Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society

CARS Meetings   October - December 2019

Award for All

October Meeting
Tue 1-Oct-2019, 7.30-10pm
Oaklands Museum, Moulsham Street
By CARS Members

The October AGM was held at Oaklands Museum and followed the prescribed agenda format. First up were Peter Davies M0PSD, Training Manager and Pauline Davies M0XPK, Treasurer and Membership Secretary who attended briefly and delivered a number of Club items as part of their handover and retirement, having previously stated that they would be standing down from their various posts. A great thanks for their efforts included flowers for Pauline.

Chairman Elliot 2E0JSE then opened the formal AGM proceedings and read out the contents of the financial report left by Pauline M0XPK. The figures were discussed at length by the members present and many points were raised. The final balance was given showing that the club is in a good financial state. It was agreed that the subscription would remain at the current level of £15. The question of a replacement treasurer was also discussed, but the post is as yet unfilled, as is the post of Membership Secretary, formerly held by Pauline. Membership currently stands at 78. The Chairman then read out an impressive report from Peter M0PSD which outlined the fact that during the past two years some 92 Exam passes covering all three licence levels had been achieved by the training team, 62 of them this year. Peter thanked the numerous Trainers, Invigilators and all other helpers who gave up their valuable time to assist.

Since the recent syllabus change, currently few enquiries regarding training possibilities have been received by the Club. There are two candidates sitting the Advance Exam in November with high hopes of success (Peter’s last task). The club now has facilities for on-line tests. The new syllabus is with us so some changes are needed. The Training Managers’ post is currently vacant.

Following on, the next item on the agenda being the Annual Awards. President Tony Gilbey G4YTG then took over for the following events. Winner’s certificates for the Constructors Competition and the Anthony Martin Shield were then presented. The winners’ certificate and the Shield went to Andy Tyler G1GKN for his fine Satellite receiving set up. Second prize went to Kevin M0XYM for his home built receiver and fault finding assemblies. Third prize to Alan Hanna M0IWZ for his modified Arduino board complete with added components produced a working Antenna and Network Analyser. Alan was unfortunately absent from the meeting. His certificate awaits.

This was followed by the re-election of Club officers. As previously noted three posts became vacant. Three new members joined the committee. Andrew Kersey G0IBN, proposed by Chris Chapman G0IPU, John O’Connell M0JOC proposed by Kevin Polston and Ian Duxbury M0LZI proposed by Tom Mann 2E0EUM. All standing members were re-elected.

After the break the raffle had an excellent selection of prizes including the latest birdbox design, a Peter M0PSD speciality – won by CARS President Tony G4YTG.

Raffle prizes - and a winner, Tony G4YTG

Murray G6JYB then presented a fascinating RSGB archive compilation of the first 1920s Transatlantic amateur radio contacts, which was well received:-

RSGB talk on Transatlantic tests

Colin Page G0TRM, CARS Secretary

November Meeting
Tue 5-Nov-2019, 7.30-10pm
Oaklands Museum, Moulsham Street
"LF, MF, WSPR and more!"
Andy Tyler G1GKN

As expected the November talk by Andy Tyler G1GKN lived up to all expectations helped by fine graphics enhancing the story. Two examples of Andy’s design and construction techniques were also in evidence, a beautifully made variometer and equally well made high power amplifier.

Andy’s wide ranging talk explained some experiments and tests that he has been doing over a past few months covering many frequencies in the MF, LF and VLF, ranges using CW and WSPR modes also known as Weak Signal Propagation Reporter. Talking of WSPR, Andy showed numerous tables indicating active stations and propagation states and signal strengths.

Specific frequencies and low powers are specified for each band and for each mode and these are adhered to. Transmission Modes include WSPR and QRSS CW, sent by computer or a Raspberry Pi.

When using CW, very slow speeds are the norm and messages take some time to send. Typical time for a dot might be 3 seconds as against 0.1 second at 12 WPM. Therefore only the minimum amount of information is sent. Very stable oscillators are an obvious requirement for satisfactory operation. Andy went on to tell us about his experiences with LF operation with powers and component size at the other end of the scale. For LF large coils and even larger antennas are generally the norm. The two units Andy displayed were then described in detail. The variometer consisted of two coils, one small one mounted inside another with their axis and right angles and adjustable. Both coils wound with 4mm diameter cable. Overall size perhaps 18” high and 6” in diameter.

WSPR LF Transmitter and Coils

At this point Andy spoke of the extremely voltages high that can exist in high-Q circuits sometimes causing serious damage. To prove it he showed the results of such damage to without doubt prove the point as you can see in one of the pictures. Thanks Andy for another interesting talk.

Hi-Q Coil stressed out!

December Meeting
Tue 3-Dec-2019, 7.30-10pm
Oaklands Museum, Moulsham Street
"Xmas Social"
By CARS Members

December featured the CARS Xmas Social and had the bonus of a couple of short presentations.

The first by Bob G4MDB offered a hands-on opportunity to look at some fake VHF and UHF antennas purporting to be reputable brands - Nagoya and Diamond. Bob had found their match to be awful and when disassembled found no internal matching at all!


Fake VHF/UHF Antennas: Nicely labelled and packaged but no-matching and abysmal VSWR!

This was followed by a short illustrated talk by John Bowen G8DET using a series of photos his daughter Lorraine recently took at Marconi's original home 'Villa Griffone' and surroundings in Bologna, Italy. This is now commemorated for his very early wireless experiments before Marconi came to England. The grounds now have plaques, the Marconi's mausoleum and even some of the remains of his yacht Elettra.






The seasonal social feature included some excellent mince pies, stollen and other refreshments. Our thanks to John G8DET for doing some vital research and testing!

Xmas refreshments!

Following a very enjoyable socialising time, the CARS Raffle was drawn and the raffle prizes also had quite a seasonal flavour too...

Some of the Xmas raffle winners inc John M0JOC and Jim 2E0RMI

More raffle winners: John G8DET and Tony G4YTG

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