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Olympics - Games Over (For Now)

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

Written by Chris G1VDP

The Olympic Games ended last weekend with them being declared a success, and we have to agree here at S.H.A.R.K. Not only were they entertaining but they also showcased some sports that would not usually be seen on television or Closing 1watched by people other than the ones who actively take part in them.


Team GB ended the games with 65 medals in total and some new heros and role models for the younger generation to look up to. These are people from normal walks of life who have been training over numerous years for that one day in their life to take part in a race or Jess winnerother competition that may only take seconds to complete. Some countries only had a small number of athletes, and we have to thank the government of Saudi Arabia for allowing women to take part in the games for the first time - fantastic forward thinking from the Saudi regime.

There were many other countries who's athletes can hold their heads high as they are amongst the elite of people taking part in the Olympic games, some overcoming many adverse conditions and hardships from Girls pursuittheir background, overcoming poverty, and disabilities - although the main Paralympic Games don't start for another 2 weeks - there was the South African runner who has overcome all predjudices and his loss of his legs to run at the games. Congratulations to all the medal winners, not just the Team GB, but all the others from all the nations.

Thanks must also be given to the thousands of volunteer Games Makers who helped with the running of the games, from the guy who gave directions to and from the events at the rail station to the volunteers who carried the medals and flowers at the presentations, these people gave up their time for free just to be a part of this wonderful show.

Now we must look forward to the Paralympic games as previously mentioned. These athletes are people with a disabilityoscar-pistorius-2012-olympics1 who love sport and train hard to be the best in their chosen discipline. Some may not look like they have a disability, may be a guy who is deaf riding a horse, others are amputees or born with limbs missing. These are the true heroes of the world. Overcoming everything to take part. We wish every one of them luck, and think they all should get a medal - gold to be honest - just for taking part.

But whichever games they are in I am sure they will all have fantastic memories, I know I have of some of the Team GB winners and their Kat and Sophiereactions at winning. "We won the Olympics" said by Katherine Copeland as she and Sophie Hosking realised they had come first in the womens Double Sculls will always be a memory for me, a humble ordinary girl winning gold!

Well done to all from the first part of the Games and good luck to the Paralympians for their games in 2 weeks time. And with a closing ceremony party to hand over the flag for the next games it was down To Boris Johnson - the Mayor of London - to pass on the Olympic flag to the Mayor of Rio De Janeiro for the 2016 games. Roll on 2016 and the next Olympics from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and the next batch of medalPassing flag winners.

And don't forget we still have until September the 9th to use our special calls here in the UK. So please do listen out for them over the next 3 weeks - Chris GO1VDP  and Charles MO0OXO will be active over the period on both DIGI and voice - look for them on PSK63 or PSK125 and RTTY for the DIGI modes.

Olympics - 1 Week gone

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

Written by Chris G1VDP

What can I say, the Olympic Games are proving to be as popular as ever. Not just because of the Gold Medals being won by Team GB, but for the whole party atmosphere. From the opening ceremony to the track and field events to the MO0OXO2sailing contest on the south coast of England there has been a celebratory atmosphere at all events. I myself have watched sports that I have never before had any interest in, and enjoyed every minute. I am not a good sailor and cannot row a boat on the local park lake, but I have been enthralled by the rowing competition and would like to congratulate all medal winners in this discipline.

On air it has been fun also, both Charles (MO0OXO) and Chris (GO1VDP) have been on air making lots of contacts around the world - even though the band conditions have not been at their best. Charles has spent most of his time on digi modes and Chris has been on SSB for a change. Both stations have now received the proof of their QSL cards, Charles sharing his with his good friend John (GO4RCG) who has been very active on CW. Both are quite different designs as can be seen and would look good in any collection. The only wayQSL-GO1VDP to get these cards is to request one from either Charles for MO0OXO/GO4RCG or for GO1VDP from Tim (M0URX) by the OQRS service they offer (click on name and follow the link), or send for a direct card with $2 US or 1 IRC to cover return postage and a self addressed envelope to them.

