whole year’ award.
  • You must declare an update of your total counties worked by the end of month 2 of each period.
  • You must hand in your Progress Form for each period by end of month 1 of the next period.
  • Your first Progress Form determines your chosen Power category for all periods.
  • QSOs will not normally need validating but Judges reserve the right to request confirmation.
  • The Judges decision in all matters is final.


  • These Rules, Progress Forms and a helpful UK Map may be downloaded from
  • Complete a Progress Form – just copy details from your shack log. Keep a copy of your own form.


A ‘league table’ of results for each period will be published after each period closes. Year-end results will be announced in December 2015 By entering, you agree that Results & any photos may be sent to RadCom & the SDARC website.


There will be 4 Winners’ Awards for each Power category…

  • for the highest number of Counties collected across the whole year (February – October)
  • for the highest number of Counties collected in each Period (Feb-Apr / May-Jul / Aug-Oct)
  • No-one will receive more than one Award… so there should be 16 winners! Go for it!

Remember to tell stations you contact about the SDARC Counties Award. …It raises the profile of SDARC on the air !

Useful Files

We have setup a dedicated page to post progress reports on and you can find that by looking for “Worked All Counties 2015″ in the top menu or visiting

We will also attempt to tweet (@SDARC) and update our Facebook page too.

CQ CQ CQ Club Constructors!

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Soldering IronJust to remind you that this year’s Construction Contest will take place on Thursday 5th March at Pine Trees from 7pm. There is still plenty of time to construct an entry if you haven’t done so already.

Never built anything before? Then now is the time to have a go! There is a category for ‘1st timers’ who are new to construction.

Construction Contest 2015 – Rules

The contest will have six general categories:-

Homebrew – This will be for equipment built completely by the club member. (If the equipment is a magazine project with a PCB available, then, the PCB may be used.)

Antenna Installations – This will be for special homebrew antenna systems. For this type of contest entry, the member will just need to provide photographs of the antenna together with a specification, a drawing and details of the construction. A list of countries worked with the antenna should also be provided.

Kit – This will be for equipment built from a kit.

Hybrid – This will be for homebrew equipment, which contains one or more kits.

“First Timers” – This will be for club members who have not previously built any equipment.

“IT” – This category will be for radio-related software. This can be either be, a piece of “stand-alone” new software, or a piece written to add extra features to some existing software.

There will be a total of eight awards allocated to the six categories; the number of awards per category will be up to the judges to decide.

In addition there will be a special award:- “Professional” – This prize may be awarded to experienced constructors whose work is of an exceptional standard.

The judges’ decisions on all the awards are final.
Items can have been built at any time, but to be accepted as an entry, they must not have been entered in any previous SDARC construction contest.

The entries can be any radio-related equipment or software, for example, morse oscillator, test unit, QRP rig, computer/radio interface, PSU, Tx/Rx, linear, antenna.

The most complex equipment may not necessarily win!

Entry forms will be available on the night, but if you wish to complete one beforehand, please download the entry form.

Mike will be speaking to us about the use of radio in aircraft navigation – a subject he is well versed in.
Mike has been a radio enthusiast since the age of 9, building his first crystal set at the age of 12 and passing the Radio Amateur exam at the age of 15. He has designed and built a number of popular Transceivers including several ‘Top Band’ rigs during his 50+ years involvement with Amateur Radio.

Mike has also been involved in aviation for 47 years, flying on Hercules, V Bombers and VC10s. He is also a flying instructor and examiner and spent 12 years with the CAA, partially as their Chief Radio Examiner. He was also the chief avionics instructor with RACAL Avionics.

With his vast experience in the subject, this will be very informative presentation on the subject of Radio Navigation. So if you would like to learn about VOR, NDBs, DME and a whole lot more, please join us on Thursday, 22nd January from 7pm at Pine Trees Community Centre.