Update: Lighthouse Weekend, 16-19 August


We are now less than two weeks away from one of the club’s major annual events: International Lighthouse and Lightships Weekend at the Mull of Galloway. This year we’ll living in luxury at Puffin Cottage on-site.

Please come along. There’s always plenty to see and do, and it will be a pleasure to see you.

If the Mull of Galloway would be a long way to travel, think about staying overnight. We still have some comfortable, low-cost accommodation for any of Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights (please contact us for details). There is excellent food at the Gallie Craig cafe during the daytime, and Puffin Cottage has a fully equipped kitchen so you can bring your own evening meals and breakfast.

We are still looking for volunteers on Friday afternoon to help with setting up, and on Monday morning for packing and general cleanup.

Radio? The best radio site in Scotland and two well equipped stations — and most importantly, plenty of time to enjoy it all.

Petition to save the 2m band

You may have heard about this: France wants to take away our 2m band for aeronautical purposes. This could happen within four years, as the proposal is on the agenda for WRC-23. If you’re interested in the details, please follow this link for document PTA(19)090R1 (PDF).

The RSGB thinks nobody should overreact while the ARRL reports “no strong opposition” — certainly none by the RSGB.

If you would like to make sure your voice is heard, here is one way to do that:

Sign This Petition On change.org

Let’s try our best to hold on to our 2m band!

Amateur Radio Exams June 27th 2019

On June 27th 2019, WARC will hold exams as required for Foundation, Intermediate and Full (Advanced) Licences. This is the last set of exams for the “old” exam syllabus.

Please note that applications must be submitted by Thursday 6th June 2019. Payment confirmation from the RSGB website must be included.

Below you can find details of the sign-up process. Please contact us if you need any help!

Signing Up For An Exam

To sign up for an exam, download the form [EX200] Candidate application for examinations (all levels) from the list on the RSGB website.

At the bottom of the page on the RSGB website, there is a link for payment, which will lead you here. Please proceed to online payment and add the item related to your required exam to your “basket”.

At this point, be sure to enter the correct information for the Exam Center Registration Number and date:

Exam reference

Check out and pay for your exam. When this is done, a receipt is shown that includes an Order Number.

Receipt with Order Number

Make a note of the order number!

The Application Form

Now you need to fill in the form you downloaded earlier. This is best done electronically. The document is a Word file, but you can’t use Word Online (from Office 365) to fill it in. If you don’t have a “real” Word, you can use LibreOffice.

Select the correct exam type (you need to click on the text Please select one of the following). The exam will not take place online, so don’t select any of the “online” entries.

Please select one of the following

Fill in sections A, B and C. Don’t forget to add the current date in section B! For the Exam Venue, enter Aird Unit, Stranraer.

Now add a note to the form, in the empty space at the top, and include the Order Number for your payment.

Include Order Number

Finally, print out the completed form and do not forget to sign it.

Getting The Form To Us

The easiest way is to drop off the printed form to WARC at one of our regular meetings. However, please keep the deadline of June 6th in mind!

If possible, you can also scan the printed and signed form and send it to us by email, as a PDF document. If you need further help with this step, please contact us.

Braehead Rally June 16th 2019

The Braehead Rally is the main Scottish Rally. Wigtownshire Amateur Radio Club will be having a table there where you can bring along items for sale. We will also require members to look after the stand – can you help? It is also a good place to meet old friends who you speak to but never get a chance to see.
If members are going, maybe you could let us know to see if it is possible to car share.

Please contact Clive GM4FZH who will collate help offered and possible car sharing / travel details.

Please click here for further details

ILLW Update, Club Station in August 2019

As we have announced previously, the club will run a Special Event Station for the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend (ILLW) on August 17th and 18th 2019. Location is the Mull of Galloway.

This will be a fantastic weekend and we hope that many of you will take the time to visit and help out. Every little bit helps, even if you can’t spend the whole weekend!

For those who can make themselves available, setup will begin Friday the 16th. The station will operate Saturday and Sunday, and will be taken down Monday the 19th.

Sleeping and catering accommodation will be available in Puffin Cottage. There is limited space, so please get in touch if you’re interested.

Dumfries&Galloway Aviation Museum Special Event Station

On the 20th and 21st of July 2019 (Saturday and Sunday), members of WARC will help run a Special Event Station at Dumfries&Galloway Aviation Museum. The callsign for the station will be GB0DAM.

This is an event for all radio amateurs from the area and everybody is welcome to join in. Please let us know if you can help in any way!

There is a Military Vehicle show on Sunday 21st of July, which should attract additional attention.

Please contact Clive GM4FZH for details, or feel free to use the contact form.

