As previously covered on the last newsletter, on Monday 12th August the committee debated and eventually proposed that the club purchase the new State of the Art IC-9700 to promote more activity and experimentation on all modes on VHF, UHF and 23cm, particularly to encourage Satellite working, Special Events and Contesting.

In advance of the Wednesday club meeting the committee received quite a lot of feedback both by emails (which were all read out to everyone at the meeting) and from the floor regarding the radio and its benefits and after the discussion and debate it was voted to sanction the purchase of this radio radio for the club. 

The members were also told of plans to sell a few major assets which are very little, such as its IC7100 and a Valve Linear PA amplifier, and these will contribute to approximately 50% off the purchase price. These will initially be offered to club members, so please watch for details soon.

The IC-9700 first proper outing will be at the VHF contest on 7th & 8th September, but then will be made available at the club for experimentation and evaluation on most informal evenings, as well as short term (6 day) loans to members who would like to experience this modern SDR radio at home or are maybe considering buying a IC9700 themselves. (NB - The new Radcom releasd on Wednesday also carries a full review of the IC-9700).

We asked all major ham radio retailers in the UK to make their best offers to the club for this radio and it is likely to be purchased early next week. However if you are already sure you would like to buy an IC-9700 and would like to be able to buy one at the clubs negotiated discounted price at the same time, please contact David G7URP for details by Sunday 18th August evening.

Whilst the club will also fund essential extras like suitable UHF/23cm feeder and connectors, the committee did not sanction the purchase of expensive commercial Preamps and similar, recommending that this is the sort of equipment that can and should be made by amateurs, not just to save money but to encourage the art of construction and experimentation. To this end I asked for advice from our friends at Camb-Hams and they recommended the DG8 masthead preamplifier which suits them well and would be a good place to start.

I ordered and received the 'short kit' on Thursday (basic kit of PCB and main coils and components) and intend to make it in the coming week. Several people at the club also expressed an interest in making one for themselves and asked for details, so here they are:

The DG8 Preamp was designed by Ian White GM3SEK and featured in Radcom Extra in 2015. You can download the booklet here:

And SDR-kits make a 'main components and PCB' short kit avalable at £33 inc VAT here:

However please note that you also have to buy quite a few extra Capacitors, Resistors and the 4 relays too, at an extra cost of around £20 plus a suitable waterproof case and the guide has lots of detailed information on buying these from Farnell. Many components you have to buy in minimums of 5 or 10, so if there is sufficient interest I am prepared to arrange a package where people will be able to buy a complete set of the extra parts needed. Most of the parts are surface mount although the larger 0805 type and this is something which the Electron Electronics Group can help with too. If this interests you please let me know by next Wednesday and I will then cost out these extra parts as a club project.

David G7URP


My DG8 Preamp 'short' kit which arrived on Thursday (note there are several other parts needed to be soldered to the back of the PCB):





In conclusion, I was not the only one who was surprised by how many people already have VHF/UHF/GHz multi band equipment on Wednesday and with the HF bands so difficult for the next few years it seems to me that this will provide new stimulation and hopefully much more use of these VHF and up spectrum which seems to be under threat.

So, looking forward to working you much further up the bands!

73, David G7URP