From our Chairman. Issue 120

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1 A publication of the Vintage and Military Amateur Radio Society March M0VMW Affiliated to the Radio Society of Great Britain VMARS Committee contact details: Chairman: Roundwyck Farm Pipers Lane, Balls Cross Petworth, West Sussex GU28 9JZ +44(0) Secretary: John Keeley GW6RAV 93 Park Crescent Abergavenny, Gwent NP7 5TL +44(0) Treasurer: 22 Farmers Way Copmanthorpe, York North Yorkshire Y023 3XX +44(0) Membership Secretary: Peter Shepherd G7DXV 25 Tomkins Close Stanford-Le-Hope Essex SS17 8QU +44(0) Ordinary Member: Peter Jones G8CDC Tudor House Stoneleigh Road Blackdown Leamington Spa Warwickshire CV32 6QR +44(0) Ordinary Member: Stuart McKinnon G0TBI 145 Enville Road Kinver, Near Stourbridge West Midlands DY7 6BN +44(0) Publications Manager: 22 Farmers Way Copmanthorpe, York North Yorkshire Y023 3XX +44(0) Public Relations Officer: Stuart McKinnon G0TBI 145 Enville Road Kinver, Near Stourbridge West Midlands DY7 6BN +44(0) Your Committee taking a break from the business of the day, accompanied to lunch by respective wives and partners. Left to right: Peter Jones G8CDC, Pete Shepherd G7DXV, Charlene Mullett, Anne McKinnon M3TBI, Stuart McKinnon G0TBI,, John Keeley GW6RAV, Glenis Wedzicha, From our Chairman The last VMARS Committee meeting was held on Saturday 9 th March in the lounge of the Territorial Army HQ in Stourbridge, Staffordshire, and thanks must go to both Stuart McKinnon for organising the venue and to Capt. Steve Launchbury for allowing VMARS to use it for our meeting. The meeting was a fairly lengthy affair due to the large volume of Society business that was scheduled, but this was softened by a short lunch break in the local pub, where the Committee took the opportunity to discuss VMARS activity, ideas and plans for We still have a considerable amount of equipment from John Coggins estate to dispose of and our plans include further container auction sales, the next one being scheduled for April 27 th in Baginton. The Society will be represented at several events throughout the year, including the Blackpool Rally being held at Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, the Dam Busters Hamfest at Thorpe Camp Museum and the National Vintage Communications Fair at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre, where VMARS will have a sales stand for the disposal of equipment owned by the Society. Other events later in the year where VMARS are intending to have a presence are the Wartime in the Vale event near Evesham, the RSGB National Hamfest in Newark and a new Bletchley Park event called Are You Listening? which is planned for early October. Of course, our principal event of the year is the VMARS Annual General Meeting to be held 1 March 2013

2 at the Yorkshire Air Museum in Elvington, York, on Saturday 6 th July. This is a museum well worth visiting, with an extensive, fine collection of aircraft, including the only WWII Halifax four-engine bomber in existence and a Mosquito being restored to flying condition. In 2012, the Museum won an award for being the best specialist attraction in the United Kingdom. The Committee are very much looking forward to welcoming as many Members as possible to this new AGM location and to the various events around the country. We are particularly keen to welcome and get to know recent Members, so please make yourself known. We have been busy introducing the new internet VMARS- Collector site on Yahoo, where Members can sell, buy, exchange and request vintage radio items. Invitations to join the group were sent to every address registered by Members with the Society and the VMARS-Collector site, which is available to Society Members only, opened for use on 1 st March and is now used regularly. A further improvement to Member-services has been implemented as a result of our re-vamped internet website The newly invigorated site went live on Wednesday 20 th March and has replaced the original website at VMARS AUCTION The next sale of equipment belonging to the late John Coggins G3TFC will take place on Saturday 27 th April 2013 Royal British Legion Hall Baginton, Warwickshire CV8 3AQ a.m p.m. Full details on page 4 of this issue of the News Sheet appointed Toolkit Websites based in Southampton to undertake a complete review of the existing site and to host it on their in-house servers. The choice of Toolkit Websites was made on the basis of their existing quite impressive customer base, their professionalism and the web security that they are able to provide. Price was also a factor and at the middle of the three quotes received, their costs for carrying out the