Saturday 15 September 2018
The club members attendance today was boosted as the Air Cadet Activity Centre at Halton had a Radio Course taking place and most of the Instructors are also Club Members. A grand total of nine in total with a few regular faces missing.
Nick continued with his project of refurbishing the hand held radios and managed to programme around a hundred sets. They now need checking on the test set which should be done next week.
Dave G0KUC made a few contacts on HF as usual, whilst Derf assisted the Air Cadet Course with the Practical skills section of their Gold Course. This cover such things as propagation, aerials Ohms Law, construction of an Aerial and fixing BNC plugs to coax.
During the morning a text was received from Mark letting us know that he completed making his power supply for his teleprinter.
Saturday 8 September 2018
After the usual Tea and Toast the G5RV antenna was erected in its usual place. In addition a long wire was put using a SG 230 tuner.
Dave G0KUC joined the RAFARS net which had 7 participants. An opportunity was taken to get a comparison between the G5RV and the long wire. On most contacts the G5RV performed slightly better.
After lunch 5 contacts were made, all outside of Europe and were as follow:
Prince Edward Island, Canada
All were fair workable signals.
Whilst all this was going on Nick was checking out a recent purchase, a Field Strength meter and started programming some Hand Held Radios for the Air Cadets.
Saturday 1 September 2018
A quite day today, due to holidays and other commitments of Club members.
Tea and toast taken at 09 00 with the usual chat and Dave G0KUC producing a QSL Card from 1989 for GB50RAF marking the 50TH Anniversary of RAFARS. Shortly after the G5RV was erected with just a two contacts made, G4PSH and G4XGK in the morning. A little better in the afternoon, with two Japanese Stations and an Asiatic Russian Station in the log.
Our contacts with other Stations are now being recorded on QRZ.COM
Saturday 25 August 2018
It was tea and toast as usual at 09 00 today and this included some homemade marmalade, thank you Dave M5AGW.
Just a few of us today due to the Bank Holiday no doubt. Mark continued with his teleprinter project, doing a few tests with his home brew power supply. He found some WD 40 to use on some components he was having difficult undoing. He plans to let it a week to soak in, if no joy may be a bit of plus gas may help. Nick was getting through a big pile of hand held radios and all we could hear most of the day was a nice Chinese lady saying “power on” as he put the sets through various tests.
Dave M5AGW spent some time using the Club library to do some research on data modes, I think he may have dozed off at one stage, so the books could not have been a riveting read! He has taken a couple home and this should cure his insomnia.
Malcolm, in the absence of our Operating Manager Dave G0KUC who was resting after a long drive back on Friday from the RAF Waddington Club, put up an 80 foot long wire with the other Dave and had a go at operating. Using the wire through an SG230 Tuner, the RAFARS morning net was joined which had 4 other stations on air, some 5 and 9 and some not as good. Another attempt was made after lunch to do some operating but with little luck, only one other station was contacted, GB4ARSE which was taking part in the British Inland Waterways Special Event.
Saturday 18 August 2018
There were five Club members around today, some of whom are Instructors with the Air Cadets. They had a selection day for Gold Comms Badge course which will be held in the Autumn, and Maintenance weekend at the Station (fixing and checking equipment which had been used over the past year).
The temporary aerial was soon erected and Dave G0KUC was of the mark contact Lighthouses on the Air Stations with a tally of around 14. He took a break part way through to join the RARARS net.
Malcolm G7VRT had available a draft Certificate for comment. The Certificate once finished will be presented to operators using GB100RAF later in the year. A few adjustments were made and is now ready to go to the printers.
Saturday 11 August 2018
Holiday time again five members in attendance with a few away on Holiday. Malcolm was on Holiday in Norfolk and had plans to visit Neatishead Radar Museum and the Special Event Station GB2RAF, on the 11th. However, plans did not work out as anticipated and he could not get along. He did visit Terry, the regular operator, at his QTH the following day.
At the Club the aerial was erected after a quick cup of tea and Dave got down to business on the Radio. Firstly taking part in the RAFARS Net and it was noted that 3 Centenary Stations were on, Terry with GB2RAF AT Neatished, Bob with G0RAF at Newark Air Museum and of Course Dave at Halton with G1RAF. After the net closed contacts were made with stations in Morocco, Switzerland and notably R100WWS a Russian Special event Station marking 100 Years of Air Forces in Russia.
