Activities Held 2014 (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 Below)
All items are in increasing date order within a Year, but with the latest Year at the top and older years below
The following is an outline of shed excursions and special activities that have been held.
10th Jan 2014 – Meeting
17th Jan 2014 – Jack Waterford
31st Jan 2014 – Visit to the Charnwood Fire Station & the SES in Belconnen
Thirty-two members heard from the Fire Chief at Charnwood that if a fire is outside the ACT then it is the responsibility of the NSW patrols, but there is communication between the two services. Within the ACT the response time is seven minutes, but can vary depending on the location of the station that responds. If you are in a shopping centre and hear an alarm, then head for the nearest exit.
Michael Blumenfeld, who is the son of Wally, one of our members, then gave us a guided tour of a Fire Truck. Michael opened the many storage doors around the Fire Truck, and then pulled out the drawers and explained the use of the items/tools within. Apart from different fire extinguishers for specific types of fires, there are tools for entering buildings, both through the doors and the walls. He then showed us the fire hoses and how they are connected to the water tank. We were able to look inside the cabin, which accommodates two in the front, and four in the back. Michael explained that their breathing apparatus is attached on the way to the fire. Each fireman is connected by wireless to an alarm in the truck which sends out a piercing sound if he needs help.
At the back of the truck are two ‘Jaws of Life’, These are similar to tin snips, but much bigger and heavier, and the jaws are curved. The fireman holds on to the handles and engages the jaws by pressing a switch. The jaws then open and close mechanically. You can see how they would chew through a car. At the conclusion we were told that the installation and checking of house fire alarms is a free service provided by firemen in the ACT.
We then drove to the SES which is at the back of Egan Court, where Project Lighting is located. Here we were instructed by Wally, Michael’s father and Shed Member, as well as another SES member.
They told us about the many services provided by the SES. As well as attending grass and bushfires, they include provision of catering, shelter, drinks, toiletry, SES member on the job! and other needs to assist during a big emergency. They are also called upon to assist in other regions of the ACT, as well as NSW and interstate. They respond to calls resulting from flood and roof damage, tree collapse and may be asked at times to assist police in searches for both people and forensic evidence.
There are a few paid staff, but the majority are volunteers. Belconnen has about forty, both retired and working. They meet weekly at Egan Court. Most employers will allow a certain number of days during the year for their SES volunteers to attend emergencies.
We were then shown around the trucks … just large utes really, with similar equipment to the fire trucks but without the variety and technology. They carry a lot of tarpaulins to cover roofs that may be damaged by storm, fire or trees. Fire Station Pictures and SES Pictures
28th Feb 2014 – Excursion to Tidbinbilla Tracking Station
A great morning was experienced at the CDSCC by twenty one of our Shed members. We were met at the assembly area outside the visitors centre by Korinne McDonnell, our host for the morning. Korinne, who holds a PhD in astronomy, gave us a very informative talk on the operations carried out at Tidbinbilla and its place in the worldwide network involved in deep space exploration. CDSCC is one of the three current Deep Space tracking stations in the world comprising NASA’s Deep Space Network. The Tidbinbilla site became the prime Australian site following the relocation of tracking facilities from the former Honeysuckle Creek & Orroral Valley stations when their operations ceased. About 90 staff are currently employed at CDSCC, comprising a wide range of skills including electricians, mechanics, technicians, catering staff etc.
Korinne explained that the CDSCC currently has three active ‘big dish’ antennas (known technically as Deep Space Stations (DSS) that receive data from, and send commands to, a wide variety of spacecraft – this being the prime mission of CDSCC . Each of these antennas is identified by a unique number according to its location in the world. The largest antenna at CDSCC is known as DSS 43 and was built between 1969 and 1973 and later extended in size. It is the largest parabolic antenna in the Southern Hemisphere and weighs more than 3,000 tonnes, and as Korinne explained, has a surface area as large as the average football field! More antennas are being built to upgrade the facility.
