All posts in Uncategorized

Worked All Europe 2021 Award

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on Worked All Europe 2021 Award

This is a year-long dual award scheme open to SDARC (and invited clubs) Members only. It aims 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, THIS year, why don’t YOU have a go!!

To take part, please visit the official page which contains the button to log a QSO and also the real-time scores. Worked All Europe (2021) This page is also available from the main menu “Worked All…”

Rules

Aim

To work as many EUROPEAN COUNTRIES as you can during the Award period, to encourage some competitive fun playing radio, to raise the on-air profile of SDARC & to reward members making use of their radio gear.

You will need to log and submit the full call worked but only the country counts. There are 70 countries to collect.

Dates

QSOs may be made at any time from 1st APRIL to 30th NOVEMBER 2021.

Callsign

Log ALL QSOs under your own Full Call Sign. QSOs made using your SCC (Short Contest Call) are OK.

Bands

ANY allocated UK Amateur Band from DC to Light.

QSOs

Contacts made where YOU used an RF signal on an Amateur band at your end. The propagation of your signal to the other end of the QSO could be a direct RF link (eg 20m or 6M)
or could be RF through a repeater (including a Satellite)
or even could be a mode that uses an Internet segment (eg DMR or Echolink).
The ONLY other Limitation: No remote, automatic or unattended operation.

Site

You may operate from home or /M, /P or /A anywhere within a 25 mile radius of your QTHR.

Modes

There are THREE Awards for 2021 according to how you operate:

Award 1: CW or Phone QSOs made using RF propagation alone.
Some Members may operate CW using a computer. This does NOT make those QSOs MGM.

Award 2: MGM (Machine Generated Modes) QSOs – (eg RTTY, PSKnn, JTnn, FTn … )

Award 3: QSOs using RF at YOUR end but with which an Internet segment ‘assists’ – (eg Echolink / DMR )

Power

Your Maximum TX Power is determined by your licence.

Award 1: CW/Phone:  You may choose a lower power category should you wish (10/50/100/400W)
e.g. An M1 or G4 may tactically choose 10,  50,  100 or 400W  in the CW/Phone Award.

BUT… Choose carefully as  *** you must stick to your chosen power category all year. ***

So, if you choose 10w in April, you can’t change to 100w halfway through May!

Award 2:  MGM:  You can use any power and mode allowed by your licence and can change these at any time!

Award 3: “Assisted”: Power unlikely to be a factor, so any conventional power within your licence terms is OK.

Scoring

Each Country worked counts as ONE point. Enter details using the appropriate online form at SDARC.net Just copy the details from your shack log.

Awards

There will be SIX Winners’ Certificates overall :
One for MGM, one for “Assisted” and 4 more for CW/Phone (10W, 50W, 100W, 400W).
ONE member could win MGM, “Assisted” and one of the CW/Phone Awards.   YOU can prevent that‼

Judging

QSOs will not normally need validating but Judges reserve the right to request confirmation. The Judges’ decision in all matters is final. By entering, you agree that results & photos may be sent to Radcom & the SDARC website.

70MHz Radios for Loan to SDARC Members

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on 70MHz Radios for Loan to SDARC Members

Several 4m FM-only radios have been donated to the club by Paul G6UAJ. These have been tested and are ready to
go. The intention is to offer them on long-term loan to club members to increase activity on the band. If you are
interested in borrowing one, please contact Paul G6UAJ ([email protected]).

There’s no time limit on the loan, but the radios remain the property of SDARC. The only conditions for borrowing
are: the radio must be regularly used; not sold or loaned to anyone else; and please ask G6UAJ before making any
hardware modifications.

The radios

They are Philips PRM8010, SEO version (12.5kHz, 68-88MHz). They have 9 channels, TX power is 25Watts. They are
programmed with scanning of all the channels, and there is a scan add/delete button for removing nuisance
channels from a scan. They have fully variable squelch. RX is quite sensitive, about 0.2uV.

Here’s a picture of nice tidy one.
Channel vs Frequency

They run from 12 volts, cable supplied. Mic is supplied. There’s no internal speaker but the radio has a 3.5mm socket
fitted, you will need to supply a speaker.

