Essex Skills Night Mar 2017 Wrap Up

Thanks to everyone who came along to support March’s Essex Skills Night. This busy event took place at the Danbury Village Hall on the 20th of March 2017. Here’s our summary of the evening’s event.

The evening was well attended, with a great mix of people. For those interested in stats, we had 63 people along to this month’s event. In attendance, an impressive 11 Foundation, 8 Intermediate and 8 SWLs.

Announcements at the February 2017 Essex Skills Night
Announcements at the February 2017 Essex Skills Night
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The rather busy evening consisted of the following demos and activities:

Working Satellites:

After a short Skills break, Steve M0SHQ returned to help explain how to get started with working amateur radio satellites – the tools and the tips to make a successful contact. Steve also brought along his DV hotspot, which is capable of running D-Star or DMR.

 

Steve M0SHQ, demonstrating satellites and hotspots at the March 2017 Skills Night
Steve M0SHQ, demonstrating satellites and hotspots at the March 2017 Skills Night

 

Broadcast Radio in a Box

Radio Emma Toc‘s Jim 2E0RMI brought along his new portable broadcast “radio station in a box”, and was able to make a live broadcast on his online radio station from the Village Hall. Jim’s planning to get out-and-about broadcasting live later this year…

Radio Station in a Box - Jim Salmon 2E0RMI
Radio Station in a Box – Jim Salmon 2E0RMI

Ham Essentials:

Charlie M0PZT had a busy night on the Ham Goodies table – this month, a selection of essential items to buy, including aerial/coax adapters and /P goodies. Also on offer, were 2m Slim-Jim kits.

Charlie M0PZT on the Ham Goodies table (Thanks Steve G4GHO)
Charlie M0PZT on the Ham Goodies table (Thanks Steve G4GHO)

Getting Started with Essex Ham:

Thanks to Nick M0NFE for manning the Essex Ham table this month. Skills Night supporters could complete the 2017 Skills Night Survey on the table and watch the group’s latest video. Newcomers and first time visitors could take away copies of the Getting Started guides, and there was a rolling demo of data modes, plus the chance to see the RTL dongle and the Raspberry Pi Zero video player in action.

Congratulations to Nick M0NFE and Majbritt M6YAX, who recently got engaged in Costa Rica!

Nick M0NFE,taking care of business on the Essex Ham table
Nick M0NFE,taking care of business on the Essex Ham table

Radio Programming:

Charlie M0PZT was also on hand to help program a range of handheld and rigs, including MD-380/RT3 DMR, most Baofeng/Yaesu FM handhelds, plus 817/857/7800.

Construction Corner:

Chris G0IPU and Alan M0IWZ were busy in the Hawkins Room, helping with soldering and other construction bits and bobs.

Alan M0IWZ's Arduino SWR meter project
Alan M0IWZ’s Arduino SWR meter project (pic: Steve G4GHO)

Essex CW Club:

Thanks to the Essex CW Club for operating a live HF CW station from the Village Hall. The team included Dean G4WQI, Rob M0KCP,  Oliver M0WAG, Dave G4AJY and guest rare DX Andy G0IBN.

The Essex CW Table at the March 2017 Skills Night
The Essex CW Table at the March 2017 Skills Night

 

G7TKK Randomness:

Andy G7TKK (also known as Englebert, according to the signing-in book!) brought along a collection of bits and bobs, and mananged to make most of us jump by drop-testing a Pi-powered laptop during the quiz.

Andy G7TKK with his very droppable laptop

Projects:

Melvin 2E0DNS brought along a sine wave oscillator, for some construction practice.

Callsign Badges:

Skills Night regulars Jim 2E0JTW and Glynis 2E0CUQ were on hand with their engraver to create callsign badges on demand. A new product this month: gold-plated engraved pens!

CARS Quiz:

This month’s quiz was hosted by CARS Training Manager Chris G0IPU – just for fun. Well done to Chris for the quick IT work to get Murray’s questions onto the laptop in the nick of time. 

An interesting sign-in at the March 2017 Skills Night
An interesting sign-in at the March 2017 Skills Night

Logistics

As always, a huge personal thanks to Myra and David for their continued logistical support in the kitchen providing the free tea and coffee. Also, a big thanks to Ann (Mrs 2E0RMI) for the top quality home-made cakes, and of course, to Essex Ham’s Sarah M6PSK (the event’s “dedicated greeter”).

Thanks all, and 73,

Pete M0PSX

Event Photos

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