overhaul and 12 months web hosting was 1,450, with annual hosting costs from January 2014 at 240. Many Members may not be aware that VMARS actually operates two websites. One is the site that contains general information about the Society, such as Net rotas and publications, and the other being the VMARS Manuals website where our archive of manuals, circuit diagrams and historical documents can be accessed. The two websites are linked and users will not necessarily realise that they are switching between the two when viewing them. It is the general website that has been subject to the review, while the VMARS Manuals site remains unchanged and under the control of the Archive team headed by Colin Guy, G4DDI. Toolkit Websites were briefed to maintain visual continuity with the old site and to make more use of pictures. The Home Page contains a slideshow of six pictures which have been carefully selected to represent a range of interests of Society Members. The slideshow consists of an early field telephone handset, a Wireless Set No.19, the radio and radar masts of HMS Belfast with a super-imposed radar PPI, a Collins 390A receiver and a technical drawing of a Morse key dating from Once the website layout had been set up by Toolkit and approved by the Society, editing of the new site was handed over to the VMARS Committee, who are now responsible for keeping it updated. The agreement with Toolkit Websites includes use of their editing software, which provides the Society with full control of the site. The new site has seven menu headings, including the main link to the VMARS Manuals site and, in order to keep it looking fresh, it is planned that several sub-editors will be appointed from within the Society to maintain and update the various individual menu items. This approach means that the whole workload of regularly updating the website is carried out in small and easily managed steps so that it does not fall to a single individual and become an onerous task. Members who are reasonably competent with any website editing software, and would like to offer their services in maintaining and updating a section of the new site, are invited to contact the Committee. VMARS Website After serving the Society for several years of operation on the internet and following several constructive suggestions from Members, the Committee agreed that the VMARS website was in need of an overhaul and update. This resulted in an invitation from the Committee to three website development companies and, of these, the Society has The new VMARS internet website, went live on 20 th March and additions to it will continue to be made. This is the main public face of the Society and ideas and suggestions for improvements will be most welcome by the Committee. Feedback from Members on what they think of the site will also be appreciated. March

3 Barbara and John Keeley GW6RAV celebrated the blessing of their marriage on Saturday 2 nd March in Abergavenny. Left to right: Glenis Wedzicha,, Pete Shepherd G7DXV, Charlene Mullett, Rod Hawkins 2W0XWD, Peter Jones G8CDC, Barbara Keeley, Stuart McKinnon G0TBI, John Keeley GW6RAV, Anne McKinnon M3TBI. We ask the Membership to join us in offering Barbara and John our congratulations GB1CMR Suvla Barracks were slightly down on previous years. This was the first time that Peter Bannon M0XPB and myself had gone along to display equipment associated with the 35 years of Clansman Radio in service with the British Armed Services. Stuart McKinnin G0TBI with Peter Bannon M0XPB Although there had been an open invitation to VMARS Members to come and visit/support the special event station GB1CMR at Suvla Barracks, Hereford, the weather was poor and, not unexpectedly, numbers of those attending The VMARS stand Whereas our planning for the event seemed to have gone reasonably well a day or two before, and my Series lll March

4 Airportable (Lightweight) Landrover was packed, things sadly did not go according to plan, but the good news is that the breakdown occurred only some two miles from home. The bad news was that it occurred on the outward journey at hrs with snow falling. I did wonder what I was going to do. The possibilities were a core plug blown from the engine block, a hose split, or the starter jammed; there was a smell of electrics when I carefully lifted the bonnet and either smoke or water/steam. I managed to limp home, stopping twice, then transferred to the Citroen estate for my onward journey to Suvla, that in itself no mean feat. The route via Stourport, Bromyard, is very rural and I saw 4 cars in 20 miles; I was glad to have arrived in one piece. Peter Bannon M0XPD and wife Pauline had already