THE CATSWHISKER – FEBRUARY 2001

Updated 03/02/01

THE NEWSLETTER OF THE SOUTH DORSET RADIO SOCIETY

Notes from the Secretary…..

Hello to all our readers. As I write this the weather seems to be changing from cold and dry to mild and wet which may mark the advance of the seasons though most gardeners amongst us will agree that we need some more cold weather to get the soil back into trim.

Thanks for the complimentary comments on the Club Lunch; yes, it was an enjoyable occasion, good meal and convivial company in perfect weather. I still think we can do better than a 30% membership turnout – next time perhaps?

A couple of entries to the QSL card competition have rolled in but we really need more for true credibility. So, contestants, get your skills to work – rules were in January’s Catswhisker.

John, M0BQO

RSGB Regional Representational Scheme

January’s Radcom carries details of an important initiative by the RSGB to involve its members in two-way representation on a regional basis.

The SDRS, as an affiliated Society, should be taking part in this process.

Objectives – To provide support for Affiliated Societies and Members, to encourage the growth of amateur radio, and provide a platform for the discussion of issues.

The Regional Aspect – There are to be 12 regions, each subdivided into districts on a county basis. A hierarchy of elected offices will ensure representation extending through urban areas right out to more remote places; to this end a crucial role is expected to be played by nominated club contacts.

The central objectives of the scheme are to be achieved through regional groups, which act as forums to discuss members’ views, and will also provide practical support in many ways including events.

You have to be a paid-up member of the RSGB if you wish to join the Group and express your opinions (on a non-voting basis) but the affiliated clubs will be able to articulate them on your behalf and take appropriate action.

For full details try the web site of  P Sheppard, G4EJP at:- www.peter-sheppard.co.uk

SOUTH DORSET RADIO SOCIETY 2M NET

The 2m net now starts at 7.30 pm – a popular switch – but Pat G1XJH who regulates it advises that it might be worth tuning in to 145.350MHz at 7-ish in case things are happening then.

More operating: There have been suggestions of:

– a HF net which could reach farther afield and give B-licencees HF opportunity /P.

– an informal gathering of mobile operators, in the better weather, for an out of doors event.

These suggestions were made by Jon M0BQQ who would be interested to get a response.

THE CLUB LUNCH

Our 2001 SDRS Luncheon took place as arranged, at the Glenburn Hotel, Preston, on Sunday 14th January.

Those who couldn’t make the date missed a very good meal taken in pleasant surroundings with convivial company.

The highlight was the presentation to Bill Burden, G3EAT of a Certificate of Honorary Life Membership by the Guest of Honour, Phil Mayer G0KKL.

Bill, who is the President of SDRS, was a founder member when it started 40 years ago. It was appropriate that the lunch to open the Society’s fortieth year also saw Bill’s involvement and loyalty recognised in this way.

INTERNATIONAL MARCONI DAY

There’s still a couple of months but it’s worth making a mental note now.

The date for IMD this year is Saturday April 21st and we hope to be at the shack site,  New Barn Field Centre, Bradford Peverell as usual.

Pat G1XJH who has supplied his rig in the past requests that the loan of other rigs can take the strain off using his all the time.

Please remember that visitors will be welcome, so if you have guests that weekend make it a date.

THE FREDRICHSHAFEN RALLY

The Bromsgrove and District ARC is organising a trip to this great rally in Germany on 27th June to 2nd July.

Anybody interested in joining it should contact Roy Jones G0RMG. Telephone: 01527 454744, or g0rmgroy@tesco.net  for more details.

Roy also mentions the Three Counties Rally at Worcester (May 13th) and County Air Ambulance weekend (12/13th May).

CLUB CALLS

Extract from SDRS Constitution:-

The Society’s callsigns are available for use by any paid up member of the Society for approved activities. The logbooks are to be the responsibility of the member requesting the use of the call sign and that member is to be completely responsible for the correct usage of the callsigns. The logbooks are to be returned to the Society’s nominated licence holder immediately after the use for which they were requested has terminated. Usage by approved instructors of training courses are normally entitled to priority.

The G3SDS call holder is Geoff, G0EVW. The G8SDS holder is Jim, G7JIM. Apply to them as appropriate.