Again we would like to send our best regards and congratulations to all medal winners from all countries, and also thanks to all involved in the games for their effort in organising and taking part. We would also like to send congratulations to all the Team GB medal winners and well done to all other Team GB members for their hard work and dedication to get into the team - maybe next time the Medals will be yours for the taking.

Don't forget to try our Facebook page also, we will be using this when we are on one of our activations to interact and chat with all our friends.

SHDXCG - Now Strumble Head Amateur Radio Klub (S.H.A.R.K).

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

Hello all,


we as a group have decided to rebrand and change the groups name. We will now be known as the Strumble Head Amateur Radio Klub - or S.H.A.R.K. We will be having a new badge designed, and will be having new shirts etc for when we attend events.

Not only this but we are also now on Facebook and shortly on Twitter. We are uploading photos to the Facebook pages - same as the gallery on here - and we are wanting our friends around the world to interact and chat with us through the new media. We will especially be using Facebook when we are active to chat and maybe even arrange some skeds with people to try and work them on new bands.


Please pass on this information and do join us on Facebook right now.

Special Olympic Calls

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

Written by Chris G1VDP

Starting today 21st July 2012 through to 9th September 2012, Radio Amateurs in the UK can use a special prefix for the DSC 3707celebration of the Olympic games being held here in London. The prefix will change as follows;

G,M calls will become GO (Golf Oscar) or MO (Mike Oscar) - M0OXO becomes MO0OXO, G1VDP becomes GO1VDP

GW,MW calls will become GO or MO respectively.

2E, 2M, 2W etc will become 2O (Two Oscar)

Club calls MC, GX, MS etc will also become MO, GO, etc.

This is if the station licenced has applied for their Notice of Variation from the RSGB. There will also be special event stations on from London (2O12L), Wales (2O12W) and Northern Ireland (call TBC).

Charles (M0OXO = MO0OXO) and Chris (G1VDP = GO1VDP) will both be on air over this period using all modes available to them. Please use their OQRS service for QSL card requests via their managers - MO0OXO click here, GO1VDP click here.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND CARDS VIA BUREAU FOR THESE 2 ACTIVATIONS.

Ramsey 2012 & S.H.A.R.K.

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott
Details

Check out the Photos from Ramsey 2012 in the Gallery (click here) and also the two blog reports regarding our trip (below this entry). Keep your eyes open too for all the new information regarding ''S.H.A.R.K.'' (StrumbleHead Amateur Radio Klub). Find us on Facebook and soon to be on Twitter........!!

"Wind Stops Play" - Early end to Ramsey Island expedition.

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

Written by Chris G1VDP.


Well that's it for another year. We have now left Ramsey Island and are back at the farm relaxing DSC 0090before our journeys home. Every year when we get back on the main land we look back and comment on how privileged we are to have once more been allowed to go and stay on the island, and to set up our radio equipment to give the amateur radio community the chance to make contact with us. We also know that this would not be possible without the support and permission of Greg and Lisa (the Wardens on Ramsey Island) who each year welcome us on to the island and in to their home.

Saturday brought clearer weather, with only a short sharp shower and allowed the guys to not only get on the air but also go for a walk and explore theDSC 4033 island a little more. We also had a 5th operator this year with Laura (MW6INK) getting on air and working the pile ups. This is the first time Laura has been with us and from the smile on her face when she got off the radio not the last. We also thank all who called her for standing by and behaving in the pile up - why can't all operators get the same respect and look at the DX Code of Conduct? Rob (MW0RLJ) also got on the air and again had fun, Rob usually is the one who sits back and allows the guys to get on with the job in hand and keeps an eye on the antennas and general maintenance of DSC 4003the station.

