Melton Mowbray Amateur Radio Society (MMARS) has been at the forefront of Amateur Radio in the area for over 50 years. Amateur Radio Enthusiasts were experimenting in the town as early as the 1920's and following a renewed surge in the hobby after the Second World War, local amateurs began to increase and in the Summer of 1958, a few of these local amateurs, together with a close association at the Technical College Annex, Kings Street, Melton Mowbray, got together and MMARS came into being.

The Founding Fathers of MMARS were: Sydney Clark (G8CZ), Douglas Wyndham Lilley (G3FDF), Harold Hunt (G2FUM), Lawrence J. Fisher (G4MK), John Leslie Bowley (G3FXP) & Richard "Dick" Winters (G3NVK). Sadly, all have now joined the ranks of "Silent Keys", but to many of those who knew them, they were Pioneers of the hobby in the area and the legacy they leave behind is MMARS.

In 1969, the hitherto unwritten Constitution was promulgated and the society (MMARS) became affiliated to the National Society, the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB).

Since its formation, MMARS has held its meetings on the third Friday of the Month, with the exception of July & August when likely attendee's are fewer on account of annual holidays, and its AGM is held at the September Meeting.

MMARS are the holders of the Callsign's (G4FOX & G7FOX), significant in that Melton Mowbray was the renowned centre of Fox Hunting in England, the late Doug Lilley (G3FDF) one of the founders of MMARS, was equally proud of his own Callsign, Phonetically, "FOX - DOG - FOX" for the same reason.

The society has benefited from having a very dedicated group of Contest Minded Members and has a fully equipped modern mobile station. Support is also given to (RAYNET), originally known as "The Radio Amateur Emergency Network" (RAEN) and an Amateur Radio Club at the Melton Mowbray Upper School, formerly, King Edward VII Grammar School, Callsign (M0MKE), was born from an idea arising within the society, with the aim of encouraging pupils to develop their interest in Radio Communication even further.

For its 50th anniversary celebrations in 2008, MMARS was allocated the special Callsign (GB5FOX).

Amateur Radio has its roots in the 19th Century, developed along with radio communications in the 20th Century and is now a vibrant and exciting hobby for the 21st Century. What other hobby can link you with other like-minded individuals around the world and even enable you to make contact with the Astronauts on the International Space Station

Amateur Radio encompasses all methods of Radio Communication from working through satellites, bouncing signals off the moon, microwave links, television to simple voice contacts and Morse code is still very much alive in Amateur Radio. You can take part in contests, radio orienteering, remote Island contacts and Countries all around the World.

Amateur Radio has something for anyone who has the slightest interest in communication and has even provided a platform to an interesting and exciting career, so aptly put by the RSGB, the National Society for the Hobby and taking that first step towards getting on the air as a Licensed Amateur is not as difficult or costly as one might expect. Entry for all newcomers to the hobby is via the Foundation Licence, from here you can if you wish to, move on to the Intermediate Licence and then to your Full Licence. Each level has to be achieved before the next can be taken and each level gives you a different level of privileges.

The Foundation Licence Training Course is an integral part of obtaining your Foundation Licence. Most of the training is practical with a small amount of Radio and Electronics Theory, but nothing to be worried about, even if you are a complete novice. It’s mostly to get you to appreciate things like using the right fuse in your equipment and how to build an antenna to get the most out of your station.

The courses are run throughout the year at various venues all over the country, they are run in a friendly, informal atmosphere and full details can be found on the RSGB website. For details of our training program, visit our "Training" page.

Next Event
Next MMARS Meeting
Friday 16th November at 19:30
Talk on DMR with Graham (G4PTK)
Weekly Net
MMARS Weekly Radio Net
Day Frequency Time
Monday 145.225 MHz 20:00
Wednesday 28.400 MHz 20:00

News Feeds will be replaced periodically.

Report VDSL interference NOW

For three years the RSGB EMC Committee has been investigating the problems of interference from VDSL broadband on the HF amateur bands and lobbying for action to reduce the problem. It has a lot of historic data, but both Ofcom and Openreach contend that 150 reports from 50,000 amateurs are not indicative of a major problem when there are 9.5 million VDSL installations deployed.

