Times are certainly strange. I hope that you and yours are all well. Life at KAD towers is slightly strange. My wife works at Crawley Hospital and is leaving home each morning, as usual, I am working from home this week while my kidults (21 and 18) are home and bored.
We’re all getting used to spending much more time indoors and of course, the club is closed for meetings at Hut18.
At CARC, we’ve been experimenting with a few different things to keep the club active and the committee are very busy ensuring the club continues to serve our members.
Below, I’ve added a few of the activities we’ve been running both online, on the air and a mixture of the two.
CARC Talks Online
Stewart, G3YSX has used his experience of working from home to organise series of WebEx talks and discussions for club members online. We are sending invitations for these by email to all members. Click on the link just before the advertised time and if haven’t already done so you can choose to install the WebEx application or continue using your internet browser. I would recommend installing the application as it gives a consistent experience and access to some of the advanced features such as text chat, multimedia and voting. You don’t need a WebEx account just add your name when joining the talks as a guest.
WebEx supports both voice and video (if you have a webcam). I use a simple USB computer headset with a boom mic though this isn’t required to join in.
The CARC website event calendar will have details of these talks but you will need to use the link in the email to join as we can’t support more than 50 participants and want to keep access available to our members.
CARC On-Air Nets
We currently have two nets organised, one for Sunday morning (10:30BST on 80m 3.720MHz +/- QRM hosted by “Net Controller” Richard G3ZIY and the other on Wednesday evenings (19:30BST) on GB3MH, our local 2m FM repeater hosted by “Net Controller” Phil M0TZZ. Join us for a natter.
CARC Whats App Group
We have created an online WhatsApp Group for members. You should have received an invitation to this by individual email. At the time of writing, we have 24 members online in the group. WhatsApp is a messaging platform primarily for smartphone use but there is also very good web browser connectivity to use from a home PC or laptop. You’ll need to supply a mobile number when signing up to WhatsApp and this appears to te group as part of your identity so if you’d rather keep your mobile number private, this isn’t for you.
CARC Web SDR
To help members who don’t have access to an 80m radio we’ve added an Airspy HF+ receiver located at Hut18, connected to the 80m dipole to the Spyserver network. This means that members can access and tune the radio from home using the free SDR Sharp software.
Download the free software here, install and configure to connect to the CARC receiver.
Configuration is simple. Open the SDRSharp program on your computer and follow the steps in the pictures below:
I’ve set a limit of ten connected users at any one time. The first one to connect can tune the radio, others will be able to listen to whatever is tuned. Give it a try.