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Published at last

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details Yes we finally did it.

One of our reports actually published in Rad Com, the magazine of the RSGB. It is in the January issue and tells of the CQWW activation in 2007. We are all proud to have been part of that team and to have come so far in the last year.

If you can get hold of a copy, or go to the reports page on here and read up on it. 

Beverage antenna preamplifier finished

Details

I have finished the beverage antenna preamplifier. The 9:1 transformer is based on the W8JI’s recommodations. It is wound on the tree binocular ferrite cores BN73-202. I was wondering how the SWR is. When terminated with 450 ohms there is no significiant return power, when terminated with 470 ohms the SWR rise to 1:1,1. Perfect!

The schematic diagram of preamplifier looks very simple – two LC circuits and MMIC. There is much more to do with adjusting bandpass filter and fiting the circuit in the shielted box and all in the waterproof box.

The circuit was later improved with a LED diode which is indicating if the current is flowing to the box or not. Output plug is standard PL.

Beverage antenna for 80m band

Details

The beverage antenna project for 80m has begun. This weekend I have build simple preamplifier with MSA monolithic microwave integrated circuit. The gain is around 8db and amplifier compression -1dB is at 19dBm point. The gain should be not greater due overloading receiver. Yesterday I have measured input bandpass filter which I got from my another project - RX for 80m. Due the possibility of detuning in various temperatures I have set greater bandwidth. The passband is now 3,52 - 3,92MHz.

Not easy to found non-inductive resistors for beverage. It's terminating resistor with value around 450 Ohms. After several minutes I found suitable resistor in my box. Today I would like to wind transformer 1:9 and move filter on new PCB.

Later I will buy two waterproof plastic boxes and fit all inside them. Probably on the end of November I try beverage antenna on the Air.

End of the week.

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

That's it. Tomorrow we all travel home. Tim and I go back to the Midlands, dropping Anthony MW0JZE off at his home in Llanelli on the way. Charles M0OXO has a 7 hour drive home to his home in Yorkshire. And Oliver MW0JRX will be driving to Manchester airport to take Villiam OM0AAO so he can catch his plane back to Slovakia.

We have taken down almost all the antennas, leavng the 40M vertical so we can make some more contacts this evening and first thing in the morning. All logs will be uploaded on to LOTW before the end of the week, and QSL's sent as we receive them - if you require a bureau card please e-mail our manager M0URX. The report and pictures will also be uploaded to the gallery.

We would like to extend our thanks to all who called in, and especially to those who tried and managed to view the webcam. bending_well_in_the_50mph_gales

The final claimed scores for each station was as follows;

160M MW9W (OM0AAO)-  61 DXCC, 13 Zones, Total Points 39,590
80M MW0JRX (MW0RJX)- 91 DXCC, 18 Zones, Total Points 151,510
40M MC0SHL (M0URX)- 98 DXCC, 23 Zones, Total Points 159,478
40M MW0X (M0OXO) - 83 DXCC, 21 Zones, Total Points 145,288
15M GW4OH (MW0JZE) - 101 DXCC, 29 Zones, Total Points 130,520
10M GW1VDP (G1VDP) - 15 DXCC, 3 Zones, Total Points 846

The conditions on 10M were so bad that I had enough time to get plenty of sleep, keep all the other guys with coffee and tea, ensured they had were fed. I also worked along side Rob MW0RLJ with tightening and securing the guy ropes for the masts. The other bands were alive as can be seen from the results.

Ant  (MW0JZE) feels that he could have done more if we had a 4 element yagi for 15M, he lost out on the Easterly direction, with very few European and Far East ststions in the log - Scandinavia was a noted area missing - so this is something we will be looking at for next year.

We have discussed the 40M results and the only way to improve our scores is to either go for a 4 square or beam - the 2 element beam is looking good at the minute and will be discussed more over the next few months.

80M will be a 4 square for next year, as long as we can get down here for a weekend or 2 to test it out in the new year. I guess this is another excuse to visit this beautiful part of Wales for a beer with good company and even better, with friends.

The antenna for 160M worked well and our top band guru, Viliam OM0AAO, thinks that we could only do a little better if we had beverages for this band, or just go for beverages on 80M.

