The newsletter of Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club
August 2008 Vol 16 Issue 8
EDITORIAL By Bob Glasgow GM4UYZ I am writing this editorial with the rain pouring down, which just seems to have never stopped lately and this is after all our summer!!!! For VHF Field Day the weather was good for setting up the aerials on the Friday but oh how that changed on the Saturday and Sunday!gales and driving rain. As I write this the Tiree IOTA trip is still to happen so I am praying that it will have been beautiful sunny weather, well I can dream can’t I!! Ok then, what have we been doing this month? We had our normal club night although it was a week earlier than normal due to the VHF Field Day event, but regard numbers attending it didn’t make much of a difference. Where have you all gone and why are you not coming along on club nights may I ask? We have taken part in the RSGB VHF Field Day from the same site we used for the last three years down near Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway. As we have found it is a fantastic site and worth the travel. Lastly this month is the IOTA contest from TIREE but by the time the newsletter is read it will once again be history. No doubt there will be many tales to tell.
To the future, well the major event is our Junk Night on the 8th August. I am again looking for raffle and food donations so if you can help I really would appreciate it. Let’s hope is once again a resounding success as it has been in previous years. Also we have Lighthouses Weekend on the 16th & 17th August once again down at Barns Ness so I hope you will all come along and take part and have what is a real fun weekend. I am starting my winter training sessions of Foundation, Intermediate and now the Advanced Training by kicking of on the 20th September with a Foundation Course. If you know of anyone interested in any of these courses can you now start to get back in touch with me so I can get the Community Centre bookings organised.
Sorry for the moan!! Enjoy club night, and come along to Junk Night and Lighthouses Weekend. See you all then. Bob GM4UYZ
The Club June 20M activity night has been a complete waste of time as only two people really took part. Honestly, what do I have to do for you all to take part? I really wish I knew. The same old reply seems to be “I can’t be bothered” basically apathy rules and I am not just talking about the Contest as it applies all around. You want a radio club so why not support it or we might as well just give up!!!!!!!
Listening From Afar By Bob Glasgow GM4UYZ Ever wondered what you actually hear when you cross the Atlantic? Well here is what I found. I have just spent two weeks at the beginning of June in the Dominican Republic on holiday plus attending the wedding of my eldest daughter during that time. Now this year, I decided to take my SONY ICF-SW7600G along with me predominantly to try and see if I could hear the club working as GB2MOF during Museums Weekend. Over the period I was there I listened on five or six days for an hour or so each time to see what I could hear. Scenario: Beer in one hand lying on the sun lounger by the pool, aerial strung out between sun shades and earphones on listening to the radio. Now that is what I call at playing radio!!!!! So what did I hear or listen to? I tried various bands but found the only one to be most productive was the 20M band. At the times I listened to 15M and 10M they were both closed. I listened about 50% CW and 50% SSB looking for differences on where I could hear but as it turned out there were no real differences.
Most of what I heard was up the Eastern Seaboard of the USA and predominantly around the NY area funnily enough. I Heard quite a few South American stations with Chile being the furthest away being heard on CW. towards Europe the only station I did hear was a SM (Sweden) on CW with a signal report of about 519. Strangely enough this surprised me as I thought I was bound to the hear the Italians! they get everywhere normally but it was lovely peace and quiet. On the Saturday of the Museums Weekend, I couldn’t manage the Sunday; I listened around the 14.260 scanning up to 14.270 looking for GB2MOF as this was the area I had agreed before I left if they lads could work so I could listen. Remember between the UK and the Dominican Republic there is a 5 hour time difference so I started listening at 09:30 Dominican Time which made it 14:30 back home. What did I hear? Well that morning the static level was 5 and 8 and I could hear lightning in the background but between this I was hearing the Eastern side of the USA again but nothing from Europe. I listened for about 30 minutes before I had
to abandon the pool location as suddenly a Tropical storm hit us which lasted the whole of that day. I set up again in the apartment but it was a total waste of time as now the static was just blocking everything. Yes I was sad that I couldn’t hear GB2MOF and I know they did point the beam in my direction, thanks Gareth for the text. Was it worthwhile taking the radio, yes it was as it gave me something to do away from doing “baby sitting duties” with my Grandson plus interesting to listen to what is heard across the other side of the Atlantic away from the European noise.
a charity or good cause of Jim’s choice. Jim decided that he wanted to have this donated to the club and put towards our fundraising for the British Heart Foundation. The cheque has now arrived and has been put towards this year’s donation.