arrived and were setting up our two allotted tables. General view of the hall I quickly press-ganged a gaggle of Air Cadets to help me bring radio sets, banners and other display material into the hall and, although I say it myself, we did VMARS proud; the stand and equipment were the talk of the event! The whole event was based around the 'Help for Heroes' Charity, and there were raffles, food, teas, cakes etc., provided by the team of volunteers. We even had Hero the Bear walking around where mums and dads were able to have their children s photos taken. I hear, on the grapevine, that well over 600 was raised, a valiant effort considering the inclement weather! As we were in Hereford, you would have thought that we might spot or chat to some real live heroes, and that was exactly what happened. We had a retired 'A' Squadron man, signing his book, and another guy, a former 264 Sigs Squadron man who did not want to be named, but was great to talk to. He and I were reminiscing about certain personalities and venues in Northern Ireland. I am trying to persuade him to put pen to paper if the information is not classified. The special event station GB1CMR (Clansman Military Radio) was a great success; many VMARS Members found us on various frequencies and we were constantly receiving 5/9 reports, a testament to the nest of dipoles strung between the two PU11 Clark masts. The total number of calls made was just short of 125, between 5 operators; thirsty work but the tea was free! Sadly Anne, the tea lady at many of our VMARS events, was not able to join me as she had a prior engagement with the Church Hall Committee, with our Easter Fair not too far away. The nest of dipoles My thanks must go to VMARS Member Ian Hince G0IAN who made all this possible with help from his wife Debbi, daughter Alanis, and all staff and caretakers at Suvla. The TA guys looked after their business as well by running a recruiting drive that weekend. Thanks go to Neil M6XWD (future proposed Member) dealing with the Help for Heroes side of things. Major Glover OC RMLY Hereford Detachment authorised the use of the building free of charge as it was a charity event and with all the hard work and help from caretaker Clare, without whom the whole day would have been impossible. VMARS Auction Saturday 27 th April Stuart McKinnon G0TBI The next sale of equipment belonging to the late John Coggins G3TFC will take place at the Royal British Legion Club in Baginton for which the full postal address is Baginton Royal British Legion Club Kimberley Road Baginton Coventry CV8 3AQ The location is easy to find, as Kimberley Road runs directly off the main road through the village of Baginton (Coventry Road), passing the village shop. About 100 yards on the right hand side is Kimberley Road. The Club is located approximately 600 yards down Kimberley Road on the right hand side, and is well marked. Two car parking areas are available at the front and the rear of the Club, and staff will man the bar at lunch time to provide hot and cold drinks, alcohol, and filled baps, etc. As on previous occasions, there is a great deal of equipment to auction and the sale will commence at a.m. sharp. Please expect a long, but rewarding, day! There is no catalogue of equipment to be sold. Unless otherwise stated, all items are as seen, and have not been inspected in detail, so no warranty as to them being authentic, complete, or in working order can be implied. Buyers are advised strongly to check that mains operated items comply with current safety standards before connecting to the mains. Unless otherwise stated, no such checks have been carried out on equipment offered at this auction. Buyers should be aware that equipment may have been stored under damp conditions, with the risk of leaky transformers which could trip RCCB protected mains supplies, or fail-to-chassis when powered. Equipment may not be adequately earthed, or earth connections may have March

5 corroded. Critical power supply components such as electrolytic smoothing capacitors require re-forming if stored for extended periods of time, resulting in spectacular failure if not treated accordingly! Some equipment offered in this auction operates at high voltage. Applying power to equipment which has not been dried out properly, or with accumulated dirt or corrosion, can damage the equipment whilst making it potentially hazardous. Those intending to place bids at this auction will be issued with a bidding card before the start. All accounts must be settled by close on the day of the auction. Methods of payment are cash or cheque. You are advised that some items will carry a reserve price which will be at the discretion