Monthly Archives: October 2014


The club took part in this years CQ World Wide contest this year from the Secret Nuclear Bunker. The event was organised mainly by George, M1GEO and Dave M0TAZ. We operated two stations, one on 20m with George’s monoband 3 element Yagi and one on 15m with Dave’s 2 element Quad. We also operated on some other bands with a doublet.

The total stations we worked was 1743. George M1GEO has compiled some very interesting statistics which are well worth a browse. Take a look at them. The full log can be viewed as a 35 page PDF file. Some photos can be seen in the gallery. More will be added as they come in! There is also a QSO Map.

We worked 109 countries in many CQ zones, 33 out of 40 were worked. It was a great event and one I’m sure one we will add to the calendar for 2015!

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Below is a world map of the contacts that were made over the weekend. Click the image to view full size!


Activity Day

On Sunday 5th October 2014 a few of us got together at the bunker for a bit of casual operating.  Several overlapping contests (Oceanic DX and RSGB 21/28 MHz) had lead to some activity on the higher bands, so we decided to see what was around, just collecting some DX. The standard invite went out to the local clubs and to usual individuals by text message.  Dave M0YOL, Chris G8OCV and George M1GEO formed the core of the ops, but given it was short notice we didn’t expect hoards.

Conditions on the lower bands seemed poor, with 40 meters being a real struggle to keep regular QSOs.  The IC7000 auto-caller was greatly appreciated.  We set up station inside the back of my car, since this gives some shelter from the wind (and generator noise) as well as the boot hood protecting from rain (we didn’t need it).  The picture below shows the setup, as well as the reflection of the mast in the laptop screen (and M1GEO).


During operation, we noticed that the antenna wasn’t performing as well as usual, and so we set off to investigate the problem.  We found a break in the home-brew 3-inch ladder line which runs from the balun on the compound wall to the centre at the top of the mast.  However, in the process of finding the problem, the amp had been powered into the unloaded balun and so the balun had become very hot dissipating the power from the amplifier – this in turn had melted the insulation on some wire (homebrew with plastic insulation and not PTFE or Teflon), and some shorts had arisen.  Fortunately we had a connector block and a spare balun in the kit box, so were able to quickly address the problems.  The QRO balun will be reinstalled once rebuilt (Chris G8OCV has ordered PTFE/Teflon wire at 12AWG, so 2.4mm diameter, 88A rated).

All in all, around 40 QSOs were made.