In an attempt to get more members to give presentations at club meetings, it was thought that a basic introduction to software generally used to produce a digital slide show might be productive. By bypassing the ‘paid for’ systems which are very popular. an introduction was made to the free software produced by Apache called Open Office found at: http://www.openoffice.org/
After details of downloading and starting, a basic presentation using IMPRESS was shown including how to set the background and pick the font size and style, then how to include more slides and how to insert photos or videos.
This demo was followed by a Q and A session with a few antidotes thrown in!
It would appear the re-start of club meetings might be a date too near the holiday season or perhaps the sickness that’s been much in abundance or perhaps the wet and windy weather, but in any case, attendance was very low. However, those who did attend found lively discussion and interesting happenings taking place over the break period.
Last evening was the last meeting of the year as we break for Christmas and the New Year. The turn out was good and members enjoyed their mince pies and other delights. It’s always good to meet up again with friends who have moved away or can’t attend often.
Our meetings will restart in the New Year on the 4th of January when we will have a ‘Welcome Back’ evening, preceded by the usual CW practice.
At the beginning of WWll it was assumed there would be enemy agents operating secret wireless from Britain. Numerous radio amateurs were instructed to listen for them and report back. Although not many were actually detected, some were heard and quickly dealt with.
However, the radio operators heard other signals which were unusual and it was soon realised they were from Nazi operations. Teams of intercept operators both military and civilian were set up to monitor these communications and the results were eventually decoded at Bletchley Park. This intelligence proved to be most useful to the battlefield commanders in bringing the war to a close
In the first instance, it was pointed out that there are numerous versions of Joe Taylor’s software written with the assistance of various groups. The suite chosen for this introduction was WSJT-X. It was also noted that the latest version should be used as apposed to earlier release candidates since significant changes have been made in some operating procedures. After an in depth look at the basic page set up, which is in use across the various modes, a description of WSPR was outlined in a video clip from an earlier TAPR conference.
The need for accurate time on the PC was solved by using Net Time, a small programme downloaded from www.timesynctool.com. This runs in the background and needs no further attention.
The extent of the use of WSPR on HF was shown in a photo of a page from www.wsprnet.org along with the various tables and statistics also from the site.
JT65 on HF was the next mode to be explored. Steps necessary to make a QSO were shown. It was pointed out that the most popular mode lately is FT8, mainly because it’s much faster and can be automated, however, it was also noted that using Shift-Click to place your transmitted signal into a clear space on the waterfall would result in a better chance of being heard by DX stations on a crowded band.
This year’s quiz consisted of a cleverly assembled number of sound samples grouped into categories leading to quiz answers. There were singers to be identified, mystery sounds to name, CW to copy, as well as dates to recall. All very challenging!
The assembled members were divided into groups of four and the winning group, named KT66, was Bryan Bourne, Don Ross, Geoff Morris and Paul Schimmel who each took home a bottle of wine as the first prize.
David, G8UOD began by looking at European history prior to WWll. With the aspect of war looming, Britain began the necessary steps to have materials and systems in place.
A central exchange was built to serve as a communications hub known as Q Central. The complex was built at Leighton Buzzard and was the biggest telephone exchange in the world from 1939 to 1945, handling all telephone and teleprinter communications for the war in Britain, Europe, North Africa, and the Far East. David told of how the exchange was connected to it’s many out stations. The complex remained secret until declassified in 2008 and after 2013 the site was cleared and sold for housing.
During the 2016 RSGB Convention, John Worsnop, G4BAO gave this talk. He began by outlining ‘Myths and Magic’ of 23cms. He covered what you are likely to work and in comparison to 2M, what’s the same and what’s different. He then went on to explain some system engineering and what matters and why. He finished by listing organizations and equipment suppliers for the constructor.
This was a story of a group of Austin Seven owners driving their cars to visit Kirchberg in Austria. Paul, G1GSN had volunteered to provide backup in his Land Rover. Not all the cars managed to make the entire trip, but those who did enjoyed their visit which included a stop at Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance and a visit to theZeppelin Museum. Paul played a DVD of the visit showing the cars and their maintenance during the 2017 trip.
The evening started with CW practice. Two senders were in progress, one for learners and the other for the more advanced.
Don, G4LOO then showed a DVD from the British Vintage Wireless Society explaining the state of the nation’s electricity service in about 1996. It was interesting to see how many people worked in the distribution, maintenance, fault finding and Electricity Board’s showroom.
The second film told of the complete process of manufacturing an LP from original recordings to the vinyl pressings. A process far more complicated than first imagined.