Posts tagged country

Clifton Country Club Net Sunday 19th October 2014

Whatho Gang!

Next month sees the first on the new season of Clifton Country Club Nets, which are scheduled to start on Sunday 19th October at 1400 hrs GMT.

The original plan was that the memsahib and I were going to return in time for the net after two weeks cycling in the Drakensberg Mountains (ZS-land). However, due the situation further north in the African continent we have postponed the trip and rescheduled our autumn vacation to one of a nautical nature.

We will still be able to cycle, but at ports along coasts of the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Sea instead.

As we will be embarking at Dover we will take our portable QRP station with us, we hope to gain permission from the Master of the vessel  to operate ‘maritime mobile’.

If  given permission we again will be operating from the open deck, this means waiting for a few days before we reach calmer and warmer climes as we travel south. Once the operating conditions are known I will circulate  times and frequencies (e-mail via imarsat).

It will be our intention to call on the hour in CW on or near one of the following 14.058; 18.085; 21.058; 24.908 & 28.058 and when conditions allow in SSB at 30mins past the hour on  21.285; 24.950, or 28.365.   As ever the best laid plans etc…………

The extended duration of our voyage will mean that I will not be available for the Clifton Country Club Net on 19th October. However, Brian (G3OYU) has kindly offered to ‘sit in the chair’

Over the past few weeks there has been a slight improvement in conditions on 80m, such that on some days ‘inter G’ nets can be heard around 1500 hrs GMT. However, 40m still seems more generally reliable.

Brian is now custodian of the CC Net e-mail address list and he will circulate any changes in the sked details, bearing in mind the net is a month hence, in which time propagation on 80m can improve.

But unless you hear further from Brian, the Clifton CC net will at 1400hrs GMT on Sunday 19th October on or near 7.125 Mhz.

Hopefully catch you on the wireless whilst “Maritime Mobile”

73 es 88s de Tony es Suzanne.

Clifton Country Club Net Sunday 15th June 2014

Firstly please accept my apologies for delay in producing this summary, but unfortunately other very pressing issues demanded my attention as a matter of priority.

This was the final net before the ‘summer recess’ the weather in most of the UK had been fair with the exception of those of us residing the eastern coastal fringes as an anticyclone over Northern Ireland was sweeping cloud and some drizzle off the North Sea.

I was not confident that many would abandon their outdoor activities encouraged by the weekend’s short burst of summer.

Conditions on 80m had shown some recent signs of recovery in the evenings,  unfortunately afternoon propagation was non-existent, hence 40m was our chosen band.

Tuning across 40m before the scheduled net time I found numerous UK special event station taking part in  ‘museums on the air’ weekend. The lack of ‘near continental’ stations was indicative the ‘skip’ was very short, with little or no QRN.

The apparent stable conditions belied the deep turbulence dwelt below the surface, as we were to find during the next hour.

Again this month 7.126Mhz was where we pitched our Clifton ‘tent’, I had hardly released the PTT on the desk microphone to gain an immediate from Colin (G0UJK) who answered my cursory call at 14.48 hrs BST.

Colin was a solid 59+10db from his Swanley QTH, he told me he had just worked an IOTA station on Islay off the coast of Scotland. His ‘Super-Loop’ antenna was continually outperforming more conventional aerials. Although he did suffer from local electrical noise that was occasionally as high as S7.

Colin had been experimenting with a ‘fan of dipoles’ to improve his access to the higher frequencies. He had taken the less than usual option of deploying these dipole antennas in a vertical mode, thereby maximising the effect of low angle of radiation associated with verticals in an effort to improve his DX capability.

We took a break at 15.00hrs to call in other members. Ron (G3GZH) who is normally a fairly readable signal here in Norfolk, was only just detectable. Although Colin fared better than I and heard Ron giving Colin a 59+ report. This was a precursor to the unsettled conditions that would prevail for the rest of the afternoon.

Shortly after Peter (G3RQZ) romped in from Godstone with a 59+20db signal stating that he had been listening for a few minutes and was also having difficulty hearing Ron (G3GZH), but also my signals had plunged in strength from 59+20db to an S3; these extreme swings in signal strength were sudden and very deep.

Keeping the theme on antennas I told the group that Terry ( M0TNE) who lived in my village had applied for planning approval to erect a 7.6 m mast at the rear of his bungalow. In the mean time because he would be under scrutiny he had removed his delta loop antenna, therefore he had no HF capability. I was convinced as Terry had not received any objections from his immediate neighbours and that there were a number of other constructions within 100m of his QTH that were in excess of 15m in height, such as two wind-turbines and a micro-wave link comms tower at the village school, his application should pass without problems.

Colin stated that he still had not pursued his application for a versa-tower, as he was convinced that the ‘authorities’ would not approve. I recall having this conversation with Colin some three years ago, and I still maintain my  stance that if you don’t ask you don’t get.

I also have a theory that has yet to be disproven, that most planning departments are there to assist, and if approached in the right way can be very helpful.

More so in the last few years, when most local council planning departments have been ‘outsourced’ to private companies and that revenue streams are paramount.

Peter(G3RQZ) stated that he has had his mast  for over twenty-one years and  never felt the need to apply for permission being hidden from view by the trees that surround his property. After that period Peter you can apply to have it formalised and they cannot refuse providing you have sufficient evidence that it has been in situ in excess of seven years.

Peter went on to say that trees have now encroached so much that he is unable to rotate his HF beam. At present the mast supports his 80 trap dipole and a dipole for 60m.

Colin said that he had worked some of the ‘special calls’ in CW associated with the ‘D-Day’ landings in Normandy has also made the trip into Angola on twenty meters.

At this point, Denis (G3OKY) called in from Beckenham, again although just audible the conditions were not in Denis’s favour, as his signals rapidly swung from 58  down to a whisper in seconds. It was nice to know that both Ron and Denis were there, unfortunately both not being blessed with very efficient antenna systems they were victims of the transient conditions. Even my signals were suffering from a similar fate and I was using a full-wave 80m loop supported by both my 20m versa-tower and surrounding trees.

Peter (G3RQZ) said that although they had a couple of severe thunder storms with very heavy rain over the past few days the ground remained stubbornly dry, such that a stream adjacent to his land was dry. Ironically, he expected the water authorities would declare a drought in the next few weeks.

He went on to say, that he was very disappointed by the lack of sporadic ‘E’ propagation this summer especially on 4m. There was a theory being mooted that this was as a direct result of lack of ionisation of the ‘E’ layer due to the abandonment of extremely powerful VHF analogue TV systems throughout Europe.

That is an interesting concept, Peter!

Being a regular inhabitant of 60m Peter went on to tell the group that there was a new beacon HB9AW.

