January 26, 2010

First New Member of 2010

Sands would like to welcome Damien who joined the group last night. He is returning to Amateur Radio after over 10 years absence from the hobby. We hope Damien enjoys our company and enjoys the various activities we are taking part in this year, including our first venture into "Mills on the Air" in May.

January 20, 2010


Following the fun of the CW leg of the contest a few members had a go at the SSB leg of this popular contest. I had a new member with me who was completely new to contesting and between us, Damien and I managed a creditable 161 contacts. Conditions were fairly good and we managed a run frequency for a while. Conditions finally petered out around 17:30 and we only had a couple of contacts in the last half hour.
Great fun though and a good way of getting in the mood for the upcoming contest season :)

Ian - G0VGS

January 11, 2010


One of the things we lack as a contest group are CW operators. We are trying to change that and to that end I am doing more CW contests. The K3 is a fabulous radio all round but really shines in a CW contest. I have the 500Hz roofing filter in and it makes a huge difference. Stations just pop out of the band and even weak stations are easy to copy, even at my relatively noisy location.
I joined in the RSGB AFS CW contest yesterday. This is a 4 hour contest and although I could not do all 4 hours, I managed a couple. This brought me 78 contacts and a lot of fun. In fact I glanced at the clock at one point and realised I had been operating for about 2 hours and I have no idea where the time went :)
I was completely Search and Pounce as my CW skills are not good enough yet for Running but I could still keep my QSO rate reasonable.
One thing that was noticeable was that there were a LOT fewer station with key clicks. Normally that can be a pain with unmodified 1000mp's clicking all over the place. There were still a few but only once did I need to ask for a number repeat because a close station was splattering key clicks all over the station I was trying to work.
All in all, a great afternoon of radio. The K3 was wonderful and my CW skills are improving. Cut numbers still get me occasionally but I get them in the end :)
I hope more of the group will start to get 'the bug' (no pun intended) and get their CW going again.

Ian Maude - G0VGS