27 June 2012

England, Part the Fourth: Amateur Radio Operations on Day 5

Yesterday (Tuesday, 26 June) was pretty special. I was granted access by the Cambridge University Wireless Society to their club radio shack. Martin, G3QAY, was my host for the day. Woot Woot 3 (the name of the shack, not sure exactly what  happened to Woot Woot and Woot Woot 2) is well equipped with two positions with Yaesu FT-1000's. The main position feeds a Yaesu VL-1000 amplifier, and also has a Kenwood and (uh-oh, forgot the other radio's models!). There is a computer with Wi-Fi for spotting and logging, and for some setups, rig control. So for a few hours, I was M/N4PAT, operating from G6UW.

Martin set up the FT-1000 for me, it feeds a STEPPIR at about 45 feet (after cranking on the tower for 35 turns or so to make sure it clears the trees). I immediately got down to business calling CQ on 20 meters. It wasn't particularly open to the US, though the first contact was a KB2, and later on I managed a 51 QSO with Mike, N4LSP. I also worked my first JA's (Japan) and a Malaysian station. A fair number of the 63 QSOs were Eastern European. I'm not sure yet, but I think I grabbed another new country or two in that mix, too.

Starting at 2000UTC was a 6M contest. There is a contest on every Tuesday night with the band rotating each week. If there is a 5th Tuesday, they contest on 4M. Martin captured 70-odd QSOs, I operated for a bit, but I fear that I was so out of practice that I scared everyone away! The band sure was quiet though I made a few more QSOs for the log. Tom, a student at Cambridge and a member of the CUWS, took over, and Martin and I went up on "the hill". It's about the only hill in Cambridge, and at 340 feet in elevation, commands a nice view over the city. Some other club members had a van with a 60 foot telescoping mast installed in it, with a 6M beam on top. They were in the 100's of QSOs when we arrived. Several of this group were broadcasters so it was fun swapping stories.

All too soon, it was time to head back to town. My hearty thanks to G6UW, and Martin, G3ZAY for a wonderful day of operating outside of my home country, in a very well appointed shack! Fun, fun, fun!


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