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Club Newsletter Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club

November 2007

Volume 15 Issue 11

Editorial Special points of interest: • Peter GM1RCP

wins prize at Jaycee Raffle

Inside this issue: A day in the life of a QSL manager


What logging software do you use?


Video Night




Test your knowledge


For Sale


Event Calendar


You might be a real ham if...


November, I really cannot believe we are as far into the year as this. It really is a case of where has the year gone? On a personal basis it has certainly been a very busy month with working away from home plus lots of other things that I must attend to. Ok then what has happened since our last club night? Well this year our normal October official presentation to Heather Gregory of the British Heart Foundation, which should have taken part at the last club night sadly had to be postponed at the last minute due to Heather still off work and not 100% after an operation. The plan is to try and organise another date once Heather is back to full recovery but we will have to wait and see about that one. The next event was our video night with a fuller report in the newsletter, sadly not very supported this year. From a contesting perspective the club this year again didn’t participate in the RSGB 21/28MHz SSB contest basically due to band conditions and other commitments. The last contest is CQWW SSB, which we will have done from Barns Ness. Again as I write this it is in the future. I am still delivering the Intermediate Course and the candidates take their exam on the 10th November so I hope you will go along with me and wish them all the very best for the exam. Regard my next planned course, the Advanced Course, which is planned to start on the 24th November and as yet I do not have any one interested, which to be honest really surprises me as I thought those who have reached their Intermediate level would be scrambling to go and do the final leg considering there are not many places actually running a course. Hopefully I will get one run but if not then it means I get a nice 8 weeks off from delivering training, to be perfectly honest I hope I do run one as I see it as an opportunity missed for those who want to do the last exam. This month we have a talk by Colin Brown GM0RLZ on “Radiography” on the 16th November at our usual location in the Community Centre, and it should be very interesting one! Colin works with the medical profession, he was a radiographer but he


changed his job last year but having said that he is still heavily involved in that line of work. The subject opens up for a very, very interesting talk indeed and I am sure we will all learn something from it. I hope you will all make an effort to come along and listen to his talk. Lastly we have our Christmas Night out in December, and this year we are going for a Chinese Meal at the Dragon Way in Port Seton. This is your last chance if you want to go, so please come and join those who are going and have a good fun night, it only costs £20 a head (your own drinks are not included in this) which by today’s standards is very cheap indeed. If you want to go let me know ASAP, thanks. As always please check the events column for full details. Last thing, I am still looking for ideas for next years Events Calendar so please forward any that you have ASAP so I can complete the 2008 one. That’s it then enjoy this month’s newsletter and I hopefully will see you all at this month’s coming events.


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A Day in the Life of a QSL Manager A QSL Manager for any callsign can either be a “breeze” or an absolute “nightmare”, so what category do I fit into, that is a good question? As most of you are aware, I am the club’s QSL Manager so I look after all the QSL cards for MM0CPS, GM2T and all the Special Event Callsigns that we have used i.e. GB2LBN, GB2MOF, etc. So how do I do it you may ask? Well it falls into different areas and these are as follows: QSL MANAGERS for each callsign: I deal with three separate QSL Managers as each are responsible for a certain series or range of Callsigns and I must ensure that each have adequate Envelopes with them so that when any cards arrive they can be posted on. To give you an idea the sort of volume of envelope returns for this year, since 1st January 2007 it goes something like this: Special Event Callsigns – 2 (large), MM0CPS – 10 and GM2T – 28 so this equates to about 1800 QSL cards, in other words—a lot of work. QSLING:

Ever wondered what happens to all those QSL cards?

The method that I use is that for all Special Event Callsigns, Demonstration Stations and any pre-contest QSO’s I QSL 100%. This can range from writing just a few to over 1000 cards at one go so the work involved is therefore very small or very heavy indeed. No matter what I always aim to have all the QSL cards away to the bureau within 7 to 14 days of the event. For all contest calls I only QSL if I receive a QSL card and I sometimes wonder if this is the correct decision when it comes to multiple envelopes dropping through the letterbox. DEALING WITH THE QSL CARDS: The first big task no matter what the Callsign being used is to ensure that adequate QSL cards have been designed and are available for each and every callsign. These days I print our own using standard paper. (I have noticed more and more Amateurs have moved to this method) The first task that I undertake when a batch of envelopes arrive through the door is to date sort them as this makes the next stages a lot easier to deal with. For verification I use two methods: Method 1: I keep a paper copy of the actual contest or event and these I have filed away in folders.

