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!

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.

HARWELL AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY are holding a Radio and Electronics Rally at Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot, OX11 8AY from 10.00am-3.00pm on Sunday 8th February 2015.

There will be radio and electronics trade stalls, a Radio Society of Great Britain bookstall, information on local courses for those who would like to become a Radio Amateur and an Amateur Radio Demonstration Station. Refreshments will be available all day. Entry £3.00 (children under 12 free).

Details from Ann on 01235 816379 or from

The Annual Christmas Quiz will be held at the SDARC Clubroom at the Pinetrees Community Centre, The Circle, Pinehurst, Swindon.

In addition to the usual tea and coffee, there will be free mince pies.

In this Quiz, members form small teams to enter the quiz and give a team answers to the questions.

So, even if you do not know the answer to a question, hopefully someone else in your team will know the answer.

There will be rounds of both amateur radio and general knowledge questions.

No access to the internet will be allowed and the question master’s decision on each answer will be final!

Have you ever perhaps wondered how a particular street in Swindon got it’s name or what a particular building was used for years ago – before its current use? Well, join us at Pine Trees Community Centre on Thursday 20th November from 7pm and hopefully you will get your answer!

Robert ‘Bob’ Townsend is a born and bred Swindonian and served his apprenticeship at Swindon Railway Works. After leaving the Railway, he worked for the Royal Navy on Wroughton Airfield, servicing helicopters and working on ground equipment in the workshops. Before retirement, he spent a number of years as a trained Conservator for the Science Museum’s outstation site on Wroughton Airfield, working on such objects as the prototype Austin 7 car and travelling to Japan with a Science Museum touring exhibition.

Bob has a keen interest in local, athletics and cycling history and has been heavily involved in the digitisation of the Swindon Society’s large collection of photographic slides.

This will be an excellent talk to attend for anyone who has an interest in Swindon’s history, so hope to see you there!

KitThis Thursday, 6th November, we welcome Tim Walford, G3PCJ to our club.

Tim will be familiar to many as the proprietor of ‘Walford Electronics’ based in Somerset and the designer of many popular kits which are available to the Amateur Radio world.

Tim concentrates on the circuitry of the design with the aim of maximising performance whilst keep the cost of the kit to a sensible level. The kits are provided with excellent instructions which allow the kits to be built and tested in stages, avoiding the ‘build it in one go and hope for the best’ approach.

Tim also publishes the quarterly magazine ‘Hot Iron’ for members of his construction club and runs the annual ‘QRP in the country’ event from his farm in Somerset.

On Thursday, Tim will be speaking to us about his latest Somerset Range of kits and will have some on display with perhaps an experiment thrown in too!

So please join us at Pine Trees Community Centre from 7pm on Thursday 6th of November to see what is sure to be an informative presentation.

You can visit Tim’s website at

Elizabeth BrutonThis Thursday our speaker at the club will be Dr. Elizabeth Bruton, who will be speaking to us about the role played by Radio Amateurs during the First World War.

Dr Bruton is the Byrne-Bussey Marconi Fellow at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford and a research assistant at the University of Leeds. Prior to these roles, she was the postdoctoral researcher for “Innovating in Combat: Telecommunications and intellectual property in the First World War” an AHRC-funded project at the University of Leeds and Museum of the History of Science, Oxford. In early 2013, Liz completed her PhD at the University of Leeds with a thesis entitled “Beyond Marconi: the roles
of the Admiralty, the Post Office, and the Institution of Electrical Engineers in the invention and development of wireless communication up to 1908″. She is a SWL member of the Oxford and District Amateur Radio Club and a member of the RSGB.

This is a talk not to be missed, so please join us at Pine Trees from 7pm on Thursday 23rd October to see to Dr Bruton’s presentation.