LOTHIANS RADIO SOCIETY - ANNUAL DIRECTION-FINDING COMPETITION

Information for 2018 D/F Hunt - NOTE LOCATION OF START POINT

The LRS D/F Hunt will take place on Wednesday 23rd May 2087. Start time is 7.30pm sharp.

The start point avoids the high noise level experienced in earlier years near the Braid Hills Hotel: members wishing to take part are advised to be on Braid Hills Road at the sign for Braids Golf Course (junction with Braid Hills Ave / Braid Hills Approach / Braid Mount (NT-246698) no later than 7.20pm, although this is not essential - some entrants choose to start from elsewhere. There is always room for those not equipped with receivers to join up with members who are so-equipped. The "Fox" will be located somewhere within the City boundary and participants should be equipped with a map and the necessary equipment to draw out bearings. The Fox will transmit using the callsign GM3HAM/P for 5 minutes-on / 5 minutes-off periods starting promptly at 7.30 pm. The frequency will be 1.875 MHz with an amplitude modulated tone being broadcast plus voice identification at the start and end of each period of transmitting. Operation will cease at about 9.30pm and an informal gathering will occur at a pub close to the Fox's location which will be announced at that time.  

Participants are advised to be equipped with a mobile phone. A coordinator will be available at the start to provide the mobile number of the fox station (Peter GM4DTH) and to register the participants' mobile numbers so that in the event of them not locating the Fox, they can request clues regarding the location of the Fox station (or the pub)! Each clue provided will incur a penalty of 20 minutes. Test signals similar to those of the Fox on 1.875 MHz can be provided if requested well in advance - contact Peter GM4DTH to arrange.

 

LRS President Brian Flynn GM8BJF present the video of the RSGB 2017 Convention lecture "Amateur Deep Space Reception" by Paul Marsh M0EYT at the meeting on 9th May 2018. Summary:

When in January Scott Tilley VE7TIL/VA7LF discovered a signal coming from the "dead" IMAGE satellite, Paul Marsh M0EYT gave the first independent confirmation.

In this video Paul Marsh, M0EYT gives an introduction to deep space mega-DX, the equipment needed and the techniques used to identify extremely weak signals coming from human-made space probes in various parts of our solar system. X-Band (8.4GHz) is the primary band of discussion but Paul also talks briefly about S and Ka reception equipment and antennas. 

You can receive signals from spacecraft in excess of 1 billion km with a modest size dish in your garden. If you have an interest in EME or microwave weak signal reception, Amateur DSR can help you push the limits of what is possible with home-built equipment. 

 

Photos by Peter Dick GM4DTH

Brian Flynn GM8BJF talked about Using Chinese ADF4351 and ADF5355 PLL Boards as Microwave Signal Sources at the meeting on 25th April. He writes:

"Recently PCBs have become available from different Chinese internet outlets which have Analog Devices ADF4350/1  ADF5355 PLL ICs on them. The ADF4351 boards are available for prices starting at about £30 and the ADF5355 about £55 which is about the one off price for the chips in the UK. The chips have Microwave VCOs incorporated in them. The ADF4351 covers 35 MHz to 4.4 GHz and the ADF5355 covers 54 MHz to 13.6 GHz. Clearly these are very useful as microwave signal sources for our purposes. They cover all of our bands up to 19 GHz and can be multiplied further to our higher bands. As always every silver lining has a cloud and this talk will address some of the issues in using these devices and how to get best performance from them". 

The "Spring" Surplus Equipment Sale was held on 11th April 2018 at St Fillan's church in Buckstone. (The reason "Spring" is in quotes is that the weather had been appalling for weeks, with little sign of the arrival of spring. At least there was no snow, unlike the previous week. Many thanks to Pete GM4BYF for arranging the church use.

There was a good turnout of members and visitors, with lots of surplus items for sale and most were snapped up.

Items were  auctioned by their owners, with a 10% donation to LRS funds

We were delighted to welcome Paul Gacek W6PNG as the speaker and XYL Rebecca  from Laguna Beach, CA at our meeting on 28th March 2018.  Paul is a SOTA friend of Andy MM0FMF to whom our thanks for arranging this talk.

Originally from London, Paul talked about "Wilderness radio in the Western US with an emphasis more on photos than any kind of tutorial" and showed many of the beautiful places he has operated from.

John McCormick from Leonardo Airborne & Space Systems gave a talk about the Compact Antenna Test Range (CATR) at Crewe Toll, Edinburgh, at the meeting on 14th March. 

CATR is a dual-reflector test facility enclosed in a 24m x 14m x 8m anechoic chamber. It is designed to make measurements of antenna performance from 500MHz to 40GHz. 

In prep - psp. 

Allister Watson GM7RYR, who is beacon-keeper for GB7EE, talked about Digital Voice Modes on 28th Feb 2018. There was a good turnout of 11 in spite of the blizzard blowing outside - "The Beast from the East"!

This talk looked at the different digital modes used on the VHF / UHF bands: D-Star, Fusion (C4FM) and DMR, the developments of the Local, National and International Networks and compared this with the state of the networks at the last talk given to the Lothians RS in February 2016. (Click)

Our good friend Stan Frey GM8ZQY from Glenrothes gave a comprehensive talk on "Battery Types and Behaviours" at the meeting on 14th February - a review of the currently available battery types with an emphasis on lithium-ion rechargeables. And he was thinking about the behaviours of the users as well as the batteries themselves!