Korinne gave us some background on the two Voyager missions i.e. Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 that have been exploring our solar system for many years, on a “grand tour of the solar system” in her terms. Launched some 37 years ago these NASA spacecraft are still powering on. Incredibly, Voyager 1 is now approximately 18.3 billion kilometres from Earth and Voyager 2 some 15.5 billion kilometres away (amazing!). Korinne explained that it takes some 17.5 hours for the signal from Voyager 1 to come back to earth, and transmits with a power of a very weak 3 watts, and it takes about 14 hours from Voyager 2. Both of the Voyager craft are nuclear powered, and the last photos sent from Voyager 1 were in 1990 – they now only transmit data and not physical photos. Their main mission initially was to explore Jupiter and Saturn, but after successfully achieving this objective NASA decided to extend their mission, with Voyager 1 making history by exploring the region between stars and Voyager 2 having gone on to explore Uranus and Neptune. Korinne then went on to tell us about Curiosity, the latest Mars rover which was launched in November 2011 and landed on August 6 2012.
We were able to view a video showing some actual film of the control station and the reaction of the staff during the pre-landing phase of the mission, together with audio-visual representation of how the highly complicated landing process took place – a fantastic effort. Curiosity was designed to determine if Mars existed with an environment that was capable of supporting life in the form of microbes, and if it could indeed be habituated at any time.
Weighing in at 900kg and measuring 3 metres long, 2.7 metres wide and 2.2 metres tall, the nuclear-powered Curiosity began sending photos back to earth only three minutes after having landed on the surface of Mars. It landed in a massive crater some 4.5 kilometres in depth to begin its mission exploring the surface. Curiosity has an amazing array of scientist instruments, the biggest and best suite of equipment of any craft ever sent to the Martian surface. It has 17 black and white cameras and several colour cameras. Photos transmitted confirm that the surface of Mars is extremely rough and rocky, necessitating the rover to move at a very slow speed during its operations (top speed being 6cms per second) to avoid damage etc. and allow for sufficient data capture. Curiosity has a 2m long robotic arm to handle a wide variety of manoeuvres. It has been fitted with a “sample” scoop which allows for the collection of rock dust and samples for analysis, the results being sent back to earth by radio waves. To date Curiosity has also taken over 100,000 laser shots of rocks and terrain on Mars, showing detailed composition of rock material. It has driven about 5 kilometres so far in about 18 months and has about 3 kilometres to go to get to the base of the adjacent mountain.
NASA is hoping to extend the Curiosity mission beyond the originally anticipated two years, with the hope that they may be able to maintain this mission for up to 10 years. If it is ever deemed possible to have humans make a manned mission to Mars it would take up to 9 months to reached the red planet, hence the primary need to try and establish the fastest mode of transport ever developed by mankind, as the craft would need incredible speed to reach that target.
Should you wish to read more about these subjects you can view the following websites for further information, which will provide links to a wide sphere of interest:
This was a fascinating talk and visit. Many thanks to CDSCC, our guide and host Korinne for her insightful technical explanations, the overworked staff at the Moon Rock Café and the Shed drivers who volunteered their services to the site. See our photos
Thanks to Laurie Power for organising this trip to Tidbinbilla and special thanks to Geoff Grimmett for preparing the trip report.
14th Mar 2014 – Excursion & BBQ at Lowden Park in Tallanganda State Forest.
On this day 28 Shed Members in 7 vehicles enjoyed a great excursion to Lowden Forest Park, east of Captains Flat in the middle of Tallaganda State Forest and about 84 Km from the Shed. Hidden in a green fern gully in the forest is an old logging camp from the 1830’s. We saw not only the famous electricity generating Water Wheel from the 1930s, still turning vigorously, but also a number of historical relics more than 170 years old scattered throughout this park.
The picnic area at Lowden Forest is very picturesque and the surrounding native bush of Tallaganda State Forest includes majestic and inspiring stands of brown barrel, making bushwalking, four-wheel-driving and mountain bike riding favourite activities in the area. There are numerous walking tracks commencing at the picnic area to explore at leisure.
After an inspection and walk around the Water Wheel and among the other historic objects, we adjourned to a great BBQ which cooks Don Gruber and Stuart Allan had prepared. Thanks Gents!
We left the Shed about 9.40AM and reached Lowden about 11AM. After a BBQ we headed back and arrived at the Shed by around 2.15PM.