Although the 60m band has not been released for amateur radio in Switzerland, the Sursee Amateur Radio Club has obtained the necessary official authorizations for a Swiss 5 MHz Experimental Beacon project. Using the callsign HB9AW, the beacon became operational on 5291 kHz at 0000hrs on the 1st of June.

The transmission commences with the call sign HB9AW in CW (100HA1B), followed by five 2 seconds-long dashes. The dashes are each accurately attenuated in the EIRP power sequence 10W / 5 W / 1Watt / 100mW concluding with 10mW and currently repeats every 5 minutes, commencing on the hour.

Thanks for that information Peter, I and fellow 60m users will now listen for the new beacon.

Peter reported that conditions were taking their toll on my transmission that I was dipping below his noise floor making reliable communication difficult.

But not as bad as the QRM on 160m, which has been steadily increasing as a result he has abandoned a Croydon based net on top-band because the ‘electronic soup’ had reached S9.

Likewise, I too have abandoned 160m due to a marked increase in QRN since October 2012 when ADSL2 was introduced into our area. As all our telephone lines are pole mounted the radiated signals were detectable up to 2.2Mhz. This combined with a NATO ‘Stanag’ transmission  centred on 1.898Mhz with sidebands spreading 500Khz either side obliterated any signal under S9.

At 15.25 (BST) Peter signed out, wishing the group a happy and healthy summer and looked forward to the next season of Clifton Nets in October.

Colin( G0UJK) said that in lieu of the Clifton’s entry into last weekend’s HF field Day he could not resist the need to get on the air and give some point away. He made 70+ contacts before other priorities drew him away from the wireless.

Well done that man!

As the time reached 15.35hrs (BST), Peter (G7ULL) called in from Chislehurst with a very respectable 59+10 signal. Somewhat different from last month, when for some unknown reason he was barely readable. Peter went on to explain that he had replaced his G5RV antenna with a brand new one and that he strongly suspected that there was a break somewhere in the slotted feeder as the original aerial had been in situ for several winters. Nice to hear you again Peter, unfortunately it was not reciprocal as Peter said that I was fading out and he was having difficulty in copying me.

A very apt time to call a close to the net before reliable communication totally broke down.

This had been small but enthusiastic net working against fairly difficult propagation

I received apologies from:

Lawrie (G4FAA), who  was taking part in the Practical Wireless 144 Mhz QRP contest.

Brian ( G3OYU), who was indisposed as he was awaiting surgery on Monday 16th June. We all wish you a speedy  recovery Brian.

Jon ( G8CLL), who was still working hard to salvage his shack that been demolished by a falling tree.

John ( G3FNZ), who was recovering from surgery on his arm and wrist. Get well soon John.

May Suzanne and I take this opportunity to wish all Clifton Country Club members a splendid summer, enjoy the weather and good DX.

We look forward to working you all again in the new season of nets which is scheduled to commence on 19th October, the day following our return from a cycling tour of the Drakensburg Mountains, South Africa. The net will be either on 40m or 80m depending on conditions, I will notify you nearer the date.

Just a final thought, as the next Clifton CC net will be after the forthcoming referendum for Scottish independence, will GM or 2M calls exist in October?

Catch you on the wireless!

73 es 88s de Tony es Suzanne.

PS. Also sent via G3GHN Reflector.

Clifton Country Club Net 18th May 2014

80m was in a state of torpor being void of any readable signals, the background ‘rush’ was making the ‘S’ meter gently undulate between zero and three.

Whereas 40m was crowded with stations as I tuned to our net frequency. To avoid some raucous splatter from an ‘Oscar Nancy’ contest station I decided to call for Clifton members on 7.126 Mhz a little higher than our prescribed QRG.

An early first call at 13.55 hrs GMT brought an immediate and very strong signal (59+) from Colin (G0UJK) in Swanley. Having just dashed into the shack he had not ‘tuned’ his ATU so Colin went QRX to adjust his antenna matching.

Meanwhile Peter (G3RQZ) sounded very relaxed as called from his sunny outdoor operating position in his garden, with glass of wine in hand and his feet up in a deck chair. Running 50W from his Yaesu FT897 into a 40/80m trap dipole. This ‘barefoot’ set up produced a very respectable 58 to 59 report here in Norfolk.

Colin appeared again explaining that he was now on the SSB friendly antenna, which registered a unity SWR. Prior to the net, he had been busy deploying fan dipole, only to find that the feeder was 3ft short, Colin went on to say he would soon rectify this after the net.

At 1403 Hrs Jakey (G3JKY) announced his presence in from Hastings, saying that all those heard were solid 58 to 59. In fact the band appeared quite stable.

He had finished his modification on his TenTec gear to allow a 4m transverter to be powered off the main transceiver. He had also fitted a CTSS board to his aging 2m radio enabling access to a greater range of repeaters. He had one problem, in that  he had not disconnected ‘tone burst’ board completely so that every time the PTT  was pressed a 1750 Hz tone kept triggering. Having rectified this everything was well and he could now work through 2m repeaters in North Kent and Danbury. He was restricted to 25Khz channels as his transceiver was of a vintage before 12.5Khz spacing.

At this point I told by Peter(G3RQZ) that Brian (G3OYU) was calling. Unfortunately  I could not hear him, even when gaps were left.

Stations closer than 100 miles appear to be victims of very sudden and extremely deep fading.

John (G3FNZ) was 58 from Rochester, although he said my signals were varying radically, whereas Jakey in Hastings had remarked on my solid steady signal.

It’s all in the distance, another 40+ miles makes all the difference.

John went on to say he had been blighted with QRN which made radio difficult, so he had spent more time on activities at Chatham’s Royal Dockyard.

Peter (G7ULL) was just audible when he called from his QTH in Chislehurst, a surprisingly weak signal. Peter told the group that Clive G0PPO had repaired the fault on his transceiver and he was now back on the air with a new G5RV doublet antenna.

I advised Peter to check all his drive settings, power out, and VSWR. because even with a turbulent band signals his signal was extremely weak.

Peter informed me that his output meter was showing 100W. At this I told him that there was even more cause for concern, was he sure that he had not got his ATU set to dummy load? Or he had a faulty PL259/coax connection somewhere?

At this Peter (G3PJB) from Swanley supported my observations that his namesake from Chislehurst was barely audible, as Swanley is almost line of sight.

Peter continued to tell the group that he had been struggling in the month long Royal Signals contest, and had only managed to work 20 other RS members.

Even his aircraft spotting hobby had proved difficult due to the high level cloud associated with the anti-cyclone that dominated the UK weather over the past days.

Ron( G3GZH) said that he had been having antenna problems, and that signals were highly variable, he could hear most with the exception of Peter (G7ULL).

Ron was using a vertical which did tend to collect some excessive QRN on the lower bands.

