You too can visit G/SP-015…

…because I’m giving it a wide berth for 4/5 months. And all SOTA activating for that matter. I’ll do a few more local activations this week, then I’m off to work as a cruise ship musician until the end of November.

Obviously I’ve started to look into /MM operating possibilities, and very grateful that @G3CWI has lent me his Alexloop. I took that to The Cloud this morning to familiarise myself with it.

I enjoyed using it. It reminded me of when I first used an ATU for shortwave broadcast listening, although this was much easier to use, and the peak/resonance point for each frequency was very sharp - and narrow!

Anyway, I worked easily on CW on 20m, 15m and 40m. Regular chasers, HF S2S, even a reappearance after a long time of Les @G3VQO !

After the successful experiment with the Alexloop, I made a few QSOs on the 2m FM handheld. People continue to be astounded to learn that the FT70D is a handheld with a rubber duck when I tell them! This little session included another S2S, more active chasers and even a hook up with Stockport Radio Society doing an open day event from the Knott Inn, Rushton Spencer!

Talking of which, SRS are doing a WebEx broadcast on Tuesday 6th July, 7.30pm, all about SOTA, portable antennas etc. Hopefully they’ll promote it direct on here at some point, but I’m sure it’ll be findable online somewhere.

I most likely won’t be able to see that - or indeed take part in the 2m contests at that time. We’ll be on test sailings by then and probably dress rehearsing the shows!


I saw you spotting this morning while I was on G/DC-008. I tuned in to a couple of frequencies but I couldn’t hear you, although I did hear the other half of a few QSOs. Conditions were poor I think and a lot of QRM where I was.

Best wishes for the cruise. Jane McDonald says she has retired so there’s a vacancy on the telly. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I listened on your frequency too, but heard nothing. Maybe we did that at the same time as each other which would explain things!

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Yes Tom, Les also called me last Friday on GW/MW-020, had to think for a bit, as I forgotten Les’s name. Sorry Les if you read this. Your name came back to me within 5 seconds of ending our brief QSO! For those who haven’t been around that long Les, G3VQO was an MT member for many years.

TNX for filling us in on your plans Tom, regarding your time away. Fortunately Brexit hasn’t wrecked UK jobbing musicians touring on cruise ships as the 90 day stay limit won’t affect you like it will land basic musicians from UK working in the EU 27. Terrible situation like many others, which was never foreseen when people voted leave.

On the subject of music I see the Brand New Heavies are playing at a pop up festival at Tatton Park, near you on July 17th. Never seen them but have several of their CDs and watched some of their live shows - don’t think they are as big as they were on stage some years ago after personel changes. I’d like to go to experience the like funk, been starved of live music these last 18 months, despite the high cost of tickets for a “private square, with canopy and deckchairs” but I know Judy wouldn’t be keen, not only its not her taste in music but there have been rumblings from the 6 week old grandson and family coming up to North Yorkshire from Cardiff that weekend.

73 Phil


Wow, Brand New Heavies - I loved that band when I was at uni - 30 years ago - ouch! Mind you, even that’s not as “in the past” as the artistes I’ve been touring with in recent years - Joe Longthorne, Mindbenders, Love Affair, Platters etc!

You’re right Phil, it looks like the cruise ship musician isn’t affected like the touring musician from Brexit. My days of fly-out gigs to Bucharest, Tenerife, Benidorm etc are over due to Brexit I suspect, but whatever Brexit, or indeed the pandemic throws at me, I simply adapt - so maths teaching it has been for a while, and now off to sea!

My one concern is that countries on the itinerary will announce that they will not allow cruise ship passengers to disembark the ship. And that will lead to cancellations. I really hope not after investing the thick end of a grand on new stage clothes and bits of equipment, and declining over double that in offers of teaching work!

Anyway, let’s be postive and hope for the best. Who fancies a sked with M1EYP/MM? (And if I’m docked overnight, say in a port in Italy, am I correct in thinking I’d be I/M1EYP?)


And here was me thinking I’d get to rack up steady chaser points now I’d moved down to Northwich rather than being up in Carlisle.

I’ll keep the C4FM fires burning in the local area while you’re gone.


Living in the past (Jethro Tull). Yes, I like some of that genre as well (Some of the music mentioned in Andy’s 50 year thread but not all!). Always liked Soul Music as well and it’s derivative genres, especially what is known as Jazz Funk. Only this week I bought a double M.S.F.B. CD “The Definitive Collection”. They were the house band of session musicians who helped produce backing for Gamble & Huff’s “Philly Sound” artists, but you would know about that. It was heavily orchestrated disco music with mucho horns and strings which became popular around 1973 and played itself out in 1980. I haven’t played the album yet, only familiar with a small number of tracks on the double CD, so it could be win or lose.

We write about all sorts of rubbish on here don;t we, not just SOTA. Such a liberal moderator allows it!

73 Phil

PS I’m up for a sked on any mode/band if that Alex loop gets out sufficiently. I guess you will need the permission of the ship’s captain…


It helps that Brian @G8ADD is himself a jazz musician and music enthusiast, so we get away with it!

Anyway this is Saga - cruises for the over 50s - so the set list looks mainly 60s to 90s, with the addition of the ubiquitous Uptown Funk!

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That set list will suit you right down to the ground Tom!

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Hi Tom. Thank for filling us in on your plans regarding your time away. Should be fun, are you touring into OC area? Would love to work you. That Alex loop looks really interesting, seems perfect for qrp sota/ portable.

Enjoy your time away and stay safe.

73 de Geoff vk3sq

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Furthest south I get is EA8 Geoff. Furthest north is LA, furthest west and east are EI and 4O respectively. Voyages after that go further afield but I’m only doing up to early December.

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VHF DXers would like you to give them some EU (EA8 is Africa for DXCC) “wet squares” on 2m I imagine. But for that you would need your FT991A and a beam plus a following wind. Probably not be practical. Hope you get an outside cabin Tom and not right beside the engine room hihi!

73 Phil

Hi Tom,
I hope you will have had both jabs before you go. It’s a close environment. Remember the 1.5 m rule as it relates to the smorgasbord. Have fun.


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@G3CWI also mentioned this, but I’ve decided not to bother with that for now.

All cabins are outside cabins with balconies on this ship.

That is a requirement for all staff, guests and contractors. Anyway, yes, I’m preloaded with two AstraZenecas.


I absolutely agree, Tom. I’d rather have two Astra

than one Corona

Sri, couldn’t resist. :wink:



Some of us are old enough to still think of them like this…



You would still get away with it even if I wasn’t a muso! Radio amateurs are known for enquiring minds and catholic tastes, a typical ragchew can span a very wide range of topics. This is a trait that should be encouraged, we don’t want to be dour and blinkered!

I think first of the sun’s atmosphere, and aurora, but it takes all sorts…

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That’s a noble sentiment Brian, but I definitely encountered the Corona pop man in my early life before ever studying the composition of our nearest star!

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We drank Idris - loyalty, my ancestry is Welsh!

Oh, this has ruined one of our favourite lines from Black Books. “She has Astra!”