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GMDX Convention - Excellent weekend

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details
This past weekend (April 13th to 15th 2012) saw the GMDX Convention take place at the King Robert Hotel outside Stirling, Scotland. Ant (MW0JZE), Tim (M0URX) and Chris (G1VDP) attended the event, with Tim giving a presentation on the trip to 4W6A by the guys in 2011.DSC_2992

Ant drove from his home in West Wales on Thursday evening and stayed over night with Tim at his home in Coventry. On Friday the pair made the short journey to collect Chris from his home and then drove the 300 miles to Stirling. This journey took them 4 1/2 hours arriving to a warm welcome at the hotel around 16:30 local time. This meant a quick refreshing drink and then get ready for the evening meal and having some fun with the other attendees who had arrived on the Friday evening.

Robbie (GM3YTS) had booked a table at a local pub/restaurant for 14 people, but this had expanded to 20DSC_2998 by the time everyone was ready to sit down. Fine cuisine and local hospitality was certainly welcome, and the company we were in was superb. The conversation (and beer) flowed well and new friendships were made over a glass or two. Returning to the hotel the conversation and beer carried on for another couple of hours, but the lads were all tired and decided to have an early night - by their standards - and retired to bed around midnight (local).

Saturday again was an informal morning with the convention kicking off with the presentations at 13:00, so this allowed the guys time to go and visit the Bannockburn Heritage centre nextDSC_3027 door to the hotel. The hotel, and indeed the local area, ar all on the edge of the historic battlefield of Bannockburn, where Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeated the English army of King Edward 1st in 1314, and thus securing their independence from English rule. The centre has a short film depicting the battle as seen through the eyes of a small boy who then becomes a scribe and writes down his memoirs, and with the static displays and the chance to try on the armour worn back in the day which the guys found most interesting. One thing they did find out is that the chain DSC_3042mail armour that was worn weighed in at some heavy kilos, and the helmets would do more harm than good when struck. A  fascinating part of our past and worth the visit (see website here).

A return to the hotel and meet up in the bar for a quick lunch and chat with friends old and new before the proceedings started in earnest. Robbie (GM3YTS) kicked off the proceedings with his DSC_3047introduction and welcome speech before Chris (GM3WOJ) gave the first talk on his trip to ZK2V (Niue) and his experiences out there. Tim followed Chris with the presentation on 4W6A and once again we established a link with Stuie (VK8NSB) in Darwin, Australia over SKYPE. This was well received by all in attendance and a number of people were surprised at how well the link lasted and the quality of the video and audio from our DSC_3051friend in Oz. At this point a short break was taken for coffee, and we thank all who came up to Tim, Ant & Chris to comment on the presentation and the link with Stuie.

It was then the turn of John (G3WGV) and Clive (GM3POI) to give the presentation on the T32C trip to Kiritimati Island (Christmas Island) in the Pacific ocean. This trip was by the DSC_3059FSDXA who had spent thousands of dollars and many months planning for it to go wrong and then be rescued at the 11th hour. They broke some of the DXpedition world records and have once more moved the bar for this type of expedition to these remote islands and wanted DXCC entities.

Again a 5 minute break for the T32C guys to take out their laptop and for the Belgians boys in attendance to set up their laptop and get ready for their talk on the trip to Rockall (IOTA EU-189). Patrick (ON4HIL) and Marc (ON6CC) had been trying for over 2 years to make this happen - Rockall is basically a lump of RockDSC_3065 300 miles from the nearest coast line of any Scottish Island or mainland and is in the North Atlantic ocean, a inhospitable place at the best of times! It is one of the most wanted island groups in the RSGB IOTA award programme and probably one of the most dangerous to get on and off to activate. They also showed a video of about 45 minutes of the journey out and on the rock. The team had to undergo a lot of training for their safety
and just to get the permission to get out to the island. We would like to thank the 2 guys for travelling from their homes and for the presentation. we also had some fun and drinks with them both in the bar on Friday and Saturday evening so thanks guys for attending.

