What is Amateur Radio?

CW Ops Open contest.
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The UK entered a team in this contest and we did pretty well.
Go to: https://cwops.org/newsletters/
Here you can read the complete report. This is how Team UK finished.

Team UK

G4ILW 1,300
G2CWO 76,513
G3XLG 25,318
G3YLA 5,631
G4BSW 3,250
G4DRS 45,289
G4HZV 10,316
G4IRN 4,996
G4NVR 23,782
GM2CWO 1,747
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I was very pleased to win a trophy as Region 1 winner and two plaques as Session 1 and Session 3 winner. I was using G2CWO. Great contests and we hope to do it again in 2019.
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Contest Meeting 31st October

HF Contests Summary 2019
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NARC will participate in the Club Championships starting February. Scores will be additionally graded under Assisted and Unassisted, ie based upon assistance, or not, from the use of Skimmers and the Reverse Beacon Network.
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It is expected that NARC will also participate in the following HF contests:-

AFS series 40/80m, noting that the CW AFS will take place on SAT 5th Jan this year. (usually on a Sunday), DATA on Sunday 13th Jan and SSB on Saturday 19th. Times have been changed to 1300 – 1700 utc.

CW NFD 1/2nd June.

Also RSGB 80m Autumn Series

Other potential Team events which may be considered if sufficient interest are:-

Commonwealth Contest 9/10th March

Low Power Contest 21st July

IOTA contest 27/28th July. (Andy M0NKR suggested this would be a good one to enter as a club)

1.8mHz Club Calls (team result based on using operators own stations)

VHF Contests

The main discussion of the meeting was entry into selected VHF contests

Rod G0CBO summarised his proposals regarding NARC entry into V/UHF contests in 2019.

There were several potentially suitable contests for a portable team entry.

Discussion took place around the timing of these relative to other NARC activities and practicalities.

From the list of contests suggested it was finally agreed that the following would be undertaken:-

UKAC – Individuals will be encouraged to enter the UKAC series in contests for which they are equipped. Check if there is also still an FM series.

Entry in the 6m Group contest that takes place coincident with CW NFD 1st/2nd June. NARC has previously participated and even won but more members to be encouraged to operate.

Participate in the 24 hr 144mHz Trophy Contest on 7/8th September. (check rules)

 

It was noted that NARC also takes in several Special Event Stations throughout the year therefore we need to be careful in not over committing .

In that respect it was noted that the first of these will be Marconi Day on 27th April.

 

Club Championship Photo Shoot with the Trophy.

Having received the Horace Freeman Trophy for first place again in the Club Championship series we will arrange a photo shoot of as many participants as possible on NOVEMBER 28th. Where possible please wear your club T shirt.