I would like to thank Jim on behalf of us all for thinking about the club and the good work that we do.
Maybe the next time I will hear back home!. The dream of going back!. Bob GM4UYZ
Many Thanks By Bob Glasgow GM4UYZ In previous newsletters and on the club’s website you will have read that we paid a visit to the Scottish Parliament during April courtesy of one of our club members and now a MSP, Jim Hume MM0DXH.
Again Jim!.many thanks.
Now Jim, in his working life gets many requests to fill out Survey Questionnaires and from one of these surveys they offered a £50 donation to 2
Club Activity Night 2 By Bob Glasgow GM4UYZ 18th June 2008 The club’s activity night took place on the Wednesday evening between 19:00 and 22:00 BST on 20M with the aim for club members to get on the air and operate and have a bit of fun, we are radio amateurs you know!!!! Sadly I missed the evening as I was on holiday in the Dominican Republic as my eldest daughter decided to get married there. So how many took part, as far as I know only two people Ron GM0NTL and Bob GM4IKT did. I have had no other feedback from anyone else. To be honest it really is a poor show from the members and yes it makes me wonder why I bother! moan for another day. How did Ron and Bob get on? Here are their stories? Ron GM0NTL: Activity Night....pretty much a non event. I decided to only use PSK31 and as such made contacts with the usual run of the mill European stations which I will not bother to list.
The only highlight was C9 Mozambique on PSK31, 20metres and using only 20 watts which is my standard output these days. Bob GM4IKT: Here is my log from the Wednesday night 20m activity night. Not a lot of contacts, only 11 but some pretty good DX. Quality rather than quantity. Quatar, Israel, Mozambique, United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, Bahrain, Greece, Brazil, Morocco and Japan.
3 4 5 6 7
Listening from afar Many Thanks Club Activity Night Radio Memories RSGB IOTA Contest Test Your Knowledge Event Calendar Amplifier Project
You can see from Bob’s effort that although not many contacts there was some nice juicy ones to be had!well done Bob. To Ron he has been a stalwart over the years with this event and I thank you for that. That’s it then for another year maybe more will take part next year. Bob GM4UYZ
GM2T on Tiree 33
Radio Memories—Transistor Sets duce. In fact, some sets give so much output that they are considered objectionable; it was last summer when objections to the invasions of privacy by sounds from portable radios reached their height and several towns passed bye-laws prohibiting the playing of portable radio receivers in public places. In London, buses carried notices pointing out that the operation of portable receivers could not be permitted.
By David W Searle ZL3DWS / GM8WNY Looking back over any field of human endeavour can be instructive. It can reveal that nothing much changes, or even remind us how lucky we are today. The field of radio and electronics is no different in this respect. Ever sat waiting for the lights to change with a Boy Racer (Girl Racer) beside you with his Sounds loudly pumping? Your pacemaker starts to keep the same beat, or so it seems! Or what about that pretty young thing, shouting to a friend on her cell phone in the supermarket about what happened (or didn’t happen) with Her Latest, she hooked up with last Saturday night? Your pacemaker skips another beat! Time to change the batteries me thinks. The cry regularly goes up today to ban noisy Boy Racers as well as cell phones from public places. Forty years ago people suffered from other discomforts due to advances in electronics. Here follows an old-style Editorial from a 1962 issue of Practical Wireless. The solution may seem severe, or was it? Quote: “The word “transistor” has acquired a particular meaning in the lay mind – to the radio enthusiast and the technically knowledgeable, it means a semiconductor device, but to the man in the street it stands for any form of miniature radio receiver. Over the past few years, the use of these small receivers has grown enormously and has certainly revived interest in sound radio; nowadays, it appears to be the “done thing” to have at least one transistor set (or “transistor”). Naturally, as time goes on these receivers are being continually improved in running costs, sensitivity, and more particularly in the volume of sound which they will pro-
The bye-laws and the notices in public places gradually seemed to take effect last year, and, late in the summer, it was rare to hear portable sets playing in the open air. However, no doubt many more receivers have been brought this year, and to their owners they will be novelties. This seems to us to be the main reason for the annoyance caused by these sets; their owners play them in many instances not because they are interested in or really to require to hear the programmes, but because they are using a new gadget. For the radio enthusiast who builds his own portable receiver, the same sort of problem does not arise since he is accustomised to such circuits and they have no novelty value for him.
