Editor: Malcolm Andrew G8NRP
How time flies when you are having fun or is it the effects of old age catching up? It seems hard to believe that another year has slipped by and I am publishing the notice for our AGM.
Those that have been members for a few years will have recognised that we were rather stuck in a rut. We now have a nice place to meet and the facilities are far more than we could ever have dreamed of. We have started running training courses and have also become far more outward looking.
However, you will see elsewhere in QAV that we need someone to volunteer to help with this training. We also need a committee to run the club on a day to day basis. This is not a difficult task but how successfully this is done is entirely dependent on those who volunteer. The committee meets on the first Wednesday of most months to ensure the smooth running of the club. The whole committee is elected at each AGM by the membership. Festive refreshments will be provided after the meeting.
ANOTHER OVER FROM THE CHAIRMAN
Although we were due to have a speaker last month, we couldn’t get hold of him before the meeting for the usual final check that all was OK. Thanks to Ray, G3LQC we showed part 1 of a DVD about the work of some of the ‘radio interceptors’ during the Second World War. I hope you all found it interesting – I know I did and I’m looking forward to seeing part 2.
We have a speaker (actually two doing a double act!) this month from the European Space Agency. It should be an interesting evening.
We have plans to run an Intermediate RCE course in the New Year. If you know of anyone who might be interested please contact me or Tony, G7ETW who is the lead trainer.
GB3OX is still undergoing lengthy soak-testing in the shack at ‘CUL towers. This is mainly due to the fact that I have not been able to make the necessary arrangements to re-instate it in Oxford. Until then I am leaving it powered up with dummy loads on both transmit and receive aerials. This means that I can access it every so often from the shack to check its operation without the signal going too far.
A number of club members attended the funeral of Robin, G3LBA. The church was very packed with literally standing room only. Luckily some of us managed to find some standing room next to a radiator! I had a good chat with Tim, G4VXE (who now writes for PW) before the service. The eulogies were given by two of Robin’s longtime friends, both amateurs judging by the content. It was obvious that radio played a very large part in Robin’s life, and I am pleased that I managed to play a small part in the last 15 years.
HARS also supported Steve, M6EMW, in running JOTA, this year from Manor School in Didcot. Two HF stations were in use and a number of youngsters visited the event over the weekend. Hopefully, more from Steve himself!
Last month I mentioned that we now have a TS711 in the shack together with a linear belonging to Mike, G0MJW. Mike has reminded me that as yet we don’t have a microphone for the TS711, so unless you want to operate CW transmit you are currently limited to RX only! Assuming there is a compatible CW key available that is. Hopefully, this is in hand.
We have also bought a number of headset/boom microphone and foot switch assemblies. The aim is to set these up with suitable ‘boxes’ to allow them to be connected to any of the rigs in the RAL shack.
There is the 2m AFS contest on Sunday 5 December. If you can, please operate in this contest, letting Dave, M0NUT know. More about this elsewhere in this QAV.
Good DX to you all,
This was the 53rd Jamboree on the Air and the 14th Jamboree on the Internet attended by over 50 scouts, guides, and cubs. Feedback from those that attended was great.
As the leader of the 23rd Didcot Sea Scouts (I know... there’s no sea near Didcot, but we make do with lakes and rivers) I was asked to assist with the preparations for the 2010 JOTA/JOTI event. It’s only a year since I got my first taste of Amateur Radio at the 52nd Jamboree held at HARS and in the year afterwards, I think it is fair to say, I have been truly bitten by the bug. I try to get the message out to scouts that Radio scouting can be great fun, and very educational.
At our EVAC camp in June, I helped to run my first radio station. Now, less than four months later, I’m charged with organising the JOTA event for the Didcot District and beyond. For those not familiar with Scouting a District is a collection of groups (a group consisting of one or more beaver, cub, and scout sections). The Didcot district encompasses Didcot town itself and the nearby villages, such as Hagbourne, Harwell, Chilton etc. Of course the event was open to more than just the local Scouts and invitations were sent out to a large number of groups over the south of Oxfordshire.
In the weeks prior to the main event several groups made progress towards their communication badges and were visited by our Assistant District Commissioner for Cubs encouraging them to attend the JOTA event.
The event itself was hosted at Manor School in Didcot. This gave us access to two large class rooms, an ICT suite (computer lab with over 20 PCs), and the hall. Given that the outdoor temperature for the weekend was “brass monkeys” it was nice to be indoors with central heating (in the ICT suite it was positively balmy with the heat from 20 PCs and no air conditioning).
On Saturday morning the kids arrived and immediately disappeared into the ICT room and started chatting on the internet with whoever they could (this may be fortunate since we needed another 30 minutes to put up a new antenna – thanks to G4FON). At times it was difficult to move them from the room, however, it’s fair to say that they met with considerable success chatting with hundreds of contacts from as far afield as New Zealand, Chile, Chad, Russia, Palestine and more. Each different country was marked on a large map of the world which has been used in cub and scout meetings to show how successful the event was.