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November 25th sees the CQWW CW contest, a real biggie! If you intend entering, read the rules and see what class you would like to enter. Prizes are there even for the little pistols, so go to the page!
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https://www.cqww.com/rules.htm
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Even if you have only a few hours to spare, you could still win a prize.
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NARC Contests.
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At the contest meeting we did discuss a few HF contests, Malcolm G3PDH reminded everybody of the upcoming AFS contests and the changes apertaining to those, plus our intended participation in the RSGB CC series starting in February. We also reminded everybody about the autumn series that are running at present. They are similar to the CC events, namely 1.5 hours length, and as the nights are dark and cold now, it would be great to see more taking part.
Malcolm has posted a much more comprehensive account to the Contest Reflector. Please have a read!
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News and Comments from the Far East Correspondent:
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News of 80m Autumn Series contests:
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The 80m Autumn Series 2018 final DATA session held on Monday 12th November tested operator's skills to the point of frustration and despair. I've heard so many adjectives to describe the abysmal propagation conditions prevailing on 3.5MHz, even some of the usual high scoring stations have posted logs with less than 20 contacts.
I had not checked the f0F2 Critical frequency before the contest but on Tuesday an email exchange with Steve G0KYA (sunning himself in Bahrain) confirmed that indeed the Critical frequency was below 3MHz during the contest. Thus most of our signals were going straight through the ionosphere and into outer space with very little bent back to earth.
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Most of our locals found it hard going, Tony G0OOR on behalf of Lorna 2E0YAO said it was the worst contest they've seen.
Personally, I almost gave up after 30 minutes of RTTY, half considering that I might have another antenna fault.
I'd worked just 3 in the first 20 minutes and only 6 by 21:00 on RTTY. However, I then tried on PSK63 and worked a few more and 15 minutes before the end there was a noticeable improvement and I'd scored 10 on PSK63 before running out of time at 21:30.
My total at the end was 16 but having worked G6XX on both modes I'm hoping for an added 8 QSO bonus.
RTTY has no real time checking or error correction on receive so for good decoding it relies on strong, noise free signals; not really ideal conditions on Monday evening for RTTY.
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"Perhaps I should have changed to PSK earlier" was also the sentiment of Malcolm G3PDH who had difficulty with PSK at the start of the contest and moved to RTTY, returning later to PSK to find it much more workable.
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Thanks to all those who persevered with the appalling conditions, NARC was able to boast 8 logs this time (a record for this Autumn but not a patch on the 20+ logs we used to get in the 80m CCs).
Top scorer for NARC was Andy M0NKR, how he found 53 contacts in that non-existent propagation is a mystery!
Certainly not an evening for QRP, although a few actually did - amazing!
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The official results should make some interesting reading to see how everyone else fared, considering the poor conditions there might be considerable UBN reductions.
Looking at the raw scores it appears that NARC are very close (within 200 points) to the De Montfort team in this Data contest, once again it will be bonus points from contacting G6XX and UBN losses that will decide this one.
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NARC hopefully still hold on to their 2nd place in the cumulative table, pending official results, but we really must have all available 'hands-on-deck' with maximum effort to hold that 2nd position for the remaining 2 sessions (SSB and CW).
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Here are the remaining Autumn Series dates for your diaries. (The final 2 sessions).
Wednesday 21st November SSB 2000-2130 local time (K5AC, FLEX on Skype)
Thursday 29th November CW 2000-2130 local time (Final chance !)
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Let's have a big push to hold that 2nd place, Nick G4FAL and his RSGB team would love to steal it from us.
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I expect all attendees to the CW Bootcamp to enter the final 80m CW contest !! (very tongue-in-cheek?)
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160m CLUB CALLS (1.8MHz AFS) :
Another disaster at VPE Mansions. I tried using end loading coils (40 turns on 6" dia. former) added to each end of my 80m dipole but the whole thing didn't radiate well at all - even M0RYB couldn't hear me properly !
I struggled through and made 6 QSOs in total, I did manage to contact the GB3HQ station on both SSB and CW so that was worth 100 points. Only two other NARC members battled it out on 160m, Chris G0TZZ scoring 34 and Peter M0RYB/P with 100 Qs.
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Looking through the118 submitted logs I counted about 23 Club HQ stations active plus the special GB3HQ RSGB headquarters station.
So, in some other parts of the country club stations and club members were supporting this contest!
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Log submission was not without pitfalls either.
Most if not all N1MM+ users were met with problems and warning reports from the RSGB Robot when uploading logs.
My log was also initially rejected on the basis of missing columns and no sent or received RS(T) in the Cabrillo output from N1MM+. I seem to recall that we had a similar problem last year but logs without RST were accepted.
Since I only had 6 QSOs it was easy to follow the error report and make two extra columns of RS(T) and the robot accepted my modified re-submission without warnings.
There was also a scoring anomaly where N1MM didn't agree with the scoring as per the contest rules.
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Peter M0RYB placed a report on the N1MM+ contest reflector which has resulted in prompt action from the authors.
Mike G3VYI, RSGB adjudicator for this contest, has stated that logs without RST will be accepted and users may ignore the warnings.
Further to that an experimental UDC was posted on the Hamdocs website to patch the RST/Cabrillo problem and subsequently N1MM+ has been modified in release 1.0.7336 to correct the Cabrillo output and also show the correct claimed score.
Version 1.0.7342 is the latest update (Tuesday 13th November 2018) and incorporates all previous modifications.
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Peter M0RYB(/P) sent a few observations to Roger:
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Raw QSO numbers from Monday night:
CW 47 , PH 51 with 2 dupes so I put a score up of 100 but it would have been nice to have 100 valid QSOs. Not as good as last year, when I had 103 QSOs after adjudication. I’m not sure the N1MM+ scoring algorithm is the same as the RSGBs, so I won’t put up the claimed score.

