February 27, 2009

Working Party

Sands members will be busy this weekend getting ready for a busy month of contests in March. We are going to put up all the masts and antennas at our contest location and leave them up for the next few weeks, so covering the big contests ahead. Also hope to find the time to put up the big SteppIR for Barrie, if the weather and time permits. We might just find time to air the club callsign a little later in the weekend!

A Little HouseKeeping!

Frank and Ian are spending the morning looking at the Force12 beam which we have used for some of our contests in the past. Also it was a good thing to check that it actually still drops over at the G0VGS location as he has just taken delivery of a new greenhouse and some very careful planning has taken place to make sure it will still clear all the obstacles in the garden! Success!!
The feeder was renewed last year and all has been checked back to the beam and is working like it should. The beam, however, is slightly out on 20 metres and is actually resonant at 14.390. The beam is actually riveted but is adjustable on the 20m elements. Having looked at these with a view to lengthening them it has appears that there is some wear on the aluminum and a couple of small parts will need replacing! Checking the measurements carefully against the instructions it seems that it was assembled slightly wrong in the first place and was never noticed until now! It will work ok for now but need to chase the parts with the UK dealer.

February 23, 2009

Everything Up and Working and Other News

Both sites are now up and running on the host site. Access is a lot faster and we now have additional capacity for both sites, which will certainly help with the media section of the Sands site. The projects section should also be working again after a few teething problems.
We are still receiving the odd direct QSL card for MS0SCG. Several cards were posted out direct from us on Friday so should expect them to arrive by the end of this week. We still have a few spare Jura QSL's if anyone requires one, please QSL to G0VGS whose details are correct on QRZ.
Tonight is a business meeting for the group. We are planning for the two big contests in March, both the full 48 hours, so plenty of planning to do. Sands will operate both times from Barrie's QTH near Bentham and will be the first time this year we can get all the masts and antennas up, checked and working. Our thanks also to Ian M0AZM who has kindly loaned his FC102 ATU to the group for our contests and events.

February 22, 2009

Downtime on Sites

The main Sands website is currently being moved over to its new host. It is currently not not accessible to guests or members. Hopefully all will be well by tomorrow at the latest. The Amateur Radio Training site is also affected and also should be back up and running by the morning. Sorry for the downtime and thanks once again to Mike and Ian for their hard work this weekend.

February 20, 2009

80m CC CW contest

Finally had a go in the CW leg of the RSGB 80m Club Calls contest. This is a set of contests that runs for about 6 months of the year and has three legs each month. SSB, Data and CW. Each contest is on 80m and lasts for an hour and a half.
I have only been back doing CW for 3 months so it has been a steep learning curve and I need to listen a couple of times to get the information before I send. I managed 45 contacts though and for me it was an achievement. I will be back next month for more and I hope the conditions pick up as they were not brilliant this month.

73 Ian (G0VGS)

February 18, 2009

Gary Goes Portable!

Hi all

Just packing my kit for a few days away with my brother in law. A good part of that time is going to be spent on the hills and in the woods, so I thought I’d take my K2. Here is a picture of the setup. It includes, K2 (10w inc battery and auto tuner), mic, headphones, 2 coax leads, ATX walkabout 80-2m. Tape measure counterpoise and croc clip, long wire and 4:1 balun, 1.2 amp switch mode power supply, 10w solar panel and charge controller, connecting leads, log and a pen and pencil! All in my nice water tight laptop case, fits in the rucksack well, weighs too much but that’s the price for protection and a full kit! I also have a 30m doublet in a separate bag, made with light weight wire, fingers crossed I get the chance to use it in anger!



February 15, 2009

Changes Afoot!

Over the next few days the main Sands home pages will be moving to a new host! Over the last year the main site has become very busy and now is the time to move over to a faster, more efficient server. Mike G6PHF has kindly offered to host things for us and this will mean faster access for all who visit and use the site. The switch should be seamless and hopefully there will be no downtime. The URL will, of course, remain the same. Please note that this will not affect the Blog as it will remain hosted by Google Blogger. Thanks to Mike for his time and very kind offer!!

February 02, 2009

A Cold Start to February!

A snowy start here in Northern England with some more heavy falls forecast tonight! The picture shows the snow at the QTH of Barrie G1JYB. Still the contesting goes on and this evening sees the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships, should be an interesting night, doubt anyone of our gang will be out mobile. Also tomorrow evening Faris and Sam take their "Full Licence" examination, so good luck to both of them, in fact good luck to anybody taking the exam tomorrow and we look forward to a contact with you in the near future.
We have plenty of plans to be out and about this month and, in between the contests, get all the equipment out portable and give the club callsign an airing one weekend, weather permitting.