After another successful day the Station closed at 17 00.
Saturday 4 August 2018
Not so many today due to Holidays, Derf was down at the RAFA Club setting up for Sundays RAFA 100 luncheon. Mark and Jamie and tinkered with their teleprinters and took some bits way to refurbish. The Dave M5AGW sorted some of the Air cadet equipment which is being stored in the Club whilst Malcolm did a bit of unpacking and sorting of boxes from the recent move.
Dave G0KUC joined the RAFARS Saturday net and spent time chatting to fellow RAFARS members. In the afternoon he tuned the bands and made contact with a dozen or so stations throughout Europe.
Saturday 29 July 2018
A good turnout for the club considering it is holiday time. With 9 members present the morning started with tea and toast and a general chat. Dave G0KUC was congratulated for winning the RAFARS Christmas Contest using the Club Call. Encouraged by success various members talked about entering the RAFARS Constructors Competition and would work on their projects to have them ready in time for the AGM. Lastly, Dave produced a template for an operating timetable for the period 3 to 11 November 2018 and was asking for operators. Also the discussion looked at asking local RAFARS members if they would like to come to the Club and do some operating. Dave also suggested that we contact local Clubs to see if they would like to assist with some operating.
Once the discussion was over the club members turned their attention to the various projects they were undertaking, Mark did some work on his teleprinters, Derf checked out a power supply for Roger and had to do a few minor adjustments on it.
Dave and Dave put the 5RV up and started operating with Mark. They report that during the afternoon session they contacted several European Stations, one Brazilian and one Moroccan, on 20 metres. In addition they managed a Swiss Station on 18 MHz!
Sunday 22 July 2018
The plan sales stand at the McMichael rally did not materialise due to other pressures on the club member. However, Nick and Malcolm ventured down to Reading and bumped into Mick another Club member. Passed the time of day with a mug of tea and a bacon roll and then had a look around. Nick came back with a few Microphones and some bits a pieces, Malcolm purchase was limited to four AAA batteries and a charger. Time was also spent talking to old friends including Stewart from VMARS.
Saturday 21 July 2018
Dave did not operate today, expect he was World Cup maxed out. He received a very nice Certificate, number 54, from the organisers of Football 2018 Russia.
The time was taken up by drinking tea, Dave talking about his exploits with Football Russia and a lot more tidying up. Derf has left some kitchen bits including a nice worktop in the Club Room and he hopes to fit this next week.
Saturday 14 July 2018
Whilst Dave still driving in a call, through GB3TU, from G1RAF let him know that the club was already open which meant he didn't have to get the keys and more importantly "the kettle was already on"! Mick also asked if there was a spare cup as he was also not too far away. While enjoying the tea the team were soon joined by Mark and Nick. The G5RV was again erected by Dave and Roger who had also arrived on his two wheeled conveyance. Dave set about getting a few more FWC stations in the log (he said he would miss it next week.). Jamie also arrived and he joined Mark in teletypewriter mode. Nick carried on with his project and of course there were many discussions on numerous topics. Looks as though Nick may be joining VMARS in the near future. Derf had to shoot off to get the Jag's MOT sorted out but returned shortly after midday with a smile on his face. Anyway radio operations took a dramatic change of direction as after midday the bands were taken over by an international contest and these drowned out all the football stations. Nick also worked on his power supply project (for his 19 set) followed by sorting out his Pye loud hailers. Dave nearly had three heart attacks as he tested the sirens on them.
On the radio front Dave continued look around on 80m as it seemed to be the quietest band with any activity. A contact with the French radio society HQ was followed by contacting the English RSGB HQ station. This was quickly followed by the Dutch HQ station and then the Belgium HQ station. “Hang on” he said “I am beginning to see a trend unfolding”. Even changing bands didn't affect the unfolding of events. To cut a long story short he managed to work 16 different countries HQ stations. Last one worked at 1720 as the aerial had to come down. All in all a good day 19 different countries worked, the furthest being Canada and three Russians. We even managed to work "Derf" on 5 different bands after he had gone home and adjusted his HF antenna.