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Conditions were very variable on phone, with slow deep QSB. I am fairly sure John G8VPE called me but I could only piece his callsign together after quite a number of requests so the likelihood of completing was very small, even though I already knew two of the three parts his exchange would be! On a couple of occasions successive overs with a station were so different in signal strength it was as if a switch had been turned – I guess a four-square antenna would not be very good for intra-G contacts but would have the advantage of being directional! It was a relief to swap modes and go to CW for a while.

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It was quite a leisurely contest and could have done with some more entrants but the difficulties of setting up an antenna for 160m are well known.

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It seems there is no need to previously register a Club HQ station and it seems quite a lax arrangement; it might be something to pursue for next year.

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Peter M0RYB
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I hope we can show a better NARC turn-out for the 2nd 1.8MHz CW event this Saturday evening, 17th November.
Peter M0RYB needs your support for his quest in the 2018 RSGB HF Championship, please look out for him and help to increase his score but avoid "unique" QSOs (just one contact) which will not score points. However, also giving points to the opposition would likewise be counter-productive, but please maintain the spirit of contesting within the rules at all times.
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Forthcoming Contests:
VHF UKACs.
The last 2m UKAC is on Tuesday 4th December.
Last 6m UKAC is on Thursday 13th December.
Last 70cm (432MHz) UKAC is on Tuesday 11th December.
Also, the FMACs are still active and commence at 1900utc, 1 hour before the UKACs at 2000utc
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On Saturday 17th November it's top band again with RSGB 2nd 1.8 MHz CW contest (400W maximum this time), the final of all ten events for the HF Championship.
I shall try to improve my 160m antenna to ensure that I get a contact with Peter this time.

There are only 3 stations who have the G2QT trophy for the HF Championship within their grasp, G3SWC, G4FAL and M0RYB.
All others are more than 1000 points behind.
(Good luck, Peter !)
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24th/25th November is the CQ WW DX CW contest, often an opportunity to collect some extra DXCC entities with many islands and far flung places activated especially for CQWW contests.

The month of December is traditionally a fairly quiet month for UK HF contests.
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To all contesters: It's taking part that counts - there's no praise and honours for non-participants.
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73 JOHN G8VPE
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NEWS AND COMMENTS ( AND PICTURES! ) PLEASE TO ME: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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That's it for this time. 73 de Roger, G3LDI

This evening our last Skype talk of the year comes from Steve Hicks N5AC who is VP Engineering and CTO of FlexRadio Systems who will be talking about some of the technical and engineering challenges and breakthroughs in SDR radio. 

As usual we meet from 7pm and the live interactive talk with Steve in the US will start straight after notices at 7.30.

 

73, David G7URP

HF News

The predicted bad geomagnetic conditions forecast for last weekend didn’t turn out to be quite so bad after all. The Kp index only rose to four on the tenth and then conditions settled again, despite a large coronal hole on the Sun’s surface.

However, reports did come in of poor conditions on 80 metres on Monday evening during the RSGB 80m Autumn Series contest. A good guide to conditions for inter-G, or near vertical incidence skywave NVIS propagation, are always the ionosonde data at propquest.co.uk.

The site showed that the critical frequency, which is the maximum frequency at which signals launched vertically into the ionosphere are returned, dropped as low as 3.16 MHz on Monday evening. This so-called critical frequency, or FoF2, meant the ionosphere couldn’t support close-in 80 metre signals – they basically carried on out into space rather than being returned to Earth.

This may be a trend we see in the evenings throughout the winter, especially with a solar flux index as low as 67 as we have been seeing.

The only answer is to move to Top Band or make do with VHF/UHF.

Next week, NOAA predicts more of the same with an SFI of around 68-70. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be more settled though with a maximum Kp index of two.

