Bryan Harber presented a review and hands-on demonstration of the nature and mechanics of Frequency Modulation. Beginning with a demonstration using a signal generator and oscilloscope he visually demonstrated how AM “works” and then explained why FM cant be demonstrated visually the same way. Instead a spectrum analyser was used to do this. Discussion on multiple sidebands, bandwith and “channels”, “capture” and other licence-relevant matters followed. Powerpoint slides
In preparation for the club AGM on March 10th , members are asked to provide Rob McTait with nominations for the M0JMC shield. This is awarded annually to a club member in recognition of their personal contribution to the club in the year.
An award is also made to a club member for the most interesting DX contact. So if you have a QSO you want to put forward for consideration please let Rob know.
Its been a busy start to the year with many club members taking part in the AFS Data and SSB competitions. Conditions were not brilliant but 7 members have taken part in the most recent SSB competition and the earlier datamodes competition was also supported. The results are awaited but increasing participation suggests a good start to the competition year.
There’s a social side to Amateur Radio too. This year, the SADARS Christmas dinner was held on December 17th at Cinnabar in the Old Town High Street Thanks to Tom Miller and others for organising and to Rob for the photos below.
National Field day was busy this year. Report to follow. Some photos below courtersy of Denis M0RLO.
A number of club members took part in a 2metre contest over the weekend
The top of the mast i.e. the beam was at 490 ft above sea level.
We tried to hear or work G8W but could not which was sad, although a few stations in Kent and Sussex and France were worked. Some of the participants and the station are shown below.
Ron Pratt, our Contest manager reports that Stevenage and District ARS came 23d in the AFS Superleague for 2018. Thats up from 37th the previous year. The complete set of results can be seen at this link. Ron came 15th out of 380 entrants overall. Looking back over time we seem to be slowly improving.
SADARS has recommenced training candidates interested to take the Foundation and Intermediate Licence Exams.
Getting started: the Foundation licence
To begin transmitting on amateur radio you need to pass a simple multiple-choice test called the Foundation exam.
Contact us to apply for and take your Foundation exam, plus information about fees and training. The club has registered trainers and assessors.
Already an amateur?
Why not step up to a higher power licence?
Stevenage and District ARS trainers and assessors can help you with the next step: the Intermediate Licence. You will need to have passed the Foundation exam to take the Intermediate exam.
In due course we hope to offer Advanced Exam training.
Having pre tested the antenna a few days before and found all ok, 260ft doublet, we came on site at 1300 to erect the station. There was myself, Tom, Fred and Phil, with other club members. WX fine and warm and all went well, and we were ready at 1500. The rig was IC756 PR2 with PSU, Winkey keyer, my Samsung computer for logging with SD for G3SAD/P and the club Auto ATU and also my MFJ manual tuner. Also my Generator, which worked perfectly but initially gave noise on 80m band, until we removed its earthing from the same spike as the ATU. However, in spite of our previous
tests, we had problems with the SWR of the antenna, which the Auto ATU would not tune, and with no sigs or noise on 160m band.
We changed to manual ATU which, combined with the Auto ATU, we managed to make it work on all bands but started late and this delayed us on band changes.
We had 1 hour sessions until Phil had to go home at 20.00 which left three of us but we had no problems.
We had positioned the ATU about 10ft from the rig so keeping the ribbon feeder and RF away from the rig and computer which was the case. We ran about 80 watts with no problems.
Top band gave 61 QSOs which were all double points so the antenna work was worth it though the problems with it were very puzzling.
The WX was very warm and we had to use a fan to keep cool but it became damp and cold later.
The sun gave a problem reading the rig screen and the computer which was helped by putting a plastic sheet round the outside of the tent in the sun’s direction.
We operated until 01.00 and then packed up with help and I got home about 02.00.
The final score was 251 QSOs and 66598 points with 61 QSOs on 160.
A tent loaned by Martin G0NJS.
A table loaned by Rob G2BKZ.
Lights loaned by Phil G4GNK, which were very bright, mains operated.
As mentioned earlier, the club rig, 12m mast, my computer and Winkey.
All worked well. We came 21st out of 25 as we only ran for 9 hours against 24hr for the others.
Tom, G4BYE, helped with the organising.