At last knockings, Malcolm called in via GB3TU, he and Dave had been helping on a Cadet Course near Heathrow together Two other Air Cadet Instructor members. Exchanged pleasantries and then contact was lost.
A busy day, but again progress made. Derf says he is going to pop down in the week and start fitting the cupboards and worktop.
The Club needs decide what we are going to do for GB100RAF in November as "Tempus Fugit" (grab you dictionaries). We need to decide what bands/modes we are going to operate and ask for volunteers for some CW operations, perhaps an advert via RAFARS? Also what kit is available and how many want to operate - our Cadet instructors and perhaps some of the successful cadets?
Saturday 07 July 2018
Seven members of the Club turned up today, a good number considering England were playing in the world cup. This leads onto one of our contacts today. CQ918FWC in the Azores was a World Cup Station.
Dave setup a Hustler Vertical aerial to give it a try. The following were worked:
PA3GEG Gerald Netherlands
EH1MOP Juan Spain
OH6JJ Juha Finland
CQ918FWC World Cup Station Azores
All these were on 14 MHz but the band seemed a bit quite! This may or may not have been the change of aerial. The plan is next time to set the vertical up and a G5RV and do a comparison.
Nick carried on with his project and the others did a bit more tidying up and moving of furniture. Malcolm sorted some tools and placed these in a couple of recently acquired tool boxes. Lastly the floor was given a good vacuum clean using the Vac which we had to strip down and clean last week. Now works like a gooden, no more clouds of dust and picks up well.
All stations worked on 14MHz using Hustler vertical at 1m. Good reports received from all stations but band seemed quieter than usual, aerial or conditions? More comparison needed.
Next project is to put up a proper tea bar and some shelving, a job for a quite weekday perhaps.
Saturday 30 June 2018
The day started with a leisurely cup of tea and once refreshed the G4RV aerial was put up but not too much activity was found. Dave G0KUC, tried to show everyone the World cup certificates he had won during the month. This fell on deaf ears as all the other club members appear to be football philistine’s! Sorry Dave, all your hard work not appreciated.
Derf measured up the "kitchen" area looking to acquire, or spend some of the club funds, on some cupboards and a work top to tidy things up. No kitchen area in the new room so some mess facilities be added on a self-help basis.
Dave has been having trouble with his PS30 power supply getting a little warm. After taking the top cover off it could be seen that the fuse holder had been overheating but the fuse was fine, so Nick provided a replacement fuse holder from the depths of his van. Derf replaced this and after checking voltages found that the output was 16V; a bit too high? Anyway after reading the circuit diagram and the spec sheet it was found that this was actually correct without a load. Resistors were soon used to generate a load and it was found that the voltages were now what they should be. Still no confirmed reason for why it was getting too warm. Derf then disappeared, but returned with two computer fans which he soon engineered to attach to the rear of the power supply. Again it was switched on for over half an hour and didn't even feel warmer than room temperature. Time to take it home and try it under normal operations. Well done Derf and Nick, looks as though Dave owes you two a beer!
Malcolm who was on transport duties running his Mother in Law to the eye clinic, managed to call in via GB3TU on several occasions
Nick, Mick and Ben where discussing problems being encountered programming some "Hytek" radios which were switching off as soon as the programming lead was reconnected. No definite solutions but further investigation required.
Nick then carried on with his project and Dave had to make at least one contact as we had put up the antenna, just a German portable station. However, a FWC station was heard trying to work the world. As no one liked football, Dave decided that he had better not try to break through the pile up, hi! The aerial was taken down at about 1600z and everyone headed home.
Next week, all going well, will be setting up the mess area, Derf has been dispatched to get some kitchen base units and work top whilst Malcolm has acquired some shelving brackets to create additional space in the kitchen and operating area.
Saturday 23 June 2018
The Club was on Air with GB4HTM representing the RAF Halton Trenchard Museum. Conditions were not to good and only a couple of contacts were made during the various other tasks going on. It did not help that there was also a Spanish Competition on. One success was a Brazilian Station.
