Bulletin: 2nd February 2017

Dispatch Riders and Mechanics of the 60th Divisional Signal Company, Royal Engineers and their 1914 Triumph 4hp 550cc motorcycles (Courtesy of Imgur)

HQ REA Membership Scoping Study

HQ REA has long been concerned about the challenges of maintaining a growing active membership in changing times and of how to reach out to a different and far more diverse membership.

To address these challenges, and more, the REA has engaged an external consultancy, Hall Associates, to carry out a Membership scoping study. This will provide a health check of our membership, both serving and retired, help determine membership expectations, enable the REA to adapt to recognised changes and advise on how to better discover those within the wider sapper family who are in need.

You are invited to contribute to the study by completing the following online questionnaire – Click here.

On Net 26th Jan 2017

The Branch 80 Meter Radio Net continues into 2017 with all the regulars calling in to G3RE during the month.  We have managed to keep the nationwide net going most weekends in January although Gordon had antenna tuning problems caused by a faulty Auto Tuner and rebuilt his antenna system which has suffered weathering.  A couple of weekends have seen difficult radio conditions so we have varied our timings.  By operating slightly later than 0730 we get the short-range F2 Layer propagation when the MUF comes up to 3.5 Mhz after sunrise.

There was an interesting chat about Digital Voice Modes – now these are “maturing” various members are showing an interest.  My own experiments have been in setting up and operating direct links on D-Star between G6TGO in Manchester automatically routing my signal packets via our local VHF\UHF repeaters – I have a choice of several Internet Gateways Run by the Essex Repeater Group and once linked to one, I can get signals to Ian via his local UHF Repeater – GB7WC in Warrington.  I can use my car radio, a digital handheld or go straight from a computer.  You can track various aspects of operation via computer for example if you want to see what route your signals take or if your QSO partner is on the network.  Lastheard G4IYK will get you the time and date I was last on and if I am connected to the network.  Then you just set my callsign into your rig and PTT.  Simples.

Jacks Local Club is using a similar system from Yeasu Radio called System Fusion which has similar digital infrastructure and everyone is involved to the point the local repeater is overcrowded.

Gordon said his local club were also experimenting with another system (I think he said) DMR which is a Tetra type digital network with its own Motorola Infrastructure and lots of cheap used ex public service sets and commercial radios available.

On the topic of interoperability across three different digital infrastructures, I did a short scouting trip to hook up to listen to DMR users from the DStar Network using the DStar\DMR Gateway.  It was no problem.  For the technical this gateway uses an internet XReflector.  You just set that into your rig and PTT and you’re in.  Simples.  (Thank goodness for google eh?)

The nice thing about Digital VHF and UHF is any class of licence can use it.

 

Miscellaneous

Mike G4ICC and Tom G4CMG are practising with HF Data and Mike is at the stage of testing his new installation. Tom said he would like to have some skeds on PSK31 which brings us back to 40 Meters.  I am looking for SSB or PSK31 contacts during the day with Stations around 600 to 900Km on 4oM.  Any members wanting skeds from Scotland would you please email?  Members at reasignals dot net.

73 de Stu

 

 

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