Page 1

Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club

Volume 13, Issue 2

Club Newsletter

February 2005

Editorial Special points of interest: • RSGB AFS Report • New Amateur Radio Shop in Edinburgh • Sad loss then a new baby for GM0TQK and MM3TQK

Inside this issue: 10 Pin Bowling

2

Contest Calendar

3

Amateur Radio in the Philippines

4

Events Column

5

Contesting Changes

6

RSGB AFS Contest

8

Science Week

9

Reminders

11

We are now into the month of February already, where did January disappear too, and already we are beginning to see the nights getting longer and the dreary dark nights of winter starting to fade away, thank goodness says I!!!! Peter’s MM1RCP shop in Edinburgh should now be open for business as from the 29th January and again via the Club’s newsletter I would like to wish Peter on behalf of us all the greatest of success with this venture. First of all the good and the bad news. The news is in fact from Kenny GM0TQK and reads as follows, “Jules MM3TQK gave birth to our son (Keiran) on the 12 January. All is doing very well even great during nightimes; he was a bit small 6.7lbs. We were told he was going to be 8lbs+ but goes to show they are not always right. On a sadder note my mother passed away very suddenly at the end of Nov. So the birth of Kieran has not been easy for me or dad as my mother never saw him, but she did know it was a boy as we had a private scan so she new what we were having before she died, but I’m sure

she is looking down on him...”. Our sympathies go out to Kenny as well as our congratulations. I think it was also great to see Bill MM0BXK turn up last club night considering only a few weeks ago he had major heart surgery, you were certainly looking well Bill and it has been great to see you make such a speedy recovery. What has happened since last month? As January is normally a very quiet month the only real activity was the club taking part in the RSGB 80M AFS contests. Please see in the newsletter a fuller report on this. I also kicked off last month a “Survey” regarding the newsletter and to date there has been a few replies. For those of you who haven’t responded I really would appreciate if you could spend a few minutes of your time and fill the form out and send it back to me. I have had a couple of comments verbally saying that it is just a waste of time and nothing will be done with it. I can assure you that I will compile all the responses and produce an article for the newsletter so that everyone can read the comments. From there well you can decide yourselves if any

thing needs done or not but as always the choice will come down to you. Apart from feedback on what you think and on any changes, I am trying to get a feel to how far out there in the big bad world that our “lowly” newsletter is read, so with that in mind just letting me know that I would be most grateful. Another item which I did email you all about and so far only a couple of replies have been received is about the Club’s Web Site. I know that John MM0JXI is working very hard at the Glasgow momentBob in giving the site a “total revamp” so if you GM4UYZ have any ideas, suggestions, etc then get in touch with John ASAP, I know that they will be gratefully appreciated. I personally have had a look via the internet at the new site and it really does look impressive. On the teaching front another Intermediate Class starts tomorrow heading for the next exam in March. I also have four other people who are self studying for the Full exam which is on the same date as the Intermediate Exam so good luck to them all. I am also going to run a (Continued on page 2)


Page 2

Club Newsletter

Editorial cont... (Continued from page 1)

Foundation Course starting the 2nd April, which will be my last until September, so if you know of anyone who is interested will you ask them to get in contact with me direct and I will get all the required details.

10 Pin Bowling Night announced

As this is the real start of the club’s year when the events column really starts to play its part and hopeful you will all make an effort to attend as much as you can throughout the year. I have tried to keep a varied calendar and I think there is something for everyone. If you can think of any thing else then please let me know and I will add it to the TO-DO list. For full up to date events please read Ron’s Events Column. Ok to kick things off then there is another of John MM0JXI’s Radio Check Nights on the 11th February

and a Construction/Project Night on the 17th February. The radio check night has certainly been well attended in the past years and has been very fruitful to the extent it has found faulty radio’s so whey not bring along what you have and give it a MOT. In the construction night I hope you will come along and bring your latest project to work on, these nights have been a bit “hit and miss” so I have made a decision if this one and the next in March are not well supported I am going to drop them totally. To the future a couple of items, Science Week in March I am not taking any further as only two people even made an attempt to answer and show interest. On another note I have booked the Megabowl for a 10 Pin Bowling Night in April so if you want to go then see details further in

the newsletter. Lastly one or two people have been talking about going to Blackpool for the Norbreck Rally on the 20th March, normally in the past a few of us have travelled down on the Saturday, had a few beers then stayed over night before going to the rally. If you fancy this get in touch as we then could all meet up. I think that is about it for this month, I am sure there was something else but I cannot think what it is, sign of old age or whatever. Any way enjoy the newsletter. Bob GM4UYZ

