Progress Through Activity

Amateur Radio Club Inc.




The Westlakes Weekly Broadcast.

The Westlakes news broadcast is transmitted 
every Sunday at 9am on 2 meters at 146.900 MHz
(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 Northampton.

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 system.

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 false.
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. Job done!

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, VK2AFZ.

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 October
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.





Westlakes Amateur Radio Club Inc. York Street, Teralba NSW