The branch Standard was paraded by Tom Milne at St Paul’s Cathedral on 22nd October at a service to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Bomb Disposal. (The link takes you to the International Business Times website which carries a good account of the event which was attended by HRH Prince Harry). The standard will be on parade again on Monday 26th October at a service to mark the launch of the poppy campaign.
G3RE – Call Sign of the Royal Engineers Association Radio Branch Renewed
The branch has recently renewed its licence for the club callsign G3RE. (Golf Three Romeo Echo)
The licence is a full club licence which allows branch members who hold amateur licences to operate the branch radio station. Full licence holders can operate the radio station unsupervised. Members who use, or are planning to use the station call sign are referred to the terms and conditions of the Amateur Radio Club Licence issued by OFCOM in the UK. Members can apply to use the station via the form here – usually for a month at a time. The current operator is displayed here.
On net this week the discussion is about widening the frequencies and modes used on our radio nets and two life member certificates are awarded for services rendered. A Technical discussion about preparing to use digital modes such as PSK 31 takes place.
Member George Penman lets us know he is listening to the net via hack green while he recuperates from a recent illness. (Get well soon George).
Congratulations to Dave Barker and Derek Watts G3XWD new Life Members
Both Derek and Dave have been awarded life membership of the radio branch and the branch is in the process of issuing a new life member certificates – to be designed by Tom Milne. The award comes after being nominated by the branch treasurer and seconded by the secretary in a unanimous vote held on the air. The award is for services rendered. A vote of thanks to Dave and Derek has been recorded.
In other news, Branch funds received a boost this month after two very generous donations.
Review of frequencies and modes used on Amateur Radio Nets
Operating Schedules, Timings and Frequencies are in the process of being updated to include digital activity and providing a presence on the 40 meter amateur band – mid week on Tuesdays and Wednesday Evenings. This is in addition to the Saturday morning net. Unfortunately the 40m band does not usually support voice SSB, at short range, in the evenings. Up until now difficulty has been experienced establishing a voice net due to strong interference from more distant stations. It is hoped by using what are known as weak signal modes in internationally protected spot frequencies, this will lead to a successful radio net and more contacts. The use of the forty meter band is thought to be essential for branch members, some of whom cannot operate with any power on the lower frequencies.
PSK31 (a text mode) has been chosen for the new frequency. The frequencies in use so far are the standard 7.040 Mhz and 3.580 Mhz frequencies. Members are currently testing out the mode and upgrading their equipment and have partially commenced operating for 30 minutes from 7PM on the 40m frequency and 7:15 on 80m if nothing heard (local times). Both Tuesdays and Wednesdays evenings are being tried It will be quite easy to find members transmitting on PSK31 as their call signs and any text transmitted will be displayed on the computer screen as they transmit. Additionally when operating PSK31 the data gathered by individual users about stations heard and contacted by individual stations can be displayed on a map here.
73 de Stu, G4IYK