Saturday is also the day where we invite Greg, Lisa and their team to join us for the evening meal and a few drinks. And this year we had a special meal made by Jane and Laura, each year we are amazed at what Jane cooks up with the basic facilities we have available over there. This years meal was made with some of the natural resources available to us on the island - eggs from the chickens, mushrooms from the fields, and other natural foods found around the island.  The main meal was followed with Apple Pie and custard, kindly brought over to us by Janes friend Eryl and her husband Dennis, home made and mouthwateringly delicious. The team of volunteers joined us andDSC 4032 thouroughly enjoed the evenings fun and drinks.

Sunday morning and there were a few thick heads with the intake of wine the previous evening. Greg came up to advise that we would have to leave the island later in the day due to some adverse weather that was on it's way. The winds were forecasted to be reaching 30 to 35 MPH. These winds would cause the sea swells to become dangerous for loading and unloading the boat at the Lifeboat Station. As the weather was sunny and calm - exact opposite to what we were forecast on Monday - we decide to pack up the antennas in a leisurely manner and enjoy the sun rather than getting wet as in previous years.

DSC 0057By 2pm we were all ready and started moving the kit down to the harbour wall ready to load on to the Gower Ranger and back to the main land. It also allowed us to sit and chat with the team of volunteers down at the farm house as they waited for the days visitors to depart. We were also entertained by some Kyakers playing in the white water of the Bitches. These guys really are entertaining and mad, especially when you think how powerful the water is flowing through. Eventually it was our turn to load the boat and sail back to the main land.

Once more we would like to thank Greg and Lisa for allowing us to visit and stay on Ramsey Island. The volunteers Nia (assistant warden), Tom, Andrea, and Rona for their company and help. Thousand Island Expeditions for taking us to and returning us safely to the main land. To the RNLI at St Justinians for the use of the lift to move equipment up and down the cliffe. And to Eryl and Dennis for coming over and surprising us with the apple pie and other gifts of food. And a big thank you from all the boys to Jane and Laura for looking after us and feeding us while we had fun on the radio.DSC 0080

We have also decided to start a Facebook Page where all our friends in the radio world will be able to join us on line when we are on one of our activations and chat with us - as well as being able to comment on here in the guestbook.

"CQ CQ MC0SHL FROM EU-124 RAMSEY ISLAND"

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

Written by Chris G1VDP

2 days in to the trip and we are having fun on all bands. Just a pity that conditions are not too good, although we are working plenty of Europeans. Up to now we have made almost 1300 contacts. Logs have been sent to Tim (M0URX) for DSC 3954uploading to his OQRS and on line log search. These will be available from mid afternoon when he gets home from work.

What else have we been up to? Thursday was fun trying to get the antennas up in the air. It was blowing a gale and raining - the worst weather conditions we have encountered on any of our activations - causing us all to get soaked to the skin. But our spirits were kept high with constant warm drinks supplied by Jane and Laura (Ant's wife who is also with us this year) when we were down in the dumps. Murphy also visited us 3 times, and once with one of our members on Friday who is not here with us, sorry Tim from all the guys here.

We had one of our rotators fail this year too, one of the bolts sheered that hold the base clamp in place. So in good old amateur tradition we improvised and decide we would have to turn that Hexbeam using the good old fashioned "Arm DSC 0032Strong" method. This is OK during daylight hours, and when it is not raining, but definitely not something to be done when dark - lots of rocks and other nasties in the field.

The second Hexbeam also had a few problems with the mast we were trying out. This was a 36ft telescopic mast and due to the strength of the wind and rain we could not get it to it's full height safely, so again the decision was made to drop it down to a safe height. We knew this would compromise our plans for working the USA, but we need to be safe and injury free when we leave the island. We have also changed the way we guy the masts now using 4 anchor points with 3 guys to each one.

The third visit by Murphy was with the Windom. We erected the antenna and connected to the radio, set up and went on 40M as planned but not one signal could be heard. So a change to a 40M dipole and we have had good reports from all stations using Chris' (G1VDP) new Kenwood TS590s - this is so new that it was sent direct to Rob's on Wenesday ready for Chris arriving and getting out of the box.