Peter (G3RQZ) remembering that John (G3FNZ) owned an Austin 7 said that he had followed an Austin 7 along the A22 that was being driven in excess of 45mph. Knowing that these vintage automobiles had rod activated drum brakes that work given sufficient time, would John consider that speed reckless?

Colin (G0UJK) said that he was receiving everyone except Peter (G7ULL) at 59+20db.He had a reasonably successful month working VK’s and Pacific Islands, he went to say 20m had proved a very productive for DX. He thought we may interested that he had worked Clifton members Peter Wilson (G0NGP) who had been operating portable on the south coast and he had also worked Steve (G0STE).

At this point I heard Denis (G3OKY) called from Beckenham, but obviously he could not hear my invitation to “Go Ahead”. From this point onwards I called both Brian (G3OYU) and Denis (G3OKY) every opportunity.

Jakey (G3JKY) said although 80m appeared to be in doldrums he still put in an appearance on the RAFAS Tuesday evening CW net on 3.566 Mhz.

He asked If Denis could access North Kent 2m repeater ? If so he would work him via that mode.

Jakey had mentioned during last month’s net that he was suffering from a respiratory condition. Although there were signs of improvement he was still ‘under doctor’s orders’. Much to his annoyance this would prevent him attending the forthcoming NFD.

We all wish you a speedy recovery Jakey!

Speaking of Peter (G0NGP), Jakey recalls several years ago on one HF field day after having worked a string of Dutch stations Peter was called by a PY and thinking it was yet another QSO from Holland was totally shocked to learn it was Brazil possibly their best DX on that band. Yes I am sure we have all done it!

I recall some 23 years ago, when operating ‘portable’ in 9M2 and after working a seemingly incessant stream of JA’s in all guises, I was being to think all two million licensed radio amateurs in Japan were on my frequency. When I was called by a JW, which we all know is Svalbard up in the northern wastes of the arctic, don’t we? Crikey, I am glad I worked him.

In response to Peter (G3RQZ)’s observations on speed and the Austin 7’s breaking capability, John (G3FNZ) stated you take your life in your hands when driving cars of that vintage ( and possibly the lives of everyone else too John?).

He went on to tell the group that he waiting to go to East Grinstead hospital for some surgical procedures on his hand. In the meantime he was under orders to mow the lawn, so he going sign out and get mowing.

Peter (G3PJB) stated he could hear everyone with exception of Ron (G3GZH)

Peter agreed that he had heard Denis (G3OKY) but that Denis could not hear our responses. Peter promised to telephone him after the net.

Peter had been to the Catford Bus Garage 100yrs celebrations. In pursuance of his bus spotting hobby, evidently there were 35 new buses at Catford, Peter logged all but five. The running code for Catford was ‘TL’ which stood for ‘ Tilling Lewisham’

Tilling being the original bus company, who says privatisation is new.

For the steam ‘buffs’ among you, during the last weekend in May, the Mid Norfolk Railway; my local preserved line is holding the first steam traction gala of the year. At which ‘West Coast Trains’ are supplying four steam locos and some ‘heritage’ rolling stock. West Coast Trains are based at Carnforth the station where the iconic film “Brief Encounters” was centred. A age old friend from London always comes to Norfolk and stays with us to get his ‘fix’ of steam-coal smoke during these heritage weekends.

Both Suzanne and I have had very little time to spend on the air as we have been very busy preparing for six US citizens on their first visit to the UK. All are guests at the 70th anniversary ceremony, which commemorates ten US airmen and two US fire-fighters that were killed when a US B24 Liberator crashed in our village on 4th June 1944. For further info:

A number of stations had signed out, leaving the few stalwarts to close the net at 15.07 hrs

I received apologies from:

Jon (G8CCL), who was still without an operational shack follow the winter’s storms

Lawrie (G4FAA), who was engaged at the Luton rally.

Brian (G3OYU), who was being plagued with S9 wide band electrical QRM. This was very unusual at Brian’s QTH which normally electrically quiet.

Whilst preparing this summary I received the news from Steve (G4RFC) that sadly the Clifton  would not be entering either the HF NFD in June or the VHF NFD in July. Due to circumstances beyond our control.

The next Clifton CC Net, the last before our summer recess, will be on Sunday 15th June at 1500hrs on or near 7.125MHz. allowing for no improvement in conditions on 80m.

Catch you on the wireless!

73 es 88s de Tony es Suzanne.

Clifton Country Club Net Sunday 13th April 2014

The bright sunshine and blue skies having tempted most out for some pre-Easter time gardening or other DIY activity led me to wonder how many would abandon this opportunity to enjoy the spring sunshine to join the net.

Also the state of 40m was as yet an unknown quantity, news of recent solar mass ejections held the possibility of very poor conditions on the lower bands.

As typical with 7 Mhz I found our chosen frequency affected by ‘splatter’ from a DL station approx 2Khz LF. At 13.55 hrs a tentative call of ‘just listening’ on 7.126 Mhz brought an encouraging response from Robbie (2E0RDJ) near Bristol, who reported that my signal was an “armchair copy” at 59+10db. His 50watts was likewise a solid 59+ here in Norfolk. Unfortunately these conditions were not to prevail.

Robbie was not a Clifton member but I said he was more than welcome to stay and gain some more reports from the gathered company when they appeared.

At this point, Peter(G3PJB) announced his presence with a 57 signal, stating that I was just audible over his noise floor of S6/7 but he could not hear Robbie in Bristol.

At this Robbie signed out and bade us 73.

Phil (G3BSN) thumped in with a 59 signal from near Rochester, reporting that both Peter and I were 55 reports on his new TS 990. Phil went on to state that the filtering on his ‘flagship’ Kenwood transceiver was ‘second to none’, the low signal strength belied the excellent clarity of the received audio.

Phil said that he had just come into the shack from gardening duties where he had been enjoying the spring-like sunshine, with an ambient temperature hovering round 20c.

Ah, the tropic of Kent! Here in Nelson’s county even with bright sunshine a chilling breeze off the North Sea was keeping the thermometer pinned below 12C. Brrr!

John (G3FNZ) popped in to say he had been absent for the last net as he had been watching his yacht being refloated after its winter lay-up. Since then he had been ‘under the weather’ and the continuing high levels of electrical noise at his QTH  took any pleasure away from operating the radio. Even on this net he was finding the constant ‘frying fish’ in background rather unpleasant, more so as the received signals were varying greatly.

OK John, the group were sorry to learn of you are not on top form, and sympathise with the seemingly incessant QRN which now seems to pervade most populated areas. This of course is exacerbated by weak signals from the prevailing poor propagation on the LF bands.

John went on to say he was looking forward to the Steam & Transport weekend at the Chatham Dockyard Museum. As secretary of the Historical Society, again this year he hoped to exhibit his Austin Seven. Good luck with that John, I hope you have a very successful and enjoyable time. This was the last we were to hear from John on this net, as his constant noise increased causing him to close down.

