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Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society

Sandford Mill August Sundays - 2005


Chelmsford Science & Industry Museum has a series of Open Days on several Sunday afternoons during August each year. CARS was invited to provide an Amateur Radio Station on the 7th & 21st of August.

Both days were bright & dry which resulted in a good number of the public attending. It was rewarding that among those who came, many (or their family) had connections with Chelmsford or Marconi or other allied industries and therefore appreciated the many displays.
The Open Days also attract visitors, often with children, who may never have witnessed a transmitter in action or heard the conversation with other radio amateurs world wide.

Family group in the Marconi Hut listening to the crystal set.
From left to right - Jasmine, Mother Angie; Kieran Jordan & Miss Marconi.
Photograph by Colin, G0TRM

CARS Members led by Brian, G3CVI & Geoff, G7KLV erected the long-wire aerial over the water course which surrounds the Mill. This contributes enormously to the strong signal which radiates from G0MWT.

On the 7th August, Brian G3CVI and Malcome G4KGL explored the high frequency bands and managed contacts into Europe but ionospheric conditions did not permit any real DX (long distance) contacts, the most remote being to eastern Poland, near Gdansk. However we had reports such as "Your signals are the loudest on the band"..... we were using 40 metres or 7.08 MHz.

Operating group in the Marconi Hut on Sunday 21st August 2005.
From left to right - Denis M0FHA - Malcolm G4KGL - John G8DET and Ron G3CAM on the microphone.
Photograph by Colin, G0TRM

On the 21st, the above team were rewarded by contacts (QSOs) into South America...Paraguay and Costa Rica etc., on the 17 metre band and that is real DX.

From left to right - Ron, G3CAM logging - Denis, M0FHA microphone
Colin, G0TRM & visitor June Cline from Romford looking on.
Photograph by John, G8DET

Our transceiver is the well liked FT847 running about 100watts output and the aerial system "concocted" by Brian, G3CVI is an 80 metre half-wave fed in the centre with open wire feeders and an MFJ type antenna system that we are able to work on any HF band. The aerial spans a river which flows by the museum hence the "earth" level is precisely known...(except in times of flood).

Teas were provided by Friend of the Museum and Editor of CARS Newsletter Geoff G7KLV. Besides providing an excellent cup of tea, Geoff also acted as Chief Host and welcomed visitors as they came through the door.

Tea man & Chief Host, Geoff G7KLV.
Photograph by John G8DET

Every event the public are invited to, the Friends of the Museum are able to provide another new display, this month it was a cabinet containing a beautifully etched PCB of a Chess Board surrounded by Marconi emblems and was manufactured by Marconi Radar, maybe in Basildon. It was a work of art. Also in the cabinet was some close circuit TV equipment and a piece of an early (Victorian?) Trans-Atlantic Telegraph Cable from Poldhu, Cornwall.

Display cabinet - cable in the centre.
Photograph by John, G8DET

CARS Committee Member, Tony, G4YTG brought along a modern version of the Marconi Kite which was originally manufactured in Chelmsford.

Tony's kite has the advantage of being made from rigcord nylon which is lightweight, totally wind proof and supported on canes which are pre-tensioned to give it the correct aerofoil section. The Marconi kites were made of canvas which besides being heavier when dry also absorbed rain which made then even heavier.

The wind was very light & variable so it was not possible to fly the Marconi kite but a modern one was put aloft as a token.

Kite man Tony, G4YTG - look at his licence plate
Photograph by John, G8DET

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ęCopyright G8DET 2005