Ramblings from a G4 by Antony Turnbull G4CUS November 2009

We thought that we had heard it all. The so called Art Plinth in Trafalgar Square has spawned all sorts of exhibitionists and their ‘acts’.  One of these was Martin G8CIX from Pangbourne in Berkshire who demonstrated Amateur Radio for one hour on Friday 25 September using the special event callsign GB1AO. He was lifted into place with his equipment and was filmed throughout his hour.  It was interesting watching this ‘performance’ and it was fairly obvious that all the QSOS he had were arranged beforehand and were carried out using D-Star. Apparently, although he had taken HF gear the qrm level was too high to allow any contacts which was a shame as no QSOS were made with stations outside the UK.

Through his contacts he explained about Amateur Radio, RSGB and Raynet. It all sounded a little stilted but there again I wasn’t up there at umpteen feet above ground level with lots of people staring up at me! Taking all these factors into consideration I think that he did a good job.

In September and early October the FT5GA Dxpedition to Glorioso created quite a stir. During the first few days a number of negative remarks appeared on the DXcluster asking why there was little activity from FT5GA. I sometimes wonder if these arm-chair critics have any imagination or common sense. It should be obvious to everyone that to mount an expedition of any size to an-out-of-the-way country will take a time to set-up. We were lucky to have one station going. After the first day or so multiple stations were on simultaneously on various bands and from what I heard were doing well. I was getting a bit agitated as the signals were weak here to start with and I wondered if I was going to work them before going on a two week holiday. However I managed one qso with them just a few hours before leaving home!
We spent a few days on the Isle of Wight in a hotel at Shanklin. The weather was lovely and we were able to sit out most evenings enjoying a drink or two.

On returning to the mainland we did a little tour of the West Country visiting family and friends. The first port of call was Poole, visiting my old science teacher from school all those years ago (no, I’m not saying how many). He has a six-birth cabin cruiser and we had a little trip around the harbour and around Brownsea Island. We also cruised past all those huge mansions at Sandbanks. Very nice! We ‘dipped’ into Somerset for a night and then on to Axminster where the carpets come from, and yes we did visit the warehouse and came away with one or two rugs at bargain prices. The final stop was Exeter for two nights where we sat by the quay after lunch until it got too hot and we retired to our hostess’s home. We also managed to tag onto a guided tour of the historic part of Exeter which was very interesting.

On arrival back home among the pile of post was October’s Vital Spark. I was saddened to read about the resignation of our Chairman and also the problems that Thelma our Editor has encountered. I don’t want to expand on these but I have to say that I agree with what they have both said. A club is about the members and not just the committee. In a healthy club the members take part and help in the running of activities. I hope that there will be a positive response to Thelma’s plea to share some of the workload.

DX countries worked during September include:-

Oman, Solomon Islands, Guam, Colombia, Chile, Malawi, Glorioso, Peru, Chagos Island, Egypt, Guadeloupe, Curacao, Minami Torishima, Djibouti, Philippines, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Aruba, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan,
Argentina, Indonesia, Israel, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic,
Venezuela, Guatemala and India.

Contests taking place during November include:-

High Speed Club CW Contest           0900Z-1700Z, Nov 1
Ukrainian DX Contest                        1200Z, Nov 7 to 1200Z, Nov 8
ARRL Sweepstakes Contest,CW      2100Z, Nov 7 to 0300Z, Nov 9
DARC 10-Meter Digital Contest        1100Z-1700Z, Nov 8
WAE DX Contest, RTTY                  0000Z, Nov 14 to 2359Z, Nov 15
JIDX Phone Contest                         0700Z, Nov 14 to 1300Z, Nov 15
OK/OM DX Contest, CW                  1200Z, Nov 14 to 1200Z, Nov 15
CQ-WE Contest                                1900Z, Nov 14 to 0500Z, Nov 16
YO International PSK31 Contest      1600Z-2200Z, Nov 20
SARL Field Day Contest                    1000Z, Nov 21 to 1000Z, Nov 22
LZ DX Contest                                   1200Z, Nov 21 to 1200Z, Nov 22
All Austrian 160-Meter Contest          1600Z, Nov 21 to 0700Z, Nov 22
ARRL Sweepstakes Contest, SSB     2100Z, Nov 21 to 0300Z, Nov 23
EU PSK63 QSO Party                        0000Z-2400Z, Nov 22
CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW        0000Z, Nov 28 to 2400Z, Nov 29