Fortunately (depending on your point of view) the internet connection from the ICT suite stopped working. More accurately, we believe we were blocked because of over-use of a single IP address (this is yet to be confirmed). This gave the children an opportunity to try the other activities, including semaphore flags, learning about amateur radio, passing messages over the air, sweet shop (very popular), badge making, direction finding, and listening.
The District Commissioner for Didcot (la Grande Fromage in Didcot Scouting) came by to see for himself – despite having a stinking cold. He spent a couple of hours chatting with various people before heading back home to his bed. I’m glad to report that he liked what he saw and is happy to help fund next year’s event too.
On Sunday we had the kite flyers from the White Horse Kite Flyers. They ran a workshop allowing the young people to build their own kite. One of the kite flyers brought along his (working) Gibson emergency radio and kite antenna (I have to admit being not 100% confident on the name of the radio – but it was fascinating none-the-less). Alas there was not enough wind to fly an antenna, but hopefully next year we’ll have another go.
Between all of this we had two radios on the go, more than adequately supported by HARS members. Despite the background noise the radios were in use all day and almost all the cubs, scouts, and guides got to pass a message. Conditions were not particularly favourable, and the fact that I’d wired the long wire antenna incorrectly didn’t help. No matter there was a reasonable amount of chatter going on and the young people seemed to get over their shyness eventually.
Photographs by Mike, G8CUL, Steve, M6EMW and Malcolm, G8NRP
Let me take this opportunity to thank ALL the HARS members that turned up. There are too many to mention individually, but I was really happy to see you all there and I hope you were able to chat with the young people and operate once or twice. I want to give special thanks to Mike Stevens for being there for the whole weekend as our NOV holder for GB0SSO, and to Richard and Liz Gaskell who were also there from Friday afternoon (helping with setting up) right through to the packing up on Sunday afternoon. Thanks also to Ray, G4FON for the loan of his antenna and his experience and expertise during the setup.
Without the support from all the members of HARS and Didcot Scouts the event wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks to all.
As with all events of this nature, there are improvements that can be made for the future. If you have any feedback on the event, good or bad, please don’t hesitate to let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org).
144MHz Affiliated Societies Contest
This Contest takes place on the 5 of December 2010 between the hours of 0900 & 1700 hrs UTC (GMT). We would like to field 2 teams this year. You do not need to be a RSGB member to enter the contest as long as you are a member of Harwell ARS. All you have to do is go on and operate on the day within 50 miles of the RAL social club where we meet. You can send your own entries in, but let me know if you entered so I can inform the Contest Committee who our stations were! The teams are then allocated by the Contest Committee according to individual scores. Hopefully we will also have a station operating from the RAL clubroom.
80m: HARS finished in a very respectful 20th position from 93 club entrants. Well done to all who entered logs. Let us try and improve next year!
6m UKAC: HARS is still in 2nd place with only 2 more contests left to end the year. Bolton Wireless Club led with 72,891 points and HARS with 45,316 points.
4m UKAC: HARS is in 2nd place. The last 4m UKAC for this year will be on the 30 November 0800 – 2230 hrs UTC (GMT) Please try and be there and contact other HARS Members. If you need more information about getting on 4m this a good place to start www.70mhz.org.
2m UKAC: HARS is in 4th place with 58,730 points. There has been many more stations entering this year and it is a very popular and challenging contest.
UHF UKAC: 23cm section, HARS has been pushed into 2nd position, again by BWC earlier in the year. It looks like that is where we will finish with just 2 more contests to go.
David, M0NUT Contest Manager
There is a fashion nowadays to decry any kind of learning and achievement as being almost valueless compared to that of people in the past, and I have heard nonsense of this nature on repeaters concerning the Foundation Licence. It was just the same when I did my Amateur Radio course in 1989. A couple of hours a week of evening classes? No morse? And a multiple-choice exam? Shocking! How could such as this qualify anyone to be a Radio Amateur? Fortunately (I had no equipment) I was unaware of the controversy, and I was very proud of passing the exam and getting my class B (as it was then) amateur radio license.
Well, things are a bit different now, and the way into the hobby is the RCE scheme run by the RSGB. This relies on radio clubs putting on courses. That’s Radio Amateurs teaching Radio Amateurs – makes perfect sense really.
And it works. We’ve only this year got started, but we’ve run 3 very successful courses (in February, March and October) and, thanks to the hard work of the students and club members, 18 people passed. That’s 18 people, thanks to this club, who have had the pleasure of an achievement they’ve worked for and who have made, as we all did, a start in a new hobby.
There is a problem though; we’re suffering from our success. Despite the fact that we don’t exactly advertise, there are there always people on the waiting list to do their Foundation License. We’ve also got people (some club members, some from outside) who want to learn more and get their Intermediate and Full licenses. It’s not so easy to find the more advanced courses (few clubs go beyond Foundation) so we need to be helping experienced Foundation licensees if we can.
All of these people are the future of the hobby. What we need (if this was a celebrity charity appeal, the well-known face would drop a semitone and fill the screen here) is more club trainers. So, can you explain things, simply, and get your message across? Can you take someone through their first QSO, or show them how to solder a diode? This is your chance to use your knowledge and enthusiasm, and get someone started in this great hobby of ours. I promise you, it’s great fun, although some of the questions people ask can be quite challenging, I warn you! (After our last course, I doubt I shall see the simple word ‘load’ quite the same again!)
