Club Newsletter Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club
Volume 15 Issue 4
Editorial Special points of interest: • New club event • See the Events
Calendar for all our activities this month
Inside this issue: Talk by MM0WST
Origin of the term ‘ham’
Win-Test test night
The Sleeve Dipole
Test Your Knowledge
Flying the Airbus A319
That’s it then folks we are now in official British Summer Time so we can all look forward to those long sunny lazy days where we can play at radio. Well it is a dream isn’t it! No doubt our summer will be as normal, a couple of sunny days and the rest pouring with rain, but we can dream of the opposite can’t we. My first topic is the good news that Bjorn DL1DBS and his wife now have a “new arrival”. Bjorn’s wife gave birth to a “wee” boy on the 28th February and they have named him Leo. For the ladies he weighed in at 8lbs 10oz (3.9Kg). The second topic is the good news that my last batch—sounds terrible, of Intermediate Class students, 6 of them, all successfully passed their exam on Saturday 10th March. Well done to them all and I'm sure it will not be long before they will all have their new licences and enjoying all the extra features that the Intermediate Licence offers. Most of them are now in the Advanced Course that I have just started so it is great to see that they really want to push on and get the last of the licences. So what has gone on last month? The only event which took place is the talk by Derek Caiden MM0WST on a “Pilots Operation”, it really was excellent. To this month we have two club events organised and that is the 10 Pin Bowling Night, which I am sure, will be good night of fun. Tonight is the last night for you to decide and pay if you want to take part so please let me know ASAP please? The other is a new event to the calendar on Friday the 20th April in the Community Centre on the testing and using on the Win-Test logging software. See the write up in the newsletter for more details on this event. On the teaching front I have already set out the dates for all my training up to May 2008, yes May 2008. Full information can now be found on the Club’s Web-Site, if you are interested or you know of any one who may be interested can you ask them to get in touch with me. I also have two people who have self-studied for the Intermediate Exam sitting this on the 5th April so I would like to wish them all the best. Lastly, for any other future events please the Events Column in the newsletter.
Bob GM4UYZ It has been nice over the last couple of months with all the extra material for the newsletter so keep it up folks… remember it is your newsletter so without the input then it would not exist. On the Web Site front John MM0JXI is continually tweaking it here and there so if you have any suggestions please get in touch with John direct. It is fantastic to see the amount of people that have being using the site since John changed it, I know even for me I now look daily to see what is happening. Well done John….. [I’m working on an article to help show Club Members (including Bob!) how to submit content for the website—John MM0JXI] That is it then so hopefully you will come along to the all the events and have a great month on the radio. See you all then.
Talk by MM0WST—’A Pilot’s Operation’ Derek MM0WST delivered the above talk on Friday 10th March in the Community Centre, Port Seton. It was fantastic to see a great turnout to what was a very interesting and informative talk so many thanks to all those who attended.
Derek also talked about the reason that aircraft are kept safe distances from each other so that they are not affected by the aircraft in front’s slipstream.
Derek’s talk was about Air band procedures and an explanation of all the terms used when pilots are talking into the airport networking i.e. tower, ground, etc. As well as the above explanation he gave a brief history about Turnhouse or Edinburgh Airport as it is now called. For me personally I had no idea of all the procedures and terminology that was used so for myself personally I found it absolutely fascinating. It was interesting to know how planes approach or join into an existing queue of aircraft that are awaiting to land and also at what stage they pass from the approach to the tower and then to the ground.
Overall it was a fascinating and interesting talk which I am sure everyone went away learning something new, I know I did. For those who didn’t come along you certainly missed a great talk. On behalf of us all Derek once again many thanks for a great talk.
