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Ramsey Island EU-124 QSL Card

Tim Beaumont
Tim Beaumont

The Ramsey Island MC0SHL / MW9W QSL is currently in the design stage and will be printed shortly. Here is a sneak preview!

The QSL cards will shortly be going to print. Remember to send your direct QSL to M0URX but NO Bureau cards thanks! If you need a QSL Via the Bureau please email Tim M0URX using our Contact Us page and I will send you the Bureau card.

The QSL card features the RSPB who own the Island and the QSL also reflect the Flora & Fauna on Ramsey Island. Not forgetting of course the G3TXQ Broadband Hexagonal Beam made by MW0JZE Anthony that performed so well for us despite no sunspots! You can also see the buildings that we occupied during the activity.QSL-MC0SHL-MW9W_copy


Ramsey - Diaries 3 ''...and finally''

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott

From the time that the word 'Ramsey' was first uttered by Rob MW0RLJ, it ignited a spark in the gut of the the whole Strumble Head Contest & DX Group. It wasn't exotic, it wasn't that rare (only in Asia), but nevertheless to be successful in getting on this Island would be a great achievement for the group who's main roots were in this area of Wales. The postings previous to this entry give some of the details, as will articles in magazines over the next few months so my job here is to fill in a few gaps and add some info about the group as a whole and indeed the Island. Ramsey Island is owned by the RSPB and is currently run under the watchful eye of Head Warden Greg Morgan. Greg quite rightly kept an eye on our antics throughout our stay and was a fantastic source of information and help for the group.

Ramsey is named after Saint David (Dewi Sant) and is the Patron Saint of Wales. It was also the home of his Confessor Saint Justinian. The Island is less than 2 miles long and its highest point is 136M (446ft) above sea level. It is renowned mainly for its Seabird Colonies as well as its steep Cliffs and other wonderful scenery. It also has the most important Grey Seal Colony in Southern britain today.
The Birds using the Island are wideranging and include the Raven, Common Buzzard, Peregrines, Northern Wheatears,  Gulls, Auks, Guillimots, Manx Shearwaters and 8 breeding pairs of the rare Chough. I also saw at least one pair of Oyster Catchers but sadly, no Puffins on Ramsey.

The water between Ramsey Island and the Welsh Coast is squeezed over the sea bed which changes height dramatically. During tide changes this water can race and reach in excess of 13mph. It is further squeezed when it meets the infamous and deadly rocks called 'The Bitches' The Bitches. The condition of the sea at these times is treacherous and has to be given upmost respect. Larger boats avoid the area at all costs but the extreme currents, whirlpools and standing waves are a mecca for the Kayak enthusiasts. many boats and lives have been lost in this area of Ramsey Sound and one culprit is an underwater spire called Horse Rock. It is however an amazing sight to see as the tide rushes in both the ebb and flow of the tides.

Ramsey is surrounded by approx. 19 other smaller Islands and is totally uninhabited apart from the RSPB Warden and his Wife that we mentioned earlier. Livestock on the Island include 200 Ewes, 5 Ponies, Deer  and the latest arrivals are Welsh Black Cattle. Grass and heathland cover most of the rocky island with foxgloves and many ferns amongst the most common plantlife. The range of colours on the island throughout the seasons are said to be breathtaking.

From a radio prospective and with a laid back casual approach to our operating, we worked over 5.5 thousand contacts from Ramsey in the few days we were active. Conditions were poor and a measly 85 DXCC overall reflects that. By Band data is as follows:-
10M - 33 DXCC, 15M - 45 DXCC, 17M - 39 DXCC, 20M - 76 DXCC, 40M - 46 DXCC & 80M - 28 DXCC. Its hard to guage what interest was achieved by WFF Chasers for Ramsey itself. However, in the days prior to the trip, over 1.4 thousand q's were logged by the 5 GWFF activations on the mainland which gave an overall total for the trip of just under 7K, a very happy result all round! Shack

Travelling for the members of the group is wide ranging from different areas in the UK and the total mileage for us all to get to Ramsey and back home was just over 1750 miles. I can't even begin to work out fuel costs! On that note we used just over 100 litres of fuel in the 5 generators we had, for the period we were active on the Island.