10 Pin Bowling Night As part of the club’s 2005 events I am organising another 10 Pin Bowling Night. Over the years we have had some real good fun and it is a great Family night out. If you would like to go then see the details below; SATURDAY 23rd APRIL 2005 20:00 on the lanes MEGABOWL, KINNAIRD PARK, EDINBURGH COST £10:00 Adults and £6 Children Note: This includes a small donation towards some prizes on the night. PACKAGE 2 FULL GAMES ONLY (This year Megabowl doesn’t have any good deals running so this is the best I can get) I need to pay a 50% Deposit by Monday 7th March 2005 so if you want to go can you either give me the whole amount or half of it by this date so I can pay the deposit and confirm the booking. ALL I ASK IS TO LET ME KNOW ASAP a YES or NO If a YES who is going, many thanks in advance.


Page 3

Volume 13, Issue 2

Contest Calendar Date

Start

Dur

(UTC)

Hours

Contest 80m Club Championship

Notes & Info 7th-SSB

February

2000-2130

6 Feb 05

0900-1300

4

12 Feb 05

21:00

4

RSGB 1st 1.8 Mhz Contest

13 Feb 05

1000-1200

2

70 Mhz Cumulative Contest no3

26 Feb 05

06:00

12

REF Contest

SSB

26 Feb 05

00:00

48

CQ WW 160m Contest

SSB

27 Feb 05

1000/1200

2

70Mhz Cumulative Contest no 4

March

2000-2130

80m Club Championship

5/6 Mar 05

1400-1400

24

March 144/432 Contest

12 Mar 05

1200-1200

24

RSGB Commonwealth Contest

13 Mar 05

1000-1200

2

70Mhz Cumulative Contest no5

26 Mar 05

00:00

48

CQ WW WPX Contest

29 Mar 05

2000-2230

70Mhz UK Activity Contest

April

2000-2130

16th DATA

24th CW

16th DATA

24th CW

432Mhz Affiliated Society Contest

80m Club Championship

2 Apr 05

15:00

24

12 Jun 05

TBA

16 Apr 05

00:00

24

Holyland Contest

4 Jun 05

15:00

24

RSGB National Field Day

2/3 Jul 05

TBA

30/31 Jul 05

12:00

1 Oct 05

TBA

RSGB 21/28 Mhz Contest

29/30 Oct 05

TBA

CQWW SSB Contest

CW

7th-SSB

3.5-28Mhz RST + Serial Number SSB

4th CW 13th SSB 21st DATA

SP DX Contest Practical Wireless 144 Mhz QRP Contest

VHF FIELD DAY 24

RSGB IOTA CONTEST

Club will be taking Part from Tiree GM2T

General Notes : The club or its members plan/hope to be active in those events shown as bold above.

Full Event Rules Are Available On The Internet As Follows : RSGB HF

: http://www.blacksheep.org/hfcc/Rules-2003/index.html

RSGB VHF

: http://www.blacksheep.org/vhfcc/rules/03rules/frameindex.html

ARRL

: http://www.arrl.org/contests/

CQ WPX

: http://home.woh.rr.com/wpx/

CQWW

: http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/cqwwhome.html

Links to most of the other events, or their rules, can be found on the SM3CER Contest Web Page Start at contest/ and use the appropriate links to find the info you require.

http://www.sk3bg.se/


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Club Newsletter

Amateur Radio in the Philippines (part 2) Continuing from last month John Fraser looks at amateur radio in the Philippines A visiting amateur can obtain a reciprocal licence, as long as the Philippines has a reciprocal agreement with that amateurs country, this reciprocal licence is renewable every year, there is no CEPT agreement with the Philippines. To obtain a Philippine amateur radio licence (callsign) everyone has to pass the NTC exams. There are 3 classes of licence A,B and C, with C being the one with the less privileges.