Origin of the term ‘ham’ Derek MM0WST’s talk
Have you ever wondered why we Amateur Radio operators are called "Hams" almost worldwide? The term "HAM" has been used since 1908 and was the callsign of one of the first Amateur Radio stations which was operated by some members of the Harvard Radio Club. They were Albert Hyman, Bob Almay and Peggy Murray. First they called their station "Hyman-AlmayMurray" but they were soon asked to change such a long name to a shorter code and they changed it to "Hy-Al-Mu" using the first 2 letters of each name. Early 1909 there were some confusing situations as a Mexican ship had the name "Myalmo" and so they decided to use only the first letter of each name and called their station "HAM". During the first pioneer-days of non-regulated Amateur Radio, the operators picked their own frequencies and call-signs. Later it happened that some amateur stations had better signals than the commercial stations and this sometimes resulted in interference. The Congress in Washington, obviously pushed by the commercials, introduced a bill trying to strongly restrict the activities of amateur radio operators. A debate in Congress began and the small station "HAM" became a
symbol for all small amateur radio stations as Albert Hyman spoke before the committee working on the bill in question. They wanted protection from the threats by the big commercial stations which did not want to tolerate the small ones. In the end the bill landed in the waste-paper basket of the Congress and each speaker spoke about the "poor small 'HAM' station". That's how it all began and you can look it up in the "Congressional Records". (Translated by Hans VK4/HE9RFF-ex HS1ALK from a German version by OE1 in Austria)
Volume 15 Issue 4
Testing of Win-Test Logging Software NEW CLUB EVENT….
Event: TESTING of WIN-TEST CONTEST LOGGING SOFTWARE Friday 20th April 2007 Resources Room 2, Community Centre 19:30 to 21:30 As most of you are aware we have been using mostly NA and occasionally CT as our Special Event or Contest Logging software. Both these Logging Software programs are DOS based and each have their own deficiencies, although over the years we have learnt how to “overcome or work around” them. One of the major deficiencies is that of Serial Number logging when operating Multi-Multi contests i.e. running more than one radio and logging on more than one computer at the same time with all the computers being networked together. One big issue when we use NA is getting the logging computers serial numbers “out of step”. We do have a work around for this but it is not ideal. Last year we tried a similar evening with N1MM being looked at as the Windows based Logging software, which in its design makes the networking of the computers a lot easier and in my opinion a massive bonus, but on the night it threw up some issues which in all of our opinions didn’t make it ideal for our solution. A program that was mentioned a little bit later was another windows based logging software called Win-Test. From further conversations it did seem ideal for us and it was tried at VHF Field Day where it was used in a Network scenario. It worked superbly and its major bonus is that it had the NA feel about it which many of us were used to using. Although it looked the ideal program to use we decided not to use it for IOTA but stick to our trusted NA where we now all its deficiencies and how to deal with them. For CQWW in October we gave Win-Test its first real “hammering” with 4 stations networked all running CQ and lots of RF about. Apart from a couple of small issues it performed perfectly. We had one major issue where on one PC the program was unloaded and the PC had to be re-
booted, now in the past this would have caused a major headache but Win-Test worked superbly as all we did was reboot the PC and reload the program and the log all synced up with the other machines. Fantastic to say the least… The decision now is that we will use WinTest for all our events both HF and VHF so what needs to happen is everyone needs to get used to using the program.To that end I have set up an evening in the Community Centre where my intention is to have 6 or 7 computers all networked together and hopefully one computer attached to a radio and all the auxiliary equipment that we use. It is important that we “play” with the program and learn at least how to use the basics before those in-experienced use it in anger in a real live Special Event or Contest situation.
My ideas for the evening are: • Have sheets of past logs so people can type them in to get a feel about entering contacts • Set-up the screen to what we would be wanting to see and use • See how it acts on a computer getting out of step, and how it recovers?
Check out our latest logging software
• Add an radio and all the bits – see it all working • Make a list of what we regard are “bugs”, if any, and get them submitted. • Other suggestions from everyone involved
Hopefully everyone will make an effort and come along on the night and add their input.
See you all there then.
Club Attire The club has Club Tee-shirts, Polo-shirts, Sweat-Shirts, Fleeces and Jackets and all of these can be obtained from the address below.
Beam at IOTA
PATRICIA BEWSEY DESIGNS, UNIT 11, When making an order please: FENTON BARNS RETAIL VILLAGE, FENTON BARNS, • Quote Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club as this will ensure that the Club NORTH BERWICK, Logo will be placed on the required ordered EAST LOTHIAN garments. EH39 5BW • If you wish to add your call-sign to the logo Tel/Fax: 01620 850788 Mobile: 07970 920431 then please ask at the time of the order. Cost will depend on garment and should cover the garment and logo, call-sign addition will be extra.
