June Skills Night

By | 22nd June 2015

CARS Skills Nights, are hosted by the CARS Training Team and continue to be a popular and appealing event, especially for newcomers to the hobby. The mid-summer evening of Monday June 15 saw an excellent turnout of 68 at Danbury Village Hall including some who had travelled across the Thames from Medway in Kent. With so many present a group photo was a challenge, so here is a video clip of the happy bunch…

Inside the two rooms we use were a wide variety of actitivities, volunteers and demonstrations that included:-

  • Construction – The rear ‘Hawkins Room’ had Peter M0PSD and Chris 2E0CUU who were again busy with VHF Slim Jim antennas, dipoles and patch leads. The setup enables real construction as it has access to equipment, tools and soldering irons that are also used on the CARS Intermediate Practicals.
  • Working Portable – Following on from Charlie M0PZT’s talk to the society in May, Charlie returned with his “/P Workshop” and all sorts of colourful/handy accessories for portable ops – and his now famous portable frame and radio.

    FT857 and tuner mounted in a frame for portable ops (with a 2m Slim Jim)
  • Morse– Rob M0KCP and the Essex CW Club had their usual table for demonstrating their mode of choice
  • Badges – Nick M0NIB returned with a new batch of scrolling callsign badges (and some low cost terabyte drives!)
  • Radio – Peter G0DZB had his nice KX3 (with a PX3 panadapter) in action
  • EchoLink – Jim 2E0RMI was on hand with advice on getting started with EchoLink?
  • Data Mode Demos – Essex Ham (who are just launching their new ‘Hamtrain’ online Foundation training package) had a table of demonstrations and getting started guides, and were also providing the Wi-Fi
  • Essex RAYNET – James 2E1GUA had information and equipment for about emergency and event comms. This included high-visibilty gear and one of their robust waterproof VHF APRS trackers

Listening to updates just ahead of the Quiz…


  • Quiz – Just before the space station pass, Clive was quizmaster for the latest test of amateur radio knowledge.This months had been set by Murray G6JYB who had enjoyed himself setting the questions (obviously prepping for the July RSGB/RCF Exam workshop). Click the image and try them out for yourself!
  • Satellites – A major highlight of this month was a live demo of amateur packet data from the International Space Station (ISS) on 145.825 MHz FM as its flew overhead. Steve M0SHQ had clear reception and even managed to get a few of his own packets sent and relayed by the ISS.

Steve M0SHQ working the APRS packet repeater on the ISS

Looking ahead, Peter M0PSX gave a round of of forthcoming events including the GB1JSS June Summer Solstice special event being coordinated by Charlie M0PZT on Jun-21; the new Intermediate Practical Workshop on Thursday July 2&9 – and the next CARS club talk on the “Evolution of Submarine Cables” on Tuesday July-7.

The next CARS Skills Night will be on Monday July-20th. Its free to attend and all are welcome – though donations for the tea/coffee/cakes are encouraged! – as this contributes to the hall hire.

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