Message from Space celebrates North Walsham group’s stellar grant

Members of the radio group. Picture: Bittern DX Group

Members of the radio group. Picture: Bittern DX Group - Credit: Bittern DX Group

North Walsham's amateur radio communication group have been awarded the grant of a lifetime by the Big Lottery Fund.

A team member analysing radio signals. Picture: Bittern DX Group

A team member analysing radio signals. Picture: Bittern DX Group - Credit: Bittern DX Group

The Bittern DXers have been awarded £10,000 to help them continue to introduce people to the world of technology, and the possibilities that radio communication can offer people.

But the news wasn't only celebrated in North Walsham, or even Norfolk, as the announcement was broadcast from a satellite orbiting the Earth.

The satellite, FunCube1, as built by members of the Amateur Radio community and launched into orbit on 21st November 2013.

It was built with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio, space, physics and electronics, and is the first satellite with outreach as its primary mission and demonstrates the depth and breadth of the hobby of Amateur Radio.

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The Bittern DXers hope that with their new funds they can continue to work on initiatives such as the Educational Outreach Project which entails the group taking their equipment to public events and teach people about their hobby.

With the money provided by National Lottery players, the group have purchased gazebos, radios and demonstration equipment allowing them to take a complete hi-tech station to public shows and events that enables conversations with other amateurs around the world, as well as pick up signals live from the International Space Station, weather satellites and the many other amateur satellites currently in space.

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Steve Cordner, chairman, said: 'We are immensely grateful to the Big Lottery Fund and National Lottery players, for allowing us the opportunity to introduce amateur radio to people and show them what we do.

'We already know for example that when young people are shown images being received live from space, that their imagination is fired up and they want to find out more. For older people it can break down barriers of loneliness and disability and allow them to communicate with others across county, country and world.'

'Many people holding senior roles in high-tech industries today owe their careers to an early interest in amateur radio. Our project aims to provide people of all ages that 'first contact' with Amateur Radio.'

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