Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society

Chelmsford Science & Industry Museum - Sandford Mill
Science & Discovery Day in September 2008

6th October 2008 Amended the Science & Discovery Day photos & report.

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

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Chelmsford Science & Industry Museum have a series of Open Sundays each year. CARS was invited to provide an Amateur Radio Station on the 28th September 2008 to promote Science & Discovery Day.

The day was again bright & dry which resulted in a good number of the public attending, many with children.   Among those who came, many (or their family) had connections with Marconi manufacturing trades, Marconi Marine or other allied industries and therefore appreciated the many displays.

CARS provided our "usual" HF Radio Tx station in the Marconi Hut using our club call, GX0MWT.
Mark & his Family provided their lovely caravan & parked it by The Barn and provided VHF & Echolink faciliaties.
Colin, G0TRM & Geoff, G7KLV provided their now famous Morse demonstration display on the staging.
They were joined this time with CARS new Publicity Duo, David & Myra with a laptop continuously showing the QSO between the Scouts in Hylands Park in 2007 & the International Space Station.

The band conditions were not good but better than past Sandford Mill events - there was even reports of a new Sun Spot!   The operators worked a string of QSOs, all around the UK and Europe including Lanzorote.

Thanks for the effort and kind help especially to those folk behind the scenes who are so necessary to the success of such an event.

Jeremy, John & CARS VP Geoff, G3EDM at the HF Station
Jeremy, John & CARS VP Geoff, G3EDM at the HF Station.
Photographs by John, G8DET

CARS used the usual 80 Doublet long-wire aerial over the water course which surrounds the Mill. This contributes enormously to the strong signal which radiates from GX0MWT.   When will HF condition improve?

Science & Discovery Day
David, John & Myra looking at the DVD of the ISS QSO.

Science & Discovery Day
          Clive (logging) and Carl, G3PEM on the microphone.

Science & Discovery Day
Visitors and Retired Radio/Marine Officers: -John Robson, G3HMQ; Tony Cuthbert, Philip Ellis & Malcoln Case.

Science & Discovery Day
Tony Cuthbert holding the handset and talking about the set in question - which was the end basically for the Radio Officer on many ships.

Science & Discovery Day
Looking at the "model" in the Piano Room.

Science & Discovery Day                     Teas were provided by Friend of the Museum.

Science & Discovery Day
John, logging with CARS President, Harry G5HF on the microphone.

Science & Discovery Day
Mark on the mocrophone under the awning of the VHF caravan with his family looking on.   2nd Son was visiting other displays.

Thank you Mark for bringing your caravan and setting up the system - pity that an number of VHF operators happened to be otherwise engaged.

The large Barn had many "things which went up & things which came down" much to the delight of the young and not so young children.

Demonstrations were held concerning Fire & basic science items.

Science & Discovery Day
Here the Lecturer is demonstating that the Alarm Clock sound cannot be heard
when ringing in a glass glas & the air has been all but withdrawn.

Science & Discovery Day           Friend of the Museum, David explaing that the Racing Car has to be made
           streamlined to go faster in the Wind Tunnel.

Science & Discovery Day
Here the Friend of the Museum is demonstating that by pedalling on the cycle, electricity can be generated.

Science & Discovery Day

Returning from the Barn we pass the VHF Caravan again.   Notice the guyed mast to the right of the 2 people bending over - this supported an Omni-directional Aerial.

Science & Discovery Day
CARS President Harry G5HF & Ethel enjoying the sunshine.

Science & Discovery Day
Here a young visitor is concentrating on typing correctly a message on the Morse Printer.
This is on the top staging.
Nearest the camera is Richard Meadows, 2E0SBU standing next to his Father, Peter Meadows who is now 2E0ZBU.   Both were assisting Colin with the Morse Demonstration.

The wooden plinth on the bench is mounting a piece of "Under-Sea Cable".

Coli, G0TRM encouraged children to punch their name on the Morse Tape, put it in the Sender, hear it being sent to a receiver and finally punched out at the far end.

Unfortunately, a number of young children have a very limited attention span & seem more intent on destroying this wonderful old equipment than learning about it.

Science & Discovery Day
Here the Morse Printer is being examined due to abuse when Colin, Richard & Peter's back was turned.
Unfortunately the keyboard had been hit so hard it had broken one of the steel operating levers.

Science & Discovery Day
David (left) talking to Tony, G4YTG & Bill, G3TIQ (who built the 12ft dish in G3LTF's garden in the 1960s used for Moon Bounce) and Myra.