At this point in the proceedings, Jakey (G3JKY) called in from Hastings his FT101 was producing a fairly solid 58 report at my QTH. Jakey apologised for being late on parade, but he had stumbled across a special event station further up the band (7.160 Mhz I wonder? more of this later). The special call was linked with Leyland, Lancashire where the operators had their station next to a Centurion tank. These leviathans of war were built in Leyland.

Jakey went on to explain that he and Joyce had been way on holiday for a few days and he had returned with a persistent cough. On visiting his GP Jakey was found to have an extremely high pulse rate. Needless to say this led to medication and further tests some of which still have to carried out. Under Joyce’s supervision he was trying to take things a little easy. Although he was still making regular appearances on the RAFARS CW net on 80m.

Meanwhile in preparation for the forthcoming contest season, Jakey had been configuring a method of using the power supply from the Ten Tec to run the 4m transverter. This required cutting a hole in the transceivers chassis thereby enabling the whole system to run on one PSU. He had successfully modified one unit and was now working on his second Ten Tec.

Peter (G3PJB) stated that all signals were very much weaker than on previous nets the propagation was definitely unsettled to say the least. He was still waiting the return of heating ‘engineers’ who had entrapped his 2m beam by passing the new flue between the elements of the antenna!………. I wish you luck Peter, I trust you have not paid the bill, this is a great impetus for them to return.

He went on to say that Doris had not been too well, and he was somewhat perplexed by the apparent apathetic attitude displayed by the GP. Let me guess  Peter, “at this age you have got to expect etc………….”

During the month Peter had taken the opportunity to travel to Margate by train when he arrived he wish he had not bothered, to quote Peter “It’s in decline, a shadow of its former self”. He went on say as he was reliant on rail travel, he was somewhat taken aback to learn that there would to be no rail service from Chatham station over Good Friday. Ah yes! Peter railways are no longer a service but merely a business.

At 14.21Hrs Phil (G3BSN) signed out to continue his gardening activities, just as Ron (G3GZH) called in from Whipsnade. Fortunately my full wave 80m delta loop and very low ‘noise floor’ allowed me to hear Ron’s 54 signal.  Ron said he had been listening for some time, he could hear most but occasionally lost the gist of the conversation because of ‘splatter’ from a couple of DL stns a few kilohertz lower.

Ron was using a vertical antenna and unfortunately was not readable by those with high noise levels. The band conditions were definitely not working in our favour.

Peter (G3RQZ) boomed in from Godstone with the assistance of his trusty TL 922 linear amplifier producing 59+20db here. Again Peter had broken off from his gardening duties to give a call whilst he was en-route to prepare Sunday lunch.

Peter said it was apparent from what he had heard that band was in pretty poor shape and that all signals were lower than expected. To make things worse he was currently victim of hay-fever, possibly due to the rape crop that was in full flower locally. He had done very little radio since the last CC net. He would listen for one time round but his culinary skills were required in the kitchen so he would not come back.

Jakey (G3JKY) said that he had suffered from hay-fever as a child, but this had disappeared when he started playing the trombone. Likewise Peter (G3PJB) said that his hay-fever had stopped after he took up swimming as a past-time.

Well, there are two tried and tested cures to consider Peter (G3RQZ)!

At this QTH there has been the continuing smattering of two way QRP CW contacts one of the most notable was FO/F5PJF/P in French Polynesia on 15m, this interesting QSO lasted for 15mins until the band closed.

I have been assisting a Terry (M0TNE) who lives in my village with his planning application to install a crank-up mast at his QTH. All being well we can expect a decision in early June.

Before the net I received apologies from:

Laurie (G4FAA) who was attending the Kempton Park rally hoping to acquire an IC7100 to enable him to get back on to 5Mhz.

Brian (G3OYU) who was attending a Palm Sunday church service and had continuing family commitments.

Steve (M0BPQ) who had family commitments.

Gerald Lander (HB9AJU/G3OOH) who was visiting his daughter with Hannelore his xyl.

Jon (G8CCL) who’s shack had been crushed by a falling tree (now that’s a real apology!)

Jon, we all hope you are back on the air soon!

After the net I received the following e-mail from Bob Schilling (HB9DBJ/G3OAW). I note however the quoted frequencies differ from our net on 7.126 Mhz but I think the higher QRGs are where Jakey (G3JKY) worked the special event call before joining the CC Net.

Hello Tony,

I don’t know Jonathan personally, but I do sympathise and can well imagine the state of things after the fall of that tree. We have pretty strong winds here and there is always a risk of losing tiles off the rooftops on one end of the scale and big damage from falling trees at the QRO end. Our last storm was 2 years ago in Feb. When dislodged tiles nearly hit my car which was parked outside.  I do hope that traditional amateur solidarity will help Jonathan pull through this nasty passage.

This afternoon, at 16.00 hours HB9 time I listened in 7.150 Mhz and finally found the Clifton QSO on 7.160 after a few minutes. Most stations were just peaking above the QRM (it seems that there was a contest going on and the Italian stations made life very difficult here) and even if I had been equipped to call (I have currently no dipole for 40 metres) I doubt very much whether It would have possible to participate. I would say that you were all about Q3/4 and S5/6! I did manage to recognise Jakey, whose voice is imprinted in my memory since my youth and hence impossible to forget. I did also hear that you will probably return to 80 metres next month. I shall listen, having a fairly good transceiver (Flex 3000) but the local noise level here is very high on that band. Meanwhile, please pass on my vy best 73 to all and everyone.

Bob HB9BDJ (ex G3OAW)

Thank you Bob it is nice to know you are listening, I will be looking at the possibility of returning to 80m but only if conditions improve on that band. At present there is little sign of that, I will of course let everyone know where the net will be located.

Whilst typing this summary, I received an extremely interesting letter (yes a letter!) from Denis (G3OKY) who said that I was the only station on the net that he could hear clearly on Sunday. Thank you Denis, that is very reassuring as it proves my 286ft of wire loop is radiating well. Denis went on to say that only having an end fed wire he was limited to listening most of the time. He could not access his favourite band, 10m as his ATU was unable handle the mis-match. He recalled previous years in the past when 10m was open when he enjoyed numerous contacts on 28Mhz. He went on to say he needs a dedicated dipole for ten metres but he was now not agile enough to deploy one.

He had relinquished his G-QRP membership (No.187) as working QRP had been put out of reach six years ago when his neighbour installed a ‘noisy’ router which obliterated all but very strong signals. Thankfully this neighbour no longer lived next door.

Denis is looking forward to attending his granddaughter’s wedding during the first weeks of May.

Enclosed with the missive was one of Denis’s 1960’s QSL cards which Suzanne and I will treasure……………FBOM mni tnx!