10M was just a wash out across the country. This is from the reports we had from our friends, and other reports on the contest forums.Next year we will try the same antenna and pray to the propagation gods that the sunspots come back.mw9w-farm

Already we are planning  for a trip some time in the new year to come back down to assist rob in erecting his new Cushcraft X7 beam, which will be our 20M antenna in the future. He has to excavate a big hole and fill it with concrete to mount his 60 foot tower - we have even convinced him to erect the tower for 15M in a more permanent position at the top corner of the field.

We will be updating the website with a full write up, and hopefully may be get it published in a magazine or two.

See you all on the bands from home, and remember to listen out for any of the club calls in contests, or maybe just appearing on the bands at any time. Please also come back and visit our site at any time in the future.

Regards - The Boys from the Strumble Head Dx and Contest Group (MC0SHL)

Coming to the end of the contest

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

Hello all,

Just a quick update. We have attacked the bands with gusto doing the single op single band categories. Tim wrote earlier about the calls that we were to use and the only real disappointing band has been 10M.

We will be carrying on until the end at midnight on the following bands,

160M - MW9W
80M - MW0JRX
40M - MC0SHL

All have put in a sterling effort and we will update on progress with the scores tomorrow when we have had some sleep and before we strip the antennas down for clear up and returning the field back to Rob's working farm.

We have learnt alot from this contest, and will be implementing the plans into our next contest effort as a team - which we are planning for the WPX contest in March. So we hope to work you all in that one.

We must also extend our thanks to Jane - Robs girlfriend - who has cooked 4 gorgeous meals and 2 breakfasts for the group. This has been most welcome and it has given us time to field ideas and have team meetings where we are all sat around the table at the same time. Thanks Jane.

All the Boys at Strumble Head DX and Contest Group.

'Pushing the envelope'

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott
Details

Hi, Saturday evening and missing Strictly Come Dancing but for a good cause. Everything progressing well at this location with the 10 & 15M operators pushing the envelope of their Stations as contacts on those bands have been very challenging today. The 40M station still doing very well as Tim M0URX (MC0SHL) approaches the end of his 24hour stint and Charles   M0OXO (MW0X) takes over. Tim says:- ''I am very tired today as the weather in the last few days has hampered our efforts to get the stations on line. We were still erecting antennas up to the start of the contest in the dark and this made a chance of any rest before the contest impossible. With 3 hours to go i have 87 DXCC, 22 CQ Zones and around 90,470 points. I am looking forward to the end purely due to the tiredness.''

The Weather here continues to keepm us on our toes. Most of the antennas have held upwell in the 40-50mph gusts here on the cliff top. We understand the Shetland Island stations are having the same problems with the wind and certainly here. The 80M Vertical lost 3 out of the 9 guys and was lashing around good style last night, see photo. snv32366

The 15M mast has moved slightly under the force of the wind and we had to utilise the tractor to stablise it whilst we made the necessary repairs, all ok now but sounding very very rough here and again, driving rain.
These challenges have kept us busy thats for sure but as always we have pulled together as a team and overcome then.

We have had good reports about the use of and the viewing
of the Live Streaming Webcam of the Shack here at           MC0SHL. Please continue to use the facility and who knows maybe at some point we may introduce audio. Maybe thats not too good an idea as I am taking over for the next 24hours!

GL to all and thanks for the contacts in the first half of CQWW 2008, regards,

Charles M0OXO (MW0X)

Contest 10hrs in

Tim Beaumont
Tim Beaumont
Details

GM all from the Team Strumble. Kicked off well last night and everything going ok. We had no progress at all with the 20M station so we carried on as discussed with the 5 Station Single Band idea. As we lost one Band (20M) we had an operator spare. In view of that we decided that Tim M0URX and Charles M0OXO would both do a 24hr entry as snv32237MC0SHL & MW0X respectivly. As well as the spare Operator, Rob MW0RLJ was in standby mode, ready for any issues with antennas we may encounter and also Jane, who was fabulous at providing the necessary Tea, Coffee and hot food.

The Antennas are doing OK but high winds this morning (30MPH) are forecast to get significantly worse this afternoon and to reach Severe 9, not good news when you are fully exposed to the elements as we are here Cry

Dont forget to check out the video stream which is now live from the Shack here at the Station. It can be accessed via the link on our homepage, just follow the instructions remembering the the username and password are both MW9W.

More from us later, please keep in touch, your support and comments are always welcome, see you again soon, bye for now!

