Members’ Construction Competition Rules 2020

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Soldering IronWe are holding the Construction Competition on March 26th!

The aim of this annual Spring contest is to encourage members to build either radio equipment or ancillary items which enhance their radio operations and to exhibit these to encourage others to follow their example.

Entries can include any radio-related equipment or software, for example, Morse oscillator, test unit, QRP rig, computer/radio interface, PSU, Tx/Rx, linear, antenna, ATU…..

Entries 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.

If YOU have built something that helps you operate, why not enter it?  Remember it is not necessarily the most complex equipment that wins!

Provide sufficient details with your entry to help judges understand the purpose and operation of the entry….”Sell” the concept and its usefulness through your description, diagrams, circuits etc!

The contest will have five principal Product 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.)

Kit – This will be for equipment built from a kit. The kit should require some soldering to component level.

Hybrid – This will be for homebrew equipment which also contains one or more kits.

Antenna – 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.

Software – This category will be for radio-related software. This can be either, a new piece of “stand-alone” software, or a piece written to add extra features to some existing software.

In addition, three Constructor categories may be brought to bear:-

Novice – This will be for those members who have not previously built or exhibited any equipment.

GeneralThis will be for those members who have built and entered previously.

Professional – This may be awarded to experienced constructors whose work is of an exceptional standard.

The number of Awards will reflect the scope of entries and may include awards made to deal with tie-break situations.

The judges’ decisions on all the awards are final.

Please complete an entry form beforehand so you can bring it on the night. You can download the entry form here.

Members’ Equipment Sale – 2nd April

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On April 2nd we will be holding a Members’ Equipment Sale.

Bargains are to be had, as sellers tend to keep their prices to a sensible level and there is always the option to haggle a bit!

You may wish to bring along items to sell or just browse the tables as a buyer – all are welcome to attend.

Fees are as follows:

  • SDARC Member Seller’s Table – Free
  • Non Member Seller’s Table – £3
  • SDARC Member Entrance – Free
  • Non Member Entrance – £1
  • Refreshments – £1.50 (all)

M1CJE – SOTA Mountain Goat

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Congratulations to club member Andrew Eastland, M1CJE, who has achieved the accolade of SOTA Mountain Goat.  This is the principal award in the Summits on the Air scheme and marks passing through 1,000 activator points.

Andrew reached his Mountain Goat status with an activation of Black Mountain GW/SW-041 in January 2020.

He started his SOTA journey on Pen y Fan GW/SW-001 in September 2017, and so has reached Mountain Goat status in less than two-and-a-half years, which is relatively quick!

Well done Andrew!

Congratulations

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Congratulations to new club member John C. who passed his Foundation Exam on Tuesday.

John aced the exam with a score of 100%. If you hear him on the air I am sure he would appreciate a call.

Andrew – M1CJE

RSGB VHF Contest Committee Consultation for 2020 Rules

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Once again, the RSGB VHF Contest Committee would appreciate your views on a number of topics to help us set the contest rules for 2020. The survey is quite short because we are not considering major alterations to the rules for next year, but all your views are read and appreciated.

The survey will close at midnight on Sunday 10th November and is available at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VHFCC2019

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.

73,
Andy, G4PIQ ([email protected])

GB3TD Frequency Regression

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It is with regret that the GB3TD repeater will be returned to its original frequency configuration 433.075/434.675MHz during the afternoon of Wednesday 30th Oct.

The RRG apologise to those that have already reprogrammed their radios however this regression is required to overcome some issues that have been experienced over the previous week.

This will be a short term fix whilst we discuss options with the Repeater Management Committee.

GB3TD Frequency Change from 18th Oct 2019 – Action Required

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The Swindon UHF repeater GB3TD has been operational on the same frequency 433.075 MHz and from the same site since 1994 and is managed by the Ridgeway Repeater Group.

In recent years the repeater has been suffering from interference in the form of clicking and pulsing noises and also from wideband transmissions which can severely desense incoming signals.

The group has spent many hours trying to determine the source of some of these without success.

OFCOM were consulted and tried their best to identify the problem without actually finding it due to restrictions gaining access to certain areas of private property.

The main interference to our secondary use band is from 433MHz to 435MHz which emanates from low power devices but also the MOD which is the primary user of the band.

When GB7TC our DMR repeater was commissioned and co-sited with GB3TD and using the same antenna, the filtering system was complicated and caused extra losses in the system. Never the less has worked well.

A question was asked to the RSGB repeater committee asking if a 7.6MHz wide band split would be possible for GB3TD.

The RRG were asked if the group would like to try a reverse shift to the normal TX-low, RX-high configuration.

GB3TD output frequency will be 438.4375 and the TD receive will be 430.8375.

This was agreed upon and an NOV issued to Rob, G4XUT.

The benefit is that the filtering for GB3TD and GB7TC will be easier with less through losses with both TX and RX being at the same ends of the band.

On Thursday 24th October, Andrew (M1CJE),  Dom (2E0WHQ) and possibly others will be helping out anyone who is having problems re-tune or re-program your handheld, mobile or base station radios. They will be providing a couple of laptops running CHIRP (the popular radio programming software), a selection of programming leads and assistance to get your radios up and running on the new frequencies. A dummy load, frequency counter, with CTCSS checking will also be available so that the new configuration can be checked. Additionally, a 13.8v PSU will be available for mobile radios.

If you are interested in getting your radio re-programmed or just want to learn how to do it, then please come along and bring your radio with you. We should have the facilities to cater for most of the popular brands and models of radio including Baofeng, Wouxon, QTY (and clones), Yaesu, Kenwood & ICOM.

Members’ Equipment Sale – 17th October

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On October 17th we will be holding a Members’ Equipment Sale.

With Winter fast approaching, many turn to construction projects to help fill those long, dark nights. Our sale is just the place to find that obscure part or perhaps a restoration project to work on.

Bargains are to be had, as sellers tend to keep their prices to a sensible level and there is always the option to haggle a bit!

You may wish to bring along items to sell or just browse the tables as a buyer – all are welcome to attend.

Fees are as follows:

  • SDARC Member Seller’s Table – Free
  • Non Member Seller’s Table – £3
  • SDARC Member Entrance – Free
  • Non Member Entrance – £1
  • Refreshments – £1.50 (all)