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Dropped down to the 15m FT8 slot on 21.074MHz after the net on Thursday just to have a look at the propagation. I'm seeing some noticeable improvements over time as the SFI gets above 100 more often.

No useful signal reports from me I'm afraid, other than to say that the locals were booming in, Gavin was readable, but nothing heard from Thomas or David. Keep going Thomas, you'll get there. Enjoy the journey as they say. The signal from Ken's 15m loop is a dramatic improvement here in terms of both signal strength and audio clout over both the 20m version and the dipole.

Dear members.

Looking forward to 2022 we should all surely have a little hope in our hearts for better times than we've experienced in the last 24 months. Various members have been working hard to keep the Mid Sussex Amateur Radio Society alive and kicking during the numerous lockdowns and restrictions. Sometimes I've questioned if it's really worth pouring so much effort into a society that currently has so few members. But here's what's kept me motivated - personal messages of thanks and support from nearly every one of those members. Contributions to the website from several sources to help me keep it interesting and attractive. Regular attendees to all the Zoom meetings I've run over the last year. Thank you all. You know who you are, so I won't embarrass you by listing your names.

Particular thanks to all those members who have completed their online membership form this year. A couple of good old-fashioned all-nighters were required produce it, and although it makes no sense for a club of this size, your patronage demonstrates your support of my efforts. I am also greatly encouraged by a number of extremely generous donations that have been received of late via the Online Donations Form I produced. It's truly heart-warming to know that so many of our small band are doing their bit to ensure the club's future, be it financially or in terms of time donated. Thanks too to those members that have offered to step up and give a talk this year, and to those that facilitate those events. Well done.

Thanks to everyone that has posted on our Facebook page, followed our Twitter feed, or watched one of our YouTube videos. Thanks to those who have worked on breathing new life into our neglected and broken shack hardware, to those who have run or joined one of our many nets this year.

One final thank-you to those honorary members who maybe haven't completed a membership form in a while. Thanks for making sure your data is up to date by completing a form. It may seem a little unnecessary, but we have a duty to make sure all the information we hold on individuals is up to date. It would leave the club exposed legally if we were not able to demonstrate our efforts to do this, so we appreciate your understanding.

With the latest little flurry of membership applications in the last two days, I can tell you that the membership count now stands at 21, including two paper applications. This is an up-to-date figure, as I've been speaking to Mike and Stella regularly. Please don't leave it until the end of February cut-off to re-join. The club could really do with the reassurance of knowing how many members it has for planning purposes, and how much money it has to work with over the next twelve months. If members are working hard to juggle their hard-earned after Christmas, we get that - that's why we allow such a long grace period, but if you're 'just too busy' you no longer have an excuse. You could have re-joined and paid in the time it's taken you to read this article. 18 members from last year still haven't re-joined, and we definitely need you all back on-board.

73

Berni M0XYF

As the title says, it has been decided to stay on 15m until further notice.

As an aside, it was great to hear Thomas M7BQI on the HF bands for the first time today. Well done and welcome to the wonderful world of HF!

MSARS HF Nets AnalysisAs in previous years, I present my analysis of the Club’s HF nets for your consideration.

2021 proved to be a difficult year with falling band conditions making it difficult to maintain contacts with overseas friends and Covid preventing most of us from meeting face to face.

Nevertheless the determination of regular contributors to both nets, an influx of new members, and some new technology made the Nets popular throughout the year showing the determination of members to keep in touch.

The Sunday Morning 80m Net (From 08:00 clocktime on 3.742 MHz +/-)

17 MSARS members took part - 4 more than last year - and 14 non-members joined in including Alain F4GHB who has now become a very welcome regular participant. Even Bob, N4XAT tells me that he has heard us via a WebSDR on some occasions. Sean EI7CV and I completed another 49 weekly contacts making our total since our first contact on 5th of January 1977 up to 1992 on the 25th of December 2021 and, if things go as planned, our 2000th contact will take place on February the 20th 2022.