Food for thought, is there any one close enough to pop round to see Denis, and assess the possibility of deploying ten metre antenna or even a nest of dipoles for 10,12,& 15Mtrs?

On the Wednesday following the net Keith (G4TJE) and Ayesha (G7LMP) who were spending a few days in Norfolk dropped in and had lunch with Suzanne and I. Keith said he was looking forward to the warmer weather when he would be operating ‘portable’ from their paddock near Sevenoaks using his recently acquired FT897D. Also he hoped to use this new rig to work from their ‘alternative’ QTH in Pembrokeshire at the end of May.

By 14.43 Hrs on Sunday the conditions on the band had deteriorated such that QRM together with increasing levels of QSB were making communication difficult, hence the net was brought to a close.

The next Clifton Country Club Net will be on Sunday 18th May 2014 (in order to avoid an RU 24hr contest the previous weekend) at 15.00 Hrs BST on or near 7.125 Mhz (unless conditions on 80m improve radically).

Catch you on the wireless!

73 es 88s de Tony es Suzanne.

Clifton Country Club Net Sunday 16th March 2014 Report

My concerns regarding the conditions on 40m deduced from previous days were apparently baseless. I decided to settle on 7.127 Mhz to avoid a low level of splatter from two stations LF of 7.125 Mhz.

At 14.15 hrs and being quite early ‘on parade’ a few preparatory calls brought a response from John (G0PJU) in Whitley Bay, who was running 30 watts from FT897 to a doublet antenna that he had deployed that morning. It was certainly radiating well  producing 59+10 on my MkV. even with the preamp out of circuit. John was not a Clifton member but he was glad to keep the frequency warm until the net formed. I told him we were a friendly bunch, and that he was welcome join in.

John and I being fairly strong signals on a relatively quiet band soon attracted the attention of Roger (G4ROJ/P) from near Kidderminster. He un-usually was using a 200ft long wire supported by a kite. Roger stayed long enough for a report and then went seeking the more exotic.

At 14.25 Peter (G3PJB) called in from Swanley with a fairly respectable 58 report he said that he had been looking for me whilst I was ‘maritime mobile’ he had seen that I had been spotted on a “DX cluster” but on tuning to the published frequency he could not hear me. Why does this surprise me? more of this later. The only notable DX worked recently by Peter had been 9X0NH in Rwanda. During recent weeks Peter had been enthralled   watching the Peregrines on-line that had nested at Nottingham University.

It was nice to hear Lawrie (G4FAA) at 14.34  who  called in from Sidcup, 40m was working well for us.

Lawrie was using a vintage KW Viceroy as his transmitter and a FRG7 as the receiver. To resolve his audio I had move the RIT up by 400khz, but heck that’s what the RIT is for. Lawrie was working on collecting a KW line-up and is seeking a KW2000. To quote Lawrie, they are nice rigs to work on, no surface mounted components.

Denis (G3OKY) was next to take advantage of the short skip on 40m  with 58 signal from his trusty Icom 735 and end fed wire. Denis went on to say he had been experiencing a few problems with his ATU and traced ‘the gremlin’ to one of the variable capacitors. Denis was pleasantly surprised to find that his that his ageing transceiver would transmit above 7.1 Mhz.  I told Denis most ‘modern’ rigs would transmit to upper reaches of 7Mhz and up to 4Mhz to cater for the US market.

Denis asked if anyone could tell him when IC735 was in production?

The general consensus was from 1984 until the early 1990’s I bought an IC 751A in 1990 and the IC735 features in the brochure from that year.

At 14.45 hrs David (G0WQQ) called in to say that was progressing well since his major surgery in November and was able to tackle gardening activities that he had not be able to do for some time. His receiver was still affected by a S7 of noise this was not helped by his hearing loss. David was seriously considering moving over to digital modes such a PSK31 at least he should be able work the world using screen based systems.

Peter (G3PJB) stated it was good hear that David (G0WQQ) was making a good recovery and that they had known each since 1961.

Peter went on to tell the group that he had travelled to the Sheldon museum to see the six A4 pacific locomotives before they were returned to their respective owners and in two cases to leave the UK. One anonymous enthusiast has offered a cheque for one million pounds to the US owners of the “Dwight D Eisenhower” to keep this  A4 locomotive in the UK.

The journey to Sheldon was reasonable but it had taken 6 hours to return due to broken down freight train.

He then enlightened group how when on his arrival at the museum he was confronted by a queue several hundred yards long. With a mix of guile and ‘old pals net’ he sidestepped this encumbrance by using the ’employees only’ access and flashing his ‘railways privilege pass’. Well done that man!

Denis (G3OKY) said that next weekend he was celebrating his 85th birthday  he was going to a special function to celebrate where twenty eight of his relatives will be present. Congratulations from all at the Clifton Denis, and have a wonderful time.

Denis said that he had a KW2000B in the past he recalled that it had a 6GH8 tube?

I wonder…..unless it was a ‘mod’ could you have meant a 6146(B) which have eight pins whereas 6GH8 is a nine pin valve. Whatever, these were much sought after iconic transceivers in the 1960/70s and are now subject of great interest by vintage radio enthusiasts.

Lawrie said that the CW National Field Day was looming on 6th & 7th June, there as possibility of a site change from the Detling Show Ground to a site near Capel. If my recollection serves correctly Capel is on the coast road between Folkestone and Dover (?).

Peter (G3PJB) said he had become a victim of un-foreseen consequences when his central heating boiler had been replaced. The unit required a new external flue in the form of a stainless steel chimney. When the fitters had gone home he realised the ‘new chimney’ went in-between the elements of his 2mtr beam. Peter now cannot rotate his 2m antenna. We wait hear then end of this story OM.

I would like to thank all those who endeavoured to find and work me whilst I was in ‘maritime mobile mode’. It all sounds easy, even although we managed to get our radio kit on board   but it was not until Suzanne and I were two days into our 13,800 mile voyage that we were given the necessary written permission from ‘the master’ of the vessel to operate ( I later found out that the captain had consulted both his Chief Engineer and his Technical Officer before doing so). In his letter of approval the captain offered us any technical assistance should it become necessary.

On a previous trip on the same ship in October we had spotted a good location for wire antenna; a halyard off the funnel. Unfortunately since then the placement of  a large temporary Aggreko ‘standby generator’ prevented access to this area. As we had to consider our fellow passengers our default antenna was a ‘Sandpiper’ helical mobile whip. This had advantage of being very portable and easily deployed on a any convenient part of the ship’s superstructure using a mag-mount.

Our station was completely portable; the FT817, Morse key, microphone, thermometer/clock, mag-mount and 7Ah gell cell were all contained in a small aluminium instrument case. Ancillary items such as   log & note books, telescopic tips for the antenna, extra coax, and antenna analyser were carried in a small shoulder bag. The 1.5 m helical element presented no problem, often being mistaken for a hiking pole!

