AGM Chairman’s report 2015

Once again I can report another fantastic year for the Hilderstone Radio Club; we have won Club of the Year, this time for region 10, thanks to the hard work and effort of its members.

The training of new members continues to be very successful with a 100% pass rate. We can look forward to more successes next year in the Intermediate and Advanced levels.

The outreach programme has seen teachers come to our club meeting to learn how we can help them with the science curriculum using Pfizer’s FUNcube Space Lab in a box. The year 5 pupils of St Peter’s Methodist Primary school in Canterbury had a very enjoyable and exciting time downloading the signal from the FUNcube. We have obtained funding again from STELAR to introduce amateur radio into the local schools using a portable HF antenna. The Brownies had fun gaining their Communications badge during the Thinking Day on the Air. We were disappointed that we could not put on a JOTA special event station so next year we will target Canterbury scouts in association with Scout explorer Matthew Woolley 2E0MAP. The public has seen amateur radio in action with the World Space Week at Monkton Nature Reserve. The total eclipse in March occurred during British Science week and we were able to conduct radio experiments at Wellesley House school despite the cloudy weather. We noted the change in a broadcasting signal and downloaded FUNcube data which showed the drop in temperature caused by the passing Moon.

The special event stations during the year have been an opportunity for members to operate with special call signs and communicate with similarly interested stations across the country and Europe. With the sponsorship of London Array we again raised money for the RNLI during SOS Radio week.

We have had some very interesting talks during the year including ‘Quantum Physics and Amateur Radio’ and ‘Air Traffic Control’. The buildathon construction of the PSK31 receiver was very successful especially for the intermediate candidates.

The club has purchased equipment which members can borrow. The most requested seems to be the Antenna Analyser.

The biggest achievement for this year has been the selection of Wellesley House school as one of 10 schools in the country to have the chance to speak with Tim Peake while he is in orbit on the ISS. Naturally the school is very excited about the possible event and have included other Thanet schools, primary and secondary, in the planning. To help prepare the pupils for the amateur radio contact the club has started a Space Explorers club. Some of them hope to gain their foundation licence. On the 9th December the school has use of the call sign G15YOTA. As well as going on air the pupils will do radio activities such as fox hunting.

The main change for 2015 has been the supportive role of the officers to whom I am very grateful. It has been difficult not having a permanent secretary but I am sure that will change in 2016. I would like to see more participation at special events, with help in setting up the station and operating. Hopefully members will consider giving a short 15 minute talk on a topic they are interested in as a new format to meetings.

Amateur radio will have a high profile in the South East next year thanks to the Hilderstone radio club.