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Serving the Northern Rivers of NSW


The 2 metre repeater at Parrots Nest is available but all the other repeaters have been turned off temporarily due to low battery voltage.

Once again, SARC members have been prominent in the winners list of the recently held John Moyle Memorial Field Day. The SARC Club Station, VK2SRC, won the 24 hour portable operation, multiple operator VHF bands section. Rhod VK2TTL won the 6 hour portable station, all band phone section. Paul VK2AMT won the 24 hour home station, all band phone section and Rob VK2ELH won the 24 hour home station VHF bands, phone section. Well done to all the winners.

A quote from the official announcement:

“MFJ is ceasing its on-site production in Starkville, Mississippi on May 17, 2024.  This is also the same for our sister companies’ Ameritron, Hygain, Cushcraft, Mirage and Vectronics.

We are going to continue to sell MFJ products past May 17, 2024.  We have a lot of stock on hand. We will continue to offer repair service work for out-of-warranty and in-warranty units for the foreseeable future”.

The Diamond W-735 is a dual band wire antenna covering 80 and 40 metres. The choke traps act as loading coils on 80 metres, shortening the antenna length on this band, thus making this antenna a good choice where space is limited. An inverted-V installation would make fitting into small yards even easier. Initial tests display a SWR figure that is easily within the 3:1 SWR range of transceiver antenna tuners. Some users have said that the bandwidth is a bit limited but that’s not surprising considering it is a wire antenna with traps or coils. The bandwidth is wide enough that satisfactory SWR can be achieved easily with any tuner. Tuning is performed by folding excess wire rather than cutting it. On 3.604, the SWR is 1.6, on 3.575 it is 1.11, on 7.100 it is 2.2. The quality of the parts is extremely high and the weather sealing of the coils is excellent. It has a 1:1 balun and a SO-239 socket. The power handling is 1.2kW PEP. This antenna has outperformed longer G5RV and OCF dipoles at my location, even at a modest 6m height. It’s an antenna which has me active on 80m in particular, so it’s a keeper. It could also be used as a portable antenna with a single pole, as an inverted-V.

de Paul VK2AMT

John Moyle Memorial Field Day 2024

SARC members Pat VK2FAAD, Graham VK2BWC & Graeme VK2QJ met up at Coutts Crossing on Friday morning for a coffee & snack, before making the trip to Vista Point, arriving just in time for lunch, followed by treats supplied by Graham. The weather threatened but held out until mid afternoon, allowing just enough time for the 2m – 6cm antenna set up before the rain set in and nightfall arrived. Receive tests of the Brisbane beacon (300km) were successful 70cm, 23cm & 13cm, with rain affecting the higher bands.

Graham headed home late afternoon, after an enjoyable time assisting with setup. Thanks for your help Graham.

Unfortunately due to work commitments, David VK2JUB could not make it this time, leaving just Pat & myself to cover the event. After cooking our night meal, we settled in for a few light refreshments and a chat while listening to the rain coming down. The rain persisted Friday night with some heavy falls & strong winds, overnight temperature dropped just below 10 Deg C making for a cool night. We woke to find ourselves fogged in with less than 100m visibility which didn’t clear until after 10:00.

Saturday morning saw Pat set up the 2 m & main 70cm station along with my 3cm gear, also the swap out of the 9cm equipment. Receive tests were then conducted on the main 70cm, 9cm & 3cm station with reception of Brisbane beacons proved successful. Reception of the 3cm (10Ghz) beacon was again quite outstanding given the constant rain, and the fact that it is transmitting 1w into an omni antenna at a distance of 300km.

The event started well with several stations including a few portable VK4s worked, things soon quietened off after the first half hour or so, until the start of the next 3 hour block. Overall the number of stations were well down on last year with over 100 less contacts made during this event. The rain came back on Saturday afternoon along with the fog, luckily the wind held off, the temperature dropped down to around 10 Deg C again overnight.

Kevin VK4UH made the trip out portable to Western Lookout with 9cm & 6cm, unfortunately we were unable to make contacts for unknown reasons, maybe it was just the conditions. This location had been very successful on all bands up to 3cm in the past, 2m contacts were made to the Sunshine Coast some 324km away, there was also a 6m opening to JA with several stations heard. The higher band also performed well with contacts of over 314km on 23cm and 13cm, and over 305km on 9cm. No contacts were made on the 6cm or 3cm bands. The overall number of VK4 stations were well down due to forecast rain north of the border. A few stations ventured out portable Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning, seeing contacts made with most active stations.

We packed down Sunday after the event completion, & between the rain showers, heading off the hill just after 15:30pm, stopping at Mountain View for a quick break before I made it home around 18:00, with Pat arriving home not long before 19:00.

As always it was a great weekend on a hilltop doing what we enjoy, we are looking forward to the Winter Field Day in June.

Thanks to all that supported & made contact with us during the event.

Regards Graeme VK2QJ

Flu precautions : update 1 August

Please stay away if you have a cold or flu-like symptoms.

We are still asking people to sign in as they arrive, using the book on the table at the door. Use of hand sanitiser and social distancing are still sensible things to do.

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WHAT’S ON IN 2024

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