The rear chassis has a space that will take a 15-way d-socket. There’s a nearby socket inside that has PTT, Volts, TX
and RX audio etc.

The mic socket is a standard RJ-45.

  • The rotary volume control is also push (for power on/off), and pull & rotate, for squelch threshold adjust.
  • Button 1 (’SEND’) button has no function programmed at present.
  • Button 2 (‘AUX’) is Scan Add/Delete.
  • Button 3 (‘SCAN’) is Scan.
  • The channels and button functions are programmed with a PC. This programming is done using an RS232 to 5 volt TTL level shifter, PC software and a slow old PC to run it on. To find out more about setting this up for yourself, contact Darren G1ERM. If you just want the programming changed, that can be arranged, please ask G1ERM (usually monitoring 145.5, 433.5, 70.45, 51.51, 29.6 MHz).
  • The radio hardware supports these other features that can be PC-programmed if required:
  • Selective calling (sequential tones, typically five); CTCSS and reverse Tone Burst; TX time limiter; Priority channel; External alert

RSGB 144Mhz FMAC Contest (January)

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on RSGB 144Mhz FMAC Contest (January)

Congratulations to all the members of the Swindon & District Amateur Radio Club who took part in the RSGB 144Mhz FMAC Contest.

The results have just been released and we’ve managed to achieve 2nd place for the first contest of this year, which is a fantastic result given that we are all limited to operating from home and cannot go out portable due to the current pandemic situation.

Thanks to all the members who took part, entered logs, or just came on the air to give us points. It’s very much appreciated and just goes to show you what you can do if you just have enough members joining in.

Well done everyone!

2020 FMAC Results

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on 2020 FMAC Results

Congratulations to all the members of the club who took part in the RSGB 144Mhz and 432Mhz FMAC contests this year. The results have just been released and the club has achieved an outstanding 2nd place in both the 144Mhz and 432Mhz FMAC contests this year.

2nd place in the 144Mhz FMAC is an improvement on our 3rd place last year and 2nd place in the 432Mhz FMAC is the second year running in which we’ve achieved this position.

Given the difficult conditions imposed by COVID-19 and lockdown this year, this is an absolutely incredible result, and all that participated, be it submitting logs or just coming on air to give points away, should be very proud of what they have accomplished, I know that the Committee and I are.

I’d like to mention and thank the following individuals who entered logs for us this year.

  • G4LDL – TONY
  • M5CBS – MIKE
  • G4GUG – MIKE
  • M1CZI – IAIN
  • M0ZGB – JONATHAN
  • M0IEP – VIV
  • M0RFI – RUSSELL
  • G0UWS – ANDY
  • M7APR – APRIL
  • G0CPA – TONY
  • G0TDY – ANDY
  • M0ACM – DEN
  • M0AKT – STEVE
  • M0KYB – MARC
  • M1CJE – ANDREW
  • G4HGV – MIKE
  • 2E0FGX – MATT
  • G4XUT – ROB
  • M3CSN – JANET
  • M1KDJ – KELVIN
  • G0VTA – BOB

Full results can be found here:

Here’s to another great year next year in 2021.

Well done!

73,

Dom, 2E0WHQ
Chairman SDARC

SK Sales – Update #2

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on SK Sales – Update #2

Good morning all,

Well, subject to the whims of the Techno-Gods at Google, the link below should take you to the Sales List. I am sure ‘somebody’ will tell me if it don’t !!!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1iCH-VZywOHavgXtuCWzDlxS04iXbH0YoshKyik2-4hk/edit?usp=sharing

You should have already received the details of HOW the sale operates, so start shopping – before all the good stuff is gone !!

For anyone whose ISP is cussed and is blocking these emails, a copy of this link will be on the Club website too. (Thanks, James)

We hope everyone finds something of interest and that the sale brings some cash return for the SK families.

Remember: (i) 1st come first served (ii) Items will be sold exclusively to Members until 31 Dec.

73 all

Den, M0ACM

SK Sale – December 2020

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on SK Sale – December 2020

First, an apology…

OK, THIS isn’t “mid October” as I suggested in my last email about the SK Sales items! 

However, there have been ‘developments’… We have received further items from other sources. These have taken more time to process than was initially expected!

