26 Nov. 2015 – Brian’s Audio Quiz

A good turn out was divided into five teams of four members each. The first round was recordings of music or voice passages for teams to identify locations, counties, or persons.
Round two was all about Desert Island Disks, started by identifying the theme music, followed by nine well known persons who have appeared on the programme. A short voice clip of each was played for teams to identify.
Round three was about the 1960s with questions and audio clips from film, music and politics.
Round four was the last and the most difficult. Brian played three sound clips and teams were challenged to find the link between them and then name what would be the next item in the sequence.
While the rounds were being played, teams were also challenged to name the country of each of a number of QSL cards from the archive. The country’s name had been blocked out on the photocopies supplied.
The quiz was won by Team One, ‘The Dodgy DXers’ made up of               Victor Brand, Owen Williams, Peter Webb and John Airey who each were awarded a bottle of wine!
The lowest scored team won a traditional wooden spoon for each member, and they will remain anonymous.

19 Nov 2015 – Project Update

Before looking at popular programmes for PSK31, the method of installing the driver for the USB to Serial cable was described and also shown was how to remap a Com port, should that be necessary. Installing Digipan was very straight forward and configuration followed. Macros were set up, info on how to set the sound card levels was explained. Discussions followed as to other software that could be used with the interface.

Richard provided the very sticky glue necessary to attach the copper lining to the ABS box for shielding. This method yields a box which is easy to drill and the cost savings are considerable compared to a die cast box.

Reports from those who have finished their project are very good, their owners being very pleased.

12 Nov. 2015 – Software I have used, Steve M0DYR

Steve, M0DYR spoke for about half an hour about the The Realtek RTL2832U Radio & TV Dongle and the software required to use it as a Software Defined Radio. By Sunday the info was supplied to members in an email detailing the links as to where it could be found as well as the drivers, SDR and, TCP utility software.

There followed a DVD about Mitcham Mullard Valve Factory.

Brian’s board ‘Meet the Members’ featured former member, Arnold Mynett. There was a notice in Radcom that he had died in 2015. He was a Club member in 1951-52 when he was stationed at Henlow. He was also on the Committee in 1952.

5 Nov. 2015 – Visit to Henlow Museum

Dave
Dave

Twenty members gathered at the Henlow Signals Museum to hear Deputy Curator, Dave Thompson talk about early communications up to and including WWl.

Dave started with some predictions made in 1900 while radio was still in it’s fledgling state. A certain John Watkins writing of What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years, in December 1900 Ladies Home Journal, predicted that by the end of the century “a husband in the middle of the Atlantic will be able to converse with his wife sitting in her boudoir in Chicago” A commentator in the London Spectator, quoted in the Nov. 1902 edition of the Los Angeles Times, “Some day men and women will carry wireless telephones as today we carry a card case or camera” If only he had realised he was predicting the mobile phone complete with camera and games and much more, all built in! Progress was made by the Marconi company in mobile communications as reported by Western Electrician in 1901.

Dave went on to describe early sets, most were very large and heavy, and in 1901 Marconi described a mobile set up built on a heavy steam motorcar (a bus) that provided communications up to about thirty miles. Of course this was all spark transmissions in Morse.

Wartime proved to be the driving force behind smaller and more efficient sets. Dave not only described some early sets, but went on to show the actual sets from the museum collection. (see photos below) Of course, telegraphy was also taken up by the Navy and the Royal Flying Corps from about 1915, which proved invaluable in the First World War. The equipment used in aircraft didn’t have a receive capability due to the interference from the engine and wind noise. The aircraft had to rely on a large letter K laid out on the ground by the runway to acknowledge that their transmissions were being heard!

Much development was carried out by the Marconi Company and the War Department resulting in smaller sets with the move from Long Wave to shorter waves and eventually VHF.

TX T21C used by the RAF in the 1920s
TX T21C used by the RAF in the 1920s

The Rx TF used by the RAF in the 1920s
The Rx TF used by the RAF in the 1920s