Posts Tagged ‘SBU35’

A summer outside

During the week I took a trip with 3 other members of the Workington Amateur Radio Club ( to the Furness Amateur Radio Club. A short hours drive away courtesy of Barry, G0RZI. There was a 2 pronged attack on their club, firstly Glyn M0UXH gave the low legendary power supplies presentation (legendary as it has the dubious honour of being the most postponed talk at the club) and my chat about what we do as a club with a hot soldering iron.

What struck me is what might be a common theme for clubs, not just with amateur radio, but the fact that we can all get a bit stale. What also struck me was that we have a similar demographic. Some really talented, clever people who can design and build stuff without batting an eyelid. Some (and I include myself in this) enthusiastic but short on skills and experience, and those that just like to use stuff.

I shared our experiences with building the Radio Kits digital power and SWR meter, the Ultimate 3 kit from Hans Summers and my experiences with Arduino’s. The latter included the great stuff being done by K3NG (Radio Artisan bloke) and those that support his work in producing kits and PCB’s. I was pleased to see that I wasn’t the only one who has an interest in the ‘Maker’ fraternity and that tinkering is alive and well in Cumbria.

In between all this mucking about I do occasionally operate. But owing the excellent summer we’ve had I prefer to be outside, in fact I should be out on my MTB today but I’ve got a 10k race on Tuesday and don’t fancy doing it after an ‘off’. This weekend is the Cumbria Raynet support to the SBU 35 trail race from Bassenthwaite to St Bees over Honister. First one home in about 5hrs 30mins and the last around 12 hours. A long day for us but nothing compared to the competitors. Maybe I’ll do it next year. Maybe I’ll make use of Ennerdale Brewery instead, the summer ale was great.

After that it is most definitely heading for Autumn and time to bring out the mic, soldering iron and broken PCB’s. Looking forward to it already!

Cumbria Raynet and SBU35

One of our local runners approached me a few months ago, knowing I was a bit of a radio geek asking for advice on which walkie talkies to use for his upcoming trail race. For the unitiated a trail race is a bit like an old fashioned cross country but it generally goes over some serious terrain and can be quite long. Jon’s event was from Bassenthwaite to St Bees, totaling 35 miles. Not to be sniffed at. I’d suggested at the time that walkie talkes might not do it and as a member of the local Raynet group I offered our services.

Well the event was yesterday and after the runners set off at 8am I was manning checkpoint 1, some 20 miles into the race. Only the first couple of people through the check point looked ‘sprightly’ the rest took on more knackered looks as they went through. Eventually some RAF guys came through with packs on and the stragglers shuffled on. What’s this got to do with Ham Radio?

Well. the Cumbria Raynet group support a few of these types of events and I think our services were appreciated. The organiser thanked us and said he didn’t realise how complicated the whole thing was to maintain communications in a mountainous place. Perhaps it was the relief or local beer (Ennerdale Blonde) that helped his cheery outlook. Perhaps next year I’ll run it…with an APRS tracker! (It’ll need to be a very lightweight one though)

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