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Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society

CARS Meetings April - June 2011

Award for All
28th August 2011 Transfered June Meeting from Home page re Louis Varney, G5RV.   Added the April and May Meeting reports.

April 2011 Meeting - "Over the Horizon High Frequency Radar”.
By Andy Tyler, G1GKN.

CARS is pleased to welcome Andy from Great Baddow.

Over The Horizon Radar (OTHR) has been around since the 1950's, in the past it has caused tremendous interference to both broadcasters and Radio Amateurs alike.

Those of you who were active in the 1970’s and 1980’s can’t fail to remember the Russian Woodpecker OTHR, with its characteristic pulse train and 10’s of megawatts output power.

April  Meeting
Part of the JORN Transmit Array Log Periodic
Note the size of the trees at the bottom of the photograph!

Many countries now have operational OTHR systems and some of these can be heard in the UK.   So how does OTHR work, what can we learn from history, what is the latest technology and will we be plagued by the Russian Woodpecker again.

This talk answered these questions and more.

CARS had its now famous Raffle at only £1.00/Ticket and over 10 prizes.

This replaced the April RadCom advertised presentation.

May Meeting:-
7.30pm, Tuesday 3rd May, 2011.
By Bruce Sexton, G1JJS.

Chairman John, G8DET opened the Meeting and welcomed the large number of CARS Members and visitors.   Peter Watkins was applauded for his effort in preparing the Bill Waters Collection and displaying the items at Sandford Mill for IMD.

May Morse Certificate Presentation
President Carl, G3PEM presented the Essex CW Club’s
Morse Certificate to Oliver, M0WAG having passed the
RSGB 5wpm Test.   CW Tutor Andrew, G0IBN is right.

May Morse Certificate Presentation
President Carl, G3PEM presented the Essex CW Club’s
Morse Certificate to Colin, M1OCN having passed the
RSGB 12wpm Test.

Congratulations - an achievement they should be proud of.

May Morse Key Presentation
Essex CW Club Chairman, Steve, G4ZUL then presented Colin, M1OCN
with the beautifully restored Morse Key presented by the family of the
late Peter, G4OAD and now referred to as the “G4OAD Memorial Key”
as “The most promising CW Candidate of 2011”.

Colin will keep the Memorial Key for a year and the Certificate for his shack wall to remind him of the achievement.

Thanks to Andy, G0IBN for the above words and the tutoring which made the presentation possible.   Why not join the CW Class, “Beginners and Improvers” welcome on Thursday evenings in Danbury Village Hall.   See

Due to unforeseen circumstances, our guest speaker had to cancel his scheduled visit to CARS on Tuesday evening.   We had an excellent talk about Astronomy from Bruce Sexton, G1JJS, from the Castle Point Astronomy Club.

Bruce has been star gazing for a number of years and is interested in astronomical photography, so we were treated to some fantastic pictures of the Moon and our solar system taken by Bruce.
He described how to take them and the pitfalls which await the un-aware.

May  Meeting
As an introduction - Pleiades (aka the Seven Sisters) ie something you can easily see with binoculars - rather than needing Hubble!

Bruce showed many beautiful slides of planets and the Moon he had taken using the multip[le imaging technique.

May  Meeting
The Moon is best photographed when only half is showing so that the shadows of its craters can be seen.

May  Meeting
Note the Planet in the distance.

May  Meeting
A close up of it.

May  Meeting
The Horse.

All the 4 photographs were taken by Bruce and reproduced with his kind permission.

A super evening - thank you Bruce.

June Meeting:-
7.30pm, Tuesday 7th June, 2011.
"G5RV Centenary Evening”.
By CARS Members.

June Meeting
Captain Varney, G5RV.

CARS Life Fellow, Harry Heap, G5HF presented a lovely history of Louis - both their Sons grew up together; both called Peter.