“To catch the reader's attention, place an interesting sentence or quote from the story here.�

The exams are held in each of the 9 radio regions and are supervised by the NTC, here in Region 3, every 2 months on a Saturday at 8.00am at different locations in Region 3 and at the NTC HQ in Manila every Wednesday at 8.00am. An accredited radio club can request that the NTC conduct a radio examination at the clubs location. The only guide on what to study I have found is a booklet issued by PARA and is dated 1983, the 3rd edition of the book was issued in 1987, since then a circular has been added dated 1994. Amateur radio clubs help members with the exams. This book is called "So you want to be a HAM" it covers the subjects to pass the class A,B and C exams incl the theory, regulations plus advice on operating a radio station, operating procedures and has examples of the multi choice questions

and these are a good guide as to what will be asked. The book lists examples of 140 x class A questions, 150 class x B and 100 x class C questions. The exams are in English. There is no skipping the different licence classes, each has to be taken in turn, however having passed class C, one can take the class B exam as soon as they are ready, having passed the class B exam and having obtained a class B callsign, the licensee must wait at least 1 year from the date the callsign was issued to the date of the filing of the application to be allowed to sit the class A exam. The examination syllabus is divided into 10 parts, part 1 is cw, now at 5wpm for the class A licence, the others are parts 2,3,4 for class C, parts 5,6 and 7 for class B and then parts 1,8,9 and 10 for class A. The examination consists of 3 papers for each licence class, each paper has 25 multi choice questions, an average pass of 70% is required with a minimum of 50% on any paper. The examination fee is 50P. The latest exams held in Region 3 shows 31 names listed to take the exams, for the class C exam - 12 were listed as absent, 8 listed as failed, 5 passed. For the class B exam 1 sat and failed, for class A 3 sat and 2 failed. Difference between the different licence classes:Class C is restricted to 100

watts and 2/10/15/40 mtrs, class B to 500 watts plus 6/20/30/80 mtrs and class A 1KW plus 12/17/160 mtrs. Prefixes class C - DW, class B - DV and class A DU or 4F plus the option of a two letter suffix call. The number in the callsign prefix corresponds to one of the 9 radio Regions where the callsign was issued. The licence is issued for 1 year and then renewable every 3 years there after, applying at least 30 days before the renewal date, this being on birthday of the licensee. The cost is 60P per year. If the licence is allowed to lapse there is a grace period for upto 5 years, then it can be renewed with the back dated annual fees having to be paid. If the grace period goes beyond the 5 years the applicant will be required to re sit the appropriate exams again before another licence can be issued to them I feel the exams here are fair and balanced. Here at the NTC Region 3 and at the NTC HQ, I have found that the officers are friendly and as long as the paperwork is correct any process can be completed quickly. 73's de John GM4DKO/DW3EWA January 2005


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Volume 13, Issue 2

Events Column Forthcoming events are shown below. Please enter in your new diary for 2005 and make an effort to attend as many as you can. These events are organized on your behalf do take a lot of organizing. It’s a great shame that more members are not in attendance on these nights which are ideal for learning more about our hobby as well as enjoying the company of like minded friends. As usual any further events for inclusion in this page can be forwarded to me at gm4iku@cpsarc.com

Date

Time

Event

11 Feb 05

19:30

RADIO CHECK NIGHT By John MM0JXI

Contact

Tel./E-Mail

John MM0JXI

0131 665 9125

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

Port Seton Community Centre Resources Room 2 17 Feb 05

19:30

Construction/Practical Night Port Seton Community Centre Resources Room2

04 Mar 05

19:00

Club Night in the Thorntree Inn Port Seton

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

10 Mar 05

19:30

Construction/Practical Night Port Seton Community Centre Resources Room2

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

18 Mar 05

19:30

Talk by David Dodds GM4WLL

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

Natural Radio Transmitters Port Seton Community Centre TBC

Talk by Pierre-Louis F5NED “A French Evening”

01 Apr 05

19:00

Club Night in the Thorntree Inn Port Seton

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

23 Apr 05

18:30

10 Pin Bowling Night Megabowl Kinnaird Park

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

06 May 05

19:00

Club Night in the Thorntree Inn Port Seton

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

08 May 05

10:30

Magnum Rally (Magnum Leisure Centre, Irvine)

