August 16, 2021

Sands Mid-Summer Meal at The Bridge Inn Tatham
As lockdown started to be lifted Baz G1JYB asked members if they would be interested in meeting together for a group MiD-Summer Meal at one of our favourite meeting places The Bridge Inn at Tatham now that lockdown has gradually lifted. The original idea was to eat out in the open air allowing us to isolate and all was going well with nice sunny days and sweltering hot temperatures but sadly the weather forecast for the day was against us predicting heavy rain and thunder. The Bridge Inn has some history behind it around in the English Civil War, originally a coaching inn built onto the side of an earlier cottage.
(This picture was found posted on Trip Advisor) The Inn is circa of 1744 when the King of England was George II. The cottage, now a dining room, was built circa 1642 in the reign of Charles I.
We gathered at around 6.30pm meeting for a short time in the Bar before moving to a private room solely for our use away from the general public.
Everyone made sure they were covid free before attending and tried to stay socially distanced in the bar area
Baz G1JYB had the forethought to check the weather forecast and although we were disappointed not to be able to eat outside felt as safe as we could be with the arrangements made.
Atfer everyone had gathered we made our way to an upper room that had been prepared for us to sit, socialise and enjoy a varierty of exellent cuisine. Kathy started the evening with an impromptu yoga class
Jonathan G7UBU and his wife Charlotte G7UBP joined us as guests
along with Eric G1YYD
This is the first event James M3APO has been able to join as a member of the group and he thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
Andrew G0LWU enjoying the evening with Julie, along with Kathy M3YOG, Baz G1JYB (Pretending to be happy!) and at the top of the table Dave 2E0DTG.
Andrew was one of the first to be served with starters which he told us was delicious. If you would like to look at the menu please click here
James has a puzzled look on his face "Wheres the pineapple?"
However he loved every mouthful... James did wonder about upgrading his 8oZ gammon steak to the 16oz horseshoe steak with exra eggs etc. but was happy with what he had.
I opted for the Bridge Steak & Onion pie Home-made of course, choice pieces of British steak cooked in rich gravy. Topped with a puff pastry lid. Served with Chips & Vegetables it was delicious. There is nothing I enjoy more than dunking my chips in that rich gravy..... my only complaint is that its served in a round dish and theres is nothing more infuriating than chacing the last of the meat and gravy round the bowel!
Dave was looking forward to his Steak pudding, no ordinary pudding you understand, this was a giant one. (image taken from Trip Adviser)
(This image taken from Trip Advisor) It was a three course meal for those who wanted it finished with coffee and a mint chip chocolate. James and I had homemade apple crumble and custard, while Eric enjoyed something just as nice but a little lighter.
A good night was had by all as we enjoyed good food and each others company..... The night finished as predicted with a bang around 9:30pm.... The heavens opened with torrential rain and I got back into the Morecambe area we was treated to a lightening display around Morecambe Bay & Lancaster. At the time of writing this blog, lockdown has been lifted and Clubs are able to meet again with members able to greet, meet and exchange there knowledge hopes and asperations for the future.... I hope you have enjoyed the blog and it has given you the urge to support your local pubs and clubs whilst taking care to be safe and careful.........unless otherwise stated all pictures have been taken by me.... Best 73 Brian G0RDH

August 03, 2021

Last Of The Summer Wine Beach Party
Thursday 22nd of July was a memorable evening when a small group took the opportunity to make their way to Middleton Sands and have a beach party. We met at Hughies around 6.30pm with Dave, Ben and Hughie travelling in one car with Brian following in his own. The weather was perfect a nice sunny evening with a light breeze. Here we can see Hughie G4UME operating at the start of the evening.
Those in attendance for the evening were Dave 2E0DTG, Hughie G4UME,Ben 2E0WTL, Brian G0RDH Heres a short video of Ben 2E0WTL operating under his own callsign.
Ben managed to break a pileup to Brazil on 20m which was quite something. The equipment was all setup with around 15 minutes and consisted of a Kenwood TS-480SAT, although a few years old now this radio works great for mobile and special events. The TS-480SAT as far as I know is still in production and readily available on the used market.
We used 2 antenna, Dave made a homebrew 20m veritcal that was mounted on a screw in ground spike and fibreglass pole with 4 groundplanes (Dave tells me it has now been increased to 6 groundplanes). The antenna worked very well. The second antenna was purchaced by the group a few months ago, we thought it would be great for portable use and for special events like those documented in the blogs from Heron Corn Mill. The antenna was also thought to be excellent because of its ease of assembly and small footprint (taking around 15 minutes to assemble....we took our time) compared to other antennas the group currently owns, which are great to use from our base at Oysterber Farm where we have access to pleny of private ground to experiment. The antenna is a G4YKB Inverted Delta Loop covering 40m thru 4m made in Bolton by G4YKB Ham Radio Solutions. The antenna tuned on all bands via the internal ATU within around 2 seconds on all the bands it covered. