GU/GU-002 Guernsey Airport GU4OBK/P

My first visit to the Channel Islands of Guernsey, Sark and Jersey was for a holiday with my XYL Judy in June 2023. We drove the 315 miles to Poole in Dorset and after an overnight stay in a Premier Inn there, travelled over to Guernsey by boat, a three hour journey on Condor Ferries. This trip was a holiday, with three activations planned. Guernsey Island is 9 miles long and 3 miles wide, small than Jersey and not as commercialised.

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On board Liberation - the faster of the boats used to get from England and France to the Channel Islands

The next day after arriving, there was time for an activation of Guernsey Airport GU/GU-002. This is a drive on summit. My activation took place around 400m from the airport perimeter fence at the side of a field on Rue de l’eglise at 49.429N 2.595W (Point 1 on map below). The nearby German Occupation WW II Museum closes at 1.00pm each day, so in an afternoon the place is deserted and is fine for parking. The museum itself is also within the activation zone. I would recommend a visit to the museum, if only to view the vast array of German communication equipment on display there. We spent a few hours there on another day:

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I have to thank Mike GU4EON for surveying the summit prior to me arriving on Guernsey and finding a suitable place for my activation. Mike is the owner of Guernsey car registration 5973 - a number he chose when he got his driving licence several decades ago. In Guernsey the car registrations are numbers only.

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Point 1 is where I set up my station - 400m from the airport car park

After receiving no callers on 2m FM using my handheld and whip, I started up at 1245z on 40m SSB and worked a couple of S2S stations - HB9/DL6GCA/P Armin (HB/NW-017) and 2E0BIA/P Martin (G/SP-004). After a handful of contacts I went temporarily QRT as Mike GU4EON joined me, bringing with him a piece of amateur radio equipment, and we did a deal on the summit - was this the first time on a summit that money had changed hands for a piece of radio equipment I wondered?

I had placed an advert on a website wanting to buy a secondhand microKEYER, a now obsolete accessory that utilises the K1EL systems WinKeyer. Mike GU4EON happened to have one that was not being used and by chance the holiday in Guernsey gave me a chance to collect the unit while I was there, right in the middle of my activation!

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The microKEYER I bought from GU4EON on GU/GU-002 now in use at G4OBK

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Operation position - Rue de l’eglise is the other side of the hedge

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My usual station - KX3, link inverted vee dipole 5m AGL

Having said goodbye to Mike the activation continued after an hiatus of 20 minutes. After around an hours operating time I went QRT having completed 52 contacts all within Europe. It had been well worth carrying the picnic table and two folding chairs into the field - a comfortable activation with my XYL sat reading her book some 50m away from me, using a golf umbrella as a shelter from the sun.

Mike told me that the actual summit, a few metres higher than were I operated from, was a man-made mound of earth adjacent to the airport car park, so after the activation and before we went to look at a WW II German Observation Tower to the west side of the island, I went over to the airport to photograph the highest point of GU/GU-002:


We stayed in Guernsey for five nights, but visited Sark and Le Moulin GU/GU-001 a few days into our stay. I will report on that activation next.

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Nice report, Phil.

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Very interesting report for which many thanks. :slight_smile:

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I’ve heard of ‘drive on summits’. But never a fly-on summit. One upmanship there Phil. :sunglasses:

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Thanks very much for the QSO, Phil, it was my first contact with GU. You had a lot of trouble hearing me, which perhaps wasn’t surprising as I was in a valley in Northumberland & only pushing out about 5 watts. I have an interest in GU land as it’s where my Bisson ancestors come from, eg. my great-great grandfather Pierre was born in the Vale in 1786!
73 John G0MHF

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Well done Phil, nice report. I had a week on GU before the Sota bug got me, I also took a 2m handheld and worked no stations.

I visited the WW2 coms bunker close to the capital St Peter Port. It had been carefully re-fitted to look as it was in 1944.
My wife was more interested in the bronzed and oiled scaffolders “handballing” scaffolding poles in the noonday sunshine. So lots to see and do.
David
G0EVV

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I’ve got a microKeyer too. I only use the keyer part (I’ve got a SignaLink for data modes). I find it useful to have a PS2 numeric keypad attached which allows me to use the memory feature with one keypress. PM me if you want to chat about it.

Very good Colin. I bought this one just for the Winkeyer which coordinates well with the logging and contest software I use, via the virtual ports from the virtual device router provided, so like you, I am not using the CAT/Soundcard output which is taken care of by a Yaesu SCU-17 interface with built in soundcard. I had to modify the DB37 lead and the DIN lead on the microHAM I bought from GU4EON to provide 12v for the keyer from another source.

I have the original basic microHAM keyer (without using the CAT and audio controls and feeds) which I’ve used in the same position for years, so the “new to me” unit replaces that. Then if I go portable with my shiny new Yaesu FT-710 I can use the spare basic microHAM keyer for that without having to diconnect anything in my home station.

By the way, if anyone is thinking of buying an FT-710 and they are into CW the sidetone is very clicky in use (Not the TX signal, only the sidetone).This may put CW people from buying that radio, or even returning it to the retailer. It sounds quite nasty, apart from that, the radio is a fine performer. Hopefully Yaesu will come up with a firmware fix for the sidetone, however if an external keyer with its own sidetone is used (like the microHAM) it is not an issue. The nasty sidetone issue has been noticed by other users of the Yaesu FT-710 on the io reflector for the model, so its not just my unit that is affected, they all are.

73 Phil G4OBK

There’s a stone on Helvellyn G/LD-003 celebrating a brief visit by a plane to the summit plateau, but that was a few decades before SOTA started… :wink:

(Photo taken back in June 2009.)

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I spend so much time trying to get that right on my homebrew rigs and yet Yaesu can’t be bothered!

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I’ve seen that - I’m not a pilot but I wouldn’t fancy trying to land there - it always looked a bit to stoney to land safely.

I’ve known a few bush pilots who’d have considered it a piece of cake, but… :wink: