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Kevin McAuley's Marconi Repeater Article

Kevin McAuley's Marconi Repeater Article

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Published by: Nevin on Nov 17, 2008
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MARCONI RADIO GROUP LAUNCH NEW 70CM REPEATER MARCONI WOULD BE PROUD OF BALLYCASTLE TODAY NEW 70CMS AMATEUR RADIO REPEATER COMES ON AIR AT BALLYCASTLE FOREST.A new 70cm repeater at Ballycastle forest (GB3KK) came live on the 23 May 2008 which wasdeveloped and placed on scene by the Marconi Radio group. The work on this was commissioned by the Marconi Radio group and carried out by club member Michael Kaskoush.The repeater transmits on 430.975 Mhz and receives on 438.575Mhz with a CTCSS tone of 110.9Hz, its locator is IO65WT with a LAT of 55.191845 and a LONG of -6.243352. Full detailscan be found athttp://www.ukrepeater.net/repeaters/gb3kk.htmThis allows communications on the band between North East Antrim right across East Londonderry and out towards Inishowen, CoDonegal.The repeater also links into Campbeltown all the way up the mull of Kintyre to include parts of theIsle of Arran, all of Islay, Jura and Gigha, and also parts of the Scottish Mainland. This is its naturalRF coverage area. However, it is now linked 24/7 hrs to the Ireland conference server via echolink which brings coverage from all over the world right into a small hand held radio which you cancarry with you while walking within the RF coverage area of the repeater.This has brought a whole new dimension to Ham radio in that it is now possible to talk all over the
world from a small hand held radio from anywhere in the area. Countries connecting to the Irelandserver include the USA, Australia, Japan, Germany, UK and, indeed, anyone who has a call signworld wide can register.An example of this the other day was a guy on his lunch break in a factory in Germany chatting to aguy walking his dog in Manchester, UK, while a station from Australia called in as well so indeedthe world is a very small place in today's modern technology, brought right to your fingertips inBallycastle through the GB3KK repeater. Please note that hand-held coverage is only available inBallycastle, further afield you will require mobile or base station facilities to operate it.This is the second repeater to be put in place by the Marconi Radio group as they have an existing 2Meter repeater at West Torr (GB3PK). Seehttp://www.ukrepeater.net/repeaters/gb3pk.htmfor fullrepeater details and coverage.The Marconi Radio Group was set up in the town of Ballycastle, Co.Antrim, in Northern Ireland on10th April 2001. It began with two Radio Hams, Kevin McAuley MIOCRQ and Paul QuinnMI0CRR.The group was formed to celebrate the early wireless signals made by Guglielmo Marconi where ahistoric link was made on July 6th 1898 when experimental transmissions were made between theeast lighthouse on Rathlin Island and the ' White Lodge ' house situated at the harbour inBallycastle. This link by Marconi pioneered developments that were taking place in wirelesstelegraphy.Marconi was born in Bologna, Italy, on April 25th 1874 to an Italian father and an Irish mother - hismother was Annie Jameson whose family owned the Jameson Whiskey Distillery in CountyWexford. His work on Rathlin Island and in Ballycastle covered a relatively short period from June4th to September 2nd 1898; Marconi himself visited for four days during that time.The experimental work was carried out by his assistant, George Kemp, who was in turn assisted byEdward Glanville. Also employed was John Cecil from Rathlin Island. They carried outexperimental transmissions between the east lighthouse on Rathlin Island and the 'White Lodge'house situated at the harbour in Ballycastle – and, in doing so, created the historical link betweenthe town and the pioneering developments that were taking place in 'wireless telegraphy'.Heinrich Hertz ,who died in 1894, had discovered that electro-magnetic waves existed in the air andthat these could be detected over short distances, Sir William Crookes also predicted that these sameelectro-magnetic waves could be used for communication.Marconi had studied physics and took inspiration from the work of Hertz. He carried out a series of  practical experiments in wireless telegraphy in Italy and, although Sir Oliver Lodge and Dr Alexander Muirhead claimed to have sent a 'wireless' signal between two Oxford buildings in 1894,it was Marconi who registered the first patent of this technology. Sir Oliver Lodge had developed amore efficient way of picking up these electro-magnetic signals than Hertz in the 'Branley coherer'and Marconi developed this ability astep further.In 1885, a Captain H. B. Jackson (Royal Navy) had also succeeded in transmitting a 'wireless' signalthe length of ship which rang a bell and later in 1886 from ship to ship within the confines of aharbour, repeating what Marconi had already done in 1894. Jackson later met Marconi duringexperiments on Salisbury Plain.
At the time, many scientists were working in the same field but it was Marconi who had realized the potential of the discovery, which led him to register Patent No. 12039, on June 2nd 1896 with aspecification for a 'wireless' system using Hertzian waves.Some of his landmark achievements are as follows:1894, Italy - first demonstrated the transmission of 'wireless' signals to sound a bell across a room.1895, Italy - successfully demonstrated signal transmission and reception over a 2km distanceacross fields.1896, England - came to London and registered his patent - demonstrated transmission andreception on Salisbury plain using an aerial developed by the Russian Prof. Alexander Popoff,Captain H. B. Jackson was present along with the chief engineer of the General Post Office and alsorepresentatives of the British Army.1897, England - He achieved a range of 7km transmission and reception on Salisbury Plain -achieved a new record distance of 14km when he send a message across the Bristol Channel fromFlat Holm, Weston-super-Mare to Lavernock Point, Cardiff - set up an aerial in the grounds of theRoyal Needles Hotel, Alum Bay, Isle of Wight and communicated with two hired ferries and later with another station set up in the Medeira House, Bournemouth;Italy - communicated from La Spezia, Italy with the armoured cruiser 'San Martino' a distance of 11miles;England - with his cousin Jameson Davis, he first registered his company as The Wireless Telegraphand Signal Company.1898, Ireland - transmission and reception between Rathlin Island and Ballycastle under commission by Lloyds of London - sent the world's first live 'wireless' report of a yacht race from aship called 'The Flying Huntress' to a shore station at Kingstown (Dublin). This brought immense publicity and interest for Marconi work and its commercial and military potential.1899, England -The Goodwin Lightship which had been installed with a transmitter was rammed inheavy fog by the S.S. 'R.F. Mathews' , it was able to send the first 'life saving' signal from sea, for the assistance of two lifeboats.1901 - Sent a signal 198 miles between the Isle of Wight and Lizard Point, Cornwall – defyingcritics and the opinions of the scientific world he sent a signal around the curvature of the earth,from Poldhu, Cornwall to Signal Hill, St Johns, Newfoundland.1918 - first signal from England to Australia. These are just a few of the scores of events andachievements during his lifetime - and we have not touched on the greatest aid that his work createdfor shipping, namely the ability to sent 'wireless' distress signals which led to the saving of hundreds of thousands of lives at sea.How or why Marconi came to Ballycastle to undertake the trials for Lloyds is not completely clear,it was certainly related to the fact that 'wireless telegraphy' promised to become the most importantdevelopment in tracking incoming and outgoing vessels. The possibility had come of age when,with Marconi equipped stations all along the coast, all vessels within twenty-five miles of shorecould make their presence known and send or receive communications. So apparent were theadvantages of such a system that Lloyds in May, 1898, entered into negotiations for the setting upof Marconi instruments at various Lloyds stations; and preliminary trials were commissioned between Rathlin Island and Ballycastle.

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