February Meeting

Table Top Sale – Thursday 20th February.

Please bring along items you wish to dispose of, find space on a table and sell to eager buyers. Please bring stuff that’s related to amateur radio – definitely no fluffy toys or chocolates!

If you can mark up the items with prices so much the better. However many members like to haggle over the asking price, so be prepared to do so – it’s all part of the fun! You will be responsible for taking home unsold items. Please do not leave them for the committee to deal with – unless they are worth lots of money! If you’re not selling please come along to buy.

Don’t forget to arrive with pockets full of cash and well loaded wallets! Visitors and prospective members will be warmly welcomed, as always.

Venue: The Robin’s Nest, Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road, Cheltenham GL52 5NA. Doors open at 7.30 for a nominal 8pm start.

January Meeting

A talk by Christopher M0YNG on his latest projects, such as pagers on 70cm, packet radio and “radio shows via DMR” and Hamshack Hotline maybe with a live demo.  He’ll also update us on the projects he spoke about last year.

7.30 for 8pm on Thursday 16th January at the Robins Nest, Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road, GL52 5NA.  Now that Boots Corner is open again to all traffic, getting their from the south and west of the town will be easier.

Visitors and prospective members will be warmly welcomed, as always.

Annual General Meeting – Report

CARA’s 43rd AGM took place on Thursday 12th December 2019 at the Robin’s Nest, Cheltenham Town FC, with Tony G3YYH in the Chair. Tony welcomed 33 persons to the meeting, There were 22 apologies for absence

The Minutes of the 2018 AGM were approved unanimously. The Chair’s Report, published in advance of the meeting, recorded another successful year for the club and highlighted many notable events including two enjoyable Fun Field Days, Foundation and Intermediate courses and the relocation of meetings to the Robin’s Nest. There were no questions. The Report was taken as read and approved unanimously.

Awards: The Bernard King Memorial Cup awarded for noteworthy and praiseworthy on-the-air activities was presented to Stewart G0LGS and Matt 2E0MDJ for their active involvement in VHF, UHF and microwave contests. The John Holt G3GWW Award for notable work for the club went to Rich 2E0KXL for his enthusiasm and services to the local amateur radio community through the provision of a 70cm digital repeater. A special award for the safe erection of antenna masts went to Stewart G0LGS and Matt 2E0MDJ.

The Treasurer’s Report, also published in advance of the meeting, was approved unanimously. There were no questions. Given the healthy state of the Association’s finance the Chair, in the absence of the Treasurer, proposed that the annual subscription remain at £13. Simon G4SGI asked why it had not been raised to £15, the Chair replied that there was no need. Simon then suggested that the subscription could be raised to fund major projects, the Chair replied that if there was a justifiable need then the Committee would review the case for an increase in the annual subscription. The Chairman reminded the meeting that the Committee was always open to feasible proposals for expenditure of club funds. The meeting then approved, unanimously, that the subscription remain at £13 for 2020.

Committee Elections for 2019: In the absence of other nominations, the following were declared duly elected: Chair – Tony G3YYH, Secretary – Derek G3NKS, Treasurer – James 2E0RLE, Membership Secretary – Andrew M0MVA. The Chair took the opportunity to thank the retiring Treasurer, Peter G3YJE, for his valuable services over an extended period. Ordinary committee members – Alan M0NRO, Christopher M0YNG, Rich 2E0KXL. Accounts Examiner – Tony G3SNN (not a member of the Committee).

Any Other Business: Christopher M0YNG proposed a vote of thanks to the Officers for their work during the past year. Approved unanimously with acclamation. The Chair commented that the Committee was always receptive to ideas for meetings and events, and would always welcome offers of help.

Following closure of the formal meeting at 8.30pm, members enjoyed a light finger buffet and lots of chat.

Annual General Meeting 2019

This year’s AGM will take place on Thursday 12th December at the Robin’s Nest, Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road, Cheltenham GL52 5NA.  Doors will be open by 7.30pm for an 8pm start.

Following the AGM there will be a social evening with light refreshments and a cash bar.

November Meeting – Test Equipment

At this meeting members are invited to bring along radio related test gear for display and, ideally, demonstration.

Here a list of some of the equipment we’d like to see: Oscilloscopes Signal generators Frequency counters DVMs (digital volt meters) Antenna analysers SWR meters RF power meters R, L, C measuring devices. Transistor testers. Valve testers. “Grid” Dip Oscillators.

As some members may not be familiar with some of the test gear listed above please, if possible, lay on a simple demonstration of the use of the kit you’ve brought along. Not essential but would be good to do if you can. We should aim to share our knowledge and expertise for the benefit of other members, especially those new to amateur radio. So please help to make this meeting a success by taking an active part. Thanks in advance!

Venuw:  The Robin’s Nest, Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road, Cheltenham GL52 5NA.  Doors will be open by 7.30 for a nominal 8pm start.

October Meeting Report

Our last meeting was well attended, with an excellent display of QRP equipment, old and new, brought along by members.