As all our operating was to be carried out on the open deck, we waited until the sea conditions were suitable and weather was warmer. Three days after gaining permission we commenced operating off the coast of Morocco. There followed several days of experimentation, not only placing and resonating the antenna, but establishing the propagation conditions on differing bands at these latitudes.

It soon became clear the most activity appeared to be on 18Mhz and above and generally in the afternoons. On the first day the 15th January I worked a UT2, HB9, G4, W2,OK2  and DK7 all on 18Mhz in CW with reports from 549 to 599.

Using the telescopic tops on the helical antenna it would resonate between 14 to 24mhz. It soon became obvious the propagation was better on the highest frequencies early in the day from 0900hrs up until midday when propagation disappeared until around 1400hrs when started again on 24Mhz and moved down to 21 and 18Mhz as the afternoon progressed. During these periods I tried to call on 21.058 or 24.906 on the half hours. As a result I worked Peter (G3RQZ) on 21Mhz on 23rd January

Because the telescopic tips for the antenna were too long, 28 Mhz eluded me until the 27th January when I cut a piece of wire coat hanger down to about 1.5ins. Once on 10m my contact rates doubled!

As we headed further into the South Atlantic I spent more time on 10m & 12m ending the operating day with on 15m

All of the contacts were QRP (5W) 85% in CW  although I had some surprisingly good contacts on 10m SSB. I had to resort to “speaking wireless” as Jakey calls it, in the watery deserts of mid-South Atlantic, where the eight to ten meter sea-swell was causing the pitching and rolling ship to shudder and vibrate violently as pockets of air passed below the hull, making keying CW impossible. During one of these unsettled periods 800miles off the coast of Namibia I heard two MM3s on 10m having a local natter, I called in leaving two novice ‘hams’ in Glasgow somewhat shocked that 10w to simple wire aerials was fully readable some 5000 miles away and that my QRP station and mobile whip  produced 58 signals at their end. Within a few minutes this propagation ‘path’ faded  to zero.

These highly transient conditions were common on 10m/12m were exacerbated by my low power and restricted antenna.

This was the reason that DX cluster ‘spotting’ in my case was about as useful as yesterday’s weather forecast.

Although there were many hours whilst off the coast of South Africa when I could clearly copy the 10m low power beacons from EI, SM, and OH ( S7 to S9). At the same time I could hear European stations either calling DX( to VK. Pacific, & US) or piling into DX cluster sightings.

The astute and truly adventurous who actually listened as they tuned across an apparently empty band ended up in my log book. Interestingly most were modestly equipped stations with simple aerials

When calling I deliberately kept away from sections of the bands with ‘pile-ups’ to avoid the ‘pollution spread’ from over-driven PAs

It is my intention to write an article for one of the periodicals where I will explore the fun and frustration of ‘maritime mobile’ QRP operating, so I will conclude here with some of my memorable contacts:

Needless to say those Clifton members who I actually worked (some on more than one occasion) namely: Peter (G3RQZ), Colin (G0UJK) and Gerald (HB9AJU) a very big thank you to all who listened for me at sked times on the half hour but were thwarted by the propagation gods.

Another many notable contacts was VK6FZM/ Maritime Mobile who was off the coast of Papua New Guinea when I was off Freetown, Sierra Leone we both were QRP.

Also Gordon (ZS2GH) in Port Elizabeth who tried to assist when I was calling Terry (M0TNE) in SSB on 15m sked when I was en-route to Freetown.  We had a constructive and entertaining QSO more so as Gordon had mis-heard my location as ‘off Syria’ instead ‘off the coast of Liberia’. On turning his two element beam towards us our reported signal went from 57 to 59+ . Unfortunately we were too late for propagation to the UK on 15m.

Another example was whilst coming out of Cape Town in a ‘force 10’ I had a 20minute CW QSO with VU2GSM in Bangalore on 24.909 Mhz watching my ‘Sandpiper’ antenna bend precariously on its mag-mount as huge waves pummelled the ship, not for the queasy.

I have inserted two photos one showing my operating position on the starboard aft deck with Suzanne in the background and one of me adjusting the telescopic top of the helical antenna ready for band change.

cliftonclub1 cliftonclub2

Note the temperature and the indispensable AA600 antenna analyser.

Back to the net, Lawrie (G4FAA) on hearing that Suzanne and I had joined others (including Terry M0TNE) in our village in a litter pick collecting 40+ bags of detritus last weekend. Lawrie told the group that he and Maureen were active members of the “Bexley Wombles” and regularly took part in litter picks within their borough.

The community spirit is alive and well!

Before the net I received apologies from: Peter (G3RQZ) who was travelling to Dorset to visit his son.

Also, John (G3FNZ) who was watching his yacht being re-floated following maintenance.

Finally, I must thank Brian (G3OYU) for ‘sitting in the chair’ during my absence; a job well done Brian!

As the time approached 15.34 we closed the net, the next Clifton Country Club Net will be on Sunday 13th April at 1400 Hrs GMT (1500hrs BST) on or near 7.125 Mhz

Catch You on the wireless!

73 es 88s de Tony es Suzanne.

Clifton Country Club Net Sunday 16th March 2014

Whatho Gang! The memsahib and I have now returned from our nautical meanderings. Firstly I would Like thank Brian ( G3OYU) for ‘sitting in the chair’ over the past two months and secondly those of you that not only kept a listening watch for our QRP/ Maritime Mobile signals on 10, 12 ,15 and 17Mtrs but who also made contact with us.

Special QSL’s will follow eventually, sometime after I have penned an article for the Fists “Key-Note” magazine concerning the pleasures and pitfalls of operating a QRP/”Portable”/ MM station. In our absence I note that the conditions on 80m have not improved significantly for reliable inter-G working during the afternoon.

Not knowing how many of you have 5 Mhz capability, which would be my next choice for reliable inter G communication. We find ourselves somewhat hostage to fortune with 40m being our only option. Listening over the past days I note that frequencies immediately below 7.1 Mhz tend to be mainly populated by continental stations.

May I suggest therefore we use 7.125 Mhz +/- QRM but keep our options open with 3.690 Mhz as a secondary frequency should the QRM overwhelm us. This assumes of course that we all have transceivers that will transmit above 7.1 Mhz.

Having checked the contesting schedule it would appear that there no high profile events next Sunday. Therefore the next Clifton Country Club Net will be at 14.30 Hrs (GMT) on Sunday 16th March on 7.125Mhz +/- (with 3.690 Mhz as a secondary should all else fail!) Catch you on the wireless!

73 es 88’s fer nw de Tony es Suzanne

NB. This will also be sent via the G3GHN reflector

Clifton Country Club Net – Sun Dec 17th 2013

Whatho Gang!

