Don't forget your soldering iron

posted 17 Oct 2019, 09:19 by Mike Brown

The next club meeting, on Mon Oct 21, is the first of the two annual construction evenings, where we'll be making very. very simple 40m CW transceivers called Pixies. There is also the opportunity to buy the very last BBRC Stationbox kit if you don't want to make a Pixie. Otherwise just turn up and see what the fun is about.

We'll have one or two spare tools but Pixie builders are advised to bring the following:

Small tipped soldering iron


Side cutters

Ideally, something to hold the pcb while soldering.

A loupe or magnifying glass (to read the markings on the smaller components and check your pcb for solder blobs/shorts)

A desoldering tool if you have one, in case of mistakes

A multimeter or better still a BBRC component tester is also a good idea.

(Some of the colour codes on the resistors are difficult to read but it’s also a good idea to test any components you can before using them as it can save an awful lot of time fault-finding.)


When you get your kit to the point of wanting to fire it up you’ll need:

 A PP3 battery or other 9-12v power source.

A morse key and 8 ohm headphones/earphones, both with 3.5mm jack plugs.

You can bring a dummy load (BNC or with adapter) but we’ve provided everyone with a 47 ohm 2w resistor to use as a dummy load. You can just bring a cable or a BNC plug you can solder the resistor onto. With care you might be able to tack the resistor onto the PCB but the output contacts are quite close together.

BBRC 3rd place in 144 MHz Trophy Contest 6hr open section

posted 17 Oct 2019, 05:34 by Mike Brown

M0BB/P managed a very creditable third place in the 6hr open section of the RSGB 144 MHz Trophy Contest. 125 stations were worked, with best DX being DL0GTH (a distance of 809 km). Congratulations to operator Trevor M0TDZ and all others involved!

Good news about broadband

posted 13 Sep 2019, 03:01 by Mike Brown is the new broadband technology that uses frequencies up to 230MHz, including amateur bands. Add-on cabinets have been appearing locally but it appears take-up hasn't been good and the rollout will 'pause' next year. It appears thet BT's focus may be moving on to FTTP (Fibre To The Premises, also known as Fibre To The Home). It is possible FTTP equipment may generate some hash but at least the fibre won't radiate or conduct RFI from the node.

According to ISPreview takeup has been limited and performance mixed as the technology works best over very short lines. FTTP could offer Gbps+ speeds in future* and so far takeup has been good.

Extra DX Picnic - Sept 6-9

posted 8 Aug 2019, 03:32 by Mike Brown

This is not on the club calendar yet - there will be a DX Picnic at the usual venue over the weekend of 7/8 Sept. Setup will be on Friday 6 Sept and derig on Monday 9 Sept.

There are lots of DXpeditions to chase, and several contests on. An added attraction will be watching the aircraft modellers among us flying them into the blue yonder before planting their creations in the turf.

Aug Radcom meeting dates are wrong

posted 19 Jul 2019, 01:33 by Mike Brown   [ updated 19 Jul 2019, 01:45 ]

Due to the unavoidable need to swap the Aug meetings the Radcom calendar is wrong. As shown on the calendar on our front page the Aug 5 meeting is the pub meet (at the Pineapple TBC). On 19 August its My Messy Aerials at the club, where we want you to bring photos (on paper or memory stick) of your antenna setup and tell us about them.

NB The exam date in Radcom is correct - Aug 5.

McMichael Rally this Sunday

posted 8 Jul 2019, 12:53 by Mike Brown

Don't forget - the McMichael Rally takes place this Sunday, 14 July at the usual venue - Reading Rugby Club, RG4 6ST. 

BBRC members - the rota has been circulated by email but is also available below. Entry is free for those helping on the day.

McMichael Rally & BBRC planning meeting

posted 30 Jun 2019, 11:19 by Mike Brown

Don't forget the McMichael Rally takes place on Sunday July 14 at the usual venue, Reading Rugby Club, Holme Park, Holme Farm Lane, off Sonning Lane (B4446), Sonning on Thames, Reading, RG4 6ST. Entry is £3 but free for those helping.

In club meeting on July 1 we'll be planning who does what and will be your opportunity to volunteer for timeslots on the day. As usual we'll need as many volunteers as possible to help.

Congratulations Jeremy G8MLK & Patrick G6CJB

posted 18 Jun 2019, 00:39 by Mike Brown

We had a good turnout for the annual 'foxhunt' direction finding contest last night. Many of us seemed to find our beam heading pointing way off, so ended up opening the envelope to find out where the 'fox', Trevor M0TDZ, was.

The winners were Jeremy G8MLK and Patrick G6CJB, who found the fox and drove the shortest distance, 9 miles. Commiserations to all other entrants, as well as those who couldn't make the evening.

'Foxhunt' start time now 8pm

posted 5 Jun 2019, 01:46 by Mike Brown   [ updated 5 Jun 2019, 01:47 ]

Due to amateur exams earlier in the evening the Jun 17 foxhunt will now start at 8pm, at the usual location Upton Court Park. The new timing may also make it easier for members who need time to get home after work. All you need to enter is a copy of the local Ordnance Survey map (OS175), a compass, a 2m radio and a directional antenna. A car and bit of enthusiasm help too!

And don't forget the Amateur TV talk on Monday!

posted 30 May 2019, 11:11 by Mike Brown

Alison, G8ROG, will be giving us another of her popular talks - this time on amateur TV. Hopefully there'll be a live demonstration too. ATV has made the transition to digital and the latest amateur modes use much lower bandwidth than broadcast digital TV, making it suitable for VHF & UHF amateur spectrum allocations.

Our RSGB Regional Rep, Tom Reilly, is also hoping to attend - definitely a meeting not to be missed!

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