DX to look out for during November include:-

Nov 2-9, 2009 DXCC:     Papua New Guinea    Callsign: P29NI
QSL: G3KHZ              Woodlark I (OC-205); 160-15m; CW SSB RTTY

Nov 3-15, 2009     DXCC: Montserrat    Callsign: VP2M
QSL: Home Calls 160-10m; CW SSB RTTY; QSL OK via DARC Buro or direct

Nov 4-17, 2009     DXCC: Vietnam    Callsign: XV4
QSL: DL7DF        Phu Quoc I (AS-128);        160-10m;
CW SSB RTTY SSTV;   3 stns;          QSL OK via DARC Buro or direct

Nov 7-16, 2009     DXCC: Senegal    Callsign: 6W
QSL: RX3RC: By EI6DX as 6W/EI6DX; focus on low bands and CW;
QRV for JA DX Contest; QSL OK via Buro or direct

Nov 11-13, 2009                  DXCC: Papua New Guinea    Callsign: P29VCX
QSL: SM6CVX    By SM6CVX:  Hastings I (OC-117)

Nov 11-13, 2009                  DXCC: Papua New Guinea    Callsign: P29VLR
QSL: SM6CVX    By CT1AGF G3KHZ G3USR M0VTG:   d’Entrecasteaux I (OC-116);     160-15m; CW SSB RTTY

Nov 11-18, 2009     DXCC: Samoa    Callsign: 5W0MR
By IK1PMR PA3LEO PA0BWL AA4NN DJ5IW DJ7JC;   focus on low bands + WARC for EU; RTTY;   dates tentative; call sign requested

Nov 13-14, 2009                  DXCC: Papua New Guinea    Callsign: P29VCX
QSL: SM6CVX    By SM6CVX     Normanby I (OC-116)

Nov 13-27, 2009     DXCC: Ghana    Callsign: 9G5TT
QSL: I2YSB Direct By I1HJT I2YSB IK1AOD IK2CIO IK2CKR IK2DIA IK2HKT IZ2CHO;  also using 9G5XX   Abokwa I (AF-084)

Nov 14-21, 2009     DXCC: Falkland Is    Callsign: VP8BUH
QSL: EB7AEY  By CX2AM CX3CE CX3AN CX4CR CX4AAJ;   focus on low bands + WARC; SSB; also with digital modes using VP8BUG

Nov 15-16, 2009                   DXCC: Papua New Guinea    Callsign: P29VCX
QSL: SM6CVX  By SM6CVX     Loloata I (OC-240)

Nov 17-Dec 15, 2009     DXCC: Madagascar    Callsign: 5R8IC
QSL: F6ICX    By F6ICX       St Marie I (AF-090); 80-10m

Nov 18-30, 2009     DXCC: Western Samoa    Callsign: 5W0KH
QSL: DL2FAG  By DL2FAG  Upolu; 80-10m; mainly RTTY PSK SSB;
holiday style operation.

Nov 19-23, 2009     DXCC: New Caledonia    Callsign:FK
QSL: JA1NLX  By JA1NLX     Ouvea I (OC-033); HF; CW RTTY

Nov 19-Dec 1, 2009     DXCC: Tonga    Callsign: A31A
By IK1PMR PA3LEO PA0BWL AA4NN OE2SNL DJ5IW DJ7JC;   focus on low bands + WARC for EU; dates tentative; call sign requested .

