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Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society

Chelmsford Science & Industry Museum - Sandford Mill
August 2014 Sunday Afternoons


21st October 2014

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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 most years, although due to Staffing difficulties, not 2010.   CARS was invited to provide an Amateur Radio Station this year on the 3rd, 10th, 17th and the 24th.

Sandford Mill – 3rd August.

President Carl, G3PEM and Geoff Lovegrove, G7KLV set up the rig and computer for logging before Sunday at Sandford Mill (TL70) and this was a great help as it meant the SSB operating team could switch on at 10am and "go straight away ".   Peter Bridgeman, G3SUY and Charlie M0PZT found a clear frequency of 7.122MHz and were able to hold it until 5pm even though a couple of amateurs tried tuning up on it and repeately calling CQ - but to no avail!

CARS Commemorating WW1
Photo of the rig with the operating frequency displayed.

Charlie reports: "We worked around 250 QSOs spread across 9 countries. Our small group of operators rotated between operating, logging and talking to members of the public.   The museum got particularly busy and it was nice to see some of the youngsters showing an interest in our activities.   A QSO map of some of our contacts is shown below..."

GB100MWT Special Call-Sign was used throughout the day.

CARS Commemorating WW1
Map of some 105 of the contacts.
Additionally there was a MA3 from John O'Groats and a QSO from the West Coast of Ireland.

During operating periods when Charlie invited M3 and M6s only we had a contact with an Amateur running only 1-watt.

Operators and Loggers additionally included Tony Gilbey, G4YTG; Chris Chapman,G0IPU; Oliver Prin, M0WAG and G8DET.   Trevor Sandford. G4LPS stayed supporting the CARS team all day while Bob Davy watched and listened to what was going on.

CARS Commemorating WW1
Charlie and Peter at 10am.

CARS Commemorating WW1  CARS Commemorating WW1
G8DET logging with G0IPU on the microphone ... Oliver Prin on the microphone with Chris Chapman logging

CARS Commemorating WW1  CARS Commemorating WW1
John G8DET logging with Charlie M0PZT on the mic ... and again but with Trevor Sandford G4LPS looking on.
Photographs by Chris G0IPU

CARS Commemorating WW1   CARS Commemorating WW1
Charlie on the mic with Oliver Prin, M0WAG logging ... and now roles reversed!

Members of the public joined us from 2pm to the close at 5pm, hence the increase in locally generated audio QRM.   Some 200 members of the public turned up and enjoyed the lovely weather and the Free to park - Free to enter - Free to enjoy themselves.

Members of the Friends of Sandford Mill were on hand to assist in many ways - thank you.
Thanks to Dr Geoff Bowles for arranging the event.

Oaklands Museum - 3rd August.

At the same time as our Sandford Mill operations, some of the CARS team were at Oaklands Museum to "Meet the Public" on the normal opening hours of the Museum, 1pm to 4pm.   As RadCom commented recently the general public are not always impressed with a Radio Amateur crouched over a radio shouting "CQ, CQ, CQ...." and have suggested that a "Meet the Public" is more friendly.   With this in mind CARS today did both.

CARS would like to thanks Nick Wickenham, Manager for Oaklands for his support with the Ofcom Application for GB100MWT in January 2014 and Mr Ian Leonard for arranging today's presentation at Oaklands Museum.

Thanks to David and Myra Davis, G3SVI and M0MYA for giving up a family visit to come to Oaklands. Thanks also to Colin Page, G0TRM for supporting CARS at Oaklands and bringing his hugely successful Morse Demonstration Keyboard. It was noted that in 1914 all wireless communications was using Morse, both by the British and Germans.

CARS Commemorating WW1
John G8DET and David G3SVI standing behind the excellent table display.
Photographs by Colin, G0TRM.

Colin comments " I think we can say it was a successful afternoon, even though we perhaps did not gain many converts.   With your help Myra we did spread the word a little on the Morse front.   As I think you may have intimated, it was the ‘key’ to the afternoon. (sorry about that!)".

Sandford Mill – When All Else Fails - 10th August.

Sunday the 10th of August was set to be a standard afternoon’s operating at Sandford Mill Museum, but events took an unexpected turn.   The Met Office had issued weather warnings for the day, as Britain expected to see the tail of Hurricane Bertha.   Following a burst of heavy rain and lightning, a problem with local overhead power cables killed all power to Sandford Mill Museum, just after the gates opened to one of the museum’s August public open days.

CARS Sunday Afternoons CARS Sunday Afternoons
The Marconi Hut and the Water Race nearby - above is CARS 80M Doublet Aerial.
Photographs by John G8DET.