Method 2: The same paper copies have been entered electronically into my computer made very easy these days as we normally use electronic logging and the facilities that it offers makes this very easy to do. I use the program Winlog32 where I keep 2 logs, one for CONTESTS only and the other for all other club events. My first task after the date sort is to “mark” of the QSL card in the paper copy version. Once this is done I then write all the QSL cards if this is required, basically if it is a non-special event QSL card I write a card. After this I “mark” them off within Winlog32 adding into the log any special information i.e. American States/ Counties, Locator Squares, WAB information, etc. If I come across a QSL card that I cannot find in the paper log I use Winlog32 to check that we have a QSO and see where it actually is. Quite often the times on the QSL do no marry up with the information in our log basically due to the Sender using his or hers local time so by using this method I can normally sort it out. The next stage is to file the received cards away. I have boxes that hold Special Event and other QSL cards and boxes that contain only Contest QSL Card. Each box has a separator card with the “Event/Contest” plus the date on it and the relevant QSL cards are filed in behind it. Lastly once all the cards are written it is a case of sorting them for their specific country and then posting them to the QSL bureau.

There you go then that’s how I deal with our QSL cards so you can decide for your self then whether it is a “breeze” or an absolute “nightmare”. Bob GM4UYZ

Volume 15 Issue

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What logging software do you use? The above question comes about after a an• What do you are the downfalls of what other amateur was praising the delights of a you use for the above? Logging Software program that he had come across, free of charge I may add, on the Inter- • What does any of the above software net. that you use cost to use? He has downloaded it and has found it absolutely superb. I haven’t mentioned any names or the actual software as I don’t want it influence the question. What I am interested in is the following?

• What logging software do you run at home for NORMAL logging?

My idea is to gain an idea to see what is the most popular along with the pluses and minuses of the software. It is one of the questions that I often get asked about as an Instructor so it would be nice to say, “well xx% of the radio club uses this for that and this one for that, etc” and at the same time here is the reason’s why.

Barns Ness

What logging software do you use for Special Events?

• What logging software do you use for Contests?

Let me know then so will hear from you all soon… Bob GM4UYZ

What do you see are the merits of what you use for the above?

Video Night This year we had our annual video night on Friday 19th October held in Resources Room 2 in the local community centre. This year I only ordered one DVD from the RSGB as I also organised one surprise DVD showing and a camcorder recording of another event.

DX-Pedition in the Pacific to “HEREHERETUE ATOLL – DXPEDITION OC052” which took part between the 21 to 23 September 2004. This DVD ran for about 20 minutes and after watching Derek’s production on our trip it was what I would term “very flat”. Admittedly a huge commitment and expense to We started off the evening with one of the sur- get there with the difficulties of getting onto the prise showings and this was the club’s outing island itself over a coral barrier reef being during VHF Field Day 2007. John MM0CCC shown. It didn’t really show much on the equiphad taken along his camcorder to the event and ment used and the operating itself or the logishad taken roughly about 20 minutes worth of tics about how it all happened. It did show howvideo. It was tremendous to see our own efforts ever lots of beautiful scenery. being displayed and the amount of work that goes into putting such a station on. At the end Overall it was a good night, but it was a bit of his video he had about 10 minutes on their disappointing as the turnout was very poor this recent trip to Sussex to take part in the 2M Tro- year to see the DVD and our surprise material. Lastly a huge thanks to John MM0CCC and phy. Derek GM0WST for the work they done to The next surprise was a DVD produced by produce a couple of good and interesting Derek GM0WST on our IOTA trip to Tiree this “showings”, you both made the night very year. The DVD runs for about 16 minutes in worthwhile. total and is excellently produced. Well done Derek you have put lots of others to shame with Let’s hope you all will and hopefully more will the quality of the production. The video shows turn up this month to listen to Colin Brown us starting the trip on the Tiree ferry at 05:30 in GM0RLZ give his talk on “Radiography”. the morning, then moved onto the setting up off See you all there then. the station, then onto the contest itself before finally ending with the “after party” event. Bob GM4UYZ The official DVD we watched was on an IOTA

What do you use to log your contacts?