13 May 05

18:30

144 Mhz DF Hunt Meet in Old Ship Inn Car Park (East)

Ron GM4IKU

01875 811000

03 Jun 05

19:00

Club Night in the Thorntree Inn Port Seton

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

12 Jun 05

TBA

Practical Wireless 144 Mhz QRP Contest Museums On Air Weekend Museum of Flight East Fortune GB2MOF

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

CPSARC 20 Metre Contest

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

18/19 Jun 05

Helen MM0HLN

22 Jun 05

19:00 to 22:00

1 Jul 05

19:00

Club Night in the Thorntree Inn Port Seton

02/03 Jul05

TBA

VHF FIELD DAY

08 Jul 05

19:00

Club Night in the Thorntree Inn Port Seton

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

RSGB IOTA Contest from the Island Of Tiree

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

30/31 Jul 05 05 Aug 05

19:00

Club Night in the Thorntree Inn Port Seton

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

12 Aug 05

18:30

ANNUAL JUNK NIGHT Community Centre Port Seton

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

LIGHTHOUSE WEEKEND BARNS NESS GB2LBN

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

Club Night in the Thorntree Inn Port Seton

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

2 144 Mhz DF Hunt Meet in Old Ship Inn Car Park (East) Ron GM4IKU

01875 811000

20/21 Aug 05 02 Sep 05

19:00 nd

30 Sep 05

18:30

07 Oct 05

19:00

Club Night in the Thorntree Inn Port Seton

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723

21 Oct 05

19:30

VIDEO NIGHT Port Seton Community Centre

Bob GM4UYZ

01875 811723


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Club Newsletter

Contesting Changes Over the Years After taking part in the RSGB AFS CW and SSB contests it started me thinking about how contests have changed over the years. I know that contesting is not for everyone and basically you will either love or hate them. I also know that some people think of our radio club as just a contesting club and nothing else, on that statement I would like to point everyone to the Events Column to see how many contests we are actually going to take part in with relation to the other events that we are running. It is also just a fact that quite a few of us within the club are interested in doing contests so I can see from an outsiders point of view that quite a lot of talk is around the realms of contesting, which makes it look like the club’s main interest. I really would like to dispel that myth here and now as it is not the case. Any way that is a discussion for another time. Back to contesting and what does it offer? Next is how I personally see it but I am sure others will add their respective view points as well. They are Fun and as long as you remember this, you will enjoy them. They are Competitive; remember you could win the contest!!! That is a great thrill. Remember that within a contest there are different categories i.e. QRP, Low Power, High Power, SSB only, CW only, short and long operating times, etc, etc so

basically there is something to suit your station and you personally. A great chance to enhance your operating skills no matter what mode you are using. Opportunity to contact some rare countries. A great test to see how well your station is performing. You might not have the capability to put on a huge station i.e. Multiple Yagi’s, Multiple Radio’s, run High Power, but as long as you remember what your station limitations are you can certainly judge its performance. For each contest set your own targets i.e. the other year I took part in a CW contest from home and I made 45 QSO’s, the next time I took part in the same contest my target was to beat that 45 QSO’s, sadly I didn’t. Learn about band conditions and propagation, particularly on HF. Learn about the different operating conditions between HF and VHF. Logging skills – now computer based so definitely enhances keyboard skills. Contests can be addictive. As you can see there is a lot more to contesting than meets the eye and I am sure even I have missed some vital points from the above list but hopefully it will give you a feel on why people do it. How has it changed? I personally got involved away back in 1986 with my first ever contest being the RSGB 144MHZ &

SWL Contest (17/5/1986) which lasted for 24 hours. I took part in this contest from our normal VHF site at Mainslaughter Law, nr Longformacus with Ron GM4IKU, Brian GM0EHL and Russell GM0CBX. Looking at the results we made 180 QSO’s and 62 Multipliers which even in today’s terms is not a bad outcome. That was me “hooked” as they say and I have contested ever since. My interests these days I must admit are more on HF rather on VHF and this move was basically enhanced when Foot and Mouth was at its peak in 2001 and all VHF contests from hilltops were banned. No matter where your interest lies, whether it is VHF or HF then what has changed? Operating Skill – This still remain the same. Equipment – radio’s, accessories and aerials Radio’s have certainly changed with regard to their performances but again if you cannot afford the “all singing all dancing” radio’s then it may not affect you as you could still be using the same old radio’s and their limitations. More accessories available for example Voice Recorders (certainly save the voice as I can think of contests which I have done where I am nearly lost my voice, no comments please), Band Pass Filters, Computer/Radio control, Band Decoders, computers, etc. Aerials no real change