of the auctioneer. Getting to Baginton: The main routes to Baginton are the A45 and A46 which connect with the major motorways, M40, M42, M6, M69 and M1 via M45. Baginton lies alongside Coventry Airport. vintage display of amateur radio equipment to communicate on air and others will have static displays of radio and military vehicles. Stuart McKinnon G0TBI Operation on 472 khz and 5 MHz by club stations Ofcom has issued clarifications for the 472 khz and 5 MHz Notices of Variation. These include confirming that the NoVs are available to all holders of full licences, including club and reciprocal licences. Ofcom noted that a club licence holder may authorise any club member, who holds their own separate full licence, to use and supervise the operation of the club radio equipment on the licensee s behalf. Blackpool Rally 7 th April 2013 Norbreck Castle Hotel, Blackpool As in previous years, VMARS will again host a stand at this major rally in the North of England, well supported by VMARS Members, and attended by a very sizeable amateur radio contingent. There are numerous stands hosted by clubs which, together with VMARS, are Members of NARSA, the Northern Amateur Radio Societies Association. Visitors come from as far afield as Scotland, the North of England, Lincolnshire, the Midlands and North Wales, making this an unique event in the amateur radio events diary. That aside, there is the opportunity to take a delightful, if not bracing, walk along Blackpool Promenade to walk off that pie you might have had at lunch time! We look forward to meeting Members at this event. VMARS AGM Any questions regarding this event, as well as offers of help either to set up on Friday 26 th April or on the day of the auction, should be directed either to Peter Jones G8CDC or Stuart McKinnon G0TBI. We look forward to meeting Members at what (if previous such auctions are anything to go by) promises to be an interesting and convivial social event, to say nothing of the bargains which are likely to emerge. Are You Listening? Bletchley Park 5 th and 6 th October 2013 VMARS are once again getting geared up to be involved with another Living History display at the home of Station 'X' at Bletchley Park. Visitors can expect to see and feel the magic of vintage radio transmitting and receiving equipment, both Military and civilian amateur radio equipment, from days gone by. VMARS maintains strong links with Bletchley Park, and particularly since 1999 when it was the venue for our inaugural AGM. We have been back many times since, holding our AGM in the Mansion and contributing to major events. The Are you Listening? event takes place on 5 th and 6 th of October. This year, VMARS Members will be setting up a The 2013 AGM will take place at The Yorkshire Air Museum Elvington, York Saturday 6 th July a.m p.m. Those attending the AGM will receive free admission to the Museum Further information on page 7 Battlegroup North Show 11 th and 12 th May 2013, Yorkshire Air Museum During my visit to discuss the arrangements for the VMARS AGM in July, I explored ways in which VMARS could support the work of the Museum, referring to our productive relationship with Bletchley Park. I mentioned VMARS interest in historic military vehicles and especially those carrying wireless. My attention was drawn to the 5 March 2013

6 Battlegroup North Show which is hosted by the Yorkshire Air Museum on the airfield adjacent to the Museum. This features the Yorkshire MVT Military Vehicle Show amongst other attractions. It was suggested that VMARS wireless enthusiasts might like to bring along their vehicles and, if there is sufficient interest, a separate wireless event could be held either on the Museum site, or along with the Show. Anyone interested should contact Ian Richardson at the Yorkshire Air Museum ) also advising myself so that I can keep track of what is happening. However, it should be noted that, in this instance, this is not a VMARS event and would be organised by the Museum. It has been stressed that it is essential to pre-book and vehicles may be turned away if there is not sufficient space, this public event being generally oversubscribed. I first got interested in radio when I was about 12 years old (1932) and, when I left school some three years later, I went to Wireless College in London and trained to be a ships radio operator. I passed the 18 month course in seven months and, shortly before my 17 th birthday, I was third operator on the Alcantara to Buenos Aires. Military Vehicle Meeting at Sleap Airfield, Shropshire, 18 th and 19 th May G4PMY has organised a military vehicle meeting at Sleap Airfield (near Wem in Shropshire) over the