Newsletter – July 2020

The Mid Cornwall Beacon and Repeater Group - July 2020

A message from the Treasurer & Temp.Chair,  Keith Holland , G3MCD  
As all club meetings and rallies have been cancelled,  we haven’t been able to meet any of our members and supporters this year or visit any of the local clubs.

With all the problems over the past few months we would like to say “Thank you” to those of you  who have remembered the Repeater Group and sent your membership payments via Paypal.

The main event of the year when we usually meet most of our supporters face-to-face is  the CRAC Rally in Truro every July.   I know most of you use this as a reminder to come to our stand and hand over some of your hard earned dosh to help with our electricity bills and on-going maintenance costs.

It is a pity that we won’t see you this year, but look out for the heartfelt plea in this newsletter from John, G0VDU our Secretary, to pay your subs by other means this year.

Local Nets
As well as the round Cornwall call-in after the RSGB News on Sundays,  we have been running a net on Mondays at 7pm on GB3NC just to catch up with members and check that all is OK

GB3NC Antenna Replacement
As lockdown has eased it has allowed us to get back to some much needed maintenance.

The main antenna for the GB3NC repeater suffered a lot of damage in the winter storms and had to be replaced with a new Hustler G7.  Below left shows the damaged antenna leaning over and below right shows Nick G7KFQ at the top of the mast  erecting the new Hustler antenna. The photo was taken by Luke M6YEN who was up there with him. In the background is one of the ATV lantern antennas.

ATV and DATV News

Our thanks to Paul, G6MNJ and Keith, G0KTD for all their ongoing work on the GB3NQ DATV repeater.

It suffered some damaged in a storm in early July,  but is now operational again.

It currently runs analogue from 10am to 12 noon and then a 15 minute DATV  digital slide show, followed by a 15 minute analogue slide show starting every hour on the hour until 10pm.

Accessing it by ATV or DATV on 1249MHz or 437MHz overrides the slide show.

The photo above shows Keith, G0KTD with the new GB3NQ DATV repeater on the bench to the right. An enormous amount of work has been done during lockdown to make the DATV pictures receivable on simple Sat Boxes and other devices costing less than £45.

The picture below shows the DATV picture being received on a Satlink WS6906 using a simple “ Panetone Tin” antenna on a hedge pointing towards Hensbarrow!!

The Satlink device is a digital receiver and is normally used to align satellite dishes.  It has a three and a half inch screen,  which shows the satellite being received. The basic coverage of the receiver is 950 to 2150MHz and the image is the GB3NQ testcard on 1316MHz.

Repeater News

The  main GB3NC antenna which had become damaged during the winter months and  was replaced with a new Hustler G7 on 24th June by Nick, G7KFQ and Luke, M6YEN.

The GB3HB  (70cms) repeater was switched off in early June and one of its antennas was being used as a temporary antenna for GB3NC until the repair work could be done.

Luke took his mobile phone up the mast and relayed some interesting live pictures of the work being carried out  via the new MCBARG Facebook page.

There were some unique live pictures of the old antenna being brought down the mast which were also relayed on our new Facebook page.  The photo below right shows the old 18 foot antenna being brought down – not an easy job !

When the new antenna was installed and working most people reported an increase in signal strength of about 2 “S” points all over Cornwall.

The photo below shows  Lisa, 2E0PXI adding strength to the new Hustler G7 by fibre glassing all the joints, in her back garden   before it went to Hensbarrow to replace the damaged G7.


The old Hustler G7 antenna being lowered carefully down the outside of the main mast.

Beacon News

Repair work has been done on the 23cm beacon plate antenna and support pole which was suffering from a bad fracture (it is amazing what damage wind and salt air can do – see the photo of the fracture on the 2 inch diameter support pole ).

The photo above shows the tremendous strength of wind and weather.  The sharp-eyed lads spotted this large fracture in the 2” diameter pole supporting the 23cm beacon antenna, when they were doing a routine inspection.
It was quickly replaced. Well done lads – that could have given someone a nasty headache!

The 70cm beacon failed during lockdown and is currently off the air awaiting a few components and repair time.  We hope to have it up and running again within the next four weeks,  depending on component lead times.
All other beacons are working correctly after this week’s site work.

The 2m beacon antenna (3 element yagi) was replaced because it was showing a high SWR and causing some cross mod. “extra transmissions” on 2m.

Our new Facebook page

Click on link above

Lisa, 2E0PXI, our vice chair, at the repeater site looking at live streaming of our Facebook page on her phone.

The live stream was video being sent by her son Luke, M6YEN from his phone at the top of the mast!

The picture on the phone below shows Luke adjusting the 23cm flatplate beacon antenna after repair and repositioning.

Major Donation
A big “Thank you”  to the Newquay Club for a £500 donation voted for at their AGM in February 2020.  (That will be 60% of our electricity bill this year).

Talks to clubs
At the moment we are not giving any talks to clubs, but we hope to resume this facility when the current crisis is over.

“CORONA” Net  on GB3NC on Mondays at 7pm

“CORONA” stands for  “Collection Of Radio Operating NC Amateurs”

A net will be held on Mondays at 7pm on GB3NC for a bit of light hearted banter during the lockdown period.  It will be conducted by Roger, G4OCO,  or if he is working, by Keith, G3MCD.

Items for Sale 

See our website for details.  This will be updated regularly as the group is given items to sell.

Teamwork at the Repeater site

A message from John, G0VDU, Group Secretary

Welcome to the MCBARG Supporters Group.

Due to Covid 19 we have not been able to meet face to face at the usual Radio Rallies, swap notes and thank our membership for the support  they give us each year.

We would normally collect Subs and donations that help us to maintain the Repeater Group and its services.

You can help by sending your usual subscription of £15.00 with voting rights or a donation using PayPal or a cheque made out to the MCBARG via the secretary or if you wish a bank transfer is acceptable at Lloyds Bank Sort code 30-98-98 account number 00879621.

However you choose, to contribute, please let us know who sent it, with your email address to enable us to update our records and keep you in touch with our News Sheets & events.

Please keep safe- Enjoy your Radio

The Mid-Cornwall Beacon and Repeater Group Team

 Thank  you and Stay Safe