We arrived in Bluntisham a little late, as the SatNav managed to find another ‘Colne Road’ near to Somersham, so we visited the garage there and gained more supplies. Once we arrived, and met Ryan, we sited the trailer mast up near the pond, as requested by Gerald & Co, and started to prep the equipment. Gerald’s Jaybeam TB1 20/15/10 aluminium dipole was mounted to the top of the mast on the stub pole, and we also mounted two EFHW wire aerials, for comparison and use if required. By this time, we had a few more of the club, and a visitor turn up, so they helped out by setting up the event shelter, which was appreciated.
On testing the aerials, we discovered that one of the coax runs was not working, giving a VSWR of 10,000 plus, so down came the mast while we replaced the coax onto the dipole. Unfortunately, this meant we had limited coax length, so we concentrated on the dipole. A compressor was sourced to avoid pumping the mast up by hand for a second time.
It was a nice sight, seeing the dipole up at 12m on the new-to-us mast, and finally getting it connected to the radio, and then Ryan provided us with a demo of his CW skills, showing on an online map how far away he had been heard, very impressive. Some phone SSB was then tried, and we managed, at various points in the afternoon, to get out all over Europe, and into the US. A second contact in the US was made, as another operator tacked onto the end of the first call, and asked if we would take a QSO with him too.
It was a nice warm day, and we had a number of people generally having fun, either socially, or on the radios. We declared the day a success, and learned a few things about raising th4r mast/aerials, such as ‘watch the guy lines closely’. This bodes well for next year, we should be much faster on the setup, and pack down of the mast and associated aerials, and I’m hoping we will be able to do more field days like this, where we just get together and play radio, drink coffee, and chat.
We finished the day with 29 contacts in the log (7 CW and 22 SSB). A very relaxed day, but an excellent time was had by all.
Many thanks to Leigh M0KZT for providing towing services, anmd managing the club call sign, also to Ryan for his help, and providing hot bacon rolls, which were delicious.
Mark, Leigh, and Ryan.
Click here for the Log