The Reading & District Amateur Radio Club. Club of the Month Submission above is what was printed.
History of RADARC
RADARC recently celebrated its 70th anniversary. The first record of the Reading & District Amateur Radio Club, is in the December 1934 T&R Bulletin, where Mr Gerry Marcuse, G2NM, the “CR” for Berkshire, announced he is holding monthly meetings with other members in the Reading District. This soon became a regular Club and thrived until 1940. During WW2 most members were in the Armed forces and several were VI’s or in the Radio Security Service, the RSS, (not admitted till many years later!) The Club restarted towards the end of hostilities and since then has had a steady existence, organising many activities to promote the hobby. In 1946, the first Reading Ham fest was held, claimed to be the first in the UK. .
Others followed in ‘47 and ’48. Current membership is around 55 and we meet at the Woodley Pavilion, Woodford Park, Woodley, Berkshire.
A feature of the membership is the age range which stretches from 10 to 70+, with a very wide range of interests and no particular bias. Many members work in the “M4 Motorway Silicon Corridor” and are engaged in electronics and communications professionally. This helps to create many very interesting meetings and activities. Some of the meetings have been technical presentations of a very high standard thanks to the proximity of so many “high Tech” companies.
Some recent achievements and activities include:-
In 2003, Club members obtained over 130 Ascom SE 550 low band PMR Radios and converted them for 70MHz operation. All were sold around the south of England, helping to revitalise this band, and enabling the Club to run a net on 70.425MHz on Tuesday evenings.
Most of the Thames Valley Repeater Group Committee have been associated with the Club and the Club has supported the 3 TVRG repeaters and APRS Digipeater in various ways.
.One of the Club members is an internationally known DXpedition operator and through this the Club has helped sponsor international DXepeditions including the 3B9C and D68C events.
We help with two walking events each year by providing communications for the 45 miles “3 Towers Scout Hike” across the Berkshire Downs and the South Oxfordshire Christian Aid walk. Several Members are in the Berkshire Raynet, including the Controller.
RADARC, along with Maidenhead and Burnham Beeches, is one of the three sponsoring Clubs which organises the very successful McMichael Rally in July each year. This is now held at Sonning in Berkshire on a local sports field and 2006 is no exception.
Two “junk” Sales and a construction contest each year add to the fun!
Contesting. The Club uses the call signs G3ULT, MX0EEE and the contest call, M4T.
From 1991 to 1994,RADARC won HF NFD 4 years consecutively. To mark this achievement, RADARC sponsored the RSGB’s QRP Shield for HF NFD and won this shield in 1993 and in 2005. A small group of members are keen contesters and led by one member in particular, have won the UK entry 20M sections of the ARRL CW and SSB, WPX CW and SSB, CQWW CW contests on several occasions between 1999 and 2005. Members also support Club entries for SSB field day, the Club Calls and Club Championship contests.
For many years the Club entered VHF NFD from Watership Down in N. Hampshire.
The Club is in its 3rd year of running the Foundation Course and Exam. 36 candidates have sat the exam and 31 have passed.
In conclusion, RADARC benefits from being in the centre of an area of communications technology and our membership and activities reflect this.
Vin Robinson, G4JTR