The Sleeve Dipole
How to get your own clothing with the club logo
by Lee Jennings ZL2AL (Reprinted from Break-In) With kind permission we have been given authority to reproduce this article which was published in the Christchurch West Amateur Radio Club, New Zealand monthly newsletter QTC. Many Thanks. It certainly may be of interest to those who are limited in space to erect Multiband antennas
Most of us use dipoles in one form or another and we tend to put up a dipole on one band only. It is the staple antenna of HF amateur radio and various methods are often used to extend coverage to other bands. Trap dipoles operating on two bands and the G5RV type of dipole antennas are noteworthy for their multi band coverage but their drawbacks are should also be taken into account. Traps are not easy to construct and do exhibit some losses whilst the G5RV antenna requires an antenna coupler to match wayward impedances at the end of the feed line. The open sleeve multi-dipole has been around for a long time and articles using the open sleeve principle have appeared in QST and the ARRL Antenna Handbook. Some commercial manufacturers are using the design in their multi band Yagi and vertical antennas. It is a most interesting antenna in that only one of the three or more dipoles are connected and fed with the single feed line; the other dipoles are benign and go along for the free ride. I have been using this system
for over two years with a WARC band antenna cut for 30/17/12 metres and the results are the same as if I had been using separately fed dipoles. There is little or no interaction and the feed point impedance remains around 50 ohms. The horizontal dipole part of the antenna is about 15 metres long and the spacing of the dipoles is 5cm (2”) whilst the plastic spreaders can be any material such as 12mm plastic tubing with three holes drilled into them and the antennas are threaded through the holes. A simple piece of small diameter copper wire threaded around the main 30m dipole and around the plastic tube holds the spreaders from moving up the antenna. Each antenna has a standard “egg” insulator at the end. The coaxial feeder may be any length of RG8U or RG58U 50 ohm cable as the feed point is around 50 ohms for each band. I used polypropylene rope to fasten the ends of each dipole out to the end support which is a short length of 12mm aluminium tubing. At first the antenna was set up a few metres off the ground and tied to one side of the house and a tree about 15m away from the house. I then coupled the MFJ Antenna analyser to it and, using the standard dipole formula, found the dipoles were fairly close. A bit of trimming of lengths brought them very close to where I wanted to operate in the three bands. The antennas went higher in frequency by about 50 to 80 kHz when the antenna was hauled up to the top of the tower. (Continued on page 5)
Volume 15 Issue 4
The Sleeve Dipole (Cont…) (Continued from page 4)
Does it work? Yes, exactly like three separate dipoles with no interaction between the bands. I have used a 30m/17m vertical loop for a few years and this dipole setup works just as well as the loop. If there is 1 or 2 dB difference, I do not notice it. The antenna exhibits a definite increase in gain and noise over other comparative dipoles cut for other bands. For example, if I listen to the 30m band on my 40m separate dipole and then switch to this 30m antenna, the noise and the signals increase. The same is true for the 17 and 12m bands. My results are 214 countries on 30m, 142 countries on 17m and 68 countries on 12m. If I compare my ability to work DX on 17m with Morrie, ZL2AAA who lives about 2 km from me who is using a well tuned 3 el Yagi then I am in the hunt after he works the DX first. On very weak signals that Morrie will hear I don’t; but that is the difference between a 3el Yagi and a dipole! I can’t supply gain graphs and charts since I have no way of measuring gain or losses and I cannot plot the patterns. To be sure the sleeved dipole performance will be very similar to standard dipoles because that is exactly what they are. The convenience of being able to work all three bands with no switching and have an SWR of less than 1.5 to 1 is great. There is no reason why the same technique could not be applied to other combinations such as 40m/30m/17m or 80/40/30m. I am planning to put an 80m dipole in the near future cut for 3.5 MHz and the parallel second antenna a few inches away cut for 3.8 MHz which should give me good SWR readings on both ends of the band. That should solve the traditional bandwidth problems of antennas operating SSB and CW in that band. 73 de Lee ZL2AL <email@example.com>
ZL2AL’s design for a compact multi-band aerial
1b, 2d, 3a, 4b, 5c, 6a, 7c, 8d, 9d, 10a Answers from April 2007 newsletter “Test Your Knowledge”. TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Weather Satellites (Cont…) [This is the second part of Brian M0RNR’s article on weather satellites also held over from last month] APT Weather Satellite Reception Hardware
The Receiver To receive APT transmissions from the NOAA weather satellites, you require a receiver. The satellites transmit their DataStream in the 137 MHz band using frequency modulation (FM). Although you can listen to their 'tick-tock' signature using a fairly inexpensive scanner and whip antenna such a system will not enable the reception of good images.
