Ramblings from a G4 by Antony Turnbull G4CUS Sept Oct 2008

There has been plenty of activity this month, but not much of it from home. During the weekend of the 16 / 17 August was the international lighthouse / lightship activation. BSARS (all HERC members as well) was as usual set-up at Dungeness to activate the two lighthouses there.

The RNLI very kindly lent us a room (with sea views at no extra cost) at the lifeboat station. The radio station consisted of an IC756pro, Alpha amplifier, ATU, nest of dipoles, G5RV and an IC706 for VHF and as a back-up. All this equipment was kindly loaned by Tony G4KLF. An erection team assembled at Dungeness on the previous Thursday and spent the day putting up the aerials with their support poles and assembled the station in the allotted room. Luckily there are supports on the beach just in the right places for attaching the poles, one of these being a beacon. As you probably know the beach is of the stony variety and it is impossible to use guy pegs. Instead we filled plastic bags with stones and used these to weight down the ends of the guys. Mike G8OGO (sorry Mike I can never remember your G0 call) very kindly helped with the station erection despite the fact he was unable to attend the actual event.

He had a previous engagement at Bletchley Park. Coincidently we actually worked the Bletchley Park station GB2BP during the weekend while Mike was up there. The operator did say that there was a suspicious looking person wandering around!

The call-sign used was GB1DLH (I always think that it should be GB2DLH as there are two lighthouses). The operators were: – Steve M0SSR, Tony G4KLF, Phil G3MGQ and myself. We all logged for each other and Linda even did some logging on the Sunday. We managed to contact around 191 stations over the weekend and created a number of pile-ups, especially on 40m SSB. Considering that we had to close down on a number of occasions due to lifeboat activities I think that this QSO count was a good effort. Incidentally we worked two RNLI lifeboat crew members, one in Scarborough and the other in Sunderland. We also worked a Dutch station signing /MM from an historic lifeboat built in 1929.

On the Sunday the RNLI held their annual open day and there were many events going on, including a barbeque right outside our room. We had to keep the external door open because of all the wires coming in and so the cooking fumes were far too tempting for some of us!

The new shack in Brede is coming along well. The externals are complete and we are now in the process of wiring and fitting the insulation and internal cladding. Hopefully it will not be too long before we can start operating from there as well as from the nuclear bunker. We can also announce the fact that BSARS has made a successful application for a lottery grant of £5,390. All we have to do now is decide what to spend it on!

DX countries worked during August include:-

Bahrain, Laos, Palau, India, Indonesia, Ascension Island, Senegal, China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Cambodia, USA, Asiatic Russia, Philippines, Canada, Israel, Turkey, Kazakhstan and the Hawaiian Islands.

Due to lack of time I will not list all the DX and contests due this month but will mention the BIG one on 27/28 September. This is the CQWW RTTY contest which starts at 0000 and finishes at 2359. All contest bands from 3.5 to 28Mhz. The exchange is RST + CQ zone (UK = 14).

Over the past month the band conditions have been very good considering that we are still in the sunspot trough. The ‘bread and butter’ band has as usual been 20m. Over the past couple of weeks I have been amazed at the DX coming through on this band. Ranging from North and South America to Japan and Australia the signals have been fairly consistent. Japanese stations especially have been coming through in largish numbers. As you will see by my worked list below, I have been pretty active this past month due mainly to the wet weather.

The BSARS shack is coming along and is nearly completed. It has taken some time to get to this stage as it is difficult to get everyone together at the same time to form a construction gang, but we have managed at least one full working day a week. We now have power and have installed the important equipment, namely a kettle and of course tea/coffee! The club has purchased a Kenwood TS2000 with PSU and table microphone to add to the TS870 and IC735. We will therefore be able to operate from the Brede nuclear bunker and the new shack without having to move equipment around too much between the two. For security reasons we will not be leaving rigs in the new shack. The bunker is quite secure with concrete walls a few feet thick covered by plenty of earth!

DX countries worked during September include:-

Cuba, Panama, Guam, Bahrain, Ascension Island, South Korea, Paraguay,
Hawaiian Islands, Hong Kong, Jordan, Ethiopia, Singapore, Puerto Rico,
Martinique, Venezuela, Mayotte Island, Taiwan, Dominican Republic,
West Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, Brunei, Costa Rica, Argentina, Malawi,
Australia, China, Uzbekhistan, Laos, Palau Island, Senegal, Asiatic Russia,
Canada, Israel, India, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Japan, USA, Philippines,
Indonesia and Kazakhstan.

DX to look out for from mid October include:-

ZK2DF                      (Niue Island)                                              24.10 – 31.10
T6EE                         (Afghanistan)                                             05.10 – 31.10
VK9DWX                 (Willis island)       qsl DJ2MX                   09.10 – 27.10
V6B                           (Pohnpei)              IOTA OC010               26.10 – 01.11
T88RP/T88SB           (Palau)                                                       16.10 – 20.10
T32CXX/T32DAS    (East Kiribati)     qsl W0CXX/K0DAS     23.10 – 28.10
PJ2/PA0VDV           (Curacao)             IOTA SA006                 02.10 – 19.10
P29NI                       (Hermit island)     IOTA OC041                28.10 – 03.11
P29VLR                   (Garove Island)     IOTA OC181               20.10 – 26.10
J68WI                       (St Lucia)                                                   16.10 – 30.10
J3/DL7CM               (Grenada)                                                   06.11 – 25.11
HK1AT                    (Bernardo Islands) IOTA SA078               14.10 – 19.10
3DA0DJ                   (Swaziland)                                                17.10 – 27.10

The BIG contest in October is:-
CQ WW DX  SSB                                      0000 – 2400             25.10 – 26.10

Good Hunting and plenty of DX!

Antony Turnbull –  G4CUS. From the Vital Spark, September and October 2008.

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