G0MWT, GX0MWT, GB5HF, GB5SM, GB2TAM, M2T, GB100MWT, G100RSGB & GB5RVA
CARS Meetings October - December 2015
©Copyright CARS 2015
13th Dec 2015
Added Xmas Social...
Tue 6-Oct-2015, 7.30-10pm
Oaklands Museum, Moulsham Street
"Annual General Meeting"
By CARS Members
October saw the Society have its Annual General Meeting, which was well attended by the membership. Carl Thomson G3PEM the retiring president opened the meeting with a well-presented year-in-brief report, and obituary to Clive Ward G1EUC and Geoff Mills G3EDM. This was followed by a one minute silence to reflect on the good work Clive & Geoff gave to the Society and Amateur Radio. Next followed the special Yearly Raffle, which Chris G0IPU won - to his surprise…… (two vouchers for the RSGB Bookshop).
Carl then presented the "Amateur Of The Year" which this year went to Clive Ward G1EUC posthumously. The committee had thought about it and suggested this. Carl asked the assembled membership for a proposer - Richard G7OED obliged and the assembled membership agreed unanimously. Next were the presentations of the certificates for the Constructors Competition. There were four to award - in fourth place and named the "First-timers prize" was Steve G4HSK and his 10m-144MHz Transverter. In third place was Peter G3SUY for his Mobile Whip. In second place was Bruce M0XBS with a Valve Audio Amplifier and in first place was Charlie M0PZT with a Log Book program called PZTLog.
Carl then commented on his time as president and the five years he had been in post. He thanked the Committee and Training Team for their work. Carl in closing thanked everyone for supporting him. In conclusion Carl read from a past newsletter written by Roy Martyr G3PMX (a past president) back in 1982, reminding us why the club is a hobby Club/Society, run by volunteers, where all can help in the running of the Society by contributing in a constructive way, including criticism backed with constructive suggestions. Referring to the many activities the club put on for the membership to attend, Carl indicated that we need to encourage the newer licensed members to the activities, as some are not so well attended by the membership.
Carl presenting Bruce M0XBS with his certificate (Photo by John G8DET)
- Chairman's Report: Chris G0IPU started by thanking every one for their hard work on the committee saying 'I have been on and off the committee for years (but this term will be my last)' He then gave a brief report on the years meetings and outside events, keeping it quite short not wishing to detract from the later presentation by John G8DET. All in all a very busy year with a full meeting calendar and outside events including RNLI fund raising, Galleywood Common, Sandford Mill and The Museum of Power.
- Treasurer's Report: Peter M0PSD opened his report by pointing out that he only been in post since May. He had the accounts audited though, and all was well. A summary of the accounts was available to all attending members for their approval. Room hire has increased from £80 to £82, not a huge rise but still an increase. A cheque to the RNLI was re-issued as the first one was not banked by them was the next item and the Society also gave a further £50 donation. Peter then went on to mention £187.50 that came in to the Society before he became treasurer. New equipment and flight cases have been purchased. There was a display board that had pictures of the new equipment and cases so all could see where the money had gone. There was also one repair to equipment that came to £58.80 and £20 to Ofcom for the club licence transfer. Peter then mentioned the Training income/costs minus the hall hire and Raffle income. Membership fees will remain at £15 and PayPal is now an additional method of paying along with cash and cheque. Paypal is also available for the payment of Training fees. The Society's asset list is the process of being updated. The accounts were duly proposed by Tony G4YTG, seconded by Carl G3PEM, and accepted by the attending membership by a show of hands.
- Training / Skills Reports: The training report was introduced by Murray G6JYB who reflected on the passing of Clive and his success at recruiting candidates. Since starting the Training Team back in 2001 over 300 people have entered the hobby via CARS and the Training Team. Overall over 500 exams have been taken, including upgrading licences from Foundation to Intermediate and on to Advanced. Murray went on to give a sumamry of the year's courses, including the introduction of "Intermediate Practical's" in 2015 and a new session for Advance in 2016. Training is still in demand even though other clubs have started doing their own.
