E.V.R.S. Mobile Shack/Exhibition unit.

  Following last years appearance by the E.V.R.S. at Solway Aviation Society's open day at Carlisle airport, and the struggle to operate in a tent due to the terrible weather, something had to be done...

 A brief spell of hospitality thanks to the CO of 1862 City of Carlisle Sqn Air Cadets in their caravan spurred Seamus G7ITT and Dave M5TXJ into action. An advert was placed on the local "Freecycle" group for a caravan in the hope that someone had one to give away. A few weeks later a very shabby and filthy caravan arrived at Seamus' QTH.
 The caravan was in a dreadful state, (so bad that photographs were not taken as scrapping seemed the only option) the previous occupant had been less than houseproud. Disclosure of the caravan to the rest of the club was withheld so as not to get their hopes up.
 Clean out started, the fridge contained several lifeforms previously unknown to science, the sink had a half inch film of rubbery congealed fat, and a mouldy pair of underpants were just some of the treats in store! With all the soft furnishings thrown out things looked a little better, perhaps if we threw everything else out it would be better still?
 At this point a plan was beginning to gel, what would be kept and what had to go, first to go was the "bathroom", then the beds. The kitchen area was to be kept to be able to provide hot and cold drinks, the wardrobe was to provide a home for the batteries and as it also accommodated the gas fire it was saved. With everything ripped out the general state of the caravan became more apparent. other than some patches of damp damage to the interior boarding, everything was in reasonable condition after all!
 The gas oven was beyond saving so was removed and its gas supply blanked off, the water pipes and pump wiring to the wash basin removed too. Two twin tube 12V flourescent fittings provided the lighting but as these are very efficient QRM generators they had to go, but what to put in their place. The interior workings of the lights were removed and 48 bright white LEDs fitted in each case, more light, less current draw (about 650mA for the two) and no QRM!
 The day that both had been dreading finally arrived, cleaning the hob, sink and fridge. Armed with many different chemicals, brushes, cloths, scourers, scrapers and even a chisel work commenced. Several hours later the sink sparkled, as did the hob top and the fridge no longer had green/blue furry shelves well stocked with various strains of antibiotics.
Strip down under way. Windows open to air the interior. Cleaning in progress.

 Following the clean up, the gas side of the appliances was checked and serviced, the fridge and the gas fire working very well. Several items have suffered from neglect during the life of the caravan but one by one repairs or replacements are happening, new marker lights, new wiring and more. There is now running water following repair of the water pump and its electrical supply, the plumbing has been stripped to the minimum necessary for reliability.
  Taking a break from cleaning.  

 An operating bench has been built at the front of the caravan with both 240V and 13.8V supplies, several radios have been installed already including 2M, 70cm, airband and band II (VHF-FM). A SRC X-80 5.8M tall HF vertical aerial and a dual band 2M/70cm mobile whip are fitted to feed the radios fitted or temporarily installed.
 There is still plenty of work to do, the bench seating has to be finished with access panels for under seat storage, carpet to be fitted and general decorating, but QSO's are being made, one of the first was with VP8LP!

Progress being made.  Night shot under LED lighting. Celebratory barbeque.

 It is intended that the first public outing for the caravan will be at this years Carlisle Air Museum Open Day which takes place on Saturday 2nd July, work may not be finished but hopefully we won't be far away. Water containers for both clean and waste water have been donated by Tony G4LFU, wood towards making the seating by Dave G8KAP, replacement tyres by local rally driver Mark Shaw. Some paint for general interior decoration and some lino for the bench top are still needed, all donations very welcome.

Seating construction under way.   Plenty of space to entertain.

 The boarding at the bottom of the rear wall which had more or less rotted away has now been replaced and the seating built. This area is for general use, taking a break or talking to members of the public over a coffee. The plan is to have a small coffee table here for magazines or even a laptop to show videos, or demonstrate digimodes, perhaps live weather satellite pictures or the club website could be shown too. If you just wish to call around and have a look just contact either Seamus G7ITT or Dave M5TXJ.

 The May meeting of the E.V.R.S. was held at Seamus' QTH to introduce the club members to the caravan, although a little cramped with 11 inside (and some are not exactly size 0) the general concensus was one of approval. Tea and coffee were served but we need to get some more mugs, there may be some high class hand thrown E.V.R.S. mugs to come! When the monsoon abated Ron G4GXO erected his Spiderbeam fiberglass vertical and trialled it with its LDG auto ATU installed at the base...

Some of the club playing sardines in the caravan. Ron G4GXO (supervised by John G0NYQ) erects his Spiderbeam vertical. A discerning audience watch the aerial erection.

 Received some brochures, posters, stickers and other bits and pieces from Icom UK, many thanks for supporting our project! Good guys to deal with and excellent quality equipment, I'm sure my IC-7400 will be making an appearance in the caravan soon. Recent work has seen the rear end of the caravan re-boarded where damp has ruined the plywood, this has been wallpapered with some new embossed vinyl mock tile wallpaper. The bench and the floor under the bench has been covered in vinyl flooring kindly donated by Capsticks Carpets of Appleby, the rest of the van including the seating has been carpeted, much improving the accoustics.

Getting nerarer to completion.   Re-boarded and re-wallpapered rear end.
 The first weekend in July 2011 saw the first two public outings for the caravan (which has now been named - small prize for first correct guess) with two special event stations.

 GB2SAS Solway Aviation Society Veterans Day. 2nd July
Set up and ready to go. Dave G8KAP waits for Seamus G7ITT to cook lunch on the barbecue. Tony G4LFU at the key.

 GB2WVF Warcop Village Festival 3rd July
Inside view of the caravan. Seamus G7ITT enjoying the sunshine. A view of the location besides the beck.
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