Clifton Country Club Net Sunday 9th April 2017

Apologies for the delay in the production of this summary, this was primarily as a result of an IT system failure brought about by a Microsoft update for Windows 10. This update apparently corrupted the registry files and required a complete reinstallation of the operating system. Even having backed up our files it still resulted in a few fraught days and even now we have still not regained all facilities that were on the system. It was somewhat less than reassuring when we found that we are not alone in falling foul of these W10 updates.

However, let’s go back to last Sunday’s CC net.

It was the warmest day of the year so far with the spring sunshine raising the temperatures to 22c. Therefore I was not too surprised when we could only muster two other members on Sunday’s net.

Conditions on 80m were better than expected for inter-G working; Brian (G3OYU) was the first to respond to my initial call at 14.50hrs with 59+10db signals from Crowhurst. He was closely followed by Peter (G3PJB) from Swanley who was also a respectable 59+10db. Brian was benefitting from his new hearing aid system which was interfaced from his transceiver by a ‘magic–box’ that he controlled for level and response from his i-phone. This amazing piece of kit gave him access to his radio again after several months of absence. To learn more about Brains experience with hearing loss I recommend you read his letter in May’s edition of Rad Com (p98).

Peter (G3PJB) told us he had augmented his IC7300 with an Inrad RX7300 ‘gadget’ that gave the facility of a separate receive antenna. These units are available from well-known amateur radio retailers. It is part of Peter’s on-going battle with high levels of local electrical noise; hopefully this will allow him to deploy a receive-only rotatable loop antenna to facilitate nulling out the offending noise source.

Good luck with that Peter, I do however feel that it is a little miserly of Icom not fitting a separate receive capability, I had a dedicated RX antenna socket on an IC751E that I owned over a decade ago.

Peter went on to tell us that he had spoken to Denis (G3OKY) who unfortunately had suffered a couple of falls recently. Denis was still keen to get back on the air and was hoping to invest in a new IC7300. Hello Denis, be careful and we will be listening for you!
Brian (G3OYU) said he was operating on his ‘long-wire’ fed via a 9:1 Unun which he had constructed based on similar item shown January’s Rad Com. He was not too impressed with performance so far, but would give it time before made any decision to alter the set up. Brian, it is certainly radiating well on this band you are still an armchair-copy (59+) at my QTH.

I told the group I had noticed the increased activity on 160m as conditions on the higher frequencies had deteriorated and I missed not having access to 1.8MHz since deploying my full-wave loop for 80m. Therefore I was giving thought to erecting an end fed wire for top-band; fortunately I have the space and the trees to support it.

Peter (G3PJB) had spent last Saturday at a bus enthusiast’s rally held at Detling showground. Where there were over 200 buses on display. He was hoping to see John (G3FNZ) there with his treasured Austin7.

Brian (G3OYU) went on to tell the group that even with his newly found hearing aid interface unit we has still able to utilise his BHI noise cancelling unit. He had also been busy on upgrading his shower room, and was fighting a continuing battle with weeds on his driveway. Oh yes, Brian I have several gallons of agricultural grade glyphosate concentrate in my armoury here.

At this point we were joined by Dave (G8BWR) from near Peterborough. Although not a Clifton member he was made very welcome. Dave had recently fitted a new microphone and requested a report on the quality of the received audio. Not knowing Dave’s voice it was a little difficult to make an objective comment although it was not the clearest I had heard as it seemed to be lacking in the upper response. Peter (G3PJB) who was listening via Hack Green SDR found that Dave’s audio was quite acceptable, although Peter could not resolve Dave’s signal direct ( perchance the filtering network via the SDR system was assisting in ‘lifting’ the audio?).

Dave (G8BWR) then signed with us to seek further reports from other occupants of 80m.
Peter (G3PJB) was in mid-sentence when he disappeared ………..It later transpired that Peter’s IC7300 had taken a scan up the band. On his return to 3.690 MHz Peter thought this self-driven scan could be as a result of excess RF within his shack? Also his internet connection was still apparent affected by his transmissions on HF; as a result he was losing access to the Hack Green SDR.

If you recall in last month’s summary I suggested Peter fitted a VDSL filter plate at the LJU where the phone line enters his property. A VDSL plate had completely solved any RF instigated loss of broadband at my QTH (Also my hard wired extensions still function perfectly with no need of dangly filters!)

Apparently Peter has yet to explore this solution, in the meantime he is hoping that by attaching ferrite rings to his speaker lines and inter connections on the computer will resolve the problems. Good luck OM you will eventually crack it!

Brian (G3OYU) said he was fortunate in that he had two computers in the shack neither suffered from internet loss, but his shack was in the garden away from the router in the bungalow.

At this point in the proceedings (15.44hrs) John (G3FNZ) called in from Rochester to say that he was sorry to be late on parade, but he had been watching the motor racing and then finishing some gardening duties. No problems John, we are only too pleased to have you aboard.

Before the net I received apologies from Mark (G0GQT) who had been scheduled to work this weekend.

He has asked me to remind the group (and our readers) that from Sunday 30th April until 6th May he will be with an expedition to Holy Island and will be QRV on all HF bands and also 2m on the evening of Tuesday 2nd May for the UKAC activity series. For more detailed information about the expedition and Holy Island refer to MC0VRC at QRZ.com.
The experimentation aspect of amateur radio is still alive, never more so than when an individual decides to take that ‘leap of faith’ and totally dismember an expensive commercially made piece of equipment to reconstruct it in an effort to improve the performance. This has recently been the case with Terry (M0TNE) a near neighbour who has ‘upgraded’ and expanded his ‘off the shelf’ mini beam into truly functional antenna.

Well done that man!

Talking of antennas, two days ago my 6m, 2m & 70cms co-linear was bathed in pink light from the setting sun, when I noticed the fibreglass element was shaking in the breeze. It had apparently succumbed to the last 16yrs of weather. On checking the RF performance with my AA600 it appeared to be in order, I must assume that there has not been any significant water ingress. It is obviously time to lower the Versa-tower with a view to replacing the tri-band co-linear.

During the net conditions on 80m were good for inter-G propagation, even John (G3FNZ) he could hear me over his local ‘electrical soup’. Hopefully this will be case for next month.
Food for thought, we have two more CC Nets before we go into recess for the summer, hopefully you can find time to join us, and after all it is your net.

The next Clifton Country Club Net will be at 1500hrs GMT on Sunday 14th May, the frequency will be circulated during week before.

I am now off to try and restore the missing facilities on our main computer; does anyone know how to locate misplaced sub-files in MS Outlook?

Catch you on the wireless!

I can often be found on or around the QRP CW part of 60m on 5.260 MHz

73 es 88 de Tony es Suzanne.

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