International Museums Weekends 2023


Registration 2023 Stations

Past Events

Station Numbers







General Guidelines for the Event
[ Please do invite your own museum to take a look around this site ]

Participating groups are encouraged to emphasize the potential marketing aspects of an attractive QSL card, and to invite the museums' publicity teams to assist with the provision or overprinting of the cards. The cards should be overprinted "International Museums Weekend 2018", with if possible the events logo (as seen on the front page of this site).Where possible QSL'ing should be 100% via bureau, even for stations intending to QSL direct.

May I take this opportunity to remind all those who plan to activate a Special Event Stations to either supply the RSGB QSL Sub Managers with suitable stamped addressed envelopes, or if cards are not required to do them the courtesy of letting them know. The Sub Manager is -Davina Williams, M0LXT who is QTHR.

The event will run on both Saturdays at 0001 GMT/UTC for 48 hours, but night-owls are warned not to expect too much activity from stations, outside their normal museum opening times (local time)!

Registration is free of any cost, and should preferably be by using the on-site Registration form set up for the purpose, which will not even cost you the price of a stamp. Telephone registrations will of course be accepted if you have no Internet access (how are you reading this?), but please make use of the on-site form wherever possible. Harry +44 (0)113 2866 897.

We need you to register so we can add your station to the 'Museums List' simply so everyone knows who and where you are. The Museum List may not be finalised until the Tuesday following the final weekend of the event. So please check again after this day, if a museum reported itself registered but you are unable at first to find it. Please also use Ctrl + Refresh to ensure you are seeing the latest copy of the rapidly changing IMW pages.
The station should of course be located within the premises of the museum, unless there are very exceptional reasons why this is not practical.

It is suggested that as many museum stations as possible be equipped with the UI-View system, with its attractive graphic map display. This will allow museum visitors to be easily shown the locations of the other museums. Stations not intending to use the system may also be plotted on the map if they have supplied their locator in advance of the event, in the 'registration' form.

Local Media Publicity Get as much local publicity for the event as possible, on local radio, TV, freesheets and newspapers, but always with the agreement of the museums press officer.

Health and Safety
Please discuss carefully the layout and positioning of your station with the museum staff to maximize the safety of the visiting public, museum staff, and yourselves. Ensure power and antenna cables are run, and routed tidily, well out of the way of members of the public, and that of your own group. Preferably this should be behind barriers, to prevent access.

Your antennas should be erected away from public areas, in a safe and workmanlike way. Supporting guy lines should be adequate and well marked, so no one trips over them. Expect to have to at the very least, remove feeder cables which pass through doors and windows each evening, so the museum can be properly secured, and alarmed. Make sure ALL equipment is unplugged from the mains supply socket at the close of the station each evening.
It is safer to run all your equipment from one single wall socket, and to advise all members of your group where this wall socket is located. This will ensure you can quickly cut off all supplies in an emergency. There is also the possibility on these type of premises, that a potential of 415v may exist between two adjacent sockets, if the two happen to have been wired on two different phases of the mains!

There may be a requirement by some museums, to have all your equipment which carries mains potential, checked for safety. This is called a PAT or Portable Appliance Test. You may have already seen green and white PAT sticky labels, on ex-commercial equipment which you have purchased at rallies. The PAT should include all extension leads, 4 way mains strips, power supplies and directly mains powered equipment etc. It does have to be carried out by a qualified individual, with the appropriate PAT equipment, but it only takes a minute or two per item. No doubt there will be some qualified member of your group, able to carry out this very simple test and inspection task.

Experience has taught our own group, that the best layout for operating tables, is with the rear of equipment (power and antenna cables) to a wall, thus presenting rather rudely, your backs to the visitors. This enables visitors to see the equipment from the 'drivers side', and puts a barrier between visitors and the cables/voltages at the back. Depending on the station, one or two operators may be required, with an additional member attending to the station log. Someone may need to be on hand (perhaps a resting operator), to welcome the visitors, encourage their interest, and explain the proceedings. Remember the main point of this event, is to promote our great hobby, as well as the museums to the visitor.

Whilst on the subject of visitors.... It would be a good idea to be prepared provide those visitors who do express an interest in the hobby, with details of your local club, the courses it is able to provide towards obtaining a license, and where more information about the hobby is to be found. Perhaps a printed list of the local clubs, any local colleges still offering NRAE/RAE courses, and their contact numbers, and an open invitation along to your own club.

I think it would be only sensible to ensure you are covered by insurance, just in case there are any "little accidents" to the museums property, or to your visitors. Insurance is of course, NOT a substitute for taking proper and adequate care. My understanding is that most well organized clubs WILL already have proper cover for their field events anyway. I am advised Cornhill do offer insurance cover for such events, and at a very reasonable cost.
"Museum-C" (or-Think about EMC).

T o achieve your technical ideal from a portable station you will need to instal your transceiver and antenna to minimise losses, maximise ERP and keep nasty noise sources at a healthy distance. But think about a modern museum - it's going to be positively humming with systems - audio-visuals, computers, telephones, public address, all sorts of alarms, air conditioning, not to mention those natty little electronic low-voltage lighting systems. And they'll all have a CE mark somewhere meaning - not a lot really.

I remember going to an electronics exhibition where the nice lady running the Eddystone Radio stand (it was a while ago) had arrived at a state of near panic by 10.30 in the morning because she could not hear one real signal on any of her beautiful exhibits. She was using a 25 ft bit of wire flung out of the exhibition window, and preferred to believe she was going mad rather than contemplate the possibility that all her receivers had broken at once. Microprocessors were fitted in everything  except the Eddystones, and together with VDUs and thyristor burst modules  the noise floor was actually on the ceiling, with the AGC working flat-out. Trying to get signals through the window was a real waste of time, but at least her sanity was restored.
Digital electronics has moved on a bit (most of the clock frequencies are now in the VHF range) but there's more of it and it tends to come in plastic boxes these days with switch-mode PSUs and much bigger monitors.

Look for the boxes and wires, keep your antennas and feeders well away from them, and try to find a really good RF earth (which may be quite difficult). The mains earth will probably be a long way from the bonding point, so any stray RF getting to it will end up being fed all over the building. Don't use excessive power (I've worked all round the country on 100mW when 40 is in a good mood) and be prepared to reduce at the first hint of any problems. You obviously can't point out to your host that it's his badly designed equipment causing the problem; it's up to you to use your skill to find a solution - anticipate and plan ahead.

You all know all about this anyway, so sorry for the egg-sucking course!

Congestion on the Bands
There IS another relevant aspect to EMC,  and that is between one station and another. 40M has at best about 20 phone channels, and at worst (everyone hating each other), thirty. Add upwards of fifty museum stations over a weekend and the noise floor will once again be on the roof. The project will end in chaos unless we plan for multi-band operation and multi-station nets on a reduced number of channels. Operators could be free to roam from net to net or band, or freelance, but it will be an interesting opportunity to see if we can make good, responsible use of our scarce resource on 40M. Eighty is unlikely to be much good during museum opening hours, but worth a try for limited range contacts.

We hope you will all co-operate to help us share informal 'museums network' frequencies, on each band in use, during the two days of activity. If many of us are together on shared frequencies, this should help reduce the congestion on the bands. Those stations which do find themselves to be well placed, should hopefully take control of the 'museums network' for a reasonable period, before eventually passing the responsibility on to another well placed station.     


Last page update 07 January, 2023 11:48 -0000