Jamie continued to do some work on the Teleprinters, measuring up the size of one of the connectors so he could make one up. Whilst Mark who was hoping to work on them as well could not get along due to his car breaking down on the way.
Nick continued with his hand held radio project whilst Roger assisted Malcolm sorting some more boxes out which were left over from the move. Just a couple more to go.
Saturday 09 June 2018
After a hard days sorting and arranging things in the club, some light at the end of the tunnel can now be seen. A few more weeks and things should be back to normal. Nick continues with the refurbishment of Hand Held radios for the Air Cadets and Dave has again been on the air with a few more stations in the log. Mark has been working on a switched mode power supply and has replace two power transistors but there is still another fault as these new transistors are running somewhat warm! back to the drawing board Mark. Time was also spent discussing plans for attending the Newbury Rally and taking part in the Museums on the Air event.
Saturday 02 June 2018The setting up of the new club room continues:
After the customary tea, toast and marmalade a little more sorting out was started. Space was found on a couple of desk tops and Mark's large scope was put on top of one of the draw units. Amazingly after the desk tops had been cleared three teleprinters materialised out off the ether and placed themselves in the available space! The last few boxes were moved back up the Club meaning that we finally were able to reach the end wall - hooray. Chairs and boards were then repositioned; nearly ready to begin tuition or "presentations/lectures" any volunteers? Obviously still more sorting out required, but we are getting there. Next on the list of things to do is the repositioning of the big green worktop, sorting out the tea kitchen area, putting up the screen and organising the store room workbench area. After Jamie and Mark had to go Nick carried on with his project work and Dave couldn't resist the temptation to put up the temporary G5RV. Initially a call on the 80m RAFARS calling frequency generated an immediate response from G3LMO, thanks Nev , and several contacts including some RAFARS members were made. We were told that GB100RAF had been about earlier but sadly we missed them. A total of 17 contacts were made including a wireless museum in the Alps, a football World Cup station in Spain , a lightship in Antwerp harbour and a memorial station in Italy commemorating the Italian airship disaster in the Arctic . Again time to pull the antenna down, but all in all another enjoyable and successful day.
The Club has registered for theInternational Museums on the Air
and will represent the Trenchard Museum which is located here at RAF Halton. The Special Even Callsign GB4HTM (Halton Trenchard Museum) has been obtained from Offcom. The Club plans to be on air on Saturday 16th and 23rd June 2018.
Saturday 26 May 2018
A damp start to the day but a lot milder than of late. Clubs members erected a G5RV and a long wire aerial and got wet feet from the long grass which has sprung up adjacent to the Club building.
On Air Results were:
7S6WX Swedish expedition to the " Weather Islands "
GB5RSR Ribble Steam Railway Museum
OV1CDX Blind operator
UA3FQ Aircrew, Blue Ocean member
OZ50HRH/86 Special event, HRH Crown Prince Frederick's 50th birthday, Own call OZ1HHH - pilot
The Club has registered for the International Museums on the Air Special Event. A Special Event Callsign has been obtained for the occasion, GB4HTM (Halton Trenchard Museum). The Museum curator has agreed that we can set up a Station in the Museum. If all goes to plan we will have a Station up and running on the two Saturdays of the event.
Saturday 12 May 2018
Members a little thin on the ground this week due to meetings and other commitments etc. Anyway the "few" of course started off with tea, toast and marmalade. Then a bit more sorting out and perhaps a little bit more carpet can be seen. Mark still looking for a bit of space for his teleprinters, but he is working on it and he enjoyed the marmalade! There is now space to reposition or green workbench but have decided to wait until after the equipment for storage and the rally gear were out of the way.
Nick carried on assembling the charging stations for the cadet radios while Dave couldn't resist popping outside to put up the "temporary" G5RV. With the station now again operational Dave started looking for all those Life boat stations. Lots of GB stations but hang on a minute they are not lifeboats, they are Windmills on the air. After a break for more tea and biscuits, Nick changed projects and started repairing his "loud hailer" (should help him get out more), while Dave continued to do a bit more operating. The tally of stations worked at the end of the day was 10 windmills, 1 life boat, 1 military wireless museum, 1 cider house (pubs and clubs on the air - must find out more), 1 Italian Bell of Peace Memorial(IR3MD) and GB9RAF at Green Point Fort, an old listening station close to Belfast.
