News

Intermediate Exams

We are looking at running an Intermediate exam at the Helena Thompson Museum on the 6th June. If you’d like to sit the exam with us then fill in the contact form below and give us your details. We’ll need a form and a cheque from you for the exam fees no later than the 6th May so we can be assured there is enough time to get the papers sorted with the RSGB. No form and cheque means no exam I’m afraid.

Links

RSGB Form

How to pay for your exam

Hamtests.co.uk – A place for learning and self assessment

VHF Contesting

Andrew, G4VFL is our king of contesting. He will be giving you the low down on the UKAC contest series as well as the benefit of his years of experience in setting up and operating portable. We’ll have a quick talk and a long natter as he goes through the in’s and out’s of his station, how and more importantly where to set it up. We’ll also be covering what you can do to help the club on a Tuesday night.

Presentation night – APRS

The next meeting (14th March) there will be a presentation on APRS – Automatic Position Reporting System. We’ll look at the basics of APRS with both transceivers and with computers. There will be a live attempt to configure a rig and PC to act as an iGate so bring along the biscuits and grab a comfy chair first.

SatNOGS update

Santa’s elves left almost all of the remaining parts in the post box so the build is starting nicely. The photo below shows the progress and it is quite clear that there’s still a bit of a way to go but the main work is done. For the mechanical parts at least.

SatNOGS progressNext steps are to attempt to make up the belts and do the same for the azimuth section.

After that then its done to the electronics parts which are now based on a raspberry pi and ‘should’ be more straightforward and are less likely to end up with a bricked WP-LINK device!

All things told we’re on track to show off the finished article at the NARSA Rally at Norbreck on the 10th April. Perhaps there’s a section for 3D prnted parts in the construction competition

 

SatNOGS

This years club project is slightly different. Instead of us all building something individually we decided to build something that was slightly different using our own skills and local resources.

One of our obvious local resources is the Cockermouth Fab Lab. the other is our own homebrew skills and general resourcefulness ;-). So what to do?

Not many in the club have operated satellites and whilst standing out in the freezing northern air just waiting for the right time just didn’t point many of the members antenna’s. So an azimuth and elevation rotator was needed. But we didn’t have the funds. Luckily, the same time we were thinking about this the Hackaday prize had 2 ham radio entries. The Portable SDR by Michael Colton and the SatNOGS project by Pierros Papadeas. Whilst we were tempted by the former, we plumped for the latter

With the help of 3D printing, some open source hardware and software it is now easier than ever to put something like this together. At the heart of the project is are a bunch of 3D printed parts, a Raspberry Pi, an Arduino and stepper motors and a low cost RTL DVB-T dongle capable of receiving the transmitted RF signal.

So how far have we got? Reasonably far as it happens

satnogsThe main parts have now been delivered and 3D parts printed ready for the mechanical construction. In addition with the help of Derek G1LZL the main PCB has been printed and is ready to be populated. The

Most of the parts have been printed. We used the Fab Labs Ultimaker 2 and with the exception of the obvious error (well its obvious if you’ve tried to assemble the thing).

So what happen next?

There’s still a way to go yet. Most of the mechanical parts are with us and the project page will show the costs and supplier used. Some are still winging / floating their way around the world.

The computing side is less well developed. But we’ll get there. The plan is to display the finished article at the Norbreck rally on the 10th April 2016.

If you’d like to get involved or think there is something you can add to the project then come along to the next club night or use the contact form on the site.

Next Training Weekend Dates

We will be running the next set of training for both the foundation and intermediate level licences on the weekend of the 27th and 28th February. These are weekends that precede the regular club meeting where the exams will take place.

If you’d like to get involved with amateur radio and haven’t a clue then come along to one of our meetings and we can discuss your needs. Alternatively get ahead and download the correct form from the RSGB website here and forward to us or use the contact form below

Foundation training

The clubs latest foundation training weekend will be, once again, held at the Dales in Maryport. We’ve chosen the weekend of the 24th and 25th October as the most sensible date with the exam the following Monday (26th) at the club.

If you’d like to get involved with amateur radio in West Cumbria then take this opportunity and come along and get your licence. Use the contact form here to register your interest