Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald - Saturday 19 August 1933
RADIO AMATEURS MAKE HISTORY. Very interesting tests were carried out on Sunday, August 6th, by Folkestone radio amateurs in connection with a field day organised by the East Sussex members of the Radio Society of Great Britain, when, for the first time in Radio history, two way communication was effected between Kent and Sussex, on a frequency of 56 megacycles (5 metres). The object of the field day was to ascertain whether it would be possible to form a link between Folkestone, Hastings and Eastbourne, using transmitters working on a wavelength of 5 metres.
AT THE VALIANT SAILOR. The Key station was G2FX, the portable transmitter of Mr. Norman Blackburne (G2AX) of Bexhill-on-Sea, operating from North Seat, Fairlight, a high point east of Hastings, and the Folkestone end of the link was provided by Mr. Anthony Chapman (G2IC) of 109, Cheriton Road, Folkestone, who set up his portable outfit and operated from the grounds of the Valiant Sailor, which is approximately 540 feet above sea level. From this place an excellent view over the Channel and Romney Marsh can be obtained, and many thanks are due to Mr. A, C. Aird for his co-operation. Stations G2MC and G2AO were in operation at Bexhill and Eastbourne respectively, whilst Mr. Sands (G5TZ) went into position near his home at Heathfield, Sussex.
WAVELENGTH VAGARIES. Comparatively little is known with regard to the vagaries of wavelengths below 7 metres, since it has only recently been generally opened up for amateur work. Experiments to date, however, tend to show that they are quasi-optical, in other words, that communication on these frequencies is only possible when, if the eye were sufficiently sensitive, it would be possible to see one station from the other, without any intervening obstructions, such as hills or large buildings, the presence of which would completely cut off signals. Having regard to this, some doubts were felt as to whether it would be possible to effect immediate contact with Hastings. Mr. T. Vickery (2ASC) and Mr. White (2BAX) were therefore asked to go out to Dungeness with a receiver and set up a listening post, with a view to observing on the signals from the Folkestone and Hastings stations, and instructing them to change location if necessary, and also for the purpose of reporting to any other stations which they might hear at that point. This they at one agreed to do, and they were in action the whole time, Mr. White constructing a special folding 12 foot mast in order that they might have for the occasion an aerial of the correct dimensions.
HASTINGS HEARD. The tests were scheduled to start at 11 o’clock summer time, and aided by Mr. J. R. McKerchar, and Mr. Clark (BBS-943) of Hawkinge, Mr. Chapman (G2IC) was on the spot with the Folkestone station and ready for action well before the appointed time. A preliminary "listen" followed by a test call at 10.50 produced no results, but at 10.58 G2FX of Hastings was heard to start up, adjust his buzzer and call test. This call was replied to, with the result that communication between Folkestone and Hastings was very soon effected and by 11.05 reports and messages of congratulation were exchanged, although test calls were due to continue until 11.15. The signals from G2FX of Hastings were very loud indeed, being audible 12 feet from the phones, whilst signals from G2IC of Folkestone were reported as being of good phone strength, which is excellent, considering that the Hastings station was using a power of 80 watts as against the mere 4 watts used by the Folkestone station.
AT HEATHFIELD. From Fairlight G2FX was unable to make contact with G2MC of Bexhill, or with G2AO of Eastbourne, but he was heard in communication with G5JZ of Heathfield, whose telephony he reported as being somewhat weak, whilst his own signals were reported as very strong. Both G2FX and G2IC were using the morse code. It had been hoped that it would be possible to effect contact between Folkestone and Eastbourne, but although the station at each town called according to schedule, neither was able to hear the other. At their position on Dungeness, Messrs. Vickery (2ASC) and White (2BAX) heard both sides of the conversation between Folkestone and Hastings at great strength and also heard weak signals from another station which they were unable to identify.