Sunday, 30 March 2014

A night out in the big smoke.

A couple of weeks ago both I and my wife were very lucky to sit in on the recording of News Quiz for BBC Radio 4. Its been an ambition of mine for a number of years to visit Old Broadcasting House and to watch a live radio recording in the Radio Theatre.

My host for the evening arranged a tour of the New Broadcasting house news floor, the Radio 4 Studios and most impressively the BBC canteen !

I was amazed how small the Radio 4 studios actually were. Gone of the days where you would have an engineer, Producer and Broadcaster sat in the same room.  But still in one studio there was still a record player and a reel to reel tape machine. Just in case any of the archives were not digitally stored.

The BBC news floor was impressive, many of the TV presenters milling around and a constant hub of activity. For that many people in a single location I was amazed how quiet it actually was.

After a prawn sandwich (my wife had salad – with Chips) we moved onto the Radio Theatre and sat in the front row for the recording of News Quiz. Sandi Toksvig of course was amazing. She started with a great story, and moved onto the recording of the show making it look easy and seamless, the panelists were on top form (Jeremy Hardy, David Mitchell, Elis James and Mark Steel)– and of course Kathy Clugston was superb in reading the news clips. it’s a shame that so much of the evening was edited out, but you have to compress 2 hours into 30 minutes, But the best jokes stayed in.

After the show we nipped back to the green room, and because on this occasion the panelists were cycling for Sport relief they all were pretty knackered, out of breath and in Jeremy Hardy’s case – drinking a cold beer. To be honest I was shattered watching them cycle during the recording.

I must add a special thank you to Jim and Kathy for inviting us as their guests and organising the whole evening. My wife and myself really enjoyed the evening out in London - It was so surreal that it almost seemed normal.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Bath Taps into Science

Bath Taps into Science was hosted in Bath University and Green Park Station during  21st and 23rd March. On Friday Steve (G0FUW), Phil (M0PHI), Russ (M0WYB) and myself set up a stand showcasing the science behind radio. Our audience was 1500 School children who were aged between 9 and 14 years. Reception was well received.

We demonstrated the Oscillation, modulation, reception and transmission elements with small experiments. despite having exploding, messy and amazing things - we grabbed the attention of many teachers and students. Our buildathon demonstration again was really welcomed by STEM co-orindators, and general feedback was excellent.

On Sunday Steve, Phil, Lewis (G4YTN) and Mike(G3VTO) again showcased the science behind radio in Green Square in Bath - this time open to the general public. We had many mums and dads ask us about the buildathon, and even some keen people sign up for some in-class education ready to obtain their Amateur radio license.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Intermediate is go

We have started another intermediate class both in class and distance learning. This course is primarily run on Edmodo. We have run a couple of classes on Edmodo and we think we have the concept correct now. So we have our weekly quizzes set and our 3 week homework assignments all loaded and ready to go.

In class students are also welcomed to join the distance learning students so missing a lesson is no longer such an issue.

Over the coming weeks I will be creating some companion videos showcasing the practical elements of our in lesson activities.

So far we have 5 in class and around 30 distance learning joining us for the next 10 weeks.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

On air (ish)

It’s a bit quiet here at the moment, but I have managed to get back on the just lately. A couple of QSOs here and there and I’m quite happy. I did focus most of my attention on 10m where of late the propagation has been stunning.

I haven’t managed the very exotic or rare DX stations simply due to the amount of time I have been on air.

Below is a quick QSO I had with one of the Sochi special event stations. It’s a very quick QSO but you get the idea.