Two members were away for a Meeting at RAFC Cranwell but both Malcolm G7VRT and Dave M5AGW found time to visit the RAF Waddington Club
at their newly renovated Club room adjacent to the Pyewipe Inn, Lincoln. Bob G3VCA, gave an interesting presentation of the ins and outs of Vertical HF Aerials. The Waddington Club made the Halton Club Members most welcome.
Saturday 27 April 2018
This weekend saw a small gang of members in attendance as again several were away on "other duties". Due to the weather being rather dismal, damp and gloomy it was decided that the temporary G5RV would remain warm and dry in the shack. Nick once again was continuing the building of the charging stations for the cadet radios and the “to do pile” is certainly getting smaller. Dave took the opportunity to instruct Jon in the connecting and setting up of a vhf/uhf station and also the preferred operating procedures, culminating in Jon speaking to Malcolm using the Club call while under supervision. If time had allowed the next progression would have been to put out a CQ call to see if we could attract any contacts from further afield but Jon had to shoot off just before lunch so this was put on hold. Perhaps the next CQ call will be on the agenda for next week and also repeater operations. Once again thanks go to Malcolm and his culinary expertise for lunch. The afternoon was again spent emptying a few more cardboard boxes and another few feet of visible carpet was the result.
Future plans for taking part in Museums on the Air representing the Trenchard Museum, who share the same, were discussed. In addition setting up a radio station at RAF Halton Families Day was considered. RAFHRS members’ views would be welcomed and taken into consideration.
Anyway, we must have been busy as no one opened the biscuit tin!
Saturday 21 April 2018
This Saturday saw many of the Club members involved in teaching a radio course, at Silver Communicator Badge level for the Air Cadets. The syllabus of the course has been designed to integrate the foundation licence training and successful candidates may then apply for their licences. However this meant that the Club members had a good excuse to avoid the "sorting out" so this was put on hold for the weekend.
During the morning the temporary G5RV was once again hastily erected, all be it at a height of only 10 feet above the ground. Dave took the opportunity to make contact with GB8MD, a special event station in Tywyn, celebrating Marconi day. This contact was then discussed in detail describing the radio procedures used, the vernacular and abbreviations etc. with two of our potential foundation licence holders, Roger and John. They agreed that this was much more "fun" than reading the books, hi! As they both had to leave before midday there was only time for a quick introduction to the wonders of QRZ.com. Hopefully they will soon be taking the microphone as part of the on air Foundation Licence Training.
During the afternoon Nick continued with his project, currently assembling charging stations for the Cadet radios. Putting in the screws became a lot easier once he was loaned a drill of the right size for the pilot holes. Dave continued a leisurely look around the bands making contacts with a "scout" station in the Netherlands and an Italian special event from Marconi's house. Further listening found a German contest station calling CQ? Hang on that wasn't DB that was BD and it wasn't a German contest it was a China contest! Anyway a request from the members requesting a contact to show amateur operations to the cadets with the station they had put up took preference and good reports with the power turned almost off were received from at least 500 yards away. Perhaps it was time to see if the BD station was still there - yes they were and still 59+. Would it be possible to get through all the European stations calling? A little perseverance ( about 5 calls) and success; 59 HN from BD7DT received!!!!! It was quite amazing how many 59 001 reports they were getting. Not too sure what power or antenna they were using but a good 59 signal for over an hour slowly decreasing to 57 with a little QSB but still audible when it was time to turn off and take the aerial down for another week. 59 reports from 500 yards to 5000 miles not a bad day - just wait until we can get our aerials up "properly"!!!!!!!!!!!
I don't know where we find all the time to drink the tea and eat all the biscuits.
Saturday 14 April 2018
Another day working on getting the Club Room ship shape. Racking finally in place and secured. Shelves filling up fast.
Roger and Jon made a start on putting up the notice boards, which is transforming boring walls into something more inviting. A couple have been set aside for Dave the operation manager and the plan is to put our interest QSL Cards up for all to see. Hopefully, this Saturday we will be able to get more boards up and a white board.
There was even time for Dave to make a couple of contacts on the VHF/UHF Radio!
