Sep 27

Railways On The Air 2021 – GB0WHR – Sat/Sun 25th/26th September 2021

Some of our club members again activated the Whitrope Heritage Centre near Hawick in this year’s Railways On The Air event.

Different callsign from usual WRH, which no doubt created some confusion when the QRZ page corresponding to the WHR callsign gives details of another station.

A good weekend was had by all, despite drizzly rain most of the first day then heavier rain on the Sunday afternoon.

74 QSOs were made over the weekend.

Station operating from the carpark of the centre. Thanks to Dave H MM0HTL for use of the caravan and awning.

Equipment:
Transceiver: Kenwood TS-430S
Antenna Tuner: Yaesu FC-902
Amplifier: Yaesu FL-2100B putting out about 200w peak.

Antenna: UK Antennas End-fed multiband antenna (40/20/15/10m)

Dave S GM0KCN with bottle of Johnny Walker Red Label on table
“Johnny Walker was present and pleasantly enjoyed.”

Many thanks to the Waverley Route Heritage Association for allowing us to set up in their carpark at Whitrope again this year. Thanks also to Dave S GM0KCN, Dave H MM0HTL and Steven MM0ILC for organising, helping set up, and operating the station for the weekend, and other club members visiting during the event.

QSL cards will be on their way to stations contacted.

Location:
Whitrope Heritage Centre, Whitrope, Hawick, Roxburghshire TD9 9TY
Location: 11 miles south of Hawick on B6399 (Hawick to Newcastleton road).


Maidenhead Locator: IO85PH 00co
55.294320, -2.748944 (55°17’39.6″N 2°44’56.2″W)
NGR: NT 52540 00279
Google: 9C7V77V2+MC
W3W:///jousting.windmills.wire
https://wrha.org.uk/the-association/find-us/

Satellite image showing location of Whitrope Heritage Centre carpark

https://rota.barac.org.uk/
https://wrha.org.uk/the-association/whitrope-heritage-centre/

Jun 08

PW 144MHz QRP Contest – Sunday 13th June 2021

As COVID-19 restrictions have relaxed somewhat, the club took part in the Practical Wireless 144MHz QRP Contest this year.

We’ll assembled at the usual spot at the quarry off the summit of the Ettrick “Middle Swire”, between Yarrow and Kirkhope (W of Ettrickbridge).

Note: COVID-19 precautions were taken, and we were well short of the 12-person outdoor limit. All attendees were fully vaccinated.

Warm in the sunshine, but a persistent brisk wind and increasing cloud meant that we had to shelter between the vehicles for ourselves and to protect the mic from wind noise.

It stayed mostly dry with just a spot of drizzle late on, so we were able to operate outside with no interruptions.

We made almost 30 contacts over the day, reaching from Fife down to South Wales, and from the Isle of Man to Yorkshire, including one contact from the summit of Mount Snowdon.

Not quite the lift conditions we’ve experienced on some contest days, so no Irish, continental Europe or south of England.

Spot the not-so-deliberate mistake. Hint: Is that plug not meant to be connected to something? This was when the 10m mast was fully erected and guy ropes all perfectly tightened. More reconfiguration was done at the same time as fixing the error.

(“Not the first time and won’t be the last…”)
George GM1OPO doing a bit of listening on 2m…

…before moving to some HF operation.

Always useful to have a reminder of your callsign and other details in case your mind goes blank when keying the mic.

So much for the hot sunny weather we were forecast. This is the drizzly rain coming over the hills towards us in the afternoon.
Indications of how conditions can vary. We heard the other contact a strong clear signal while he was struggling to copy our details with local noise. Also how easy it is to be distracted with getting a contact that you forget to give the required information.

Despite the slightly disappointing weather, we had a good day out and it was good to meet up with other club members again seeing as our weekly club nights have been suspended since March 2020.

Here’s hoping we have more days out, hopefully with slightly better weather.

Jun 09

Sun 9th June 2019 PW 144MHz QRP Contest

On Sunday 9th June 2019, club members were operating GM4YEQ/P in the Practical Wireless 144MHz QRP Contest from our usual spot on Ettrick Swire between Yarrow and Ettrick. 