Being part of this trip to Ramsey was indeed a privilage. From start to finish we had numerous problems, some resolved immediately, some took time whereas others remained unacheivable and left us disappointed. None of the MC0SHL Team had experienced this sort of thing before so it was indeed a challenge. Not being accustomed to packing equipment for boat transfers and overcoming these sort of issues left us more experienced than when we went for sure.

On behalf of us all i would like to thank the RSPB, National park and all the other Staff that helped us in every way possible, from both the outset right up to the conclusion of our trip. Also, we would like to say a big thanks to all of you for supporting this event and for being patient in the pile-ups! We hope we gave you what you expected of us and certainly we were very pleased with the responses and comments from you. We hope we can learn from our experiences here and move on to bigger and better aims in the future.

Listen out for MC0SHL on the air and give us a call, you will always be welcomed into our Shack!


Thanks and regards,

Charles M0OXO

Ramsey - Diaries 2

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott

Had a good morning, all antennas working very well and as expected. Stations were on air from very early this morning and heavy pile-ups were evident on the 20m station working well into JA and Eastern Europe. Tim M0URX, Charles M0OXO and Anthony MW0JZE had received about 650 contacts during this morning on the 20M Hexbeam and on the second Hexbeam Oliver MW0JRX worked a good amount on the higher bands and in particular Sporadic E on 10M. Chris G1VDP had a good run on 40M which was great and several hundred on 40M were added to the overall total which by lunchtime was just over 2000. K800_Our_Home
Problems with operating systems causing issues and many conflicts with Vista and XP causing concerns. We are unable to network the Computers on N1MM and with the WinTest server down we are up the creek without a paddle! Not all lost but plans changed. We have decided to run with three stations as MW9W and submit the logs only as checklogs. It will give the Island to the many requiring it and still ensure the MW9W call is aired to those expecting it. So for those of you wondering we we are running with more than the one station allowed, there is the answer, just checklogs to be submitted.
The 'Contest' on the whole going well as at 1555, with the stations active currently on 15, 20 and 40M. We have seen good openings in to JA and the East on 20M and on 15M mainly EU. 40M is pretty busy with skip constantly changing between EU and UK.
On a brighter note, weather is still super, very warm, sunshine, blue skies and a nice breeze, could heaven be any better than this, i doubt it!
So, listen out for us on any band, we'll be about and still sticking to the operating schedules which means making full use of the 24 hours operating.
Thanks for your continued support,

73 & regards, Charles M0OXO

Ramsey Island - Diaries No.1


Left the Clubhouse at Strumble Head on Thursday lunch time and travelled to St. Davids where we were to take the short five minute trip across from the mainland to Ramsey. All went well and after initial intrepidations about the amount of gear we had, we were all pretty excited about getting across.Travelling down the steep cliffs at St. Justinians was very daunting but with the assistance of the RSPB & RNLI Staff we loaded the 'lift' and transported most of the gear down to the Lifeboat House and then again carried it onto the Lifeboat Slipway. Seeing the other boats arriving back with tourists having been for sight  seeing tours, some of them visibily throwing up started to panic Tim M0URX somewhat. Tim already had a worry about travelling on sea but it was all ok and the crossing went with ease despite the formidable ''The Bitches'' living up to their reputation.


Again, stepping foot on the Island went well where again we were met by National Park/RSPB Staff who were all eager to help us with the 6 generators and the rest of our equipment up the huge climb to the accomadation. This climb was awesome, far worse than we we told (Thanks Rob - not!), and i was extremely tired as was Chris G1VDP, no marathons for us i fear this Year!

Accomodation is an old barn in the farmhouse where we quickly stored the gear, helped Jayne access her food and cooking gear and then we started to work on assembling both Hexbeams. Both had been prepared by Ant MW0JZE and assembly was not going to take too long. After initial issues with one rotator both Hex were up and working by 2200 but after a break for a BBQ, we were fast losing the light and wanted to prepare at least a 40m dipole before we finished for the night. Working with torches we got sorted and antennas were good to go.

