Welcome to the Havering and District Amateur Radio Club website. We are based in Hornchurch Essex, around 20km East of London UK. We use the calls G4HRC, G8HRC and GX4HRC and have been serving the needs of local amateurs for over 40 years.
DX Corner #1 - by Fred, G3SVK
22nd November 2013
Welcome to the first 'DX Corner' by Fred, G3SVK. A new regular feature containing information on HF propagation and DX.
• With the onset of the winter months, propagation on the HF bands has been rather limited to the daylight and twilight hours. 10 metres showed a vast increase in activity after the very disappointing solar maximum. 40M has shown some very interesting worldwide openings, especially at our sunrise and sunset times. I made good use of the un-seasonal sunshine and erected a sloping dipole for 10M and, with my other array of half wave dipoles and very modest power, some interesting surprises found their way into my log.
Usually at this time of the year, there is a plethora of DXpeditions to quite rare QTHs. Notably, Myanmar (XZ1X), Mozambique (C82DX), Juan Fernandez Is (XR0ZR), Southern Sudan (Z81X), Burkina Faso (XT26DJ), Wake Island (W8K), Swaziland (3DA0ET), Bangladesh (S21ZBC), Madagascar (5R8IC), Adaman Islands (VU7), plus others. Here’s an extract from my log. All were worked on CW. You’ll have to look up the countries from the prefixes listed. It’s a good exercise anyway!!
As you would have noticed the IOTA contest was on over the last 24 Hrs. For the first time ever I decide to have a go away from home, and see what I could work in 12 Hrs.
The setup was the Racal push up mast 12m,
Icom 7000, Linear Amp UK 1200,
Honda 2K Generator,, 2E Quad.
Assisted by John M0UKD we set the mast and quad up early afternoon. The forecast was rain for the afternoon, so it was important to get operational by 4PM so we could ensure everything was packed away and dry in time for the rain.
Once setup we tested the quad and the Linear Amp and found that was reasonably happy driving the radio (around 25w) into the linear (around 300 to 350 out)
Again the mast was hand rotated, in the maim we only had 2 or 3 ways to beam.
The objective was to try and work some rare Islands, or indeed some nice DX. It was much more around quality than quantity.
Operating from the car, it was quite interesting when the storm hit around 8pm, quite a bit of lightning but nothing too close (mostly over 2 km away) so we pushed on !
Hunting around we managed to work quite a few nice countries and islands, including New Zeland, Ecuador, Australia, Columbia, Cuba, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Honduras, Chile, St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia, Madagascar, Indonesia, Japan, China and Market Reef.
The highlight for me was China, although I have never managed to work so many VK and JA stations and working ZL was quite special on phone.
All together we worked 53 DXCC and 64 IOTA and 167 stations worked.
73 Dave M0TAZ
50MHz Trophy Contest
17th June 2013
The Havering and District Amateur radio club using G4HRC took part part in the 50MHz trophy cup over the weekend of 15th and 16th June. The clubs equipment includes a linear amplifier and 6 element beam, mounted on a 12m pump up mast.
Over the course of the weekend we worked 128 stations, with the best DX of TF3ML in HP93KU, 1842 Km. In common with other stations the band provided very little sporadic E over the course of the weekend, with a few openings to the East.
Some photos from the weekend can be seen in the gallery. Our QSO map can be viewed here.
Click to enlarge
HF Portable On 20M With A Two Ele Quad
9th June 2013
Click to enlarge
Having just returned from Scotland, I decided it was about time to dust off the 20m Quad antenna and do some QRO with John M0UKD.
The antenna has undergone a few modifications since the #1 version last year. The mounting plates for the roach poles are now heavy duty aluminium.
The plan last night was to setup the Quad and try out a new mast (12m [40ft] Racal push up mast) with the antenna. The antenna assembly takes a while, as the antenna was designed to be portable, with everything fitting into the car in preparation for HF portable.
Power would be provided by the Honda generator, and so this would enable me to take the Linear Amp and run QRO with 400w.
The plan was to use a leisure battery to run the radio, allowing the generator to breath and deliver the linear as required.
The generator would be capable of doing both, but I have the battery here and it seems logical to give the genny some headroom.
The mast was a new addition, and I was pleased to see I could set this up on my own, complete the guys and extend it to 12m without any assistance. Once the quad was in place assistance was required as its almost impossible to assemble to quad and mount on the stub without assistance. The antenna is quite light, but pushing the mast up was a little difficult but with care it was soon at 10m. It was a little windy last night, so kept a couple of meters in hand..