weekend of 18 th and 19 th May. The Russian radio station will be in operation (tower permitting) and also John Somerville has booked his Commer Q4 into the show and is likely to operate over the weekend. If any VMARS Members wish to put a display together, entrance is free but must be booked by completion of a form found at The meeting has been set to coincide with a vintage fly-in plus a visit by military and civil helicopters. Full catering and toilet facilities plus the on-site museum will be open. A fascinating letter I had been prompted by RSGB to write to John Tuke GM3BST explaining about VMARS. In return, I received a most fascinating letter as follows (with illustration added by the News Sheet Editor): We had a large rotary spark transmitter on 600 m with 705 m and 800 m as alternative channels. I was on several other Royal Mail liners for the next six months, and they all had similar equipment. I loved it. Then, it was on the tramp ships with the tiny little ¼ kw quenched gap transmitter which had a maximum range of about 100 miles under good conditions! Many a time I longed for the big rotary. Shortly before the War, I left the sea and, in 1940, joined what eventually became Civil Aviation Authority, staying with them first of all as a radio operator on M/F and communicating with aircraft by CW and, later, as that died out over the fifties and sixties, as a telecommunications officer until I retired in I took out my amateur licence in 1947 and spent all the years on CW, also remaining largely on 7 MHz. My involvement with commercial radio made me always want to use maximum power; I like to see Amps up the aerial! Until the middle eighties I built my own transmitters and receivers, using a much modified BC348 for the latter. Finally, the transceiver took over but the transmitter always drove a home-made power amplifier with some sort of high powered valve or, more often, two in push pull working into the aerial. So I am definitely not a QRP man. There is something about a big spark set which I find fascinating and I will never forget it. It is just the fact that there is no difference between me on the Alcantara and the first experimenters who found they could send a signal across from one room to another just by making a spark. It sort of makes you part of history. My other hobby has been meteorology. You may know that, in 1967/68, I built receiving equipment and mechanical picture display equipment to copy the first weather satellites launched by NASA. I was the first in UK, and probably in EU as well, to do this, and there was quite a bit of publicity at that time, most of it misinformed, as usual! I still do what I can with the weather; I am shortly having a weather station put up here which will help me keep various records. You will see from the above that I would not be able to contribute anything useful to VMARS as I am somewhat physically disabled and unable to travel any distance. My eyesight is poor and my hands shake so I don t think I could do a lot with integrated circuits with 32 leads on it separated by a millimetre. A couple of Leyden Jars and a pair of brass balls for a spark gap are more in my line. March

7 Thank you for writing and wish you all the very best in the future with VMARS. Sending in articles, news items, letters and advertisements for VMARS Publications Please send copy to Colin Guy, G4DDI, by post or , 7 Herrick Court, Clinton Park, Tattershall, Lincs. LN4 4QU Tel The copy deadline for the next issue of the News Sheet is 15 th April. For articles for the next issue of Signal the deadline is 9 th May, but copy would be appreciated as far in advance as possible. the Museum site will be by ticket issued with the May VMARS News Sheet. For those travelling by car, the directions to Elvington are straight forward and parking is free on site. From the York by-pass, take the Hull exit (A1079) and then immediate right to Elvington (B1228). The Museum is sign-posted on the right. Sat. Nav. Ref: YO41 4AU. For those travelling by rail, there is a bus (195) currently scheduled to leave York Station towards Elvington at 9.00 a.m. It is possible that this time will change when the Summer timetable is adopted, but the preferred transport is by taxi which costs (current price) and would work out very reasonable if a number of Members can share the ride. Copyright Notice is a publication of the Vintage and Military Amateur Radio Society. Copyright remains vested in the authors, thus no material in this News Sheet may be copied and published elsewhere, in part or in full, by any means, without the express permission of the author. This may be sought either from the author direct, or from