He was born on 9th June 1911.   He made his first Crystal Set when he was 11, obtained his "Artificial Aerial" Licence in 1922 as "ARV and his Full Amateur Licence in 1929.

He joined Marconi's in Chelmsford in 1936 and Founded the Chelsford RSGB Group; now call the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society in the same year.

June Meeting
The Lydd DF Station referred to by John MaCafferty
Captain Varney is 2nd from left and Cpl John MaCafferty is 4th from the left.

To compliment the WWII work Louis was involved with the Royal Signals and MI6, John MaCafferty gave a taped graphic description of those standing infront of the DF Hut at Lydd, Kent and what they did at that time in operating a DF station.

Brian, G3CVI described how with Jack Ridley he assisted Louis with the development of his famous aerial - before it was a published design.

June Meeting
Louis (left) and Jack Ridley

In 1946 Louis produced his famous "G5RV Aerial" and in 1952 designed the "Elizabethan Transmitter".

Andy Tyler, G1GKN then projected a number of computer produced aerial plots of the G5RV Aerial.

After the Break the Raffle was drawn by Tanya with Andy winning the Tim Wander "2MT Book".

CARS Aerial Expert, Tony G4YTG then amplified the results Andy had produced.
Gwyn, G4FKH & Patrick, M0XAP gave their experience using G5RV Aerials at home.

CARS President projected beautiful diagrams of the Elizabethan Transmitter which Louis designed.   One built in 1952 by CARS Member Dave Bolwell as G3JCM was on display together with his Log Book from those days.

To finish off the evening Colin, G0TRM produced a PowerPoint Presentation of his G5RV Aerial and a squirrel who inspected it by climbing the tall support mast. Colin also showed a number of excellent photographs of Louis including one of him riding a horse.

Louis's Vibraplex Morse Key and Microphone (on loan from Sandford Mill Museum) were displayed.

June Meeting June Meeting
The tray of Keys and Colin, G0TRM holding the Microphone made by Louis, the base is solid marble and is very heavy.
The photograph of the tray of Keys, Colin and the photograph of Colin by Brian Styles.

G5RV Evening
Photo taken in South America, Colorado sa Espinosa, 24th April 1987.   Louis (right) enjoyed
horse riding and somewhere there is a photograph of him Mobile while on a horse - do YOU have it?

He held Amateur Radio Transmitting Licences in 55 Countries and visited 75 different Countries.   He was a Member of the Radio Society of Great Britian for 74 years - a personal record.   He was also a Council Members for a number of years.

G5RV Evening
Photo taken by Nelida in Louis's back garden in 1990.   He is holding his 1927 Colpitts Oscillator TX
which gave out 4Watts CW.   The valve is mounted upside-down at the rear without a valve base.
This TX was used post WWII by Louis on Field Days with a HRO Receiver in Chelmsford.
In his 80s he fell out of the tree behind him while pruning it.

He died on 28th June 2000, aged 89.   On that same day the halyard of his G5RV Aerial at his house in Burgess Hill parted and the distant end of the aerial fell down to rest at half mast.

Additionally, CARS operated GB5RVA (Anniversary) from The Marconi Hut at Sandford Mill on Thursday, 9th June 2011.
The CW station worked 172 Contacts around the World including the UAE and SSB station worked 100 Contacts mainly in the UK but also in Canada.

The Mid Sussex Amateur Radio Society worked from Louis's house with kind permission of Louis's Widow, Nelida using the famous callsign G5RV and using both CW and SSB.   They erected a G5RV Aerial just for this event.

CW5RV was operational from Montevideo, Uruguay, South America, but unfortunately neither of the two stations above worked CW5RV.

A great time was had by all - pity the RSGB did not promote these events.

May  Meeting
The excellent report of the CARS Meeting by Tanya Braun and published in the Essex Chronicle for 16th June 2011, page 23.
Louis is seen here holding his 1927 Transmitter he made when he was 16.
Reproduced by kind permission of the Essex Chronicle, Peter Baker.

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