News

Just a quick note regarding the above. I've already sent out an email on this subject via groups.io, but want to follow it up here for the benefit of anyone in Ken's address book that isn't on the club mailing list.

Ken has sadly had his computer and email account hijacked by criminals who are trying to con individuals in his contacts list with potentially multiple scams including a request to purchase Google Play vouchers and then reveal the codes to a second bogus email address. Please don't fall for that.

Ken's original email address is still under the control of the bad guys, so you cannot trust anything from Ken until we have it confirmed by other means that this is resolved. Meanwhile, I've been having a nice little chat with the thief, who is quite angry with me for spoiling his fun. He asked if I would please stop emailing him! Funny guy.

His email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I have reported that account to the relevant abuse department. I've also posted it here in case it isn't shut down in a timely manner and in the hope that the address will be harvested by bots and flooded with spam.

Berni M0XYF

Estimated Planetary K IndexIt’s nice to have firsts!

Yesterday afternoon the planetary K index (https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/planetary-k-index) rose from a dormant Kp=1 to a healthy Kp=7.

Kp characterises geomagnetic storms.

In parallel, the aurora-predicting geomagnetic disturbance level went from green to amber and then red, breaching the 200nT threshold at about 15:30 UTC (https://aurorawatch.lancs.ac.uk/plots/?project=awn&site=sum&date=2021-05-12).

So, I turned the newly installed 6 metre Yagi north. And there was a radio aurora in full swing with MM5DWW on Orkney working the world - or at least those north of 55 degrees. We exchanged 5/7 both ways and went on our way - him to work yet more, and me to listen to a couple of CW stations. There were also some ethereal voices that might - or might not - have been other SSB stations.

Fluctuating Magnetic FieldsMy Great Circle distance to Orkney is 400km, but the actual path length will have been significantly more to the scattering medium further north and back to Orkney. In an aurora, all stations generally beam north.

The radio aurora was gone by 16:30 and 6 metres reverted to its normal flat state.

I’d heard radio auroras as a teenager but never had the necessary kit to work them, so it was good to tick that box. I’ve now got a feeder run and Yagi to install for 2 metres, so next time I’ll be able to compare the bands.

And next time I’ll remember to record the activity. The voices are heavily distorted by the Doppler shift caused by the movement of the free electrons in the auroral columns doing the reflecting. You’ve to listen hard. There’s no time for exchange of pleasantries.

Geomagnetic activity levels are tracked daily at AuroraWatch UKRadio auroras are infrequent. Sometimes, they are intense enough and at a low enough latitude to support southern stations. If you're interested, install the AuroraWatch and SpaceWeatherLive apps.

Regards,

John GM8JBJ

News on this event has been very low-key this year, but it is going ahead. It doesn't look like Jill Mill at Clayton will be activated, but Chailey Heritage Mill (also known as Beard's Mill) with special event station callsign GB0CHW will be.

It seems that Gavin Keegan G6DGK has registered the mill for the Downland Radio Group and Gavin and other DRG club members will be operating from their home QTH's, as special restrictions obviously apply with regards to Covid-19 and the mill itself is still closed to the public.

GB0CHW is nominally located at locator square IO90XX, WAB TQ32, OS Grid TQ 387 214, Postcode BN8 4DJ.

If you'd like to go and walk around the mill (outside the grounds) this weekend, it's located in North Chailey on 'Red House Common'. It's a beautiful location, particularly if the weather is good - which it was when I visited a couple of weeks ago and took these photos. You can park for free in the car park just off Warrs Hill Lane.

More information on the mill can be found here: https://www.chailey.org/amenities/chailey-windmill-museum

...and here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritage_Mill,_North_Chailey

GB0CHW has its own QRZ page here: https://www.qrz.com/db/gb0chw


Denby Dale ARS have organised and managed the amateur radio side of The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) National Mills Weekend (now known to us as 'Mills on the Air') for all of the 25 years it has been running - huge credit and thanks to them.

You can find details of all the other registered participants on their website here: https://www.ddars.net/registrations.html

This year is the 25th anniversary of Mills on the Air, so be sure to call in if you can.

Good luck to all stations (this is just for fun - it's not a contest) and I hope the weather is better in actuality than it is in the forecast!

Berni M0XYF

 

MSARS President Ken Gibson G3WYN

At the beginning of the new cycle the band conditions allowing better propagation are starting to become evident and participants in the HF nets are hearing each other on a regular basis. Sometimes everyone on the nets can hear all of the other members! That makes for better net control but all those involved are grateful and it’s good to have regular nets comprising 10 or 12 members all talking to each other.

These HF nets were set up to keep in touch with MSARS members who have moved away and to allow us to talk to other friends overseas and now we have regular contacts with Terry G0SWS, John GM8JBJ, Bob N4XAT, Barry SA7GDB, and David WB1EAD joining the Burgess Hill members on a daily basis.

This is a good test of the Burgess Hill antennas - some good, some very good and some in need of a little more TLC which becomes evident in the reports received from overseas. Ray M7AOE with just 10 watts to home made antennas has proved the point - everyone overseas can hear him in amongst the 400 watt signals from other members!

Local contacts are taken care of by the HY, 2M, 70cm and Zoom nets, all of which are just as important to allow those members with no room for HF antennas to also keep in touch. The net times also vary from early Sunday morning to late at night throughout the week allowing members a choice of operating times.

So, if you do not already participate in one or other of these nets and would like to chat to other MSARS members come and join us. You would be very welcome and the discussions which take place on a variety of subjects (not always radio related) might be helpful to you and will certainly keep you amused!

Take care all of you. One day we’ll be able to meet face to face again. Until then, 73 and let’s hear you on the nets soon.

Ken G3WYN.

Thought I'd post a couple of photos of this because I was just so disappointed with it. I bought this because I could see it was clearly from the same manufacturer that supplied MFJ with their MFJ-7404. Same two blades, same retained allen key and adjusting screws to set the depth of cut of each of the blades. This also comes in a 3-blade version. Basically, it's rubbish, so avoid buying one. One of the adjusting screws doesn't even line up with the back edge of the cutting blade. Regardless of that fact, the adjustment for the blade which cuts the outer sheath of the coax (RG213 in my case) can't be set shallow enough to avoid slicing straight through the braid and then half way through the dielectric.

They come in different models apparently, but this was marked 'HT322S' and was specified as suitable for RG213. It isn't. If anyone has bought a cheap coax stripper that actually works, then please let me know as the boss is threatening to take away all my sharp objects 'for my own good'.