RSGB EMC Committee has set up a survey at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0309A to collect current signal levels at the frequencies of VDSL band transitions, which indicate the presence and strength of interference. It is very simple to do you just tune your receiver (set to AM or SSB 3kHz bandwidth) to each frequency requested note the S meter reading on the survey form. Full instructions are included in the survey.

Please fill in the survey with your current readings, even if you have reported them before, and encourage your friends to do so.

The EMC Committee plans to present its findings at the RSGB Convention in October and then use them to persuade Openreach to take further action.

The survey closes on 30 September. This is the last chance we have to prove how many people are affected by this RFI. You could make the difference.

ARDF team heads to Lithuania

The RSGB Direction Finding team, which is entirely self-funded, is flying out to Lithuania this weekend for the 21st Region 1 ARDF Championships.

There is a strong team in the M50 category, that is men aged from 50 to 59, with individuals competing in the M60 and M70 categories. Four separate competitions make up the Championships. There are Classic races on 2m and the other on 80m, where five transmitters send in sequence on a common frequency.

FoxOring competitors receive a map giving approximate locations of the very low power transmitters, which are only audible for 100m or so. They use a combination of orienteering and radio direction finding skills to find the hidden transmitters.

The event runs from Tuesday to Sunday and you can follow progress by looking for ardf2017 in your favourite search engine.

Valve Workshop at Computing Museum

A Valve Workshop will be held on the 14th of October at The National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park MK3 6EB.

If you have a basic knowledge of electronics and can read an electronic circuit diagram then they will show you how electronics started for its first 50 years. Find out about valve history, how to handle and test valves and how valves are used in amplifiers, radios and computers.

Full details, including those on a project for purchase can be found at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0309B

ISS cross-band voice repeater

The cross-band voice repeater aboard the International Space Station has been set up by the Russian team to help get telemetry from their satellites.

Although some amateurs report communicating via the repeater, ARISS would like to remind amateurs that it has not officially been activated for amateur contacts.

When the ARISS voice repeater is active and authorised for general amateur voice contacts the uplink frequency is 437.800MHz FM, downlinking on 145.800MHz FM downlink.

Meanwhile, if you would like to try receiving the Tanusha telemetry, technical details are on the Southwest State University Space Activity page at http://eng.swsu.ru/space

Chair of the RSGB HF Contest Committee

The RSGB HF Contest Committee is responsible for deciding the HF contesting strategy, organising the HF contesting calendar, setting the rules and providing clarification of the rules to the contest adjudicators. This committee performs a key role in the enjoyment of amateur radio by many RSGB members.

The position of Chair of the HF Contest Committee is offered for an agreed term of up to three years. Nick Totterdell G4FAL, the current Chair, is approaching the end of his agreed term and has stated that he is not seeking to be reappointed.

RSGB Members who wish to be considered for appointment to this important role should write to Steve Thomas, M1ACB, General Manager via gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk providing details of their amateur radio and other relevant experience.

RSGB Convention 2017

The RSGB Convention will, once more be held at Kents Hill Park Conference Centre, Milton Keynes on 13-15 October 2017

The RSGB Convention programme is devloping and we will have exciting lectures covering HF and DXpeditions along with VHF and Technical ones. In addition, AMSAT will be organising some of the lectures as the AMSAT Colloquium will be incorporated into the RSGB Convention this year. We expect the talks to be finalised shortly with as usual a broad mix across the five streams. There will be topics to cater for all tastes and we hope the Construction Competition will again be held on the Saturday.

Following the success of our videos last year, for RSGB members only we have released a number of videos of the RSGB 2016 Convention presentations. The latest ones to be released include: The story of SDR and FlexRadio by Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR; Design, construction and finishing by Bob Burns, G3OOU; EMC – diagnosing and reporting RFI by John Rogers, M0JAV; and The rise and rise of 6cm EME by Peter Blair, G3LTF These can be found in our new online video portal.

For non-RSGB members, or if you missed those from the RSGB 2015 Convention, take a look at our YouTube channel where you’ll find a range of presentations including Navassa Island DXpedition by Glen Johnson W0GJ; Engineering the Gemini Range of LDMOS VHF Power Amplifiers by Chris Bartram GW4DGU; and What Makes the Pings Go Ping? by John Worsnop G4BAO. We hope these inspire you to join us this year.

We look forward to seeing you at the Convention this year.

Graham Murchie, G4FSG
RSGB Convention Chairman