News

MKARS News

Welcome to MKARS the Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society.

The club has nearly 60 years of history and an enthusiastic membership with very diverse interests. The club is particularly proud of the association with Bletchley Park and our successful training, for which we have introduced hundreds of members to the hobby.

Please feel free to visit us on our club nights or at any of the events in our diary.

MKARS RSS FeedTo find out more about MKARS and what we have been up to check out our news items below or subscribe to our news feed. For more information on our news and diary feeds please check out our feed information page.

Intermediate Course Success

We are pleased to welcome the 6 off Intermediate course students who took the exam yesterday evening to their Intermediate licenses after passing the exam.

The 6 students were:-

Andy Lyman, Dirk Fair, Gary Kattenhorn, Keith Charlton, Peter Gatward, Wally Byers

Well done!

The Training Team

Frank Jackson & Rupert Campbell-Black

Breaking News....New Location, Club Activities and Shack Nights

Breaking News.....From January 2019

New Club Location

We have now moved forward with our plans for relocating the Club to more suitable premises, and from January 2019 most of our meetings will be upstairs at the Irish Centre (Manor Fields, Watling Street, Bletchley, MK2 2HX).

New Meeting Schedule & Club Diary

We are also changing our meeting schedule.  Our club meetings from January 2019 will be on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month. This helps to avoid the impact of public holidays on our meetings programme. All meeting will start at 19.30.

A full programme is shaping up for the year ahead, and dates, locations and speakers etc are all detailed on the Club’s diary page. (See column to the left of this page.). 
Please note that one meeting is being held in February at the NRC, so we will occasionally be back at Bletchley Park.

Shack Nights - the 3rd Monday of each Month

Until we have a shack established at the Irish Centre (expected sometime in the spring), TS Invincible at Bletchley Park has kindly agreed that we can still use our shack there.

From January 2019 we will regularly have a monthly shack night on the 3rd Monday of each month. Come along and operate our station (GB2BP), discuss operating technique, and ask questions about CW, HF and digital operations.

Arrangements For November/December 2018

We still remain at TS Invincible at Bletchley Park for November and December 2018.

We have the following meetings planned - all at 19.30: 

26th November - a GB2BP Shack night in the TS Invincible shack. 

3rd December - Xmas Mince Pies & waffle (chat!) Night coupled with a radio video presentation - TS Invincible.

17th December - a GB2BP Shack Night in the TS Invincible shack.

 

Presentations in Nov Meetings ; Voice Keyers & Antenna Baluns

We had two interesting presentations in November.

Trials and Tribulations of Building a Voice Keyer and Sequencer For Older Rigs' by Phil G4FVZ.  If any member wants a copy of Phil's slides and further details of the ISD1820 or ISD1760 voice modules then see him at a club meeting or a PM via the Forum or QRZ.com. He also has more details on the DE8BQA FA-SM voice/CW/sequencing unit.

 'Cooking with Antenna – the dessert course' by Will G1YYU. Will gave a facinating talk on the practical aspects of building baluns and demystifying the process.  He also provided information on where to obtain the ferrites and the high voltage capacitors.  He is now available for balun consultaion to Club members!

Weekly Club Net on GB3MK - Sundays 8pm

There is a weekly net on the clubs 70cm repeater GB3MK. All members and prospective members are welcome.

RSGB Contesting

Why not have a go at one of the RSGB contests?

There are regular contests on the VHF/UHF bands.You dont need high power and big antennas, there are FM and SSB contests and it's a very polite and civilised activity.  Registering your results is easy and will gain the club some points, and a good way to test your setup. Contest dates are posted in the club diary on the left. If you want some guidance come and talk to Me (Tim G6GEI) or Malcolm (M0GXZ) one club night.

RSGB contest schedule here  Guide on submitting your contest log here

Membership Cards

Following payment of membership at the AGM (or around that time) a couple of people have mentioned to me that they need a Membership card.

If this is the case, please could you send me a recent photo of yourself to membership AT Mkars.org.uk and I'll get one made up in the next few weeks.

Club Meetings

As per the agreement at the AGM, club meetings now have  a donation of £1 per person.

Could we also ask everyone to sign in please. It helps  committee with numbers and membership.

Building 41 and the future of MKARS

Members are encouraged to attend the club meeting on 7th September to disscuss the recent news regarding building 41. its your club come and have your say.

Sunday Net GB3MK 433.000 from 20.00 Local.

As from Sunday 10th of May the MKARS nett will be on our GB3MK repeater at 20.00 local. Hopefully the move will attract members to use the new Fusion repeater.

Be aware of the current 2 minute timeout.

New Meeting Place !

 

Club Meetings Will From Now On, Be Held On The 1st & 3rd Monday Of The Month....

At T.S. Invincible Bletchley Park.

19:00 - 21:30 / 7pm - 9:30pm.

We look forward to seeing you all...

Paypal payments now live!

We are pleased to announce that we should now be able to take Paypal payments again.

Enter your name and call sign on the right hand side.

Apologies for any delay.

