2ND G-QRP VIRTUAL CONVENTION:
The appeal of low power radio communications shows no signs of fading away. Registrations for the 2nd G-QRP Virtual Convention were up by over 40% with over 750 members booking places. The event took place over two days in September and included ten presentations by speakers from around the globe. Topics took the audience under the microscope with surface mount devices, on top of mountains for some portable operating, into the workshop with building valve gear in the 21st century and designing a 2m QRP transceiver. Sunday morning included an on-air activity period with the G-QRP Club call active on HF and VHF. Propagation was not great but some contacts were made, including some two-way QRP and one on 4m DATV.
Feedback has been nothing but positive and recordings of the presentations have been made available to those who registered. The videos will be opened up to non-members around Christmas time. The presentations from last year’s Virtual
Convention are already available to all on the G-QRP YouTube channel.
Plans are in train for 2022 with not one but two conventions. The first is being run by the RSGB Region 8 team in conjunction with the G-QRP Club and will take place in Northern Ireland on Saturday 25 June. The second will run in parallel with the Telford Hamfest over the first weekend in September at the Harper Adams University near Telford. The G-QRP Club intend to stream the events live to maintain the global audience who have enjoyed the Virtual Conventions.
EJ8JB: Charlie EI8JB writes, “I just wanted to write to thank UK amateurs for the amazing support I have received during my recent activation. I was active as EJ8JB from Bere
Isl (IOTA EU-121) between 16 - 19 September. Antennas used were a Mono Hex for 20m and a Fan Dipole for 20/40 & 80m and I was also active on FM satellites with an Arrow Dual Band and HT. Rig was a Yaesu FT-897D”.
AIR AMBULANCE WEEK 2021: In support of the International Air Ambulance Week 2021, the Essex Ham team was active as GB4EAA in September. The team was lucky enough to be sited at the Earls Colne Airbase near Colchester, home of the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, and operated on HF and VHF. This is always a challenging event as they have to ensure that RF from amateur radio poses no risk to air traffic comms at the busy airfield, and this year, appropriate Covid restrictions were in effect too, to help safeguard members.
Ian Mills, one of the pilots of the lifesaving service, was able to spare a few minutes to send a greetings message to help raise awareness of the charity. Throughout the event, several messages in support of the service came in, including messages from amateurs relaying their own experiences of the air ambulance service. On HF, the team made contact with the US and Canada as well as across Europe.
Funding for charities, such as local air ambulance, is challenging at the moment with so many events cancelled due to Covid, so it’s great that radio amateurs can get on the air to promote their work. This year, 16 stations around the UK registered to take part in International Air Ambulance Week. The photo shows EHAAT Pilot Ian Mills with Dorothy M0LMR.
RSGB REMOTE INVIGILATION FIGURES SOAR: Recently, the RSGB passed the fantastic milestone of 4,000 candidates passing their Foundation licence via remote invigilation. During 2020 the Society implemented remote invigilation in stages for all three licence levels, to enable people to become involved with amateur radio and progress despite the pandemic.
The RSGB is delighted that 1,241 candidates have since passed the Intermediate exam and 544 have gained their Full licence. The Society would like to thank the small team of remote invigilators and congratulate all those successful candidates.