See also Lowden Waterwheel
4th Apr 2014 – Dr Nick Abel CSIRO gave a talk on Climate Change
47 members attended and listened to this empowering presentation and its impact Powerpoint presentation on the Shed’s Google Drive cloud location
2014-04-25 Anzac Day BBQ
2014-05-05 Greenhills Working Bee
13th Jun 2014 – Visit to the Wesleyan Church Parkwood
36 members enjoyed our June Sausage Sizzle, this time in a slight drizzle at Parkwood Wesleyan Church, with our hosts for the day, Jim and Pam Grace, giving us a potted history of the Church and the times when it was built.
Thomas and Eliza Southwell and their two small children (Thomas and Mary Ann) arrived in Australia in 1838 from Robertsbridge, Sussex, and they first settled at Cobbity near Camden. In 1840 they established themselves on the Ginninderra Creek and their first residence was shown as “Palmerville”.
Thomas and Eliza were Wesleyans and brought their religion into this area. Bible readings and family prayers were held in the home twice a day and Thomas began to read a sermon in his home. It was not long before neighbours, often walking long distances, came to hear these sermons and gather on the Sabbath. By 1848 regular services were being held at “Southwells”. Local Preachers travelled long distances to conduct services.
On 20 May 1852 Thomas’ wife Eliza died after the birth of their 9th child. In April 1853 Thomas married a widow Mary Croxton and brought her, and her two small daughters, to his home at Ginninderra Creek.
In 1863 Thomas himself built the present “Parkwood” home and as the homestead had become too small for the increasing congregation he gave a 99 year lease of 20 perches of land for a church site near the homestead. On this site Thomas built a lined wooden slab church with a boarded floor and bark roof using voluntary labour which included family, neighbours and friends. The church was ready for occupation by June 1863.
However, by the late 1870s the wooden church was showing signs of deterioration and Thomas decided to build a new church. The slab church was demolished and the new stone building erected on the same site.
The proportions were smaller than the previous building. This fine substantial stone structure with shingle roof, which Thomas had built at his own expense is what still stands today. The Church cost £150 and has been renovated and repaired on a number of occasions since. It is currently cared for by the Southwell Family Society. Thomas Southwell was regarded as the founder of Methodism in the Canberra district. He died on May 31 1881 at the age of 68 after a long and painful illness.
Special thanks to Pam and Jim Grace for showing us over the Church and telling us about its history. Thanks too, to Don Gruber for organising our visit to Parkwood Wesleyan Church. Thanks also to Drew McDonald, Bob Salmond and Don Gruber for organising the BBQ and cooking on the day. Thanks also to Roger Amos who brought along his historic 1936 Vauxhall which added quite a bit of class to our outing. See our photos
2014-06-27 Trivia Day
2014-07-04 Shed Auction and Meccano models
2014-07-11 Short Talk Day
2014-07-18 BBQ & Sing Australia Blokes
25th July 2014 – Goulburn Brewery Visit
The Goulburn Brewery complex houses much more than the brewery itself. There is also a maltings, a steam powered flour mill, cooperage, tobacco curing kiln, as well as a mews of stables and workers’ cottages – all designed as an integrated industrial complex by colonial architect Francis Greenway. The complex was reopened in 1990 and incorporates a hotel, restaurant, function rooms, cabaret theatre restaurant, art gallery and accommodation. We tasted real ales, brewed in the time honoured traditional way, with top fermentation in open-top vessels.
This photo shows bottles of ale and stout, and a “Goulburn Stubby” (it holds two litres of ale). Oddly enough, although many of our members had lived in the region for up to 40 years, some of them in Goulburn, they had no idea that there was a brewery here. It still functions today, although there is a modern brewery “out the back” with state of the art equipment in stainless steel vats, etc. and with modern hygiene to comply with modern health and safety requirements.
Our host for the day was Fr. Michael O‟Halloran, who among other things is something of a local historian, a brewer and no doubt, and a priest. Michael welcomed 22 of our members for a tour of the first industrial estate in Australia. As he explained, when the brewery was established in 1833, it had to be self- sufficient; it was remote from Sydney, at least a week away, with dangerous river crossings and impenetrable bush land.