DSC 4003Thursday ended with Jane cooking a meal and again out doing her previous years culinary delights.

Friday saw the guys getting on the air with more conviction, and making most of the QSO's. Charles and Chris have had one station set up just to operate on Digi modes using a Yaesu FT897 and US Navigator. The main SSB station on the Hexbeam using a FT890 and Elekraft KPA500 amp. And the TS590s on the 40M dipole.

We also have had time to go for walks around the island, the weather on Friday was a little better than Thursday but still rained. The volunteers and wardens have all paid us a visit and are impressed with how many contacts we are making. They will be joining the team on Saturday night for a meal and drinks, as we do every year to thank Greg and Lisa for allowing us to come over and stay on the island. Chris and Laura (Chris appointed her DSC 3973his assistant and team photographer when he was not around or on the air) have taken plenty of photos which will be uploaded to the gallery when they have been sorted and we have a faster broadband connection.

Friday night was a relaxing evening chatting and having a few glasses of wine. Laura made the meal this evening and it also was a big hit with all, especially as every one of the boys really enjoy what she made (a secret recipe of hers).

So there we are, almost up to date with all the news.

Equipment on the move

Rob Johns
Rob Johns
Details

Written by Rob MW0RLJ

Well things have started moving to Ramsey island already.

Today I took over some new beds, all the fuel required for the generators and all the food needed to feed us for the 4 days of our stay.

The day started with a phone call from Greg, the warden of the island, he informed me that it was all set for me to bring the stuff over using the boat owned by Derek Rees, who has the contract to carry all the goods needed on the island.

I was to meet him at another local harbour called Porthclais which is a few miles south of our usual harbour of St Justinians.  I arrived just before 10.30 and soon saw his boat entering the harbour.

porthclais 9 july 2012  Ramsey 007
After reversing the trailer back to the slipway, and loading our equipment, we then had to remove the fuel bowser which he had onboard .He had just been using the bowser to refuel a survey vessel which is surveying Ramsey Sound to find the best place to install turbines for generating electricity, which will be driven by the incredibly powerful tidal currents which pass through this narrow body of water.

porthclais 9 july 2012  Ramsey 008porthclais 9 july 2012  Ramsey 009After that was done it was time to head out to sea.

Once we were out of the confines of this very small and beautifull little harbour, Derek opened up the 2 Evinrude 200 horse power engines and we practically flew across the water at 30 knots towards our destination of Ramsey Island's landing stage.  

I think it must have been at this stage that my camera decided to give up. Anyway after a quick crossing it was time to unload, this was helped by Greg using the crane type device which they have on the Quay wall for unloading and loading the heavier items which are moved to and from the island. 

Greg was ably assisted by their assistant  warden Nia, who we met thporthclais 9 july 2012  Ramsey 010ere last year and has returned for another few months on Ramsey.

After unloading it was time for a quick chat with Greg about our time of arrival on Thursday which has now been set for around 10.00 am. Derek and I then left for our return to the mainland, but rather than going back to Porthclais we headed for St Justinians, which is where the boat is moored. On approaching the harbour I began to think that this is becoming a habit, 3 times in 2 months.

 Iporthclais 9 july 2012  Ramsey 011 think it just shows that the island is such a magical place, and it keeps on drawing us back, and it is so magical that it  even brought my camera back to lifeporthclais 9 july 2012  Ramsey 018, how great was that!

After mooring the boat it was a quick spin in the tender boat to the small slipway below the lifeboat launching slipway. Then a nice walk back to Derek's farmhouse,where we picked up a car and drove back down to Porthclais to pick up the vehicles that we had left there earlier. Half an hour later i was at home and looking forward to our stay on Ynys Dewi...

 

 

Only 3 days to go

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

Written by Charles M0OXO

Don't forget folks only 3 days to go before the Strumble Head DX and Contest Group (SHDXCG) will once again be activating 1 Welcome to Ramsey Island EU124 2011Ramsey Island (EU-124, WFF GWFF-072) (12th to 16th July 2012).