Seated is Bill's Carer for the afternoon.

Science & Discovery Day
Standing by the HR24 Rack (which is now functional
thanks to Geoff, G7KLV replacing 100s of capacitors)
is Michael O'Beirne, G8MOB, an author of the Radio Byegones magazine.

Science & Discovery Day
          Geoff standing infront of the 7.5KWatt TX to give it "size".

Science & Discovery Day
A radio receiver designed to have less than 5 microvolts re-radiated
from the RX aerial so that its use would not be detected.
Question - was this used by Peter Wright?

Science & Discovery Day
Patrick, M0XAP in jovial mood with Malcoln G4KGL checking his watch.

A good day with plenty of interested members of the public & beautiful weather.
Thanks to Dr Bowles and the Friends of the Museum for making the event so successful.

CARS next event at Sandford Mill will be 24th & 25th Janurary, 2009 to commemorate Jack Binns saving so many lives in 1909 by calling "CQD" and summonding assistance from the S/S Baltic.

Report from Mark, M0IEO of the VHF Caravan.

The day dawned bright and sunny and had my first cup of tea to think about what the caravan needed to be loaded with.   All loaded and ready to go so we hitched up we were on the road by 08:15hrs with John Blamey (M3NNQ) acting as wingman behind me and both his and my radios tuned to 145.450Mhz.   We are developing a bit of a reputation for our inane chatter on 2m when we are driving to club events with listeners in Kent and Southend on Sea tuning in to us just to listen to the adventures of the two blokes from Canvey with their caravans.   We are often asked on-air when we are taking the vans out again and what frequency we will be on!

We arrive at Sandford Mill - it is all hands on deck to put up the awning and set up the 2m radio and get a cup of tea on.   Next job was the antenna and mast, John and I got this together in about 10 minutes.   I held it upright while John fought his way through the stinging nettles to anchor the mast to the ground with the guy lines.   I will admit to having a wry smile on my face when John managed to sting himself on the nose while banging in a peg.

We were on the air and calling CQ for a test transmission and to check all the kit was working and that the VSWR on the antenna was OK, 1.2:1 at 144Mhz and 1.3:1 at 145.950 Mhz.   Just time for another cuppa before we get going and then down to business, contacts were hard fought on 2m, there seemed to be hardly anyone on air this morning, must be out in their gardens making the most of the last of the summer sun.   We had contacts with M0FGH in Kent, M0UKS working mobile on his way to Norfolk and M3XMK in Brightlingsea to name just three.

There was a good stream of interested members of the public asking questions and a group of school children who were asking about the origins of radio for a project for school and were over the moon to find that the father of radio had lived and worked in Chelmsford. We also had a good number of visitors from the CARS club come to give some moral support to the day including James, 2E1GUA, Clive M0GHH, Patrick M0XAP who did a spell on the mic to give us a break and add some contacts, and of course John our club chairman who came along and added his support to the efforts to name just a few.

As always, all good things must come to an end and before we knew it, it was time to pack all the kit away for probably the last time this year as far as working mobile from the caravan goes, Belinda and the kids started on the awning while John and I got to work on the radio gear and by 17:30 we were packed away and ready to hit the road home having had another enjoyable day thanks to the generosity of Sandford Mill.   I love working at Sandford Mill, it's close to home but could just as easily be miles away with tranquil surroundings and always made to feel welcome.   We do have one new convert by the way, my Son Ross wants to know when the next Foundation License Course is being held?   I have him hooked; I just need to reel him in!

As always there are a list of “Thank you's to be done”.   To Geoff G7KLV at Sandford Mill for an excellent location, the use of the ladder and all the blackberries and cooking apples.   To CARS Cub Chairman John Bowen for arranging the weekend.   To John, M3NNQ for putting up with me when he would clearly have preferred a lay in on a Sunday.   To the many CARS members who came along to support the event and who came on air to chat if they couldn't get there. To my wife Belinda for all the tea!   And finally to my kids for putting up with the old boy on “that blooming radio” again!

Well that's another season of radio from the caravan over with, if anyone can think of a location we can take the caravan to and try and make an interesting story out of it for the club news letter then please do get in touch and we will see if we can arrange to go there and set up either a 2m or an HF station if conditions allow.   Next year I would like to try and combine the radio with some of the local history of the areas I visit just to keep the interest of the readers.

73 de M0IEO
Mark Sanderson.

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