Nov 20-26, 2009     DXCC: Canada    Callsign: VY1RST
QSL: KL7JR   By KL7JR WL7MY KL7BOB  Beaver Creek, Yukon; 160-10m,
focus on 160 + 80m; SSB PSK31; QRV for SS Phone Contest .

Nov 21-Dec 5, 2009     DXCC: Christmas I    Callsign: VK9XX
QSL: LotW    By DM2AYO DM5TI DL2JRM DL2RMC; 160-10m;  SSB CW + digital; verticals and yagis;   QRV for CQWW DX CW as VK9XW;
QSL also OK via DL1RTL, DARC Buro or direct.

Nov 23-Dec 6, 2009     DXCC: Chesterfield Is    Callsign: TX3A
QSL: LotW  By AA7JV HA7RY; dates tentative;  if outside this date range will be with FK/AA7JV or FK/HA7RY

Nov 24-Dec 6, 2009     DXCC: Belize    Callsign: V31PT
QSL: K8PT    By K8PT; likely 160-6m; likely CW SSB RTTY PSK31

Nov 24-Dec 6, 2009     DXCC: Belize    Callsign: V31PT
QSL: K8PT    By K8PT; likely 160-6m; likely CW SSB RTTY PSK31

Good hunting and plenty of DX.

Antony Turnbull –  G4CUS. From the Vital Spark, November 2009.

Return to the index of Vital Spark articles.

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air

Prepared by the clubs RSGB trainer, G3MGQ, you will find the latest DX contests including the ones to shoot for as well as ones to give a wide berth. Why not download the latest edition of Month on the Air and enjoy your DX just that little bit more.

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Vital Spark Archive

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UK Amateur Radio Repeaters

UK repeaters

Click button above for full list, or a local repeater callsign below for info.

GB3EB 2m in Uckfield- Active
MB6EB 2m DStar Node in Eastbourne - Active
MB6RY Wires-X DigiGate in Broad Oak - Active
GB3HE 70cm in Hastings - Active
GB7HE 70cm DStar in Hastings - Coming soon
GB3ZX 70cm in Eastbourne - Low Power
GB3JT 23cm ATV in Hastings - NoV cleared
GB7RY 70cm X-Wires Repeater Rye - Active
GB7ES Eastbourne - DSTAR Rpt. - Active
GB3ES 2m in Hastings - Active

For a complete list of repeaters, head over to
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Popular pages

Get your amateur radio licence - Find out more about amateur radio licence training.
Month on the Air - G3MGQ's popular monthly DX contest/expedition list.
Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup - The clubs annual operating event in the memory of Wilf Gaye M0GYE.
St. Richard's College Buildathon/STEM/ARISS - HERC attends St. Richard's Catholic College for their various events surrounding the Tim Peake ARISS contact.
G3BDQ - John Hey's Rare QSL Cards.
Sussex Electronics Radio Fair - SERF Sussex Electronics Radio Fair 2016.
Vital Spark - A selection of articles re-published from the Vital Spark.
RSGB News - Find out how to get RSGB news on your mobile or PC.
Experimenters Corner - A selection of Proteus projects by Bob Gornal (G7DME)
BBADL - Bath Based Distance Learning Course.
Conquest Hospital Radio - Presented by HERC member Antony (G4CUS).
Radio Rallies 2016 - An up to date list of radio rallies scheduled for 2016.
Club QSL Cards - A selection of QSL cards the club has received over the years.
Other Newsletters - Excellent newsletters and magazines from other clubs.
TX Factor episodes - Take a look at the TX Factors YouTube videos.
John Taplin - A bio of the late John Taplin.

Amateur Radio Resources

Other Radio Clubs & RAYNET

BSARS - Brede Steam Amateur Radio Society

RAYNET - The Hastings and Rother RAYNET Group.

HERC members sites

Sigord - Gordon Sweet
Hastings Radio Comms - Andrew Haas-Campbell
Hoofbags - Liz Costa