CQ CQ CQ Club Constructors 2016!

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Soldering IronJust to remind you that this year’s Construction Contest will take place on Thursday 5th May 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 2016 – 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.

Thinking Day On The Air 2016 by Ken, G1NCG

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For me this is the start of the yearly special event stations, which I always look forward to, as we can show our hobby and to others and what Amateur radio is all about.

Our preparations where hastily put together but it all came together very well. I wouldn’t say a well oiled machine, just a bunch of like minded people that acted as a team. I would like to thank all those involved for their help and efforts put into this day. I think we’ve found some skills that some people didn’t know they were capable of.

We arrived at site on Saturday with the intention of putting antenna up but after installing the ropes to hoist antenna in the air we decided that it was possibly to windy to leave antenna in place over night and decided to install the antenna first thing Sunday morning.

We arrived Sunday morning around 9am to start the simple job of hoisting antenna into the air, Tony suggested we use a piece of Kevlar cord between the two ropes to give stability to the antenna. The antenna’s position was adjusted to put it’s feeder near to the entry point of the building. When the G5RV was tested it was found to be faulty so we quickly replaced it with another antenna which proved to work okay.

While the radio was set up and stations listened for we started the Brownies, Guides and Ranger on a small exercise of how to use the Phonetic code to spell their names to begin with and then a message, which was decoded and read out to show the use of the phonetic code. I know this is just simple exercise for us amateurs but to younger persons who had not used this before, it was interesting.

There were other exercises to show the Brownies, Guides and Ranger the world wide locations of Amateur Radio using QSL cards received and locations were checked on a map of the world. There was also a small demonstration of morse code using a crib sheet and a morse buzzer. There were several contacts made via the radio using the special event call sign “ GB1SGG” and each of the Brownies, Guides and Ranger had the opportunity to send greetings messages over the air to other Thinking Day on the Air stations. I think everyone had a good day and was enjoyed by all involved.

Andy G0UWS, Tony G4LDL, James M1DST, Mike M5CBS, Chris G4AJA and myself Ken G1NCG all participated in the event.

Of course we must give our thanks to the Guider and Brownies, Guides and Ranger who participated in the days events and allowing us to put on this special event station.


Worked All UK/EI Locator Squares (Club Comp 2016)

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MapLast night Den, M0ACM announced the annual club competition. For full rules and league tables please see the link at the top of this page or visit http://www.sdarc.net/worked-all-ukei-locators/

The competition is open to SDARC Members and is designed 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 !!

DMR Mini Talk

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Tonight here will be a short explanatory talk on DMR usage at SDARC. The talk will include details of the recent changes to GB7TC.

Fancy a mince pie?

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5303024This is just a reminder that this Thursday at Pine Trees is the last club meeting of the year, after which there will be a 2 week break until the first meeting of 2016 on Thursday 7th January.

This weeks meeting is of course the annual club quiz which this year will be will be starting slightly earlier than normal at 7:45pm. It’s always an entertaining evening so please come along if you can, and don’t forget that as well as the usual refreshments there will be mince pies!

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner (or Turkey)

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At the club Christmas dinner last night the results for the Worked All Counties competition were announced.

Thanks to everyone who entered, to Den for organising, to Tony for being an Adjudicator and to James for creating the on-line results table.

The aim was to encourage on-air activity and the Awards strategy was no-one wins >1 award.

10w – Period 1 (James, M1DST)
10w – Period 2 (Martin, G0DHL) – “you have to be in it to win it!” – He won P2 with just 1 QSO !
10w – Overall (Chris, G4AJA)

50w (Jonathan, M0ZGB) – NO other entries except Jonathan !

100w was most competitive section. Here we allocated Awards based on winner’s highest score. It resulted in Awards in all sections.
100w – Period 1 (Paul, M0PMV)
100w – Period 2 (Tony, G4LDL)
100w – Period 3 (Andy, G0UWS)
100w – Overall (Phil, M0PBZ)
Unfortunately, James’ 37 – a potential winning score had to be ignored as he had entered in 10W previously. “Your first Progress Form determines your chosen Power category for all periods”

400w – Overall (Steve, M0SPN)
Paul’s score (26 from P2) had to be ignored as he had entered in 100W previously. “Your first Progress Form determines your chosen Power category for all periods”


Many thanks to everyone who entered. Hopefully these results will encourage those who thought themselves uncompetitive to enter next year.

Key advice – as shown is 1) to enter! and 2) to choose your category carefully !

So, folks…. What would you like next year ?

…Italian Provinces, UK Postcodes, US States, Maidenhead Squares, Irish districts, Scottish Pubs …?)
Still use Power categories? OR …should we have Mode categories instead? (SSB, CW, PSK, RTTY,SSTV…)

Christmas Dinner

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christmas-dinner-1003539_960_720This is just to confirm (or to advise you if you didn’t know) that there will not be a club meeting at Pinetrees this Thursday 10th December due to the Members Christmas meal.

There will be a meeting as normal on the 17th which is the Christmas Quiz Night, complete with Mince Pies.

GB1WWM – Wilton Windmill – THIS WEEKEND!

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GB1WWM is being activated for the second time this year at the request of the Wilton Windmill Trust.

This special event station will running over the bank holiday weekend of August 29th, 30th & 31st 2015.

All are welcome to come and visit, if you just want to see how a special event is run (chaos come to mind). Or you would like to be involved just try to support us please.

The station has been organised by Colin G4GBP and assisted by John G1OQV and myself Ken G1NCG.

If you are listening on the air for the callsign this the call you will hear “Golf Bravo One Whisky Whisky Mike” Wilton windmill.

We will be on 40m and 2m.

This is the address of Wilton Windmill :-

Wilton Windmill
Near Marlborough

Check their website for directions. http://www.wiltonwindmill.co.uk/

Summer BBQ

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A number of us attended the SDARC Summer BBQ at Coate Water. Paul, G0EPC took some photos of the event.

Club Summer BBQ @ Coate Water – THIS WEEK

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Barbecue GrillThe Club is holding a BBQ at the Coate Water Country Park on Thursday 20th August from 7.00 – 9.30 pm.

As this is a club event we will not be opening up the club room.

We will be providing the fire, you need to bring your burgers, sausages and ketchup…. don’t forget the rolls. We plan to setup some radios too.

Hope to see you there!