Capel Military Vehicle Show 2019

Held over the weekend of 6-7th July at Aldhurst Farm, Temple Lane in Capel near Dorking. This excellent and well organised event was attended by several SARS members and members of VMARS.

Left to right Robin G0GNE, Jason G4KNE (Show organisation team), Barry G8DXU, Cliff, Steve, Andy 2E0GNE. In the foreground is a Clansman Ground Mounted Monopole Aerial made by RACAL These cover 30-77MHz having a low profile that is easily concealed in forward battle situations. The aerial is essentially an inverted cone that does not require any tuning.   

In conjunction with Jason G4KNE, SARS helped run the shows special event station GB1CMS (Capel Military Show). We called into the VMARS Saturday morning net at 0830 and were acknowledged by the control and another more locat station.  This was a large net comprised of around 20 stations. We waited patiently to be called by control for about one hour and by this time conditions had deteriorated.  Of the many FFR vehicles at Capel only two other stations called into the net.  This is consistent with other shows where very few vehicles have “working” radios or licenced operators.

We monitored 3.615MHz AM frequency throughout the event, putting out occasional calls. Very few stations contacted GB1CMS. We also monitored 51.70MHz and had several contacts with portable stations on-site. Unfortunately there was some confusion as to the “official” VHF frequency as 51.60MHz had been published as the show frequency on the Capel website. GB1CMS switched between these frequencies periodically to minimise missing calls.

Some comments were received about the lack of net frequencies and times. In answer to this, it is proposed to publish one or two call-in frequencies and times for next years show.

Two years ago a comprehensive list of frequencies and times were published on the Capel website. Covering many different frequency bands and modes. Giving users of both ancient and modern equipment the opportunity to contact others on and off site. There was very little response to calls on any channels except 51.60 or 51.70MHz FM. 

Overall we spend much time and money on our exhibits, making them presentable and ensuring that all displayed equipment is working. At shows the deployment of aerials is often far from ideal due to space limitations. In our own case electrical noise from generators and power supplies sometimes masked the weaker AM signals.

Some consider that the special event station should be busily putting out calls on a variety of bands and contacting stations local and distant. However this requires a lot of operator time and commitment.  Some prefer to be available to talk to visitors and actively demonstrate and explain about our exhibits, rather than just be talking into a microphone.