Cray Valley Radio Society News

  • Chris Whitmarsh, G0FDZ receives RSGB Lifetime Achievement Award
    Chris G0FDZ was honoured with the award of an RSGB Lifetime Achievement Award by RSGB President John McCullagh GI4BWM and RSGB Chairman Stewart Bryant G3YSX at our club meeting on 21 March 2024. It had been a secret well-kept by a few for a number of months and Chris was clearly overwhelmed initially, but it was a great honour for Chris to receive the award from John and Stuart. We scheduled the prestigious visit to coincide with the 21 March meeting at which Ian G0AFH was to give a presentation on VHF DXing. Ian’s talk was a huge success and… Read more: Chris Whitmarsh, G0FDZ receives RSGB Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Historical QUA Newsletters Digitised
    Anyone who’s read the book The Cray Valley Years, written by the society’s president Bob Treacher, will know that the history of Cray Valley Radio Society is rich and varied. Bob has made no secret of the fact that a considerable amount of source material for his book from 1962 onwards was from old copies of the club’s newsletter, QUA. Of course, in the days before QUA was sent to members digitally starting from the turn of the century, it was a published in hardcopy. In the early days QUA was on foolscap paper, and copies were made from a… Read more: Historical QUA Newsletters Digitised
  • CVRS joins FISTS CW Club as an affiliated club
    The FISTS CW Club has welcomed Cray Valley RS as an affiliated club. Affiliation demonstrates mutual support between our clubs and for CW. As an affiliated club, Cray Valley RS will be able to participate using club callsigns in FISTS Activities and work towards FISTS Awards. Cray Valley Radio Society is now listed in FISTS Member Lists. Individuals are also welcome to join FISTS with their personal callsigns for as little as £8 annually. On-Air Activites FISTS has a number of on-air activities, some are regular, and others are special one-time activities. The regular twice-monthly “Ladder” activities which take place on Sundays are friendly, relaxed and fun. … Read more: CVRS joins FISTS CW Club as an affiliated club
  • Great success in the 2024 RSGB Affiliated Society contests!
    Cray Valley has done it again in the RSGB AFS (Affiliated Society) annual phone/SSB contest for 2024, winning the local clubs section yet again! Cray Valley are now undefeated SSB local club champions for three straight years in a row. And to put the icing on the cake, this year Cray Valley RS also took first place in the local clubs section of the Morse/CW contest too! What an amazing start to 2024 for the club. Cray Valley also made a respectable showing in the data-modes section. Thanks to all club members who took part.
  • Club Construction Projects in 2024
    The club is offering two kits for members to build this spring. One kit is a Morse Keyer & Practice Oscillator, and the second kit is the Rooster 40m QRP CW Transceiver from Kanga Products. The Rooster does not have a built-in keyer, but the two kits complement each other well and the keyer works very nicely with the Rooster. A workshop will be held on 16th May, where members can get help with construction, fixing problems and testing their builds. Morse Keyer and Practice Oscillator This keyer and practice oscillator may be just the ticket if you are planning… Read more: Club Construction Projects in 2024
  • GB8KW 2024
    KW Weekend, which is an annual celebration of KW electronics – a local manufacturer of amateur radio equipment in the 50’s to 70’s – took place on the weekend of 6th and 7th of January 2024. Over the years, the event has grown, and this year there were no less than eight special event stations on the air for the KW weekend. Guy G0UKN organised the GB8KW station at the Cray Valley RS clubhouse assisted by members of the club. The other stations were: Similar to last year, there were around 10 full stations set up, aranged in an arc… Read more: GB8KW 2024
  • GB2RE Jamboree On The Air 2023
    In October 2023, Jamboree On the Air (JOTA) took place at Severndoog Castle, organised by the Scouts and Cray Valley Radio Society. CVRS ran four bases this year. Together with the normal HF, DF hunt and Morse-code bases, the club also ran Amateur TV for the first time. All proved very popular with the most popular, and the one that drew the most comments, being the Morse sessions. The feedback received again singled out the Morse code sessions for particular praise both in terms of how the youngsters took to it but also the attention to detail from the instructors.… Read more: GB2RE Jamboree On The Air 2023
  • GB2CM Railways On The Air 2023
    On the Sunday 24th September, Cray Valley Radio Society operated the special event station GB2CM at Crossness to celebrate Railways On The Air (ROTA). This year, ROTA coincided with a steaming day at Crossness when the Prince Consort Engine was in steam. The engine is the largest working rotary beam engine in the country. See GB2CM operated next to the engine shed at Crossness and the station was on the air from about 10am until Crossness closed at 4pm. The last time Cray Valley operated at Crossness as part of ROTA was in 2019, using the callsign GB2RAR. RAR stands… Read more: GB2CM Railways On The Air 2023
  • Summer BBQ 2023
