A working party was scheduled for Sunday, 10th of March to start work on the shack at the RGM (Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey). The day dawned very cold and wet with occasional sleet. However we were committed to start work as the manager had opened up the site especially for us.
There were four main objectives for this day
- paint the shack,
- install the VHF aerial
- put up the HF dipole
- run in all the cables necessary
Painting was to be undertaken by Ron G6LTT and John G8DZH. The VHF mast and collinear installation was to be installed by Brain 2E0FHU and Cliff 2EORCW and the HF dipole erected by John G1DJI and myself. The cabling was to be done by Derek M0XDC but he was ill and was unable to attend. However Marc G0TOC took his place and became the cable man.
One person who does deserve a mention is the chief tea maker Dave G3ZXF. He provided copious amounts of tea and coffee to all of us to keep us warm and stop energy levels from dipping too low
They managed two good coats of paint in the shack and it looked pretty good by the time we packed up. It also dried much quicker than we thought it would.
On the VHF side, Brian 2E0FHU had made some brackets in his usual manner i.e. something that would hold up a jumbo jet. He doesn’t skimp on such things.
A number of problems were encountered in that some dead tree branches at the back of the shack prevented us from hoisting the aerial as high as we would have liked. However it is reasonably high and when the RGM remove the trees, as scheduled, we will have gained a lot more height.
On inspection, the general manager was very pleased with the installations. The next part of the operation will be to install the equipment and finish off cable ends and generally tidy up before we are open to the ‘public.’
An operating regime will have to be organised amongst members when the RGM is open. This is from the end of March to October. A number of LEFARS members have already volunteered and if you wish to do so please let me know.
We are arranging an induction course for a couple of hours one day of a weekend for all those who wish to operate from the RGM. This will be mandatory for operating on non LEFARS weekends. Details will be posted in due course.
[Photo credit: Marc G0TOC]
John Mulye G0VEH