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Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society

Chelmsford Science & Industry Museum - Sandford Mill
August 2011 Sunday Afternoons

10th August 2011 Added the reports and photos for the four August Afternoons.

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Chelmsford Science & Industry Museum has a series of Open Sunday afternoons during August most years, although due to Staffing difficulties, not 2010.   CARS was invited to provide an Amateur Radio Station this year on the 7th,14th, 21st and the 28th.

This year CARS stated off the month with SSB from the Marconi Hut, CW the next week, SSB the next and for the final afternoon, CW again.   At each afternoon CARS provided another Live Radio Station near or in the brick Tea Rooms.
Weather dominates the Sunday Afternoons at Sandford Mill, this year it was generally nice weather with just a rain shower for the first event where we were operating from inside the brick Tea Room.

Each operating period will use the long 80metre dipole strung out over the pond of rushing water.

The General Public are invited with FREE entrance and parking.   An interesting afternoon is always "on the cards".

Sunday 28th August

The weather was warm but cloudy with rain forecast but we were allowed to use the brick Tea Room.   In the event we had a few spots and it waited until we were leaving to rain.

The brick Tea Room was used by Martyn on GB3DA using Mark's Vertical and for Norman to set up his FT847, a test rig connected to his 30m Vertical Aerial to check the Club's SG231 Automatic Tuner which had played-up the previous week.

The public came in dribs and dabs at 2.00pm.

August at Sandford Mill
Norman, M0FZW standing at the base of his 10m high Aerial.   Note the Solar Powered Battery pack and the SG231.
4 ex Army Radials were spread out as the Counterpoise.   It worked well from Top Band to 6m.
Photos by John G8DET

August at Sandford Mill August at Sandford Mill
(Left) John, Mark and Peter discussing whether John, G8DET's Octapus looking tuned Radials would work at all!
(Right) Close up of the Radials which resulted in 0.2 better SWR than the military Radials except 6m where it was 0.2:1 SWR worse.

August at Sandford Mill August at Sandford Mill
(Left) Peter Franklin's FT817, ATU tuned to 40m Vertical.   Note the hammer to drive the Ali pole to support the Vertical.
(Right) Peter having a QSO with his rig.

August at Sandford Mill August at Sandford Mill
(Left) Visitors looking on as Vice President Charles, G0GJS holds his camera, Chairman John, G8DET with Gwyn, G4FKH working
the Morse Key on 10MHz and 2nd Operator, Steve G4ZUL looks on.
It is interesting to note that Charles introduced Steve to Morse a few years ago and now he is the
Chairman of the Essex CW Club and Winner of the RSGB Region "Club of the Year Award" for 2010.
Photo by Peter Franklin, G1FOA.
(Right) Martyn, G1EFL on the GB3DA Repeater to stir up some activity.

We had a number of visitors including Les, G0VIG from Gloucester visiting his daughter who lives in Chelmsford.   Les was a Y Station Listener during the War.   He said he enjoyed listening to Gwyn on the key in the Marconi Hut.

Sunday 21st August

The weather was warm but cloudy with rain maybe so we decided on not putting up the Gazebo to frighten it off - it worked - we had 5 spots at 2.30pn and then bright sun - 24 degrees C.

The brick Tea Room was used for Chelmer and Blackwater Canal Exhibition so we stayed outside.
To save bring a large 2M Aerial Mark, M0IEO purchased a large Ail bracket and mounted the whip off the Landrover ontop of his 20ft pole.

The public flooded in at 2.10pm.

August at Sandford Mill August at Sandford Mill
Left, Luc, Mark, Norman and Belinda looking at the FT817 being operated.
David logging with Brian on the microphone of the Club's FT847.
Photo by John G8DET

August at Sandford Mill August at Sandford Mill
Left, Dr Bowles requesting a young girl to demonstrate that grass is a poored medium than water to drag a boat with 2 children in.   Parents looking on in amusement.
Blackwater Boats provided a constant shuttle up to Barns Lock and back.

August at Sandford Mill August at Sandford Mill
Left, Luc working Mobile.
Back home after the Cruise - Sandford Mill in the distance.

August at Sandford Mill August at Sandford Mill
Left, Adria, Brian and David in the Marconi Hut.
Geoff, G7KLV talking to two ladies about the Crystal Set.

August at Sandford Mill August at Sandford Mill
Left, Colin, G0TRM standing by his display of Louis Varney, G5RV's Morse Keys.   Sadly, Louis's Widow, Nelida, died on 16th August in Sussex.
Dr Bowles demonstrating water resistance in the two water tanks.

August at Sandford Mill
Jim, 2E0RMI operating from the rear of his van.

Another good day with a load of contacts from the Marconi Hut but there was more interest on Lighthouse Weekend than GB100MWT.

Sunday 14th August

The weather was warm but cloudy with rain staying in France, however the wind was from the clouds so Radio Kite Flying was difficult but Peter G3SUY m,anaged to get one aloft for an hour and joined the 160 Metre AM Net.