    With a dodgy looking weather forecast of high winds and rain showers, the organisers were constantly looking at various weather apps in the run-up to the Saturday barbeque. Could they safely erect the club marquee, would the barbeque grill need to be inside, would rainwear be the order of the day? On the day, the wind wasn’t too much of an issue. The marquee was erected but it was tied off to the fence in several places to prevent any nasty surprises. The barbeque grill was moved inside and comprehensively cleaned. Kieran G8CHB had once again organised the event, with… Read more: Summer BBQ 2023
  • Summer 2023 Radio DF Hunt
    In June 2023, over 20 Cray Valley club members attended Radio Direction Finding Hunt, using the Sydney Arms Pub as a base. Six teams entered the competition, which took place on the neighbouring Scadbury Park nature reserve. Three “fox” transmitters were hidden in the park for club members to locate using radio DF techniques. A slight complication to the exercise was a club net in Essex, which popped up on the frequency of transmitter two. The three transmitter frequencies were chosen in the top part of the 144MHz band where there usually isn’t much activity. The club net kindly agreed… Read more: Summer 2023 Radio DF Hunt
  • Rockall DXpedition
    In May 2023, a small team of daring adventurers including club member Nobby G0VJG set off for the tiny island of Rockall, more than 200 nautical miles off the West coast of Scotland and the nearest civilization. Nobby and Emil DL8JJ operated from Rockall from 31 May until 2 June. Rockall is the rarest IOTA in Europe, and the team operated two stations using both CW and SSB modes. This was a once-in-a-lifetime DXpedition. Nobby and Emil left Rockall after a successful few days of operating, leaving only Cam (who was not a ham) alone on the island. Cam’s plan was… Read more: Rockall DXpedition
  • GB23C Special Event Station
    Celebrating the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla Cray Valley Radio Society organised a flagship amateur radio station GB23C located in the Monument Gardens of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. The site for the station was next to the historic sailing ship ‘Cutty Sark’. Club members operated the station around-the-clock once the radios, antennas an exhibition areas had been set up at 6pm on Wednesday 3 May. The stations were on the air through to the early hours of the morning of Tuesday 9 May. Operation was from a marquee with two towers supporting antennas for… Read more: GB23C Special Event Station
  • Club Construction Project 2023
    PT20 Pocket Morse Tutor This year, 32 club members participated in the club construction project to build the PT20 Pocket Morse Tutor from Kanga Products. The PT20 Morse Tutor can play 5-character sequences of random letters, numbers, prosigns or a mixture of those at whatever speed the user is comfortable with. It also has modes for callsigns and contest exchanges. It’s a fairly simple kit to build, requiring only basic soldering skills, and it has no surface-mount components or awkward little toroids to wind.
  • KW Weekend 2023
    The club hosted the GB8KW special event station on 7th and 8th of January 2023 at the Cray Valley Club Shack. This annual event marks the anniversary of the founding of KW Electronics in the mid 1950s.  Guy G0UKN brought together a range of vintage AM and SSB stations to celebrate the iconic KW Electronic brand of radio equipment made just down the road in Dartford until the mid-70s. Guy was assisted by Steve G3ZPS, who used to visit the KW works as a teenage ham and has also built up a collection of vintage gear. Past years have seen the… Read more: KW Weekend 2023
  • GB70E Celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee
    GB70 was a series of amateur radio special event stations, celebrating Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. Cray Valley Radio Society worked with Burnham Beeches Radio Club to operate the GB70E station from Windsor Home Park on 2-6 June. Other RSGB affiliated clubs activated six other similar special event stations in other parts of the United Kingdom during the same period. The special event stations were located in all four nations of the UK (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland), and the Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man). Each operated using their own, special callsign ending in the letter (or “Regional Secondary… Read more: GB70E Celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee
  • Club construction project 2022
    (tr)uSDX all-mode 5-band QRP HF Transceiver In 2022, 30 club members participated in the club construction project to build the (tr)uSDX transceiver, designed by Manuel DL2MAN and Guido PE1NNZ. The kit comprises all the components and circuit boards. The boards are already populated with all surface-mount components, so members are only soldering through-hole components. The case is 3D printed. The (tr)uSDX is a great feat of engineering for the price and size, and features FM, AM, SSB and CW modes on 20m, 30m, 40m, 60m and 80m. It even supports CAT control (Kenwood TS480 emulation) and can be used for… Read more: Club construction project 2022
  • KW Weekend 2022