Tim had been running about like a blue bottomed fly, 'fetch this, fetch that Tim' and in between he had already  made good progress seeting up our three  stations ( 2 x Elecraft K3, Yaesu Ft2000, 3 x Acom 1000 Amplifiers).

All stations were operational by Midnight and initial tests proved fruitful. Morning saw Tim M0URX & Ant up early having little sleep (he blamed snoring but we never hear them!). MC0SHL were on air from 0800 and pile ups very good on 20M all wanting a shot at EU-124 (IOTA) and GWFF-072 (World Flora Fauna). We had one station running for several hours on 20M and then 17. Up to lunch time we had 850 Q's logged and all going great - bring on the Contest!

Thanks Charles M0OXO


Ramsey, WFF & an Award!

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott

(....another first for the MC0SHLTeam)K800_wfflogo


The Boys here at the Strumble Head DX & Contest Group like to think we are at the forefront of new ventures in the Ham radio arena and new projects are always taken on board as a challenge. October 2008 was the first time MC0SHL had taken part in the activities of WFF (World Flora Fauna www.wff44.com ) and we weren't sure how, or even if, it would take off in the UK. We 'activated' the 'Pembrokeshire Coast' ''GFF-015'' and worked several hundred in the brief time we had available last year between building antennas and preparing for CQWW 2008.



Since then, I am pleased to say that the programme has grown very rapidly and there can't be many of you out there that haven't seen the '*FF' call signs and references being apparent on all bands over the last 6 months.  The latest challenges for me (being the 'Northern Contingent' of MC0SHL!) was to have a bash at the WFF program whilst visiting the 'Tan Hill Inn' in the Yorkshire Dales.


The Inn is the 'Highest Pub in Great Britain' and being 1732ft ASL it has a great take off for Amateur Radio for sure. But don't be lead into a false sense of security as the Snow Mobile parked outside the pub is there for a reason! Although it wasn't snowing, it was lashing it down with rain and setting the Cushcraft A4S up was literally a real dampener on our spirits to say the least. Nevertheless we cracked on and were qrv by late tea time on the Friday and for the next 36 hours. Well, some of us were qrv, the other 'die hard Amateurs' found that the 10 second walk into the pub itself to sample the goods on offer were more of a temptation than they could handle, 'Theakstones Real Ale' not being the only thing on offer for some! Band conditions were not at their best but we found 20M alone was open to the USA and SA until 0030 each night and then again wide open to the East from 0500 with lovely pile-ups into Russia and the Far East, all wanting this new and rare WFF reference! GFF-020_-_CopySo in the end, WFF proved its worth and the amount of stations wanting the reference number exceeded our estimation by far. We finished off with 2349 contacts in the log and  all were made on the HF Bands.

In contrast, my latest visit was to Holy Island on the Northumberland Coast. Again WFF & IOTA assured to give us some good contacts and they didn't disappoint. We lost 24hrs due to the trip falling on the IARU Contest weekend (my bad ) but still managed a good 2667 q's with a great opening to JA long path, South America and North America until well after 0200.
Giving not one but two WFF numbers obviously increased our profile and we were happy at the result for sure.



Spurred on by these event sand having being appointed as UK Coordinator for the WFF programme, we then took a look at the other areas available to us that we may activate. We found several literally on our doorstep in and around Wales.


Indeed our well publicised trip to Ramsey Island in July will give another 'new one' away, as well as the IOTA reference and the Island itself which hasn't been activated for many, many Years. This island is amazing and is placed very highly on the RSPB's (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) list of Nature Reserves within the UK. Our 'home' station in Pembrokeshire will also give us a few more later in the year too. There is a new award available for WFF chasers and details can be found on their main website (above) or on mine at www.charlesm0oxo.piczo.com . Be warned.....as well as the other contacts required, you will need at least one contact with MC0SHL, MW0OXO or GB0WFF to claim the award so make sure you bag one 'Q' in your log whilst we are at Ramsey!!!