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Beam at IOTA

Organising a special event station

Have you ever visited a Demonstration Station, Special Event Station or even a Contest? If you have, have you ever given it any thought to what is involved to put this on, basically have you thought about the logistics? I must admit it must be fantastic to turn up to a club event, no matter what, be able to sit down and operate and not even give it a thought on how it was all put together, basically the bottom line, enjoy yourself and then walk away. There are many out there who just do that in essence they want to enjoy themselves but don’t want to contribute to putting it all together. I know that statement appears severe and there are many who cannot do anything due to factors of being disabled, not fit enough through illness, people work, etc. This small article is not intended to get a “dig” at anybody but just to make you think about what does go on behind the scenes to make the event happen.

there is enough power-points, tables, chairs to allow setting up and anything else that may be required... Then there is getting the agreement to where aerials can be set-up, arranging for access before the Museum opens up, getting Hanger doors open and more so ensuring that all the Health and Safety aspects are covered not just for ourselves but for the museum as well.

Deciding on what the station set-up will be – the next task is deciding what the final station set-up will be. This has now been well and truly established that we run a 40M station and a 10/15 or 20M station. The 40M using a standard 40M wire dipole and 10/15/20M using a Tribander. The logging to be done using computer logging.

Locating the storage of the equipment – So the decision is made on the station set-up so where is all the equipment to make this happen? Let us look at what is involved in running the Are we going to use individual’s equipment? special event station at the Museum of Flight by Are we using most of the club’s equipment? The going through the various points. To ensure that background work now starts to locate the equipthese events can be run then it is imperative that ment, ensure its availability ready for the event. there is insurance available, the club is fortunate that through its RSGB Affiliation we have Public Liability Insurance plus we have a sepa- • Who is available to help set-up the station – rate policy to cover equipment the club has ob- Another task is trying to obtain a list of people who will be available to help put the station up tained through the last few years. Yes this is what your £1 that you all donate on Club Night on the required day. To check if any of the station needs towed i.e. tower and that there is a goes towards. Yes someone has to collect the car or van and someone available to tow it. money, someone has to ensure that the RSGB Fees and Insurance Fees are all paid and on • Getting ready to leave for the event – Now time, again this all happens in the background. that all the equipment has been sourced the next task is getting the required cars/vans/etc loaded • Special Event Callsign – Does the event up with all the equipment. If on the day we are require a special event callsign if so, then this using a tower to erect the Tri-bander on to, then needs to be applied for not later than 28 days the tower needs to be collected and towed to before the event. If it is a new Special Event Callsign then need to ensure that the respective site. QSL manager for the callsign is sent Stamp • Setting Up – On arriving at the site then Addressed Envelopes for any incoming QSL before any thing is done the Museum contact cards for the event. needs to contacted to ensure that all the previously agreed arrangements are still ok. Once this • Contacting the Museum – When we first is done the task of setting the station can now go decided to go to the Museum of Flight the first ahead. We have through our experiences find priority was actually contacting the museum. that if someone takes responsibility for the This involved in a visit to the site and actually “Shack” and someone for the “Aerials” then it speaking to the Museum’s Manager and explaining what we would like to do and would it makes the installations go nice and smooth. In be possible. These days we have an established the shack for the Health & Safety aspects there cannot be any trailing cables that the general contact base and it is a matter of a few phone public could possibly trip over. On the aerial calls and plenty of emails to get everything setfront from the Health & Safety aspect is to enup. sure that visible tapes are around the roped off area to warn the public that the area is a no-go • Agreement with the Museum – Once we area. Last thing to do is any on-the-air tests enhad an agreement then there is the matter of suring that there is no interference to any of the locating a place to operate from, ensuring that

(Continued on page 5)

Volume 15 Issue

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Logistics (Cont…) museum’s equipment plus a check that the equipment is performing as it should.