M0RNR tells us what he gets up to when he’s not screaming into a mic!
Flags at VHF FD
crossed dipole (or turnstile) and the Quadrifilier helix (QFH) antenna (in each case, designed and tuned specifically for the 137 MHz band). These antennas can be bought commercially but can be fairly costly. My Preference was the QFH version and I downloaded one of the many designs from the internet. A trip to a DIY superstore to buy the components, which are mainly 8mm copper pipe and joints which cost me approximately £20 and spent a Saturday afternoon building the antenna.
The reason for this is the bandwidth of the signal. Most scanning receivers have available FM bandwidths of either 150kHz (wide) for FM broadcasts, or about 5kHz (narrow) for amateur or mobile service transmissions. Weather satellite signals require a bandwidth of 40kHz - 50kHz to accommodate the signal itself plus the Doppler effect. The Doppler effect is identical to the familiar change in pitch of a police car siren as it approaches then recedes from you initially high pitched, becoming lower as the satellite firstly approaches the listener, flies overhead, then recedes again, this variation is added or subtracted to the signal thus widening its bandwidth.
The antenna should be positioned with a clear aspect to all horizons. If roof-mounted, make certain that no metal objects are likely to come between it and the satellites. Ideally, it should be the topmost structure on any antenna mast. If you cannot roof-mount your antenna, good results are still possible so long as there are no obstructions nearby. Good results have been reported with the antenna secured to a post just a metre above ground level. My QFH antenna was initially mounted on a fence post approx 1.5m from ground level and worked very well indeed, it has since been mounted in my attic, just for ease more than anything else, and I still receive impressive results.
Therefore a specialised receiver is necessary, there are a number of receivers on the market today which enable this feature, initially I started with an ICOM PCR100 PC controlled receiver, which gives a 50khz bandwidth option and to be honest I found that more than adequate for my needs. I have since upgraded, albeit to an old Dartcom receiver which offers slightly better rejection from pager interference. Another popular receiver is the RIG RX2 from the remote imaging group. The options are numerous, and an internet search will throw up many options.
Note also that buildings, trees and heavy foliage coming between the satellite and the antenna will all degrade the signal you receive.
The Antenna The signals from the NOAA weather satellites are transmitted with right-hand circular polarisation. There are two types of antenna which can be used for APT reception, the
Thoughts on Masthead Preamplifiers Generally, the receiver and antenna combinations listed above should produce more than adequate signal strength to create near perfect images from the NOAA APT data stream, and should not require a mast-head preamplifier. Unless you have particular reception problems or very long runs of coax (20 metres +) then don't be tempted to buy a preamp as it amplifies your noise levels as well as your signal and you'll be no better off. Decoding and Display Software (Continued on page 7)
Volume 15 Issue 4
(Continued from page 6)
Overview Although there are dedicated software packages available for all commercially available satellite receiving hardware, most weather satellite enthusiasts prefer to decode their APT data using a personal computer and soundcard. There are many amateur programmers who have produced a number of very professional decoding programs, some of which are freeware, some offer a limited service without charge and most of these offer enough features to get you started. However, nearly all the software packages below where a modest charge is made for a fully working copy would be a worthwhile investment as the extra features are worth the expense.
Wxtoimg is my personal APT choice; full of features the program can decode NOAA data in real time and save raw data as a WAV file. The software can then process and produce a number of colour images to suit your needs. The freeware version is more than adequate for the beginner; however the full version does offer even more features.
Wxsat is probably the simplest entry-level soundcard program. Wxsat can decode images in real-time. The program can simultaneously save the image as a bitmap and store the raw data as a WAV file for future decoding and manipulation as the signal is being received. Wxsat is freeware.
JVcomm32 is a multi mode program which can receive and decode weather charts, weather reports, NAVTEX and SYNOP messages, weather satellites, ham radio SSTV and FAX. NOAA weather satellite (FAX) transmissions are decoded into images in real time. A demo version is available, but JVcomm32 must be registered to create usable images.