Robbie then brought this part of the day to a close at 18:00, DSC_3074allowing all attendees to have a quick drink and chat in the bar before getting ready for the evening meal and socialising. This also gave everyone time to discuss where all the presenters are next planning to activate, and for some secrets to be gleaned from them. Don't worry we will keep it quiet on where you are going Patrick!!!

The time came for the everyone to sit down at their tables for the dinner and presentations. Tim, Ant and Chris were joined by Col (MM0NDX of DX World.net), Dave (MM0EAX), Clive (GM3POI), Cris (GM4FAM), Chris (GM3WOJ) and Colin (GM0RLZ). The DSC_3083conversation was naturally about DXing, contests and Antennas with Ant and Clive discussing the best antennas for inter UK working on 80M. There was also 3 quizzes running through out the meal. The first being one of flag recognition, where we had to name the countries flag and capitol city. A DX quiz and a general knowledge quiz. The table, table 3, came 2nd in the flag quiz - winning a bottle of white wine - and 1st in the DX quiz - winning a bottle of red wine. The General knowledge was not DSC_3088our best result. Fabulous fun and excellent company.

The presentations took place following the meal. These were in the guise of a GMDX Mug for all the presenters and 2 special presentations of a Quaich, a pewter dish with Celtic handles.



These werepresented to Col (MM0NDX) for his work on DX World, and to Marc (ON6CC) and Patrick (ON4HIL) for their work in activating Rockall. Well done to all who received a mug. ChrisDSC_3090 (GM3WOJ) donated his to the SHDXCG boys to send over to Stuie (VK8NSB) in Australia and we would like to thank Chris for this generous offer. I am sure Stuie will have it in his shack as a souvenir.






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When all was done it was time to retire to the bar for more chat and drinks. There was a wide choice of Whisky to choose from behind the bar, and a few of the boys decided to sample a few of them. But before too long it was time to retire and sleep ready for the journey home the following morning.DSC_3094





Following a hearty breakfast the boys all checked out of their rooms and said their farewells, with a promise to be back again next year where they are thinking of extending the trip with their wives and girlfriends for a few days up in Orkney. On the return they decided to call in on Charles (M0OXO) and his wife Debbie to have a refreshing cuppa and a break from the journey. Charles and Debbie extended their usual superb hospitality and we thank them for the refresher. A quick drive through Barnsley and down the M1 to deposit Chris at his home, and Tim at his in Coventry. Ant eventually arrived home in Llanelli as the time approached 20:00 local - a total journey time of almost 11 hours.

We would like to thank the GMDX group for their hospitality and welcome, and to all who attended and spent time chatting with us. We hope to see you all again soon, and we will definitely be back for the next GMDX Convention!

Ramsey Island is a go!

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

 

We now have the dates confirmed by Greg, the RSPB warden, for this years trip to Ramsey Island (EU-124). Due to this year being a special anniversary for the island and the RSPB, it is 20 years since the RSPB aquired the island, and there are numerous activities happening throughout the year and we have had to slip in on a weekend when there will be no QSL-MC0SHL-2bird counts, no big visits, and when Greg & LIsa will be able to assist us with moving our equipment. There will also be a number of events in St Davids to help commemorate this anniversary so do look for them if you are in the area.

We will be using our regular call of MC0SHL throughout the weekend and if you require a QSL card then please use the OQRS service on Tim's website to receive your card.

This year we will only be having 2, possible 3, stations on the air, and there will only be a small team going over to the island. This will consist of Rob (MW0RLJ) and his wife Jane (our sanity and the best cook on a 2 ring stove I have ever met), Charles (M0OXO), Ant (MW0JZE) and Chris (G1VDP). Charles and Chris hope to do some RTTY using a Kenwood TS480 @ 200W output.