They had to find their own grain, so they contracted local growers; they needed to have their own granary, brewery and mill for making their own malt (called malting). Michael told us how they graded the grain, the best for ale is barley, and how they malted it before roasting it and then cracking it, to that the yeast could access the sugars in the fermenting malt, to create the finest ales. Once the brew is ready it is put into casks, each of 72 gallons, to continue fermenting for up to 8 weeks before the ale is poured into casks, kegs, firkins, etc. for sale to the public. At Goulburn, the brewery complex includes a tax and excise office with a residence, on-site. Customers could not take their ale away from the brewery until they had paid the appropriate excise tax, and then they could go on their way. Some interesting expressions hark back to the days of brewing, guileless (meaning no guile, guile being the heat and boiling going on during fermentation), taking the “piss” as the ale ferments (literally meaning one of the by-products of yeast growing as it eats the sugar and creates waste). There were many more interesting quotes, but as I did not take notes, it is unfortunate I cannot recall them.
Fr. Michael managed to include a great deal of historical detail about the local business people and their families associated with Francis Greenway (the convict architect from Sydney) and his establishment of the brewery buildings at Goulburn. Originally, the owners were the Bradley family and they and their partners were the original proponents of railways in New South Wales, starting in 1849, in order to get their wool and other produce to the wharves in Sydney for export. However, as they began to build the railway from Sydney to Goulburn and Yass, the Government acquired their business in 1855, and Bradley became one of the first Commissioners for Railways, in NSW. Today, the Goulburn Brewery remains Australia‟s oldest brewery, pre-dating the Cascade Brewery in Hobart, by about five years (none of the existing Cascade Brewery is original). The buildings at the Goulburn Brewery are the originals and they continue to operate, albeit as a museum showing the history of brewing in the area, and of Francis Greenway‟s architectural endeavours in Australia, particularly NSW. The Goulburn Brewery is a good example of some of the significant historical examples of early life in Australia, particularly in the “remote” areas. There are some interesting examples of early architecture and of building styles of the time, some of which survive today, which would be a good topic for another visit in the future.
Thanks to Bob Greeney for organising the visit and preparing this report. More pictures
15th Aug 2014 – Monthly BBQ & Sausage Sizzle with special Talks by Dr Alex Ritchie titled “Aust Buried Treasures” & Geoff Miller about his ship trip to Antarctica in 2011
There was an excellent slide presentations by Dr Alex Ritchie titled “Aust Buried Treasures” emphasising great fossil discovery at the 3 main opal sites & Geoff Miller talked about his ship trip to Antarctica in 2011. Both these presentations are available on Google Drive with Alex’s here Opal Fossils and Geoff’s here Antarctica
Note there are some large files here so we have taken out the 6 video files. These can be viewed online or downloaded
22nd Aug 2014 – Visit to Lake Bathurst Heritage Museum
22nd Aug 2014 – Visit to Lake Bathurst Heritage Museum 16 members drove to Lake Bathurst and visited this museum. This is a handout on the WWII Underground Fuel Tanks
29th Aug 2014 – 7PM Friday Labor Club in Belconnen, 6th Anniverary Dinner & Our 6th Birthday Events
This was held with spouses/partners/friends at the Labor Club Belconnen. We had a special presentation by the Tuggeranong Ukulele Group (TUGS) and Greg Hutchison gave a short talk on history of the Shed (51 people attended and an enormous 27 from the band) Pictures
Greg Hutchison gave a short overview on the Shed’s early history with a few photos on the occasion of the Shed’s 6th Birthday – There was also a great performance by the Mt Rogers Primary School Band in the Church Hall (45 members signed the book). Overview Presentation on the Sheds Creation & Development
2014-10-27 Greenhills Working Bee
2014-11-07 AGM & Sausage Sizzle
24-26th Nov 2014 (Mon-Wed) Trip to Griffiths
14 people (7 couples) travelled to Griffith in individual vehicles. Most stayed at the Kidman Way Motel. Wal Cooper organised a visit to his brother-in-law’s farm that make prunes using hi tech equipment and an orange juice factory. Laurie was fascinated by a prune making machine and was astounded to find that it was made on the farm by the owner. Another special highlight was the visit to “The Hermit’s Cave”.
