Tag: rsgb

National Hamfest 2016

Once again the National Hamfest was located at Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire. The rally once again took part on the Friday and Saturday, with im told Friday being the much busier day. I elected to go on Saturday, the flea market was once again rather small, maybe even smaller than 2015 with a selection of pre-owned equipment (junk) for your delight.

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29929795422_679cc40e51_k29444838903_bd51df99ed_kHere you can see a selection of pictures taken in the flea market area. The inclusion of a white coat from one of the sellers adds an air of science.

 

Inside everything was in one main hall, this included your large equipment manufactures, Icom, Kenwood and Yaesu.

John G8DZH from LEFARS purchased one of the new Icom 7300 and on collecting his bonus external speaking Icom informed him he was the 50th purchased of the new radio that weekend !

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Mark M0DXR from Kenwood was on hand to offer advice and a friendly face on their stand.

Kenwood had their new handheld TH-D74E on show that does FM, DSTAR and APRS.

Walters and Stanton and Martin Lynch and Lamco made up the major retailers, all having a selection of new and used equipment for purchase.

I was really nice to catch up with the TX factor team, I spent sometime chatting to Mike G1IAR and I congratulated the team on producing some really high quality videos. Mike was telling me they had set the production and content values very high, meaning few but well made programs.

Here you can see Mike doing a bit to camera, with the assistance of Peter M0PSX from Essex Ham

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The Camb- Hams team was in attendance with Flossy2, running a special call GB16NH  and Geoff G0DDX attended with his recently completed van.

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The RSGB had a number of stands, books, DF, Observation Service, Contesting, EMC and QSL service to name a few. A very enjoyable day out and a chance to catch up with people, some I had never met and only worked on the air. It also gave me a chance to wear the new LED matrix callsign badge, and this prompted a number of people to ask “Where did you get the badge from”  to which I would reply Friedrichshafen.

73 Dave M0TAZ

 

 

 

 

 

Friedrichshafen Ham Radio Rally

This was my first visit to Friedrichshafen so could be considered a beginners guide ! Friedrichshafen is located on the southern side of Germany, the local airport is Friedrichshafen. While the town has a local airport it only has limited flights from the UK so this wasn’t the route I opted for.

My route flew from Gatwick to Zurich, I then took the train to Romanshorn and then the ferry to Friedrichshafen. This route allows you to see some of the local area before you arrive, the train and ferry combined costs around £27 each way. The train takes around 1Hr, and the ferry around 45 minutes, providing you with a great opportunity to take some pictures on Lake Constance.

Ferry from Romanshorn

An alternative route is to take the train from Zurich to Friedrichshafen, this take around 2 hrs and costs around the same at £25.

The ferry and train seem to be coordinated, so the ferry leaves shortly after the train arrives (and vica versa) . Its only a short walk through the underpass to access the ferry, and the boat delivers you right into the centre of Friedrichshafen, be sure to check out the viewing platform close to the harbor entrance during your visit.

The train can be booked online, using the SBB website and the ferry here. Its possible to purchase combined tickets, and the train leaves Zurich airport every 60 minutes.

The exhibition centreThe main event is of course the rally, spread over 3 days and comprising of over 4 main halls. The halls are split into 3 main areas, projects and construction area, flea market and commercial exhibitors. The rally website contains all the information needed to plan your visit.

The rally entrance tickets are cheaper online, so ordering in advance will save you money and time. You can order you tickets by visiting the rally website, a 3 day pass is around £15. Parking is provided on site, cost is around 4 EU per vehicle. The rally can be accessed by using the free shuttle bus, details are published on the rally website and the bus usually collects from the harbour and main station.

The rally has an extensive collection of previously owned equipment (and some junk) with objects as diverse as a £4k HP spectrum analyser to electronic scales used to weigh fruit in your local supermarket.

LunchThe rally provides a great opportunity to meet radio friends from all over the world, with ample time for eating and drinking. Most of the radio societies and DX groups have stands in the main hall, and it was nice to see the RSGB working hard on their stall. We even shared (metaphorically) lunch with Steve M1ACB the RSGB General Manager and President Nick G3RWF.