About the equipment

Equipment has come from five SK sources. We now have over 130 items available for your attention!  A small team of SDARC members has been working to retrieve, catalogue and – not to waste your time – where possible & appropriate, test that items work!  This has been no small task!

 The list is still growing, but we are conscious of time creeping on (and Christmas coming!) so we are publishing the list on Wednesday (2nd Dec) and will then add to it in the coming days/weeks as and when we can.

 The equipment will be listed on a single “SK Sale” list available on line – initially to SDARC Members only.

 Much of the equipment has been tested – at least plugged in & used. These items are shown as “Tested OK” in the list. Any item that has not tested “OK” or which has ‘issues’ has these listed in the “Condition” column.

Equipment not tested (components, H-B items etc) has been shown as either “Not Tested” or N/A (not applicable).

Sale Procedure

I will send you a link to the list on Wednesday morning.   Please DO NOT share this link with non-members.

Items will be offered for an initial period to current SDARC Club Members ONLY.

This initial period will begin 2nd December  (following the end of Lockdown2) until 31st December .

Offers will not be accepted during this period from anyone who is not an SDARC member when the period begins.

 Following this “SDARC Members Special” period, items will be made available to members of other local Clubs and thereafter to a wider audience.

Basis of Sale

Items are shown on the list with a “Suggested Price”.

All items are sold “as seen” (Rally style).  SDARC is not offering warranties.

Due to Covid restrictions, buyers will NOT be able to view items in advance of purchase. (See also Payment and Returns below). Phone calls and photos for extra details can be provided on request. Please email – see below.

SDARC Members wishing to purchase an item should email the ITEM NUMBER , their CALLSIGN  & their ‘OFFER’ to [email protected]   The offer will be acknowledged.  DO NOT use ANY other email address – these will be ignored.

The FIRST offer received at the “Suggested Price” secures the item and the Member will be emailed to that effect.  Offers will be viewed “first come first served”. Generally we have only ONE of each item (…We ain’t Lynchie !)

Offers below the Suggested Price will be acknowledged and HELD for consideration at the end of the SDARC Members Sale period (31st Dec). Be aware however: (i) a later offer from another member AT the Suggested Price will secure the item. (ii) SDARC also reserves the right to seek a “suggested price” offer from a wider audience later.

Payment

Once a member is advised that their offer is accepted, they must make payment before the item can be released.

The buyer will have 48 hours to make the payment. Payments should be made using BACS transfer to the SDARC account. (Sort Code: 20-84-58 A/c No:   80868728  )

All payments MUST show BOTH the ITEM NUMBER * AND  BUYER’S CALLSIGN  in the BACS “reference”.

Once you have made the transfer, the Buyer should email the Treasurer ([email protected])  quoting your CALLSIGN, the Item Number (s) and the amount transferred so he knows to check the SDARC Bank a/c for your money. He will then acknowledge your payment and agree the release of the item(s).

* IF you are buying more than one item, you may prefer to pay for them all in one BACS transfer. However, there may not be enough space in the Reference field in your BACS app so …. put your CALLSIGN and  ONE item number in the Reference and then show ALL the item numbers in your email to the Treasurer.

Collection

Items purchased can be collected from (or by negotiation, delivered by) the person currently storing it once the Treasurer has advised us that the item can be released.

Returns

During the 14 days after collection/delivery, an item which you feel was not as described can be returned in the condition it was when collected/delivered and payment will be refunded.  Please email the above address as soon as possible if there is any such issue, quoting your CALLSIGN , the Item Number and a description of the issue.

Broadband Hamnet

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on Broadband Hamnet

Intro

This is a system for creating an amateur mesh network by re-purposing old Wifi routers from the LinkSys WRT54 family. Not all models can be used, but there is a list of the compatible ones here: http://www.broadband-hamnet.org/images/hsmm_docs/WRT54Shop.pdf

I’ve just bought a couple from eBay, about £8 each including postage. Just check that the hardware version number (shown on the serial number label) is OK before you buy.

Linksys WRT54G

If you have any of these old routers spare but are not interested in this project, I’m sure that other club members could give them a good home.