Charles M0OXO Wink

CQWW Contest

Tim Beaumont
Tim Beaumont
Details

Strumble Head DX & Contest Group are ready to kick of the 2008 CQWW Phone Contest. We have had a change of plan tonight due to a failure of the 20m antenna and have decided to run 5 Single Band entries on 10m 15m 40m 80m and 160m using the following call signs:

MW9W
MW0JRX
GW1VDP
GW4OH
MC0SHL 24hr
MW0X    24hr

We also now have live webcam streaming from our operating site, access can be gained via our website throughout  the contest. Good luck everyone, see you in the contest.
73 de Team Strumble

MC0SHL on the air

Tim Beaumont
Tim Beaumont
Details

All the team arrived safe last night and we managed to erect the 1/4wave veritcal with radials ground mounted. We got on40m_vertical the air and made just over 300 contacts on SSB, and then managed to set up a RTTY station where Chris G1VDP made 30 + contacts this evening just as we set up the first station for the contest.

During the day we have erected the antennas for 160M, 80M and got the measuring_for_the_80m_qw_verticalbeams made up but laid on the ground ready to go on the masts. We have been hindered by high winds and driving rain. Due to the severe weather we have decided to drop down the 2 poles for the top band antenna, which is a band we wanted to try out, this is because none of us had ever really used the band to good effect.

The 80M antenna is another 1/4 wave vertical with radials, again ground mounted, which has been built by our antenna guru Ant MW0JZE. This will give us the option of having some fun on this band tonight.

Due to the severe weather we have decided to get all the radios and computers set up in the shack, this is just to keep warm and out of the wind and rain. Oliver MW0JRX, our computer guru, has networked all the computers so we can utilise the chat feature and see where each station are operating during thebending_well_in_the_50mph_gales contest to allow us to pass on the multipliers.

It is now time for us to relax and enjoy a glass of wine or 2, and maybe a cold beer before we retire to bed.

Tim
M0URX
ant_mw0jrz__tim_m0urx_setup_80m_qw_vertical

Team arrives at club house

Details

All team members arrived safely at the club house yesterday and immeditely set up the first antenna a 1/4 wave ground40m_qw_vertical_2 mounted vertical with 60 radials. The 40m station was opened and about 300 contacts were logged to 56 countries including 30 RTTY QSOs.

ant_mw0jrz__tim_m0urx_setup_80m_qw_verticalThursday 23rd October - The wind was howling and the rain was pouring, just the sort of weather your dread for setting up antennas for CQWW. The wind was gusing to 60 - 70 mph all day but we still managed to get the 1/4 wave vertical for 80m set up and all 60 radials laid down. Villiam and Oliver set up the 160m inverted L but the weather was just too severe so we dropped this to the ground for safety and to prevent damage to the fishing pole.Tomorrow we aim to set up the other masts and build the beams.

This evening the team worked on the stations inside the club house setting up the radios, amplifiers and computers.

Despite suffering from the really bad weather here in Wales, morale is high and we are really having a great time. Againbending_well_in_the_50mph_gales this evening we are getting on the air on 80M as well as 40M.

Tim
M0URX

Congratulations

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details


We have to say congratulations to our IT engineer Oliver. He has just passed his advance licence and has gone from oliMW3SDO to his new call of MW0JRX.

We are now down at the clubhouse and sharing in his celebrations with a few drinks and on air using MC0SHL.

Thanks for calling to those who have worked us already, we will be on more bands as we get the antennas erected tomorrow.

RSGB IOTA and HF Convention 2008 - 11th and 12th October

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

What a top weekend.

A group of us went to this event for the 3rd year running - hopefully next year all of us will be there - and boy what a weekend!

Group members who were there were Tim M0URX, Charles M0OXO, Oliver MW3SDO and Chris G1VDP. Along with these guys were some close friends and future guest operators Mac M0CUS and Nigel

The weekend Started with Oli driving from his home on Friday night arriving at my house around 21:30. A bity of a natter and then we got settled down ready to be up and on road for 06:15 next morning. As it was the 3rd year it was my turn to drive, so we set off to pick Tim and Mac up. Arriving at the venue about 08:00.

 

It was then sign in and plan the day. Plenty of talks on Dxpeditions to attend, meet old friends, make new ones and have fun.

 

The first talk we attended was about the ARRL LOTW (Logbook Of The World) and how to get the best use out of it. bill_moore__lotwWe then all checked the programme and went into the ones we fancied. I decided to have a mingle and chat with the CDXC guys, Martin Lynch and the guys from Icom UK. I also handed in my QSL cards for DXCC checking and managed to have a chat with a few people over cups of coffee and tea. Oli during the afternoon sat his intermediate exam, with the Advanced exam to be taken on Sunday, so by the time we go to CQWW this year Oli will be a M0*** at last. He passed the intermediate I am happy to report so time for us all to relax and enjoy the day.

 

Saturday went quickly and it was then time for the meal and drinks. Showered and meet in the bar, a couple of cold ones, a chat and then in for the meal. It was during the evenings proceedings that we had a huge surprise. Colin the RSGB president stood up to do the usual Presidential address, and his first task was to tim_m0urx_and_g5rp_trophyannounce that years winner of the RSGB G5RP plate for greatest progress in the DX field made by an RSGB member resident in the UK during the year.  Which is where the surprise came in. Tim M0URX was the winner. No one had told him, or any of us in our team. So Tim went up to cheers and applause to collect his silver platter. Congratulations Tim on this fantastic achievement.

More trophies and it was then time to retire to the bar for a few more beers with friends old and new. Thankfully the bar at Wyboston lakes closes at 12:00 so we are then forced to go to bed. But while it was open the beer flowed, the socialising went on, tips were swapped, legs pulled and stories told. DXers are very much like fishermen where they both have stories of the ones that got away. Thanks to all the guys who were in the bar, for your excellent company, for the hints on how we can beat you all in the contests, and most of all thanks for the drinks! My head was pounding Sunday morning when I got up.

When we got up on Sunday morning both Tim and I had hangovers, Mac and Oli were pretty clear headed. Tim stayed in his tim_m0urx_mac_m0cus_and_jerry_la8hkroom a little longer than the rest of us who went and had a good hearty breakfast. Oli then went and sat his advanced exam, Mac sat chatting to some more new friends, Jerry LA0HK, and Charles and the boys from the night before. I went to get Tim for the lectures, where a simple but common mistake was made. I knocked on Tims door, and walked next door to my room, Tim came out of his door forgetting that it would shut and lock behind him! OOOPPSSS. A walk down to reception by me to get him the spare key and we got him back in there. A good job you were dressed Tim. I then went into my room and got the camera and ready for the lectures I wanted to visit that day.

Oli came out of his exam, but no results. It is now a await for the marking to take place and then for him to get his advanced licence. We are all confident he has passed, but as everyone else Oli is unsure within himself. More chat over tea and coffeee then in to the lectures and the closing ceremony and raffle draw, before heading home.

The venue where all this takes place is Wyboston Lakes, Next to the A1 at St Neots. Easily accessible from all over the country. We will all be there next year, so do say hello if you are too and make yourself known - best way is in the bar and just say "Chris, what you drinking?"

Chris Colcloughtim_roger_and_phil__at_the_bar
G1VDP

CQWW RTTY

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

What a cracking weekend. I have just calculated my scores and though not on par with all the others I have seen on the UK Contets reflector I am happy with my achievments.

I missed out by changing to all band on Sunday morning, but this was to test my HF Beam antenna. I have been having problems with it going out of tune but that seems to have been cured. I think my next move is to put my Mosely 5 band antenna up in the air and get shot of the MA5B. But then I am also contemplating either a 5 band quad or a 2 ele SteppIR. I have measured up and I should just get either  one of these in to my small back yard.

Back to the scores. Finished with 715 contacts for 245,686pts. I think I was a mult for alot of EU stations on 40 and 80M as I seem to have been plagued with them even when they were asked to stand by. Score band breakdown is:

80M   163 Q   314 pts   30 DXCC   6 Zones
40M   404Q   877 pts   48 DXCC   16Zones    4 Sec
20M   127Q   297pts    29 DXCC   14 Zones   2 Sec
15M   15Q     29pts      4  DXCC     3 Zones
10M    6Q      9pts         3 DXCC      2 Zones
Total  715Q  1526pts 114DXCC   41 Zones   6 sec  = 245,686 claimed

Not bad for a part time effort. I did concentrate more on 40M as this was the band I was origionally going to do, and I enjoy contesting on there.

Have fun and see you all in the next one.

Chris
M9W (G1VDP)

CQWW RTTY 2008

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details

Having managed to get my HF beam to work I have decided to have a go at all band, not just 40M. So look out for me on 15 and 10M some time today. And I will be on 80M this evening to the finish.

Have fun.

Chris
G1VDP

   
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