At NARC we cater for a wide variety of interests within the hobby of Amateur Radio and our membership ranges from complete beginners to those experienced in operating and building electronic equipment.
Beginners have the opportunity to participate in courses run by NARC for all three licence levels. The Social aspect of the club is thriving with family events such as Radio by the Seaside and Radio Active weekend, NARC also operates in various contests and in the last two years we have won the RSGB Club Championships on 80m.
We have a comprehensive club programme running throughout the year, the complete list can be seen on the diary page. We also try to cater for youngsters with our "Bright Sparks" evenings when we dedicate an evening to assist the younger members in construction and operating techniques. We offer club trips and also run the annual Barford Radio Rally which falls on the first Sunday of July
We have a shack at NARC which has HF, 6M , 2M and 70cm along with laptop for data modes and CW on HF along with D-STAR on 70cm the shack is open on informal evenings. We also have a comprehensive loan system available to members including TX/RX, Test Equipment and a library. We run nets on GB3NB on a Monday evening and HF nets with our Twinned Club in Koblenz.
So take look around and we look forward to seeing you at the club one evening.
Unfortunately we have to postpone tomorrow nights planned talk on DMR, D Star and Fusion at the last moment because of illness.
So we have quickly put together 'Radio Question Time' with a panel of experts to answer questions on aspects of radio, propagation, CW, weather or model railway technology.... Who could possibly be on the panel?!
Come, bring your questions and join in the fun at CNS from 7pm with Radio Question Time straight after notices at 7.45pm.
(We will reschedule the Digital Radio Talk and let you know the new date as soon as we can)
We welcome new members of any age, gender and ability, from complete beginners to licensed amateurs.
You are welcome to come and meet us, with no obligation to join, at one of our regular Wednesday meetings at City of Norwich School in Eaton Norwich.
To join please download and print the Membership form below and give the completed form to the Membership Secretary at the club or post to the following address
Mark Taylor G0LGJ
6 Welden Road
If you are a current paid up member you do not need to complete the form again but just pay your annual subscription at the club or online - see below.
Membership runs from Jan - Dec each year and includes 50 Wednesday meetings plus many other weekend activities, training courses, equipment loans etc.
Existing members if you want you can use the online shop to pay your membership remembering to login first.
If you pay via bank transfer please inform the Membership Secretary via email and give the reference you used in your online transaction as banks do not always pass on references.
2017 Membership rates
Full membership £21
Concessionary membership £16
Family membership £26
Foundation 3 months free £0 (following foundation course taken at NARC)
Concessionary Family membership £21
Junior (under 16 and not joining as a family member) £5
Associate member residing in uk £5
All due at the first meeting of the year
Conditions that qualify a member for concessionary membership can be found in the constitution or shown on the form
Download and print Membership Form 2017
Steve G0KYA has now updated his hourly HF propagation charts for the UK for the next three months.
The charts, with real time solar information, can be found at http://www.infotechcomms.net/propcharts/
Steve, who helps produce the weekly HF content for the RSGB's GB2RS propagation report, says: “You can definitely see the effects of the current poor solar conditions. As the charts are produced by VOACAP it is suggested we use the smoothed sunspot number (SSN) for the calculations.
“In January 2016 the SSN was 44.8, but this month it is just 29.2. In fact, the actual daily sunspot number is even lower than this at around zero to 11 with a solar flux index in the low 70s.
“Given that at sunspot minimum we wouldn't expect the solar flux index to drop below 66 you can see that we are very close to the kind of conditions we can expect over the next few years.
“NASA says the current sunspot cycle is the smallest since cycle 14, which had a maximum smoothed sunspot number of 107.2 in February of 1906.
“The current prediction for sunspot cycle 24 (this one) gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 101 in late 2013.
“The next sunspot minimum is currently predicted to occur around 2019-2020.
“The solar maximum for cycle 25 is predicted to be around 2025, possibly with a monthly smoothed maximum sunspot number of around 60-65. If true, this is almost down to Dalton Minimum levels.
“What we are seeing is that the ionosphere is currently struggling to regularly open up to DX at frequencies much higher than about 18MHz. Around the UK we are even finding 40m (7MHz) closing to inter-G contacts by early afternoon, if it opens at all.
“This means that 80m (3.5MHz) and 60m (5MHz) are coming into their own, although both are struggling with inter-G contacts by late afternoon.
“A succession of coronal holes and their associated high-speed solar wind streams are also causing disruption to the ionosphere. While these are typical of this point in the sunspot cycle they are generally not helping DX at all.
“This week's high K indices have been caused by such a hole, although the solar wind has mostly had a north-facing Bz field, which is less likely to couple with the Earth's magnetic field, and we have't seen the very high K indices that indicate severe auroral conditions.
“Lastly, readers might be interested in a new HF propagation tool based on the ITU's ITURHFPROP software and developed by Gwyn G4FKH. The URL is http://www.predtest.uk
“The 'Area Coverage' predictions have been available for some time, but a new Point-to-Point prediction tool is now available. Clicking on the link starts the process, when the form is filled out a series of plots are available depicting propagation between the required Tx. and Rx. sites.