Is this something you think you might enjoy doing? If so, become one of our new club trainers. Please get in contact with Mike, G8CUL (the chairman) or me (head trainer) if you’d like to talk about this. We’ll be very pleased to hear from you!
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Our Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 7 December. We need nominations for the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Committee Members. Nomination forms for any of the committee posts are available from the Secretary. HARS is only as good or as strong of those that volunteer to run the club.
ANNUAL CLUB DINNER
Our Annual Club Dinner will be held on Saturday 22 January 2011 at Sudbury House Hotel, Faringdon.
The menu and order form can be downloaded (click here). This order form needs to be returned to G3NNG at (or preferably before) the January club meeting. The cost will be £20 for two courses and £25 for three courses both including coffee.
Once again a very attractive overnight B & B rate has been obtained at £50 for a single room and £60 for a double with full English breakfast.
Further details also available from Colin, G3NNG.
RADIO AND COMPUTING RALLY
Bookings are coming in for the 2011 Rally so please put that weekend in your diary (12-13 February 2011).
We shall be needing a good deal of help with the event and encourage everyone to get involved in some way.
Please start on your annual shack tidy and generate some junk for the HARS Junk Stall!
Further details to follow.
You might remember that in the summer I set a competition to see who could work the best DX and unfortunately the results have been spiked as I have been overwhelmed with articles for QAV.
So who was the winner? I decided to make three awards. Mike, G8CUL/M0CUL worked the best DX. On 12 June at 2149 he worked WP4JCF in FK68VE locator square which is Puerto Rico, and is a distance of 6713 km.
Neil, G4BRK sent me a very comprehensive log of all the stations he worked over 2000km.
On 6m he worked A92GR on 6 June in LL56HF locator square which is Bahrain and is 5161km.
On 4m he worked OH5LID on 15 June in KP41KL square which is Finland and 2123km.
On 2m Neil worked 9H1GB on 11 June in JM75FU locator square which is in Malta and 2157km.
And a special mention to Duncan, 2E0ULF who on 21 June managed a 6m contact - S57AC in Slovenia which is 1349.3km with just 5 watts.
Well done to you all.
FIREWORKS AT RAL
At least 7 members of HARS, along with their friends and families, enjoyed a wonderful firework display at RAL on 6 November. The display was accompanied by an excellent barbecue (organised by Harwell Scouts) and a bar. The firework display lasted about 45 minutes and there was general agreement that it was one of the best displays anyone had attended for years. It is estimated that between 700-800 people attended and the RAL RecSoc hope to make this an annual event. Put it in your diary for next year!
For those of you that are still looking for the answer to last month's solution to the anagram THE MORSE CODE, the answer that I have is "HERE COME DOTS"
The anagram for this month is "ELEVEN PLUS TWO", and yes I know that it is 13. The answer is again 3 words and there is a clue here somewhere.
Entries to email@example.com answers next month.
Do you have some tips that we could publish in this column?
The next Shack Night will be on Tuesday 23 November. So please come and operate our equipment and perhaps even work a few stations if the 6m CC contest happens to be on. We may also be able to operate a rig clinic.
The shack will be open from 2000hrs clock time and access is via the back gate as per the club meeting nights.
It is the place to be - and be seen! See you there!
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.
SOME HELPFUL TIPS ON USING THE HARS REFLECTOR
Do you subscribe to the HARS reflector? If not why not join and get all the latest club news, views and gossip when it happens. Simply visit www.g3pia.org.uk and select ‘email list’ from the main menu and complete the simple form.
The HARS reflector is available to anyone who wishes to subscribe to it. In fact about half of the subscribers are not members of the club. The HARS committee reserves the right to remove the subscription of anyone who abuses the reflector. The reflector is moderated by a member of the club and by default the size of any posting including attachments such as photos is restricted. It also has a very efficient spam filter and to date no spam has been sent via the reflector to subscribers.
Please remember when replying to a message sent by the reflector that you should only use the ‘reply’ function on your email system if it is important that all subscribers see your reply. If you just wish to ‘send’ your reply to the author or a limited number of subscribers then just use the ‘forward’ function on your email system and enter individual email addresses.
Please remember that there are two types of subscription to the reflector. You can either receive each message as they are sent or your can receive a daily digest that contains all messages sent. You should bear in mind that not everyone will see your message or comments straight away.
Don’t use the ‘reply’ function to send a message that is a change of subject from the original message - send a new message.
If there is anything you need help with or clarification, please contact me direct at:
The HARS revised constitution is now available at www.g3pia.org.uk or request a copy from the Secretary.
HARS EMAIL ADDRESSES
We have recently introduced new email addresses for the Officers in HARS.
Please use them rather than the personal addresses. They are as follows:
In addition, if any member would like a new email address, (email@example.com) with excellent automatic spam rejection, please sendyour request to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no charge for this service, all you need is an Internet connection.