Farewell To Bletchley Park - GB2BP QSO Party

The Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society (MKARS), the resident radio club at Bletchley Park for nearly twenty years, will be leaving the Park as of the 1st January 2013. To mark this occasion MKARS will be holding a 'QSO party' on the weekend of the 15th-16th December.

All MKARS members and ex-members are invited to come and operate GB2BP from Generator House 2, our current premises at Bletchley Park, for the last time.
GB2BP and MKARS will in the future only be operational from Bletchley Park by invitation during 'radio related' events.

This is possibly your last chance to operate this charismatic call sign. Be a part of MKARS continuing proud history. If you do not normally attend MKARS events, this one is a 'MUST'. So put the Christmas shopping on the back burner and be there.
In the future you will be able to say 'I WAS THERE, my name is in the log'. Will has threatened to cook burgers and Dave is trying to obtain a 'Big Linear'.

Tea and coffee will be provided. Hopefully some beer as well.
The event will start early on Saturday morning, as soon as we can get on to The Park and finish when we have to leave, and the same again on Sunday.
We, MKARS, can walk out of Bletchley Park with our heads held high knowing that all those years ago, when Bletchley Park was on its knees, MKARS was one of the many local groups that helped make the Park into the great museum it is today. MKARS is a great club with a great future. Be a part of it!

We have not lost The Park, The Park have lost us.

Silent Key: Frank Collins (M0RPM)

frank.jpgIt is with great sadness to announce the passing of Frank Collins M0RPM, our thoughts and condolences are with his family at this sad time.

Frank joined Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society over 10 years ago. From the start he was a very active member and stood as vice chairman and then chairman for a number of years. His fine qualities as a person made his roll as chairman hugely successful in keeping things running smoothly at a time that was not easy for the club with a degree of uncertainty as to accommodation in the green room at that time. Despite this uncertainty his diplomacy was key in achieving continued discussions with Bletchley Park management. His incredible determination resulted in obtaining planning and erection of the RKO tower and other antenna that still exists on B Block to this day. He also negotiated 2 bays in the Bletchley Park museum where the club shack once existed for a number of years. He even talked to royalty when the Duke of Kent visited GB2BP in June 2004, giving him a tour and explanation of the hobby. All this and more for the benefit of the club and its members.

Those who knew Frank will remember him as a true friend, always good for a joke and willing to help wherever he could. He always had a positive outlook on life even over the last few years when his health was in decline. Frank was a very keen and successful radio amateur fondly known as “the Lavendon Monitoring Station”. Many will know of GB4NGR special event station that Frank arranged every year at the Lavendon Narrow Gauge Railway which so many of us really enjoyed. He had another passion in motor racing and restoring cars hence his suffix in his call sign RPM. One of his final recent achievements, even though he was in poor health, was the restoration of a Fairthorp Zeta which he rebuilt from the remains of a totally burnt out car, again demonstrating the determination and drive of a very fine man.

The hobby has lost a fine radio amateur and we will miss Frank as a true friend indeed. Rest in peace Frank.

End of an era for MKARS at Bletchley Park

On the 1st January, 2013, the eighteen year association of the Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society (MKARS) and Bletchley Park will finally come to an end, due to MKARS having to vacate their current clubhouse on the estate.

The main reasons for Bletchley Park serving notice on MKARS are due to;

• The building currently occupied by MKARS as their clubhouse, being required to make way for the creation of a new park entrance and access road to the coach park.

• No additional space being available on the estate which MKARS could occupy.

• It has been deemed that the Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society will not fit into the future World War II profile of the Bletchley Park Museum.

• Having attained Museum status, Bletchley Park will eventually have regular opening and closing times after which there will be no public access.

The Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society and its members have been both privileged and proud to have been associated with the world renowned Bletchley Park, its history, its outside events and its place in the public consciousness. By representing the voice of both Amateur Radio and Bletchley Park to the world, the call sign GB2BP has made the Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society friends in many countries, creating interest in the amazing work that was carried out within Bletchley Park during WWII.

Although GB2BP may no longer be in residence on Bletchley Park after the 1st January, 2013 it will re-appear occasionally as a special event station supporting public events on Bletchley Park.

Further details will become available on this website as and when they arrive.

The Enigma Cipher Challenge

I have uploaded a short film on Vimeo filmed during the Enigma Cipher Challenge showing the Bombe team at Bletchley Park working with GCHQ receiving encrypted messages from an Enigma and deciphering them with the replica Bombe machine.

There are also two short films from Will Fludgate's (G1YYU) factory on Vimeo here showing glass blowing which may be of interest to the members as well as a video made on Bletchley Parks 40's weekend.

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WSJT-X 2.0 full release now available

The WSJT-X 2.0 software suite has been released, and developer Joe Taylor, K1JT, is urging FT8 and MSK144 users to upgrade to what will become the new standard

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‘Suspicious package’ at post office was ham radio equipment

The Gainesville Sun reports the U.S. Post Office on Southwest 34th Street was briefly evacuated after the discovery of a suspicious package

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IARUMS reports on mystery frequency hopping station

IARU-R1 Monitoring System reports an intriguing transmission has been spotted giving short beeps exactly on each second, frequency hopping between 10108-10115 kHz and 18834/18899 kHz

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