As I’ve now been back on dry land for a week I thought it might be a good time to put up a quick post about the trip to the Isle of Arran with the Camb-Hams as GS3PYE/P. For me the trip started Friday afternoon just as the royal wedding has finishing I was making my way to Cambridge half expecting London’s transport system too be busy I gave myself an hour to cross on the underground but I honestly didn’t need it it was dead between Paddington and Kings Cross although as I bordered the train to Cambridge it was starting to get busy and once at Cambridge the time soon went after being picked up by Rob (M0VFC) and heading back to his to pack Flossie full of kit.
Saturday was d-day and we left around mid afternoon for Glasgow arriving late evening at Gavin’s (M1BXF) parents QTH for the night and after take away for dinner we watched the final half of Austin Powers and then Tron which I don’t remember much of think I feel sleep soon after it started on the sofa.. soon to be told in the morning that I snored enough to set of car alarms (can’t confirm) we then headed off for the Ferry to Arran and by lunchtime or close to it we where about ready to setup the antennas after spending about an hour cutting back trees to get flossie up the muddy track (BINGO) to the house by late afternoon we had antennas up and on the air final few antennas got setup Monday.
Antennas where monoband verticals for 80, 40, 20, 17m and a homebrew spider-beam and I believe we also had 160m L and 80/30m Dipoles towards the end of the week and yagis for 6 & 4m.. and radio wise
- ICOM IC-9100 from Icom
- Kenwood TS-590 from Kenwood
- 2x amps HF and 6/4m from Linear Amp UK
Some of the team also bought along
- ICOM IC-756PROIIs
And no doubt many other bits I’ve missed 🙂
To support the logging we had a custom program made by Rob (M0VFC) which worked fantastically bar a few minor niggles when the Wifi dropped out or routers crashed, what was popular was the statistical information which could be viewed within the web browser giving Last logged QSOs, Totals, Operator QSO totals the latter which proved popular with Steve (M1ACB) and myself who decided to fight it out a bit past the 1000 qso mark!
What did surprise me was the pile-ups which were at times huge which I enjoyed and also the quieter times when you could have a bit of a chat to the person on the other side about the equipment and activities we’d been up to, what we all noticed was that 20m seemed to be open all the time maybe due to being more north then we’re used to by Sunday morning when we left we had 9100 QSOs in the logbook.
Supporting the operation we had the website http://dx.camb-hams.com which provided popular over the course of the week, where you could find a near real-time online log and plenty of posts showing what we had been up to with images/videos plus frequency info in the sidebar of every page and then most of us were tweeting away.
By the time Sunday morning arrived it was time to pack up the equipment into flossie and the rest into cars and head to the Ferry, I have to admit I could have stayed an extra week and was a bit sad to leave! but we had a ferry to catch at 11am back to mainland then head for the Magnum radio rally where we spent most of our time chatting to people who’d worked us while on the island and got plenty of encouraging remarks! then it was time to head back to Cambridge as we got back rather late I didn’t venture all the way back to Oxford instead stayed the night with Gavin, M1BXF (thanks!) who then dropped me off at Cambridge station Monday afternoon.
The next few days after returning home I suffered a bit from Post Arran syndrome missing the interesting conversions, laughs, bingos, radio pile ups and lack of Jaffa cakes, Custard and the odd Mars bar.. Hopefully I’ll be allowed on the next trip even though I snored bad 😉