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GW4DDL Easter Acivations


#1

Hi All,

Sorry that I was unable to activate NW042/043 on HF this weekend but the wind was far too high on both summits to deploy my HF antennas. This was particularly so on NW042 where I was on my own and had to battle through driving snow to get to the summit from the Ponderosa! Fortunately the snow stopped and the sun came out in time for my descent, making the surface just wet rather than icy!

Thanks to all who worked me, including the 2 ‘summit to summits’ with G6WRW/P and M3YHB/P. Thanks also to those of you who worked Lynda 2W1FKA/P, who was on her first activation and was struggling to cope with all the info required and a different callsign from her usual 2E1!

It was a real thrill to activate NW043 as I used to go up there many years ago for VHF contests with GW4BRA/P and Richard’s group GW4ERP/P, when we had some very good results especially on VHF field day. Richard will know what I mean when I say that I am suprised that ‘The Moon’ has now been built on!!!

Sunday was spent buying new waterproof and windproof gear and taking the 2 ladies in my party around ‘Little Moreton Hall’ as repayment for their assistance in activating NW043 in such bad weather!

73 Mike G4DDL and Lynda 2E1FKA


#2

In reply to G4DDL:

Good afternoon, Mike.

Yes, it was a bit of a shock to see the developments when I returned in 2006. I’ve just been getting some slides converted to jpg so I know very well what it was like the last time I was contesting up there in 1985. (Yes, it’s that long ago …).

Good to hear from you after all this time.

73, 'ERP


#3

In reply to G4ERP:

My 1st trip up was in 1990 and all the masts up now were up by then. The only changes have been the addition and removal of antennas and dishes with time. The road surface has suffered during all the time I was contesting from there. In fact in 1999 Brian G4ZRP and myself did a number of repairs to the 1st concreted section just as the road bends right and starts to climb more steeply. We filled a number of potholes which used to make getting around that bend in a FWD car difficult. We did that 2 weeks before a contest and when we came back to inspect how our work had gone we found that the whole section of road had been replaced with a new concrete section with a lovely surface! Annoying because we’d made the concrete up using a good mix and wanted to see how well it would last. Still the club paid for the cement and stuff.

I did see the BT mast take a direct hit from a lightening strike once. We had been packing up after a 70cms contest and were rushing to get everything away before the rain came. I was just checking the poles on the roofrack when there was a screaching noise and a big flash. Oh we didn’t half finish packing up fast then… what normally took 30 mins took about 10 followed by a convoy of cars leaving the summit in Colin McRae style!

Andy
MM0FMF


#4

In reply to MM0FMF:
Hi Andy,
Yes, it is quite some road. I have no idea how we got some of our cars up the hill so many years ago. It would be a doddle in my 4WD these days. We used to take an old Commer van with a giant 10kW Diesel generator inside, Richard will remember it! We had enough power for our 1kW capable linears on 2m and 70cm plus the 23 cm station and enough to spare for cooking and lighting!

You were very lucky with your lightning experience, its very unpleasant when it happens. I have only expeienced it once on Beacon Hill nr Stokenchurch in Oxfordshire. We all repaired rapidly to our Faraday cages to sit the storm out. We watched the Harwell group up on the Ridgeway being hit some miles away. No-one was hurt, faraday cages (= cars) saved the day but a lot of equipment died I believe.

Thanks for the info re the buildings on the moon, so-called because it was the bleakest and most barren spot on the top of the hill and had the advantage of being well away from the Band 2 transmitter. Our (G4BRA - Bracknell)144 to 28 MHZ transverters could not cope with the level of image rejection required as 144-28=116 (local oscillator) and 116-28=88MHz the unwanted image! I think Richard must have used a different IF, as after the first trip we always used his 2m & 4M stations and our 70cm and 23cm stations for VHF field days. We always did well, often being 3rd overall and 1st in Wales until Russ GW8BHH took over with his group which included another ex-Bracknell man Sam G4DDK, now a RadCom microwave editor.

Loads of Fun

73 for now Mike G4DDL


#5

In reply to G4DDL:

Hi, Mike.

Do you realise how long ago our collaboration on C-Y-B was? I had a quick look back through the logs this morning and had to go back to 1978 to find GW4BRA/P. Callsigns were GW4ERP/P, GW3UCB/P (whatever happened to Bangor University’s Radio Club?), GW4BRA/P and GW3SNN/P (I think).

After that, we went it alone with Charlie and Petra joining us. If I remember correctly we subsequently got as high as runner-up in the open section, swapped to the restricted section, won it two years running and gave up!

As it’s a SOTA summit, I’ll take the liberty of posting a couple of photos on Flickr - showing how it was in “them days”. I have photos of 1980 onwards converted to jpg but I may have some from around your era. I’ll look this evening.

73, Richard


#6

In reply to G4DDL:
“You were very lucky with your lightning experience, its very unpleasant when it happens. I have only expeienced it once on Beacon Hill nr Stokenchurch in Oxfordshire. We all repaired rapidly to our Faraday cages to sit the storm out.”

I remember being on Striding Edge and looking down on a horizontal bolt of lightening. All we could do was press on and hope. I bet the blue bricks are still visible!

73

Brian G8ADD


#7

In reply to G4DDL:

Hi, Mike.

I put a couple of photos of C-Y-B on Flickr but unfortunately I don’t have anything from 1978. Have you - by any chance?

73, Richard


#8

In reply to G4ERP:

In reply to G4DDL:

Hi, Mike.

I put a couple of photos of C-Y-B on Flickr but unfortunately I don’t
have anything from 1978. Have you - by any chance?

73, Richard

Richard,

I will look for some photos next time I am in the loft. I have just been up there fixing a new 6m antenna and will call that it for today.

I have a number of certificates for our joint operations from C-Y-B plus some for Bracknell solo efforts. I suspect G0GJV and other may have more.

1978 we won GW on VHF field day as GW4ERP/P, GW3UCB/P, GW4BRA/P and GW4BRT/P (Paul Cooper now living in US).

1978 GW4AJW/P (Andy Wade still in Cambridge) won the 23cm section of the October UHF contest

1980 We (Bracknell and G4ERP) were second overall on Field Day and were leading GWs (with Petra and Charlie I suspect)

1981 We won the 23cm section of Field Day as GW4AJW/P (again with Charlie and Petra I expect). Not sure how we did overall that year, you probably have that certificate.

WE used Gw4DDL/P on more than one year and used my 3 day old high performance 70cm transverter with Andy’s K2RIW to finish 3rd on 70cm one year, I can’t locate a certificate for that but it will be in the Rad Com archives somewhere, I have everything since I started on paper or as a RSGB CD.

I did not do any operation from C-Y-B after 1981/2 but we were certainly up there before 1978 as the main UCB guys G4AUC, G4BRK, G8DMJ all joined RACAL in Bracknell in about 73/74 (I joined Ferranti in 71) G4AJW used to come over from Cambridge and PAul G4BRT came from Plessey at Towcester and worked with Charlie and Petra on the early GaAs FET devices. We had a couple of abortive tries from Beacon Hill nr Stokenchurch above the M40 and then started going to Wales.

If you want copies of any of the certificates please let me know.

All the best

Mike G4DDL


#9

In reply to G4DDL:

Paul G4BRT came from Plessey at Towcester and worked with Charlie and Petra on the early GaAs FET devices

As an aside Mike, my 23cms transverter still has a pair of GAT4’s in its front end. Think I am now down to my last spare!

