After a long summer break here at last is your next edition of Spurious. I trust that you all have had a good summer despite the weather. My bees haven’t been very productive as the weather was working against them. We had a hot spell when they should have been collecting nectar – but the plants weren't producing any because it was too dry. Then it was wet for the warmer months followed by a warm spell in late September. The result is that they didn't collect much nectar, and much of what they did collect they had to consume later. We had a few swarms and I was fortunate in obtaining several for myself. From my 3 hives at the start of the year I increased to 9 by the end of the spring. However these were not yet sufficiently advanced to supply much honey and so I had only about 50 pounds to extract this year.
We were surprised in September as there was a second period of swarming. This is not a good time for colony division as the new queens (which are left in the old colony) are unlikely to get mated before the winter so the colony may die out. I collected two additional swarms at this time and, so as to give them a better chance of survival, I have housed them together in one hive at the rear of the Tom Oakman Centre.
These bees have been very busy collecting pollen, which I have seen is bright yellow, plus nectar where it is available. There are more blossoms out at this time than normal, so the bees do have a choice. However it is the ivy that has the latest flowers and I suspect that they are making best use of this. In addition I am feeding them with sugar syrup every other day to supplement their collecting and to give them the best chance of surviving the winter. If they do well and we have a good spring and summer in 2012 I should have some Chingford honey by the autumn.
Perhaps I should market it as Silverthorn Honey! Any takers?
We now look forward to the coming winter with hope.
The 2011 Radio Camp was held at Hertford Camping and Caravanning Club site over the 29th July-1st August weekend. Some 26 people attended.
During August the club lost a long time member. Frank Hatt G3CPH died in hospital whilst recovering from an operation. Frank was a well respected long serving member of this club. The club was well represented at his funeral. His cheery face and interest in our activities will be sadly missed.
The Clubs training class for the amateur foundation licence is running on Friday evenings at the club HQ.
More students are always welcome. Please contact Peter or Tom for information.
The Club’s AGM is to be held on Friday 28th October 2011 at the club QTH. So please come along to the AGM and make your requirements known.
G3CPH – Silent Key
It is now three months since Frank G3CPH died following an operation a few days earlier.
In the weeks up to his hospital visit Frank had spoken about the procedure for the treatment of an aneurism with his friends at Silverthorn Radio Club and he knew of the risks due to its proximity to his heart. He was also aware that without treatment it might rupture at any time and he would often leave the club on a Friday evening with a reference to the possibility that he may not be back next week. In his usual pragmatic way he would discuss the implications with us all and he was clearly concerned about the outcome. So it was with the support of friends and family that he chose to have the operation.
Immediately after the operations there were concerns about his heart beat which was unstable and then, within a few days he had caught pneumonia. Over the next week he seemed to be making a recovery until he was able to sit up in bed and talk with his family. However a series of relapses followed until he died on Tuesday 19th July.
Frank will be remembered as an active member of Silverthorn Radio Club with his keen mind he would always try to solve members’ problems, give advice or lend equipment. He attended each Friday when he was able to and until he was no longer able to drive was always at the club camp with his camper. Although he was not able to attend the club camp in recent years he would always listen out for a contact and generally got through on 2m or 80m.One of Frank’s skills was metal working and in the past ten years he has given talks on the subject which have been well received .
Both were on chassis bashing, and the latter included soldering of unusual metals including aluminium.
Frank with the G6SNC trophy
He was a regular contender for the Construction Contest and won the G6SNC trophy in March 2007 for his reflector.
Frank was a true radio amateur who built equipment and supported others in our hobby with practical advice based upon his many years of experience.
Frank’s funeral was held at Enfield Crematorium on Monday 1st August. The chapel was well filled with friends and family members and it was good that so many from Silverthorn were able to be at the service.
Mills on the Air weekend is an opportunity for radio amateurs to set up a portable station at a participating mill on the occasion of the National Mills Weekend organised by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.
The Silverthorn Radio Club special event station, GB0HM, operated from House Mill, Three Mills Island, Bromley by Bow, on the 15th May 2011 and was a great success.
Mills may be powered by wind, water or tidal streams, and at Three Mills it is the tide flowing back up the River Lea that was used to drive the mill stones. In its heyday the mill had 12 stones operating at one time, so it was clearly a very busy location.
A requirement of our use of the site was that the Mill’s safety officer must approve our set up and see that our use of the building was safe. I wrote the risk assessment, prepared plans for our station and met with him before the day. I found him very approachable. His first comment to me was that he was unsure what to expect when he heard that a radio station was to be set up at the Mill, but when he learnt that it would be amateur radio he knew it would be all right!
So, we were allowed to set up our station at the door to the café – a prime location – with the option to move indoors if there was rain. Fortunately the day was glorious, though a little windy, so everything was tied down securely.