Peter M0PSX then took the floor for the Skill's report by asking the assembled membership "Who's been to Skills?" - it seemed everyone raised a hand. Skills Night is a training team initiative by Peter M0PSX to promote Amateur Radio to the newer licensed amateur as a "What's Next" approach. In practice its broad appeal attracts many to attend - from the long standing, to the new, just licensed. A questionnaire was used to assess what would be of interest, with Microwave being the toughest to get on the agenda so far, though it was achieved. Attendee numbers (Peter admits he like his numbers) since last October, had a total of 167 callsigns. Foundation / Intermediate numbers were 61, making them 36% of attendees. Average attendance is 61, with 74 being the highest. Skills attracts visitors from all round Essex and beyond including London, Kent, Cambridge, and Suffolk. Peter also mentioned a new RSGB initiative called 'Inspire' that is due to be rolled out soon. Peter thanked the many who helped on Skills Night.
Peter Davies M0PSD has agreed to be the new CARS Exam Secretary, following Clive's passing. Murray concluded with a short summary of our current commitments and the 2016 training calendar which can be seen on the training web page. Questions from the floor were taken regarding new member attendance to Skill's Night and the courses, the reply was it was open to all. Thanks to Peter M0PSX was then given for the much appreciated background work that he does in getting the Skills Nights organised and running.
Carl was then asked to do his last duty as president as he was standing down. Carl G3PEM proposed Tony G4YTG who agreed to take on the role of President; this was seconded by Peter M0PSD and was agreed by a show of hands by the attending membership. Tony was duly elected. Tony was presented with the chain of office.
Carl continued with the election of a new Vice-President of Murray G6JYB, as John G8DET was standing down. This was proposed by John G8DET and was agreed by a show of hands by the attending membership. Certificates for "Distinguished Service" were then presented to Carl and John for their outstanding work.
Election of New Committee for 2015 - 2016
The Committee stood down and Tony G4YTG in his new role took the floor. To elect a new committee for 2015-2016:-
- Chairman: Christopher G0IPU – Proposed by Carl G3PEM, Seconded by John G8DET
- Secretary: Colin G0TRM – Proposed by Carl G3PEM, Seconded by Peter M0PSD
- Treasurer: Peter M0PSD – Proposed by Colin G0TRM, Seconded by John M0VRS
- Membership Secretary: Chris Boon 2E0CUU – Proposed by Peter M0PSD, Seconded by Carl G3PEM
- Ordinary Members: David G3SVI, Myra M0MYR, Oliver M0WAG, Steve G4GHO, Paul G7BHE
- all were duly agreed by a show of hands from the membership attending the AGM.
Vice-Presidents (Photos by John G8DET)
Murray presented the two sets of Constitution changes that had been notified in the newsletter:-
Both sets of changes were duly agreed by a show of hands from the membership attending the AGM.
- The first modified the financial year to allow the treasurer to get the books audited in time for the AGM and to clarify the fact that you do actually cease to be a member if you do not pay the subscription by January 1st.
- The second clarifies ex-Officio members President and Vice President voting rights within committee, and confirms the Chairmans role for casting votes (Proposed by Carl G3PEM)
The membership attending the AGM was asked what can the Society do for you....
- One question was on dates for all events compared to the short list in the newsletter. Murray reported that they are on the website, but it may need further clarification.
- The question of whether training course attendees get a newsletter was raised, and the answer was no as 'free' membership had been discontinued. They are instead encouraged to attend/join the Radio Society whilst on the course, but it is not mandatory.
- Our new newsletter editor commented that perhaps the newsletter could be more available as a publicity advert to prospective new members. Samples are online and this was also tried in the past to the detriment of the paying members as some found that not renewing their membership still gave them the benefit of a Newsletter.
- Commercial interest in the tabletop sale was commented on - the Society did receive a 10% donation on all sales.
- The prospect of a SK sale of Clive's radio equipment was asked about. Murray replied that it was a major task and that more information would be available at the Essex Repeater Group AGM.
- It was reported that the website had a broken link to the Skills Night pages, this was checked as okay after the meeting.
