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Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society

International Marconi Day - 2002

For International Marconi Day on Saturday 27-April 2002 the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) operated two HF stations under the club callsign GX0MWT from the Sandford Mill Science and Industrial Museum.

One of the stations was located in the original wooden hut used by the broadcast station 2MT back in the 1920's. A doublet antenna running over the river was used on 80 and 40 metres.

For the higher bands a 3 element tri-band beam was mounted on a flat roof with the aid of a Black and Decker Workmate to supply the support for the short stub mast. A kite antenna was also used but bad weather conditions prevented it being flown for very long.

Tony, G4YTG with his Aerial Kite similar to that used by Marconi, 100 years ago.

The stations were operated from 00:00 GMT until 20:20 GMT on Saturday 27th April manned by a team of operators co-ordinated by Brian G3CVI. Special mention must be given to John M0CQK who operated the 20 metre station continuously during a marathon 10 hour stint from 02:00 GMT until 12:00 GMT. He must have enjoyed it as he was back at 15:00 GMT to work some more DX.

About 700 contacts were made around the world and the doublet antenna over the river worked especially well on eighty metres although working VE on 3.7 MHz SSB eluded us, the station disappearing into the noise before the contact could be completed.

The Late Wally Mills, G3MCO and Colin Page G0TRM operating in the Writtle Hut.

The museum was open to the public from 10 am until 5 pm. Geoff Mills G3EDM organised a team of "hosts" whose task was to explain to visitors what was happening at the stations and what Amateur Radio is all about. This left the operators free to concentrate on the operating. In all about 293 people visited the stations during the day and we gained several new candidates for our Foundation course.

One event at the museum that proved popular with the younger visitors was the "mast building". This allowed visitors to see how high a mast they could build and discover why masts are built up from triangles and not rectangles.

In a portacabin outside the museum Chris G0IPU ran the morse assessment sessions. During the day 15 Full and Intermediate B holders took the assessment and can now operate on the HF bands. Chris G0IPU, a cub-scout leader, has been successfully teaching the Intermediate course to the Chelmsford scouts for several years. In total 18 scouts have sat the NRAE and are now licensed and 6 of them took the morse assessment at Sandford Mill.

Thanks for the above report to Trevor M5AKA

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