It is hoped that as transistor radios become even more commonplace, their indiscriminate use will be reduced. Unless this happens, more definite steps must certainly be taken to discourage the playing of portable receivers in public places.” End Quote. In 1962 Walkmans, iPods, Cell phones, Personal DVD’s, AM Ultra Lights, and Text Beepers were still a glint in some inventors eye. How they would have coped with that lot on London buses way back then, one can only imagine! Editorial extract from Practical Wireless (UK) July 1962. Reprinted with the kind permission of Rob Mannion, G3XFD/EI5IW, Editor, Practical Wireless. © David W Searle 2008. ex GM8WNY Livingston / ZL3DWS@nzart.org.nz
REMINDER, REMINDER, REMINDER
JUNK NIGHT FRIDAY 8th AUGUST 2008 Bring along your own “junk” and sell it yourself. Tables on a First Come, First Served Basis Time: 1830 till 2200 Location: Cockenzie & Port Seton Community Centre (Main Hall) Disabled access available Entry: £1 ALL PERSONS (Money donated to the British Heart Foundation) Raffle @ 21:00, Food & Drink Available If any one would like to donate any prizes for the raffle or food towards the catering it will be more than appreciated.
RSGB IOTA Contest—GM2T By John Innes MM0JXI As we started planning the IOTA trip for 2008, we realised that this was the 10th Anniversary of the expedition, first inspired by a 1996 talk by Tom GM4FDM about his trip to St. Kilda. Our experience has grown vastly over the last decade from six guys turning up in two cars packed with gear, to towing two mobile towers and bringing a team of 12. Only two of the original six are still going, Cambell MM0DXC and John MM0JXI who have both been every year since we started. We’ve also progressed up the rankings, making it as far as 5th in 2005. We’ve also been all through the last sunspot cycle and we’re back to bumping along the bottom. CPSARC has also been keen to encourage newcomers to contesting by making them welcome in our team and exposing them to contesting with good equipment in a busy contest. The IOTA team has funded the purchase of a fair amount of equipment over the years by charging slightly more than was needed for the transport costs and using the excess to buy equipment not normally available at a domestic Radio Ama-
teur station—items like antenna switches, band pass filters, contest grade radios and amplifiers. Presently CPSARC is in the middle of funding the purchase of its second Alpha 91b amplifier (see elsewhere in the newsletter) The team this year consisted of Cambell MM0DXC, Bob GM4UYZ, John MM0JXI, Brian M0RNR, Geoff MM5AHO, Ellis GM4GZW, Moe MM0MRM, Gary MM0FZV, Bob GM4IKT, Jono MM5FUN, Jim G3VOU and Duncan MM0GZZ. The last four are new to the team for 2008. Jim and Jono bring much needed CW experience to the mix. In an attempt at improving our performance the Club had organised a workshop with Tom GM4FDM to get the benefit of his experience in IOTA and to examine where we could improve our techniques and strategies. After gathering the team together on the way to Oban, we boarded the ferry. Transport costs still feature heavily in our budget—£134 per vehicle and £200+ per trailer added to van hire, petrol and passenger fees add up to a massive £1200 just
to get the station on to the Island. The prospect of the ferry fares to Tiree dropping next year will help our budget no end. The team had decided to purchase a new Yaesu G1000SDX rotator which was funded partly from group fees and partly from the sale of surplus equipment. This report is being written only few days after we returned, there will be a more complete report to follow next month. Our final, unchecked scores are as follows BAND SSB/IOTA CW/IOTA POINTS AVG ---------------------------------------80 181 46 86 29 2505 9.38 40 422 61 227 60 5715 8.81 20 756 88 313 64 6699 6.27 15 306 55 88 24 2502 6.35 10 72 31 29 16 1017 10.07 ---------------------------------------TOTAL 1737 281 743 193 18438 7.43 ======================================== TOTAL SCORE : 8 739 612
A quick glance at the scores shows the huge contribution from CW and our best ever points total. John MM0JXI 5
Test Your Knowledge By Bob Glasgow GM4UYZ
1. Which waveform in the diagram shows a. b. c. d.
the audio signal? Waveform 1. Waveform 2. Waveform 3. None of them
5. Which one of the following antennas has a. b. c. d.
radials? Dipole. End fed. Ground plane. Yagi
6. a. b. c. d.
