The Westlakes news broadcast is transmitted
every Sunday at 9am on
2 meters at 146.900
(the Hunter Radio Group's Repeater)
WARC News Broadcast Sunday 21-10-2018
Summer had kicked in with a vengeance yesterday as the
temperature outside was the warmest yet for this side of
winter. Michael VK2CCW was in the Shack early
undertaking some of that diddly dah stuff. While this
was going on, the early meeting of the Seat of Knowledge
was well underway, and Luke VK2LGW was setting up for
his model train presentation in the Meeting Room. When
his preparations were done, those that were patiently
waiting were treated to a video of a Dutch Cycling Band,
followed by a demonstration of Scottish drums. Stephen
had arrived with Ike in tow who spent the afternoon
scavenging all the delicate morsels he could find. He
even snaffled the odd titbit when Steve wasn’t looking.
At 1300hrs Jeff VK2MCD grabbed a bell and went all round
the building ringing the bell and calling out “All
Aboard!” In an endeavour to round up as many as we could
for the presentation. We all sat mesmerised while Luke
showed us how the model trains he had made worked using
computer software and SSTV.
After the presentation, the all-important Meat Tray
Raffle was drawn with the bacon ending up in the Store
Room as the winner was none other than the Storeman
himself, Aly VK2AFZ. Congratulations Aly and enjoy.
In this week’s historical dissertation we will look at
the life of Alexander Graham Bell and the impact he had
on that invention that we all take for granted. Born in
Edinburgh in Scotland, he became a scientist, inventor,
engineer and innovator who was credited with inventing
the first practical telephone.
Alexander’s mother was profoundly deaf which became a
major influence on his life’s work. His father taught
elocution to the deaf, influencing Alexander’s later
career choice as a teacher of the deaf. When he was 11
he entered The Royal High School in Edinburgh, but he
did not enjoy the compulsory curriculum and thus he left
school when he was 15 without graduating.
After another three years had elapsed, the family moved
to London where Alexander passed the entrance
examinations for the University College in London,
however yet again he did not complete his studies. As
his two brothers had died tuberculosis, the family
decided to migrate to Canada, hopefully to find a more
suitable climate, where they finally settled in
Brantford Ontario, but Alexander later moved to Boston
where he taught at the Boston School for deaf mutes. He
also taught at the Clarke School for the deaf in
One of Alexander’s students was a then 15 year old Mabel
Hubbard who became deaf at the age of 5 as a result of a
bout of scarlet fever. Regardless of being 10 years her
senior, they were married in 1877.
While pursuing his teaching profession, he began
researching methods to transmit several telegraph
messages simultaneously over a single wire, which was a
major telegraph innovation of the time. This in turn
ultimately led to his invention of the telephone.
It was about this time that Western Union had employed
Thomas Edison to enhance his quadruplex transmission
Gardiner Hubbard led a group of investors who wanted to
establish a federally chartered telephone company to
compete with Western Union by contracting with the Post
Office to send low-cost telegrams. Hubbard saw great
promise in the harmonic telegraph, which was the
sub-division of the telegraph line into 10 or more
channels, developed by Elisha Gray, albeit Alexander was
more interested in transmitting the human voice. Finally
Hubbard and Bell agreed that Bell could work on the
harmonic process whilst also allowing himself time to
continue with his telephone concept.
The race was on between Elisha Gray and Alexander Bell
to see who would get the telephone up and running first.
Bell filed for a patent describing his method of
transmitting sounds, just hours before Gray filed on a
similar concept. 7th March 1876 became a red letter day
when the Patent Office awarded Bell what was said to be
the most valuable patent in history.
Alexander was yet to complete devising his fully
functioning instrument. He first produced intelligible
speech on 10th March with those unforgettable words. “Mr
Watson, come here, I want to see you.”
Over the next few months, Bell continued to make
refinements suitable for public exhibition in June of
that year. In August the first long distance telephone
call took place.
Gardiner Hubbard organised a group that established the
Bell Telephone Company in 1877 to commercialise Bell’s
invention. (An offshoot of this company became what we
now know as AT&T.) During the 1880’s Bell’s role within
the company was less dominant and he gradually sold off
his shares in the company. He gradually progressed onto
the technology of sound recording and playback. This in
turn gradually brought him back to being devoted to the
study of deafness and improving the lives of the deaf.
He also improved on the phonograph idea and in 1886 had
patents granted for the Graph phone.
While he dabbled in a lot of other scientific ideas, he
will always be remembered for his work on the telephone
idea, and all those people out there with the surname of
Bell have him to thank for landing them with the
nickname of Ding Dong.
