Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society

CARS Meetings: Oct - Dec 2020

October Meeting
Tuesday 6th Oct 2020, 7:30pm
Online by Zoom
By CARS Members

The CARS AGM was held online Tuesday 6th October, 7:30pm. This was first time the AGM had been held using Zoom. John O'Connell M0JOC who had previously set up all the parameters hosted the proceedings and checked members in. This done he then passed the screen in succession to the Club officers for their reports, starting with Chairman Elliot Riddle M0JBY.

Elliot referred to the activities at the early part of the year; for the record, a talk on Propagation by Chris Chapman G0IPU, talks by Dave Cutts M0TAZ, Going Portable & OAS in February, and Meters by Dave Ellis G4AJY and Antenna Measurement by Bob Tokley G4MDB for March. Talks arranged for the later months had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 Virus. Now that Zoom has arrived, it is hoped to hold two or more of the planned talks later in the year.

Elliot thanked all members of the Committee for the work they had put in during the past year. He then asked Andy IBN for his report. Membership Secretary Andy Kersey G0IBN explained that the membership stood at 95 with 17 of those being honorary members with free membership, the remainder having paid £15. He gave details of the membership lists. Due the lack of meetings during 2020, Andy strongly suggested for year 2021 the subs should be set at £0 but it was pointed out that may cause possible admin problems and so £5 would be chosen.

Elliot then invited Treasurer John Roe G4IMS, he spoke briefly about the very healthy state of the Clubs finances. John also spoke further of the previously discussed offer from NatWest that if we changed to a different Bank we would receive £1250. John had carried out checks on the offer and found the Coop and Metrobank had been identified as the only banks who had entered the scheme and that could offer a club account. John had been in contact with Metro bank and had received numerous application forms. On-line banking was discussed but how our practice of needing two signatures would work is not known. John will investigate further.

PMN After the decision at the AGM for the Treasurer to investigate opening an account with Metrobank, an email discussion between the Committee members decided that we should proceed with our application.

Next it was Examinations Secretary John O'Connell M0JOC reporting that as expected not much hands-on training had taken place since early spring good results when exams were held and Willian and others passed and the process observed and given full marks by RSGB Exams Inspector Mark Sanderson M0IEO. All CARS training venues are closed, although Morse classes continue under Andy Kerseys' eye. All practical parts of the Intermediate exams have been suspended by the RSGB though all other training and exams are held remotely on line. Some 1000 passes have been recorded by the RSGB. All CARS training slides are gradually being upgraded to suit the changing Syllabus.

The QSL manager's report by Oliver Prin M0WAG told of some 100 QSL cards for GB100MWT event. The Nellie Melba event GB100MZX raised 1918 requests for cards - plus a request from Germany. A special card was sent along with the original money returned.

With the reports finished, the proceedings were handed to CARS President Tony Gilbey G4YTG for his contribution. Tony said he was very proud to be President of such a famous and active Club as CARS and thanked those who had made it such, they had done a tremendous job, long may it continue. He had attended all Club meetings and enjoyed them. He was recovering from a broken hip at the time, not caused by meeting attendance he added, but it was now much improved. He said that new committee members are required and urged all other members to consider standing for election or persuading others to stand.

Elections: Tony then took on his other role as President and stood down all current Committee members.

Tony then proposed that Elliot should be re-elected as Chairman of CARS. Elliot was re-elected unopposed.

Elliot resumed his Chairman's role and instituted re-election of all current committee members. This was proposed by Chris Chapman G0IPU and seconded by John Bowen G8DET. All members were re-elected. Unfortunately no new members stood for election to the committee.

Subs: The proposal that the subscription for 2021 should be £5 was put to the meeting; it was seconded by John Bowen G8DET and carried unanimously. Tony Gilbey again gave his thanks to everyone for their input and to John O'Connell M0JOC for hosting the meeting in such an expert way. John JOC then closed the meeting at 8.15pm. Colin Page G0TRM

NB: Vacancies still exist for PR/RadCom, Newsletter Editor, Equipment Manager, Event/Operating roles and other volunteers

November Meeting
Tue 3-Nov-2020, 7.30-9pm
Online by Zoom
"Alan Turing and his Machine"
Damian Bevan G4WPO

For November, we were pleased to host an online talk by Damian Bevan G4WPO for a fascinating insight into the life and work of Alan Turing.