A dummy load will radiate equally in all directions only radiate in one direction increase the e.r.p of an antenna not radiate very much at all
7. The reason radio waves get weaker further from the transmitting antenna is that
2. Which stage of the transmitter ensures a. b. c. d.
the radio signal is of suitable power level to be transmitted? Modulator. RF power amplifier. Oscillator. Audio amplifier
a. the extra distance travelled absorbs energy from the wave
b. they spread out over a larger area c. most of the signal has been picked up by other aerials
d. the ionosphere reflects the signals away from the receiver
8. The main mode of propagation for long 3. The most likely place to find a tuning a. b. c. d.
control in the block diagram of a radio receiver shown, is in Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
a. b. c. d.
distance contacts (DX) on the h.f. bands is by ionospheric reflection ground wave meteor scatter direct wave
9. Electro Magnetic compatibility is a. having all your equipment made by the same company
b. the avoidance of interference between various equipments
4. Which plug, in the drawing, should be
a. b. c. d.
used to connect coaxial feeder to the transmitter output? A B C D
c. the cause of television interference (TVI) d. the result of using too much power 10. Which mode of transmission is the a. b. c. d.
WORST for causing EMC problems? SSB Data modes FM CW
Event Calendar By John Innes MM0JXI 1st August
15th 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
LIGHTHOUSE WEEKEND BARNS NESS GB2LBN
SECOND 144Mhz DF Hunt Meet in “The Old Ship Inn” Car Park (East) 18:30 for 19:00
RSGB 21/28MHz Contest
VIDEO NIGHT Port Seton Community Centre Resources Room 2 19:30 to 21:30
Leicester Amateur Radio Show
CQWW SSB Contest
Talk by Bob GM4UYZ “Routers in a Network” Port Seton Community Centre Resources Room 2 19:30 to 21:30
Club Christmas Night Out (proposed date)
Amplifier Project By John Innes MM0JXI The Club has been offered the opportunity to purchase an Alpha 91b HF Amplifier. These high quality amplifiers don’t come on the market all that often to we decided we would go for it. Various members of the Club have already committed to help fund the purchase and we’re inviting the remaining membership to consider making a contribution—no matter how small or large to help meet the differ-
ence between the amounts already given or promised and the final total. There are several ways of making a contribution—cash direct to MM0JXI, bank transfer or paypal via the web site (but note there is a 3.4% fee charged by paypal for this) If you want the bank details email email@example.com. Please note that we’re not trying to force anyone into making a
contribution, give if you can and want to and we’ll be grateful, if not then thanks for reading. All donations will be acknowledged on the web site unless you wish to remain anonymous. We’ve already received over £1100 but we’ve a good way to go yet.
Thanks John MM0JXI
Snippets The Club has decided to use the £290 BT Community Champions award for the Amplifier Project. Bob GM4UYZ has published the 2008/9 training calendar: Foundation Courses: 20/27 Sept 2008 17/24 Jan 2009 21/28 March 2009 Intermediate Course: 7 Feb 2009—7 March 2009 Advanced Course: 11 October 2008—6 December 2008 See the website for more information and fees. Apologies for the shorter than usual newsletter but the team have been busy with VHF Field Day, IOTA and holidays and haven’t had much opportunity to produce more. Articles from members and outside persons are welcome at any time. Watch out for new developments on the web site, Bob, John and Malcolm are working on a contest results database and a whole new design is in the offing.
Information The Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club is affiliated to the Radio Society of Great Britain and holds the call signs MM0CPS and GM2T which are used for our special event and contest entries. We have our own internet domain www.cpsarc.com where you will find our popular web site which features lively discussion forums and photo galleries with a slide show. You can also download an electronic copy of this newsletter. The 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 regular fees, no formal 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 £13.453 since 1994.
Contacts Bob Glasgow 7 Castle Terrace Port Seton East Lothian EH32 0EE Phone: 01875 811723 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
1A, 2B, 3A, 4A, 5C 6D, 7B, 8A, 9B, 10A Answers from August 2008 newsletter “Test Your Knowledge”. 8