They will be on all bands from 40M through to 6M using 2 Hexbeams and a Windom. radios will be a Kenwood TS590s, a Kenwood TS480 (see below) and a Yaesu FT890. This year a station will be dedicated to digital, mostly RTTY, using the TS480 at 200w and one of the Hexbeams. They have also analysed their logs and seen that there is a shortage of contacts with North and South America, and also the countries around the Caribbean. They have looked at the terrain and the location of the antennas with a view to getting one Hexbeam a little higher to clear a small ridge that blocks the Westerly direction allowing these contacts to be made.

As usual QSL via the manager Tim, M0URX, using his OQRS system for a speedy turn around. Logs will be uploaded to LOTW and Clublog as soon as they get back to the mainland. 

The team have also advised that they will operate from their farm HQ if they are unable to make the crossing to the island due to bad weather, but will announce on air and on the website if this is the case.

New Sponsor

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

Written by Chris G1VDP

We are pleased to announce our latest supplier of equipment to the SHDXCG Dxpedition to Ramsey Island.

Clint, KK7UQ from US Navigator, has kindly supplied a set of leads to allow us to use a Navigator Interface on the island so we can use the DIGI modes which we keep promising to do.

We would like to take this opportunity to thanks Clint from all the team at SHDXCG for this kind gesture.

Navigator Logo

Logbook of the World Support for CQ WPX Award Goes "Live"

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott
Details

LOTWWritten by Charles M0OXO

Logbook of the World Support for CQ WPX Award Goes "Live"

Participants in CQ magazine'sWPX award program may now use the American Radio Relay League's Logbook of the World (LoTW) system to apply for the WPX award and its endorsements.

Amateurs will be able to use LoTW logs to generate lists of confirmed contacts to be submitted for WPX credit. Standard LoTW credit fees and CQ award fees will apply.

LoTW support for the WPX award went "live" on July 2.

MW0JZE - G3TXQ Hexbeam site re-launched!

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott
Details
Written by Charles M0OXO

K1024 SNV35060Ant MW0JZE has just launched his new website for the G3TXQ Hexbeam that he builds and sells commercially. The website has much more information than before including the specs of the Hex, You Tube footage of how to build and also recordings when it is tested against another antenna, plus much much more. A small extract from his site here;

''The Hexbeam is an antenna design that has been around for quite a number of years, first produced commercially by Mike Traffie from www.hexbeam.com this is what many refer to as the "Classic Hexbeam" This has a turning radius of approx 9' 6" or 2.9m and covers 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10m............''

Have a look at the site NOW (Click image left) and learn more about this much talked about antenna!

logo

GB6ØQE - QRV from HMS Belfast

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott
Details

 Written by Charles MØOXO

london-background-hms-belfast-1440x900Chris G1VDP (StrumbleHead DX Group Member) will be QRV this Saturday (30th June) as GB6ØQE (GB6Ø Queen Elizabeth) from the Radio Room aboard HMS Belfast.

HMS Belfast is a museum ship, originally a Royal Navy light cruiser, permanently moored in London on the River Thames and operated by the Imperial War Museum.

Construction of Belfast, the first Royal Navy ship to be named after the capital city of Northern Ireland and one of ten Town-class cruisers, began in December 1936. She was launched on St Patrick's Day, 17 March 1938.

She saw a high level of service for her Country from then and in December 1943 played an important role in the Battle of North Cape, assisting in the destruction of the German warship Scharnhorst. In June 1944 Belfast took part in Operation Overlord supporting the Normandy landings. In June 1945 Belfast was redeployed to the Far East to join the British Pacific Fleet, arriving shortly before the end of the Second World War. Belfast saw further combat action in 1950–52 during the Korean War and underwent an extensive modernisation between 1956 and 1959. A number of further overseas commissions followed before Belfast entered reserve in 1

In 1967, efforts were initiated to avert Belfast's expected scrapping and preserve her as a museum ship. Opened to the public in October 1971, Belfast became a branch of the Imperial War Museum in 1978. A popular tourist attraction, Belfast receives around a quarter of a million visitors per year.

