Sunday 23rd April St Georges Day provided a good excuse to play some radio with Essex Ham. Charlie M0PZT had once again applied for the special call GB0 ST Georges day, and the location was Gallywood common just South of Chelmsford.
The weather was better than expected, and this encouraged lots of Essex Ham members to attend and play radio. I counted 7 active stations, these included at various times 144 MHz FM and SSB, 70 MHz, 18 MHz, 14 MHz, 7 MHz 5 MHz, and 3.5MHz So you could say we had most bands covered.
I opted to start on 70 MHz using a 1/2 wave and some push-up poles. The furthest distance on 70 MHz was down into the Gatwick area around 50 Miles. Once I had worked everyone I could hear I then migrated to 5 Mhz using a low doublet antenna.
With the assistance of G8OCV Chris and George M1GEO, we soon had the doublet supported in a local
tree and ready to work some inter G. The band conditions were a little depressed, once again a solar flare had caused some disturbances, but 5 Mhz did provide reliable contacts as far north as Scotland and all over the UK. Signals were especially strong from Devon and the South Coast.
It was nice to see so many people operating portable, every station battery powered. I operated from 1130 to 5 PM using a lead acid leisure battery and the Icom 7100. Special thanks to Peter M0PSX and Charlie M0PZT for organising the event once again.
You can follow Essex Ham on twitter or their website.
I noticed the @essexham crew had tweeted that they would be operating radio from Shoeburyness on Sunday, and the weather forecast was looking good so I decided to head over and say hello.
I had never operated from the car park (adjacent to the beach) at Shoeburyness, but was aware of the location as its popular with walkers and kite flyers.
I packed up the car, taking the Icom 7100 and roach pole / Slim Jim antenna, 85 Ah leisure battery The journey down was a little busier than expected, mainly due to the fine weather and Bank Holiday rush to the coast.
Here you can see the various roach poles, above setup for 40m and 144 Mhz
Peter G0DZB had a loop for 30m setup between the roach poles.
Setting up the roach pole and slim jim on 70 MHz and I was able to work M0KSJ around 50km away
I was also able to work station in Basildon and Chelmsford, but the band did see a little quiet.
I then turned my attention to some pictures snapped this picture looking East towards Foulness Island. The sea was some considerable distance out, leaving the boats beached and a wide expanse of sand.
Spent a very enjoyable Sunday with the crew from Essex Ham. The operating site is at Gallywood common near Chelmsford, and the operating is outdoors and subject to weather. The sun was shinning, and alfresco portable operating was possible.
Stations included 2 HF, 1 VHF/UHF and 1 on 70 MHz. I opted for the 70 MHz station, using a Icom 7100 and a slim Jim supported on a spidebeam roach pole.
Here you can see various various roach poles supporting HF and VHF aerials.
Over the afternoon I worked 12 stations on 70 MHz, they ranged from Southend, Colchester and Waltham Abbey so around 20 miles.
Band conditions on HF left a little to be desired, although this didn’t stop Peter G0DZB from working CW on 10 and 14 MHz.
Many thanks to the Essex Ham team for their hospitality, bacon sandwiches and tea. I hope to see you again soon on another sunny afternoon for some further portable operating.
Peter has some further pictures and operating report on his blog.
73 Dave M0TAZ