Mod

The modification consists of loading new firmware according to this: http://www.broadband-hamnet.org/documentation/68-firmware-installation-instructions.html

You probably don’t know the user name and password. So in order to first log-on, reset the WRT54 by pressing and holding the Reset button. Then connect a PC’s ethernet port to one of the WRT54’s LAN ports, and follow the instructions.

You can get the new firmware from here, under Linksys: http://www.broadband-hamnet.org/software-download.html
Choose the file that matches the model number of your router

Don’t forget to do the step where you set the node name. This is your callsign followed by a hyphen and a sequence number. I’ve got two nodes going now, so these are G1ERM-1 and G1ERM-2. No other customisation is necessary.

If you’ve completed the firmware upgrade, but the new http://localnode:8080/ page doesn’t appear after a few minutes, try unplugging the ethernet, or even rebooting the PC and router.
Here’s a description of the parameters on the localnode page. http://www.broadband-hamnet.org/documentation/70-how-to-use-the-web-interface.html

Add HamChat

This is a chat room application that can be loaded onto the router. You can get it from here, under Linksys, then scroll all the way down.
http://www.broadband-hamnet.org/software-download.html

To install, go to http://localnode:8080/
Setup, log in, Administration, Package Management, Upload Package, navigate to hamchat_0.1_all.ipk then Upload.

To access it, go to http://localnode:8080/cgi-bin/hamchat.pl on any browser on a PC attached to a modified router by an ethernet cable.

Multiple mesh nodes

You can also access individual nodes from another node by putting the node name in place of ‘localnode’. So from my shack’s PC attached to G1ERM-2, I can access the Status or HamChat page of G1ERM-1 at the top of the house.

For example,

  • http://G1ERM-1:8080/cgi-bin/hamchat.pl for the hamchat on G1ERM-1
  • http://G1ERM-2:8080/cgi-bin/status for the status page of G1ERM-2

External antennas

Annoyingly, the units use Reverse TNC sockets. An adapter to female SMA is £2.50 including postage here:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1pce-Adapter-Connector-RP-TNC-male-jack-to-SMA-female-jack-for-Wireless-WiFi/223068717503?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

In Use

The nodes use WiFi channel 1 (2412MHz) and automatically link to other mesh nodes with the same SSID, which they all do as default.
I have to say I haven’t used it properly yet as I need someone else to connect to. However, I have connected between my nodes. G1ERM-1 is usually on now from the top of my house in the Old Town area. Please connect and leave a message!

Darren G1ERM.

All good things must come to an end…

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on All good things must come to an end…

Due to an update from the government regarding groups meeting, we will not be able to meet at Barbury after tomorrow until further notice. We had a good run over the summer but this must now come to an end. If you wish to meet tomorrow (10th) then this may be your last chance to see the group for a while. We will continue to monitor the guidance and review as and when it makes sense but we would have been fighting against the weather and light over the coming weeks anyway so we shouldn’t be too disappointed.

Don’t forget that there are now two club nets you can join to keep in touch. One on HF and the other on 2M via GB3WH. Check the programme for more information.

5th Backpackers Contest 2020 – M1CJE Report

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on 5th Backpackers Contest 2020 – M1CJE Report

This weekend saw the 5th and final backpackers contest for the year.

The backpackers is a short 2m contest generally tacked on the end of one of the longer 24h VHF contests.  This weekend it was the 144MHz trophy contest.

I entered the hill toppers section which is limited to 25W.  25W takes its toll on the batteries which along with the radio make up the majority of the weight to be carried.  I operated today from the top of Martinsell Hill in grid square IO81di at about 285m ASL.  The weather was kind with sunshine for most of the afternoon.  The activity was brisk, I operated for about three hours and in that time managed to make 50 contacts ranging from Scotland to France, with Wales and the Netherlands on the other two compass points.  I was using a homemade 2m loop antenna mounted at 6m AGL.  Martinsell summit has good take-off to the South and East and views to match. Overall an enjoyable day out in the late summer sunshine.

73’s M1CJE

Tonight @8 Webinars

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on Tonight @8 Webinars

The RSGB is hosting a series of webinars on its YouTube channel. There is a playlist for them at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQc8BkL5eaA&list=PLmtHS6LSBybYvVmSc3_9i5HirzfuXlJT1

There is further information available at https://rsgb.org/main/tonight-at-eight-live-webinars/