Return to Sark

For the last few years I’d been wondering what special thing to do for mine and Marianne’s silver wedding. Cruise? Maldives? Cuba? Nothing seemed to quite fit with something that we would both really enjoy.

When I did the GU-GJ SOTA trip with Jimmy M0HGY in 2018, I found the place that was perfect - Sark! An unspoiled quiet island with no cars, lots of walking and cycling, plenty of coast and tranquillity. It’s also kind of appropriate as we originally met in the Channel Islands, when we were both working on Jersey in 1990. So with the big party out of the way, that’s where we’re off for the actual anniversary date in a couple of weeks.

And there’s no way I’m spending a few days on Sark without activating the SOTA reference GU/GU-001, the activation zone of which extends over most of the island! It’s all agreed with Marianne too - any time she’s taking her time in the bathroom, sorting her hair and make-up, I’m clear to take a short wander with my radios!

Now we’re flying from Manchester to Guernsey, so the battery becomes an issue. Hence I dug out the old FNB-85 NiMH 1400mAH pack and reinstalled it inside the 817. I took it for an activation this morning:

I’m recharging the pack now from my PSU. I’ll have the supplied Yaesu PA-48U wallwart to take with me on the trip though.


Best of luck Tom with the activations.

As for flying… I’ve started journeying along Luc ON7DQ’s route. I have bought a couple of Aluminium power cases that hold 18650 cells. Insert cells, close case, place in bag. Looks like all the other power banks the security bods see though their X-ray machine every day that don’t cause any concern. For use, I have a couple of 18650 cell holders wired for 3S1P use. Arrive at destination, pop out cells and place into other holder.

Though TBH, I’ve not had an issue flying with RC LiPos for sometime since I started dressing the cables neatly before placing the LiPo in the fire safe bag.

See SOTA Quarterly News July 2019 for more info.

Look forwards to that one especially doing the island and its WAB counter part and of course the GU/GU-001.

Most of all enjoy ya selfs :slight_smile:

PS possible 80m and 2m ta


Sorry Karl. 20m / 30m CW & FT8 it will be. But might take the HB1B instead of the 817, which will mean no FT8.

I’ve been in email contact with someone at Aurigny (the airline).

The guy insists that the FNB85 battery pack must be carried in the cabin, disconnected from the radio. But yet the airline’s own website clearly states that rechargeable batteries of this WH rating may be placed in hold luggage providing they are installed in equipment.

I guess complying with the former is less risky.

It’s because they don’t understand the difference between battery chemistries and which is the real risk and which isn’t. Therefore apply the same rules for all batteries and the risk must be minimised.


We did a bigger variety of bands and modes on our DXpedition last year Brian. This is a silver wedding anniversary trip, so I’m restricting myself to much shorter activities and therefore on my preferred band/mode combos.

Don’t fret Brian, I will have 80/60/40/30/20/17/15/12/10m CW/SSB and 2m FM and 13cms FM/SSB/CW when I’m up in GM/NS next month.

Any chance of some 20M CW???
de John Paul // AB4PP

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That’s a definite John Paul.

Well here we are. Tomorrow morning Maz and I will be jetting off to GU to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary. The good news for you lot is that you will now be spared several days of boring and pointless activations reports of Gun G/SP-013 and the Cloud G/SP-015.

This time next week I hope to be bringing you some marginally less boring reports from GU/GU-001, and - if I can possibly get away with it - GU/GU-002 (but I’m not holding my breath on the latter).

Hoping it’s not going to be too windy or stormy as I can’t imagine the aeroplane (MCR to GCI) is going to be all that big…

Summary so far:

Monday: attempted 2m FM handheld activation of GU/GU-002 Guernsey Airport - no contacts, activation failed.

Tuesday: despite it being the date of my anniversary, I was allowed out before breakfast to activate Le Moulin GU/GU-001, the high point of Sark Island. Plenty of QSOs on 20m CW and FT8.

Wednesday: out again before breakfast to activate GU/GU-001. This time 30m CW and FT8. Both Sark activations so far have exhausted the internal 1400mAH 817 pack after a couple of hours.

Tomorrow (Thursday) I intend to do GU-001 again before breakfast. After sailing back to Guernsey and getting the bus to the airport, I’ll have another go at GU-002 but this time on HF.

We’ve had a brilliant silver wedding mini-holiday with loads of spectacular walking and an afternoon’s cycling. Full reports and photos on my website next week.

…and those two activations completed successfully today. Four SOTA activations on my silver wedding excursion is some achievement. Marianne didn’t even display disdain until I had completed Guernsey Airport GU/GU-002 this afternoon and already walking back to the terminal. As good a result as I could have anticipated.