New web site

Welcome to the new home of LIDS on the World Wide Web! Yes it looks a bit like the old site because we quite liked that one but we’ve made some significant changes too.

  • The new domain name better reflects the growing international nature of our membership and also our focus on CW, although we are certainly not turning our backs on other modes.
  • Our club station M0LCW now has its online log hosted here for anyone operating the station. This is powered by CloudLog written by Pete 2E0SQL.
  • We’ve dropped the need for members’ accounts on the web site. The majority of online registrations were spam bots and there is nothing here that actually requires a log-in. If you would like to join LIDS simply send a Twitter DM to @lids_cw.
  • The forum has been removed because no-one used it; discussions are much more engaging and interactive on Twitter anyway. Same goes for the chat facility.
  • Most importantly we now have full control over the site and its configuration so we can now keep it updated more regularly and add new features with ease.

Thanks to Alex G7KSE who did the WordPress configuration and the content migration ‘heavy lifting’, and to David G7AGI for sorting out the hosting. Now we need to work on getting some fresh content on here. If you’d like to write an article page that you think would be of interest to LIDS then please get in touch by dropping a Twitter DM to @lids_cw or emailing stories@lidscw.org.

LIDS Hamfest competition

It’s only a few weeks until National Hamfest at Newark Showground, the UK’s biggest amateur radio rally, and LIDS will be there! Not on a stand – at least not this year, we’re too cheap for that – but LIDS members will be wandering around inside and outside the main hall and operating the LIDS club station from the camping area, using the club callsign M0LCW/P. And that has given us a great idea for a competition…

LIDS is all about encouraging people to have a go at CW for the first time, and we know plenty of LIDS members who are taking their first steps at learning the code but not yet plucked up the courage to try a QSO. Well, here is your chance.

Every LIDS member who has a CW QSO with M0LCW/P over the Hamfest weekend will be put into a draw to win a lovely LIDS mug. One QSO counts for each day of operation (Thursday/Friday/Saturday), so you can have 3 chances to win. But every LIDS member who works us will receive a LIDS lapel badge, so you simply can’t lose!

M0LCW/P will be operational on 40m at irregular intervals over the weekend. Watch our Twitter feed for details of when we are QRV.

There is no minimum speed for contacting M0LCW/P. Just call at whatever speed you are comfortable with. If you prefer, send a DM to the LIDS Twitter account with your QRG and M0LCW/P will call you instead. Don’t worry if you’re still struggling to make the characters work for you because all we need is your callsign in the log to be eligible. Have a look at our guide to your first CW QSO if you need a little extra encouragement.

This is a great opportunity to have your first Morse contact as well as get the coveted(!) LIDS club call in your log. And if that wasn’t enough, you get a LIDS lapel badge and a chance to win a LIDS mug!! If that doesn’t persuade you to blow the dust off that Morse key then we really don’t know what will.

Your CW experiences

LIDS is all about trying new things and learning from each other, and there’s a great community on Twitter who are prepared to share their knowledge. We would like to add a page to our site with hints and tips on learning Morse Code, written by our members, to share their experiences with those who are still learning or only just considering it.

So why not put pen to paper (does anyone do that any more?) and let us know your Morse story. What advice would you give to someone just starting out? Which methods worked for you, and which didn’t? Any pitfalls to avoid? Best ways to practise? Software you’d recommend?

We will publish all submissions in their entirety and won’t be editing them at all. We are not trying to write the ‘definitive’ guide to learning Morse – there are plenty of those out there already. These are your stories and your experiences, and what works for one person may not work for another. So we will publish them all, even if they contradict. You don’t need to be an experienced CW op to send us your story either; we want everyone’s views.

Please email your submission to stories@lidscw.org. There’s no closing date because we are happy to keep adding and adding to this font of knowledge (and that includes editing something you’ve already sent in if you subsequently want to change it).

Christmas competition winner

Our Christmas competition closed at midnight and the winner is (drum roll please) …. Michael G0POT.

The competition got off to a slow start and it was anyone’s to take for a long while, but Michael pulled ahead in the last couple of days to finish with 4 LIDS QSOs and wins the prize of a 600MHz frequency counter. Well done Michael, and thank you to Patrick M0ZPK for generously donating the prize!

Our thinking caps are now on for our next LIDS activity. If you’ve got ideas we would love to hear them. Comments on Twitter to @lids_cw please.

LIDS is on ClubLog

In response to demand from our members, and now that we have passed the threshold of members required, we are delighted to announce that LIDS is now listed as a club on ClubLog. Go to your Settings page in ClubLog, click on the Clubs button and in the list of clubs underneath ‘Join more clubs’ you will find us listed as “LIDS CW & Data Club”. Let’s start getting those logs uploaded!

Christmas competition

Following the success of our Twitter competition a little while back, we’ve decided to ‘up the ante’ for our Christmas special. Patrick M0ZPK has very generously donated a 600MHz frequency counter to the LIDS cause. You know you want it, and here’s what you need to do to get it.

We want to get LIDS on air and making some beeps to each other. Every QSO made with a LIDS station between 21st December and 4th January gets you a point, and the station with the most points wins the prize!

Here’s the small print (because it wouldn’t be a proper competition without small print):

  • The competition runs from 21st December 2014 @ 0000 to 4th January 2015 @ 2359. All times are UTC.
  • Any band and mode may be used but NOT voice modes (microphones unplugged please).
  • To claim your points you need to TWEET your log entry to us at @lids_cw with the callsign and Twitter handle of the station you worked, the mode, and the #comp hashtag. We’re not interested in your 599 report but anything else you can squeeze into your 140 characters that might make us smile would be appreciated.
  • Each station can be worked once a day to count for points so get those skeds organised. The use of Twitter to arrange skeds or to self-spot is encouraged (and probably essential).
  • You do not need to be a LIDS member to enter this competition but why not ping us a message and gets a LIDS number anyway – it’s free!
  • LIDS cannot be held responsible for your licence compliance, your conduct on air, your VSWR, the state of your shack, or any cooling of relations with your spouse/partner/cat as a result of you entering this competition.
  • Finance subject to status. Guarantees and indemnities may be required. Posed by models. Your mileage may vary.
  • Our policy is one of continuous improvement, as yours should be.

LIDS merchandise

Official LIDS club merchandise is now available! Pop over to our online shop at www.cafepress.co.uk/lidsclub if you would like to get yours hands on some LIDS goodies.

These are all quality products from Cafepress, and we have kept the prices as low as possible by setting our commission rating to 0%, i.e. no money goes to LIDS, you only pay Cafepress for the cost of the item.

If you have any ideas for merchandise then we would love to hear them. Drop us a comment here or tweet us at @lids_cw.

LIDS is actually real

And so, only a few days after it’s creation, it is my pleasure to announce the first LID-t0-LID QSO, between Ian MW0IAN #002 and Jaan SM0OEK #009.

Initial reports say it was a nice, QRM-free 40m contact between LIDS members. May there be many more!