Blackwood Cup Winner for 2023

Since 1930, the Blackwood Cup has been awarded by the Wellington Amateur Radio Club to a deserving member. In recent years, the cup has been awarded to the winner of a competition for homebrew equipment. This year’s Blackwood Cup run-off was held at The Collective Hub in Johnsonville from 1pm – 3pm on 1 October 2023.

Four members (Daniel ZL2DTL, Eben ZL2EF, James ZL4JOCO and David Marshall) brought along a presentation on their homebrew construction project(s) to have a go at winning the Blackwood Cup. Note that an entry can be a presentation on any electronic or radio related project completed over the last 12 months. Voting was by secret ballot of all club members attending the meeting. The voting was very close, but Eben ZL2EF won the day with his presentation on the construction of two VHF/UHF yagi antennas for different purposes. Eben’s presentation went into some of the theory behind spacing and number of elements. One of his antennas had no reflector.

George ZL2AG was the 2022 holder of the cup.

August 15 Regular Meeting

We held our August meeting at The Collective Community Hub on 15 August.

George ZL2AG provided a descriptive account of his trips (x3) to Antarctica and Sub-Antarctic Islands with former partner.   This was in his “heroic period” (about 20 years ago).

Travel was via a Russian vessel.   He described the challneges of venturing out of the “roaring 40s” and down into the “screaming 60’s” before arriving at the “serene 70s” where the sea’s surface was like a mirror.   His first adventure was somewhat disappointing as the ship was unable to enter and berth in McMurdo Sound due to the breakdown of the icebreaker that was scheduled to precede their arrival.  However, this was achieved on the second adventure.  A third adventure didn’t proceed past the sub-antarctic islands.   The focus was on seeing the flowers earlier in the Southern spring.

The passengers had pretty much a free roam of the ship, including the bridge.  George took pictures of the radio equipment on board and circulated to members.   This was of various origins, including Russia and Far East (Samyang).

George also revealed that he had a large collection of Russian light bulbs, accumulated due to a mis-understanding with one of the ship’s crew.  The light went out in the enclosed shower while George was trying to get clean.  He thought it would be interesting to acquire the expended bulb, but the ship’s maintenance worker misunderstood and kept on leaving more working samples in his cabin! He brought in several bulbs for members to inspect.  It was agreed that the collection should be photographed for the website (Mike ZL1AXG to action).

John ZL2XJ showed a series of photos on the large TV from a visit to the Gothenburg Radio Museum in Sweden that he visited during his recent visit to Europe.  This included a range of vintage radios and a working ham shack.

Malcolm ZL2UDF showed parts of a video produced by TX Factor (episode 28 sponsored by the RSGB) that included a report on the new iCOM IC905 VHF/UHF/SHF transceiver that works up to 10 GHz, as well as an interesting visit to a 250 Kw shortwave broadcasting station in the UK.