QSL-MC0SHL-2-BACKSadly Tim (M0URX) cannot make it (at the moment but we all hope he does and have our fingers crossed), and Tony (G4LDL) is also unsure at the moment.

So do listen out for the guys on all bands from 80M through to 6M between July 12th 2012 and July 16th 2012. A full report and photos will be on here and we will also be uploading some videos to You Tube, and if you search for MC0SHL (or click on this link) there is a selection of our current videos from previous activations.

GMDX Convention and The Farm

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details
A couple of us will be attending the GMDX convention this year, with Tim (M0URX) giving a presentation on the trip in 2011 to Atauro Island - 4W6A. He will be aided by Ant (MW0JZE), who was also on the trip, and Chris (G1VDP). Hopefully they will also be able to get a live Skype link to Stuie (VK8NSB) in Darwin, Australia who was also on the trip. Tim, Ant and Stuie will be relaying annecdotes and also showing some of the many photos of Timor Leste and it's inhabitants.

Then following the trip to Scotland most of the team along with wives and girlfriends will be down at the club HQ to help Charles and Debbie celebrate 25 years of marriage. This will be mostly a none radio weekend, but you may hear some of the lads crop up on the bands now and then for a little fun.

CDXC Dinner 2012 - A great success...

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott
Details

 

K800_DSC_2928Well as mentioned in the previous blog entry by Chris, last weekend, 17th March 2012, saw the annual CDXC (Chiltern DX Club) dinner. This is where members of the CDXC get together at Wyboston Lakes hotel in the Cambridgeshire countryside for a few beers, a meal and a good exchange of 'war stories' lol. This years social event went down very well and the boys from SHDXCG had a good attendance..

It was a great catch up and despite speaking daily, it's always good to get together and have a good old rag chew with many of the faces that you don't really see too often and may only speak to Island to Island hi.......and didn't our blue shirts cause a stir!

Next event for us is Debbie and my Silver Wedding in April, next stop Pembrokeshire chez MW0RLJ!

CDXC Dinner

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details


This coming weekend, 17th March 2012, sees the annual CDXC (Chiltern DX Club) dinner. This is where members of the CDXC get together at Wyboston Lakes hotel in the Cambridgeshire countryside for a few beers, a meal and a good social event. This year the boys from SHDXCG are attending en mass.

Rob (MW0RLJ), and Ant (MW0JZE) are travelling up from West Wales, Charles (M0OXO) is travelling from his home in Yorkshire, Tim (M0URX) and Chris (G1VDP) are coming from the Midlands, and Tony (G4LDL) along with his wife Glenys will be there from their home in Swindon. Tony has to be there as he is the secretary of the CDXC and has organised this prestigious event.

Photos will be on the gallery pages next week showing some of the UK's top DXers and contesters enjoying this fantastic event.

BERU - Fun un the RSGB Commonwealth Contest

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

This contest is the oldest contest for radio amateurs and is specifically aimed at the countries of the Commonwealth, headed by our Queen, Queen Elizabeth II.

Contact is made between countries of the Commonwealth, or the British Empire Radio Union as it was known, with points being scored for each contact. All this takes place on the short wave amateur radio bands of 80M, 40M, 20M 15M and 10Meters using Morse Code, also known as CW. Each contact consists of the callsign, a short report of readability, signal strength & tone along with a serial number starting from number one.

Tony (G4LDL), Charles (M0OXO) and Chris (G1VDP) all had a go making contact with others from the commonwealth.

And this year it is also special as the contest is 75 years old, and so is also commemorating the diamond jubilee. All details can be found on the BERU website.

Ramsey Island mutterings

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details As we are now approaching the spring and summer months here in the Northern Hemisphere, we have started to plan our 76_Whichever_direction_we_view_them_fromannual trip to our special place Ramsey Island (EU-124). Each year we have to discuss dates available to go over and use the accommodation facilities on the island with Greg and Lisa (the wardens) and the boat company Thousand Islands. And this year is no exception.