here as Yagi’s, etc have been around as long as I can remember. Logging – This is where the major change has occurred – Paper to Computer. Paper Logs - When I first started contesting the only method of logging was on paper. As well as the standard paper log then for example, there were “dupe”, “locator”, “country”, etc sheets to be kept updated all of the time. Can you imagine how difficult that was if you were in the middle of a pile-up? It really was the case that two people were needed, one operating and one logging and updating, to do all the work. The next major problem was the standard of individual’s hand writing, some absolutely terrific and some absolutely awful to say the least. This really became apparent after the contest was finished when everything had to be collated and checked before submitting the final paper entry to the contest adjudicators. I can assure you that there were lots of head scratching, phone calls etc to sort out. Quite often more time was spent after the contest sorting out the logs than the actual duration of the contest itself. Computer Logs – Then contesting came into the 21st Century with regard to logging with the introduction of computers. A long with computers the Contest Software writers and subsequent logging programs appeared making contest logging a dream (Continued on page 7)


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Volume 13, Issue 2

Contesting Changes Over the Years (cont) (Continued from page 6)

after paper logging. Today we use programs like G0GJV and SDI for VHF Contesting, NA/CT/TR/ SD/N1MM/Writelog for HF Contesting and there may be others that I don’t even know about. No matter what logging software that is going to be used the skill now is to ensure that it has been correctly set-up for the contest and the equipment that is going to be used. For example for HF contesting we use NA as our logging program. NA has a choice of particular contest templates i.e. CQWW, RSGB IOTA, etc so you need to select the correct one for the particular contest. NA also has the ability to control or sense changes from your radio and log it at the same time i.e. Band Changes, Mode changes. NA can also send CW from the keyboard or control a remotely attached Voice Recorder. NA can also drive accessories like Band Decoders which can control Band Pass filters, etc, it can also drive Rotators and lastly NA can be computer networked so that log entries are passed between multiple stations. During the contest is where computer logging comes into its own as it can tell you right away when you make a duplicate contact, the countries etc that you made contact with plus any other actual contest information specific to the actual contest you are taking part in. Having the ability to do CW and control a Voice

Recorder from the keyboard makes it a lot more easier for a single person to actually log, what the operator now really has to concentrate on is their typing skills, yes we can still get typing errors. Another area where the computer log is supreme is after the contest where in reality all you need to do as soon as the contest is finished is email your log to the contest adjudicators. To be honest the logs are always checked for mistypes, etc before submission but this after contest work is absolutely minimal compared to the old paper logging. Paper logging I would never ever do again. Operators and logging – If I have any down side with regard to computer logging with regard to paper logging it is that of the operators. Those who are not used to using computer keyboards definitely shy away from operating and to be honest I can understand why particularly if the get hit with a pile-up. I suppose the answer is “get practicing your keyboard skills”, but to be truthful the real answer is just take control of your actions. If you are the focus of the pile-up then as you go back to the station who called you, type in his callsign as you go back, what I mean is if VK2ABC called then when you answer each letter of the callsign then type it in, so you would be saying V, then type V, say K then type K, etc. Yes it is slow but the more you do it the faster you become. If you are doing Search and Pounce

then type in the station you are going to call before you call them. Also I would recommend that you do some contests on your own and practice the Search and Pounce technique if nothing else it will give you confidence in using the keyboard. If I do have a tip for these operators, it is remove the pen and paper and just use the keyboard. It is amazing how after a short while you will not miss them at all. Submitted Logs – As mentioned earlier that when using paper logs it all had to be collated and then sent away and believe you me it was hard work. With computer logs it is really all about finishing the contest and immediately submitting your log, as mentioned earlier you really wouldn’t do that without giving it a check over. What computer logging offers for the adjudicators is that cross checking is made easier and from our point of view the results are out sooner. What also has occurred is the need for the entrant to do his own scoring as now a standard log entry is now submitted called Cabrillo. This file is what is used for all the checking plus the adjudicators now automatically re-score the submitted logs. In many ways this again has made life easier from our point of view plus as well for the Logging Software Writers. Progress as they say. I am sure that I have more than likely not covered everything but hopefully you can see some of the changes that have been

made from what I call the old days, no matter what go out and give contesting a go you may just enjoy it. Bob GM4UYZ