This means daytime maximum useable frequencies are likely to be around 18 or 19 MHz over a 3,000km path. There have been the occasional openings during the day up to 21 and even 28MHz, but these are likely to be fleeting and generally unreliable.

Nighttime MUFs over a 3,000km path may struggle to reach 9-12 MHz at times, with 40, or more likely 80 metres, being the highest reliable band for DX.

VHF and up

It looks like a good Tropo spell coming up, especially over the eastern side of the country with some good paths across the North Sea to northern Europe and Scandinavia. This is due to a strong temperature inversion set up by a large area of high pressure over Scandinavia.

As this high drifts away towards Iceland, the Tropo will decline and low pressure will take over for southern areas by mid-week. This could introduce some coastal showers, especially along the English Channel and over the southern North Sea, which may bring some chance of rain scatter for the Gigahertz bands.

Today we should still be in the tail end of last night’s Leonid meteor shower so look for enhanced meteor scatter paths.

Moon declination goes positive tomorrow so the week will see increasingly long Moon windows and path losses will fall as the week progresses.

Christmas Party

The NARC Christmas party is on Wednesday 12th December (last meeting of the year at the school), and as requested by several members will have a change in food this year but still be free to paid up NARC members and their immediate family, paid for by profits from our canteen and DX squares. It will also feature entertainment and our secret santa style charity raffle with all funds going to the NARC nominated charity which this year is Prostate Cancer UK.

Booking will be essential! Because the food will be cooked to order, everyone attending will have to complete a booking form and return it by Wednesday December 5th. Booking forms will be available from this Wednesday 21st November.

 

Christmas Dinner

As requested I have organised a Christmas Dinner at The Village Inn in Little Melton and this will be at 7 for 7.30pm on Wednesday 19th December, the week after the NARC christmas party. It will be a 3 course dinner with lots of choice and cost £11.50 per head - just a 50p increase on last year.

Again booking forms with menu choices will be available this Wednesday 21st November and last bookings will be Tuesday 11th December.

 

Thinking of others at Christmas...

In all walks of life there are many people spending christmas alone this year not through choice, but because they have lost a loved one.

Our hobby has its share of people where a loved one is now silent key. So if you know someone who has links to amateur radio and would be comforted by a card from the members of Norfolk Amateur Radio Club this christmas, wherever they are and regardless of whether they or their lost ones were members of the club, please let me have their details on an email or note and I will make sure a card is sent to them to remind them that they are not forgotten this Christmas.

 

73, David G7URP

 

 

 

morse key 2

I practice regularly. In fact I did ten minutes on one day in March this year. It made no difference at all. Practice? Load of rubbish. You'll be suggesting I do five hours a day next! 

BOOTCAMP BOOTCAMP -... --- --- - -.-. .- -- .--.
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This will take place at QTHR G3LDI - The Old Nursery - this Sunday November 18th.
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Sorry to have to disappoint those that have now bowed out, but hopefully you will be there in the spring.
Tutors will be Malcolm G3PDH, Jim G3YLA and me Roger G3LDI as well as doubling as tea-boy.....
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As an added incentive for the Bootcamp, Steve G0KYA has kindly made available 12 1-2Gb memory sticks that can take the G4FON software together with some books in .txt format. Steve has collected these from his travels so many are branded “Rockwell Collins”, "Airbus” etc - but he is kindly letting us have them free of charge!
. Steve says:
They are not big enough for the MP3 files, but that is kind of irrelevant as you can use the software to output the books to MP3 at the speed YOU want anyway. Steve duly gave them to me at the Club on Wednesday evening.
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Across the table QSO format will be used with only notes being made, to encourage head cpy. Some emphasis will also be placed on punctuation and abbreviations.
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Morse at the Club takes place in the computer room and is quite well supported. If you would like to join, you are most welcome. There is a need for some to join the beginner's class. I hope we have not reached saturation for those wanting to learn Morse. It is a skill very worth while having.
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Just to remind you that if you still need to do any studying:
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You can find your study course here:
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http://www.hamuniverse.com/qsignals.html
or here:
https://www.wattpad.com/478101276-codes-ciphers-morse-code-abbreviations
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After that do take a look at how to construct a QSO:
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=ZqPQE1D8gfw
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I CANNOT EMPHASISE HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO LEARN AS MANY ABBREVIATIONS AS YOU CAN. ONLY THEN WILL YOU UNDERSTAND THE "LANGUAGE". YOU MUST BE COMPLETELY FAMILIAR WITH THEM.

