Jimmy McPhee GM3VNW, Silent Key

With great sadness, we must inform you that Jimmy GM3VNW has passed away at the grand old age of 98. He had been confined to home in Girvan for a few years, but Eric GM0FSZ visited him often and says his mind was as sharp as ever.

Which is saying a lot, for Jimmy was a charismatic character, full of wit and charm, and always finding something to smile about. Even in his 80s, his attitude to life was that a walking-stick was actually a dancing-cane in disguise – which he would demonstrate at the slightest provocation.

Jimmy found his interest in radio as an RAF radar mechanic in WW2, working on the Sunderland flying boats in Wig Bay. After the war he became a teacher and eventually a primary school headmaster in the north-east, and after he retired to Girvan he donated those teaching skills to WARC over many years as an exam tutor. Many WARC members past and present owe their licence to Jimmy.

Although Jimmy was an Honorary Member of the club, under present circumstances it will not be possible to attend the funeral. Instead, we invite all members past and present to pay their respects here.

(Please add a comment to our Facebook message, or email to info@gm4riv.org .
As all the club’s photos of Jimmy are locked up in the clubroom, we would greatly appreciate anything you can send us.)

Coronavirus Contingency Plans

Yesterday the WARC committee met on Skype to discuss options for meetings, presentations and the SK sale originally scheduled for March 28th. These are the decisions we made:

  • On Thursday evenings at 7.30pm, we will meet for a Net on the GB3DG repeater.
  • From 8pm on Thursday evenings, we will also meet on the WARC channel on Zello. Access requires a password – please contact us by email and we will send it to WARC members. Please read this article for some background on Zello.
  • The talk night on April 2nd is postponed. We hope to find a way to deliver Clive’s presentation on the first Thursday in May, using an online platform. We will publish details on the website when they become available, and send email to members.
  • We will consider alternative formats for future talk nights. If you have suggestions, or you would like to volunteer for an online presentation or similar, please let us know.
  • The Shack Sale for SK Robin Bellerby, originally scheduled for March 28th, is postponed indefinitely. We will let you know via website and email when this is rescheduled. In the list we sent last week there were a few items marked “B” for bidding – if you are interested in any of these items and you would like to place a bid, please contact us with the information and we will consider your bid. These are the larger items of the sale, which explains that we would be glad to see them moved, but also means they may be difficult to physically get hold of. This will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
  • We are taking steps to improve the club’s internal and external resilience, to be prepared in case certain individuals should be unable to fill their assigned roles.

Best of luck to all of you, and I hope to hear you on the air in the near future! This is certainly a time where Amateur Radio has a chance to shine, so dust off that antenna and get in touch!

WARC Meetings Cancelled – Coronavirus Update

As you all know, these are difficult times for group meetings small and large. The WARC committee has followed government advice regarding the Coronavirus pandemic closely, and we have decided that now is the time to take action.

All “face to face” WARC meetings are now cancelled, until further notice.

This Thursday the committee will meet on Skype to discuss alternative plans for meetings, presentations, and the scheduled SK sale. Please watch this space, we will post an update on Friday.

Shack Sale of SK Robin Bellerby’s (GM3ZYE) Equipment

There will be a “Shack sale” of the equipment of SK Robin Bellerby (GM3ZYE) on Saturday 28th March from 10:00 to 16:00, QTHR. There will be items to bid on, items where no reasonable offer will be refused and piles of “Freebies”. A list will be available soon. Please contact Clive GM4FZH for further information.

Licence Revalidation Reminder

This reminder was written by Peter GM7NFF. Thank you!

All UK licence holders are required to revalidate their licences with Ofcom at least every 5 years. Radcom are suggesting that you pick a significant date such as your birthday and do it yearly. This would seem to be a good idea and means that you don’t find yourself unlicenced.

Ofcom do not send out reminders. It is your responsibility.

You can do it via the Ofcom website, or Email them at spectrum.licencing@ofcom.org.uk – but if all else fails call 02079813131. I did and got a very helpful lady on the other end.

Kit/Soldering Nights

Introducing our new concept of Kit and Soldering Nights, Clive encourages everybody to bring kits to build on 2nd Thursdays of each month. (Note that the first such evening will be December 5th, which is the first Thursday in December – there’s no talk scheduled for that month, and the Christmas Quiz is on the 12th.)

Feel free to come along and bring what you’re working on! Kits can be tested when they’re finished — please let us know if special test equipment is required so we can try to arrange it.

AGM 2019

The WARC Annual General Meeting took place Thursday September 12th 2019, and we have circulated draft minutes and other relevant documents to members by email.

The election of a new committee and club officers was one of the most important agenda items. Here are the results:

Member Role Callsign Details
Oli Sturm President, Webmaster MM0YOS QRZ
Peter Salmon Treasurer GM7NFF QRZ
Nadine White Secretary, Exam Secretary MM0WNW QRZ
Clive Smith Lead Instructor GM4FZH QRZ
Ian White QSL Manager GM3SEK QRZ
Lance Davis-Edmonds 2M0HEO QRZ


We thank all members of WARC for their continued support and look forward to the year 2019/2020!

ILLW 2019 Summary

Wigtownshire Amateur Radio Club (using callsign GB2LG) took part in the annual International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend on the 17/18 August from the Mull of Galloway (the most southerly point of Scotland). We were upset by two factors – one of our main operators managed to break her ankle when loading the car ready to travel to the lighthouse (we wish her a speedy recovery – it also required a 3hr operation) and the high winds over the weekend which meant we could not put up the main trap dipole up from the lighthouse balcony (one gust was measured at 80 mph! at top of lighthouse level).

We managed to get on the air with a temporary vertical on the sheltered side of the lighthouse and worked mainly 40m and 20m, together with a 2m station running FM. The upset meant that we could only run one HF station. Everybody enjoyed themselves and we had a good natter in the cottage we rented at the lighthouse from a local community trust. This is an excellent radio site with about a 75% sea view and some 80m above sea level.