the News Sheet Editor, Bronek Wedzicha, M0DAF. Saturday AM Net-Controller s Rota Date 1 st op 2 nd op 3 rd op 6 th Apr M0TCM M0DAF G0TBI 13 th Apr M0DAF G0TBI G4GEN 20 th Apr G0TBI G4GEN G4BQF 27 th Apr G4GEN G4BQF GW8TBG 4 th May G4BQF GW8TBG G8AQN 11 th May GW8TBG G8AQN M0YMK 18 th May G8AQN M0YMK G3XGW Committee Notices Notice of Annual General Meeting 2013 Saturday 6 th July at the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, York The 2013 VMARS AGM will be held in the Elvington Room at The Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington on Saturday 6 th July commencing at a.m. The Elvington Room is next to the excellent NAAFI-style restaurant where Members will be able to buy lunch from 1.00 p.m. Whereas there is free time in the afternoon, it is planned to hold a swapmeet and exhibition (the latter arranged locally by Ken Sanderson G4KCF) in the meeting room till 3.00 p.m., at which time the exhibition will be made available to the public. Admission to York is very well catered for with regard to B&B accommodation and camp sites, and Members are advised to consult tourist information. A piece of additional advice is to ensure that any B&B you might choose has appropriate car parking facilities as some providers only have road parking to offer. Further information will be provided as we approach the date of the AGM, but it is hoped that Members will find that given above helpful in planning their trip to York. AGM 2013: Call for Committee Nominations Nomination forms were enclosed with the previous Issue (February) of the News Sheet and the deadline for return of completed forms is 6 th April 2013, which should be sent to the Hon. Secretary, John Keeley GW6RAV. Applications for Membership We wish to welcome the following new applicants for VMARS Membership: Name, Callsign (Region) Mr R Ruaux Crawley, West Sussex Mr RA Hill G4CFH Willenhall, West Midlands Interests Construction. Converting PMR, Military and other radio equipment for use on amateur bands. Mr JE Griffin G8CLW West Molesley, Surrey Restoration of valve equipment. [Membership rules require names of applicants for Membership to be published, before they are formally accepted as Members. This allows existing Members to object, if they wish. If you want to object to any of the above, please write to our Hon Sec, John Keeley Ed. 7 March 2013

8 Events Diary The diary is a list of events which are either ones where VMARS is formally represented (Yes in final column), or those where there is known to be a reasonable chance of finding or seeing vintage electronic items (plain). It is not intended to a complete list of all available events (which can be found on the internet). Information is checked as far as is practical, but we can t guarantee its accuracy it is always best to check with the contact person if you are travelling a long way to attend. Date Event Location Contact 7 th April Blackpool Rally 21 st April 5 th May 12 th May 18 th -19 th May West London Radio & Electronics Show (Kempton Radio Rally) Dambusters Hamfest National Vintage Communications Fair Military Vehicle Meeting Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre Blackpool FY2 9AA Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames, Middlesex TW16 5AQ Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, Tattershall Thorpe, Nr. Coningsby, Lincolnshire LN4 4PE Warwickshire Exhibition Centre Fosse Way Leamington Spa CV31 1XN Sleap Airfield Shropshire Dave M0OBW Paul M0CJX Type A=Amateur, M= Mil. V=Vintage (non radio) A V/A VMARS Attending Yes V/A Yes V Yes Joe Bell G4PMY V/M 16 th June Newbury Radio Rally Newbury Showground M4 (J13) V/A 2 nd June Spalding Rally 22 nd -23 rd June Wartime in the Vale The Sir John Gleed Technology School Halmer Gardens Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 2EF. Ashdown WWII Camp Evesham Worcestershire John G4NBR Paul A V/M Yes 6 th July VMARS AGM Yorkshire Air Museum Elvington, York VMARS Committee Yes 14 th July 17 th -21 st July The McMichael Radio Rally and Boot Sale War and Peace Revival Advertisements Reading Rugby Club Holme Park Farm Lane, Sonning Lane (B4446), Sonning on Thames, Reading. RG4 6ST Folkestone Racecourse Westenhanger Hythe, Kent CT21 4HX Pete G8FRC V/A V/M FOR SALE: Six large ceramic insulators c. 6 diameter on steel spigots 6 long, ex 33 kv electric line. I expect these would be good for high power transmitter aerials. Collect. Offers or exchange RX B40 or CR100 or box of old radio bits. If interested, please write to: T Scrase, West Wood Farm, Finchampstead, Berkshire. WANTED: Eddystone 358X receiver coil packs. Any frequency and even with damaged or missing pins. Graham G4DPH March