- Clive M0GHH asked if a trip to GCHQ could be arranged, John G8DET commented that this was not easy! Chris G0IPU commented that perhaps Bletchley Park may be possible, whereas Jodrell Bank was a bit too far for a day trip.
- Next was a plea for help in the rebuild of the 2MT transmitter by Peter M0HBY. He reported they now have the valves but was really looking for a rheostat with a flat bottom, about 7" long with a value of around 10 Ohms (made in around 1922…). It was suggested that a wanted parts list for circulation to the membership.
The break then followed with its opportunities for Tea & Coffee and a chat - and renewals of subs.
Renewing subs during the break
Following this the meeting reconvened for the raffle (organised by Carl) and then...
Review of the Year
John G8DET next gave a review of the year using a chronological slideshow of photos starting from the last AGM.
- November 2014: 'Raynet' was presented by Roland M0BDB and had a display of their equipment.
- December: The Christmas Social had mince pies and stollen cake. Tony G4YTG played the organ as entertainment. Eric G8ADX supplied some slides about Marconi at Poldhu, Cornwall
- January-2015: 'Contesting and Awards' by Carl G3PEM. The club also did a RNLI fund event raising coordinated by James 2E1GUA and attended Geoff Bowles retirement as curator of the Sandford Mill Museum.
- February: 'Probing the Northern Lights' by Dr Brendan Goodbody was nicely illustrated with lots pictures.
- March: 'The GB3VHF Story' by Chris Whitmarsh G0FDZ. The talk showed the equipment and he brought the new GB3UHF to show at the club. Next was Museum on Power event where James 2E1GUA organised the radio station for their "Science Week". This was followed by GB1STG at Galleywood organised by Charlie M0PZT.
- April: 'Raspberry Pi' by Peter Onion G0DZB & David Whale a well attended meeting. Later in the month was the IMD station at Sandford Mill. See CARS IMD.
- May: 'Operating Portable' by Charlie Davy M0PZT had good practical information given out on the art of portable operation. John then showed his Lusitania presentation set up at Sandford Mill. Shown next was the SK garage sale for Geoff G3EDM's equipment.
- June: 'The Bodger's Guide to Microwaves' by John Worsnop G4BAO from the UK Microwave Group
- July: 'Evolution of Submarine Cables' by Bernard Logan. John reported that he needed an overdraft of £m - and was still smiling… He had a good accountant - his wife…. On a personal note John showed a picture of his final move from Danbury.
- August: 'Constructors Competition' by CARS Members. Charlie M0PZT was the winner with his logging software, Bruce M0XBS second with a valve audio amplifier, and Peter G3SUY with a mobile HF antenna arrangement. August Sundays saw CARS at further Sandford Mill events including one where Murray G6JYB setup a large SDR waterfall display in the Marconi Hut for the public to see.
- September: 'Table Top Sale' by CARS Members & Visitors was coordinated by Colin G0TRM. John showed the visitors from LEFARS, Carl on the raffle table, and other visitors. A round of applause was given to Colin for the organisation of the event. Colin then noted he had still not got his CARS mug for the evening, (see below). Next were pictures from the recent Science Discovery Day at Sandford Mill including outside where we had a 70' mast used on 2m and young people driving Radio Controlled Cars that had a 2.4GHz fastscan TV link to remotely drive them.
- Finally pictures of Pete M0PSX and Skills night - where John mentioned how it had gone from Pete's idea and blossomed to what it is now, mentioning all the activities that take place on these evenings.
Lastly - after his comment earlier - Colin did get his CARS Mug! - many thanks all.
Colin gets his mug!
Tue 3-Nov-2015, 7.30-10pm
Oaklands Museum, Moulsham Street
"5 MHz NVIS Propagation"
Marcus Walden G0IJZ
With the 2015 World Radio Conference (WRC-15) in progress, the November meeting was a highly topical talk on 5MHz Propagation by Marcus Walden G0IJZ, followed by a 5MHz WRC-15 update by Murray G6JYB.
