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Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society

CARS Meetings   July - September 2013

Award for All
July Meeting:
Friday, 12th July, 2013 at 7.30pm
At Great Baddow Parish Hall, CM2 7DW
Brief Overview of Foundation Training by Peter Sipple, M0PSX. and Preparation for CARS Operating G100RSGB on the weekend Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July
Peter started off his presentation by pointing out that RSGB Region 12 has 15 Radio Societies but only 5 provided Training Classes - of which he was involved with CARS and the newly formed TARG club in Canvey Island.
CARS Training Manager, Clive Ward, G1EUC said that CARS had trained over 100 persons during the last 11 years of so they had run the courses.

Peter had produced a new set of Training Slides which set out the basics of the Radio Amateur Foundation Course.
These were projected in a very professional manner and showed the tremendous amount of time and effort which went into producing them.   They were id great interest to the Meeting - Peter arranged part of his excellent presentation in the form of a quizz - the audience providing most of the answers.

Following his presentation there was a very lively discussion as "To where have they all gone?"

A number were in the audience including Peter himself who having interviewed CARS Chairman, John G8DET at Oaklands Museum for a Radio Station became interested in Amateur Radio and attended the Foundation, Intermediate and Full Licence classes and obtained his Callsign M0PSX all within 18 months.

A number of suggestions were made including ELMERS to assist newly qualified RAs and a Post Foundation Course to instruct the newly qualified RAs how tio erect an Aerial etc.

Thank you Peter for such a good presentation.

The second part of the July Meeting was to demonstrate how a station was set up to transmit to dummy loads to enable CARS Members to practice using the rigs which will be used when operating to commemorate the RSGB reaching 100 years.

Computers were set-up with Logger32 and the users were able to hone/look and see the nice screens and large font sizes arranged after hours of toil by CARS President, Carl Thomson, G3PEM - likewise how to show a change of frequency and operator names.   Gwyn, G4FKH demonstrated how the Club's IC756 could be connected to the Club's Laptop Computer running Logger32.
Although a warm evening large fans and opening the doors provided a nice environment for those who attended together with a cool drink from the Bar.   The Raffle was drawn by Chairman John (where was Luke?).

Chairman John drawing the Raffle and aided by Training Presenter, Peter, M0PSX with Jim Salmon, 2E0RMI looking on.
The CARS Icom756 ProIII can be see to the left of the photo.   Photo taken by James, 2E1GUA on his camera-phone.

Besides Operators we need Loggers as our rigs are not all coupled to the computer.

We would also like to know those persons who wish to operate that weekend with their preferred day(s) and times.
Please E-Mail if you now find you can attend either on the Saturday or Sunday or both!

CARS Meeting.
Friday, 9th August 2013.
At Great Baddow Parish Hall, CM2 7DW.
"Constructor's Competition".
Carl Thomson, G3PEM & CARS MEmbers.
The meeting was Chaired by Carl, G3PEM our president and started at 7.30 pm.   There were 24 attendees altogether.
Note, many CARS Members were operating G100RSGB with TARG at Hanningfield Reservoir.

CARS August Meeting
Part of the August Meeting - Peter, G3SUY with his long pole Aerial.
Photo by Colin, G0TRM

A discussion about the best day of the week for the meeting proved to be of interest; weekdays were favoured but Friday was considered a bit awkward by some.
The Tuesday evening fixture for Club Nets was discussed, 7.30 pm being too early for some.   Last Tuesday’s 2m Net was bolstered by 2 BRATS (Bredhurst) members; we totalled six.   One of our regular members was unable on this occasion to ‘get into’ the repeater.   Also, an 80m net instead of the 10m net we currently have might allow more regular participation from more distant members.   By implication the 10m net would move to the 5th Tuesday.   We were reminded that Roy Martyr G3PMX (now SK) had started the 10m net on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis.
The Bar was open.   Raffle tickets were sold, and the tickets drawn.

The Constructors’ Competition drew no less than 9 entries from the 21 attendees!

