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Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society

Chelmsford Science & Industry Museum - Sandford Mill
August 2008 Sunday Afternoons

25th August 2008 Added, 3rd, 10th, 17th & 24th August 2008.

For an On-Line Map to the Science and Industry Museum, Sandford Mill -   Click Here.


Chelmsford Science & Industry Museum has a series of Open Sunday afternoons during August each year. CARS was invited to provide an Amateur Radio Station on the 3rd, 10th, 17th & 24th this year.

The idea this year is for HF to occupy the Marconi Hut on the 3rd & 17th and VHF/UHF on the 10th & 24th August.

3rd August
This Sunday was cooler than last year at 19 degrees C, thankfully, with a few clouds which in the event did not produce any rain (although it did on Danbury Hill 5 Miles away).

CARS operated the first HF station with operators Brian, G3CVI & John Yates, G1UZD assisted by Malcolm, G4KGL, (nice to see you back having had a heart operation). David, G3SVI & his Wife, Myra, M0MYR (CARS new Publicity Managers) were in attendance & did a sterling job informing passing members of the public the finer points of Amateur Radio.   They were succeful in encouraging a couple of youngsters to pass greetings messages to Amateurs in Sweden & Italy (see below).   As a result of this a number of young persons said they would like to take the Foundation Course. G5HF with Ethel, Geoff, G7KLV, Ron, M3CAM & John, G8DET were also in attendance.

Adrian, M0ABY & Mavis, G0XBC from Wheathampstead also enjoyed the afternoon.

3rd August Sunday Afternoon
A new item on display, a Lip Microphone as used by the
BBC at Cheltenham Race Course to describe The Gold Cup.
Photographs by John, G8DET

3rd August Sunday Afternoon

Brian, G3CVI on the micrphone with John Yates, G1UZD & Adrian, M0ABY looking on.

3rd August Sunday Afternoon
Dr Geoff Bowles (right) Keeper of the Science Museum talking to
Brian, G3CVI (Logging) while John, G1UZD is between QSOs.

3rd August Sunday Afternoon
Plaque on the front of one of the 3 new Transmitters donated to Sandford Mill by SELEX, July 2008.

3rd August Sunday Afternoon

3rd August Sunday Afternoon

A nice thing about having an "Open Day" is that members of the public see the advertisement & come along as they or their family have a connection with either Marconi or Amateur Radio.

Occasionally some bring (and sometinmes donate) items which they think may be of interest.

This proved to be the point when Ms Maggie Kebble produced a plastic bag of QSL Cards & photographs.
They were found in an attic of her Late Father, Phil West, G3JPN of Birmingham.

3rd August Sunday Afternoon
Maggie holding one of the two historic photographs outside the Marconi Hut.

3rd August Sunday Afternoon Close-up of the photograph (above).
The event was the demonstration by Marconi to Post Office Engineers receiving a test signal on an Undulator transmitted from Wales in May 1897. The Post Office engineers, including George Kemp, who kept a diary of these events, had been experimenting at Lavernock Point, near Cardiff and Marconi's equipment was used in conjunction with that of the Post Office.   The tests were so successful over the 3.3 mile stretch that it was decided to remove the receiving equipment from Flat Holme Island and transfer it to Brean Down, near Weston-s-Mare, covering a distance of some 10 miles from Lavernock Point.   Following these successful trials, Marconi vested his patent rights in the Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company, which unfortunately prevented any further co-operation with the Post Office Engineers.
Later, Kemp moved from the PO to be with Marconi.   The 3 in the photograph maybe Post Office Engineers.   This photograph appears to be an original.

The other photograph had the signature of Marconi on it and the names of 3 different Post Office Engineers on the reverse.   Thinking about it, it appears to be a Press Release issued by Marconi to commemorate the event that day.

3rd August Sunday Afternoon
Maggie also produced this very small Morse Key.
A very similar key has been spotted associated with a Spy Set at the Army Museum at Blandford Forum by David, G3SVI.

3rd August Sunday Afternoon
CARS Publicity Managers Myra (left) & David (right) with
Abbey (pink tee shirt) who has just passed a Greetings Message to
Sweden.   John, G1UZD holding the micrphone.

3rd August Sunday Afternoon
Brian, G3CVI on the microphone while Malcolm, G4KGL proudly
shows his long chest scar having just undergone Heart Surgery!

3rd August Sunday Afternoon

Quite a crowd listening to Brian, G3CVI in QSO with an Italian station.

3rd August Sunday Afternoon
Tom (black tee shirt with 3 diamonds on it) has just passed a
Greetings Message to the Italian station which Brian, G3CVI was working, IZ1MHP.
Photo by kind permission of Helen Lambert, Tom's Nan (left).

3rd August Sunday Afternoon
              On the micrphone is John Yates, G1UZD, with Brian, G3CVI logging.

10th August
The weather forecast for the afternoon was sun with showers however it rained in Chelmsford but not Sandford Mill until after it closed.

This year it was the turn of the VHF/UHF Station to use the Marconi Hut & James, 2E1GUA volunteered to run it.   CARS Aerial Expert, Tony, G4YTG provided a tall mast and mounted James's Omnidirectional 2m & 70cm Aerial on it.

Omni-directional Aerial high above Sandford Mill.

Harry, G5HF brought along the Club's 25 Amp Power Supply while James brought his IC706 MkIIG in his bicycle panner.