Page 8

Club Newsletter

RSGB 80m AFS Contest

Hear about how the Club did in this unique contest

As we have done over the last few years the club took part in the above contests and submitted a club entry. There are two sections, CW and SSB, where the CW one is held on a Sunday and the SSB the following Saturday. The nice thing about these contests is that they are only 4 hours long and very relaxing plus are aimed at all levels of contesting skills, from the inexperienced to the very experienced. They are a club entry where the eventual entry is made up of a number of entries i.e. in the CW section 5 club members can take part as individuals, (SSB section 3 club members), then all their scores are combined to make one final club entry. For example: GM4UYZ 150 points, MM0CPS 200 points, GM4IKU 250 points, MM0DXC 150 points and MM0JXI 150 points == Club Entry Submission is then 900 points. The CW Contest

The CW contest was on Sunday 9th January from 14:00 to 18:00 and I was the only person who showed interest in having a go at it from the club’s entry point of view. It was nice to take part in a contest from home with just needing to turn up and operate and when it was finished just switch off, having said that as I have no regular aerials for 80M I had to put my Butternut up. This didn’t take me very long as it is all marked up for easy assembly and all I had to do was fine tune the

80M coil so that the aerial was resonant in the CW section of the band. During the actual contest I decided to just Search and Pounce for the whole 4 hours as within myself I just don’t feel 100% comfortable of calling CQ and dealing with a possible “pile up”, some hope of me getting that!!! There were lots of stations on and many were really strong 59+++ but could they hear me, no they couldn’t, no matter how much I called. Very frustrating indeed I must say. I certainly faired better with the stations that were weaker as I worked nearly every one of them. Overall I really enjoyed taking part and I thought at the end I had done better than I had done from home before but when I looked back at my previous attempts it was not the case, ah well such is life. Equipment: FT102 Power: 100W Antenna: Butternut Vertical Number of QSO’s: 40 Club Entry Score: 400 points The SSB Contest

The SSB contest was on Saturday 15th January from 14:00 to 18:00 and we managed to have two teams operating: Cambell MM0DXC, Norman GM4IUS and myself operating the club callsign MM0CPS, the other team was Colin 2M0AYZ. Yes I know we could have actually made up three stations but we decided not to do

this. First of all Colin 2M0AYZ who has not been involved in any contesting before managed a total of 13 QSO’s from his home QTH in Edinburgh. Colin certainly found the deficiencies of trying to operate a contest using a ½ size G5RV and 50 watts and from his comments he certainly got quite frustrated, welcome to the world of contesting Colin. Any way well done Colin for having a go at the contest and submitting what QSO’s you made into the overall club entry. The rest of us operated from Cambell’s home QTH and again like the CW section it was nice just to turn up, do the contests then leave. Having said that Cambell had decided to check out the W3DZZ antenna on the Saturday morning and found that the aerial needed slight adjustment. It all went down hill from there with bad connections, broken wires, etc (I hate to think of the choice words that were possibly being said!!!!) Fortunately, phew, before Norman and I turned up he had resolved everything and we were ready to go, well done Cambell. When the contest first started we managed to obtain a frequency to call CQ this was only profitable for about 20 minutes before it all went very quiet. At this point the decision was taken to Search and Pounce and we stayed this way for more or less the rest of the contest. We certainly worked near (Continued on page 9)


Page 9

Volume 13, Issue 2

RSGB 80m AFS Contest (cont) (Continued from page 8)

enough every station that we heard but our score was miles below those that we were working. Sadly up here in Scotland we suffer in this contest due to lack of numbers, the stations situated in the Midlands fair the best due to the huge amateur radio population all around them. Overall we really enjoyed the contest which was done in a very relaxed way. Colin 2M0AYZ Station

Equipment: IC756 Pro II Power: 50W Antenna: ½ Size G5RV Number of QSO’s: 13 Score: 130 points Cambell/Norman/Bob MM0CPS Station Equipment: FT1000MP + Linear Power: 250W Antenna: W3DZZ Number of QSO’s: 110 Score: 1100 points

We will never win these contests from Scotland but who cares as long as we enjoy what we do. If you are “into” contesting then these contests are certainly good contests to get experience on before taking the challenge of the large 24 hour or more contests. Till next year then………. Bob GM4UYZ

Club Entry Score: 130 + 1100 = 1230 points

SCIENCE WEEK What can we do?