The antenna will free rotate on the mast, if you only guy at the top and the bottom you can simply hand rotate, we decided to use a rope on the back of the antenna so we could fix it at the USA and call CQ DX.
We stated operating at 8.45 and the plan was to finish late.... (we finished at 2:45)
The first call in the log was WA1LSH from MA and very soon we had a mini USA pile up! Over the course of the evening we worked 90 stations, 65 of them USA.
A quick look at the stats suggest 19 states DE, FL, GA, IL, MA, MD, ME, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA and WV.
We also worked a fair selection of other contries including Equador, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina. Only one VK but we was beaming at the USA.
I have included a couple of pictures from the evening, and now the "summer" is here its nice to do some weekend outdoor operating into the wee small hours. This is after all the solar maximum so best to make use of it while we can....
73 Dave, M0TAZ.
For live updates, follow M0TAZ on twitter. Follow @m0taz
Click to enlarge
MM0TAZ/P Portable HF with a view
30th May 2013
Working portable from any location is always fun, but today I got the chance to work /p from the highlands of Scotland in the sun. The equipment was my basic portable setup, Icom 7000, 85 Ah battery, 12m roach pole and 24m (12m per leg) doublet. The operating location was Ullapool on the West coast of Scotland. I settled on a rural lay-by close to the A835 around 5 miles North of Ullapool, room for the doublet and away from the public.
Click to enlarge
I setup on 7 MHz, and quickly joined M0UKD John for a chat, the signal as expected was a push on 7 MHz with 5-5 to 5-7 from John. The noise level at my side was zero, so the signal to noise on everyone was very good. I operated for 2.5 Hrs and worked 26 stations on 7 MHz including Brian M0OAB and Wayne G4YOH from LEFARS. Having never worked from this far North I was surprised I could work into London, most of the stations I worked were from the Midlands, Cheshire, Runcorn, Leeds, Wolverhampton, Liverpool.
Havering and District Amateur Radio Club once again was delighted to take part in the National Mills on the air weekend from Upminster and Mountenssing Windmills. Members of Havering ARC set up a radio station and communicated with other mills and radio amateurs from all over Europe.
The objectives were simple, by using a special call sign GB2UW (UW was selected to represent Upminster Windmill) and GB4MW for Mountnessing Windmill we could use this special call and give people information on the windmills.
Radio amateurs from all over the world contacted as many windmills as they could throughout the weekend, and in the process collected special QSL cards.
From Upminster we made contact with 18 other mills from around the UK, and also communicated with over 350 other stations in France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and of course England.
You can take a look at some photos by clicking here. Some video from GB2UW can be seen on YouTube or on the Video page.
18th April 2013
Registration for the Intermediate course is now open. The course will commence on Thursday 2nd May at 19:30 Hrs to 21:30 Hrs for 8 consecutive weeks. The course will cover all of the intermediate syllabus including the practical assessment.
The exam is planned for Thursday 27th June. The cost of the course is £50 plus the RSGB examination fee of £32.50.
Places are limited, so advance registration is essential.
For more info, please contact us.
Portable QRP topband setup with loaded 1/4 wave vertical
6th April 2013
Today, John M0UKD & Dave M0TAZ joind the clubs top band 160m net on 1910kHz from a portable location in Hornchurch country park. Obviously, aerials for 160m are a bit on the large side, so we chose to use a loaded vertical.
John had previously built an inductor for a 9m (30ft) fibreglass pole which worked well, but today we used Daves 18m (60ft) spiderbeam fibreglass pole. We used the same inductor, but just moved it up the pole to get a match.
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
We used this calculator to estimate where the loading coil of 195µH should be placed and it suggested that for an 18m vertical to resonate at 1900kHz, it should be 13.1 metres up from the feedpoint, leaving 5 metres of wire above that.
We used a fence made of chicken wire for the ground, which seems to be quite effective in previous tests at this location.
Click to enlarge
Once the aerial was setup, Dave tested to see where the 50Ω match was with his analyser. It was a little lower than planned, at 1800kHz.
It's still nice to see an antenna giving you a match at this frequency! The 50Ω point was easily brought up the band to 1910kHz with an ATU.
We had good reports with the local club members Jim M0MAC, Derek G3OBX, John G0PIA and George M1GEO. Reports were unsurprisingly slightly up when compared with the 9m (30ft) loaded quarter wave.
Looking forward to trying this antenna in the 1.8MHz contest later in the year!
Work The World Weekend As with last years event this will be a fun event running for 24 hours and it will be held at the Secret Nuclear Bunker in Kelvedon Hatch. As the title suggest we aim to chat with as many countries as possible, but its not a competition.