Summer break is coming to an end

The LIDS CW annual summer break-a-thon is coming to an end. Its marked by a reddening of the skin and a knotted hanky on the head is ceremonially removed and placed in the cupboard until next year.

So what?

As far as Lids members are concerned this means the drawing closer of ‘strictly come dancing’ on Auntie and a cue every self respecting member to head to the shack are start sending a strange combination of di’s and dah’s that on occasion resemble actual words, phrases and numbers.

Don’t spill the beans but lurking round 40m on abou 7.032Mhz might net you the QSO of your dreams. Looking forward to working you. Don’t forget that you can arrange skeds via Twitter, just Tweet Freq & time to @lids_cw and arrange to your hearts content.

CW Boot Camp report

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Saturday 16th April saw the long-awaited inaugural LIDS CW Boot Camp.  Ten LIDS members from as far afield as Kent gathered in Bristol for a day of CW practice, learning, discussion and fellowship.

Many practice QSOs were made across the room, some using sidetone oscillators but also radio-to-radio QSOs by connecting dummy loads to the antenna sockets.  Pick a band, any band…

We had a 30m station set up for ‘live’ CW contacts and, although the antenna was a simple dipole folded around the ceiling, it tuned up and had got some RBN spots in Spain and Germany the day before.  Unfortunately the band conditions were awful during the morning and we were also suffering from S6-7 of noise so it wasn’t until later in the afternoon that G0POT ‘broke the duck’ with a QRS contact with EA7JUK.  Of course, everyone else in the room was working to copy both sides of the QSO.

20160416_152834Attendees were (in LIDS# order): David G7AGI (#003), Michael G0POT (#027), Matt M0CUV (#040), Paul G0WAT (#051), Steve M0SPN (#059), Simon M3HXE (#069), Paul M0PNA (#114), Matt 2E0LJZ (#116), John M0HFH (#128), and Mike G8HKS (#139).

Thank you and well done to all the LIDS who attended.  We would love to be able to do another boot camp and hopefully in a different location so that they can be accessible to those for whom Bristol was a little too far to travel.

Introduction of Membership Fee

EDIT: This was originally posted on 1st April. It is actually not true but it is left here in the hope that it still raises a smile.

LIDS continues to grow and thrive and we have been delighted to see so many people interested in being part of us as they take their first tentative steps in Morse code or are here to help mentor those that are. The LIDS admins have been thinking long and hard about where we go next; about our purpose and the goals we would like the club to attain and we have come up with some very ambitious plans for 2016 and beyond.

One of those plans is to build a club station. We’ve had M0LCW as a club callsign for a while now but it rarely gets aired. Alex G7KSE has generously offered to host a new club station at his home QTH and the plan is to convert a spare bedroom into a dedicated club room equipped with a full suite of HF/VHF/UHF radios. Planning permission is already under way for a 30m tower, and the club will be open to all members for RSGB HF, VHF and UHF contesting as well as regular weekly LIDS nets or just a QRS rag-chew.

We have also been contacted frequently by LIDS members disappointed by the lack of QRS CW opportunities with stations from outside the EU. DXpeditions to exotic locations are all well and good but it can be very frustrating if you can’t get through the pile-up at 10wpm. Therefore we have plans to undertake a QRS-only DXpedition to the Caribbean region (or possibly the Maldives) and Michael G0POT has very kindly agreed to lead this activity.

You will appreciate that none of this comes cheaply and therefore the admin team has decided that it is time to introduce a membership fee. This is not a decision that has been taken lightly but we hope that all our members will agree that this is the best way to resource the club for a bright future.

The membership fee has been set at £20/year. There is no reduced rate for OAP/retired because 95% of radio hams would qualify and it would just cut our income, so £20 is the reduced rate. All members will shortly be emailed with details of how to make payment via PayPal or bank transfer.

The admin team would like to thank all LIDS for their continued support and we look forward to sharing details of the club station build and DXpeditions plans, as well as some of our other exciting developments for 2016.