Latest News – 29 June 2020

We have survived 2 Club nights at our Clubhouse and it’s great to meet and mix again.

A new Calendar is up under Meetings for most of July, we look forward to seeing you there.

The Highcliff site Solar array was given a good test during the month when the AC power was removed from the UHF DMR repeater. This was backfeeding DC into our new battery bank with the Solar just doing a morning top up Bulk Charge.

So we ran 665, APRS and the UHF DMR totally on Solar for nearly a month but Martin restored the backup just before the winter solstice as the battery charge was heading down hill.

Load during this time was 1.9 Amp, 24/7 and it all performed well.

Allan has a new PCB to integrate with the Solar DC System. This will allow remote switching of our services to balance load vs solar and battery capacity.

The 22nd July Meeting will focus on AREC matters. We would like to see as many as possible attend to help judge future AREC directions.

We have had some great talks and discussion re the current wave of VNA units, it’s really interesting learning to make use of such clever kit.

And a number of our crew have taken delivery of new Solar regulators to make further steps towards a Solar Shack. 

If anyone would like to head down the same track, please contact ZL4TAE

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Latest News – 13 April 2020

Lets hope we can run our regular meetings again sometime this year.

Club Project Idea.

Recently a few were discussing a Yagi Build Project. Charlie ZL4CB and Brent ZL4KT were keen to go and TT ZL4TAE has purchased some nylon stock for element standoffs.

The first plan is for 2m band yagis. I personally like the YU7EF designs ( I purchased locally a pair of 2m yagis about 13 years ago. An SWR sweep SWR revealed that they were tuned mid band and tuning was quite sharp and not very good for 2m DX.

A re-design and re-build based on YU7EF’s designs, adjusted for optimum tuning at 144.5 MHz made a big difference. The modelling showed more gain, increased bandwidth and a very good match and the results confirmed these. I even worked the Tekapo 680 repeater from Bannockburn that season.

Interested? Think about what size yagi you would like and we could look at buying alloy, fastenings and make insulators on a cost recovery basis.


Our first Resilience Solar Project is go for 665 and APRS and I have to say I’m delighted. David ZL4DK is making PCB’s for two related upgrades.

Allan ZL4MD is building a new APRS tray with much lower power draw and DTMF control to remotely activate the DMR’s, the ESB repeater and the IP gear. The APRS radio will transmit site data and also feed this to the APRS web site.

Number 2 project is a Top Up Supply (TUS). This will be a 30 volt mains supply at about 4 Amp and will feed the solar regulator via a pair of diodes. It will switch ON when the battery voltage drops and turn OFF when the sun shines. We could also fix this with double the battery capacity (expensive).

Number 3 project is a new aerial earthing panel. This is installed and bonds the mast, rack and incoming feeders. More earthing is needed at the hut and the pole.

Thanks to all who helped assemble and rig the solar array, run the cable, installation work in the hut and a good whack at the brrom a great club effort.

73  Terry ZL4TAE

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What’s happening with upcoming club meetings?


For the duration of the Covid-19 alert level 4 situation, the clubhouse is closed. On Wednesday nights, please tune into 690 instead from 7-30pm.    The consensus is the best computer program for group meetings is “Zoom” so we will be trying that first.  

Dave, ZL4DK will be emailing a link to use to join the “Zoom” net if you want to. You do not have to have “Zoom” loaded before hand but we suspect you will be able to join much more quickly if you do have it loaded. Make sure you use the right  download – various companies who want you to  load their utility functions always seem to get stacked higher in the Google search engine listing than the one you want. 

Anyway, this week the main Wednesday night activity will be similar to last week, except 30 minutes earlier as we will all be at home anyway, and then those that want to try will have an opportunity to practice with “Zoom”.

Stay safe – Ham radio is a great way to keep in touch.


Martin  ZL4JH (Secretary)

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COIVD-19 Latest Club News

Hi again every body

Its all changed again with the announcement of an immediate Level 3 alert as of noon today and Level 4, 48 hours later.

Hence, the club premises are closed for at least 4 weeks.

This Wednesday, please tune into 690 from 8pm and Dave ZL4DK will be leading a discussion on what we can do.

One of the options is the use of Skype so please make sure you have Skype loaded and if you have it loaded, that it is up to date. Also if data is a problem doing audio only connections reduces the data usage significantly. Note most of the Teleco’s have lifted all data caps but we can expect data usage to be very high and stretch Telco systems.

Skype can be used on Smart phones, Ipads etc,. as well as laptops and main computers and is a free upload.

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Rally Cancelled + Other News

For those that didn’t catch it on the club net last night:-

  • The car rally is cancelled.
  • Wednesday night the club will be open but it will be a discussion on how and what to do for the next few weeks on Wednesday nights with the Coronavirus Covid 19 problem.  The meeting will also be carried on 690 for those that wish to stay safe at home.

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