The Westlakes news broadcast is transmitted
every Sunday at 9am on
2 meters at 146.900
(the Hunter Radio Group's Repeater)
Well, what can we say about yesterday?
Not a lot really as everyone who arrived for the
Christmas Do, showed a modicum of excellent behaviour.
The weather was great and most of us set up picnic
tables outside under the veranda and commenced our
Christmas festivities. Our thanks must go to Jeff VK2MCD
who, while thinking on his feet, decided to procure a
few additives in the nibbles department, which made our
own Christmas lunches, which we all brought along, that
much more enjoyable.
Our thanks again must go to Jeff who played Taxi and
picked up both Uncle Ted VK2UI, who had a smile from ear
to ear and thoroughly enjoyed the day, and Allan VK2JED
and ensuring they both made the festivities.
The Rafflelator had a very successful day in parting
people from their money, albeit the job was made easier
when it was known that a half leg of ham was up for
We gave our new Foundation Licence member Stephen
VK2FHRZ the job of drawing the lucky winner. The result
was Dave VK2RD who was to be the one to provide
Christmas dinner for everyone, as it was he that won the
coveted ham. Congratulations to Dave and Jenny – Enjoy!
The weather gods were kind to us as they waited for the
last morsel to be eaten before opening the heavens.
Now enough festivities and on to someone who is not so
probably well known to all of us.
William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (better known simply
as Lord Kelvin), OM, GCVO, PC, PRS, FRSE, lived from 26
June 1824 to 17 December 1907,and was a noted physicist
William Thomson was born in Belfast, and was the son of
James Thomson, a teacher of mathematics and engineering
at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. His older
brother, (also) James Thomson, became a significant
engineer and physicist in his own right. In 1833 the
family moved to Glasgow, where his father had been
appointed Professor of Mathematics at the University of
Glasgow. William Thomson became a student at Glasgow
University before, in 1841, going to Peterhouse College
in Cambridge. Here he excelled in mathematics and
physics, as well as in a number of sports, especially
In 1845, Thomson did much to support the work of Michael
Faraday on electric induction, leading to the discovery
of the Faraday Effect, which established that light and
electromagnetic phenomena were related. The following
year, at the age of 22, Thomson became Professor of
Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow. While
at Glasgow he undertook ground-breaking work in the
mathematical analysis of electricity and thermodynamics.
Perhaps his most notable specific achievement was the
development of what later became known as the Kelvin
scale of absolute temperature measurement, based on
proposals he first made in 1848. Thomson would later
also work with Peter Guthrie Tait on a textbook that
sought to unify the physical sciences under the common
principle of energy. The result, published in 1867, was
“Treatise on Natural Philosophy.” Which defined the
science of physics.”
In September 1852, Thomson married Margaret Crum, who he
had known most of his life. She became seriously ill on
their honeymoon and never fully recovered. In 1854,
Thomson became interested in the technical problems of
undersea cables, specifically how the maximum data rate
affected the potential revenue and profitability of a
proposed transatlantic cable. In December 1856, he was
elected to the board of directors of the Atlantic
Telegraph Company. He was actively involved in a series
of cable-laying operations over the following years,
which included several spectacular failures before
eventual success in 1866. Thomson received a knighthood
for his part in the operation.
Thomson went on to play a leading role in laying a
number of other transoceanic cables. His wife died in
1870. In June 1873, Thomson found himself in Madeira,
where he met Fanny Blandy, 13 years his junior. They
married the following year after a proposal - and
acceptance - that had been transmitted by undersea
cable. In later years, Thomson did much to introduce
common standards to electricity generation. In 1892 he
was given the title of Baron Kelvin of Largs in County
Ayr, in Scotland. This was brought about by recognition
of his achievements in thermodynamics and also to his
opposition to Home Rule in Ireland, and he was the first
British scientist to be elevated to the House of Lords.
His title came from the River Kelvin, which passes
through the grounds of the University of Glasgow.
Lord Kelvin was hugely influential in defining and
shaping the world in which we live today. But he wasn't
always right. Among the statements he made that were
proved wrong were: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are
impossible" made in 1895; In 1897 he stated that "Radio
has no future," and in 1900 "There is nothing new to be
discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and
more precise measurement,"
Absolute temperatures are stated in units of kelvin in
his honour. While the existence of a lower limit to
temperature (absolute zero) was known prior to his work,
Lord Kelvin is known for determining its correct value
as approximately −273.15 degree Celsius or −459.67
Now we turn our attention to those who do not have heaps
of letters after their names.
On the airwaves on Monday we learnt about the “craft” of
having little knowledge, sometimes referred to as Old
Timers. Craft being an acronym for “can’t remember a
flaming thing.” If you haven’t experienced it yet, never
fear, you’ll know it when your turn comes.
Other questions that were asked – “Who still owns a
suit? And how many remember the safari suits that some
of us use to wear? And the age old “What did we do
before the days of political correctness?
Alex VK2ZM came on to the net on very low peddle power
until he realised he was on the wrong antenna.
Michael VK2OB called in from Narrabri to say that Mum
and bub were doing fine but lack of sleep was becoming
On Wednesday, with a bit of rain around, Geoff VK2GW
noticed it was a bit damp out the window and that all
the horses had their coats on. Something came up bout
old clothes lines that were propped up by a branch from
a nearby tree, which then turned into washday Monday and
the old cloth nappies. Both pros and cons.
Down at the Club Rooms, the spirit of Christmas was
alive and well with Jeff VK2MCD decorating the place out
with the obligatory decorations. After that and together
with the help of Glenn VK2GST, he fitted the newer
rotator and brackets to the now rejuvenated 6 metre
antenna. Ken VK2UTC tested the controllers and set about
the weekly clean-up in readiness for us messy types to
come along and mess it all up again.
No sooner than the antenna was repaired, than the word
was out 6 metres is running. Ken, as VK2ATZ, together
with Graham VK2FA were talking to Bruce ZL1BWG and Dave
ZL1AKW on 50.135. Those mere “Standard” mortals could
only sit and listen. From all accounts the antenna
passed the test.
Friday seemed to be a trip down memory lane with
discussing the things we used to make and do with paddle
pop sticks and match sticks. Even shelling peas for Mum
was another pastime, with not all the peas going into
the pot. Some of us created our own inventions using a
meccano set and it is no doubt that such pursuits gave
Dave VK2RD his leg up into the motor mechanic trade.
Finally “When is it? And what it is.
Sun 16th December Recovery after yesterday.
Sat 22nd December Westlakes Annual Drone Static display
Sat 12th January NOT General Meeting Day.
Sat 19th January all things Arduino - (Arduino Day)
Sat 2nd February Start of the next Foundation class
Sat 9th February First General Meeting Day for 2019
Sun 24th February Wyong Field Day