The next Clifton Country Club Net is this Sunday 15th December, the prevailing conditions make inter G working more viable on 40m than 80m and as the near European QRM increases with dusk I suggest a slightly earlier start.

Hence the net will be on or near 7.090 Mhz at the earlier time 14.30hrs.

We all look forward to learning what you expect from Santa Claus……….?

73 fer nw de Tony and Suzanne.

Clifton Country Club Net 17th November 2013

Following a much extended ‘summer recess’ the first Clifton Country Club Net of the 2013/14 season was poised to commence on a new frequency of 7.097. The prevailing solar activity had made 80m less than reliable for inter-G working in daylight hours.

The first aspect of operating on 40m was the noticeable splatter from adjacent stations on this popular part of the RF spectrum. In fact my S-meter bounced readily up to S8 with the 2.8Khz filter in line and was only tamed by the introduction of the1.8Khz, even so the needle hovered around S5.

Colin (G0UJK) boomed out of the tidal rush of noise as he answered my early second call for CC members. Being a solid 59+10db in both directions we easily secured the frequency,  even when nearby European stations HF of us seemed to become rather adjacent.

We were soon joined by John (G3FNZ) who also crashed in from Rochester, again a 59+10db flattened the splatter with an ‘armchair’ copy, the voice peaks not allowing the AGC to recover.

Peter (G3PJB) was next to be heard, sorry Peter I could not give you the accolade  of +10db at the time, although you maintained a solid 59 with the very occasional dip in QSB.

Colin told the group that he had been having great success on 10m , although he was a little perturbed by when at the weekends the band was populated by  contest stations. I suppose Colin it’s swings and roundabouts there have been times if I recall when ‘we’ as the Clifton have generated a fair bit of RF during field-days.

Colin went on to say he was managing to work good DX with his ‘Supa-loop’.

John (G3FNZ), said that his radio operating had been limited, as he had spent most of his ‘free-time’ replacing the 30 feet of fencing panels that come down in the recent gales.

Jakey (G3JKY) another +10db station thumped in from Hastings, strangely it was not quite reciprocal as I only gained a 59 report, such are vagaries of wireless. In general most stations appeared general stronger on this band apropos 80m, although changes the antenna system at this QTH may account for this.

I told the group that following the very poor performance on 40m at end of last season together with the noticeable increase in QRM on top-band from ADSL2 radiated from the telephone wires. I reconfigured my 65mtr long doublet into a full wave 80m loop. I did this by adding 40ft of wire and joining the ends together to give a loop of 286 ft. This is fed with 300 ohm ribbon via a four to one balun. Luckily, my land is surrounded by mature trees, three of which supported the original doublet. I used the same trees plus one extra tree to form a trapezoid, the feed point and 300 ohm ribbon is supported from the versa-tower, the height of the loop varies between 18 & 25 ft as it surrounds the house. The tower is telescoped down a present in reaction to the recent threatened storms.

Even so I received some exceptionally good reports on both 40m & 80m where I deliberately ran lower power (5 to 10w) on SSB just to ‘test the water’.

Interestingly the points of resonance across the HF spectrum fall on or  very close to all the allocated amateur bands including 10Mhz 18Mhz and 24Mhz, with a little help from an ATU this gives access to all bands 80m through to 10m, truly amazing.

Peter (G3PJB) said that this morning he had visited the “Go ahead bus company” to celebrate the 100th birthday of Merton bus garage. He said for a Sunday morning it was very busy. As far as DX goes he had worked a Royal Signals member in the Seychelles.

At this point Terry M0TNE called in, needless to say he was ‘end-stop’ with me as he only lives about 800mtrs away. He also had recently deployed a full wave loop for 80m. This followed his success with the 40m full wave loop. I cannot fully describe the situation that exists at Terry’s QTH in that he is totally surrounded by power-lines both high tension and domestic as well telephone lines numerous. A number of these strands of ‘electric knitting’ pass directly over his bungalow, the whole situation is akin to a faraday cage. But by sheer determination he works some interesting DX. Within hours of deploying his ‘big loop’ last weekend he had worked Asiatic Russia on 24 Mhz. A band that was not available to him with his 40m loop. Terry now he has access to all bands, 80m through to 10m.

Jakey (G3JKY) said that he had an 80m full wave loop in New Zealand, it worked well on all the pre WRAC amateur bands without an ATU by using the Pi match on his FT101. The relatively  low height on the lower frequencies produced ‘ a near vertical’ signal that produced very short skip hence good signals were heard locally within ZL. Alternatively on the higher frequencies the loop performed as a reliable DX antenna.

Wearing his railway hat, Jakey said he had heard that the Rother Valley Railway was extending their track by half a mile with the intention to join with the Kent & East Sussex line. This would mean crossing the A21 arterial road, which in itself could be a problem as it would mean re-establishing a bridge. Not an easy task under new legislation, with so many boxes to tick and so many different agencies involved.

Recently Jakey had seen a 0-6-0 tank locomotive no. 32670 (?) on a low loader being transported by road to after being ‘on loan’ to the Rother Valley Railway.

Talking of 40m being crowded, Jakey recalled a field day when he worked GB3FB on 7mhz . The station was the special event call for the ‘Festival of Britain’ the year was 1951!

At this point Denis (G3OKY) called in from Beckenham, unfortunately the splatter from adjacent stations did not help. As a result 47 was the report, happily this was to improve later.

Colin (G0UJK) reported that Terry(M0TNE) was 59+10db in Swanley. Colin had been busy over the summer and had finished his new ‘shack’ that ran along the back of the house. Colin had fitted it out the operating position with shelving and it was fully insulated just ideal for the forthcoming colder WX. The change had meant that there was a surplus in the length of feeders and these were coiled up across the garden awaiting the warmer times in spring when Colin had plans to re-route or shorten them.

John (G3 FNZ) said all the stations were +20db or +30db which was quite remarkable. He went on tell the group that he had amassed a large collection of tickets from various preserved railways from all parts of the UK. Whenever away on holiday in his caravan the attraction of a nearby heritage railway could not be resisted. Now being a dedicated caravan user, he had kindly donated his capacious frame tent to the Clifton contest group. As during his visits to the contest site at Detling he had noticed their present ‘accommodation’  was somewhat tired.

On behalf of all those stalwarts in the contest group, a hearty thank you John!

Peter (G3PJB) said that Terry’s signals were 46, this may be due to the orientation of his G5RV antenna and local conditions such as noise. Especially in the light of the 59+10 report from Colin who was only a short distance from Peter’s QTH.

Peter went on to say he was considering deploying a ” double sized” G5RV with a 204 ft top, this would give access to 160m.