Rob (MW0RLJ) has been in contact with Greg to get the dates when the island will be free, and when we will be able to go over and have our fun. We were hoping to get there during the period of our Queen's Diamond Jubilee so we could celebrate this with a special call, but we have been advised by Greg that they could be doing a bird count on the island at this time with many volunteers and biologists from the RSPB. Have a look at the RSPB website for Ramsey island and follow the links to the Ramsey Blog to keep up to date with what is happening on the island.

Outer space

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details As most of our followers know we not only enjoy talking on our radios and making contact with you all, but we also spend time as amateur astronomers sky watching, especially any info on our own star - The Sun.

It is The Sun that determines how good or bad the propagation will be on the radio, and we daily check various websites for any info on geomagnetic and solar activity. Charles has this information with photos on his website from time to time and it is certainly worth a visit.

We also use the UK Space Agency website to gather the latest info from out there in space, and again this site holds excellent information for any young (or old) budding amateur astronomer.



Special callsigns for amateur radio stations during 2012....

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

The Radio Society of Great Britain and Ofcom have reached agreement on the optional use of special callsigns for two significant events during 2012.

queen-elizabeth-iib

For the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, all UK amateur stations will have the option of applying for a variation to their licence if they wish, to use a special prefix for a five week period. This will add or substitute the letter “Q” in the place of the Regional identifier in the callsign (MQ0OXO, GQ4RCG etc).



For the period of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, a similar facility will exist for a seven week period, using the letter “O” (MO0OXO, GO4RCG etc)



Furthermore, calls in the series GB2012aaa will be available for Special Event Stations relating to the Olympics and licences will be issued for four “flagship” stations using the prefix 2O12A where “O” is the letter O, and a is a single letter relating to the location of the station.



If you are considering Qsl Cards for this event for personal, special event or club activities, Qsl Cards for these events will be available from both UX5UO and ON5UR. Details of special costs, batch sizes and style of cards can be found on the UX5UO Website, and ON5UR Website or contact Tim (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or Charles (M0OXO) to discuss.

CQ WPX SSB Contest 2011 results

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

What a nice surprise awaited me when I got home from work yesterday, the certificate for the 2011 CQ WPX SSB contest.


MW9W_2011_SSBWPX01Certificate
I entered from the farm using the clubs contest call MW9W on 15m only, just for a bit of fun and to keep the contest call aired. The result surprised me but here it is in all it's glory - a copy of the Certificate.

Charles, M0OXO, was also down for the weekend and he entered on 10M using his contest call of MW0X where he also got the 1st place certificate for his category - the certificate can be seen on his web page http://www.m0oxo.com/blog.html along with lots of his other news.

While Chris and Charles were having fun down on the farm, Ant, MW0JZE, was over in Jersey with some of his other friends having fun on the radio and also entering the contest where he also got the first place certificate for his category using MJ0JZE.

So a big well done to all the boys for their certificates and placings in this event.

Look out for some news coming shortly about our next get together and fun on the air.

New Years update

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

Hello to all our friends around the world.

Happy New Year to you all too, a little late but we have all been busy. Some of us were down at the farm with Rob and Jane for the New Years celebrations, and had a fantastic time. Some photos were taken and will be added to the gallery shortly.

Rob with the farm and his Lambs arriving these past few weeks.

Ant with his Hexbeam building, a new one will be installed by Tim, Ant and Chris at the QTH of Pete - M0ILT - Next weekend so another Hex Nut on the band.

Charles, Tim and Chris are all part of the T32C QSLing team and have been knee deep in QSL cards for this activation back in October and November last year. We have been waiting on the printers for the cards on this one and apologise for the delay in getting them out to you guys.

Tony is busy at work and with his duties at CDXC, which again we are all members and worth joining this excellent DX group for the socialising and the bi-monthly digest (see our links pages for the CDXC website).

