Editor: Malcolm Andrew G8NRP
Please read the changes to this year’s programme that we have had to make, particularly the 16 August activities.
SOS - 100 YEARS OLD
Did you know that the distress signal used until 100 years ago was CQD. It was then changed to SOS - three dots, three dashes and three more dots - is such a clear message to send in Morse code. There was some early success for the new system a year later when the Cunard liner the SS Slavonia was stricken off the Azores. She sent out an SOS and not a single life was lost.
It took the tragedy of the Titanic to reveal just how vital a universal system was. After the collision in April 1912, the ship’s radio operators sent out both the old CQD and the new SOS signals, but some ships in the area ignored both, thinking that they were having a party. They soon learnt otherwise, as international headlines told how Jack Phillips, the Titanic’s first radio operator, and 1,500 others had been lost along with the “unsinkable” ship. The new SOS distress signal was rarely ignored after that.
Despite the fact that CW has been written off as no longer necessary in the era of satellites and other means of reliable communications it is interesting to note that CW is alive and well in Amateur Radio. There is the possibility a new RSGB Morse Code Certificate of Competency being introduced.
Are you going to do some radio operating on your holiday? If so please keep some notes of your activity, or lack of it, and send me your reports so that we canal share your experiences.
Don’t forget the Perseids meteor shower on my birthday (and sadly I will be away yet again this year!) 12 August.
for details of last years event. It is well worth watching and listening on 2m in the evening.
For the June meeting we should have had a talk by Mike Palmer, G1EHW of Sophos. Unfortunately he was not able to attend due to illness. Instead John, G6LNU stepped in and produced one of his much admired quiz evenings. Due to little or no notice John was not able to provide our real favourite section of his quizzes - the circuit diagrams! However, we now know how many dimples there are on a golf ball!
ANOTHER OVER FROM THE CHAIRMAN
Last month’s chairman’s ramblings started with a comment about a hot day. Today could almost not be more different. It has been raining on and off all day today with some blustery winds too. No aerial work happening here today. Of course, one might have expected poor weather as this weekend, (5/6 July) was VHF NFD. I wonder how many stations you worked? I’m afraid that there was little RF activity from ‘CUL towers with other things going on.
This month we have a 2m DF hunt with Ron, G0BNC being the fox. He assures us that the pub, which is the final meeting place, serves superb food.
A number of club members again took part in the 2m Club Championship this month. I don’t know how well we’ve done compared with the current first placed team, but we can only hope. Angus will have more to report.
There are again 80m Championship contests on 3 dates in July; 7th CW, 16th SSB and 24th Data. Please do try to go on and support Bob, G0ADH.
I reported last month about a summer ‘Open Day’ we were planning to hold on 16 August. We have discussed this long and hard in committee and have decided to postpone it until a later date in September - either the 20th or 27th. This was for a number of reasons not the least of which was the short time to arrange it all and the fact that the original date was in the middle of the summer holidays and our prospective audience are likely to be of school age and thus harder to contact out of school time. We have also decided to hold the event at the RAL clubroom, where there are better facilities, easier access and more parking. We have yet to finalise the date and sort the finer details with the relevant authorities, so watch this space.
We were also planning to hold a BBQ for our members on that same date (16 August) and we still plan to do so, but again at the RAL clubroom. This will be a good opportunity for those of you who have not seen the facilities there to come and view them. John, G6LNU is officiating again with the cooking and will be in contact with you with more details.
At the last club meeting we had a quick straw pole about the venue for the club dinner for NEXT year (2009). This will be held at Sudbury House in Faringdon and is being ably organised by Colin, G3NNG. The date has been chosen and booked and we will have our own room. Colin has also negotiated good rates for overnight accommodation as well as the meal itself - much as Malcolm, G8NRP has done before at the Kingswell.
G8NVI, G6LNU, Marian and G8CUL are off to France in a few weeks time, and will again be operational on 80m between 19 July and 1 August around 3.770 MHz (± a bit due to QRM) most evenings at about 21:00 (BST). As last year, we will be awarding ‘Le Tatty Piece de Papier’ award for those club members who manage to work us. We look forward to working as many of you as are able to come on. The day after we arrive in Normandie is a 2m backpackers contest and we have some plans to try to take part in that too. Part of the contest exchange is the first two letters of the postcode, so we may confuse some stations by giving ‘14’ as ours!
The new SoftRock DDS VFO has now been used to receive signals on 80m and is still progressing - slowly. If I am going to give a talk about it in November, I’d better get on with it!
September’s club meeting will be on the usual second Tuesday in the month and we should be having a talk by Alison, G8ROG who is the RSGB regional representative for the Thames Valley Region.
There will be no formal meeting on Tuesday 12 August this year.
NEW HARS EMAIL ADDRESSES
We have recently introduced new email addresses for the Officers in HARS.
In addition, if any member would like a new email address, (firstname.lastname@example.org) with excellent automatic spam rejection, please send your request to email@example.com. There is no charge for this service, all you need is an Internet connection.
Baney, G4EXW wishes to say thank you to all who took the trouble to send him birthday wishes at the start of his 93rd year.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS INTERNET SITE?
Take a look at this site. It is amazing just how much electricity we import from France, for example. This site also shows the exact frequency of the supply and is updated every 15 seconds.
Did you know there is a regular net on 2m? It is called Harford as it is used by both HARS and Oxford members. Please come and join in. 145.325MHz FM every Sunday and Wednesday 20.00 - 21.00hrs.
YOUR AD - can appear here - free of charge - contact the Editor - firstname.lastname@example.org.
HARWELL AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY
ANNUAL SUMMER BARBECUE
SATURDAY 16 AUGUST
RUTHERFORD LABORATORY RADIO CLUB ROOM
TICKETS AVAILABLE IN ADVANCE £5 FROM JOHN, G6LNU
ACCESS AT THE REAR OF THE SITE - JUST FOLLOW THE SIGNS
FULL FACILITIES NOW AVAILABLE
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