+++ TNX FER UR INFO. GUD TO SEE UR RDG THIS CW ON AIR  CU SUNDAY AT BOOTCAMP  73   AR   SK

bug key
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GB2CW Certificates.
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From October onwards we hope that some of you will be taking a Proficiency Certificate:
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We have several in the various classes that could be eligible for a Proficiency Certificate. Without being pushed, please just consider taking a test locally. Malcolm G3PDH is the Assessor and Phill G4NZQ is the Adjudicator. If you are interested in taking a test, please remember that there is no pressure and the speed can be as low as even 5 wpm, because you can then upgrade as you feel capable. Please let Malcolm know and he will make the necessary arrangements. It would be nice to have several at one session if possible.
With a few local passes, suitable pictures could be published in Radcom to further the purpose of the GB2CW training scheme. As CW is no longer part of the Amateur Licence this will also increase your spectrum capability, because without CW you lose 40% of the available amateur bands. CW readers are fine, but no replacement for a brain!
Remember that Malcolm is away for September, returning beginning of October, so I would suggest as much practice as possible between now and middle of October, when he will be making arrangements with Phil G4NZQ to set up the tests. They will probably take place here, QTH G3LDI, for the sake of peace and quiet. PLEASE EMAIL MALCOLM OF YOUR INTEREST AND INTENTIONS. HERE:
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"Malcolm Prestwood, G3PDH President NARC" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
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If you are keen on amateur radio Morse, take a look at this video. It is from K6KPH. This station is on the air every weekend and can be worked on 14.050. I worked them when Steve G0KYA happened to be there. They do have a regular bulletin, which you can sign up for. It is always quite interesting.
You can see Steve there when I called!
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj-IwYPrtTM
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This was a while ago, but look for their Newsletter, because that contains some very interesting historical information.
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The schedule for Morse tuition locally is:
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Tuesdays:
1000 - 1100 Coffee Break Morse with Chris G4CCX on 145.250MHz
1900 - 2000 Raw Beginners as first choice with Roger G3LDI on 145.250MHz
However, there seems to be no beginners joining at this time, so IF no beginners check in at the start of the session, I will then "play to the crowd". In other words, whatever speed you wish to practice with, so please call in!
2000 - 2100 Intermediates with Jim G3YLA on 145.625MHz - in other words on GB3NB repeater,
Thursdays:
1000 - 1100 Coffee Break Morse with Chris G4CCX on GB3NB
2000 - 2100 Advanced Class with Malcolm G3PDH on the GB3NB Repeater.
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The Tuesday class is well attended, as is the Thursday class on GB3NB.
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INFORMAL evenings at the Club will still have Morse in the Computer Room with Paul M1AFQ and Chris G4CCX. Jim G3YLA will also be taking the Persuader's Class in the main room. I am not sure quite how this is progressing, so will wait for Jim to update us!
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Norfolk Amateur Radio Club CW Net.
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This will remain as part of this GB2CW CW Corner, just to remind you of the net. Hopefully some of you will join in.
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NARC Net: 3545kHz plus or minus QRM. The Net Controller, normally Malcolm G3PDH, will call CQ at 8.30 p.m. local time on Monday evenings. Call with just your call sign once until he acknowledges you. Once all check-ins have been established, a list will be sent of the order. Make a note of this because you should know your place on the list and each operator will take his turn, passing it to the next call on the list. Short overs are needed with quotes on salient points, and sending your news at the same time. Make notes as the net progresses and comment on just the point(s) that you wish to address.
Speed will not be a problem because that is adjusted to the lowest speed on the net. Two things are practised here. One is conversational Morse, and the other is Net Protocol. It should provide both confidence and impetus for you to make more QSOs on the air. We look forward to hearing you.
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73 de Roger, G3LDI GB2CW Coordinator. May the Morse be with you.
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