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Swindon wins the double!

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Swindon Radio Club won both the 144FMAC and the 432FMAC for 2022. A fantastic effort by the entire team.

In the 2m contest we scored more than 2nd and 3rd place combined. We didn’t quite achieve the same thing on the 432 version although pretty close.

GB1WW, Wilton Windmill – Mills on the Air 2018

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We activated GB1WW in May over the weekend of 12th – 13th for Mills on the Air.

This is Wilton Windmill with the Supermoon behind it from 2018 with our special event callsign added to be used as a QSL card.

The day started rather early on Saturday morning with the usual group volunteers putting up masts for the antenna, event shelter, and gazebo to house operating equipment and operators. The gazebo was used as a mess tent and second operating shelter. We started radio operations around 09:15 – 09:30 and continued all day, with our main operator taking breaks at various intervals. The stations heard and contacted were from Europe mainly to begin with, and working inter UK was changeable with Scotland, Northern Ireland being amongst our easier contacts.

We had a fair amount of visitors from several of the amateur radio clubs from around the area. Some even got into the spirit and operated for a while, for which I give them a big thank you and will list them at the end of this article. Around lunch time we had our flyover by the Yak-52 which is an ex-Russian trainer aeroplane and is owned by Dom 2E0WHQ. He said that he wanted to fly over the mill on his flight from Popham to Wales where he was taking the aircraft, to have its yearly airworthiness certificate inspection. One of our SDARC club members (Jonathan M0ZGB) took a wonderful closeup shot of this aircraft as he circled around and gave us a wing wave before continuing his journey.

The first day of the event was very successful in proving all our hard work building and testing the antenna setup prior to using on the day was correct as it performed extremely well. We had a visit from Ian G0GRI from the Trowbridge amateur radio club with his portable 2Mtr setup which proved a useful addition to our overall tally of stations contacted. We had Phil M0PBZ from SDARC setup an 80Mtr station and he made contacts on CW & SSB using a couple of different antennas built by himself that worked very well. We had M1CJE bring along his portable data station and was successful in achieving a fair few contacts on FT8 but got a lot of reports that he could be heard over a good part of the globe. The first day’s operating ended around 17:30 as we had to pack equipment back into our vehicle’s as it wasn’t safe to leave them overnight.

The Sunday started a little early but not as early as the previous day, and the first thing to get up and running was, of course, the kettle and a cup of tea. We had our share of visitors during the day and we had another visit from a Newbury club member Norman M0JEC with the intention of videoing the mill. We operated for most of the day and our tally of contacts for the weekend was 225 so well done everybody who was involved with this special event station. We’ve received 44 eQSL cards from our contacts at the time of this article going to press.

We’ve contacted enough UK MOTA stations to apply for the certificate from Denby Dale club to confirm that we have activated the station.

Let me say a big thanks to all the helpers involved with putting things up and operating plus all the other bits and pieces: – John G1OQV, Neil M6CUE, Bill M0TDW, Phil M0PBZ, Russell M0RFI, Mike M5CBS, Andrew M1CJE, Dom 2E0WHQ & of course his flyover.
Thanks to the visitors Roy G0VFS, Ian G0GRI who operated on 2Mtrs, Phill G6EES who operated for a while, Roy G4VWG, Jonathan M0ZGB, Matt 2E0WLF for his excellent drone footage of the event, and several others who visited.

Around the world 28 MHz CW balloon

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Bob Bruninga WB4APR brings news of an around the world balloon attempt on March 5/9 that’ll carry a CW transmitter on 28.223 MHz.

It will be launched on either 5 or 9 March 2012 in Annapolis Maryland and go East towards Europe.

The balloon payload will only weigh about 50 grams. About the mass of two standard 9v batteries. It will use about 10 Mylar Party balloons to achieve constant-pressure flight level above 40,000 feet. The Telemetry will be in CW on 28.223 MHz and will contain only Battery voltage, and inside and outside temperatures.

The CW format will be something like this. It is assumed that all outside temperatures will be below zero or negative so the minus sign is not transmitted. The inside temperature might get above 0 during sunlight. So assume the I inside temperature is positive and the outside temperature is negative in Degrees C. When the inside temperature goes negative then the I will change to IN to indicate negative temps.
The outside Temp is always negative. If it goes positive, then the value will be replaced with an X.

