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HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën absorbs RF???!!???

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  • HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën absorbs RF???!!???

    In the Winter 2006/7 Newsletter of the RNARS (Royal Naval Amateur Radio Society) I spotted the article below. Although most of it probably isn't very interesting to this forum's visitors I did want to share the remarkable way the author views one of the RNLN's most modern ships. The article is quoted in full, the part referring to HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën is marked in red by me.
    RNARS at Plymouth Navy Days 2006
    hiIn February this year, the RNARS were invited to have a stand at Plymouth Navy Days, and to stage some kind of communications demonstration for the public. As this was the premier RN public relations event in the South West for 2006, it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss!!
    hiThe plan was to run a Morse and RTTY demonstrator alongside a special event station, with an opportunity to sell a few commodities. Plans were moving along very well, until the week prior to the event when all the security rules were changed. This effectively meant that no vehicles were to be allowed any where near the display area, but parked in a trader car park that was three days camel ride from where the stand was to be set up! Coupled with this was a 0730 start!! This was to prove a bit much for our volunteers, but the RN liaison staff stepped in and assisted us over the whole of the weekend.
    hiI managed to get accommodation in the WO's & SR's mess in HMS Drake for the duration, which was very useful with the early start and gave me somewhere to leave the car. The stand was set up on Thursday 24th, comprising two computer displays for CW and RTTY, plus an ICOM - 730 using SSB for the special event station. The stand was located at the Fleet Maintenance Base by 9 Wharf, at the end of Weston Mill Lake - locally known as Frigate Alley! A half - size GSRV antenna was strung up on the FMB building roof, but this proved a very unsuitable location!!
    hiOn Friday 25th August the stand was manned until the Naval Base Commodore had completed his inspection and given everybody the all clear ready for the weekend. Initial trials with the radio proved that our location (radio wise) was not ideal. I could hear stations on 80 and 40 m, but the level of electrical noise was quite high. Getting out was nigh on impossible as my 100W was being absorbed by the nearby metal roof cladding and steel superstructure of a Dutch Frigate!!
    hiHaving said that, the weekend went very well with a lot of interest shown in the Morse and RTTY demos, mainly by numerous visiting Sea Cadets! A few visiting amateurs stopped by for a chat and including a couple of members. Ken G4SCH managed to make it in on the Saturday to help man the stand and thoroughly enjoyed himself. Special permission was obtained for him to bring his car on site during Sunday to try his mobile rig, but this proved equally unfruitful in terms of radio contacts. He did manage to work a couple of German stations on 40m and that was it! The stand was derigged on Monday evening and all the kit shipped back to G4NNP QTH.
    hiOverall, the weekend was successful and the society should get another invite in two years time when Navy Days will be staged again in Plymouth. Next time, I will be ask for a site away from the main dockyard area if possible, near the HMS Drake playing fields, in order to give any special event station a better chance. The RN were extremely helpful, and special thanks must go to CWEA George Blakeman who organised all the logistics and passes etc. We even had lunch provided. (The bag meals are much improved!!).
    hiA useful contact was made with Mike Critchley (Naval Book Publisher) who is co-ordinating the possible move of HMS Plymouth back to Plymouth. I registered an RNARS interest in this project and the latest news is that a Charitable Trust is being formed to raise money. (The tow back would cost at least £40,000!). There seems to be quite a lot of interest locally in getting her back here as a tourist attraction in a permanent berth in Millbay Docks, which is being re-vamped. Watch this space.
    hiAnother enquiry was from a couple of young serving submariner OM (C's) who were interested in improving their morse speed. One of their roles on board was to use the 5" Aldis lamp as and when required, but they had only been taught 8 wpm. Perhaps a training role for the society here???!!!
    Don Andrews G4NNP
    Devon Area Rep.

    "Try and leave this world a little better than you found it" [Baden Powell]
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