28 April 2016 – PSK demo

Richard operating the rig
Richard operating the rig.                                                                                              Photo by Paul, G1GSN

An attempt was made to explain how to set up a PSK programme including writing macros to suit the operator’s preferences since some, by default in the installation, are not the wording that might be chosen by the members present.

Richard, G3NII supplied the rig, interface and laptop, while Ken, G4YRF supplied the necessary software and descriptions. Don set up a 40M dipole outside (in the rain) for the operation.

Digipan was chosen as the starting point as it seems to be the easiest to set up and get running.  Later, FLdigi was installed and the set up was found to be somewhat problematical. However, we did identify some PSK31 and PSK64 transmissions which enabled members to see the macros being used in PSK  QSOs. It was pointed out that the changes in the macros were done in very much the same way as Digipan, with a few exceptions.

Some features in FLdigi were pointed out which indicates how useful this particular programme is, especially with the many modes to choose from.

21 April 2016 – Spring Junk Sale

There was an excellent turnout for this year’s junk sale with as many visitors as members. The total attending was 35.  The quality of the ‘junk’ was quite good and most was sold for good prices. Working hard as the auctioneers were Don, G4LOO and David, G8UOD who managed to keep the treasurer busy collecting the money. Afterwards the tea and biscuits were ‘on the house’

14 April 2016 – Telecommunications by Ian Rainbow-Wood

The Museum at Milton Keynes is almost an unknown treasure. Their latest addition tells the story of communications from signal fires to electronics. Visitors can learn to send and receive Morse code, practice sending signals up the railway line 19th century style, visit a police phone box, and play at being a switchboard operator at a fully working telephone exchange.

Ian displayed some early telephone equipment including the Strowger switch which led to the first commercially successful electromechanical stepping switch telephone exchange system eliminating the need for a telephone operator to connect callers. It was invented by Almon Brown Strowger, and first patented in the United States in 1891. Because of its operational characteristics it is also known as a step-by-step (SXS) switch. Other items of early telephone equipment were displayed for members to examine.

A Strowger Switch
A Strowger Switch

2016 Club Lunch

L to R Victor Brand, Mrs A. Brand, Owen Williams, Brian Farey

L to R Mrs. Amos, Ken Amos, John Airey, Mrs Airey

L to R Brian Farey, Steve Durham, Mrs. N. Durham

L to R Ian Taylor, John Burnett

L to R Mrs Williams, Victor Brand, Mrs. Brand

L to R Steve Durham, Mrs. Durham, Mrs. Amos, Ken Amos

4 presentations
Top left Victor wins G2DPQ cup, Top Right Steve Wins G4CBI cup. Bottom Left, Brian wins the G3JKK shield, Bottom Right, Owen receives the Club Quiz trophy on behalf of the team.

Don wins First Place in Major Project competition
Don wins First Place in Major Project competition


7 April 2016 – A General Discussion

Our ‘Natter Nite’ was brightened by Paul operating his new IC7300 rig with the use of Martin’s home brew remotely tuned loop  antenna which was placed just outside.  Victor took to the key and worked a station in Eastern Europe with very strong signals both ways on 20M. Other stations were monitored on various bands. General discussions followed.



31 March 2016 – ‘Bats in Beds’ by Dr. Gill Clough

To date, there are eighteen species of bat known to live in the UK, of which most can be found here in Bedfordshire. Dr. Clough detailed some of their calls and played recordings to illustrate the differences. Their method of echo location was also described.

As a member of the Bedfordshire Bat Group she has participated in park surveys to record bat activity at several locations where they spend an evening counting bats in and out of their roost. The group also participates in bat detector surveys, sonogram analysis, mist nets and at times, radio tagging.

Several hand held bat detectors and recorders were displayed with an explanation as to how they differed in their method of detection.

Magenta Bat4 Bat Detector
A similar detector, this one from                               Magenta Bat4 Bat Detector