Mark G4MEM showed an Elecraft KX1 portable QRP HF rig which he uses for SotA (Summits on the Air) activations.

G4MEM kit Mark’s KX-1 with wire antenna and support pole.

Graham exhibited an Icom IC-703 10W HF transceiver and a Thunderpole T-3000 modern CB rig.

G8XRS l-r Nick 2E0NRW and Graham G8XRS

Peter G4ENA produced an FT-70G 2 to 30MHz 3W AM/SSB/CW tx/rx which was designed for use by emergency and commercial organisations particularly overseas.

FT-70G Peter’s pint (or what’s left of it) and the FT-70G

Simon G4SGI had several QRP rigs on display, some build from kits and some neatly fitted into wooden boxes.

G4SGI kit Some of Simon’s kit.

John 2E0POE showed his BITX40 QRP transceiver which he built from a kit.

2E0POE l-r Tim G8PZD and John 2E0POE

Peter G3YJE had brought along a large selection of his QRP kit, including a GQ 40m CW tx/rx, a Heathkit HW-9 5W transceiver covering most of the HF bands with matching wattmeter, and an elderly Heathkit HW-30 2m AM rig,

G3YJE kit G3YJE’s HW-30 2m AM rig.

Derek G3NKS exhibited a number pieces of QRP kit, most of it home-brewed.

G3NKS kit l-r 80m dc rx with an active aerial, ATU, OXO tx, wattmeter, valve tx (on its side).

Tim G8PZD showed his Yaesu FT-817 3W HF/VHF transceiver. (Sorry, no photo.)

Apologies to anyone I’ve may have missed in this report. It was a busy and interesting evening, I’m not sure I managed to get round to all the exhibits.

Foundation Course

CARA is pleased to announce that the next Foundation course will be held over the weekend of 18th and 19th of January 2020 with the exam the following Saturday, 25th January, at 14.00hrs.

For more information and to register for the course please contact Barry at training@g5bk.uk 

October Meeting – QRP Evening

Thursday 17th October 7.30 for 8pm at the Robin’s Nest, Cheltenham Football Club

QRP (ie low power) operation is very popular especially among home-brewers. Many QRP enthusiasts belong to the G-QRP Club which has several thousand members and publishes a quarterly journal full of circuits, projects and news of members activities. Membership is only £6 a year. A number of CARA members are also members of the G-QRP Club.

The aim of this month’s meeting is to promote the concept and fun of QRP (ie low power) operation and to share our own experiences with other club members. We’ll do this primarily with a display of QRP equipment and a display of books covering QRP.

Meeting such as these, without a formal speaker, are popular so do come along and enjoy an informal meeting with fellow club members. Your help is needed to ensure a successful meeting – please bring along examples QRP gear, whether commercial, home-brew or ex-military, accompanied by books and any photos you may have of QRP activities. Working displays would be great although problems with aerials and noise may well arise.

 We will be please to welcome visitors and prospective members.

September Meeting

This month Christopher M0YNG will be telling us about APRS – the Amateur Radio Reporting System. He’ll describe some of the uses it can be put to and explain the underlying technology.

The will also be a small side show, the sale of books and bits & pieces.

Thursday 19th September at the Robin’s Nest, Cheltenham Football Club, Whaddon Road, GL52 5NA. Doors open at 7.30 for an 8pm start.

Visitors and prospective members will be made welcome.

Fun Field Day – 31st Aug/1st Sept

We assembled on the Friday afternoon to erect Smurf’s large, ex-Hungarian military, tent for use as the “mess”, to use a military term, and the “loo” tent. Three of us camped on site overnight. Early on the Saturday morning Tony G3YYH arrived to join the VMARS 80m AM net, as he did again on the Sunday morning.

The above photo shows Tony G3YYH in his Landrover preparing to join the VMARS 80m AM net. He had an “interesting” experience that morning. The wiring inside a “dog-bone” cable link between two pieces of his military kit short-circuited, producing a loud bang and lots of smoke. But no humans were injured!

Smurf M0URF, as usual, provided an excellent full English breakfast. Here’s a photo of Peter G3YJE tucking in and enjoying his first meal of the day.

During the morning more members arrived; tents/gazebos were erected and portable stations set-up with varying degrees of success but all with great fun.

In the afternoon yet more members arrived along with a number of family members for Smurf’s barbeque, which as we’ve come to expect was plentiful, tasty and very enjoyable. We were please to see so many ladies present.

Sunday morning saw a few more club members put in an appearance and also a visitor Mike G4IZZ from Gotherington.

Dismantling commenced at noon and we were mostly clear of the site by 2pm.

Many thanks to everyone who turned up to make it yet another successful and enjoyable Fun Field Day weekend. Particular thanks go to all those who helped set-up and dismantle the kit, to Peter G3YJE for the “Loo” tent, to Tim G8PZD for the G5BK signs and the beer and to Rich 2E0KXL for the additional “beverages”. Last but not least a big “thank you” to Smurf M0URF for providing so much of the kit, the breakfasts and the BBQ.