Category Archives: Club Nights

Wednesday Nights

Here are a few photos of some Wednesday night meetings’ technical goings-on. Not the same night, but several nights at the start of 2023.

We had a “magnetic loop” antenna night when several members brought their various magnetic loop antennas to look at. Bob GM4CID tested them for frequency and efficiency using a MiniVNA analyser.

Also Colin MM1APS was looking inside a Kenwood TK-705 mobile set to fault find problems with it.

Opening up a vintage Cambridge Pye shortwave radio.

Colin brought in an old valve tester to test some vacuum tubes for another piece of equipment.

Colin fixing a member’s Icom IC-756 Pro-II radio. Spot the destroyed component he’s trying to replace.

Mike MM3NTX brought in his Icom IC-706 radio to be frequency-calibrated because he was told it was “very slightly off” when he bought it second-hand. Colin brought in his frequency standard (receiving the 60kHz MSF signal from Anthorn) to calibrate the club’s frequency counter, and then in-turn used that to adjust the Icom. The radio was 400Hz out at about 145MHz, adjusted to within about 5Hz of frequency which is pretty good.

John GM7MUN brought in his old 486 PC running MS-DOS as it had the hardware and software to program his Philips FM 1000 mobile sets. Bob helped him with the programming.

Club night – Colin’s 2m Cubical Quad Antenna

Colin brought in his homemade 4-element cubical quad antenna for the 2m band (144-146MHz) to test and adjust. Luckily the main hall was available so we could set everything up all spaced out and far away from human bodies to get better readings on SWR and sensitivity.

Everyone needs a nanoVNA for testing antennas!

He is now working on a similar antenna for operating on the 4m band (70-70.5MHz).

Wednesday Night Club Meetings RESTARTING 8th September 2021

As COVID restrictions have relaxed, the operators of our venue for our weekly club meetings are reopening the halls from 6th September after a deep clean, so we are able to resume club nights.

Usual place Focus Centre, Livingstone Place Galashiels, TD1 1DQ.

Time 2000-2200 (local) on Wednesday nights (from 8th September 2021).

We look forward to seeing old members back after 18 months away, welcoming any new members to the club, or anyone just interested in seeing what we do.

New COVID-19 measures (specified by the Focus Centre):

  • Hand sanitiser will be provided in the room to be used regularly.
  • Tables to be wiped down at the end of the night.
  • Face coverings to be worn around the building (unless exempted).
  • Attendance records with contact details will be kept for Track & Trace to be carried out if needed.

Any changes to the situation of restrictions will be announced here.

Note: This is separate from the Rally and Open Day in October which is still cancelled, hopefully to return in 2022.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, following general advice from government, weekly Wednesday night club meetings have been suspended as of 18th March 2020. Also the Focus Centre has been closed along with all Live Borders facilities until further notice.

Members can still keep in contact through the GDARS Yahoo Group email or on local FM 2m and 70cm repeaters GB3SB, GB3HK, GB3DU, GB3LB, GB3BT, GB3BE, and DMR/YSF repeaters GB7LS and GB7EY.

The decision was made to cancel the 2020 Rally and Open Day scheduled for 25th October 2020.

Arrangements are being made for the 2021 Open Day on Sunday 24th October 2021.

Speaker for club night Wed 8th May 2019 – Paul Gacek W6PNG/M0SNA

On the 8th May we had a speaker attending, Paul Gacek W6PNG/M0SNA to talk about his radio activities, Wilderness Activations in Western USA, SOTA activation and the 2016 ARRL National Parks event. Examples of some of his material is on his blog

Many thanks for an interesting journey across the Western USA and a good mixture of radio, geography, history and encounters with deadly animals!

Also some good information about SOTA that hopefully will encourage some members either to go up local hills to activate them, or to assist SOTA participants to get the contacts they need for activation.
More SOTA information here:

Many thanks to the members who attended for Paul’s talk.