“New features include various colour schemes for the plots allowing users with colour preferences to make the best viewing choice for themselves.”
RSGB PSC Chairman
Tuesday Daytime Morse
Starting at 1000 on Tuesday morning, the first class had six attendees, very encouraging. Various skill levels were involved so I tried to cater for everybody. In the event, even those already at around 18 -20wpm found it useful to copy Morse at around 5wpm, so I was pleased about that. It was good to see six people for the first morning, so hopefully this will continue. Malcolm G3PDH will be taking January 17th and Jim G3YLA will be hosting January 24th.
Don't forget it's the practice that improves you, not just turning up on the Tuesday. Please aim for around 30 minutes per day with whatever program grabs you. I won't complain if you manage 8 hours per day, but if you put in that much time you will be leaving the others way behind! Not a bad target though.............
Other classes are running normally but the beginner's class on Thursday has just one person, Alan G8OO. What happened to the others who were going to sign in? New Year's Resolutions not working? Lots of winter bugs around so that could be taking it's toll.
73 for now de Roger, G3LDI GB2CW Coordinator
RSGB AFS CW
This was the first contest of the season for NARC. Conditions were poor, the fof2 did nothing for us at all and it was difficult making G contacts on 40 metres. Signals were not much higher than the noise level, and even 80 metres was not that good. NARC managed 14 logs, not a bad entry, but a few contesters stayed away. We could have used three that I can think of that could have made great scores. I decided to stay in the 100w section and it looks like I have made second place in that section, despite a poor start and an even poorer finish! Kimbo G4WUG was a real masochist and so were a few others in the 10w section, reall;y tough going. Kim managed 5th with Steve G0KYA coming in at 7th. Ted G4OZG managed 12th and Stuart M6XTD finished last in that section. The rest were spread over the 100/400w sections. It was difficult to know which band to be on at any time. I just played one until I ran out of stations to work and then changed, with more rapid changes toward the end of the contest. 3.5 teams is not a bad appearance for one club, so many thanks to all who took part.
RSGB AFS SSB
This is a similar format to the CW event and takes place this Saturday. When asked at the Club if they were entering, I was told that they had a life, or was it a wife? Anyway, looks like we might be somewhat short this week, so if those that did not enter the CW would like to take part in the SSB event they will be most welcome. I suspect not however.........
It is one in which DVK ( Digital Voice Keying ) is really a great asset and I would not be without it in SSB contests. Propagation won't be much different either so don't expect huge runs. S&P ( Search and Pounce ) is the best way to approach this, working your way up/down the bands and grabbing what you can. Again, I shall enter the 100w section.
The first BARTG RTTY contest of the year is the Sprint. This will be on January 28/29th and runs from 1200 until 1159, so plenty of time to get prepared for this one. Details later.
Other Contests to try
My favourite one designed especially for Jimbo G3YLA
Run for the Bacon QRP Contest: 0200Z-0400Z, Jan 16
Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m
Classes: Single Band
Max power: 5 watts
Exchange: RST + (state/province/country) + (Member No./power)
Work stations: Once per band
QSO Points: 1 point per QSO with non-member
3 points per QSO with member on same continent
5 points per QSO with member on different continent
Multipliers: Each state, province, or country once
Multiply mults by 2 if >50 members worked
Score Calculation: Total score = total QSO points x total mults
Submit logs by: January 22, 2017
E-mail logs to: (none)
Upload log at: http://qrpcontest.com/pigrun/autolog.php
Mail logs to: (none)
Find rules at: http://qrpcontest.com/pigrun/
Input from John G8VPE regarding the new UKAC Scoring.
As mentioned in the previous newsletter the scoring in 2017 UKACs is defined by B2 instead of M7.
I have found out that the latest download of VHFRSGB.zip from the N1MM+ website (Files/UserDefinedContests) contains a module to cover the new scoring rules (B2) for UKACs.
The UDC is called VHF_B2RTTY.udc which needs to be inserted in the Documents/N1MM+ Logger/UserDefinedContests folder after extracting from the VHFRSGB.zip file.
Also in the VHFRSGB.zip there is a file called Grids.txt which must be copied into the Documents/N1MM+ Logger/SupportFiles folder in order that the scoring + bonuses will work correctly.
Grids.txt is the essential 'look-up' table for all the 4figure locator squares.
If anyone experiences difficulty with the above remember that help is usually available on the NARC Contest Net on 145.250MHz at 2000 local time on Fridays.
New dates for UKACs for 2017 - note that 6m & 4m contests are on Thursday with the rest on the usual Tuesday evenings.
