Radio hams take on the world at Caister
RADIO hams in Caister will be trying to contact other amateurs around the world as part of the International Marconi Day celebrations.Tomorrow (Saturday), Norfolk Amateur Radio Club (NARC) will be running an all-day special event station with the call sign GB0CMS at Caister Lifeboat Visitor Centre to commemorate the village's original Marconi Wireless Station, established in 1900.
RADIO hams in Caister will be trying to contact other amateurs around the world as part of the International Marconi Day celebrations.
Tomorrow (Saturday), Norfolk Amateur Radio Club (NARC) will be running an all-day special event station with the call sign GB0CMS at Caister Lifeboat Visitor Centre to commemorate the village's original Marconi Wireless Station, established in 1900.
The station was in a house in the High Street known as Pretoria Villa and its original purpose was to communicate with ships in the North Sea and the Cross Sand lightship.
On this day, the closest Saturday to Guglielmo Marconi's birthday, stations around the world are being set up at sites with historical links to the inventor's work. These include Poldhu in England; Cape Cod Massachusetts; Glace Bay, Nova Scotia; Villa Griffone, Bologna, Italy and many others.
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Radio amateurs around the world will try to contact as many of these stations as possible to win an award.
NARC aim to run two stations at the Caister Lifeboat Visitor Centre - one using speech (telephony) and the other Morse (telegraphy). Anyone making contact with either station will receive a special “QSL” card with a photograph of the original Caister Marconi Wireless Station on the front - and visitors are welcome to go along.
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The Caister station was connected by land line to Yarmouth Post Office and Caister Coastguard Station. The main aerial mast behind the house was 150ft high, the aerial wire being suspended between this and a slightly shorter mast situated on land where Lacon Road was later built.
The large front room of the house contained the main apparatus and was also used as the operating room.
The range of communication was 150 to 200 miles on the long wave (600m) and 100 miles on the short wave (300m).
In 1911 the Caister station was used to train lightshipmen in the use of telegraphy equipment.
In January 1915 the Caister station was changed to 'general working' and not used for ship-to-shore work. Public use of the telegram facility provided at Caister was suspended during the first world war.
New technology made the Caister station out of date and it finally closed in 1929, the masts taken down and a few years later it became the village Police Station.