Hall Street Marconi Exhibition May 2016

This month is the last chance to visit the former Marconi  radio factory at Hall Street, in Chelmsford. The Marconi Exhibition at Hall Street, Chelmsford, has been running for the last 3 months, and closes on the 29th of May 2016. After this date, the premises is to be turned over to commercial developers. The exhibition commemorates the pioneering work of Marconi and the tight links to Chelmsford, the birthplace of radio, and you can find out more here: Marconi Science WorX

Marconi Factory, Hall Street Chelmsford May 2016
Marconi Factory, Hall Street Chelmsford May 2016

As part of a series of ongoing talk and activities, youngsters had the chance to make their first basic AM receivers over the weekend of the  14th and 15th of May, at at event organised by the Chelmsford Civic Society.

On Saturday the 14th of May, Kathryn Sipple, daughter of Pete M0PSX and Sarah M6PSK, visited the exhibition so that she could make her first radio.

Kathryn carefully soldering capacitors
Kathryn carefully soldering capacitors

 

Kathryn, aged 8, already has some soldering experience, having make an LED badge at the Southend Raspberry Jam. The AM radio kit was a more complex project, but a little help from dad to hold the board steady, she was able to complete the Rapid Electronics kit with ease.

Under the watchful eyes of Chief Engineer Ed G8FAX, and CARS Chairman Chris G0IPU, the unit was tested and was able to pull in a strong signal from BBC 5 Live first time around.

The final radio being tested. Worked first time!
The final radio being tested. Worked first time!

After completing the project, Kathryn said: “It was really fun making my first radio and it was quite easy. I enjoyed counting the turns of wire on the aerial. I will be listening to my new radio at bedtime tonight”

Kathryn will be taking her first radio into school for her science lesson next week. The school already has a radio connection, as Kathryn’s school tuned in to a Tim Peake ISS contact earlier in the year as part of their space studies.

Kathryn also had the chance to sit in a replica of the Titanic’s radio room, having learned about the fate of the Titanic at school.

Kathryn, at the replica of the Titanic radio room
Kathryn, at the replica of the Titanic radio room, with her radio

Kathryn’s schools science work has included some basic electronics information, and she has been taught about voltage, batteries and circuits. She had to do a presentation on a famous inventor earlier this year, and chose Marconi.

On the journey to the Hall Street factory, dad Pete M0PSX explained about Marconi’s connection to Chelmsford, as well as the work done at Bletchley Park that has led to today’s computers. When passing the Chain Home Tower, discussion turned to the importance of that invention too.

It was great to have the chance to explore New Street and to walk through such a historic place. Pete M0PSX was interested to find an old BBC Glensound mixing desk on display, and as a former broadcast radio technician, it brought back a few happy memories.

Glensound mixing desk, as used by BBC Essex
Glensound mixing desk, as used by BBC Essex

Thanks to Ed G8FAX, Chris G0IPU and the other helpers, plus the Chelmsford Civic Society volunteers for putting on an excellent exhibition and for giving Kathryn the chance to complete her Intermediate practical project a few years ahead of schedule!

The AM radio kits, ready for new customers
The AM radio kits, ready for new customers

 

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4 Comments

  1. Avatar Gary Wiles at Rapid Electronics 16 May 2016 Reply
  2. Avatar G7LEE 24 May 2016 Reply
    • Pete M0PSX Pete M0PSXAuthor 24 May 2016 Reply
  3. Avatar 2E0SET 29 May 2016 Reply

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