So, to everyone out there, please listen for the mc0shl team on the bands using our regular or maybe another special call. Please bookmark our websites and check them regularly for updates regarding our events. If you see the mc0shl logo on your qsl cards, you'll know that the boys are still out there 'chasing the dream', whilst at the same time trying to keep Ham Spirit truly alive during these times when propagation is sometime dire.


73, regards, Charles MØOXO

IOTA Activation

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

GW/IOTA EU-124 - The Strumblehead DX and Contest group have now sealed the final permission to activate Ramsey Island (EU-124), off the West Wales coast, from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds who own the island. They will be active from 18:00 24th July through to 14:00 27th July taking in the IOTA contest. They will be active using the club call MC0SHL for the whole duration of the operation, and using MW9W in the contest. They will be on all bands from 80M through to 10M SSB. There is also some 30M RTTY planned by G1VDP if the other guys allow him, with participation in the last 80M Club Championships DATA section. They will be operational using generators as power. Radios used will consist of 2 K3's and a Yaesu FT1000MP MkV and amplifiers. Antennas will consist of a Hexbeam, a windom and dipoles. Most of the activation is for the WAB award scheme as the square is semi rare and has not been activated for some time.  The team will be on from the farm for a few days before and after using the GB0WFF for the World Flora and Fauna award see http://www.wff44.com for award details, and using the MC0SHL club call and erecting a tower for Rob MW0RLJ. The island will not only count for the WAB award but will also count for the WFF award. A special QSL card printed for both club calls, full details are on the groups website http://www.mc0shl.com . QSL via the groups manager M0URX.

G3TXQ Broadband HexBeam

Anthony David
Anthony David

Hi all, just a short addition to the blog on my new antenna. I managed to get the Hex in the air over the weekend but have had limited time to give it a good test.

First impressions are WOW, where have you been all my life, turning radius of approx 11 feet, VSWR of under 2:1 on ALL bands, will handle full UK limit power with ease and can be homebrewed for under £100 or more if you are looking for a more robust finish. It is in some eyes very low impact visualy but it will not win any points in the best looking antenna contest thats for sure, looks like a spider in a wind tunnel hi hi.

6 Band G3TXQ Broadband Hex @ 37 feet to baseplate

Hope to catch you on air some day

73's Ant MWØJZE

CQWPX 2009 - update

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

The high claimed scores have just been published on the internet, and we are happy to say that Oli's and my attempts were not in vain. Have a look at;


We both entered as single operator high power assisted on single bands. Oli used the club call MW9W on 40M and I used MC0SHL on 80M - Oli put a more serious entry in than myself as I was treating the trip as more of a break and some MW0JRX_on_40M_SSB_Before_contestfun on the radio.

The claimed scores are;

MW9W        2,113,842 points      World 4th 40M Assisted High

MC0SHL     723,774 points         World 3rd 80M Assisted High

This again was a team effort and neither Oli nor I could have done this. So we again must say thanks to Ant and Rob for assistance on the Thursday with getting the 80M antenna in the air - full details in the write up. To Rob and Jane for being wonderful hosts, and to the rest of the team for their support and good wishes through the contest - we were on msn chatting with the boys when ever we could.

See you all in the IOTA contest when this will be the next big effort as a team (along with getting the towers up for Rob at the farm).

Rob's new mast!

Anthony David
Anthony David

Sunday 24th May 2009.

Day started at 8am for me, this is early on a Sunday.

Off to Merthyr Tydfil to dismantle and reassemble a 60 foot mast on a trailer mast from the Hover Club http://www.radioclubs.net/hooverarc.

Many thanks to the club members from the club for helping Rob and I complete this task in lightning speed.

This takes the number of masts at Rob’s farm to four. I suggested planting them close together as they may grow, if they do I would like a cutting lol.

This will make CQWW SSB a breeze this year, said Rob hi hi

Some of the Merthyr gang and Rob

Rob at the end of the M4, cul!

5 Band Hex size comparison with MQ36SR

Anthony David
Anthony David

Hi guys,

Just a quickie, I have drawn a scaled drawing with my fantastic technical drawing abilities :-)

My current antenna is the MQ36SR, this covers 6m to 20m, 3 elle hybrid quad-yagi.