The Hermit’s Cave, situated on Scenic Hill on the outskirts of the town of Griffith, New South Wales, is in fact a complex of stone structures covering an area of 16 hectares. These structures include shelters, terraced gardens, water cisterns, dry-stone walling and linking bridges, stairways and paths that stretch intermittently across more than a kilometre of the escarpment. The complete structure and landscape was created single-handedly by reclusive Italian migrant Valerio Ricetti who made this place his home between about 1929 and 1952 during that time creating his own private “utopia” using the natural landscape and materials found in the area. The site is recognised for being a rare example of an Australian hermit’s domain and is listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register.
It was a great trip. Griffith was a comfortable 5.5hr drive via Temora
2014-11-30 Voices in Forest – National Aboretum
2014-12-05 Awards & Presentations
19th Dec 2014 (Fri) Mark Tunningley, President of the ACT Video Camera Club, talked about Home Videos & Christmas BBQ
Fortunately, making a good (or even great) home video isn’t hard when you know how, but with the abundance of video recording devices around these days, some sort of knowledge is required to make the home videos watchable and interesting. Mark explored the many digital camera options including iPads, GoPros, compact cameras (Panasonic Lumix and the like), SLR cameras (such as Canon EOS varieties – more expensive but better) through to movie only cameras ranging in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
Mark then showed us a number of his own videos including ones taken with basic cameras like an iPod right through to videos shot with expensive video cameras.
These videos were very well done and clearly demonstrate the following points Mark made in his talk.
Mark’s home movie videoing tips
- Do use a tripod or other stabilization techniques.
- Do keep your shots level.
- Do vary your shots, angles and positions, including long shots, medium shots and close-ups.
- Do take shots that show motion.
- Do frame your shot. Use zoom to frame your shot.
- Do realise sound is important. Whenever possible, use an external microphone
- Do take “cut away” shots.
- Do realise as the camera moves change in light is important. Be aware of backlight.
- Do shoot more than you need. Shooting ratio around 6:1 to 10:1.
- Do keep target audience in mind.
- Do keep your lens clean.
- Do have spare batteries.
- Do have spare media.
- Do turn off recording red light.
- Do check your screen to see that you are recording.
- Do remember to pause your recording.
- Do monitor continuity.
- Do check your screen to see that you have enough battery power.
- Do check your remote, as it made start or pause someone else’s camera.
- Do know your camera, read the manual. Know how to access the menus.
- Don’t be constantly zooming, panning or cutting between moving shots.
- Don’t let anything into the frame that distracts from the subject or scene focus.
- Don’t use “in camera” effects, do it in editing software.
- Don’t use digital zoom.
- Don’t pan against “the traffic”.
Mark’s 10 tips for editing video footage
- Scenes to last for about 4-5 seconds.
- Edit to about 10-1.
- Use only 1 or 2 types of transitions.
- Try to tell a story: Have a beginning middle and end.
- Don’t make it too long (5 to 8 mins).
- Know who your audience.
- Be aware of sound levels – music and ambient.
- Edit the sound as well- fade-in/fade-out change music on scene change.
- Use titles that are readable.
- Don’t be afraid to put things out of chronological order.
Mark’s list of Video Editing Software
- Adobe Premiere Elements (Mac OS X, Windows)
- Avid DS (Windows)
- Corel VideoStudio (Windows)
- Edius (Windows)
- iMovie (Mac OS X)
- Magix Movie Edit (Windows)
- PowerDirector (Windows)
- Sony Vegas Movie Studio (Windows)
- Windows MovieMaker (Windows)
More information? Then contact Mark Tunningley Phone: 6231 9587 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ACT Video Camera Club caters for all ages and members range in ability from complete novices to those with fairly advanced skills. With two meetings a month on the first and third Thursday there is always something happening and a monthly newsletter. The Club has an Email group list for notices of meeting and events and their newsletter “Viewfinder” is emailed out monthly and posted to those not on the internet. Meetings are on the third Thursday of the month 7:30pm, at the Weston Creek Community Centre, and usually feature a special presentation or guest speaker.
From time to time the Club also organises trips to places of interest or hold outdoor events such as the recent outdoor workshop at the Botanic Gardens. Within the club there are also special interest groups catering for different editing systems.
Thanks to Harry Redfern for organising Mark’s attendance at our Shed.