Satsignal differs from the above programs in that it does not actually demodulate NOAA data transmissions. Satsignal has been designed specifically to create high-quality images from pre-existing WAV files created by programs like Wxsat and Wxtoimg. Satsignal boasts an impressive array of image enhancement tools (gamma, histogram, creating colour composites, sharpening, illumination adjustment, cropping noisy lines etc.) The basic version of Satsignal is free to use, but registration is required to unlock its full range of image processing tools.
M0RNR on receiving weather satellites
Test Your Knowledge 1.
a. b. c. d.
The MOST suitable cable to connect an antenna tuning unit (a.t.u.) to a transmitter is twin speaker cable coaxial cable twin core mains cable 300 Ώ feeder cable.
6. a. b. c. d.
The output frequency of a transceiver may be controlled by a Frequency synthesiser demodulator beat frequency oscillator balanced mixer
a. b. c. d. 3.
a. b. c.
How good is your Amateur Radio knowledge?
4. a. b. c.
a. b. c. d.
A transmitter has an output power of 20W and is connected to a yagi antenna with a gain of 4. What is the e.r.p.? 5W 16W 24W 80W A radio amateur decides to erect a second dipole of the same type but a different length. This is done because the second antenna is intended to be used on a different frequency two antennas will give a stronger signal than one the amateur wants to talk to two friends at the same time the second antenna will be kept as a spare. A difference between HF and VHF or UHF propagation is that a hill will cause a shadow with HF but not with VHF or UHF a hill will cause a shadow with VHF or UHF but not with HF HF radio waves can have a shorter wavelength than some VHF or UHF waves VHF and UHF waves generally travel faster than HF waves. The layers of conductive gas at heights from 70 to 400kM used to reflect hf radio waves are called the hemisphere bathysphere ionosphere atmosphere
The final frequency in a transmitter is created by mixing the outputs of a crystal oscillator and a frequency synthesiser. How might unwanted frequencies be produced (1) Harmonics of the crystal oscillator (2) Differential-Mode signals in the output (3) Other products of the mixing process a. 1 and 2 b. 2 and 3 c. 1 and 3 d. 1, 2 and 3 8.
a. b. c. d. 9.
a. b. c. d.
A 1MHz carrier id frequency modulated by a 1KHz audio signal amplitude 100mV and is causing a peak deviation of 2.5KHz. The occupied bandwidth of the transmission is approximately 2KHz 3.5KHz 5KHz 7KHz Which mode of transmission will result in the greatest average power requirement from the final amplifier? Assume the PEP is the same in all cases J3E A1A F3E J2F
10. Keying the oscillator stage of a CW transmitter is undesirable because a. “chirp” may be caused in the transmitted signal b. Sparking at the key contacts may cause local interference c. The oscillator is unlikely to start in the short time the key is depressed d. The lead to the key will continue to radiate even in “key up” condition
Volume 15 Issue 4
Flying the Airbus A319 [This is the final part of the article by Gavin GM0WDD on flying the Airbus A319 which started last month] … On the Airbus we go into the computer, select “ILS24” and it checks its database and autotunes 108.9MHz for us, it will already have pre-selected the inbound course of 244 degrees. We check it off the computer and then look on the Navigation Display to make sure that the ILS is radiating and that the computer has decoded “I-TH”. Much simpler! All this reduces the chances for error, which makes for a safer operation. As I stated earlier the HF Radio has been removed and been replaced with ACARS. ACARS stands for Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System. We all know that HF communications can be very patchy. Lot’s of things can affect whether or not you’ll get through. There may have been a solar flare wiping out propagation, you may be outwith the skip for the frequency you’re trying to use, there maybe intereference etc. All these things conspire to make HF for regular communication unreliable. ACARS does away with all the negatives of HF and offers, for the easyJet operation, a very reliable communications tool. It is comparable to our Packet Radio Network. We can send a message from the aircraft to a ground station (and vice versa) which puts the message into a network and gets sent to our airline operations centre in seconds. The network coverage is excellent and the only time I’ve not been able to use ACARS has been over the Bay of Biscay and that was only for a few minutes. ACARS offers a variety of options. We can get up-to-date weather for anywhere in the globe and we can also advise our operations (and vice versa) of problems we’ve encountered. With all the security problems on August the 10th our operations department was able to use ACARS to keep everyone updated about the ongoing security situation. This proved invaluable as it kept the aircraft fleet aware of what was happening. I’ve used to ACARS to notify our engineering department of potential problems with an aircraft. This gives the engineers prior warning and they can meet the aircraft, fix the problem and minimise delays.