New Mobile Meet: April 27th 2019

The first WARC mobile meet happened on January 26th this year, and it was a great success in spite of the rain! At our committee meeting last night we decided to arrange a second date for the same location:

April 27th 2019, 1pm

The meeting location is once more the public car park on the High Street in Gatehouse of Fleet, and we will proceed from there to the nearby cafe for a tea or coffee. Everybody is welcome, and those with mobile equipment in their cars can have a chat via the DK and DG repeaters on the way to the location.

Here’s a map of the area with the car park marked in orange:

Car Park Location in Gatehouse of Fleet

Mull of Galloway Club Station for ILLW in August 2019

The club will be running a station at the Mull of Galloway for the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend (ILLW). This is the weekend of 17/18th August 2019. Please put this date in your diary as we will need help to establish the station and operators. For further details of this event see https://illw.net/ . All are welcome.

WARC on Zello, and Internet Radio

This post has been contributed by Edward Beck. Thank you very much!

I’ve been asked to do an article about Zello, or internet radio. Network Radios have taken off in UK in a big way, with many thousands of more specialised phones being sold for this new market. Most of us don’t need a specific phone for this hobby, a smartphone, tablet or computer will do. Therefore, you can join up free today!

Radio hams seem to be on two specific internet groups, and the most popular is using the Zello app, available on Android or Apple. If you’re going to use a computer, go to www.zello.com and download it, and join.

You will then search for the Wigtownshire Amateur Radio Club. Alternatively, follow this link to access the page. If you are a WARC member, please contact us for the password.

We set it up last week, it’s working well, but needs more people. I’m going to make everyone an administrator, do we can all learn, or block any undesirables if we let non members in at some point.

I have a WiFi radio (it looks like a CB radio, and lives in the truck, and can listen to all sorts of radio, music and scanners, and it has a fist mike on a cable, for simplex conversation) which uses either WiFi, or mobile data (mobile WiFi), and it also has Bluetooth. Essentially, it’s an Android mobile phone that looks like a conventional CB/UHF/VHF radio. It’s got two SIM card slots, for data SIM cards. One card from EE is under £20 year. A radio like this is £125 to sorta £200+
I can use my mobile phone as an internet hotspot, if I don’t want to but a data card, or take it in the house to use on house WiFi.

Well, internet radio? Lots of arguments, but it’s cheap and works really well. It’s possible to link otherwise quiet repeaters to more active internet groups. For example, you can link DG repeater to where someone lived previously, such as Brisbane in Australia. Next day, next hour, whatever you feel like, you could have a group from Red Deer, Canada, coming through DG repeater.

For me, it works when I’m driving, as I can’t continually change repeaters. No licence required, I can use it at sea, on a plane, or when I’m abroad. No aerial required, so no problems with planning or rented accommodation.

Great for beginners, or enthusiasts without a licence. I’m making everyone an administrator, so you can learn more, but you can block or mute group undesirables.

I’m using a mobile internet data card, one is about £20 year from EE, the other is about £3 month from ID mobile.

My brother Irving, has a more specialised phone for “radio” use. It’s got a proper PTT button, much louder speaker, much bigger battery, and Milspec waterproof and drop-proof (he’s a farmer and firechief).
It also doesn’t drop radio calls, in preference to a phone call. Some of these Zello phones can have better aerials fitted, aftermarket, for better phone signals. These phones are sorta £120+, but he reckons they can be £30 on the internet.

I’m also using a Bluetooth fist mike, it’s a speaker/mike, and it was £35, and makes my Android phone more like a Walkie talkie.

Best bet to contact me is to call on the Wigtownshire Amateur Radio Club group on Zello, I’ll sort it out from there, as I’m tending to monitor it until there’s enough of us to let others sort it out. It’s my default channel, currently.

There’s a lot of potential possibilities linking this with radio, and a bit of imagination required.

I’ve got two Kenwood 2m/70cm mobiles that can be used with Echolink (radio hams only) if required.

Radio snobbery or not, we need to learn about this, as it’s very useful for some folks. It’s cheap, no specialist equipment required, and the radio ham groups are working really well.
It’s simpler than using a Hotspot!

Whatever, it’s bringing out new people interested in radio, and persuading many to do their Foundation course. It’s also bringing old members out, as it’s busy and easy to use.

And yes, it’s radio, there’s no cable on the device you’ll be using, or talking to!

Intermediate Course Planned For April 2019

If you are a Foundation licence holder, the Intermediate level is the next step for you. WARC is planning to offer a distance learning course for the Intermediate licence to begin in April 2019. The course will take 10 weeks to complete and you will be required to come to the Aird Unit in Stranraer three times during that timeframe for the practical work.

If you would like to hear more or sign up for the course, please get in touch using the Contact Form.