August is the last Bank Holiday of the year, and with the weather set to be 30c+, it provided the ideal weekend to play some radio.
Members of LEFARS and SNBCG came together at Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear bunker for a 3 day radio weekend, including BBQ and camping. Some members of the advanced party arrived on Friday evening helping to set up the operating tents.
The 40m vertical was the first antenna to go up, this included 4 elevated radials.
Peter was delighted to use the 7 MHz vertical and linear, commenting on how much fun it was to run a pile-up! The weekend was all about having fun and trying out new things, Dick G4DDP completed a number of QSO on 50 and 70 MHz working SPe all over EU.
Special thanks to John who repaired my headset with a mono jack plug he desoldered from his own headset. Thanks, John!
Vintage Dave also decide to operate in period costume, adding to the nostalgia of his vintage wireless experience.
The BBQ provided by some excellent food, thanks to Ron and Karen for setting this up and Dave M0MDB for his Chillie.
Thanks to Piotr for this clip, it gives you some idea how busy 7 MHz can be on a field day.
We put 1030 QSO in the log, in 52 DXCC from both 7 and 18 MHz, thanks to everyone who took part and made the weekend a success.
Today was the RSGB first 70 MHz contest, and the weather was forecast to be overcast and dry. I operated from the SNBCG contest site at the Secret Nuclear Bunker Kelvedon Hatch.
The Icom 7300 and homebrew 6e beam was used in the field, and the Expert 1.3KA provided 160w to the antenna.
The pump up mast provides 10m elevation, and the bunker location has good take off in most directions. The only issue is some local noise when you beam towards the cellular mast that is on site.
Unfortunately the weather had other ideas, and it soon became apparent that sitting outside alfresco was no match for the British weather. The addition of an umbrella helped for the first shower, but the rain radar soon confirmed more was to come.
I decided to pack away after 90 minutes operating, as the weather was set to get worst. I also noticed a very high noise floor when both in and beaming towards the rain.
Sadly an early close meant not too many worked, but its the taking part that counts 🙂
Thanks to Dave M0YOL for his help setting up and taking down. Claimed score online, best DX GW0GEI at 314 KM
It’s the last chance to play some radio over a bank holiday weekend in 2018 before winter arrives!
On Saturday we had a BBQ for 25 people, giving everyone a chance to catch up over a burger.
The radio was split into a number of tents, VHF/UHF and 50 and 70 Mhz for LEFARS, with SNBCG running 2 HF stations. George M1GEO looked after the triband beam 14/21/28 MHz while I concentrated on 7 MHz using my vertical.
Band conditions could best be described as variable, at times allowing some big DX to be worked, and at other times presenting no signals at all due to a solar storm.
7 MHz on FT8 mode on HF helped work in the poor conditions, allowing me to work several stations from Indonesia, Brazil, West Malaysia, Argentina, Cuba, Australia, Oman, China and Arizona USA. Not bad for a 7 MHz vertical antenna with elevated radials.
I took the drone up to capture some nice aerial shot of the setup.
We had attendees from lots of local clubs including Camb-Hams, Essex Ham, LEFARS, SNBCG. A very well attended event, really nice to see everyone having fun and enjoying both the social and radio event.
Using the club call M0SNB June saw another chance to operate 70 MHz outdoors in the RSGB contest, with perfect weather at 24c. The contest site at the Secret Nuclear Bunker was used, at some 110m ASL it has good take off in most directions.
Using the homebrew 6e 70 Mhz beam, and the solid-state amplifier to deliver 160w worked a treat, with our best DX EI2FG @ 568 KM.
At last, the warmer weather has arrived, today gave me the first opportunity to operate outdoors without a coat.
It was a pleasant sunny afternoon so I decided to operate outdoors and make the most of the nice weather. Using the Icom 7100 and 65Ah leisure battery and a white stick for 145 MHz and slim jim for 70 MHz allowed me to work a number of local stations.
The 70 MHz Slim Jim is mounted on the fibreglass pole on the right.
The metal mast on the right had been given to me by Richard G4DDP and it was its first chance to try it out in the field. Its very heavy duty, and I think would have originally been designed to take a speaker at a gig, now upscaled to amateur radio.
On 145 MHz I worked M0FAQ Martin in Braintree, M0WJL Gordon in Corringham.
On 70 MHz I worked 2E0HPA/M Andy in Tadlow, G4YBI Paul Rainham, M0XTA Selim, G0ENN Southend.
Here you can see the Icom 7100 setup and operating on 70 MHz