Marcus is a corresponding member of the RSGB Propagation Studies Committee and has analysed years worth of data from the UK 5MHz beacon network and Chilbolton ionosonde, enabling him to write some key papers on the topic.
Vice President Murray G6JYB opened the meeting with apologies from the President and Chairman and with a few notices of the Society's upcoming activities. He then introduced the speaker Marcus Walden G0IJZ who would enlighten us on the progress of the 5 MHz NVIS beacon experiment. NVIS stands for Near Vertical Incidence Sky wave and is achieved by having high angle radiation from the aerial giving an operational distance up to 500 km with no skip zone. To obtain this high angle radiation, the aerial has to be below a quarter wavelength from the ground.
The 5MHz band is mainly occupied by the military, humanitarian agencies, and in the UK selected band slots are allocated to radio amateurs holding a Full licence. The radio amateur slots were first allocated in the UK in 2002 after representation from the RSGB. Ofcom issued NoV's to amateurs holding Full licences for propagation studies. The experiment was to produce propagation data that could be compared with and validate the existing propagation prediction models to the benefit the humanitarian agencies.
As well as data from radio amateurs who reported their reception signal reports to RSGB using SINPO reception code, three transmitting beacon stations on 5290kHz were built and installed for automated reception. It is the data from these that Marcus has analysed. The beacons are:
- GB3ORK - Located on the island of Orkney West of Kirkwall
- GB3WES - Located in Westmorland near Penrith Cumbria
- GB3RAL - Located on the RAL site near Didcot Oxfordshire [at present off air]
Monitoring of the GB3RAL 5 MHz Beacon
Marcus then proceeded to explained by using plots of Ionograms of critical frequency from the Chiltern Ionosounder. He displayed the graph of the critical frequency and described the ordinary wave and the extraordinary wave and how they affect the interpretation of the 5 MHz propagation model. He further explained the optimum working frequency and how 5 MHz propagation changes over time.
He then produced several plots detailing the comparison of the data obtained from the monitoring of the 5 MHz beacons and the HF NVIS propagation predictions produced from the VOACAP and ASAPS software computer prediction models for mid-latitude 5MHz HF links.
A 5MHz VOACAP Propagation forecast for Chelmsford
This was an extremely well presented and interesting talk on the result of the 5 MHz experiment and the results should be of help to those agencies that have to set up links in an emergency. The work should also strengthen the case for a permanent amateur allocation in the 5 MHz band.
After the break which was followed by our usual raffle, Murray then gave a short update on the status of the 5MHz band in the UK (where 11 segments or 'bandlets' are now embedded in the new Ofcom licence) and the ongoing discussions at WRC-15 in Geneva at Geneva.
The evening closed with the presentation by Murray of a CARS Mug to Marcus
Colin Slemp G8JSD with the Desk Microphone raffle prize donated by Brian G3CVI - photo by Colin G0TRM
Marcus receiving his CARS Mug from Murray G6JYB - photos by Steve G4GHO and Carl G3PEM
Tue 1-Dec-2015, 7.30-10pm
Oaklands Museum, Moulsham Street
"Xmas Social & Quiz"
By CARS Members & Visitors
Like last year, the December meeting had a seasonal flavour and was more of a social occasion. Features included mince pies, a couple of special quizzes by John G8DET & Murray G6JYB and the 'tune-a-dipole' game by Chris G0IPU (used on Foundation courses).
Graham G7JYD tuning against the clock
Before the meeting John G8DET had diligently reviewed various mince pies and the final choice was excellent - dozens were consumed with great compliments, whilst David & Myra helped with ample tea/coffee and biscuits.
Mince Pies and Stollen - courtesy of John G8DET!
CARS President Tony G4YTG, on keyboard
Xmas puzzles included an on-screen ten question Xmas Radio Quiz by Murray G6JYB and a 40-object table of old electronics by John G8DET
Socialising also included downstairs where Geoff G7KLV was explaining some of the exhibits
Geoff G7KLV with Marconi exhibits - Photo by G8DET
A good evening of chatter. Thanks to all who came and made it the success it was.
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