Turning radius of MQ is 8 foot 3 inches and the HEX is 10 foot 7 inches, so looking at the diagram below, if I turn the HEX side on it is actually ONLY 3 foot wider than the MQ36SR. this is an amazing foot print for an antenna that covers 20m to 6m with absolutely no loading or tuning.

The MQ36SR is shown in red, the HEX is also 6m to 20m and is the broadband version by G3TXQ Steve

MQ36SR v 5 Band Hex 20 - 6m Ariel View

Liquid tape, what ever next

Anthony David
Anthony David

Was browsing around looking for ideas etc and chatting to a few people that had built the Hexbeam and Gorden MM0GPZ mentioned this to me.

It can be found on http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/liquidtape.htm

Good stuff for sealing the coax after it has been seperated as shown below.

Better than silicone I think!


Great for sealing the feedpoint coax


Anthony David
Anthony David

Hi all,

About 18 months ago I was reading several articles about the HEX BEAM with great interest, work got in the way along with daily life etc so it was put on the back burner for a while. Around Christmas time 2008 Oliver MW0JRX told me he had bought the kit form from WI3USA. At the time of writing this he has since installed it and is happy with the performance so far. Chris G1VDP then informed me that he was going to make his own homebrew HEX BEAM. Well not wanting to be left out I set about collecting as much info on the antenna as I could with the help of Chris G1VDP, Gordon MM0GPZ (GEEE PEEE ZEEE) and the Yahoo group.

On a recent visit to Rob MW0RLJ’s qth he kindly donated a 3mm aluminum plate along with two KEE Clamps that are needed to fabricate the centre plate that supports the six fiberglass spreaders. Total cost so far zero, thanks Rob 

A trip to B&Q one Sunday morning and I had bought all the parts to fabricate the centre post. I have taken some photos to show you how I fabricated the center post. As I build the HEX BEAM more photos will be added.

First Job, drill the holes

Fitting the bolts, this is where the driven ellement will attach to.

Thats all the feedpoints fitted

Ecoflex 10 used for feedpoint coax, this will be weather proofed later

Removable end cap, handy for later inspection and weather proofing, the antenna is fed at this point

Coax feed leaving the centre post

More photos to follow as the project progresses.

73's Ant MW0JZE



Hi all,

About 18 months ago I was reading several articles about the HEX BEAM with great interest, work got in the way along with daily life etc so it was put on the back burner for a while. Around Christmas time 2008 Oliver MW0JRX told me he had bought the kit form from WI3USA. At the time of writing this he has since installed it and is happy with the performance so far. Chris G1VDP then informed me that he was going to make his own homebrew HEX BEAM. Well not wanting to be left out I set about collecting as much info on the antenna as I could with the help of Chris G1VDP, Gordon MM0GPZ (GEEE PEEE ZEEE) and the Yahoo group.

On a recent visit to Rob MW0RLJ’s qth he kindly donated a 3mm aluminum plate along with two KEE Clamps that are needed to fabricate the centre plate that supports the six fiberglass spreaders. Total cost so far zero, thanks Rob 

A trip to B&Q one Sunday morning and I had bought all the parts to fabricate the centre post. I have taken some photos to show you how I fabricated the center post. As I build the HEX BEAM more photos will be added.

Beverage RX Antenna

I have tried to use a special receive receive antenna in the CQ WPX Contest. Team OM0A has run M2 category and beverage antennas was the last antenna that we have built on Friday’s evening. Luckily I was on the 80m band during the morning’s openning to Carribean and North America.

It’s a huge difference between inv.Vee and beverage antenna. Even though our location has a very low noise, the main improvement was in the attenuation of local stations. Not only stations from other directions, but also closest stations from OK and DL. Heavy QRM gone and I could copy sigs from stateside. Some of them was in the same strenght as on inv.Vee antenna, some was louder.

I break pile-up and start hunting W stations. Unbeliveble hour! Comparing to other stations from Slovakia, our result on 80m is better! I love beverage antenna.

How to built it?