He went on to say that Rother Valley railway would have their work cut out if they were going bridge the A21. It was almost an impossible task.  During the summer  Peter had travelled to York railway museum for the ‘great gathering’ of six A4 pacific locomotives in celebration of the 75th anniversary of world speed record by the A4 Mallard.

Jakey (G3JKY) said before coming up on 40m he had listened on 80m and found hardly any activity and most were European stations with smattering of very weak ‘Gs’, confirming it had been a wise decision to use 40m.

As a shareholder in the Spa Valley Railway he had spent a ‘lads day out’ on the railway in June enjoying a splendid lunch at Eridge station whist eagerly looking for the sleeper he had ‘donated’ as part of the share package.

He thanked John for the frame tent , it would be very welcome as the old one was extremely draughty, the zip having failed on the door flap.

The results from the NFD in June were if nothing but consistent; G3GHN came 9th out of 9 on 28 Mhz, 8th out of 9 on14 Mhz, and 9 out of 9 on 7 Mhz.

OK folks don’t get despondent! The Clifton was in the ‘open section’ and solely relied on two CW operators namely Jakey and Colin who made 938 pts. A very good effort under difficult conditions! More so when you consider all the other competitors had between five and nine operators in their teams for this 24 hour contest.

I admire Jakey’s tenacity and support given by Colin but in truth, what we need is more CW ops if only to give our ‘key-operators’ a break.

Are we down hearted ? No of course we are not! Jakey is already working on a 28Mhz two element beam antenna for next year. With the prototype at 3ft above the ground he has worked four stations in the USA and two in Italy

At this point I informed the group that I had received apologies from Brian (G3OYU) who was celebrating his 80th birthday and was being taken out to lunch by his family.

Many congratulations from all, Brian!

Also apologies from David Bennett (G0WQQ) who underwent major heart surgery on 12th November he said he hoped to be in a position to listen or join in next month.

David, all those on the net and those reading this summary sincerely wish you a speedy and full recovery.

Dennis (G3OKY) said he found 40m a good choice as he was able to copy everyone. The noise floor at his QTH had been noticeably reduced since his next-door neighbour had passed away and his very noisy router was no longer in use.

Denis said he was still on his 90ft end-fed antenna, but if we were likely to make 40m a regular haunt of the net he would consider erecting a 40m dipole in an inverted ‘V’ configuration which should also work well on 15m.

Because the adjacent ‘splatter’ had subsided Denis was now a fair reasonable copy at 57 with some QSB. A dedicated aerial for the band may improve matters both for Denis and the group. However keep that end-fed handy Denis just in case we find that 80m become a better proposition in the future.

Colin (G0UJK) said it was good to hear Denis although he was losing the occasional word in QSB, he felt his signals could be improved with a resonant antenna for 40m.

Although it is not exactly the best time of year for antenna work with the promise of colder weather on its way.

Colin went to say that 10m had been wide open most days during the past few months. He heard an  Afghanistan station calling for a 9M2 without success. Colin called and asked the YA to QSY and thereby securing his first contact with Afghanistan. Well done that man!

Peter (G3PJB)  said that during the summer he had celebrated his 81st birthday together with his 62nd wedding anniversary. A belated congratulations from all Peter!

At this location a very early seasonal gift from Suzanne (G0LUZ) in the form of a ‘Rig Expert’ A600 antenna analyser has assisted me deploying a new  full wave 80m loop both here and at Terry’s QTH. These task can be carried out with confidence using the easily to read  colour graphic displays of all the antennas (& the feeders) characteristics. No more calculated guesses chaps!

As another point for our members regarding deceptive sites on the internet.

In recent weeks I had recourse to renew a passport and a EHIC (European Health Id Card). I used a well know search engine for “UK Passport Renewals”.

Up popped a site emblazoned with images of a ‘crown’ and ‘UK passports on line’ etc

I duly filled in all the boxes. Knowing I had to submit photos of the passport holder I became suspicious at the end of the form when there was no mention of photos but a demand for a fee of £26.30p. Being somewhat canny I thought why?

On closer examination, it obviously a scam, they only completed the application form  on-line which they posted back to you for the princely sum of £26.30p.

For passports, your local Post Office run a “check & send” service for a small fee. They check that the form and photos are completed correctly and a forward your application, photos, and old passport by recorded delivery to the Passport Office. All his for a fee of £8.75p on top of £72.50 for a new passport.

There was a similar scam for the EHIC  (European Health Card) at £12.30p. This card is available on-line FREE from the NHS and usually arrives in two days.

I know you’ve heard this before but do ensure that the web-site you are dealing with for these government based services has “ ” in the address.

“The legality of these rogue sites is a very grey area and should be reported to the local trading standards office” to quote a government minister recently.

That has got to be the best example of ducking the issue since Jim Callaghan’s

“crisis, what crisis?”

My apologies to Steve M0BPQ for not being on the recent 160m SSB contest but as you will have read, unfortunately I am now sans antennas for that band.

Finally for Jakey (G3JKY), I believe the 0-6-0 locomotive you saw on the low loader was an  LB&SCR A1Class Terrier Tank, do have at look at the ‘Terrier Trust ‘ web-site for further details:

The net was brought to a close at 16.20hrs. December’s net will be on Sunday 15th December at 3pm, all being well on or near 7.090 Mhz. The band and frequency will confirmed nearer the date.

Catch you on the wireless!

73 es 88s de Tony es Suzanne.

Clifton Country Club Net 17th November Update

Whatho fellow Cliftonaires! At long last, 3pm this Sunday 17th November sees the first of this season’s Clifton Country Club Nets. Having monitored both 40m and 80m during the past days the inter-G propagation in the afternoon seems to favour 40m. To avoid clashing with a beacon-like signal on 7.090 Mhz I propose we use 7.095 Mhz. I hope to hear as many of you as possible on 7.095 Mhz at 3pm this Sunday.

73 fer nw de Tony es Suzanne. (This will also be circulated via the G3GHN reflector)
Whatho Gang! With all the best intentions I already rescheduled the next Clifton Country Club on two occasions so far. Firstly from 13th to the 27th October, then finding this date clashed with the CQWW contest I shifted the net back a week to 3rd November. I now find that Suzanne and I will be attending a concert at Holkham Hall on 3rd November at 3pm. This has been booked for several months I had overlooked this existing commitment, an obvious senior moment. The next Sunday 10th November is Remembrance Sunday, where I am sure like us a number of our company will committed to ceremonies various. I therefore propose we hold the next Clifton Country Club net on Sunday 17th November at 3pm on or near 7.090 Mhz allowing for QRM. Please note the move to 40m as 80m seems decidedly un-reliable for inter-G at present during the afternoon. Please accept my apologies for this change in schedule. Catch you on the wireless!

73 es 88s de Tony es Suzanne. (This will also be circulated via the G3GHN reflector)

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