What else can we offer?

Appears Nothing!!

Suggestions please.

I received a general letter from the RSGB notifying me that there is another Science Week being run. In 2005

Should we get involved in any of this?

The question to you all is would you like to participate in the week whether it being a Full Week or just a Single Event? If so what would you like to see being done? Demonstration Station being set-up to promote the hobby? Located where? – Museum of Flight, School, Community Centre, Peter’s new shop, etc, etc Talk Where? – Museum of Flight, School, Community Centre, etc, etc Postal Pack Distribute to all the schools within East Lothian.

Ok then I need your suggestions and answers by the January Club Night (14th) as if I require any thing from the RSGB then I must have it with them by the 1st February This then tells me that no one is really interested. Yes I know it runs for a week and a bit and for those of us who work it really does not become viable as it would mean taking annual leave to do any thing. As for the weekends I am personally teaching on one and the other I am hoping, all being well, to go to Blackpool for the Norbreck Rally therefore no free time. I could also add as well that there is more than myself who could get involved with something like this but nobody really seems inter-

ested, it is a shame but it just appears to be a fact of life. By the way I am not getting at any one, as not everyone has the same drive as me to try and spread the word about and also get as much people into this great hobby of ours. What it did do was really make me start thinking about how do we deal with the above types of requests and also how do we promote the hobby to those who know nothing about it. I am sure many others have thought or think the same because really at the end of the day it is what one would call a “Marketing Issue” if we were working for a business. It is not my field of work so I ask the question “where do you start with something like this”.

(Continued on page 10)

Science Week 2005


Page 10

Club Newsletter

Science Week (Cont…) (Continued from page 9)

My initial thoughts are: WHAT IS AMATEUR RADIO? Amateur Radio is basically about communicating with one or more persons. How do we communicate? We use --- Voice, Data, Morse Code, Television, Fax, etc. We use --- Radio’s, Radio+Internet, Satellites, etc. We use --- Earth’s Ionosphere, Moon, Meteor Trails, Aurora, etc. How can we tell people about Amateur Radio? Via word of mouth. Via demonstration events. Via advertising methods. Via magazines. Via the internet. Should schools mention about it during physics?

Do you want to contribute to Science Week?

The problem lies in delivering all of the above, (I have probably missed something out) and what can we as a Radio Club do better to help promote the hobby. I am making the assumption that we as a club do want to promote the hobby because believe you me if we don’t then there is no doubt in my mind that as a hobby it will die. We are already making a start in a small way as Colin 2M0AYZ is producing club leaflets that can be handed out at any event that we do. It is a strange thing on this one as Colin GM0CLN came up with the same idea a couple of years back and due to both family and work commitments was unable to take it further, then Colin 2M0AYZ a couple of

months back then emailed me with his draft copies, totally out of the blue, Thanks Colin for taking an initiative and producing some ideal leaflets. I am sure we all do it and that is promote the hobby when we are talking to people but what I think is the difficult part is getting the “hook in” and getting them to want to know more. We do run Demonstration Events and I know some people say they are a total waste of time as we get nothing back from it. Yes I tend to agree but on the other hand I can think of at least two people who are now amateurs thanks to one of our events. I personally feel if we give up on these no matter how desponding they can be at times then the public are the real losers. Do we really do enough to encourage the public to come in and have a look, if I am really honest the answer is no? What should we be doing to improve this? A very good question of which I do not know the answer, do you? On the advertising/ magazine front I am not sure how this could be used, there must be away. On the Internet is there away that if someone say, searched on the word “Amateur” as an example that Amateur Radio would be highlighted as a main entry? I really don’t know enough about how the search engines work to give you the top 10 entries after a search. Or there other methods you can think off? Having said that people have to read what is given to them if you know

what I mean. On the schools front maybe it should be part of a Physics lesson to talk about the merits of Amateur Radio or even a small demonstration on communicating. I would suspect that most pupils would ignore it any way but there again it might offer the “hook” to others to find out more. I know Norman GM4IUS teaches physics so maybe he can offer some thought on this idea. Do you think we should have a “marketing person” within the club? Well there is a question and if the answer is YES then who would be willing to take on such a demanding role? Somehow I get the feeling everyone will be saying, yes a great idea but I wouldn’t want to do it or someone else will, basically is it being afraid of taking on a commitment? A couple of years ago a similar request was made and someone was willing but sadly due to work and illness it never got off the ground and nothing has been done since. On a personal front I would love someone to take on a role like this and come up with a plan and ideas to encourage people into the hobby and also our radio club, who knows you may just come up with all the answers. I would love to read or hear your thoughts on this so please let me know, so the final big question is “Any one interested”? Right there you go then, something to ponder over. Bob GM4UYZ