Harry & Ethel with the Power Supply
Harry & Ethel with the Power Supply waiting for James to appear.

James, 2E1GUA
James, 2E1GUA calling "CQ" with GX0MWT on 2Metres.

Unfortunately, the Marconi Hut is a long way from the 2m/70cm Aerial & our Coaxial cable was not really good enough with the result too much power was wasted before it radiated!

However we had a number of very good local contacts & used Echolink to make up for lack of Simplex DX.
A number of CARS Members were worked either at home or mobile - thanks for the QSOs.

A very good supply of Ex Marconi Engineers appeared and related a number of stories assocciated with the H1200 and Building B46.

CARS Morse Key Collector, Colin, G0TRM brought along a board with a number of Morse Keys mounted and these proved interesting to a number of people.

Colin, G0TRM
Colin, G0TRM with a board of Morse Keys.

He showed those interested a tape punched with the Morse Code which could be read by a Morse Reader.

Colin, G0TRM
Colin, G0TRM with a Morse Tape Reader.

The ratchet wheel on the flat bed powers the tape over the reader holes.
Two peckers (feelers) explore the tape for holes and transfer the results to send a Dot or Dash accordingly.   Colin says that when working well it can achieve 200 words per minute.

The Unit was made by Marconi in approx the early 1900s.

"Friends of the Museum" provided a number of their Members to make tea for the many members of the public which turned up & to describe what many of the exibits were made for.   This is an important function of the Museum - thanks to all concerned.

A number of CARS members turned up, some with partners.

A very interesting afternoon was had by all, including devouring a large gateaux cake brought by John, G8DET and donated by Mel (Ex Marconi) & Pat of Danbury.

17th August
The weather forecast for the afternoon was "difficult", however it came out cloudy but very bright.

Members of the public were then appearing - guess what - Adrian, M0ABY and Mavis, G0XBC had come for the 3rd Sunday from Wheathampstead - nice to see them again.

Brian had set up the Club's FT847 on the long wire aerial.

Adrian, Brian & Denis
The HF Station with Adrian logging, Brian on the mic & Denis looking on.

All change!

Denis logging, John Yates on the mic & Adrian looking on
Denis logging, John Yates on the mic & Adrian looking on.
This weekend was "Lightships & Lighthouses on the Air" and
John is in QSO with an Italian Lighthouse associated with Marconi
so was delighted to have worked GX0MWT.

A goodly spread of stations were worked and the public were duly interested in both the Marconi exhibits & the CARS station.

24th August

The weather forecast for rain however it was better than forcast.   There was a noticeable lack of the public due it was thought to V Festival, Olympics & the poor weather forecast.

However a number of people turned up who were interested in the Exhibits as they had worked for Marconi, some for 40 years.

It was the turn of VHF this week so Tony, G4YTG had replaced the "string" with a length of professional coaxial cable with virtually nil loss - stations all over Essex, Suffolk & Kent could be heard.

To test it, Tony had brought along his FT227 with 10 Watts output on 2 Metres and Brian had patched it into his Linear manufactured by Club Member, Howard Buckenham, G3PGN with the trade name "BNOS".   The Linear had a RF TX sensing input which switched out the Pre-Amp when transmitting - this brought the O/P up to 50 Watts.

James, 2E1GUA soon got to grips with it and worked a steady stream of stations.

James, 2E1GUA on the microphone
James, 2E1GUA on the microphone.

David, G3SVI & his Wife, Myra, M0MYR (CARS new Publicity Managers) were in attendance again & did a sterling job informing visiting members of the public the finer points of Amateur Radio.   They were successful in encouraging a number of youngsters to consider signing up for the Foundation Course which starts in January, 2009.

Richard with the Handheld
Visitor talking to David, (2nd left), Colin, G0TRM and another visitor.

Jim & Bob & Richard
Colin discussing the QTH of the station they are in QSO with.

As stated above it is surprising what members of the public bring & donate to the Museum.

A lady brought this Sangamo-Weston "Sub Standard Voltmeter".
Note "Sub Standard" in this equipment does NOT mean "poor or clapped out" but less than a "Standard" Voltmeter housed at the National Physics Laboratory and costing tens of thousands of pounds!

Samango-Weston Samango-Weston
Sangamo-Weston "Sub Standard Voltmeter. Maybe a new aquisition.
Look at the hand calibration - looks as though it was made for 40 to 60 Volts but the source may go to 150V.
Moving Iron Meter? If so it would work equally well on AC as well as DC.
She also donated a Mercury Switch of unknown origin & use, but looked interesting!

Another gentleman enquired if we knew anything about a German TX Valve he had - a Telefunken SP291.
An E-Mail to CARS German Members produced a quick answer from Roy Philpott, DJ0OW/G3VCH which showed it was a 110Watt Naval Valve of the period 1935 to 1940 and may have been used on larger German Warships.

James & Club Chairman, John. G8DET on the microphone
James & Club Chairman John, G8DET on the microphone in QSO with
Bob, G3OCR on the Wrotham Ridge, Kent.
Photograph taken by Colin, G0TRM

Next event after this is the Science & Discovery Day on Sunday, 28rd September, 10am to 5pm.
See you then?

Thanks to Dr Geoff Bowles for inviting CARS & to all CARS Members and Friends of the Museum who made the events in August such a success.

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