Chris also had a disaster in the new year where the short pole he was using from his rotator to the hex stub broke in high winds causing the hex to crash heavily to the floor. The Hex survived with minimal damage to the centre hub plate, thisDSC_2736 was the prototype plate which is now much improved and has been changed since Chris' build. The new plate will be fitted to the Hex in the next couple of weeks and Chris will then be back on the air. He has also put a Windom up for the low bands but the noise from the local houses is S9+ at times so he is looking to change theis mounting as soon as possible.

The lads are also planning some activations for this year so please keep looking at forthcoming activity and the blog for any updates on what they will be up to.

Many thanks for all your support in the past and we look forward to working you on the air soon.

Oh and once again I will mention Clublog and asking to join. SHDXCG is a closed group and we will only invite you to join so please do not try and add Strumble Head DX and Contest Group on Clublog as we will not accept you. Many thanks.

Another succes

Rob Johns
Rob Johns
Details

Well it was a pleasure to once again host the new years celebrations here at the farm.

New Years eve we held a party with not just the Strumble team and family but also with close friends from around the area, and surrounding farms. Everything went fantastic and all enjoyed themselves. Plenty of food and drink was available and my wife Jane once again excelled herself with her culinary skills.

Many thanks all and I wish you all the best for 2012

Rob, MW0RLJ

Seasons Greetings

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details As the 2011 year draws ever closer we like to wish all our friends around the world seasons greetings in their home language, and we do appologise if we miss yours off the list. A little earlier than usual with putting it up here this year so here goes.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddn Newydd

Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo
Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annèe
Felices Pascuas y Feliz Año Nuevo
Vasel Koleda
Froehliche Weihnachten undein gluckliches Nues Jahr
Kala Christougenna Kieftihismenos O Kenowios Chronos
Boldoy Karácsonyt
Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia
Cestitamo Bozia
Boas Fiestas e um feliz Ano Novo
Nollaig Shona Dhuit
From all at the Strumble Head DX and Contest Group.

May we meet on the air sometime in 2012.

And remember we may be on the air sometime over the holiday period from the farm to celebrate the new year, and we will be on at other times for contests or just some fun.

Also watch this space for a announcement about a special dxpedition we are currently planning along with our yearly trip over to Ramsey Island.

Latest News and Update on Activities

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details Well we have been a little quiet here at the Strumble Head DX & Contest Group, although we have all been busy with daily life.

Tim and Charles are busy with the 4W6A QSLing and are awaiting the cards from the printers - hopefully within the next week so they can be posted out.
QSL-4W6A



















QSL-4W6A-BACK




Ant
has been inundated with requests for Hexbeams after the success of the antenna on the expedition, and as he only builds them to order he now has a nice waiting list. He also had a go in the CQWW Phone contest on 10M, again using his Hexbeam only.

Tony has also been busy with his duties following the trip to T32C with the FSDXA team, again I understand he has been on QSLing duties as part of the team.

Rob has been busy with is work on the farm, carrying out maintenance around the fences and hedges along with getting the fields ready for next years crops.

Chris has started a job where he works funny hours, starting at 01:00 and finish at 12:00. This is no good for DXing as he is away in the mornings for the Pacific openings, and asleep in the afternoons for the Carribean, South, Central and North American openings.

Oli is still down in Australia and is busy in his work down there.

And finally Villiam has been busy with his holiday cottage business in Slovakia. He also entered the CQWW Phone contest from his home station and was heard by all the other guys making at least one QSO with us all.

The boys are also planning to gather at the farm for New Year, or as many as can get there will. They will also have their wives and partners with them so it may be that they do not get on the air as this is going to be a social gathering for the families, and as usual photo's will follow.

One final thing. SHDXCG is a closed club and we do not accept new members unless invited in to the group, so any of you who try to join on CLUB LOG will not be accepted!!!!!
   
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