Now we change pace by talking about the week’s
highlights on the 80 metre net. On Monday we heard from
Steve VK2NCS that the rain was bucketing down in
Bulahdelah, while his signal was bucketing down here in
Lake Macquarie. Dave VK2RD was full of the joys of
spring by reminding everyone on air who won the meat
tray raffle on Saturday, although talk of the
Rafflelator uttering expletives when it was announced
that Dave had won the prized raffle are completely
Alan VK2XAL told us of the fun in changing the height of
his antenna and how he was using a gate valve as a
weight, which is now stuck in the fork of the tree.
Glenn VK2GST once had a neighbour with a tree problem,
in that he tried to fell a tree, but it wouldn’t come
down. He worked on the one beside it to bring it onto
the one still standing. Still nothing so he went to the
next one. End result. One tree standing with three
leaning on it. Next thing Glenn gets a knock on the
door. The conversation goes something like. “Gidday
Mate. Got a problem. Have you got a .303?” Ten minutes
later with a few rounds fired into the standing tree.
Now we come to Wednesday, which brings us to an apology.
There was an omission from last week’s news of what
happened at the club on the previous Wednesday. This was
too good to leave out, so here it is. On Wednesday 10th
at the Club. Ken VK2UTC did a disappearing act by
logging onto the morning net and promptly vanishing.
Reason? A massive storm hit and took out the power in
the club. Half the club had power and half did not. It
had to be the Shack that went without. Ken started
cleaning up from the other end. Jeff VK2MCD arrived and
undertook some admin stuff. Charlie VK2CLH did some
fiddling in the Activities Room and Glenn VK2GST
finished repairing the ride on mower.
At one stage all these aspiring gentlemen were outside
watching the light show. When the weather eased, power
was restored, Ken continued sorting in the Archive Room
and Jeff did likewise in the Computer Room.
Ken was last heard asking for reimbursement from the
club, as he had to hire a water taxi to get from the
club to his car in the car park. It’s understood that
the afore-mentioned request was declined. Reason? He was
fit enough to have swum it.
Going back to last Sunday, We took possession of some
equipment from the deceased estate of VK2JGH Gordon
Shearer (also known as VK2DN). This equipment was
eventually sorted out by Ken VK2UTC, Jeff VK2MCD and Aly,
Moving onto last Wednesday the club where the weather
was a lot kinder than the previous week. Ken sorted out
more stuff for the Field Day together with testing same.
Bruce VK2GU secured the Ethernet cable within the
conduit in the Meeting Room. Barry VK2FIN had a clean-up
around the main antenna tower. Glenn VK2GST, relaxed
from painting and mower repairs by sussing out the
6metre tower, after which, he sussed out possible short
term solutions to the toilet/amenity block. Jeff VK2MCD
buzzed around keeping himself active with some of that
well known admin stuff. One of these esteemed gentleman
even mowed the lawns, while managing not to undertake a
repeat of the Nut behind the Wheel Incident of a few
months back. No names mentioned off course.
On Wednesday’s net we all became ornithologists, as it
was revealed that a certain resident of Neath still had
his birdwatchers badge from when he was at school. We
all became experts on the feeding habits of all things
parrot and kookaburras as well. One of our newest
members Bruce VK2GU made his first appearance on the
net. Welcome aboard Bruce. We hope of hear more of you.
Alan VK2XAL now has the gate valve out of the tree.
Friday was a bit of a battle on the air waves with QSB
being all over the place. Greg VK2CW’s daughter had just
arrived home from Japan. Peter VK2IPK had trimmed some
of his greenery and was hoping it would improve his
signals. Alan VK2XAL was telling us all of his new toy
in the form of an FT-70D as he was retiring his old
Baofeng from active service. Dennis VK2XDW surprised us
all by making a rare appearance, and Dave VK2RD was off
to the Argenton Pub for lunch to catch up with some of
his old band mates from 50 odd years ago. Now if only
those pub walls could talk. The main problem with that
idea is that the pub has been re-built, therefore the
old talking walls are gone.
Sunday 28th October is our Field Day. There will be a
barbeque on the go together with drinks, Radio Auction,
Boot sales, jelly bean guessing, Gates open 0900hrs.
ENTRY is FREE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And don’t forget the
IC-718, of which tickets are still available. An
excellent radio for budding Foundation Licence holders.
Finally “What’s on & when?”
Preparation Day in readiness for tomorrow Sat 27th
Westlakes ARC Field Day – Teralba Sun 28th October
General Meeting Day. Sat 10th November
Christmas Party – all B Y O – Teralba Sat 15th December
Wyong Field day Sun 24th February
Remember, all donations for next week’s auction, go to
help YOUR club.
Let’s all make this Field Day a day to remember. Apart
from all that, if you never try anything, you’ll never
know how far trying might have taken you.
As a final P.S. to the news, there will be no news
broadcast next week as next Sunday will be the Field
Day. Your humble news reader as yet has not cottoned on
to the art of being in two places at once.
This is the news we have for you this week. 73.