Summer @ SDARC

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During the month of August we will not be meeting at Pine Trees. We shall be meeting at Barbury Castle to play radio. On the 20th August we are having a club BBQ. We will be providing the fire, you just need to bring the food you would like to eat. 2015-07-28 21-17-06

We will be returning to Pine Trees from September.

Club Summer BBQ – 20th August 2015

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Please take this as advance notice…

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.

Please add the event to your calendar as it is taking place during our month of outdoor activities. Please see the programme for details of the other events.

Hope to see you there!

M4W – 6m Contest Report – June 2015

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Those members who have been involved in or have watched the progress of SDARC contest entries over the past 2 or 3 years will have come to recognise certain recurring themes by which to identify our activities.

  • If if can go wrong…it will!
  • Look, that just broke!
  • Let’s raise the aerial… now let’s take it down… now let’s put it up again… oh dear! …down again !
  • Why’s there no power! That SWR isn’t right still!
  • What’s that dangling at the top of the mast?
  • Where’s the soldering iron tip gone?
  • Who brought the N to 259 adaptors?
  • Can’t stop for lunch, we’re running late..again!
  • It’s now 5pm. The contest started at 3pm!

…….and many more that retain that ‘unfortunate’ theme!

Well, on the 6 metre contest last weekend (20/21 June) there was clearly a group of organised stand-ins masquerading as the SDARC team!

  • We had everything on site that we needed.
  • Everything went together properly.
  • We started on time (actually we had over an hour to kill between ready and start of contest!)
  • We even stopped for lunch! It all worked perfectly!

It was a productive and enjoyable session.

The Details
We planned to work from Barbury, using the Raynet Gazebo (it needed an airing!) with one of the Club’s TS2000s barefoot 100 watts into one of two 5 ele yagis loaned by Den & Andy. One yagi was to rotate from a club rotator on Tony’s pump up tower and the other was to go fixed on a 20 foot pole pointing at the highest activity. Power was a leisure battery with James’ genny as backup.

Personal commitments elsewhere that weekend resulted in a small team: Andy, James, Den & Mike.
Newbury Rally on Sunday meant Den and Mike available only Saturday and since it was Dad’s day on Sunday, it was bye-bye James and Andy!

During the week, we followed growing doom & gloom in the wx forecasts for Saturday (heavy persistent rain with thunder & lightning). Lovely! …Just what you want when /p on a hill under canvas with lots of aluminium in the air and us folk underneath it !!!
Based on all this, we decided to enter the “6-hour” section on Saturday beginning 3pm BST – the beginning of the contest and finishing at 9pm.

The Way It Was
In the event, the Gods smiled on us big time ! The weather was superb. NO rain (or lightning!) at any time during the day. And everything went together like clockwork.
Mike brought lunch at lunchtime. We stopped, ate, chatted and got back to work! We completed tests and were ready to go just before 2pm (the contest didn’t start till 3pm !!!!)

On Air
The early afternoon was typical…. For the first hour, Den worked lots of mainly UK stations – not surprising as this was the beginning of the contest.

Den handed over and it then became much slower with most stations heard already worked and less response to our CQ calls. Late afternoon, Mike suffered just under an hour with nothing new in the log!

He handed over to Den at 7.00 BST and suddenly the Sporadic Es kicked in and QSO distances which earlier were peaking at 200km (more typically 70 – 90 km) suddenly became 1600km-1800km with one big hop to UH1HY in Ukraine at 2400km !! Wow !!!! THAT is why Six is called “The Magic Band” !!!

After half an hour of this Den, gave way to Andy who continued the theme working 1400km, 1600km and 1800km Es stations for the rest of his session.

James took over and among continuing Es working, logged YR8Y in Romania at 2190km before our session time ran out. A link to the map showing our results (thanks Andy) is below. You will need to zoom out several times once it opens to see our big hops!

Elated, we stripped down the station, packed away and went home after a very productive and exciting session. We did well and were enthused to do more.

On Sunday Andy sent us claimed scores submitted by all stations in the 6 hour multi op section.

The Result
We were good … but there were better…. Our total claimed score was 75 QSOs, 42 multipliers (QRA squares and Countries) 756 points per QSO, 2,381,358 points with our UH1HY at 2433km the best DX.

FOUR stations beat our scores however….one of them was running 400 watts and claimed a 6699km hop to work NP4A and claimed total of 12,387,060 points.
However, the top score of 16,983,180 points was claimed by a station running just 25 watts from IO94 !! He didn’t work as far as we did but he worked over twice the number of QSOs and over twice as many mults as us! It’s the QSOs and mults that boost the scores of course… lesson learned ! G4G…you wait till next time !!