Please listen for GB60RN and give Chris your support!

Alternative Jubilee Celebrations

Rob Johns
Rob Johns
Details

Written by Rob Johns, MW0RLJ

Well, after a lot of prodding I have finally decided to put pen to paper (infact it's more finger to keyboard very slowly) and write a little something about the jubilee weekend that Jane and myself had - whilst Chris and so many other people were spending time in London watching all the official activities connected with the Queens Jubilee.around ramsey trip 4-june 2012 092

We wanted to do something which was different, and as it was such a fine day, (one of very few which we have had to date this year) so we decided to go on a round Ramsey Island trip. After a quick call to Thousand Island Expeditions to make a booking, and a hectic half hour of making a small packed lunch and making sure we had a different coat for all possible weather scenarios, we headed off to St Davids where we had to pick up our tickets for the trip. When we called them in the morning they said that there were plenty of spaces available but by the time we picked up our tickets they said that the boat was almost full (so glad we booked!!).

We then headed down to St Justinians. This is the same place we sail from when we make our crossings to Ramsey Island for our radio activations, and it is also where the St Davids lifeboat is housed. After a short wait on the slipway it was time to board the "Gower Ranger" and head off on around ramsey trip 4-june 2012 021our mini adventure. We crossed the strech of water known as "Ramsey Sound" and it looked so different to when we normally cross because we were approaching from a different angle.

As soon as we saw the landing stage we felt that we should be going up to see our friends Gregaround ramsey trip 4-june 2012 025 and Lisa, the island wardens, but when we thought about it we had been to see them only a few weeks previously and this was after all an adventure. We approached the island now from the south side of the rocky outcrops which were in full view due to the low state of the tide ,and it is these rock  that create the turbulent waters of what is known as "The Bitches", when the tide is coming in and going out.       

Just around the next small headland we had a view of the Farmhouse and the outbuildings,from a different perspective to our normal view. Now the skipper began our leisurely trip around the island,assisted by a running comentary from his mate. We were so lucky that the weather was fairly calm, and we could go around ramsey trip 4-june 2012 038very close to the craggy coastline.

On the first stretch  of cliffs we came accross dozens of Razorbills on the ledges,all of which had something to say to one another and which resulted in quite a noisy reception. We had now reached the southernmost point of the island and we began to weave through the numerous small island which cluster together at this point and which are below one of the high points of the island, (the point from which I had done a video on a previous stay on the island). Whilst we were going through these smaller island we were surrounded by all sorts of wildlife.

There were seals hauled up on the rocks enjoying the sunshine, there were delicate Kittiwakes uparound ramsey trip 4-june 2012 031 on the ledges sitting on their precariously placed nests and also Guillimots in large numbers, also sitting on their nests and easy to see on the ledges which had become white with the stains of their droppings.  We were now on the West side of the Island and a bit more exposed to the Atlantic winds and as we headed north along this coastline we were confronted by some great rock formations and areas of different coloured lichens wich survive on these salt washed, exposed cliffs.  

around ramsey trip 4-june 2012 058We now headed towards the northern end of the island which, in contast to the rugged southern end consists of more gently  sloping rocks, which are more accessible from the fields above, making them much easier for sheep to get down close to the waters edge.

After we had rounded the last point on the north end we could see the islands landing stage in the distance,and after going in and out of a few small caves, some of which were reportedly used by German U-Boats to get acces to fresh water during the war years, our trip was just about over.

All we had leftaround ramsey trip 4-june 2012 066 to do was to cross Ramsey sound again and head for the slipway at St Justinians.What a great way to spend  an afternoon, and I would recommennd it to anyone.

   
© MC0SHL