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Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society

GB70GB at BAE Systems Open Day - 3-Oct-2009

BAE Systems Research Headquarters Building
The Great Baddow Research Centre - near Chelmsford as seen in 1993.
The mast in the background is the only fully-intact standing Chain Home Radar Mast in UK.
here to read more about the Great Baddow Mast.
Photographs by kind permission of BAE Systems.

GB70GB was the Special Special-Event callsign issued by Ofcom-UK for the 70th anniversary of the opening of the Marconi Research Centre at Great Baddow.   It was later on home to famous staff including Spycatcher author (Peter Wright) and Chris Cockrell (Hovercraft inventor).

BAE Systems Great Baddow in Summer 1939
Front of the Headquarters building in the summer of 1939.

Opened just before the outbreak of WWII its 47 acres were immediately camouflaged by nets and painted roads to protect it against air raids (unlike the Marconi factory at New Street in central Chelmsford which did get bombed) where it was home to strategic wartime magnetron and quartz crystal production.

Baddow is also home to the last surviving fully-intact 360ft Chain Home radar mast from the Battle of Britain - itself coming up to its own anniversary on 26th Feb 2010 (75th anniversary of the Daventry experiment by Watson-Watt)

Pre-registered Visitors on 3rd October saw a series of exhibits on the Great Baddow history and technology from turn of the century Marconi heritage right up to present day innovations at what is now known as BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre.

CARS were pleased to be invited to support the Event and to put on display of a collection of operational Morse Keys and a working HF Amateur Radio Station using SDRs.

BAE Systems Great Baddow Antennas - GB70GB
Front of the main building with the CARS Comet CHA-250 B Vertical (rightmost)
with the helical VHF Weather Satellite Antenna (2nd from left).
Photo by Murray, G6JYB

BAE Systems - GB70GB
                        Photos by John, G8DET

Military Vehicles on display.

GB70GB - Morse Code

Notice board with the Morse Code for visitors.  

Click here to read the Morse Code displayed on the board.
It is a PDF File, of only 60kBytes.

BAE Systems - GB70GB
Doug Zeeman's Morse test display, in which visitors were
invited to try and send a mobile phone Text message
faster than it could be sent in Morse Code.

GB70GB - Trevor M5AKA with Colin G0TRM Trevor, M5AKA (left) being shown a hand operated
Morse tape punch by Colin, G0TRM.

BAE Systems - GB70GB
The complete table of Morse Keys and Tape Reader by Colin, G0TRM.

The screen is showing a film clip of a message being sent
faster by Morse Code than Texting on a Mobile Phone.
This was part of a competition organised by Doug Zeeman,
an ex Naval Radio Operator who is currently ATC's Contracts Manager.

BAE Systems - GB70GB

Colin showing a visitor a Morse Key he had constructed out of a knife and fork.

Ken Whittle G7RFT, (left) talking to Martyn G1EFL & Murray G6JYB who arranged the Amateur Radio Room.
The screen is showing the radio spectrum, live, taken from the CARS Flex 3000 Transceiver nearby.

          Marconi Magnetic Detector from between the period 1902 and 1914.
Click here to read a detailed explaination of how the Magnetic Detector works.

BAE Systems - GB70GB
Brian, G3CVI (nearest camera) looking at the screen of the controlling computer
for the Flex 3000 Transceiver with John Yates, G1UZD behind him.


Brian G3CVI with Flex SDR
Brian with the Flex 3000 SDR Transceiver.

GB70GB radio kit
Note, all the equipment in the photograph has been purchased
by CARS with support from the "Awards for All" lottery grant.

BAE Engineer, Ramsey Faragher texting a Radio Amateur who was answering on air to John, G1UZD.
Left screen (above Ramsey's head) is displaying via a 3G Dongle whilst the right
hand screen displays the contact in progess.

Enter the Amateur Radio Call-sign in the "Search area" - click "Return"
to see the person's details, as entered by Ofcom in the UK and
most Governments in the World.

Weather display from a NOAA satellite
Visitor David Bolwell, ex G3JCM (left) looking at a current weather display from a NOAA satellite.
The screen to his right is displaying the radio spectrum from the CARS SDR-IQ Receiver.
Ramsey, John Yates and Murray are to the right.

BAE Systems Celebration cakes - GB70GB BAE Systems  Celebration cakes - GB70GB
Celebration cakes.
Photos by Murray, G6JYB

Bob Humphrey longest serving employee (left) James H Baker,
Technology Director, with his young Daughter looking on from the stairs.

Cutting the first cake
Bob Humphrey, cutting the first cake.

Thanks to BAE Systems for the hospitality in displaying this historic event.
Thanks also for the effort and kind help especially to those persons behind the scenes who are so necessary to the success of such an event.

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