I would like to think that all MSARS members might like to join Sean and I to celebrate the occasion with a bumper turnout that Sunday morning!

The Weekday Lunchtime HF Net (at 13:30 clocktime Monday to Friday)

Here, due to some members working from home, the numbers on our lunchtime net increased dramatically with 21 members participating compared with 13 last year and another 34 non-members joining in.

David WB1EAD and Barry SA7GDB continue to support us and we're very glad to hear them. Several of our newer members limited by their licence conditions to 10 watts have made their first contact with David only to realise that it was their first ever American contact!

Bob N4XAT continues to join in almost every day and if direct contact is not possible on CW or SSB, provides useful SitReps via Messenger relayed through Ron G0WGP. These are very useful to us.

We operated on 20m for most of the year but are in the process of moving back to 15m to chase the propagation. At present our tests on 15m are inconclusive but, if the flux continues to rise we may be back on 21.345 MHz again as a permanent band change.

So, look for us on 14.345 or 21.345 Monday to Friday at 1330 clocktime but watch the website for the latest news.

MSARS members on the lunchtime net are using a variety of modes. Some are using SSB and CW, others are combining both modes operating from home or mobile. Several are going mobile and seeking the highest spots around for the extra elevation which helps a lot and Phil G4UDU has beaten us all by combining going mobile, seeking out the high spots and, on one or two occasions calling in from his car via his laptop or phone using a remote link to operate the FlexRadio HF gear in his shack.

Changes at the Club Shack

This remote operation may well be the way for us to go if we are prevented from using the equipment at Cyprus Hall and Phil has promised us a talk and demonstration showing how any MSARS member who cannot operate from home could access the transceivers in Cyprus Hall and use them via such a remote link.

Phil ’UDU has also just finished the design and construction of a Half Wave End Fed antenna to replace the existing HF antenna at Cyprus Hall which has been broken down for the whole of last year. Phil’s new antenna is much more robust, will tune all HF bands and does not use the 300 ohm feedline which has caused us so much trouble in the past.

We tested it out today and it is hoped that it can be installed on the roof of Cyprus Hall very soon. Phil has put a lot of time and work into designing and building this antenna and deserves all our thanks.

Whilst Covid has prevented MSARS having face to face meetings for most of last year, member’s ingenuity in using different bands and modes has enabled us to keep in touch on HF, VHF and UHF plus Zoom. The splendid website we now enjoy also enables us to read what is going on week by week so, join in one or more of the MSARS nets, look at the website on a regular basis and keep in touch!

MSARS is your radio Club, Let’s hear more of you on the air!

73, Ken G3WYN

RSGB 'Tonight @ 8' Webinar Series

RSGB 'Tonight @ 8' Webinars

A reminder to all that the RSGB webinar series on a whole range of radio-related topics continues. Each episode will also be made available to re-watch on YouTube soon after it has been streamed live.

Not wishing to be unkind to Heather, but the last presentation she did for the RSGB on GNU Radio Companion was a complete shambles (mainly, it has to be said, due to software issues) so I hope this one goes a lot better. I'll be watching for sure. I'm a complete noob when it comes to Arduino programming, and I'm currently working my way through various YouTube courses and tutorials, so I really do hope it's useful.

Now, how do I turn this bloomin' LED off?  tongue-out

digitalWrite(ledPin,HIGH);

How to get started in software construction and where it can lead you, by Heather Lomond M0HMO

All you need to get started in software construction is a personal computer (Windows, Linux, Mac – they’ll all do), some spare time and, if you want to make a ‘thing’ then some loose change.

There are three easy and virtually free routes into writing your own programs: develop applications that run on your PC using the free Qt environment; write programs to run on one of the Arduino boards (£3 from China plus a USB cable) using the free Arduino application; or go for the middle ground with a Raspberry PI (around £40) and a wi-fi connection.

Heather will take you through the setup for each of these and show you just how easy it is to go from flashing an LED through developing an ATV receiver to producing a fully-featured windows PC application such as her Mapper entry in the RSGB construction competition.