Essex Amateur Radio Skills Night Information

The Essex 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 Essex Skills Night.

The Essex 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).

Jakub 2E0FTX, Wayne M6WTT, Tony G6EEE and Jim 2E0RMI
Skills Nights in Danbury

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 any club.

Essex Skills Nights:

Sept 2017 Update: CARS has announced it will be running three experimental Skills Nights in a new format (driven by attendees). These will be on 18-Sep, 16 Oct & 20 Nov, and will not be traditional Skills Nights organised by Pete M0PSX – Check the CARS site for more information.

What will you find at a Skills Night?

The Essex 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 Essex Skills Nights are free, although there’s the option to make a small donation to the tea & coffee fund to help cover costs. No need to be a member of any specific club to attend, and you don’t need to be licenced.

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
Steve 2E0UEH talks satellites with space guru Steve M0SHQ
Steve M0UEH talks satellites with space guru Steve M0SHQ
Andy G7TKK's unexpected brolly discone
Andy G7TKK’s unexpected brolly discone
Rob M0KCP, Chris M6EDF, Oliver M0WAG and Kristian 2E0SSX at the HAB table
Rob M0KCP, Chris M6EDF, Oliver M0WAG and Kristian M0SSK at the HAB table
Pete M0PSX demonstrating SSTV templates
Pete M0PSX demonstrating SSTV templates
David M0HBV and Chris G0IPU busy with the soldering practicals
David M0HBV and Chris G0IPU busy with the soldering practicals


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, asks for a small donation.

Got another question? Ask in the box below…

The Background

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.

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One Comment

  1. georgelee. G2ARY 17 July 2016 Reply

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