January 23, 2012

All our yesterdays a review of our activities during 2011

Hello Folks,

We have just seen the end of the 2011 activity within Sands Amateur Radio Contest Group so I thought it would be nice to look back at the year and mix of a special event stations and a few words on a Dxpedition a few of our members we have been involved in.  The blog will finish with a few on our hopes and aspirations  for 2012.

You will notice that I have not added any pictures in this blog they are all available via hyperlinks I have added within the text in this blog.

Blogs going back through the years are available to new and old readers by clicking on a hyperlink for individual months that can be found in month order in the righthand column of the blog page.  There you will find all the pictures and blogs for Contests, Special event stations and DX-Pedition's going back through the years.  If your looking for a particular subject then you may find the search option a useful tool.

Special Event Station GB4HCM
In March we were asked by "Heron Corn Mill" to put an amateur radio station on air as part of the "National Science and Engineering Week" which this year was focused on communications.  

We put a series of antenna's up and stations were setup for both SSB and DATA.  and at the last minute I received the news that the schools had expressed a particular interest in Wartime Communications. They were covering WWII as part of their course work.  It was a very worthwhile event which took the children from passing greeting messages on SSB via modern radio's through to Digital communications and finally they learned about Bletchley Park and the Y stations finishing with hands on experience with vintage military morse keys.

Radio Cumbria joined us for the morning of the first day and a number of interviews with the Children and members of the group were broadcast and to our surprise  the interviews were re-transmitted the following day.  If you would like to read the blog and hear the interviews from this event then click on the link below.

The Royal Wedding Prince William and Kate Middleton 
The callsign for this event is GB4HRH
Our next special event found us at Oysterber Farm running two stations one in Hancock's Radio Hut and the other found members braving the elements.  Again this was a fantastic event to be apart of a little heath Robinson invention was called upon for the outside station because the wind would have damaged the parasol we would have liked to use. If you would like to read the blog and see what we got up too please click on the link below

The Isle of Tiree Dx-pedition 2011
In late September members of the group were invited to join with our friends in Workington to the Isle of Tiree where a good time was had by all.... Below are couple of a links to the Workington site. they are both well worth viewing


So what does 2012 hold in store for Sands Amateur Radio Contest Group? 
We have already got most of the equipment for contesting ready for use and we will be taking part in all the major contests including the RSGBCC monthly contest which are very enjoyable.

There is little doubt that there will be more experimentation done on antenna's and we may have something special to work with in Hancocks Radio Hut if everything works out.

Listen out for the special callsign GB4QDJ in June as we commemorate our Queens Diamond Jubilee and reign on the throne.

As for personal hopes and aspirations, each group member will have their own but one thing we will all have in common is to strive to improve on the skills they have nurtured along a willingness to embrace new skills as we all work together in the field of Amateur Radio.

Brian (G0RDH)

January 18, 2012

Sands Christmas Meal 2011

Hi Folks,
This is a very belated blog, much to my frustration I had a logging fault which has now been sorted out.

Our last event for 2011 was our Christmas meal.  The group went back to Trungs for an oriental banquet that was excellent.  It was good to be able to see the year out with a social group event.  I will just publish some photos from the even and move on to the next blog "All our Yesterdays" A revew of the 2011 contest and special event season.

This picture was taken by Bob G1OCK

 Our network Guru Faris and Martin to his left

Emma on the left & Martin are expecting to hear the patter of tiny feet in a few months time

Paul & Steve

Just before the start of the contest season I introduced an award for the most improved member of the year.  Our group chairman presented the award to Paul M6APB.  I well remember the look of sheer terror on his face way back in March when it was suggested to him that he was the next operator on air after a short time observing how the radio and logging software worked, but he took the mike and squeaked out a very quiet M0SCG.  Since that time he has taken part in "The National Science and Engineering work where he got to grips with PSK31 data communications,  a special event GB4HRH SSB to celebrate the Royal wedding and quite a number of contests including IOTA.  It has been a pleasure to see Paul and others raise their game and improve their basic knowledge, operating procedures and skills.

  The prize was a weather station.

Kathy, Barrie and Stephany were also given gifts in recognition of their generosity throughout the year.  Kathy and Barrie are the owners of Oysterber Farm and allow us to use Hankcocks Hut for our station, the meadow for our antenna farm and an evening meal which is always excellent often cooked by Stephany G1LAT.  Barries gift was a bottle of wine and the ladies were presented with a bouquet of flowers.

                                                           Kathy, Barrie & Stephan
First Course

It was nice to meet Joe and Claire with their new arrival Oskar who was well behaved throughout the evening and had a smile for everyone.

A firm favorite with most members is the shredded duck and pancakes, Damien Annette are in the forefront of the picture with Bob, Linda, Ian and Joe as you look around the table.

Here are our newlyweds Jenni and Mark..... I will no doubt have a contract and bounty stuck on my head when Jenni sees the picture.

Our chairman Kev with his wife Hazel can be seen here.  They say every picture tells a story and this one is no exception.  This is Kev's second Christmas meal of the day the first being around 4 to 5 hours earlier when he attended his works meal..... despite asking for small portions at his earlier meal his pleas fell on deaf ears...... Kev is just looking at the second course out of a 5 course banquet and he's thinking "you expect me to eat that!"

Linda and Ian

This has to be one of my favorite photo's of Ian as he explains the finer points on a subject with care and enthusiasm.... I have no idea what he was discussing but I have seen this gesture so many times and its a pleasure to be able to catch it on film.

However I do have a word of caution

Taking on a two year stint as chairman of Sand can leave you like this!

No worries the tender loving care of Linda will soon have him back to normal.

All it remains for me to do is wish all our blog readers a very happy and healthy New Year from all at Sands Amateur Radio Contest Group and we look forward to working many of you during 2012
(The reluctant contestor)