Well I listened to the Pirate BBC Essex - Manx Radio - Radio Caroline joint broadcast yesterday, then Radio Caroline for much of the rest of the day beyond midnight, when they recreated the sequence of midnight on August 14th, 1967. An hour off was taken to listen to my son Liam’s show on Upload Radio (DAB and online).
This was quite an amusing situation - the family sat in the lounge, around a portable radio (in fact a Pure One Flow - FM / DAB / internet - and for this purpose receiving via my broadband hub as the Liverpool DAB multiplex is inaudible here). Marianne said that she hadn’t sat and listened to the radio like this since John Peel - and that Liam’s programme of eclectic music rather put her in mind of those days too!
This meant that I missed the special programme on BBC Radio 2 - “Johnnie Walker Meets The Pirates” - but thanks to the iPlayer, I can relax and catch it in the next few days at my leisure. This morning I was on the road to do some tutoring down in the North Staffordshire area, and found I was able to listen to Manx Radio 1368kHz MW on my car radio, with (just about) adequate reception. Manx Radio was still relaying Radio Caroline at that time.
After arriving to meet my new student, I was told that the session was off, due to a family circumstance. I was intending returning home via an activation of The Cloud G/SP-015 anyway, so I simply brought that forward.
It was a boring and tedious activation though. I knew it was very late in the season, in fact beyond the season in all reality, for 50MHz. But I wondered if JT65 might eke something out of the ether? Answer - no. A couple of weak and watery JT65 signals were heard, but not decoded, and none of my CQ calls attracted a response. One very flaky SSB CQ call was the only other thing heard on the band, except from a very weak beacon.
Meanwhile, I had been monitoring 2m FM on the handheld, and clocked up 7 QSOs, including 3 S2S - Dave GW8NZN/P on Tal y Fan GW/NW-040, Richard GW4TGJ/P on Snowdon GW/NW-001 and Adrian GW4AZS/P on Cadair Berwyn GW/NW-012.
Upon returning home, I found that the last of my recently ordered items for my new portable datamodes set-up had arrived. So I am now hoping to properly get moving on JT65, but also have access to the other JT modes, FT8 etc, plus use higher grade software for PSK31, RTTY etc.