The Skills Night, hosted by the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) training team runs once a month, and was launched in January 2014. Here is a short introduction to the Skills Night.
The Skills Night is an informal monthly get-together in central Essex, where anyone with an interest in radio can come along, try something new, share ideas, get help and advice, and socialise with others interested in the hobby.
The events run at the Danbury Village Hall, near Chelmsford, on the third Monday of the month (except December).
The Skills Nights are free to attend, informal, and open to everyone – no need to be licensed, no need to be from Essex, and no need to be a member of the Chelmsford ARS
Essex Skills Nights:
What will you find at a Skills Night?
The Skills Nights are a real mix. The aim is to have around six demonstrations taking place at the Danbury Village Hall – some aimed at beginners, some covering new modes, some offering equipment demonstrations, and some offering tips or services. Here’s a summary of some of the topics covered recently:
|Making Slim Jim antennas||Portable Ops||D-Star Digital||DMR Digital|
|PSK and JT Data Modes||Echolink||Logging software||Microwaves|
|Construction & Soldering||SSTV||HF Pedestrian||Antenna modelling|
|Storm tracking||RAYNET||APRS tracking||Programming handsets|
|Live CW station||3D Printing||Satellites||Raspberry Pi|
|Software Defined Radios||Repeaters||Quadcopter Drones||Reverse Beacon Network|
|High Altitude Balloons||Arduino||Radio nostalgia||Working the ISS|
Coming along to Skills?
The Skills Nights are free, although there’s the option to small donation to the tea & coffee fund to help cover costs. No need to be a member of any specific club.
Evenings normally start at 7pm, but there’s no need to arrive dead on 7pm as there’s no formal talk.
|Recent Skills Nights: For more, see Essex Ham’s reports on recent Skills Nights: Skills Night Reports|
Getting to the Skills Night
The address is: Danbury Village Hall, Main Road, Danbury, Chelmsford CM3 4NQ
There’s free parking at the nearby Danbury Sports & Social Centre, 2 minutes walk from the Village Hall.
For more about the venue, see our Danbury Village Hall Information page
Images from Skills Nights
Here’s a video of a Skills Night in action, plus some photos from previous Skills Nights:
|Timelapse video of March 2016 Skills Night
Skills Night Questions
What can I expect at Skills Night?
The evening starts at 7pm, but no need to arrive dead-on 7pm. Inside the hall, you’ll sign in and see a summary of what’s on offer. The summary is also posted here on Essex Ham a few days before the event. In the hall will be around 6 tables – a mix of show-and-tell, demonstrations or static displays. There’s free tea, coffee and biscuits, but a donation is appreciated. At 8pm, there’s a short quiz, for a bit of fun. Tables start packing up at around 9pm
Can I have a table?
The organisers are always looking for people to volunteer to put on a demo, or bring along something for others to see. Contact event organiser Pete M0PSX if you’d be interested. If you’re asking for a table to sell anything, the host club CARS, ask for a small donation.
Got another question? Ask in the box below…
The Skills Night was conceived by Pete M0PSX with input and support from Jim 2E0RMI and Sarah M6PSK. The first event was held in January 2014, hosted by the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society training team. Originally known as “Skills Workshop”, the CARS-branded event now regularly attracts an average of between 50 and 90 people from Essex, Kent, Suffolk, London and beyond. Topics are based on suggestions from attendees via online and paper feedback forms, and the nights are supported by the weekly Essex Ham Monday Night Net.
Since the launch of Skills Nights in Essex, other groups have launched their own versions, with positive results. If your amateur radio club might be interested in adopting the concept of a Skills Night, take a look at our Amateur Radio Skills Workshops section for more details. Also, take a look at Essex Ham’s Skills Night Formula.