50 MHz 2nd Thursday of each month (next 12/01/17) Times 2000-2230 local time
144MHz 1st Tuesday of each month (next 07/02/17)
432MHz 2nd Tuesday of each month (next 17/02/17)
1.3GHz 3rd Tuesday of each month (next 17/01/17)
70MHz 3rd Thursday of each month (next 19/01/17)
SHF 4th Tuesday of each month (next 24/01/17) Times vary for certain SHF bands
FMACs begin 1hour earlier than UKAC on 70MHz, 144MHz and 432MHz (1900 - 2000)
Good to see John back on the air again, albeit still not quite 100%. Spring time is coming John!
Rodney G0CBO is gathering support for the VHF contests and if you are interested, please add your name to the list. It could very well be a great way to get into contesting and will also give you a lot of fun and training, to hone your operating skills on the computer and on the air at the same time.
My thanks to the committee for your support. Do agree a portable location and a possible weekend contest so we can do this as a team. As you know have a few people that have expressed an interest.
I have had a look at the VHF contest calendar and would like to propose three possible dates
144 may contest 20/21 may. 144 low power 5 Aug 144 trophy 2/3 sept We do not have to at this stage think about winning but to just get a station up and running and have some fun as well as increase our understanding of contests. Also we do not have to do a full 24 hrs.
I understand the club has a lot of equipment available so if we can get enough people to help and organise it would be good to have a go.
So what would be the next stage, maybe organise a meeting to discuss, what do you all think?
This was arranged for anybody who had problems or had not used N1MM+ before. This program has become the standard for NARC for contesting, although some other programs are used, such as HRD and Wintest. Malcolm brought his gear over to my place and we set up his station in one room and worked to my shack via dummy loads. This worked very well and once Malcolm had gone through all the setting up and windows to have on the screen, operators were encouraged to practice as though they were in a contest. I operated from the shack and gave them a few headache scenarios to deal with, all in the best possible taste! Lots of laughs and I think a lot learned. Malcolm was the tutor and I was the tea-boy!
That's it for this week! 73 and good contesting de Roger, G3LDI
The predicted poor geomagnetic conditions last week were not quite so bad, due to the incoming high speed stream from a coronal hole having a mostly north-facing Bz field. This was less likely to couple with the earth's magnetic field and we didn't see the very high K indices and poor auroral conditions we expected.
Nevertheless, HF conditions remained largely poor, not helped by a total lack of sunspots.
The good news is that a sunspot is now rotating into view on the edge of the sun's limb, but it is too early to say what effect this may have on HF propagation.
Looking ahead, conditions on the 15th and 16th should be reasonably settled, but the effects of another coronal hole may be felt again between the 16th and the 23rd. NOAA predicts the K index could rise again to five after the weekend.
The solar flux index should remain in the mid 70s giving maximum daytime critical frequencies over the UK of 5 to 5.8MHz. This means 60m is best for daytime inter-G contacts with 40m reserved for longer skip and contacts into Europe.
For DX, don't expect to hear much above 20m, with occasional openings on 17m. There is still a slight chance of winter sporadic E, which could light up the higher bands.
The good news is that reports suggest 80m and 40m have both been open to DX at times.
VHF and up
This week promises much on the pressure charts, but unfortunately may not live up to expectations. If you can keep the snow off the antennas, there may be some Tropo around, but it's not guaranteed despite high pressure being predicted.
Heavy snow does produce good scatter propagation on the Gigahertz bands though!
The growth of a large area of high pressure next week will see the right sort of weather features for Tropo on the VHF/UHF bands. As this high is growing in cold, dry air though, it may not be as good as you might expect.
Fairly shallow surface temperature inversions may give some limited enhancements, especially after overnight fog has formed. For a better chance of DX, we would need some moist Atlantic air to arrive under the main high pressure subsidence inversion at around one to 1,800 metres.
This seems more likely over the north-western half of Britain towards the end of the week and will be evidenced by a sheet of stratocumulus cloud.
As we so continue heading into the Winter meteor activity minimum, continue to use the dawn peak in random activity for the best chance of meteor scatter QSOs.
Moon declination goes negative on Wednesday and losses are climbing with apogee just a week away, so get your EME contacts in early this week.
|Lottery funding enabled NARC to purchase direction finding equipment for training, competitions and as a fun family introduction to amateur radio|
Any licensed amateur can run and take part in the net - everyone welcome!
The Beginners net will restart on Friday 2nd December at 19.30 organised by Simon 2E0ZZC and Julian 2E0DJR. They would also like a few others to help them so if you can help them run an occasional net to help beginners to our hobby please let me know and I will put you in touch. Thank You
GB3NB is a 2 metre repeater which you can hear on 145.625MHz and transmit to on 145.025MHz.
You can find out more about many of the Norfolk repeaters from http://gb3nb.org.uk/wp/
The club meets virtually every Wednesday throughout the year in the sixth form centre of the City of Norwich School, Eaton Road, Norwich, NR4 6PP from 1900-2200.
We welcome anyone of any age, gender or ability and who enjoys experimenting with radio and electronics to come and meet us and see what we do in our hobby.
Please see above ONLINE tab for details of the club programme and below this piece for contacts of club officials.