CARS August Meeting
Graham Leggett, G7JYD reading details of Simon Wilton, G7HCD's entry from Canada.
Photo by Colin, G0TRM

  The usual format obtained.   The entries were laid out on tables at the front of the meeting.   Each contestant in turn talked around the subject of his entry.
They were:
(1) A Morse Key fashioned from a window catch - Colin, G0TRM.
(2) An Attenuator - Peter, M0PSX.
(3) A Portable multiband HF Mast with ground-plane - Andy Tyler, G1GKN.
(4) A 2m/70cm “Ground Plane” for a hand-held - Tony G4YTG.
(5) A Base-loading Coil system for a 10-metre mast - Patrick, M0XAP.
(6) A Frequency Counter made from a kit - Melvin M6BSX.
(7) A Top-Band Coil-loaded vertical mounted on a wind-sock pole - Peter, G3SUY.
(8) A ‘Go-Pack’ for Portable operation, presented for a Member now in Canada, using photographs (permitted as per Club rules) - Simon Wilton, G7HCD.
(9) A Robust 4:1 Balun - Carl, G3PEM.

Time was then allowed for inspection of the entries. Votes were cast. The results were as follows:

The first prize is the Anthony Martin Shield. Anthony was always a contributor to this contest, and participated in most if not all club activities.   On this occasion it was again awarded to Andy G1GKN for his genuinely portable multiband HF mast with ground-plane.   When packed it resembled a walking stick with a small box on the end.   Well done Andy!

CARS August Meeting CARS August Meeting
Andy with his winning Aerial "down" and when "up".
Left photo taken by Colin, G0TRM with the right photo taken by Dave, G3JCM.

Second prize to Patrick M0XAP, for the Base-loading coil system;

Third prize to Colin G0TRM for his window-catch Morse Key.

CARS August Meeting
Colin, G0TRM being awarded his prize.
Photo by Dave, G3JCM

"Best Newcomer" was Melvin M6BSX with his neatly assembled Frequency Counter Kit.

CARS August Meeting
Melvin, M6BSX receiving his Award from CARS President G3PEM.

The meeting closed at 9.30 pm.

Report by Patrick M0XAP

CARS Meeting.
Friday, 13th September 2013.
At Great Baddow Parish Hall, CM2 7DW.
"The World of Broadcast Radio".
by Pete Sipple, M0PSX.

Pete put together a very well-prepared presentation giving a detailed behind-the-scenes look at today’s broadcast radio industry.

Pete has spent most of his life working in commercial radio - after being bitten by the radio bug in the 1980s he joined the Southend hospital radio station, before volunteering with Essex Radio.   This led to a full-time position and work for Essex FM, Breeze AM, Spectrum Radio, Ten17, Oasis FM and Vibe FM.

Nowadays, Pete lectures in broadcast radio for South Essex College, and presents an award-winning technology radio show.   It was as a result of recording a radio interview with CARS Chairman John G8DET, and talking to the CARS team, that Pete signed up to the CARS Foundation Course in 2010, and is now helping to get new Radio Amateurs on-the-air as a trainer with both CARS and TARG.

Pete started his presentation with a look at the radio industry as it is today, then showing photos and videos that explained how studio equipment has made the transition from open-reel, cartridge and vinyl, to today’s computer-based playout systems.   Pete then discussed some of the various technologies used in broadcast radio, including RDS (Radio Data Systems), as well as outside broadcasts and audience research.
Pete then touched on the controversial subject of the future of Radio.   As many of you know, there are plans afoot to switch off traditional AM and FM broadcasts and move to Digital Radio – it is envisaged that radio listening will be done online, via TV and using DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting).   DAB in the UK has been fraught with problems, including poor signal coverage, issues with audio quality, (even BBC Radio 3 is said to be Compressed) with many channels simply Mono, the high cost of radios, lack of true Portable and Car Radios and the threat of a format-change to DAB+.   Pete also discussed the DRM system (Digital Radio Mondiale) which offers FM-quality transmission on HF, although it seems UK adoption would be some way off.

It is clear that there are some interesting times ahead for the future of broadcast radio in the UK.

To wrap up, Pete played a few clips demonstrating moments when things go wrong behind the microphone, including a Radio 4 presenter getting a fit of the giggles; the effect of a presenter hearing his own voice in his headphones delayed by one second.   Before closing, Pete imparted a few industry secrets… but we’ve promised not to tell!

Pete’s put some photos and video clips from his talk here:

Comments were voiced "Very good presentation - nice we have young Radio persons to give such a good presentation" - praise indeed.

CARS President, Carl G3PEM and James, 2E1GUA staffed the CARS now famous Raffle with 10 good prizes.

The Bar did a good trade and CARS thanked the lady caretaker who looked after us and the hall.   "Hope to see you all again sometime" was the final word from her.

Next CARS Meeting will be the AGM on Tuesday, 1st October in Oaklands Museum at 7.30pm.

Words by John, G8DET and Peter, M0PSX.

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