In December with all the fog around the South East we needed quick updates to the weather. Rather than have the First Officer listen on multiple frequencies listening for the latest weather conditions at other airports, which would have taken around 10 minutes, we typed the airport codes into ACARS and within a minute we had the latest weather reports being printed out using the onboard printer! All very useful! ACARS is evolving in easyJet and is being used for more and more. At some major airports we can now get a departure clearance without speaking to an Air Traffic Controller. Although it is not yet enabled at Edinburgh Airport if it was we’d be able to request a clearance such as a Talla 5c which involves climbing on runway heading to 7 miles and then turning to the Talla VOR beacon on Broad Law climbing to 6,000ft. Normally at busy airports this would be done using voice communication. This poses problems as frequencies can become clogged with many aircraft calling (a bit like a DX station working a pileup!). By using ACARS we can reduce congestion on the frequency by a large margin. In addition where the controllers or pilots first language is not English ACARS can increase the safety factor as a clearance is clearly given in text format. Having flown the Airbus A319 for almost six months I have to say that I have nothing but praise for it. It is an aircraft that utilises modern technology to offer a safer operation. As pilots we can use the automation to reduce some of the workload of flying the aircraft which enables us to better manage the whole operation. It has some quirks but these are things you can get used to, overall though it is a great improvement on the Boeing 737.
GM0WDD on flying the Airbus A319
Event Calendar 6th April
Normal Club Night
Win-Test Logging Software Evening Resources Room 2, Port Seton Community Centre @ 19:30
10 Pin Bowling Night – Megabowl Kinnaird Park @ 20:00
Lothian Radio Society talk by RSGB President Angus Annan Royal Ettrick Hotel, Ettrick Road, Edinburgh @ 20:00
Deadline for Club tables entry to M0RNR
Normal Club Night
What we’re doing this year. If you want an event added email mm0jxi@cps arc.com
Magnum Rally, Irvine
Normal Club Night
Port Seton Gala Day – Community Centre Park 10:00 to 16:00
“Practical Wireless 144Mhz QRP Contest”
Museums on the Air Weekend “Museum of Flight- East Fortune” GB2MOF
C&PSARC 20 Metre Contest 19:00 to 22:00
Normal Club Night *** NOTE CHANGE OF NIGHT ***
VHF FIELD DAY
RSGB IOTA Contest from the Island of Tiree
Normal Club Night
“14tth ANNUAL JUNK NIGHT” Community Centre, Main Hall, Port Seton. Bring along your own “junk” and sell it yourself. Tables on First Come First Served basis. Entrance fee £1 for everyone. Money Raised DONATED to BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION. Time 18:30 to 21:30
18/19th August 7th September 28th September
FIRST 144Mhz DF Hunt Meet in “The Old Ship Inn” Car Park (East) 18:30 for 19:00
LIGHTHOUSE WEEKEND BARNS NESS GB2LBN Normal Club Night SECOND 144Mhz DF Hunt Meet in “The Old Ship Inn” Car Park (East) 18:30 for 19:00
Normal Club Night
RSGB 21/28MHz Contest
Jaycee Electronics Open Day
Volume 15 Issue 4
Shack Poster Sent in by Kelv 2M0KTZ who found itâ€Ś.
A humorous certificate of notice to all visitors to an amateur or ham radio shack.
NOTICE TO ALL VISITORS What you are about to witness is an Amateur Radio Station licensed to Ian C. Purdie (No. 1214021) as VK2TIP by the Australian Communications Authority, Canberra, A.C.T., Australia.