With permission from the Lea Valley Parks Authority, providing we avoided any nesting birds, Peter G4KSE used his aerial launcher to fire a wire over suitable tree for our long wire antenna. This ran from the top storey window of the mill and across the tail race in a southerly direction. We had great hopes for its efficacy! In addition we erected the club’s a 2m Yagi on a rotator in the top floor of the Mill for local FM stations as well as more distant SSB contacts.
The photograph shows the Mill building on the left with the Miller’s House incorporating the café beside it.
To the right is a separate mill named Clock Mill. The third mill of Three Mill’s Island, a wind mill, was
demolished many years ago.
With Peter, Les and Tom present, and with this being our first station at this site, it took us much
longer to set up than we had expected – something to learn from for next year – as we had to
carry antennas, rotators, cables and other peripherals up to the top floor to set up. So it was
11.08 GMT before we had our first contacts on 2m FM and later SSB with stations in Kent,
East Ham, Lewisham and Wanstead.
Our very first 2m contact of the day was with GB6MW, Meopham Windmill in Kent. We also
spoke with Mark of Loughton Radio Society on their special event station GB50LR to celebrate
their first 50 years. After lunch we turned to 40m where we contacted three other participating mills;
GB0HPM, Holton Post Mill, in Suffolk GB0PM, Polgate Windmill in Sussex, and GB2GW Gleaston Water Mill, Lancashire.
Propagation was not so good for us and we did not make large numbers of contacts, but we had an enjoyable day and are looking forward to next year when we already have an invitation to return.
So why not come along?
Put it in your diary now. 13th May 2012
Silverthorn Radio Club
Annual General Meeting
will be held on
Friday 28th October 2011
Starting at 2030
The Tom Oakman Centre
6a Weale Road
Please make every effort to attend this AGM, as this is your best opportunity to influence the way the Club is managed and the activities of next year.
We welcome our two new student members, Chris and Peter. Both are studying on Friday evenings for the Foundation licence which they expect to achieve in the next month or so. Not only are they attending the classes but they are also gaining experience on the radio with our regular QSOs with Peter G4IUV in Ipswich as well as other contacts.
Congratulations to Michael on completing his Foundation exams recently and obtaining his call sign M6MBM. He is now keen to progress with his Intermediate exams which we will start in the Spring when we have completed the Foundation exam with Peter and Chris.
Club Events This list supersedes all previous ones. Please note these events are subject to change and other events will be added as they are organised.
Friday 28th Oct 2011 – Annual General Meeting
Friday 4th Nov 2011 – Foundation class
Friday 11th Nov 2011 – Table Top and Junk sale
Friday 18th Nov 2011 – Foundation Exam
Friday 25th Nov 2011 – Intermediate Class
Future events in 2012
Thinking Day on the Air Feb 2012 Date to be determined
National Mills Weekend 13th May 2012 Only Sunday opening at House Mill
Silverthorn Club Camp 6 - 9 Jul 2012 Provisional date to avoid Olympics
Jamboree on the Air Oct 2012 Date to be determined
Annual General Meeting 26th Oct 2012 Provisionally at Tom Oakman Centre 8.00pm
Don’t miss these rallies… Check details with the organiser before making the journey
There are rallies to be held at the end of October in the Scottish borders, Wales, Cornwall and Devon. All rather too distant! Events in November which are closer include:
6 NOV 10am WEST LONDON RADIO & ELECTRONICS SHOW (Kempton Rally)
Kempton Park racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames, Middlesex TW16 5AQ. TS, FM, DF, free CP, RSGB, LEC, TI S22 (V44). Paul, M0CJX, 08451 650 351, info radiofairs.co.uk
Visit website: www.radiofairs.co.uk
20 NOV 10.00 to 13.00 34th CATS RADIO & ELECTRONICS BAZAAR
1st Coulsdon Scout HQ, r/o Council Car Park, Lion Green Road, Coulsdon, Surrey. 10.00-13.00, £1, B&B, C, DIS, CP free. Details Glenn, G4FVL, chairman catsradio.org.
If anyone is interested in participating in any of the outdoor rallies please make this known at the Friday evening meetings.
Why not organise a team. Operation from the TOC is available at most times and Club equipment is available if needed.
Is anyone up for one of the more unusual contests next year?
If so please contact Tom M5AJK to see if we can get a team together
Bargains to be had!
Rod recommends electronic components from…
627 Romford Road
Manor Park E12
Tel: 020 8553 1174
Pay them a visit and see for yourself!
RSGB Special Offers.
from their on-line catalogue
Some of the current special
offers are web exclusives!
Buy today whilst these offers last!
When they are gone - they are gone!
Only available at www.rsgbshop.org
Snowdonia Radio Company
Unit 9, Glanypwll Workshops
Antenna manufacturers and suppliers.