. . . W3ADO I nn T nn APRS.ORG . . . < == inside temp positive and outside negative . . . W3ADO IN nn T X APRS.ORG . . . <== inside temp negative and outside positive The CW message will be repeated once a minute or so. The WEB page may be only send on every other beacon. TRACKING: The balloon has no GPS. All tracking will be done by HF DFing. All APRS users are assumed to know how to enter an APRS DF bearing report so that their DF bearing line shows up on global APRS maps. Check the APRS site for latest information at the website.

Construction Contest 8th March 2012 – Additional Rule

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Dear Club Member,

The construction contest rules state, that for an item to be accepted as an entry, it must have been built in the last two years.
This year, to try to increase the number of entries to the contest, we are relaxing the rules to allow each member to enter ONE item which may have been built at any time; the item must not have been entered for a previous contest.


Deryck G3YKC

IOTA 2011 Results

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This year, despite the low sun-spots, we received 2315 logs (yet another record), some 632,000 qsos sufficient to enable us adjudicate 75% of all qsos. In addition, we have received photographs from 252 stations, and more than a 71% of the stations entered their location using google maps. Entrants also posted 9 YouTube videos.
We have integrated both the maps and photographs on the results page and we hope that they would provide a richer experience.

We also give you the opportunity to enter/edit your location on google maps and you can email any contest related photographs (1 per station) to the contest manager: [email protected]

Many thanks for taking part in IOTA 2011. Certificates will be sent to leading scorers in each category and a list of trophy winners will be published in due course. Trophies will be awarded at the RSGB Convention in October 2012. Those not able to attend will receive their trophy by mail after the Convention.

Should you have any queries/disagreements about our adjudication please let us know IMMEDIATELY. The results will be finalised by 10 February 2012.



Official IOTA contest page:

Last night at Savernake Street

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This Thursday (22nd) will be the last time we meet in the Savernake Street premises.

Pine Trees

From the new year we will be meeting in the Pine Trees Community Centre, Pinehurst which opens its doors to the public today at 2pm.  The £2m centre replaces the old one which was demolished in 2007 – now the site of the Swindon Academy on Beech Avenue.

Located on The Circle, at the heart of Pinehurst, the building will house a number of local amenities and facilities for the community such as Library, Internet Café, Citizen’s Advice Bureau office and a dental surgery.

As well as being is located on a main bus route into and out of Swindon, there is parking spaces for 30 cars. There are a number of rooms and spaces which are available to hire for the community and local groups such as ours.

View Larger Map

Amateur Radio Balloon Flight Crosses Atlantic, Sets Records

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Source: ARRL

Ron Meadows, K6RPT, and his son Lee — leaders of the California Near Space Project — successfully launched an Amateur Radio high altitude balloon on Sunday, December 11 at 4:43 PM PST. The balloon reached a cruise altitude between 105,000 and 115,000 feet, where it continued its travel across the United States, the Atlantic Ocean and Spain and into the Mediterranean Sea. For most of its trip, the balloon traveled at about 150 miles per hour and eventually covered 6236 great circle miles in just 57 hours 2 minutes. According to the CNSP, this is a new Amateur Radio balloon flight record for both distance and duration.

The balloon, which bore the call sign K6RPT-11 and could be tracked via APRS, traveled through California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. “When the balloon left the New Jersey shore behind, it was received by coastal stations as far away as Nova Scotia,” explained CNSP Team Member Don Ferguson, KD6IRE. “When it exceeded the range of these stations, we lost track of it and feared that we would not hear from the balloon again.”

Ferguson told the ARRL that when they woke up the next morning, the CNSP Team learned that K6RPT-11 was still in the air and transmitting. CU2ARA — the club station of the Amateur Radio Association of the Azores, located on the island of St Miguel — reported that they had successfully copied K6RPT-11’s signal. That morning, the balloon reached a height of 111,503 feet and was traveling in excess of 160 miles per hour, headed east at 92 degrees. “The rest of the day on Tuesday was exciting, as more stations around the world took note of the little balloon form Silicon Valley that was heading for the European mainland,” Ferguson said.

“The APRS system of digital radio repeaters maintained reception of the data traffic from the balloon transmitter, which transmitted its location from the onboard GPS,” Ferguson noted. “In the US, this network is established on 144.39 MHz, but is on a different frequency in Europe. Radio amateurs across the world were able to quickly adjust the European receivers to the balloon’s frequency and provided continued tracking worldwide. This is yet another example of the response and flexibility of ham radio operators to meet a sudden challenge and provide communications when needed.”

According to the CNSP’s Twitter feed, the balloon burst on Wednesday, December 14 at 0946 UTC, off the coast of Algeria.


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From the RSGB website:

Some 135 people attended the RSGB EGM held at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, at the Birmingham NEC on Saturday 19th November.