‘RMS Republic and RMS Titanic: How their stories influenced Radio and the Safety of Life at Sea.’ By Tony Selman.

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This week at Pine Trees, we will be joined by Tony Selman, who is very kindly travelling all the from Kent to speak to us.
Tony is chairman of the Radio Officers Association and has a passion for promoting the work and history of his fellow ‘Sparks’ through the association and his presentations.

The story of the ill-fated Titanic is obviously well known. However, the loss of the RMS Republic in 1909 after a collision is perhaps less well known. The Marconi radio on board was used to send a ‘CQD’ distress call and helped save around 1200 lives on the Republic.

Tony’s presentation will be a fascinating one and one not to be missed as he explains how these two maritime disasters helped advance radio technology and the safety of those at sea.

Please join us this Thursday, 11th June from 7pm at Pine Trees to meet Tony and see his presentation.

GB1WWM – Wilton Windmill

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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 week-end 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 40mtrs HF and hopefully 2mtrs VHF.

This is the address of Wilton Windmill :-

Wilton Windmill
Near Marlborough

Check their website for directions.

Baltic Contest 2015 on May 23/24 2015

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Dear Contesters,

There are several days left until challenging 80 meters event :).
On behalf of Lithuanian Radios Sports Federation I would like to invite you to join the Baltic Contest on May 23/24. Just 5 hours of LY, YL and ES pileups with the rate of 140 Qs at the first hour. It starts at 21.00 UTC on Saturday and ends at 02.00 UTC on Sunday morning.

Lots of special trophies, unique glean medals and paper diplomas will be spread world wide as every year.

The rules of the contest you can find on the website:

Join us in the Baltic Contest 2015!

Mindis LY4L

Ramsey Island – 2015

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We would like to announce that we are currently in the final planning stages of our regular trip to Ramsey IslandIOTA EU-124.

This year we are going to try to have 3 stations on air full time as we are only there for 3 nights.

Arrive on island Friday 19th June
Depart island Monday 22nd June

We will be using 3 of the new “Hexpedition” hexbeams built by Ant, one will be directed to the West to allow us to work as many stations in the USA as possible as we seem to be lacking contacts from there each year. There may be some digi mode operating and again we will be looking on 6m to work as many as possible on there too.

Team members this year include a new addition of Vinny, M0TAV, who we welcome into the fold as a guest operator. Vinny is the antenna erector here in the midlands and has experience of operating from around the world when he was working on cruise ships and from his time in Thailand.

The full team this year are;
Charles M0OXO
Tony G4LDL
Chris G1VDP
Vinny M0TAV
Jane – Rob’s wife and the chief chef and the one who keeps us in check
Laura MW6INK – Ant’s wife and Janes right hand
Glenys G8KWD – Tony’s wife and Janes left hand

The girls are in charge as usual and I am sure will keep us all in our place.

Usual DX Code of conduct rules will be adhered to (FULL CALL ONLY) and the regular QSL route via M0URX. Please do not send your card to us via the bureau as we do not need your card, but use Tim’s on line request service to get your card sent this way free of charge – or request direct and donate a couple of dollars to assist with our costs.

There may be some operating the days before and after from the farm as we all assemble and get ready to travel.

We look forward to meeting you on the air and again we ask to listen to who we call and just act in a true Ham Spirit and allow us to complete the QSO’s.

SDARC is open as usual on polling day.

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Polling Station SignAfter weeks of preparation the polling stations will be opening on Thursday 7th May 2015 across the UK. Pine Trees is one of the locations which will be used as a polling station. We have been advised by Swindon Borough Council that our use of the meeting room will be unaffected and as such the club will be open as usual. See you there for a talk titled ‘What can you do with your licence?’ By Tony Bettley, G4LDL.

This week at Pine Trees (23/04/2015) – Members Interests Evening and Mini Talks

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This week at the club, we will be holding a members interests (show and tell) type evening. This will be an opportunity for our members old and new to listen to a number of mini talks presented by several SDARC members.

Mike, M5CBS, will be showing a preview of the SDARC promo video he has been working on and maybe talk a little on his kite antenna.

Jonathan, M0ZGB, is bringing along a selection of his marine Radio Direction Finders and speaking about some of the companies that produced them and the reasons for collecting them.

Geoff, G3TPQ will be giving us a mini talk and demonstration on some of his electromechanical amplifiers.

Dennis, G3LLZ is going to speak to us about test equipment and his experiences in using it during his career.

Each talk is planned to last around 15 minutes, so if any other members would like to bring in items such as interesting equipment, old photos or rare QSL cards, then please do so.
Several tables will be set out for others members to display their prized possessions!

Please join us from 7pm on Thursday 23rd April at Pine Trees, for what will be an interesting evening of mini talks and demonstrations.