73, Gerald


#10

In reply to G4OIG:

Hi Gerald,

yes, we had one of the first in a very high gain preamp that Paul & Charlie put together. It worked well from the relative isolation of N Wales. No-one would dream of using that much gain any more. Our transverter was not so hot though but did produce 50W plus out of its PA stage. Had to have the key down for at least 10 secs before transmitting to achieve that as the 2C39s warmed up and the cavity came into resonance! Not a problem in those days as QSOs on 23cm were quite lengthy affairs! Especially one with G3OSS Angus down in London. It took 3 + hours while his wife rebuilt a TX relay for him (He was a blind operator and one of the top people on 23cms in those days). Later trips used Charlie’s Multi Valve 2C39 PA producing more like 200W and we had Charlie’s giant dish that can be seen on G4ERP’s Flikr page.

Happy Days!

73 Mike G4DDL


#11

In reply to G4DDL:

Whether it’s a good memory or good records, I’m impressed! Thanks for all the info, Mike. I had completely forgotten all the detail you’ve mentioned - and indeed the results. Perhaps we’ll have to arrange a reunion (but not on CYB - too depressing).

73, Richard


#12

In reply to G4OIG:

GAT4’s wow! I think I still have some GAT6’s in the basement!! Well it’s good to see the c-y-b history being recorded. It’s a long time since I took my Mini to ‘The Moon’. I may have some photos stored away. The 2C39A cavity mixer / PA combo and G3JVL loop quads left my possession before I came to the US.

73, Paul


#13

In reply to G4BRT:

Morning, Paul.

It’s been a very long time. It’s amazing who is lurking on the web site - or were you tipped off? I’m sure I have some photos of your Mini up there (if you need proof, that is!). Mine also made it up there and across onto the moon before the “track” was surfaced. Zero ground clearance. Just take a run at the boggy bits.

Great to hear from you. You’re still in the States do I gather?

73, Richard


#14

In reply to G4ERP:

Amazing how many people had a Mini and how we took risks with them. The ignorance of youth perhaps? I remember doing crazy things, notably reversing my Mini up Shenlow Hill in Warwickshire on a regular basis to operate 10GHz WBFM - it wouldn’t go up forwards if the grass was even slightly damp. We’re right spoilt nowadays with these new fangled motors.

73, Gerald


#15

In reply to G4ERP:

Hello Richard,

Good to hear from you also. I just came across the SOTA site and entered c-y-b!
Yes I’m living now in New Hampshire. GaAs still funds my existance! It’s 21 years since I left Northants. I’ve met Neil G4BRK a couple of times and I’m regularly in touch with John (was G8DMJ??) from Bangor/Racal; now in Munich. But I’ve lost contact with Andy G4AJW who I knew in 1970/1 back in Birmingham when I was G8EYL and before Bangor. I haven’t done any radio operation for about 18 years; just have an FT101 and AR88D in the basement!

Has anybody cataloged the first ever 70cm SSB portable trip to the peaks of GM that I did around 1973/4 with Andy, John and Mike Neale? That was why the K2RIW rig was built. We made it to about 6 - 10 peaks in various Scottish counties as GM3UCB/P in the union Transit van and consumed an enormous quantity of McEwans Export! I have a copy of the “GM good sites guide” and photos somewhere.

73, Paul


#16

In reply to G4BRT:

Paul

Neil G4BRK is still very active on the microwave bands. I have worked him on 10GHz from several summits and have even had a few contacts with him from home using rainscatter.

73

Richard
G3CWI


#17

In reply to G3CWI:

Richard,

Do pass my regards to Neil, G4BRK if you contact him. As you can see from our callsigns we both took the Morse test about the same time at Anglesey Radio. Neil passed first time but I had to go round twice!

73, Paul


#18

In reply to G4BRT:
Hi Paul,

glad to see my activities on c-y-b last Easter triggered you into action. I shall be seeing John (ex G8DMJ) in a couple of weeks in St Anton skiing. Nice to hear from you, we are often in the US but usually heading to Colorado or Utah.
Richard and I seem to manage the occasional SOTA contact from various places though I am usually to be found on HF CW these days.
Glad to see you have a couple of boat anchors in your Cellar. I have not used a AR88D for years - we used to use one in the Chiltern club in the late 60s for our HF FD RX.

All the best

Mike G4DDL & Lynda 2E1FKA