into their respective countries (a QSL Bureau requirement) before parcelling them up and posting them. This job never really ends as • The Event – This is the fun bit where any- QSL Cards come in direct, which need to be dealt with, and then there are the cards from one can come along and operate. the bureau. These need to be “marked” off in • After the Event – The event is now over the log (paper & computer) to say they have arrived, and then finally filed away. so the stations and aerials have to be dismantled and packed away. Like the setting up we have through experiences found that if someone takes responsibility for the “Shack” and I am sure I will have missed something even so someone for the “Aerials” then it makes the hopefully from what I have written it will give dismantling go nice and smooth. From the you an idea in what is involved in putting on logistics point of view and looking towards an event. I class the Museums Weekend as an future events it is imperative that the dismanintermediate affair if you want a big one then tled equipment is placed in their correct box, look at the logistics of putting on a Contest container, etc as this makes life easier for the Station on an island where you need to make future. If you have never organised events be- sure that everything is thought off, yes we do fore I suggest that you take the time to get all this when we go to the Island of Tiree for the your storage boxes marked up i.e. guy ropes, RSGB IOTA Contest but again by doing this pegs, network equipment, etc and that you on a regular basis we have learned from earlier ensure that only what is marked on the box visits and have created what we now call the actually goes into the box, believe me it is “master tick list” to ensure we forget nothing. worth it in the end. Once everything is dismantled and packed then it is time to put it all back into the respective cars/vans to be taken back I have never counted out how much backand returned to the rightful owners. Like setting up people are required for this so please do ground time it does take; to be honest I am not “run away” but stay and help. If the tower afraid to do so as I believe that I would “drop” has been used then again this will need towed with the shock. So the next time you just turn up at an event give it a thought to the amount back to its respective storage area. of work that has been put in and in what is still • Storage Area – If you have a storage area required and offer any help that you can. From for your equipment then it needs to taken back an organisers point of view it will be gratefully accepted. and placed in its respective storage area. Any equipment borrowed has to be delivered back to the individuals.

GM4UYZ at VHF Field Day

Take the time to mark all your boxes and only put what is marked in them!

Bob GM4UYZ The Paperwork – The event is over, all the equipment is stored, borrowed equipment has Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club been returned but it is still not over. There is the paperwork still to do in the respect of writing QSL cards and also entering the Computer Log created for the event into the master Club log. A card has to be designed then enough printed off, then the task of writing them. To give you an idea how long it takes to write QSL cards, this year we had 678 QSO’s at the Museum Event and it took me about 10 hours to do, this did include the sorting of the cards


1C, 2B, 3D, 4D, 5D, 6A, 7B, 8B, 9A, 10D Answers from November 2007 newsletter “Test Your Knowledge”. TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE

Club Newsletter

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Test Your Knowledge 1.


Which one of the following abbreviations is used in Morse Code to mean “weather�

How is your Amateur Radio knowledge?




Wear a pair of goggles to protect the eyes




Ensure that the drill is running at its highest speed


WX c.



Place a sheet of glass under the aluminium


Drill horizontally so that the swarf can fall away

Packet transmission is


When using a ladder the

A form of data transmission, usually from a computer


Top of the ladder should be at least 25cm below the height of the wall


A means of sending slow scan TV pictures


Ladder should be secured at the top


Must be stored open-circuit


Only used via satellites d.

Must not be mounted upside-down

To find the call signs and frequencies of suitable 70cm repeaters the most likely source of up-to- 8. date information may be found

A particular feature of larger or high voltage capacitors is that they


From the local tourist board


Should be fitted with secure screw terminals


By putting out a CQ call on the 70cm calling channel


Should be discharged before working on the equipment


Must be stored open-circuit


Must not be mounted upside-down


From the local office of Ofcom


In a current yearbook or call book

Amateur satellites normally 9. Transmit and receive on the same frequency


Transmit and receive in the same amateur band


Take it in turn to transmit and receive


Transmit and receive in different amateur bands

When soldering a transistor lead a.

Heat should not be applied for too long


A special aluminium solder must be used


Extra flux should be applied


The lead must be no longer than 1mm

10. What is the value of a resistor colour-coded red, red and red?

When soldering the working area should be a.


Connected to earth via a high value resistor




Insulated from earth




Lit with low voltage lighting




Kept well ventilated


M0RNR at his radio

Sending a batch of QSL cards to the bureau




When drilling a 10mm hole in a sheet of aluminium it is essential to





Volume 15 Issue

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For Sale

Suzuki Grand Vitara, late 2001. 60,000 miles. Well looked after, with wiring for Yaesu dual-band mobile. This vehicle is ideal for any aspiring “off road” amateur looking to take part in the “Off Road Group’s” activities or indeed any mobile operation. I’m offering the car to the club members first before advertising in the Newspapers. My asking price is £2800 with discount for cash,(£2600). Contact Peter GM1RCP on mobile: 07762-739692. The car will be serviced and MOT’d before sale. 73 de Peter GM1RCP

GM1RCP is selling his car— interested?