The brick Tea Room was used for water pumping so Plan C was implemented - operating from the Gazebo which went up in record time with 8 helpers.   Martyn G1EFL brought along Echo Link while Mark worked a dead horse with 2 Metre Simplex - Sandford Mill being at near Sea Level and surrounded by water is not condusive to VHF/UHF.

The public were a little slow in appearing but those that did were very interested in what was displayed.

When Gwyn turned up he found the lovely long 80Metre Doublet lying on the floor - it had fallen down on Saturaday.
Between Steve G4ZUL, Andy G0IBN and Gwyn the broken half was thrown over the pond to land in a bramble bush and thankfully stay put.   Steve and Andy beat a path and retreived the end which was tied to the railing producing a "Slope Aerial".   The sun had weakened the polypropelyne rope and it had failed.   Using the Palstar ATU the Slope Aerial was tuned and CARS were soon operating CW using GB100MWT from the Marconi Hut.

August at Sandford Mill August at Sandford Mill
Essex CW Group Chairman Steve beating the bramble bush to retreive the end of the aerial.
Andy G0IBN, David G3SVI, Myra M0MYR and Tony G4YTG holding his Kite looking at Steve in the brambles.
Photo by John G8DET

Post Meeting Note - Monday 15th August 2011.
Tony G4YTG and Brian G3CVI met at Sandford Mill and using rope provided by Tony re-erected the aerial.   Tested OK - well done and thanks gentlemen.

August at Sandford Mill August at Sandford Mill
Gwyn indicating everything was A,OK.
Andy G0IBN looking on as Gwyn operates.   Infact the SG231 Auto Tuner proved not to do the job it was hoped it woyuld do and was replaced with a Palstar ATU.

Unfortunately there was a Contest in progress on 14MHz and they were not intetrested in the fact that 117 years ago Sir Oliver Lodge proved Wireless worked or the 100 years ago Marconi printed the World's first Technical Magazine, the Marconigraph which later became Wireless World.

7MHz was used and Britain and European stations worked.

August at Sandford Mill August at Sandford Mill
Martyn on Echolink is on the right in a black CARS Jumper.
Mark in the blue CARS shirt is on the 2Metre simplex with Jim 2E0RMI standing.

The Gazebo was a meeting place for a number of CARS Members and many items of interest were discussed eyeball to eyeball and using the radios.

Bob G4MDB brought along a very nice small handheld being a "Chinese copy" of another well known rig but 1/3rd the price.   It boasted 2M, 70cm, VHF FM Band Receive, Taxi Band and numerous other facilties.

August at Sandford Mill
The lovely small muliband radio produced by Bob.   2Watt output.

August at Sandford Mill
Peter G3SUY operating 160 Metre Mobile using his home constructed righ he entered in the recent Constructors Competition.

August at Sandford Mill
Whilst CARS were operating radios Dr Geoff Bowles was occupying busy minds with Water Items.   This photo shows an Archemedes Screw in use on the water which flows around Sandford Mill.

Due to good weather and good company a very interesting afternoon was had by all (including the many persons who went Blackberrying).

Sunday 7th August

The weather started lovely and sunny but the forecast was rain so Plan B was implemented - operate from the Refreshment Hut for the Computer and Amatuer Rsadio instead of the Gazebo.   What a wise move - 2 to 3mm of very heavy rain fell in bursts.

The public were a little slow in appearing but 93 were counted in the end - Dr Bowles was pleased with this number.

CARS operated SSB using GB100MWT from the Marconi Hut.

August at Sandford Mill
The two brown planks at the end of the Marconi Hut are modern replacements and left "natural" to show the rest are original planks.
Photos by John, G8DET

August at Sandford Mill
The green and cream are to preserve the Marconi Hut while the black end shows its original colours.

August at Sandford Mill
Adrian, M0ABY (left) from Wheathampstead, Brian, G3CVI with Patrick, M0XAP watching as GB100MWT is used from the Marconi Hut.

August at Sandford Mill
RSGB Regional Manager, Mark, M0IOE (left) with Colin, G0TRM and Grandson Luca outside the computer room.

August at Sandford Mill August at Sandford Mill
CARS Chairman John, G8DET operating the Internet connected computer.   John and Norman, M0FZW from Canvey Island are looking at the projected picture.   They have been discussing programming modern Radios using computers.
Photo by Clive, M0GHH

August at Sandford Mill
Luke looking pensive - note the number of Handheld Radios.

August at Sandford Mill
Myra (left) M0MYR, Luke looking at RSGB Regional Manager, Mark, M0IOE with David, G3SVI looking on.
Mark is talking about programming modern radios which are really a computer chip with RF output.

August at Sandford Mill
Clive, M0GHH looking on.

August at Sandford Mill
CARS Vice President Charles, G0GJS (seated) talking to Peter Watkins about the new display of Marconi Wirelesses from 1910s onward.

August at Sandford Mill
CARS Chairman John, G8DET (right) talking to Peter Watkins with Colin G0TRM looking on.
Photo taken by CARS Vice President, Charles G0GJS

A very good day - next week (14th August) it is the turn of Gwyn, G4FKH to operate CW from the Marconi Hut.

See you there?

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