Saturday 7 April 2018 and the sun is shining
First job today was to re-erect the temporary G5RV, after a cup of tea of course. We must be getting better as the first contact was made at1015; 22mins earlier than last Sunday. Spoke to the guys at RAF Wyton again and then joined the RAFARS net on 80m just before 1100 to give away the call and a few points. Hopefully this could become a little more regular when the aerials are a little more permanent. It was nice to hear that we seemed to be the only ones with sunshine! After the net the band appeared to be very noisy and so a little more sorting out was done. We will manage to find the carpet under all the cardboard boxes, hi. After Malcolm’s culinary delights for lunch, again a little more sorting out was done and Nick even managed to progress his project he is doing for the cadets. Checking around the bands contacts were made with good reports from North America and of course Russia. All in all another enjoyable day. Shame it is time to take the aerial down again.
Easter Sunday 1 April 2018
Today we had around 10 Club members turn up to assist and take a look at the Clubs involvement with the RAFARS RAF 100 celebrations and competition.
Before they could start they had to put up the G5RV and an end fed antenna with an SG 230 Tuner. Once on Air a good start was made making contact with the other main RAF Stations taking part. In addition a lot of time was taken on CQ Calls inviting others to contact the Station G1RAF. The first few contacts were with Russian Stations but as conditions changed UK stations were contacted. All in all 60 contacts were made and the clubs operations manager is now in the process of preparing QSL Cards for dispatch as necessary.
This was the first on air operation from our new Club Room. All managed to work around the unpacked boxes which came over to the new Room when moving out of the old one. What’s more, nearly all the items required for the day were found without too much looking. Contact Breakdown for 1 April 2018
Total Contacts: 60
18 RAFARS associated Stations
GB100RAF RAF Cosford
G0RAF RAF Binbrook
G3RAF RAF Kemble
GB2IWM Imperial War Museum Duxford
GB4KE RAF Kenley
GB2WY RAF Wyton
GB0DM RAF Downham Market
Other Members 11
Saturday 10 February 2018
Club members will continue to pack all the kit and publications in readiness of the move. No time for operating as it is fullsteam ahead for the move. The plan is to be up and running by the 1 April ready for the RAFARS 100TH Contest.
Saturday 30 September 2017
The club had a busy day today with 7 Club members 1 guest with a visitor last thing. It was bacon rolls at 09 00 then lots of activity, Derf, G8ZGK, put the finishing touches to his linear Drake L-4B amp project and had it running with 800 watts into a dummy load.
Roger had his first lesson for the Foundation Licence with plans to do more in a couple of weeks’ time.
Nick continued with the servicing of shed loads of Baofeng888 radios. Nick’s Guest Richard spent time listing to the HF bands and talking to the other club members.
An opportunity arose to have a visit to the Trenchard Museum and 3 of the newer members, one an ex brat, went to the Museum to have a look around.
Saturday 19 August 2017
A good turn out today, with 7 members on site, not bad for the holiday period. An opportunity was taken to blow the cob webs out of the FT 1000 and go searching for the Light Houses on the Air Stations. Conditions were OK of sorts and the team managed to contact 6 Light House Stations.
Dave our new QSL Card manager Dave G0KUC is working on a QSL Card for the Club with one of the Halton Vulcan’s on the front. Hopefully we will be able to send cards very shortly. We are applying for membership of the RSGB to make things easier for the issue and receipt of Cards. For RAFARS members we plan to use the RAFARS Bureau.
Saturday 12 August 2017
Another successful meeting. Dave G0KUC and Jamie 2E0DUU, using the Club Call G1RAF, were on Air for a while using the Yaesu FT 1000MP. Several contacts were made including one with Terry at the RAF Air Defence Radar Museum at Neatishead Norfolk, Callsign GB2RAF.
Club Meeting Saturday 5 August 2107
Another busy Saturday meeting with several members discussing the use of repeaters and looking at the various systems. The Chairman Derf G8ZGK, was adding a UK power plug to his Drake Linear and doing some research on the net in readiness for a planned mod the power supply.
In the workshop area Nick was servicing pile of hand held radios and when finished they will be made available to the Air Cadets.