PW 144MHz QRP Contest 2023

On Sunday 11th June 2023 club members went up to our usual spot up the Yarrow/Ettrick “Middle Swire” (aka Witchie Knowe) to operate the station for the Practical Wireless 144MHz QRP contest.

Weather was decent, starting off as mostly cloudy in the morning and a light breeze, becoming less cloudy, more sunny and hotter by the afternoon. The heavy rain through the night before had passed over.

John GM7NVA, Mike MM3NTX and Brian MM7OYD arrived first, then Dave GM0KCN with the antenna and radio. Some chatting between us and playing with HF radio for a time while waiting for Colin MM1APS to arrive with the mast, which he did around 1040 after having to clean up from one of his dogs making a sick mess of his livingroom carpet through the night.

So we got the antenna set up on the mast, and Dave and Colin started operating the contest on radio and logging with John turning the antenna as needed. Some time was spent chasing other stations, and some sitting on a frequency calling CQ. Mostly on SSB but occasionally chasing locals on FM.

John GM0NYD and George GM1OPO arrived around lunchtime and Jim GM7LUN a little later.

Around 1530 (local time) we decided to call it a day as there was only 30 minutes left in the contest and the only stations we were hearing were those we’d worked before. Radio propagation seemed to be starting to fade.

All in all it was a good day operating, the weather held out contrary to earlier forecasts of thunderstorms. Our logs showed 035 as the last serial number used, but on later inspection we found that the numbers went from 022 to 033 then 034 and 035. So 25 contacts made, and a note was included when Dave KCN submitted the logs to the organisers. The logs corresponded to the information sent over the air, so nobody’s logs will be inaccurate, we just omitted serials 023 to 032, possibly after a battle getting the serial 022 copied by the other station.

For those not operating the contest station a chance to get out and experiment with other bands and antennas away from home QRM.

Many thanks to Dave and Colin for operating the station again this year, and hopefully we’ll maintain our streak of Best Scottish Station and Best in IO85.

Photos by Mike MM3NTX, John GM7NVA and Dave GM0KCN.

PW 144MHz QRP Contest 2023 – Sunday 11th June 2023

Again members of the club will be going up the hill to operate a portable station for the Practical Wireless 144MHz QRP contest on Sunday 11th June. We will be using the callsign GM4YEQ/P.

(See next post for how it went.)

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Wednesday Nights

Here are a few photos of some Wednesday night meetings’ technical goings-on. Not the same night, but several nights at the start of 2023.

We had a “magnetic loop” antenna night when several members brought their various magnetic loop antennas to look at. Bob GM4CID tested them for frequency and efficiency using a MiniVNA analyser.

Also Colin MM1APS was looking inside a Kenwood TK-705 mobile set to fault find problems with it.

Opening up a vintage Cambridge Pye shortwave radio.

Colin brought in an old valve tester to test some vacuum tubes for another piece of equipment.

Colin fixing a member’s Icom IC-756 Pro-II radio. Spot the destroyed component he’s trying to replace.

Mike MM3NTX brought in his Icom IC-706 radio to be frequency-calibrated because he was told it was “very slightly off” when he bought it second-hand. Colin brought in his frequency standard (receiving the 60kHz MSF signal from Anthorn) to calibrate the club’s frequency counter, and then in-turn used that to adjust the Icom. The radio was 400Hz out at about 145MHz, adjusted to within about 5Hz of frequency which is pretty good.

John GM7MUN brought in his old 486 PC running MS-DOS as it had the hardware and software to program his Philips FM 1000 mobile sets. Bob helped him with the programming.

PW 144Mhz QRP Contest 2022 Certificate

We received the certificate from last year’s PW QRP contest in June 2022 where myself (Mike MM3NTX), George GM1OPO, Brian MM7OYD and Nigel GM7GRH helped to get a station on-air in the back of Brian’s van and win top station in Scotland (admittedly out of 2 entrants) and top (only!) station in the IO85 square.

Thanks to the guys for helping to get us an entry for 2022.

2022 Rally – 30th October 2022

The Galashiels and District Amateur Radio Society Rally and Open Day was held on Sunday 30th October 2022 at the Volunteer Hall, St John Street, Galashiels.

A successful day, over 200 visitors through the doors, 17 traders taking tables, and many items sold through the Bring & Buy.

Welcome back to the many familiar faces seen once again after the last few years of COVID restrictions, and some new faces too.

Thankfully the weather stayed dry during the unloading of traders vehicles and setting up, with some heavy showers just after lunchtime.

Traders attended:
Alan Clegg
Mirfield Electronics
Canny Components
Scottish Borders Repeater Group
G-QRP Club
Mick Hunter
Perth Repeater Group
Tony Kruszelnicki from Lincoln
Gerald Prior
Michael Wills G0TNF
Dave Bagshaw
Dundee ARC
Fraser Williamson MM0HCD

Heavy rain shower just around lunchtime. Thankfully not at the start when we had queues of people waiting outside, or while traders were trying to load/unload their stuff.
Empty hall with just some boxes left on the floor waiting to be loaded onto vehicles and taken back home.

And then it’s all over! Tables emptied, visitors and traders heading back home.

Many thanks to all club members who came along to help setting up and to help out while others had a look around the hall. Thanks to the traders for setting up a display of products for everyone to come to, the caterers for food and drinks, and thanks to all those who came from far and wide to see our rally and again making it a successful day.

Hope to see you all next year!