David began by describing the parallel universe of cars. ‘Ordinary cars’ had four wheels, usually designed with the family in mind to travel in comfort. While the Micro cars were usually powered by cycle engines and had three wheels. Cost wise they represented minimalist motoring. In fact, some early cycle cars were pedal powered! One even invited passengers to join in on the pedals!
Numerous small car models were described like the three wheeled Morgan from 1909 followed by improvements in 1925 of the Morgan Aero and then in 1949, the F-Super. Dozens more cars like the Reliant, the Bond Minicar, 1953-1968, the Berkeley, manufactured in Biggleswade from 1956 to 1960 were described. From 1953 to 1964 Messerschmitt made the famous KR200 three wheeler powered by a 200cc 2-stroke engine. A total of 30,286 were built!
In 1953 the Italian designed Isetta arrived on the market. Eventually, in 1955 BMW acquired the license to build them.. This popular model bosted a 300cc 4-stroke engine. Originally a four wheeler, it was changed to three wheels to benefit from lower road tax in Great Britain. A British version was produced in Brighton from 1957 till 1964.
Numerous other small cars were discussed finally arriving at the present time when it was revealed micros were still being produced in France, including the Daimler Smart car. In India, the Tata Nano which was well designed but not manufactured to a high enough standard to become popular
David pointed out that there are many car clubs in the country where members can find like minded enthusiasts who hold rallies where members can meet other owners and perhaps buy spare parts or get technical help.
This year, Richard will be concentrating on Baluns and Chokes, the method of operation, also when and how they might be used. Looking at each in turn, he described their effects and benefits. He explained how and why they work, or possible not, as the case may be. Also included in the ‘mix’ was whether a voltage or current balun or choke should be considered.
Due to the complex nature of the subject, Richard’s entire slide show is reproduced on this website under the tab ‘Practical Stuff’,
A good turnout came to hear Donard, M0KRK tell of the history of under sea cables and the part James Graves played in their success. It appeared from the start that Donard knew more history of the man than expected, then he told how he was a descendant of James through his wife’s family. As a result, he had access to a very large pile of James’ technical papers.
Donard explained that in the early days of undersea cable, little was knows about the problems about to be faced. It was a completely different story from over land cables, A quick search will show there were many highly skilled and educated men working on the project, which in the end produced a result, overtaken only by the use of long range radio. Having said that, undersea fibre optic cables now carry gigabits of internet information around the clock
The evening started with an introduction to the Centre from Martyn G0GMB in the reception area. The Centre reception has been sympathetically designed to fit in with the main theme of Bletchley Park and the work done during the war. There are HRO, AR 88 and special SOE transmitters. Other items on display include letters to members of the VI from the RSS telling them what frequencies they need to monitor, so very much in keeping with the WW2 theme.
Tea, Coffee and biscuits were provided and served by Carmen so we were all refreshed ready for the tour.
As you work your way through the centre you are presented with different displays outlining the development of radio with images of inventors and scientist associated with radio as well as some of the equipment they would have used at that time.
After this corridor of history you have working displays on how some of the main principles of communications work. This area enables visitors to get hands on and experience some of the methods used in radio.
As you work your way round the centre you can not help hear the sounds from the GB3RS station, which uses several different pieces of equipment from some of the main manufacturers who have donated a lot of the systems.
The volunteer operators helping out this evening were Brian, Eric and Tony, who managed to answer most of the questions from our members on the equipment the modes used and the various screens showing where signals were coming from. There was some interest in the FT8 mode, which seemed to be receiving many signals from Europe and elsewhere.
Lots of the systems were computer controlled and everything was on large screen displays showing the grey line map of the world and locations of incoming signals. The station was very well set-up and we all managed to get a chance to see how some of the systems worked.
The evening ended with the club’s usual round of applause and thanks to all the volunteers for their hard work and for giving up their time for our visit.
Martyn said that the Centre relies on volunteers and if anybody was interested to contact the RSGB web site for information.
Last night’s presentation was all about CCTV security systems for use in both commercial and domestic situations.
John brought a selection cameras and storage systems which use the latest technology.
These systems include the use of Internet Protocol controlled cameras of various types enabling users to monitor their premises in colour with controllability enabling panning and zooming in on specific situations.
Other cameras use coaxial cabling, which relies on having a local power source, while the IP network provides power to the cameras up to 100 metres.
Normal monitors enable the images to be seen and computer based storage devices enable up to 15 terabyte of data to be stored.
Members had several questions relating to what effect there would be on radio systems and noise from powers sources.
The turnout for our Spring Junk Sale was very good, we even had visitors from other local clubs! However as always, the ‘quality’ of the junk was variable. This year we had a few too many books and magazines and not many ‘heavy pieces’ to take home. There were lots of bags of components but, as elsewhere in the hobby, they are not so much in demand anymore. Still, the evening was considered a success and a good chance to meet up and have a chat.