Alan Mathison Turing was born in London in 1912 and awarded a 1st class honours degree in mathematics from King’s College, Cambridge in 1934. Aged 22, he was elected a fellow of King’s in 1935 on the strength of a dissertation proving the Central Limit Theorem in statistics.

One of his first key contributions came in 1936 when he published his seminal paper ‘On Computable Numbers’ which introduced the concept of a universal general purpose computer - years ahead of anything that electronics could do.

A Turing Machine is simply a Read/Write head moving over an infinite tape which can store input or intermediate data, controlled by a Finite State Machine. Such a FSM defines the computer ‘program’ making a Turing Machine the simplest ‘general purpose’ computer, i.e. a machine which can compute anything.

Classic Turing Machine - See more at

In the run up to WW2, Turing was recruited as a cryptanalyst for crucial code breaking work at Bletchley Park. One of his next key contributions was the Bombe - a mechanical calculator that could identify the highly variable setup of German Enigma machines.

Whilst knowledge of Bletchley was kept a secret for many years afterwards, he applied his skills to early post-war computing. In the late 1940s-early 1950s there were many rapid developments in computer technology, as fundamental new concepts and technologies were being invented and explored. This included (valve) electronics, binary logic, ‘Turing completeness’, re-programmability, stored program control, various computer architectures. Turing participated in these developments at a number of civilian institutions, notably:-

  • NPL and the ‘Automatic Computing Engine’ (ACE) computer
  • Manchester University and its various machines

    He was also thinking further ahead including Artificial Intelligence. This resulted in his landmark 1950 paper that introduced the ‘Turing Test - a method of for determining whether or not a computer is capable of thinking like a human being.

    Sadly his personal life caught up with him when in 1952 he was arrested for being a homosexual and underwent hormone treatment to ‘cure’ it, causing illness and depression. This ultimately led to his suicide in 8th June 1954 at a relative young 42 years old.

    Our thanks to Damian for a superbly researched and presented talk.

    December Meeting
    Tuesday 1st Dec 2020, 7:30-9pm
    Online by Zoom
    "VHF Propagation"
    Chris G0IPU & Steve G0KYA

    Our seasonal December meeting could not easily do mince pies online but we did have some other treats. Following the HF Propagation talk in January, we completed 2020 with VHF Propagation.

    Chris G0IPU along with a video by RSGB Propagation Chairman Steve Nichols G0KYA dispelled the myths that VHF is short range line of sight. From getting DXCC on 50MHz to 1000+km on 2m/70cm, (not forgetting contests, Sporadic-E, Moonbounce and deep space) DX is possible and really educational too!

    There are numerous mechanisms that assist in this including refraction, tropospheric ducting, aircraft scatter, aurora, Sporadic-E and meteorscatter etc (even bouncing off the ISS!)

    Recent news has had a number of VHF/UHF QSO distance records in excess of 1000s km, so it really does happen in practice with good narrowband/multimode equipment.

    We were also joined by our RSGB regional reps led by David M0MBD and M0TAZ who had info on recent topics inc Training, EMF exposure, reporting abuse and VDSL interference (and promised more sunspots for 2021 propagation!).

    With a good online Zoom attendance it was a great opportunity to learn, ask questions or pass on Seasons Greetings!

    Useful VHF Propagation links:-

  • Mike Willis Tutorial:
  • Tropo: DX Info Centre, F5LEN Tropo Forecasts
  • Space Weather:,
  • VHF Realtime:,
  • Meteors:
  • EME skeds:
  • RSGB GB2RS: Weekly Forecasts
  • RSGB PSC: Propagation Topics

    The VHF video has now been released by the RSGB on YouTube - Click to Watch

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