We had a successful day, made 21 contacts in 12 different squares, from the Isle of Skye IO67 down to the Isle of Wight IO90.
We escaped most of the rain, retreating to the inside of Dave’s Picasso during a couple of the heavier showers, but otherwise occasional drizzle and a bitterly cold wind!

Many thanks to Dave (GM0KCN) and Jim (GM7LUN) for operating the station, Mike (MM3NTX) for logging, and George (GM1OPO) for helping set up.

Antenna poles ready for assembly.
Good job you remembered to bring the antenna, Dave!
Now, which end of which pole do we fasten the antenna to?
This isn’t the first time the antenna was bolted onto the pole.
Antenna up, just need some guys to hold it.
Windy site!
Dave and Mike making the first contacts.
George testing the output and signal are all okay.
Jim taking over for a bit.
Mike and Jim keeping warm with coffee
Dave making more coffee. Bacon rolls were good!

Coordinates:
Lat/Lon: 55.5217N 2.9993W
NGR: NT370257
QTH: IO85MM
W3W: indicates.kitten.sprinter
PLUS: 9C7VG2C2+M7

Jun 09

Practical Wireless 144MHz QRP Contest 2018

Club members participated in the Practical Wireless 144MHz QRP contest again this year.

The aim is to contact and exchange details with as many other stations as we can through the day, all over the country, using 5 watts of power maximum, on 144Mhz band which is usually “line-of-sight” only.

We were slightly more successful than last year, even though we had a few episodes of thunder and heavy rain and had to retreat to the vehicles. Contacted stations from the north of Scotland right down to the south coast of England.

Thanks to our operators Dave and Jim, Dave and George for getting the station set up and antenna erected, Mike for logging, and the other club members who came to support us during the day. Also special thanks to Dave for the coffee and fresh bacon rolls cooked on the portable gas stove!

As usual we were located at the top of “Middle Swire” between Yarrow and Ettrickbridge, 6 miles west of Selkirk. The day started off nice, then the clouds rolled in and the rain started.

The day started off nice.

Nice view down to the south

George’s car equipped for some HF and VHF listening while we’re up the hill.

George and Dave building the antenna pole.

This battery should last long enough.

Solar power, only useful while the sun was out…

FT-991A Transceiver

Playing with HF while waiting to start contesting on VHF…. and watching the heavy showers dodge us. For now….

Calling CQ for any stations listening. Callsign and locator on the sheet for reference. Notice the DIY audio reflector for the on-board speaker.

Okay boys, time to retreat to the vehicles! Rain started.

Getting very noisy and crackly on the radio now. Acutely aware there’s lightning around and we’re next to a tall metal pole with a trailing cable leading inside the car. The radio was disconnected for the short time the bursts of static became a constant loud crackle. Not that we could hear the radio anyway over the sound of the rain battering off the roof of the car.

These were taken during the breaks inbetween showers.

At the end these were the squares that we had contacts in. Shame we missed IO83 and IO92.

Altogether (to be confirmed by the invigilator) 28 contacts (we had a duplicate that nobody noticed at the time) in 13 squares. Just need to wait and see how well we did compared to other stations, particularly the Scottish ones as we won Best Scottish station of last year’s contest.

 

 

 

Call: GM4YEQ/P

Locator: IO85MM (Square IO85)

Coordinates: 55.5215N 2.999W 360m (1180ft) ASL
NGR NT370257 (WAB Square NT32)
Google Maps shortcut: 9C7VG2C2+M7
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/search/9C7VG2C2%2BM7

Jun 12

PW 144MHz Contest, Sunday 11th June 2017

A few of our members took part in this year’s annual Practical Wireless 144MHz Contest. 17 contacts made, 10 different locator squares.

Good time was had by all despite the howling winds and bucketing rain.

Many thanks to all for helping out, and thanks to Dave S for the bacon rolls!!

 

Mike MM3NTX assisting setup

Dave S GM0KCN making final adjustments to the mast.

Squares contacted over the day. Sure this is worth a prize of some sort…. #bingo

Temporary “shack”. Could have done with more cushions though… Plenty legroom though.

Food preparation! Not bad going considering the howling wind at the time…

Both masts

Co-linear mast for “spotting”.

Main antenna for making contacts.