    After the enforced scaling-back of GB8KW in 2021, the GB8KW special event was again run from the Cray Valley shack on 8-9 January 2022.  Eight fully operational stations were on display, all using different KW models including all versions of the KW2000 (mk1 through to E). Most on-air activity was with the KW2000B+KW1000 combo, but the KW Atlanta and KW1000 was also used on 20 metres. There was a comprehensive display of the history of KW, together with some artifacts including a repaired Kokusai mechanical filter. Both Guy G0UKN and Steve G3ZPS have extensive experience of restoring KW equipment to… Read more: KW Weekend 2022
  • Cray Valley RS 75 Year Anniversary
    October 2021 marked another milestone in the history of Cray Valley Radio Society. See the history page for a brief account of the formation of the Cray Valley Radio Transmitting Club in 1946. For a much fuller account, you may wish to buy Bob Treacher’s book ‘The Cray Valley Years‘. The Special Event Callsign GB75CV was issued by Ofcom, to follow on from GB60CV and GB70CV. Operation of GB75CV took place from the club’s well-equipped shack in Eltham.  During the anniversary month of October, the club offered the 75th Anniversary Award for members that were able to make a number of on-air contacts with other members and club… Read more: Cray Valley RS 75 Year Anniversary
  • Cray Valley Radio Society 75th Anniversary Award
      To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Cray Valley Radio Society, a special anniversary award is available to any licensed amateur or short wave listener who contacts/hears the appropriate number of Cray Valley stations between 1 and 31 October 2021. Rules List of qualifying members as at 30 September 2021: List of Cray Valley RS Members 2E0CVN 2E0ESG 2E0FCX 2E0FZR 2E0IHX 2E0LAG 2E0LRR 2E0LSW 2E0LZF 2E0MER 2E0OCD 2E0SVO G0AFH G0FDP G0FDZ G0HIQ G0KPZ G0OMH G0PZA G0UJA G0UJK G0UKN G0VJG G1BUO G1FAD G2NF G3GJW G3KGM G3NPS G3RGS G3SPJ G3SQX G3SVK G3SXE G3WMR G3YJW G3ZPS G4ADM G4AEH G4BUO G4DBL G4EGU G4FAA G4FNL… Read more: Cray Valley Radio Society 75th Anniversary Award
  • DXpedition to the Monach Islands
    The Monach Islands, also known as Heisker, are an island group west of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The islands are not to be confused with Hyskeir in the Inner Hebrides, or Haskeir which is also off North Uist and visible from the group. Wikipedia tells us that the main islands of Ceann Ear (once home to a nunnery), and Ceann Iar, the most westerly of the three main Monach Islands and Shivinish (Sibhinis) are all linked at low tide. The islands of the group tend to be low-lying, sandy and subject to intense coastal erosion. Shillay… Read more: DXpedition to the Monach Islands
  • 2O12L London Olympics
    2O12L – Two Oscar One Two London – was the callsign of the London Flagship Amateur Radio Station celebrating the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. This unique amateur radio special event radio station was organised by Cray Valley RS and operated from the Royal Greenwich District Scouts Activity Centre in New Eltham, south-east London between 25th July and 9th September 2012. Eltham is in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, one of the six “host boroughs” for the Games. 2O12L went QRT at 21.33z on Sunday 9th September, at the conclusion of the Paralympic Games. We exceeded our QSO target,… Read more: 2O12L London Olympics
  • GB200T – Trafalgar
    Trafalgar 200th Anniversary Celebration Following the successful large-scale special event stations M2000A and GB50, the Cray Valley RS team ran a third large event from 17 to 24 October 2005 to mark the bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar. A single antenna mast was placed on the front lawn of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, and supported antennas for 80m through to 70cm. It was ‘dressed overall’ with signal flags in the pattern that would be used by a Navy ship in harbour on a special occasion. Meticulous planning with the Museum authorities was necessary in order to get… Read more: GB200T – Trafalgar
  • GB50 at Windsor Castle
    Celebrating the Golden Jubilee with Amateur Radio GB50 ran from the 29th of May to the 9th of June 2002 in commeration of the Queens Golden Jubilee. Windsor Castle was the perfect location for this high profile, prestigious event. Not only did it celebrate a landmark in British history, it provided an opportunity to establish an amateur radio station that was of national and international importance – one that raised the profile of amateur radio in the British Isles, and attracted young people to the hobby.  The station was very successful and introduced thousands of visitors to amateur radio.  During… Read more: GB50 at Windsor Castle
  • M2000A Millenium Station
    AMATEUR RADIO INTO THE MILLENNIUM The special event station M2000A celebrated the new Millennium from English Heritage’s Ranger’s House, lodated on the Prime Meridian at Greenwich, South East London in England. Two months of activity netted over 47,500 QSOs in 202 DXCC entities making the last QSO at 1900z on Tuesday 29th of February 2000. This article provides an insight into how Cray Valley RS mounted perhaps the most successful amateur radio special event station of all time. Milestones There was a great deal of planning and organisation that needed to be undertaken before the station could be a reality. The M2000A… Read more: M2000A Millenium Station