GB4STS "Brookwood on the Air"

10am - 4pm Saturday 12th September 2015

A Special Event Amateur Radio Station for the day at St Saviours Church, GU24 0AS

Brookwood Village Home Page

Brookwood on the Air

GB4STS and Roy

Two Amateur (HAM) Radio stations were active for “Brookwood on the Air” on Saturday 12th September at St Saviour's church and Ofcom granted a special call-sign GB4STS for the day, which coincided with the national Churches on the Air (CHOTA) event.

We were very fortunate to have Peter M0URL, an ex-Merchant Navy Radio Officer giving a superb live demonstration of Morse code communications, still in use in this century!

Radio propagation conditions were not very helpful on the day (sunspot activity) and although a number of Russian stations were heard, the furthest two-way contact (QSO) was with Zola HG30CW in Hungary at a distance of nearly 1,500km, all in Morse code! Continental QSO's included France and Germany. Closer to home, we had a brief conversation with the National Trust at Polesden Lacy.

A number of youngsters tried their hand at the Morse Mouse computer game (courtesy of Charlie M0PZT), usually beating their parents and sending messages using Morse Code practice keys. One resident brought in a Meccano Morse key he made about 25 years ago, which he showed was still working and Walky-Talky's were seen clasped in earnest young hands striding purposefully around the church.

HF Amateur Radio for all ages

Morse Code Game

Meccano Morse Key

Also on display was a large screen showing live aircraft movements in the South East as seen by Air Traffic Controllers using secondary radar signals (ADSB). This was augmented with an Air-band radio feed from Farnborough Airport. A group of young boys thought this was fascinating and helpfully repeated the initial explanations to any new visitor...

A Raspberry Pi computer (credit card sized) showed a global map screen with tracks of radio satellites and the International Space Station.

Cutting edge technology in the form of Software Defined Radio (SDR) was ably explained by Dave Lugton.

Speaking to visitors, the common theme was “I didn't know there was so much in Radio!”

For the technically minded:
The main antenna was a half-sized G5RV doublet (dipole) 20m long, aligned north-south, suspended between two 12m high masts.
The HF transceiver was a Yaesu FT-857D delivering 100W RF power on 7MHz (40m) and 14MHz (20m).
Colinear vertical antennas were used with a Yaesu FT-7900E for VHF & UHF work on 145MHz (2m) & 433MHz (70cm) at 50/40W.
A wide band (25-1,300MHz) DisCone scanner antenna fed the receiver systems through a G4HUP RF distribution amplifier.
The SDR display used a FunCube USB dongle Pro+ developed for radio satellite systems loaned from ML&S.
Trailer Mast

Special thanks for the Primary trailer mast loaned from Simon G7HHI Woking Radio Mast Hire and Secondary mast loaned from Chris 2E0FCL Farnborough Communications.

Comment for the day:
For a hobby activity that includes the word “Wireless”, there is a lot of cable involved!
To get in touch with Mark Craven M0MXC email:
You can pop into St Saviour’s Church for coffee on Fridays between 10am and 12noon to meet new people and have a chat.
Church ReGeneration Link