The Thornbury and South Gloucestershire Amateur Radio Club (TSGARC) has today taken the decision to postpone all future Wednesday evening meetings during the current Corona Virus outbreak.

This decision has been taken to safeguard the health of all members and to comply with the general ‘Delay’ tactic being employed currently. It is currently proposed that this course of action is taken for a period of three months however it will be reviewed regularly and shortened/extended as required.

The forthcoming Annual General Meeting will be postponed until a date in October. Yearly subscriptions will still be collected inline with the current constitution, however yearly subscriptions will only be considered overdue 1 month after weekly meetings re-commence. Should you wish to pay your subscription by bank transfer please email the Treasurer to this effect.

In the meantime…. The current Friday net at 8pm will also be added to with a Wednesday Zoom meeting commencing at 8pm local time. Details for the Zoom meeting will be sent to members by email. The Friday Net will start on 145.500MHz and typically move to 145.450MHz.

The committee wishes every member well at this time.

Paul M0ZMB

Co-opted Ordinary Member

Another Foundation pass for TSGARC

Today Ross passed his Foundation exam after a short course. Ross completed the exam in about 40 minutes and scored 24 out of 26 questions. He already has a callsign in mind M7RAE. The test was invigilated by Peter G4OST and Paul M0ZMB.

Well done Ross.



Build Evening

This Wednesday just gone saw the start of the SDR-Kits R3500D ARDF kit builds and exploration of the Coilcraft RF Lab Kit which arrived a couple of weeks back. The RF Lab Kit includes Inductors (0603 to 2929), Low Pass Filters and Transformers.

Assembly of the kits has started with most members having placed the resistors.

Along with the Coilcraft lab kit came some T-Shirts too.

Please let me know if you need anything from the Lab Kit and I’ll guide you through it.



Vaisala RS41 RadioSonde captured

During Wednesday (24th January 2018) afternoon the daily 11:15am RadioSonde launch from Camburne, Cornwall decided to make its way to Wiltshire rather than France, as is the norm at the minute. I left work mid afternoon to go home and collect my kit, arriving near Dauntsey, Wiltshire at 16:00. I then proceeded to triangulate the RadioSonde’s position using standard techniques. Once I got close enough I was able to run the SondeMonitor software (below) to see exactly where the RadioSonde was laying.

I was able to get the car to within 1/2 mile of ground zero. The ground to the RadioSonde however was very wet with a soggy boot gained. Once I entered the field the RadioSonde balloon was very obvious. At Ground Zero I found the balloon and parachute. Following a 60ft thread I found the Vaisala RS41 RadioSonde still chirping away.

All three items were taken away for examination and evidence. The balloon was not shredded but has two holes. The parachute is in perfect working order. The RS41 still works and will be kept in original order.

As soon as the next one comes up this way (Bristol UK) I will be on the hunt. Additionally I have found that the unit can be reloaded with different software.




Arduino Beginners Course – 21st February

The kits and coursework for the Arduino beginners course are now complete and ready to run.

Each kit has the following items:

Item Source Qty.
NodeMCU Lua V3 CH340G ESP8266 eBay h-quality_electronic 1
10pcs Micro USB cable eBay bigfashionmarket 1
NodeMcu Base ESP8266 Testing DIY Board For LoLin V3 NodeMcu Lua WIFI Develo G3E6 eBay 2013bestbuybest 1
10PCS Mini Universal Solderless Breadboard 400 Contacts Tie-points Available AM eBay alimodule 1
DuPont Hook up Cable wire Rainbow Ribbon of 40/10 Wires Male Male Female Female eBay mallinson-electrical 18
100 PCS 5mm Round Super Bright Red Light Output Diode LED Light BT eBay 2013bestbuybest 5
Mini Speaker eBay 2013bestbuybest 1
100x 6 x 6mm x 9.5mm PCB Momentary Tactile Tact Push Button Switch 4 Pin DI U2Q8 eBay 2013bestbuybest 5 (2 soldered to VB)
OLED Display 0.96in Ali Express 1

All bagged up ready to go:

The plan is to run the course on the evening of 21st February with an 8pm start or earlier if everyone is ready.

Please note you will need to bring a laptop or PC with either Windows 8.1 or 10. if you have something older please bring it along ASAP and we’ll check it out.


Receiving RadioSondes or not in my case

I was inspired by this recent Hackaday ( post to try my hand at receiving RadioSonde messages. A RadioSonde is the box of electronics (Temperature, Pressure monitors etc , GPS receiver, Processor and UHF transmitter) that sits below a weather balloon. Apparently they don’t go and collect them either so they are up for grabs and experimentation.

At the minute though I am failing to decode the messages sent by the UKs Vaisala RS41 RadioSondes. I am using a piece of software called SondeMonitor and the RTL USB dongle with SDRSharp. Last night I received 4 perfect (I think) signals, one shown below not being decoded 🙁

Further testing will commence shortly as they lift of at 11:15 and become audible at 11:30ish. Wish me luck.


Arduino Beginners Course

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

This week I have received a number of parcels from the great electronics store in the East. The contents of which is the majority of the parts required for the Arduino beginners course. I’m now only waiting for three items. The photo below shows the contents.

And a less cluttered photo showing:

  • Jumper wires to be split into kits
  • A breadboard
  • The all important NodeMCU (ESP8266 or ESP12-E)
  • NodeMCU base
  • USB cable (yes I know you have one already, but at 29p each!)
  • Two speakers (one in each kit)
  • And a bag of LEDs to be split up.

As most of the items have arrived so quickly, I may be able to bring the course date forward slightly.



TSGARC visit to the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Museum Yeovilton

On Saturday 29th July the TSGARC visited the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton.

A good day was had viewing aircraft from the start of flight through to models of the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers and the new F35B Joint Strike Fighter. Aircraft viewed included the iconic Wessex helicopter seen below.

Some members also got to try out the exhibits.