The meeting was called to consider a series of Resolutions to put in place an Interim Board to address some of the challenges currently faced by the Society.

During the EGM, which was chaired by RSGB President Dave Wilson, M0OBW, the meeting heard from Don Beattie, G3BJ, Acting General Manager, of the issues leading up to the Resolutions being proposed.

After a lively discussion, the President called for a poll to be taken, which was supervised by Electoral Reform Services. The results were:

For Special Resolution 1 (to create the Interim Board): 85% of those voting

For Ordinary Resolutions 2-9 (to appoint individual members to the Board) votes ranged between and 83 and 86% of those voting

Special Resolution 1 required a 75% majority, the others a simple majority.

The President therefore declared all motions carried. The Interim Board starts work immediately.

Commenting on the meeting, Dave Wilson said “I’m delighted that members have given us such a resounding vote of confidence to move ahead with the new Interim Board. It clearly shows there’s an appetite for change and the new Interim Board carries the responsibility for working with you the membership to develop the details of the way ahead. I’d like to thank everyone who voted and everyone who came to the EGM for showing concern and interest for the way the Society develops in the future.”

Members of the new Interim Board issued a statement,which was read to the meeting,which said:

We would like to thank all of the members who participated in today’s vote.

You have vested your confidence in us to move the RSGB forward and we do not take that responsibility lightly. We have no illusions – this will be a tough job and we must move quickly on some issues. But our vision is to create a Society which is financially sound, of which the members can be proud, which serves their needs and is fit for our hobby in the 21st century.

We recognise that the past 8 months have been very difficult for the Society. We take on board many of the criticisms that have been levied about secrecy, about the process of this EGM and matters surrounding the Advisory Group report. The Interim Board is committed to more open and consultative processes as we work on the changes needed and we expect to start those early in the New Year.

We want to say something to those members who voted ”no” to the resolutions today. We ask that you give us a chance to show what we are and how we will work. In return we will engage with you to gain your ideas and thoughts in exactly the same manner as we will with all other members. Should you be thinking of it, leaving the Society at this stage is the single most damaging thing you can do, and is in no-one”s interest.

The Interim Board will start its work immediately. The RadCom editor has reserved space for us in every edition of 2012 and we will use that, the website and GB2RS, to share our progress with members.

RSGB President Responds to ICQ Podcast Interview

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Series 4, Episode 23 of the ICQ Podcast has been released and features an interview with RSGB President Dave Wilson M0OBW. Questions asked covered The New Board, Transparency, Communications, Bletchley Park & RSGB4FUN, Licensing, RADCOM, Peter Kirby, Membership and the EGM.

Click here to hear it.    

RSGB Members Offer – Heil Pro Set Elite 6

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Heil Pro Set Elite 6The Radio Society of Great Britain have negotiated a special price with Waters & Stanton for RSGB members only and can bring you a Heil Pro Set Elite 6 for only £169.95 (plus P&P) which is a saving of £40 on normal retail price.

The Heil Pro Set Elite 6 is the ultimate boomset designed for serious amateur radio operators. Using the newly designed Heil HC 6 wide response microphone element this is designed to be adjusted for bright, articulate audio to cut through amateur radio noise & signal pile-ups. The Pro Set Elite offers dual side, highly efficient speakers mounted in acoustically tuned chambers which produce high rejection of outside noise. The exclusive Heil Phase Reversal feature allows the user to move the signal acoustically, which creates a spatial widening of the sound field that makes it easier to ‘see’ a signal inside a pile-up while removing listener fatigue during prolonged use. The head phone’s speakers fold up for easy transportation & storage. The Pro Set Elite 6works with all Heil AD-1 adapter cables, which mate with just about every type of amateur radio transceiver.

The Pro-Set-Elite-6 contains the Heil HC 6 full range dynamic broadcast element. The HC-6 is designed for commercial broadcast applications; the -3dB points are fixed at 100 Hz and 12.5 kHz, with sensitivity of -57 dB at 600 Ohms output impedance (centered at 1 kHz). Using new dynamic technology, the HC 6 response can be equalized to match just about any requirement, from full range commercial broadcasting to serious contest and DXing.

Price includes
Pro Set Elite 6 @ £179.95
Adaptor Cable @ £22.95
UK Postage @ £8.50
Normal Price £211.40

RSGB MEMBERS ONLY £169.95 – Saving £41.45

Please note that this offer is ONLY available to RSGB Members and is shipped from Waters & Stanton direct to the customer.