BEFORE YOU ASK THE QUESTIONS - HERE ARE THE ANSWERS 1. The total cost of this equipment cannot be discussed here as it creates many complicated and varied marital conflicts! 2. No, we cannot send a message to your brother in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Los Angeles or Hong Kong - I suggest you use a telephone carrier for that purpose. 3. This is strictly my hobby. I have neither the facilities nor the time or inclination to want to fool around with fixing your Toaster, Clock Radio, Electric Kettle, Video Recorder, TV set, Car Stereo or hi-fi - I suggest you see a local repair man. 4. Yes, all those antennas in the backyard are essential to the proper operation of all this equipment. 5. The farthest station I have contacted has been in the Ubangiland Islands off the coast of Southern Kowawowwow. 6. The cards on the wall are called QSL cards. They are confirmation of contacts made with other stations throughout the world without my having to resort to using the facilities of, or incurring the cost of Telstra or any other telephone carrier. 7. Yes this station is fully Y2K compliant as well as up to full international standards in all respects - for the simple reason I designed, programmed and built it all by myself. 8. Accordingly, it is a technical IMPOSSIBILITY for this station's very complicated equipment to interfere with computers, video games, VCRs, television reception, washing machines, hearing aids, pacemak-
ers, telephone or stereo systems. 9. Any interference problems of that nature are strictly caused by very obvious design flaws in the home entertainment devices or the appliance itself. 10. Curing arthritis might be a definite maybe. Then again maybe not.
Aerials at CQWW
11. An Amateur Radio Station may only be operated by a highly qualified, technically skilled electronics expert. 12. It takes absolute dedication, training, intelligence, as well as years of schooling to reach the level of competence that justifies one to be licensed by the government of the Commonwealth of Australia. 13. Therefore it is not considered inappropriate to show proper awe, respect and general obsequiousness when I discuss my hobby or operate the numerous, yet complicated controls
FURTHERMORE If you are granted the extreme honour of being invited to speak into the microphone, please observe the following rules: 1.
Speak in a low and soothing tone.
Do not disagree with me in any manner what-so-ever.
Say no bad words and tell no off colour jokes.
It is customary for the guest to make complimentary remarks about this station and its licensed operator when talking to other hams on the air.
DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING! TURN ANY KNOBS! SIT ON THE EQUIPMENT!
I HAVE LOST SEVERAL VISITORS BY ELECTROCUTION IN THE PAST FEW MONTHS.
A notice we all could use in our shacks!
Club Tables—March 2007 Welcome to the first CPSARC club table round up for a number of years. First off this idea is not new, it is used quite regularly by various publications and by other clubs, but I think the spreadsheet developed is a novel way of monitoring your performance over the year and I have GM0CLN Colin to thank for the original idea. Secondly, as I’ve said on the Web Forum, www.cpsarc.com there will be teething problems I make no apologies for that, but hopefully we will get things ironed out and I thank you all for your patience whilst we sort out any bugs. Finally thanks to everyone who has contributed this month. As Bob, GM4UYZ always says this will be a very dull column without your input, and having to listen to me rambling on every month isn’t going to be very interesting. So please, whatever your level of activity, drop me a table with a couple of lines on what you’ve been up to, interesting stations you’ve heard or worked or just things that are going on in the shack, its all interesting stuff.
M0RNR restarts the Club Tables
Just a reminder that this is not a competition, and the tables are open to all club members, seasoned DXers, contesters or newly qualified M3’s, its an incentive to get on the radio and improve your DXCC score. At the end of the year I’ll summarise your results in graphical format so you can see how you’ve done. Into this month’s reports then, and first off, congratulations to Ron, GM0NTL who is first to make DXCC on all modes with 109 entities worked since the start of the year, proof that there is plenty of DX to be worked even at sunspot minimum. Ron has been busy working a few smaller contests, REF, ARRLDX SSB and EADX on PSK31 as well as CQWPX SSB notable contacts in EADX was ZL on 20 and 40m. Things are busy too over in the west of Scotland where Gordon, MM0GPZ has been working on his totals. He reports no less than 133 countries for 96 DXCC this month and what is impressive is that Gordon is as happy on the key as the keyboard….something I really need to work on but never seem to have the time. Notable ones, too many to mention but this month 8P – Barbados on 80m for an all time new one. Gordon has also been out /p and started to build up his VHF squares total in the RSGB Monthly 2m contests held on the first Tuesday of the month. Gordon runs a 12 ele Yagi and 140w from his portable location and says any points from CPSARC members would be greatly appreciated.
