Dorking & District Radio Society

Recent Meetings and Events

CW Still Here

25 June

An entertaining evening exploring the world of Morse (or should it be Vail?) code. John Kelly introduced the topic with a historical account of how and why it came to be created and used, and then explained about all the different types of keys which can be used to send it. Two teams were then formed and John ran a fun competition for us to practise sending and receiving messages in various ways, including blinking! The evening rounded off with a display of vintage and modern keys, some CW operating and a demonstration of CW practice software.

Protecting earth from the ravages of the sun

28 May

A very informative evening learning about activity at the sun's surface and the consequences in the vicinity of the earth, including aurora, radio blackouts and threats to satellites and national electricity grids. Dr Colin Forsyth from the Mullard Space Science Laboratory explained the interaction between this high temperature plasma and the earth's magnetic field, including concepts like "Bow Shock" and the Magnetosphere.

ICQ Amateur/Ham Radio Podcast

23 April

We learned about this fortnightly audio (and sometimes video) magazine on topics of interest to radio amateurs. Martin Butler explained how the programmes were planned, recorded by a team of presenters, edited then made available to download from the internet via various websites. We also watched some actual recordings featuring good quality outside-broadcast reporting from rallies and events. An excellent way to keep up to date with relevant news and comment, including unbiased real operating experience of equipment.


26 March

Mike Potter gave a detailed demonstration of various logging programs. Starting with Logger32, he demonstrated how logging programs can do a lot more than just passively record contacts as in a traditional log book. Logger32 is not only free and runs on quite basic computers, but can connect to and control a variety of amateur radio equipment such as selecting and tuning multiple transceivers and operating an antenna rotator. It also connects to DX cluster and ClubLog to provide additional information about potential contacts. Mike explained the key role that the ADIF data format plays in transferring data between logging systems, including ClubLog.

Mike also demonstrated some other logging programs - HamRadioDeluxe, Swisslog, Turbolog and Log4OM.

J-Pole and Slim Jim Construction

26 February

Tom Ellinor showed the club how these antenna designs work and how to calculate the various measurements. We then formed 4 teams and set about making one of them for ourselves out of ladder line. The intention was to create a highly portable antenna for 2m which could be hung up and fed at the bottom.

The basic construction was simple enough, but when the finished products were tested using an antenna analyser, the resonant frequencies were not quite as predicted. The beauty of the constructional approach then became evident: it would be fairly simple to adjust the lengths to get a good match at 145MHz.