There were only 5 participants in Net 40 on 6th January, the first in the New Year of 2021, but they managed to fill the whole hour of the net!: Pete GM4BYF (Controller), Briain GM8PKL, Mike GM8KCS, Melvyn GM4HYR & Brian GM4DIJ. Apologies from Alan GM3PSP & Peter GM4DTH - ("don't ask" x2), and Colin GM4HWO who was celebrating his 60th birthday.

Briain had been busy installing smoke alarms and would be assembling his 2m beam (in his lounge) the following day to fit to his new pole. See photos on his page. Mike had been active on a 60m net. Attempts at repairing hand-portables had resulted in several being dumped. He had heard the Irish 2m beacon tonight at S5. He had seen several people at West Linton who had been skiing on the Pentlands. Melvyn continued to work on his daughter's new house including installing central heating radiators. He noted that new smoke detectors were now wireless, greatly simplifying the new legal requirement for them to be linked together. Others also discussed this. Melvyn suggested a virtual junk sale (!) and mentioned a digital warbling noise on 2m - probably the GB7DE digital repeater in Edinburgh on 145.6375MHz - psp. Brian had been busy repairing things - his old soldering iron and his FT-847 which had lost its 15m band function. On the 2m contest last night his best DX was G8REQ on the Wirral, worked via aircraft scatter. Pete commented on ice problems including when he had to deliver music sheets over 8km in Musselburgh. On smoke detectors he mentioned new batteries which were predicted to last 10 years. On 2m he had worked 26 stations, the best DX being G8CUL in Didcot, Oxon. The GD beacon was very strong through Allermuir Hill!! To avoid rotator noise he recommended earthing the rotator case to the pole. Brian recalled a frog being put in Colin's sleeping bag at Field Day many years ago. The weather, especially the ice had limited his running recently but he had been out once or twice.  Having just received a new computer and monitor he now had to transfer all the software from his old machine. He would be participating in the Wigtownshire club net on Zoom tomorrow. Pete wound up the net mentioning difficulties replacing surface-mount components. He now used a digital microscope to see what he was doing! He was also concerned that the days of cheap Chinese components might be over with post-Brexit customs duty and VAT being payable and a customs declaration label required for each item..

The last net of 2020 on 30th December was controlled by Colin GM4HWO, with Peter GM4DTH, Alan GM3PSP, Pete GM4BYF, Mike GM8KCS, Briain GM8PKL, Brian GM4DIJ & Norrie GM1CNH.

Colin had called in after GB2RS on Sunday while Mobile on his way to Inverness. Peter had compact flash cards to improve his audio recording from 64MB to 128GB. He had just bought a new camera body to work with his existing lenses. Alan reported on new website items - link to the National Valve Museum provided by Pete and new list of items for sale from Norrie. Both Alan and Pete had observed the helicopter rescue of a woman walker who had broken her ankle on Caerketton Hill in the Pentlands the previous day. Pete continued to test and sell valves from GM3HOQ-SK and GM3VLB-SK with some amazing prices paid - including £93 for a 6C6. He noted recent EME contacts on 23cm by Tom GM8MJV of Pathhead, but not audible to him. Mike had been on 160m including a QSO with N. London. More work was needed on his antenna. Norrie had worked some SOTAs north of Stirling on 2m and 4m and was now using DX-Keeper logging software (free). Briain whose house has a very steep driveway and steps was currently trapped by all the snow and ice and he was plagued by noisy kids on sledges on the road outside! He had just painted the rotator for his new 2m antenna. Brian had been active in the Xmas Cumulatives on 2m and 4m. Activity had been very low but he had worked GM8KCS and GM1CNH. The net ended with participants raising their glasses to each other and wishing them all a Happy New Year.

In spite of the closeness to Christmas there was a good turnout of 8 for the 38th Viral Net on 23 Dec: Colin GM4HWO (Controller), Peter GM4DTH, Alan GM3PSP, Pete GM4BYF, Briain GM8PKL, Brian GM4DIJ, Mike GM8KCS & Melvyn GM4HYR.

