Archive for July, 2011

Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory

July 22, 2011 Comments off

I enjoyed a fascinating visit to the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory with the Camb-Hams this week. The Observatory is located in 500 acres just to the south-west of Cambridge and is home to some very interesting engineering and radio hardware. I learnt a great deal from our guides who were obviously both very knowledgable and passionate about the Observatory and its important and historic work.

The Cavendish Laboratory pioneered in this field under the direction of Professor Sir Martin Ryle, F.R.S. from 1945 to 1982. The first Observatory was on the outskirts of Cambridge. In 1957, through the generosity of Mullard Ltd. and with support from the Science Research Council, the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory (MRAO) was built 5 miles south-west of Cambridge, at Lord’s Bridge. The Observatory is operated by the Cavendish Laboratory, supported by the Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council. The work of the MRAO was recognised by the award of the 1974 Nobel Prize for physics to Professor Ryle and Professor Hewish.

Photographs are available in my MRAO Gallery

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Back Garden UKAC

July 11, 2011 Comments off

I have been active mostly on HF recently, but the VHF NFD re-ignited my interest in the higher bands, so I decided to put up a very temporary antenna and make a few contacts in the RSGB 144MHz UKAC contest last week, just for fun. I used to take part in the RSGB Backpackers contests a few years ago, so I dusted off the 6m aluminium mast but couldn’t find my portable 9 element Tonna antenna for 2m, so I decided to put together the 2m halo antenna I’d had for years and never used.

I got everything together, with the help of some cable ties and tape, connected the Yaesu FT-897 on the garden table and … it started to absolutely poor with rain. I did manage a few brief contacts while the rain was running down my neck but I quickly decided to give up and try again another day. It was fun, but maybe more fun next time.

Update … I had another go tonight for the RSGB 432MHz UKAC. I put my very small 70cm beam on the mast, got the radio out and … it rained again. I’m sure the RSGB are working with the Met Office to co-ordinate contests and weather !

Maybe next time.

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UBN Reports for RSGB 80m Club Championships

July 5, 2011 Comments off

The RSGB Contest Committee have started issuing UBN Reports for the 80m Club Championship contests. This is a very welcome addition to the already excellent on-line log submission and quick adjudication we have enjoyed for these contests.

UBN Reports highlight contest contacts which were judged to be Unique, Bad and Not-in-log during adjudication and can be used to help improve the accuracy of your logging. I received an email today with a link to my UBN report for the May RSGB 80m Club Championship CW contest, which highlighted exactly why I lost one of my claimed contacts during the adjudication process.

Adjudication report for M1ACB for 19 May 80m CC CW 2011 
Date     Time  Call  RepTX SnTX RepRX SnRX CSnRX Band Mode Reason
19/05/11 19:02 G4FKA 599   1    599   2    4     3522 CW   Broken:Serial RX
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July 4, 2011 Comments off

I had a great weekend with the Camb-Hams operating G3PYE/P from JO02ed on 6m, 4m, 2m, 70cm and 23cm in the RSGB VHF NFD 2011. It’s hard work preparing, assembling, operating and disassembling a competitive station for this contest, but the Camb-Hams put a lot of effort into collecting some great equipment and operators and still manage to make it a lot of fun.

It was nice to get back together with many of the people who I travelled to the Isle of Arran with a few months ago for some more great radio.

Lawrence M0LCM and Dom M0BLF have both posted some photographs of the G3PYE/P contest site and G7HAH/P have posted a video of them receiving G3PYE/P.

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