General Guidelines for the Event
[ Please do invite your own local Air Ambulance to take a look around this site ]
Participating groups are encouraged to emphasize the potential
marketing aspects of an attractive QSL card, and to invite the
museums' publicity teams to assist with the provision or
overprinting of the cards. The cards should be overprinted
"International Air Ambulance Week 2014", with if possible the events
logo (as seen on the front page of this site).
Where possible QSL'ing should be 100% via bureau, even for stations
intending to QSL direct
May I take this opportunity to remind all those who plan to activate
a Special Event Stations to either supply the RSGB QSL Sub Managers
with suitable stamped addressed envelopes, or if cards are not
required to do them the courtesy of letting them know. The Sub
Manager is -Davina Williams, M0LXT who is QTHR.
Registration is free of any cost, and should preferably be by using
the on-site Registration form set up for the purpose, which will not
even cost you the price of a stamp. Telephone registrations will of
course be accepted if you have no Internet access (how are you
reading this?), but please make use of the on-site form wherever
possible. Harry +44 (0)113 2866 897.
We need you to register so we can add your station to the
List simply so everyone knows who and where you are. The
List may not be finalised until the Tuesday following the final
weekend of the event. So please check again after this day, if a
station reported itself registered but you are unable at first to
find it. Please also use Ctrl + Refresh to ensure you are seeing the
latest copy of the rapidly changing IAW pages.
We ask for your locator to help us to plot all stations on a world
wide map, available form the stations page, This could be used to
show visitors the locations of all the other stations
Local Media Publicity Get as much local publicity for the event as
possible, on local radio, TV, freesheets and newspapers, but always
with the agreement of the museums press officer.
Health and Safety
Please discuss carefully the layout and positioning of your station to maximize the safety of the visiting public and yourselves. Ensure power and antenna cables are
run, and routed tidily, well out of the way of members of the
public, and that of your own group. Preferably this should be behind
barriers, to prevent access.
Your antennas should be erected away from public areas, in a safe
and workmanlike way. Supporting guy lines should be adequate and
well marked, so no one trips over them. Expect to have to at the
very least, remove feeder cables which pass through doors and
windows each evening, so the properties can be properly secured, and
alarmed. Make sure ALL equipment is unplugged from the mains supply
socket at the close of the station each evening.
It is safer to run all your equipment from one single wall socket,
and to advise all members of your group where this wall socket is
located. This will ensure you can quickly cut off all supplies in an
emergency. There is also the possibility on these type of premises,
that a potential of 415v may exist between two adjacent sockets, if
the two happen to have been wired on two different phases of the
There may be a requirement by some locations, to have all your
equipment which carries mains potential, checked for safety. This is
called a PAT or Portable Appliance Test. You may have already seen
green and white PAT sticky labels, on ex-commercial equipment which
you have purchased at rallies. The PAT should include all extension
leads, 4 way mains strips, power supplies and directly mains powered
equipment etc. It does have to be carried out by a qualified
individual, with the appropriate PAT equipment, but it only takes a
minute or two per item. No doubt there will be some qualified member
of your group, able to carry out this very simple test and
Experience has taught our own group, that the best layout for
operating tables, is with the rear of equipment (power and antenna
cables) to a wall, thus presenting rather rudely, your backs to the
visitors. This enables visitors to see the equipment from the
'drivers side', and puts a barrier between visitors and the
cables/voltages at the back. Depending on the station, one or two
operators may be required, with an additional member attending to
the station log. Someone may need to be on hand (perhaps a resting
operator), to welcome the visitors, encourage their interest, and
explain the proceedings. Remember the main point of this event, is
to promote our great hobby, as well as the Donation supported Air
Ambunce Services to the visitor.
Whilst on the subject of visitors.... It would be a good idea to be
prepared provide those visitors who do express an interest in the
hobby, with details of your local club, the courses it is able to
provide towards obtaining a license, and where more information
about the hobby is to be found. Perhaps a printed list of the local
clubs, any local colleges still offering NRAE/RAE courses, and their
contact numbers, and an open invitation along to your own club.
I think it would be only sensible to ensure you are covered by
insurance, just in case there are any "little accidents" to the
museums property, or to your visitors. Insurance is of course, NOT a
substitute for taking proper and adequate care. My understanding is
that most well organized clubs WILL already have proper cover for
their field events anyway. I am advised Cornhill do offer insurance
cover for such events, and at a very reasonable cost.
Think about EMC
To achieve your technical ideal from a portable station you will
need to install your transceiver and antenna to minimise losses,
maximise ERP and keep nasty noise sources at a healthy distance.
I remember going to an electronics exhibition where the nice lady
running the Eddystone Radio stand (it was a while ago) had arrived
at a state of near panic by 10.30 in the morning because she could
not hear one real signal on any of her beautiful exhibits. She was
using a 25 ft bit of wire flung out of the exhibition window, and
preferred to believe she was going mad rather than contemplate the
possibility that all her receivers had broken at once.
Microprocessors were fitted in everything except the Eddystones,
and together with VDUs and thyristor burst modules the noise floor
was actually on the ceiling, with the AGC working flat-out. Trying
to get signals through the window was a real waste of time, but at
least her sanity was restored.
Digital electronics has moved on a bit (most of the clock
frequencies are now in the VHF range) but there's more of it and it
tends to come in plastic boxes these days with switch-mode PSUs and
much bigger monitors.
Look for the boxes and wires, keep your antennas and feeders well
away from them, and try to find a really good RF earth (which may be
quite difficult). The mains earth will probably be a long way from
the bonding point, so any stray RF getting to it will end up being
fed all over the building. Don't use excessive power (I've worked
all round the country on 100mW when 40 is in a good mood) and be
prepared to reduce at the first hint of any problems. You obviously
can't point out to your host that it's his badly designed equipment
causing the problem; it's up to you to use your skill to find a
solution - anticipate and plan ahead.
You all know all about this anyway, so sorry for the egg-sucking
Congestion on the Bands
There IS another relevant aspect to EMC, and that is between one
station and another. 40M has at best about 20 phone channels, and at
worst (everyone hating each other), thirty. Add upwards of fifty
museum stations over a weekend and the noise floor will once again
be on the roof. The project will end in chaos unless we plan for
multi-band operation and multi-station nets on a reduced number of
channels. Operators could be free to roam from net to net or band,
or freelance, but it will be an interesting opportunity to see if we
can make good, responsible use of our scarce resource on 40M. Eighty
is unlikely to be much good during museum opening hours, but worth a
try for limited range contacts.
We hope you will all co-operate to help us share informal 'museums
network' frequencies, on each band in use, during the two days of
activity. If many of us are together on shared frequencies, this
should help reduce the congestion on the bands. Those stations which
do find themselves to be well placed, should hopefully take control
of the 'museums network' for a reasonable period, before eventually
passing the responsibility on to another well placed station.