Page 11

Volume 13, Issue 2

General Reminders I thought that I would just issue some general reminders of items that are still looking for input from you plus a nudge of some of our forthcoming events. This is not intended to replace Ron GM4IKU’s Events Column so see that for fuller details. CLUB WEB SITE As you may or may not know John MM0JXI is at present totally revamping the club’s website to bring it fully up to date as well as giving it a totally new design. I did send out an email a good few weeks ago for some input from yourselves but alas only a couple or so replies, any way here is your chance to give your input for what you would like to see or removed on our club web site. Can you please send your responses to John MM0JXI mm0jxi@cpsarc.com

NEWSLETTER SURVEY Last month I kicked off a survey on the club’s newsletter, basically I am looking for two things (a) to see how far and wide it is read and (b) to get a general feeling on the content and how people perceive it. To be honest my main initial target is (a) above. If you haven’t already done so I really, really would appreciate your feedback. A copy of the form can be downloaded from the club’s web site at www.cpsarc.com , if you RIGHT click on the Link on the Main Page and then select the option SAVE TARGET AS which allows you to download it to your machine. Once you have completed it then please send it to me at gm4uyz@cpsarc.com RADIO CHECK NIGHT This takes place on Friday 11th February in Resources Room 2 in the Community

Centre from 19:30 to 21:30, normal £1 entry fee. Over the years this has been a very popular event and also very worthwhile. It is a great opportunity to give all your radio’s an annual MOT. Remember to bring all your power/ microphone/etc leads for your respective radios. CONSTRUCTION/ PROJECT NIGHT This takes place on Thursday 17th February in Resources Room 2 in the Community Centre from 19:30 to 21:30, normal £1 entry fee. A chance to get on with any construction or project that you are working on. This event has so far been a bit “hit and misses” and I have made a decision that if it is not well supported on this and March’s nights then I am going to drop the event totally. The choice is yours as they say. Bob GM4UYZ

Reminders about upcoming Club Events


Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club 7 Castle Terrace Port Seton East Lothian EH32 0EE Phone: 01875 811723 E-mail: gm4uyz@cpsarc.com

We’re on the web! www.cpsarc.com

Information The Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club was formed by Bob Glasgow GM4UYZ in 1984, to help the local amateurs get to know each other. Numbers have increased steadily over the years and now average about 20. Far from being just a local club we have members coming from the Borders, Dumfries, Strathclyde and Fife. The Club meets on the first Friday of every month (Second Friday of January) in the lounge of the Thorntree Inn on the old Cockenzie High Street from 7pm till late. The Club is run in a very informal way, there are no fees, no real committee structure, just a group of like minded people doing something they enjoy! This does not mean that we don’t do anything, we enter (and win!) contests, train newcomers, hold talks and video nights and run a popular annual Junk Sale. Our newsletter has won the Practical Wireless ‘Spotlight’ competition on several occasions. The Club supports the British Heart Foundation in memory of a member who died from heart disease by donating the profits from events we hold, we have raised over £10,392 since 1994. The Club is affiliated to the Radio Society of Great Britain and holds the callsigns MM0CPS and GM2T which are used for our special event and contest entries. We have our own internet domain www.cpsarc.com and club members can get their own ‘callsign@cpsarc.com’ email addresses. The club also has a Yahoo! Group which is used to manage a mailing list. (see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cpsarc) Contacts General Correspondence, Novice Training and Contest entries Bob Glasgow gm4uyz@cpsarc.com HF Contests, Cambell Stevenson mm0dxc@cpsarc.com Newsletter, Web Site, email admin John Innes mm0jxi@cpsarc.com Events Column Ron Brown gm4iku@cpsarc.com

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