Gary, MM0FZV sends his first attempt at anything like this. Welcome Gary, I’ve warned you by email it can get addictive, but thanks for your entry all the same. 7 new ones for Gary and FS – St Martin on 40m with 100w and a wire is an excellent way to start off. Keep plugging away and you’ll be amazed what you can work. A surprise entry from John MM0CCC who I’d have expected with his new arrival would have his hands more than full, but John managed an hour on AFS SSB with a new homebrew 80m vertical. John reports its better than his butternut and mentions his entry is a token one. Well it doesn’t matter to me whether its 3 contacts or 300 they all count to me. For any budding antenna builders, John’s design is shown in Figure 1 Bob, GM4UYZ has also put some time aside from teaching and running club stuff to send me a table this month. Like me, Bob did a couple of hours on CQWPX SSB contest at the end of the month and managed to boost his score considerably. 3V – Tunisia, CN – Morocco and LX – Luxembourg all unusual ones you don’t hear every day. Derek MM0WST has also joined us this month with EA8 – Canary Islands and EA9 – Ceuta and Melilla on data notable contacts. The club tables have really spurred me into getting on the air instead of staring at the PC. I think the new addition of an Icom IC756 PROII to the shack has helped. Happy to report the new radio is performing very well and I’m extremely pleased with its performance, particularly on the lower bands where I spent a bit of time during CQWPX SSB Contest on 24/25 March. I was looking forward to this contest, though I use it more to build up my DXCC score rather than to break any records and managed about 8.5 hours out of the 36 available in between domestic duties and shopping……great ! How disappointed was I then? when I checked the propagation forecast and saw the A Index predicted to be between 10 and 20. I checked up on the Australian Government Space Forecast Centre (one of the few who produce reports I can understand) website for HF Reports…. it read :-
SUBJ: IPS PRELIMINARY HF RADIO COMMUNICATIONS WARNING 07/09 BY THE AUSTRALIAN SPACE FORECAST CENTRE.
(Continued on page 13)
Volume 15 Issue 4
CPSARC reintroduce Club Tables (Continued from page 12)
DEGRADED HF PROPOGATION CONDITIONS EXPECTED ON HIGH LATITUDE LOCATIONS FROM 25-26 MARCH 2007. IF COMMS DIFFICULTIES EXPERIENCED TRY A LOWER FREQUENCY BAND. A MORE DETAILED HF WARNING WILL FOLLOW IF DEPRESSIONS EVENTUATE. Isn’t it always the case when you plan something that someone or something throws a spanner in the works?. So that blew my planned activity on 20m which was search and pounce then get a run going to the states (3 Pts per QSO) and Caribbean. 20m was a struggle with hardly any USA or Caribbean worked Saturday. However it threw up some interesting ones namely JH – Japan, ST2 – Sudan, 6v – Senegal, C5 – Gambia amongst the DX. 15m was just non existent on Saturday, however picked up on Sunday for a while and with B7 – China, FY1 – French Guiana and VR2 Hong Kong all new on that band. 40m (not really my favourite band due to local noise) proved very interesting and I added 16 new DXCC countries to my 40m total and overall an extra 9 DXCC countries to my all mode all bands total. Perhaps the most exciting achievement of the weekend was PJ2T Netherlands Antilles at 06:40 hrs Sunday morning with 100w and a sloping dipole of which half is in the attic and he answered me first call - living proof you don’t need a huge set up to work some good DX although if you check out the PJ2T webpage from QRZ.com and look a the set up you can understand why he heard me so easily – what an array of antennas. That’s just about it from me this month. The deadline for next months submissions will be earlier than usual on 14th April 2007 due to my commitments in Malaysia with the Royal Navy Reserve. Once again thanks to all who participated – to those who haven’t yet, come on and join in the fun.
73 Brian M0RNR [Check out the on-line summary table at www.cpsarc.com]
Figure 1 - MM0CCC 80m Homebrew Vertical Design
M0RNR brings back the Club Tables
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.
Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club Bob Glasgow 7 Castle Terrace Port Seton Phone: 01875 811723 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Contacts General correspondence, training and Contest entries Bob Glasgow email@example.com HF Contests Cambell Stevenson firstname.lastname@example.org VHF Contests John MacLean email@example.com Newsletter, website, event calendar John Innes firstname.lastname@example.org
We have our own internet domain www.cpsarc.com where you will find a popular web site which now features interactive discussion forums and photo galleries with a slide show. Club members can get their own ‘email@example.com’ email addresses. The club also has a Yahoo! Group which is used to manage our mailing list. (see http:// groups.yahoo.com/group/cpsarc)
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 7 pm 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 £12,393 since 1994.