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Event Calendar 1 September

144MHz Trophy Contest

7 September

Normal Club Night

7/8 September

Leicester Rally

28 September

SECOND 144Mhz DF Hunt Meet in “The Old Ship Inn” Car Park (East) 18:30 for 19:00

5 October

Normal Club Night

7 October

RSGB 21/28MHz Contest

12 October

RSGB HF Convention

13 October

Jaycee Electronics Open Day

19 October

Video Night

27 October

CQWW SSB Contest from Barns Ness GM2T

28 October

Galashiels & District ARC Open Day and Rally

2 November 16 November 7 December

What we’re doing this year. If you want an event added email john.innes@g

15 December

Club Night Talk by GM0RLZ “Radiography” Club Night Christmas Night Out Dragon Way, Port Seton (£20 per head plus drinks)

Peter GM1RCP receiving his prize at the Jaycee Open Day in October 2007

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You might be a real ham ... If you have a Amateur band aerial on all four bumpers of your car, the roof, in the boot lip, and another one clamped to the trailer hitch with an alligator clip and duct tape…you might be a “REAL HAM!”

If you painted the walls of the new playroom downstairs in the colors of the resistor color code…you might be a “REAL HAM!”

If you ever chopped up your wife's…sorry, XYL's…patio furniture to build a Yagi for If your wife…sorry, “XYL”…asks you to help 15…you might be a “REAL HAM!” bring in the groceries while you are chasing a rare one and you yell back, “QRX! QRX!”… If you know the formulae for Ohm's Law and Kirchoff's Law and can read a Smith Chart you might be a “REAL HAM!” from 100 feet but have no idea who Paris HilIf you can recite the numbers of every driver, ton is…you might be a “REAL HAM!” modulator, and final amplifier tube in every Heathkit, Drake or Collins transmitter or am- If you know the prefixes for every DXCC entity as well as their beam headings but you plifier ever made, and name the best idling grid current for 90% of them…you might be a don't know your oldest kid's…sorry, “first harmonic's”…birthday…you might be a “REAL HAM!” “REAL HAM!” If when you were a teenager, you tore open If you ever tried to convince your fiancé that the cases of your little brother's “Flash Gordon” walkie-talkies just to see if you could Dayton, Ohio, has replaced Niagara Falls as modify them to work on 10 meters or used the the Honeymoon Capitol of the World and that the first part of May is absolutely the best time pans from your sister's Easy-Bake oven to for a wedding…you might be a “REAL breadboard a code-practice oscillator…you HAM!” might be a “REAL HAM!” If your kids…sorry, “harmonics”…know your call sign, your grid square, and your IOTA number, but not your middle name…you might be a “REAL HAM!”

Of course, if you MET your fiancé in the flea market at Dayton when she tried to talk you down on the price of a Hallicrafters HT-37 with a bad power transformer…you might be a “REAL HAM!”

MM0MRM, MM0JXI and GM4XZZ in the kitchen

‘the best run on 40m for many an IOTA year’

If you have more countries confirmed than you have pounds in your and more money invested in your tower, rotor and tri-bander than you have in your pension fund.…you might be a “REAL HAM!”

Twig jockeys MM0FZV and MM0WST fixing the 10m beam

Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club

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.

Bob Glasgow 7 Castle Terrace Port Seton East Lothian EH32 0EE Phone: 01875 811723 E-mail: Contacts General correspondence, training and Contest entries Bob Glasgow HF Contests Cambell Stevenson VHF Contests John MacLean Club Tables Brian Pickup Newsletter, website, event calendar John Innes

We have our own internet domain where you will find a popular web site which now features interactive news, articles, discussion forums and photo galleries with a slide show. The club also runs a Yahoo! Group which is used to manage our mailing list. (see

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, no real committee structure, just a group of like minded people doing something they enjoy! Although we don’t charge any fees on a club night, we do ask for donations to cover the costs of the Clubs insurance, licences and website. This does not mean that we don’t do anything, we enter (and win!) contests, train newcomers, hold talks, DF hunts 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 £13,453 since 1994. IOTA Team


Lastly we have our Christmas Night out in December, and this year we are going for a Chinese Meal at the Dragon Way in Port Seton. This is y...