WKARS Club News

Latest news for members

This page contains items of the latest news for West Kent ARS members, with recently archived items listed on the left. Selecting these items will open up the page for the specific item. 


144MHz Affiliated Societies Contest Results - 4th Dec 2016 
Four members of 
West Kent ARS took part in the latest 144MHz AFS contest, results from the combined scores place the club 19th out of the 61 clubs that participated.

The table below shows the individual stations along with the number of QSO's they had and their scores.


Foundation training success - October 2016
A Foundation course was run on the 22nd and 29th of October, comprising the highest number of candidates the club has previously enlisted onto a training course.

Following the course program that the cub has run many times in recent years, the candidates sat the exam on the second day and ten were successful in achieving an indicative pass, which was subsequently reconfirmed by the RSGB exams dept.

All of the successful candidates now have their M6 callsigns and many have begun to use the airwaves, both VHF FM and on the HF bands.

Congratulations to all ten of the exam candidates and thanks to all the club members who stepped in to help with this recent training program, and for mentoring the candidates through to success.


West Kent Practical Evenings
The long planned for practical evenings of the Society begun on the 20th May 2016, from now being held on the 1st and 3rd Friday evenings.

These evenings are informal and are to allow members to do amateur radio things like; construction, learning programming, Morse training, on-air operating, station building and many more hands-on topics to complement the usual club meeting on the 2nd Monday evenings each month.

Numbers for the practical evenings will need to be managed so their is enough space for everyone, and these are only open to current members of West Kent ARS.

For members that want more information or to book themselves onto the sessions, speak with a member of the Committee or email secretary@wkars.org.uk


144MHz May Contest 2016
We had a number of club members involved with this contest entry this year, with most of those attending the first practical evening involved in setting up the aerials on the Friday night in Matfield.

On Saturday the station was completed and we were able to use the club's 2m linear, which until the time of our shutting down had performed very well. Unfortunately when we opened up again on Sunday the linear had a blown EHT fuse, and our attempts to fix the fault failed so we had to finish the contest using just a straight 100w to the aerials.

The aerials used were the pair of 11ele Tonna's and one of the clubs masts. The radio was a Kenwood TS2000 which to begin with was driving the linear, though for the Sunday this was used with maximum drive to deliver 100w to the stacked aerials.

During the contest we successfully used the Tinycall voice keyer program that Richard G8CDD has produced, using the interface built by Keith G4JED between the laptop and station radio.

Conditions on the band and in the weekend weather were not great, the best dx was to DG8TG at 777km worked on Saturday evening by Chris M0NAY.

The log has been submitted to the contest website and the adjudicated score is awaited. However, this year our club station worked a total of 112 contacts across eight countries, which compares to 97 in 2015 and 72 in 2014, so we have made progress each year in the number of stations we work during our period of operating.

While we need to find a solution to the failed linear, it was also agreed by those operating that we would benefit from having a mast head pre-amp, which would help enormously with the received signals, especially when we were using the linear with stations clearly hearing us very well, and we struggled a bit at times.

In all a great event and a graphical map of the stations we worked can be found here.

Thanks to all the members who assisted by some way in the event, and for those that came along to give support and share in the excitement.


West Kent ARS AGM 2016
The 2016 Annual General Meeting for the West Kent ARS was held on the 11th of April.

The members considered and voted on a number of Motions that had been submitted, which the new Committee will be acting upon during their tenure up to the next AGM.

Mike Granatt M0RYK was nominated and elected as Chairman, with the posts of Vice Chairman, Keith G4JED, Secretary, Steven 2E0VKH, Treasurer, Graham 2E0GCP being re-elected to their roles for serving club members.

Members once again nominated the three current  holders of the ordinary committee member positions, who were all re-elected individually, these were; Dave G4OTV, Richard G8CDD and Chris M0NAY.


The club is very sad to report that Alex G4FDC is now a silent key, his funeral service having been held on the 23rd of October.

After attending the recent club meeting on Monday the 12th of October, it was reported that Alex passed away suddenly the following day.

Alex has been a long standing member of the West Kent ARS, with his membership going back some 45 years. He was always keen on contesting and helped over his years of membership to organise contest events for the club members, and he was planning an entry again in the Marconi contest form November, when he was taken from us.

Alex was keen on CW and was always encouraging others to take up this mode of communication. His passing is the second of the club stalwarts we have unexpectedly lost as silent keys in the recent weeks. 


West Kent ARS Radio & Electronics Fair - 13th Sept 2015
We had a very successful Radio & Electronics Fair again this year, with a large and varied range of traders to fill the hall and balcony area of the Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys.

Many of the visitors to the fair came from across Kent, Sussex, Surrey and London. Along with finding bargains, they used the occasion to socialise and meet up with friends and colleagues.

The West Kent ARS committee appreciate the support of all the traders and visitors to the event, and hope to see the return again next year.

Presentation on Linux, Raspberry Pi and Amateur Radio
As requested at our February meeting, a copy of Mark G8PHM's presentation on Linux, Raspberry Pi and Amateur Radio has been made available for downloading.


50MHz Trophy Activity Weekend

Members participated in the 50MHz Trophy contest from the established operating field at Matfield, over the weekend of the 21st/22nd of June. Alongside the 6m tent a HF operating station was setup for club members that wanted to use the HF bands.

Fourteen members attended site over the weekend, most of whom helped with the setting up, taking down and operating in the contest, with a few using the HF station for contacts. The weather over the weekend was very hot and dry, with some members suffering a little from hay fever probably from the tall grass further down the field.

Catering was provided by Mark G8PHM and his XYL Gill, which was much appreciated by those who attended.

The photo on the right shows the two operating tents early on the Sunday morning, with mist still laying in the valley below. Unfortunately the band was only open on the Saturday evening when the best ODX was worked by Mark G8PHM.

The 50MHz station was located in the green army tent and the HF operating station in the dome tent.

Over the 24hrs in the 6m contest, a total of 129 stations were worked across 21 countries in 57 unique locator squares, with the best distance contact being 1,976km to LZ2HM in KN12QP square.

Training success - May 2014

All eight candidates that signed up for the recent three days Intermediate training with West Kent ARS, sat and received an indicative pass in the exam held on the 3rd of May 2014.

In addition, another two candidates sat and received an indicative pass for the Foundation exam that they had prepared for, following an expedited training program of home study.

Congratulations to all ten of the exam candidates and we hope to hear of their new callsigns, and them being aired in the coming weeks.

Thanks also to the team of trainers who stepped in to help with this recent training program, and for mentoring the candidates through to success.

The photo above shows some of the successful candidates and tutors of this latest training course/exam.