On 17th October, Clive (G4FVP) will be giving a talk on the VHF amateur bands. Clive has a reputation for being extremely knowledgeable when it comes to VHF, and the 6m amateur band in particular. If you’re interested in taking a step beyond basic “line of sight, plus a bit” FM contacts and would like to explore more of what the VHF bands have to offer, this is an opportunity to learn from one of the experts.
We’re always happy to see new faces at our club meetings, so even if you’re not a CRDARS member, you’re more than welcome to join us for what will no doubt be a very interesting evening.
At our last meeting on 16th May, some more discussion took place regarding the future of the club.
Finances have been tight lately, with the club making a net loss on many of our recent meetings. This is due to a combination of a more expensive venue, increasing costs and a slight drop in the number of members attending on a regular basis. It has been suggested that the cost per meeting be increased to £3 each, and there has also been a proposal to increase annual membership fees from October. Our Annual General Meeting is provisionally scheduled for 3rd October, and we expect to formally put these proposals to our members during the AGM.
We’re keen to have radio equipment available for use at our future meetings. To tide us over until Dave has chance to repair the Yaesu rig, Richmond School has offered to provide an ICOM IC-735 on loan. AJ has also offered the club a 2m radio, which should allow us to establish a regular presence on VHF.
Once we’ve got an antenna permanently erected, Colin is keen to do some more promotion of the club, through local media such as richmond.org and Richmondshire Today. Chris Watkins has offered to set up a YouTube channel, giving us both a promotional platform and somewhere to preserve footage of some of the club’s activities. Colin also intends to begin promoting Jamboree on the Air within the Scouts, and has suggested hosting the event up at Hudswell this year.
Finally, we’ve got a couple of presentations scheduled for the meeting calendar. A few members have expressed an interest in C4FM and HF digital modes, but aren’t really sure how best to get started. A couple of members have therefore offered to “have a go” at home, and provide some demos showing what they’ve learned. We’ve had a look at some of the more interesting capabilities of these modes in the past, but we’d like these events to be a bit simpler and more practical, in the hopes that we can get a few more people “over the hump”, and get them up and running with these modes. Dates are on the meetings page.
With the weather finally having made a turn for the better, Wednesday’s meeting turned into an impromptu antenna mast installation session.
Dave was hard at work up the ladder, installing brackets and attaching our mast, whilst the rest of us held ladders, passed parts, and provided constructive criticism/moral support.
If the weather permits, we’re hoping to carry on with erecting antennas at the next meeting on the 2nd May.
After the sun went down and members retreated inside to enjoy a tea or coffee, some discussion took place regarding our upcoming meeting schedule. Some of our members are reaching out to possible guest speakers, and a few other ideas for activities have been suggested.
With most of the proposed ideas being dependant on other people’s schedules, we’ve decided to hold off putting together a formal events programme for a few more weeks, giving the people involved some time to figure out feasibility and availability. We’re now planning on holding a more formal planning meeting on Wednesday 16th May, when we hope to finalise a schedule for the rest of 2018. If you’re able to attend the meeting on the 16th, please come and have your say.
Colin has arranged for CRDARS members to give a practical demonstration of amateur radio for the Brompton-on-Swale Scouts on the evening of Tuesday 24th April.
Mac and Andy will be on site at Brompton-on-Swale Community Sports Hall. Several other members, including Chris and Dave have offered to help by being on air on HF and/or 2m so that we have some guaranteed stations to work on the night.
Plans for the night are still being made. We’ll update the news page once we know exactly what’s happening.
If any other club members would like to assist on the 24th, whether in person or on air, please contact Colin as soon as possible.
CRDARS has been based at Hudswell Village Hall for several months now, and it’s getting to the point where we really need to start putting together an event schedule to take us through to the summer. As a result, we’ve provisionally designated the 18th April meeting as a planning meeting to try to get some activities scheduled in the calendar. If you’ve got any ideas for club activities, please have them at the ready for next Wednesday.
Our next meeting will take place at Hudswell Village Hall on Wednesday 7th February. All of our regular club meetings will take place at Hudswell from now on. I’ve updated the meetings page to include dates up to the end of 2018.
Our events programme is yet to be determined, and will be decided by our members over the coming weeks.
Our examination venue is still Colburn Village Hall, and we will continue to hold the amateur radio exams at Colburn for the foreseeable future.