Colin had recently finished his job and was looking forward to seeing sons Stuart and Callum over the holidays. Peter had been busy with Christmas cards and was now looking at MPEG coders and decoders for ATV use. Alan had seen the Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction two nights ago when skies were clear. He mentioned a proposal from his old club, the Rochester Amateur Radio Association (RARA) in Rochester NY to exchange lectures with the LRS via Zoom etc and asked for LRS input. (There wasn't much). Pete GM4BYF & XYL Kay GM6KAY had just celebrated her birthday with a meal at the Hawes Inn. He had almost finished testing the valves from Colin and GM3HOQ-SK. The GM8BJF beacon receiver had been improved by Brian. Briain asked for audio reports following some earlier concerns and was told there was no problem. Brian had been on the recent 4m contest after the Wigtown ARS Xmas Quiz. Mike, operating from his shed (shack?),  was very weak at first and came up amazingly to 5&9+50 (at PSP) when he turned on his transverter! He had just bought a 2-way wireless camera. Melvyn had been very busy with his daughter's house move and had not been doing much radio. The net ended with participants cheering each other with conveniently-placed glasses at their desks and agreeing to having net 39 next Wed, 30th December.

Pete GM4BYF was the controller for a net of 8 on 16th December: Peter GM4DTH, Alan GM3PSP, Mike GM8KCS, Brian GM4DIJ, Melvyn GM4HYR, John GM8OTI and Bill GM8SQM, with apols from Colin GM4HWO. N/H from Peebles. Pete had been busy testing valves for sale. He was on the 23cm activity contest but conditions were very poor with only 8 stations worked and aircraft in the wrong positions to provide reflections! Alan has mostly been doing his Xmas cards. He had worked Colin/P with his new hand-held on the Braid Hills the previous Sunday after GB2RS. Mike was having problems with a faulty IC-706 but his car was now OK. Brian was also busy with his Xmas cards. He had also found the 23cm conditions poor. He mentioned the upcoming Jupiter / Saturn conjunction which will be optimum on 23-25 December - a nice Xmas present to astronomers! Melvyn had delegated the Xmas cards to the XYL! Under his daughter's house he had found  an old aircraft shelter. He asked for info about a very old valve - Osram DEF215 from about 1927. John was busy building a new computer which will be more powerful (of course!) with video processing. As a retired astronomer, he will post a very nice photo of the Jupiter / Saturn conjunction.

There were 6 participants in a relatively short net #36 on 9th December: Colin GM4HWO (controller), Peter GM4DTS, Melvyn GM4HYR, Pete GM4BYF, Alan GM3PSP & Brian GM4DIJ. N/H from Peebles!

Colin had just bought two handhelds and was looking forward to trying them out. Peter was pleased with a new GPS Rx just bought. Pete had given his on-line Zoom lecture "Modestly priced hand-held RF Test Equipment for VHF, Microwaves and more" to the Wigtownshire ARS and Melvyn had watched it. Brian had been active on the recent 2m contest for 2 hours and had worked 12 stations.  Alan was back after his "nose-job" operation the previous week. He had been working on archival photos of the George Heriot's and Heriot-Watt University radio clubs and mentioned Gordon GM8MOQ and Leonard GM4HFM who had been members of both and whom others remembered from the 1970s. Someone mentioned a predicted aurora / CME tonight, so look / listen out!  (Didn't happen!) Audio - tnx Peter:

The following stations participated in the 35th net on 2nd December 2020: Controller Colin GM4HWO, Mike GM8KCS, Briain GM8PKL, Peter GM4DTH, Melvyn GM4HYR, Pete GM4BYF and Brian GM4DIJ. Apologies from Alan GM3PSP who was preparing for a "nose job" operation the next day!      Report & audio tnx Peter:

