Clifton Country Club Net 12th May 2013

Ladies and gentlemen of the Clifton clan, please accept my apologies for the delay in the production of this summary and even then in a much truncated form. Unfortunately the skills of a consultant surgeon took priority on the Monday following the net. Since then I have been in recovery mode, having now gained sufficient composure I am back in the editorial seat.

On the 12th May recent solar turbulence still held on 80m, signals swung from full scale to diminutive in seconds.

My early call in CW at 14.45 hrs brought an immediate response from Jakey (G3JKY). Giving me a wonderful opportunity demonstrate to Terry (M0TNE) who was in my shack the value of CW in poor or difficult conditions. The recently fully licensed Terry, was totally surprised by the fall in clarity from the 599 CW tones to the wavering less distinct (45 to 56) signals when Jakey and I changed to SSB.

You can’t beat the ‘heritage mode’ when all else fails!

Peter (G3RQZ) was next to appear. Having heard both the CW and SSB transmissions he observed that all was not well with the propagation on 80m.

Some of this he blamed on his trap dipole, stating that he has wished he had retained his dedicated dipole for 80m that he has deployed for his excursion into the recent AFS contests.

At this point Peter (G3PJB) called in from Swanley, again this month plagued with an S9 of local noise, which virtually obliterated transmission from my location. G3RQZ being the only reliable copy for Peter.

Brian (G3OYU) reported that it was nice to work Jakey since ‘JKY’ had returned to ‘Blighty’ from the land of the Great White Cloud (ZL). Fortunately Brian was copying Jakey at a solid 59.

Brian told the group that he had only just received his VHF/UHF/ HF transceiver back from repair. He had decided not affect the repair himself, as due to the march of time he was less confident in tackling surface mounted components in close proximity to each other. I don’t blame you Brian, I likewise recently sent my TS 2000 away to a service centre in Wales for them to replace some wayward regulators on the main board as well as the rotary multi-function control ( a common fault on TS2000’s).

Peter ( G3RQZ) with very little local noise could hear all stations and was happy to relay any information to Peter (G3PJB). He went on to tell the group that he fortunately had access to all bands from 1.8 Mhz to 430 Mhz including 70Mhz for which he had a 4m Yagi on his tower.

During one his forays on to 60m Peter found Dave (G3SDL) calling CQ from Botswana as A29IO. Peter listened to these calls for about 15 minutes (around 2100hrs BST) before establishing a contact resulting in 589 both ways. Great DX Peter on a relatively new band!

Whilst speaking of DX, even with his local QRM problems Peter (G3PJB) had worked TO5PX in Martinique on 14 Mhz. Peter went on tell the group that Denis (G3OKY) would not be on the net as he was touring Gloucester  with his son.

Knowing that Peter (G3PJB) was unable to hear all the group and that Jakey (G3JKY) was experiencing some difficulty  with very heavy QSB on my signal, I asked Jakey to find a clear frequency on 40m. (As last month the move to 7 Mhz enabled better communication).

Hence the group at 15.25 Hrs ‘up’s stakes’ from 80m and moved to 7.082 Mhz. Much to the relief of Peter (G3PJB) whose noise floor fell to below S6 enabling him to hear all those involved. Unfortunately my QTH being the furthest east I was experiencing some difficulty from some nearby European stations, but this paled into insignificance in relation to Peter’s situation on 80m.

Jakey reported that all were now fully readable on 40m, he went on to say that recently he had visited Gordon (M3YXH) where Jakey and another member of the Hastings Radio Club had deployed a dipole for 80m laid along the top of the hedge (2 to 3mtrs agl) and worked numerous contacts on 3.5 Mhz using a Ten Tec Omni V transceiver.

It is good to hear Gordon is taking the plunge into HF with your guidance Jakey.

Now that Peter (G3PJB) could receive the rest of the group he enlightened us with the tale of Doris’s digital bird watching, namely a nesting pair of Peregrine Falcons at Lincoln Cathedral that are avidly observed via a web-cam.

Not quite the same as standing in blustery north easterly with your hands slowly go numb as you clutch your favourite binoculars.

Talking of wildlife at this QTH;  The invasive ‘dog like’ Muntjac deer still proceed to munch at the specimen shrubs leaving a ‘mowed line’ along the hedges at one metre above the ground. Suzanne with her markswomen skills continues to despatch as many rabbits as possible. Meanwhile we have had the pleasure of acting as temporary host to a family of Roe deer. Real deer with long straight backs, excellent posture and developing antlers.

Our colony of Watervoles (endangered species) have re-emerged and are proceeding to expertly ‘fell’ the clumps of Iris’s  and Red Campion along the stream bank. Watched by a nesting pair of Kingfishers who treat our watercourse as a well stocked larder for their brood.

On the radio front, the band conditions have produced a few pleasant surprises.  For example earlier this month, in the ‘long grass’ at the lower end of a seemingly quiet 12m. I found LU8ADX repetitively calling CQ DX with little success, very strange in these days of computerised ‘DX spotting’. Following my response there was an exceedingly long silence, after which I called him several times at a character speed well below his initial call speed. The apparent reticence evaporated and an amicable QSO followed with 589 reports both ways. Having visited Ushuaia at the very southern tip of Argentina en-route from Antarctica. I can assure you that even after 30 years, animosity towards the UK still runs very deep.

Jakey (G3JKY) continuing the wildlife strand, told the group that Joyce and he regularly were the audience to foxes, who visited their garden and proceeded to excavate various parts of their lawn.

There was a general consensus that during these times of sun spot maxima 40m held the key to intra-G working in preference to 80m. However if we do select 40m I suggest that it is below the 7.1Mhz  as some of our membership may not have the capability to work above this, particularly if their radio has not been ‘opened up’ to cope with the newer allocation.

As I type this (15.15hrs on 23/5/13)  40m is crammed full of very strong near European stations and no ‘Gs’ whatsoever,  whilst 80m is dead. All does not bode well!

I will monitor the band conditions and suggest a frequency in my ‘reminder’ sent on the Wednesday prior to the net.

I have been asked by Lawrie (G4FAA) to remind you, if you can spare a few hours over the weekend of 1st & 2nd June. The Clifton contest group will glad to see you at the NFD  held at the Kent Showground, Detling.

Do go and meet old friends, the vintage Clifton tea pot still makes a good cuppa and any assistance will be gratefully received. Please contact Lawrie:  lawrie8@sky.com for further details.

Thank you John (G3OGE) for forwarding your new e-mail address now that you are resident in Yorkshire.

The next and last Clifton Country Club Net for this season will be on Sunday 9th June the time and band to be confirmed.

The May’s Clifton CC Net was closed at 15.48 hrs.

Catch you on the wireless!

73 es 88’s de Tony es Suzanne.

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