With this number of halls and exhibitors it really does take days to take everything in and explore the various stalls and new products.

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One to definitely add to your bucket list, and by far the largest rally in Europe. Thanks to George M1GEO for vehicular transportation, Chris G8OCV, Dave G7UVW and Peter G0IAP for showing me the ropes and Lin (George mum) for booking my travel and flights !

Dave M0TAZ

 

RSGB 21/28 MHz contest

The RSGB contest provided an ideal opportunity to focus activity on the higher HF bands. Previous John M0UKD and I had built beams for  28 MHz 3e beam and  21 MHz 4e beam using the design on DK7ZB website.  28 MHz is a compact design using a 3m boom, and 21 MHz is somewhat bigger at 5m boom.

The Racal PU12 mast was used for the 28 MHz antenna and Clark 10 for the 21 MHz antenna. Power was provided by the Honda 2KW silent generator and the radio was provided by George M1GEO the Icom 7700 delivering 200w RF.

John M0UKD helping to assemble to 21 MHz (Left) and 28 MHz beams.

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The operating was alfresco as the October weather was  sunny and warm. The shack table was positioned close to the mast ready for armstrong rotation.

The Clark mast was modelling some new blue legs, recently fabricated by Brian 2E0FHU. They worked perfectly and once assembled they provided a sturdy base.21317020033_44fe6db48c_z

A quick check with the MFJ analyser confirmed the antenna was spot on resonance, and so the CQ calling could commence.

Despite a valiant effort on both 21 and 28 MHz conditions did not support the number of QSO we had hopped, in fact you could say it was a challenge to work anyone at times. QSO could be hard to tease out, and we decided the best method was to work anyone we could  hear. Some big DX did arrive, as we managed to work ZS6AI, ZS5DCF, CX8DS, VP8NO and PS8BR to name a few. The bands did seem to be open, at one stage we listened to a CW beacon in South America that was very loud (apparently 10w).

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M1GEO George driving the Icom 7700.

 

 

 

 

 

21 MHz beam (Left) on Clark 10m mast — 28 MHz beam on Racal PU12 mast.

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Despite the lack of activity or poor band conditions we enjoyed our time operating outdoors in the sunshine.

Both homebrew beams worked well, and this may well be the last time we operate outdoors in 2015.

Further pictures from the day are available online.

Thanks to everyone we worked 73 Dave M0TAZ

Second 70 MHz contest

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We had some great September weather today for the RSGB 2nd 70MHz contest. We setup a station at the Kelvedon Hatch ‘Secret Nuclear Bunker’ as seen above, using John M0UKD 70MHz amplifier and his 4 element DK7ZB 12.5Ω Yagi. The mast was my 12m Racal PU12 a push up 12m mast, and the location was around 100m ASL. The radio was the Icom 7100, as this provides all mode 70 MHz coverage.

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QSO Map - 2nd 70MHz RSGB Contest

Conditions seemed quite flat, we didn’t manage to work into Scotland or Ireland but our best DX (as many others) was PA4VHF at 449km. Other highlights were GJ3YHU in Jersey and M1CJN/P in the North York Moors.

A very enjoyable day of operating and testing the new amplifier. Next week, it’s the Practical Wireless 70MHz contest, so lets hope for the same weather and some band openings perhaps? Maybe I’m asking too much

The Claimed Scores are available. Thanks to John M0UKD, George M1GEO, Dave M0YOL and Chris G8OCV for help & company!

ROPOCO contest

This evening Dave M0TAZ/P took part in the ROPOCO contest. In this contest you have to give your own postcode as your first contact, and from then on you give the last postcode you received. Its really strange when half way through the contest you get your own postcode back.

The idea is to be accurate and fast, and this year we completed 47 QSO in 90 mins with the assistance of John M0UKD.

M0TAZ/P RoPoCo Contest 2015

M0TAZ/P RoPoCo Contest 2015 – IC-7200 100W

RoPoCo Contest 2015 - Antenna

RoPoCo Contest 2015 – Antenna (Inverted V Dipole @ 11m

© 2015 Dave, M0TAZ