Colin was well prepared following the difficulties experienced the previous week by testing his station well in advance of the start time. He had eradicated all the assorted patch cables and replaced them with a soundly engineered solution and this combination worked without any issues during the net. Peter had been working on a common key control for the news transmitters. It will eventually use a Post Office Key and Lamp unit 2A. Mike reported having worked Ian GM3SEK on the isle of Whithorn during the 2m activity contest the previous evening. Briain had also been active in the same contest and worked 30 stations with the best dx being 2M0TMN on South Uist. He had also been rebuilding a rotator in his cellar and had all the greased ball bearings neatly stored. He later found them lying on the dusty ground having been knocked over by an intruding cat. Not to be outdone Melvyn reported that the family cat sought refuge in the wardrobe to escape the domestic turmoil. Pete reported that the 2m contest had been very busy and the band was well occupied. He also commented that he was preparing to give a remote internet linked talk to the Wigtownshire Amateur Radio Society. He tried calling Brian GM8BJF but nothing was heard. Brian had previously suggested earlier that the Lothians should consider trying out this on-line format for a meeting. Brian GM4DIJ reported on the comparison between two can-based aerials for 13cm. The beer can (wrong dimensions) worked well whereas the dog food can (correct dimensions) did not work. To finish off the feline theme Colin returned to recalling a story of a BT engineer returning fifty miles home from his last call. When he looked in the back of his van he found a cat that stowed away during his last call. He then drove all the way back to return the creature to its owner.

We again had 10 participants for Viral Net 34 on 25th November 2020, controlled by Colin GM4HWO: Mike GM8KCS, Pete GM4BYF, Brian GM8BJF, Peter GM4DTH, Melvyn GM4HYR, Alan GM3PSP, John GM8OTI, Briain GM8PKL, Brian GM4DIJ.

Colin's new skylight was now fitted and he had put up two extra aerials including a folded dipole, now looking for rotators. Mike was working on his FT-817 and a car radio. Pete, a newbee to the technology, had several Raspberry-Pi projects. He would be giving a talk to the Wigtownshire ARS soon via Zoom and would try to make this available to LRS members. Brian BJF was only audible to some, not including your scribe! Pete reported that BJF was working on a spectrum analyzer, signal generator and a GPS unit. Peter had had  another QSO with Toby MM0TSS/M who will shortly be taking over the RSGB GB2RS reserve newsreader position in his area. Melvyn was skipping household jobs for the time being to work on a Raspberry-Pi project. He had found some photos of Leith Nautical College for the website. Alan had found his LRS website problem was due to his Chrome browser and had switched to Edge, also trying Firefox. He had just put up some interesting photos on the home page and was correcting menu issues with much help from John. John himself had local noise issues but was surviving. Briain would get back to his antenna work on the next calm day. He had found some great photos of work up a tower at Green Lowther in heavy icing conditions which he would supply for the website. Brian DIJ and Brian BJF had both been on the contest at the weekend but conditions had been very poor. DIJ had only worked 8 stations including 2 in IO83 and none on 13.9cm. There was a suggestion of holding an LRS meeting on ZOOM.   E&OE. Audio tnx Peter:

There were 8 participants in Viral Net 32 chaired by Colin GM4HWO on 11th November 2020: Peter GM4DTH, Briain GM8PKL, Pete GM4BYF, Alan GM3PSP, John GM8OTI, Mike GM8KCS and Brian GM4DIJ. Nothing heard from the Peebles direction.

Peter reported on frequency calibration work he had been doing. Briain and Alan reported on meeting up in the wine aisle (where else?) at Morrisons supermarket. Pete and Kay were recovering from a week on the beach on the Island of Rhodos last week - it's tough, but somebody has to do it! Alan was continuing work with archival photos on the LRS website. Colin hoped to have the work completed on his skylight. Mike had repaired his G5RV antenna and had fitted a balun. He had seen a nice D/F Rx on eBay. Brian had been on CW and out running.

Audio tnx Peter: