Thinking Day on the Air 2016

“GB1TGU calling
GB1TGU calling

Thirty six Brownies from three Thanet Girl Guiding groups descended on the Monkton Nature Reserve to celebrate their Thinking Day on the Air using Amateur Radio. In the morning it was the turn of the 3rd Margate and the 10th Margate Brownies and some Guides, and in the afternoon the 1st Birchington group visited the Reserve. The Hilderstone radio club were on hand to provide them with a special amateur radio station, call sign GB1TGU, Thanet Guiding Units, to enable them to communicate with other groups in the country and to obtain their Communications badge. Some of the Brownies were a bit shy on the microphone but others talked enthusiastically about their favourite guiding activities.

“ Using LEDs
Using LEDs

Club members Armando Martins, Erwin David and Bob Macdonald helped put them at ease in using the equipment. The girls had learnt their phonetic alphabet, Bravo, Charlie etc and were ready to spell their names to the people they contacted. The girls enjoyed using Personal Mobile Radios, PMRs, giving them confidence in conversing on the air and learning the need to say ‘over’ when they had finished talking to their friend. Tracking down a dastardly fox that was transmitting a radio signal was great fun. The girls picked up his signal and were able to triangulate his position.

“Learning Morse
Learning Morse

Morse code is still a popular method of long distance communication and the girls enjoyed transmitting and receiving messages to each other. Len West showed them how to use a Morse key and buzzer while Bob Fidler used a flashing LED for the dots and dashes. John Hislop explained how Tim Peake will be using amateur radio to speak to Thanet school children in April from the International Space Station. Some lucky Brownies will be present on the day. At the end of the sessions the girls enjoyed the challenging activities and thoroughly deserved their Communications badge.