When it is an official club event, the letter X is included after the G, GX3SDS or GX8SDS.

QSL COMPETITION REMINDER

Remember that the end of February is the closing date for the competition to design a QSL card for SDRS events.

The rules were published in the January Catswhisker.

Two entries have been received up to now, we don’t know whose as they will remain unopened until the judging takes place.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

February 6th – An evening of demonstrations of digital techniques and computer stuff. There will be Packet, logging, website, and others. You are welcome to bring along any devices you would like to demonstrate – set up from 7.00 pm.

March 6th – a Bring and Buy sale. A charge of 10% on sales will be levied. People who only have a few items to sell, if you fix a label with your name and selling price it may be possible to leave it for someone else to sell.

April 3rd – Annual General Meeting.

April 21st: International Marconi Day. See Panel.

May 1st – An open forum with experts on hand to pass on their experience and answer questions.

June 5th – We thought that there may be some recent RAE takers who might appreciate tips on operating including making QSOs and QSLs, so the June meeting will be along those lines. Fine tuning later.

(Preliminary notice) Keep September 4th pencilled into your diary because we have booked the General Manager of Yaesu UK, Bob Ives G3MSL.

NEW CALLSIGNS

As reported in last month’s Catswhisker, Mark, M1EPD and Richard, 2E1HSI successfully took their Morse tests.

Mark is now M5MKW. The MKW, his own initials, was available at the right time! Mark has a Yaesu FT747GX working through an Emitron Aerial Tuner to a 15m dipole which has enabled him to get QSOs with the outer reaches of Europe, though he hopes to extend this range when time allows.

Richard is now 2E0AVF. He is still considering his best HF option (bearing in mind that as a 2E0 he is limited to 10W and a few HF bands) but although he would like a good HF rig he may go down the QRP homebrew route. Using a borrowed FT920 Richard has worked Macedonia, Russia, Turkey and USA at 10W.

Dave O’Brien has successfully taken the RAE and is now M1OBR.  He has already been heard on ‘SD and the club net.

MORE ON MORSE TESTS

Neville, 2E1HFY’s QTH is now a RSGB registered Morse test centre and he has arranged for the following Morse Test sessions to take place this year.

Test date, Reg. No. and closing date for entry as follows:-

March 3rd ; 0534DT00 ; closing date February 12th.

July 7th ; 0534DT002 ; closing date June 18th.

November 3rd ; 0534DT003 ; closing date October 15th.

Application forms can be obtained from the RSGB www.rsgb.org or Neville 2e1hfy@g3sds.org.uk

According to Neville 2E1HFY, conversations with RSGB have revealed that local Morse examiners are authorised to carry out Morse tests at short notice (less than the 8 weeks reported in the last issue) but the RSGB needs to be informed.

Already several people have signed up for the March 3rd tests.

Again, watch this space because more advice is being sought in order to clarify the situation.

SECRETARY, SOUTH DORSET RADIO SOCIETY

This office will be up for grabs in April, as the present Secretary M0BQO intends to stand down.

RALLY AT WEYMOUTH ?

The Committee discussed the possibility of holding a rally at Weymouth Pavilion. It would take place on a Sunday during January or February but would of course require a long period of planning.

We would like to test the feeling of the Society in a discussion at a full meeting.

SILENT KEY

Older members will be sad to hear that Ian McGeachy, G8WXC passed away suddenly on 6th December 2000.

HELPFUL HINTS FOR HOPEFUL HACKS

A meter is a tool used for measuring, as in a voltmeter.

A metre is a distance, as in the forty-metre band.

(American spelling allows meter but that is not normal in UK.)

Apostrophes – if in doubt, leave out. An apostrophe indicates a letter (or letters) omitted.

It’s is short for it is and nothing else

Its means whatever it is belongs to it e.g. its disadvantage is….

Plurals do not need an apostrophe. Eat’s and Drinks is a shop in Weymouth!!

Spell Checker: use with caution unless you are confident. It’s always best to double-check with thesaurus (dictionary) that you have the right word. Significantly, many computer mags are bad offenders but adverts are worse!

One penny is a penny not a pence! (What about a p ? – Geoff) Say could have, not could of.