Skills Night July 2015 Unofficial Wrapup

Just back at base after a very busy Skills Night in Danbury – amazingly busy and great to catch up with so many friends.

The event took place tonight, Monday the 20th of July and the Danbury Village Hall, and was hosted by the CARS Training Team.

A very busy July 2015 Skills Night with the CARS team in Danbury
A very busy July 2015 Skills Night with the CARS team in Danbury

Stats for the evening show an impressive 63 attendees. 32% of attendees were at Foundation or Intermediate level, with 6 SWLs – great that we’re able to attract so many newcomers to the hobby. We saw nine new attendees.

DX award goes to Matt G7FQW, visiting from Rossendale, Lancashire. He’d heard about Skills Night on Transmission One and as he was in the area, came along. Thanks also to the guys from MARTS for making the trip from Kent.

So, let’s take a quick look at what we were all up to for the July Skills Night:

Construction – Another very busy evening for Peter M0PSD and Chris 2E0CUU, making more custom Slim Jim antennas, and helping out with coax extension leads to help the Essex CW chaps get their station on air.

Construction corner, run by Peter M0PSD, show here with Bruce, Laura and Chris
Construction corner, run by Peter M0PSD, show here with Bruce, Laura and Chris

Handset programming & Arduinos – With handsets being so tricky to set up, Charlie M0PZT was on hand to set up access to common repeaters and help with getting started. Normally Baofengs are the “please help me” favourite, but Charlie reports that tonight was all about Yaesu. Charlie also brought along a number of other ham goodies including the RTL dongles, and his Ardunio CW keyer. More on this here: M0PZT Arduino Projects

Charlie M0PZT  helping Peeyush M0JAI, with Rob M0KCP operating 20m CW
Charlie M0PZT helping Peeyush M0JAI, with Rob M0KCP operating 20m CW

Essex CW Club – Thanks to Rob M0KCP and Dean G4WQI for setting up a 20m station and working the world, as well as talking to attendees about the wonderful world of CW. Morse classes will be starting again soon at Danbury – More on Morse at the Essex CW Club website

Satellites – Thanks as always to Steve M0SHQ for bringing along his kit to help those keen to talk to orbiting amateur tin cans, fun cubes, and the ISS. He also brought along pictures sent from the ISS over the weekend.

Steve M0SHQ, on duty discussing satellites and the ISS
Steve M0SHQ, on duty discussing satellites and the ISS

Callsign Badges – Well done to Jim 2E0JTW and Glynis 2E0CUQ for their hard work making callsigns. With the recent training successes for both CARS and SEARS, demand for callsign badges was high tonight.

In demand - callsign badges from Jim 2E0JTW, engraved while-you-wait
In demand – callsign badges from Jim 2E0JTW, engraved while-you-wait

The Quiz – Thanks to Peter M6TOG (just passed his 2E0 and waiting for the new callsign) for supplying this month’s questions, and to compare Clive G1UEC for keeping order!

Digital Voice – In a change to the published running order, Paul G7BHI kindly stepped in after two last minute cancellations, and put together a demo of both D-Star and DMR. These two digital voice modes continue to get much interest, and Paul’s offered to return next month to offer another demonstration on these two DV modes. Thanks for helping out tonight Paul!

Essex Ham – As requested, the cheap-and-cheerful Essex Ham Quadcopter was on display (with a quick demo outside), together with the low-price Linx tablet, a demo of SSTV in action, a scrolling video of amateur activity in Essex, the event’s free wi-fi, plus some updated “Getting Started” handouts.

Final thanks go the unsung heros in the kitchen – Myra and David for keeping the teas and coffees flowing, and a huge thanks to Ann (Mrs 2E0RMI) for the amazing cakes and tarts. The chocolate coffee cakes were quickly liberated, and last seen on the Essex Ham table!

 

Some other nice moments from tonight…

Welcome to Zena, guest of Kristian 2E0SSX and first time visitor. Zena is considering taking her Foundation and happened to mention the antenna tuning Foundation practical. Always quick to spot an opportunity, Steve 2E0UEH and Pete M0PSX unpacked the CARS training dipole and analyser, and within 10 minutes, she’d completed her first practical.

Zena, working on her first Foundation practical with Kristian 2E0SSX and Steve 2E0UEH
Zena, working on her first Foundation practical with Kristian 2E0SSX and Steve 2E0UEH

Thanks to Ray Shaves for coming along for the first time. Although I’ve not met Ray before, I’ve been in communication with him on lots of occasions recently, as he’s one of the ‘students’ on Essex Ham’s new Foundation Online course. Thanks for making the trip – Just one more module to go, then it’s our rather tricky mock, Ray!

The official CARS write-up should be appearing on the society’s site shortly – Keep an eye out for this at www.g0mwt.org.uk/skills – but I’d like to express my personal thanks to those who turned up to help make tonight’s event a success, and to those who continue to support Skills. This event continues to bring amateurs from around the area together in the spirit of friendship, sharing and love of the hobby.

Events are free, and all are welcome regardless of which club they belong to. The next Skills Night takes place on Monday the 17th of August.

Thanks all, and 73,

Pete M0PSX

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5 Comments

  1. M0LMR M0LMR 21 July 2015 Reply
    • Pete M0PSX Pete M0PSXAuthor 21 July 2015 Reply
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  2. Avatar John Mason G3ZJZ 21 July 2015 Reply
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