On the microphone, Derek M0SCE and his Son, Lloyd, M6LHG from Southend, logging had just said "73s" after their first QSO with a G1 station in Ipswich when the lights, and the rig, lost power.   When it became clear that the problem wasn’t a simple fuse and we could be off for some time, Charlie, M0PZT accompanied John G8DET home to pick up his generator, and before long, GB100MWT was back up on air, running the full 100 watts on 40m, using the club’s Yaesu FT-847.

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The faithful 2.5KWatt Generator.

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Peter, M0PSX Logging with Charlie, M0PZT and James, 2E1GUA on the mics.

Operators for the afternoon were Charlie M0PZT and James 2E1GUA, with Pete M0PSX on logging duties and Jim 2E0RMI talking to the museum’s visitors.   Other amateurs visiting included Derek M0SCE and his Son, Lloyd M6LHG from Southend, Geoff G7KLV, Clive M0GHH and Geoff G3EDM.

Despite the power outage, visitors to the museum were still able to enjoy the many exhibits at the museum, but with the Amateur Radio station powered, lit and connected to the Internet, the station drew more attention than normal.   The badly-timed power outage did present the team with the opportunity to point out to the museum’s visitors that when all else fails, Amateur Radio still works!   Demonstrating the best virtues of the hobby: teamwork, technical knowledge and pooling of resources, it’s hoped that some of the visitors will now be keen to join one of the club’s upcoming Foundation courses, and start their journey into the world of Amateur Radio.

Two trucks from ‘UK Power Networks’ were onsite fairly quickly, and power was restored – but after the station was dismantled, and as the last visitors were leaving.

For details on the afternoon’s activities, and a selection of photos, go to:-

See also the Essex Ham Link

Thanks to Peter Sipple, M0PSX for the above report.

Sandford Mill – CW Afternoon - 17th August.

This Sunday CARS were competing with the V Festival and I think we won.   The weather has been unstable and about 1pm we had a quick but strong storm but the Sun came out for us all afternoon.

Andrew Kersey, G0IBN set up the CARS IC756 in the Marconi Hut complete with the CARS 17" Computer.
7Mhz was used all afternoon with plenty of European station ready to work GB100MWT.

Brian Styles, G3SND motored down from Huntingdon and was soon transmitting using a traditional Morse Key under the expert supervision of Andy.   Later he said he really enjoyed it but thought it was best described as "an hour in a tumble drier!"

Charlie M0PZT surprised us all by appearing because "the weather improved" and assisted with setting up the station and having a go on a "paddle Morse Key".

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The CARS CW Team in operation.
Photographs by John G8DET.

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Andy at the controls.

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Colin at his Morse Display table.

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Charlie, M0PZT and John Roe, G4IMS at the Key with Oliver Prin, M0WAG and Andy logging.

CARS Sunday Afternoons
Andy explaining the Morse Code to Toby, Ayaan and Hughie and getting each to send their name in Morse.
Photograph reproduced with kind permission of their Father watching.

Rides were available on the Canal and Colin, G0TRM captivated the younger members with his Morse Key demonstrations.   The Tea Room did a brisk service supplying the helpers with lovely large cups of tea - thanks.   The Walkers popped in from time to time to see what we were all doing.

The final Sunday Afternoon on 24th August at Sandford Mill will be with Peter, Bridgeman, G3SUY and his Vintage 1154/1155 rack using 80 Metre AM and with superb audio quality.

Sandford Mill – Marconi 1154 TX and 1155 RX Afternoon - 24th August

This Sunday CARS were competing with the Bank Holiday - Sunday was forecast as being nice and next day, Monday being 100% wall to wall rain.   This meant that anyone with a garden HAD to stay at home and cut the grass and garden. & nbsp; This resulted in a much lower public attendance than for the previous 3 Sundays.

Peter Bridgeman brought along his beautifully restored Marconi 1154/1155 and set it up in the Marconi Hut a couple of days before so we were on the air at the dot of 2pm (local).   Unfortunately 80Metres is not a good frequency to use during the early afternoon and we did struggle a bit except occasionally the stations boomed in 5 by 9 plus 20dB.

A number of CARS members had a go on the microphone but there was more interest from visiting members of the public.
Of the 80,000 sets produced there are only a handful now in operational use throughout the World.

We also had some locally generated QRM which could be tuned - on our frequency!

Light refreshments were gratefully partaken in the Tea Hut and a good time was had in the sun and on the radio.

Thank you Peter for all the work involved in setting up the station and answering all the questions so well.

Thanks to Dr Bowles for his usual hospitality and Friends of the Museum for their continued work and to Nick Wickingham for the opportunity to operate from Oaklands Museum.

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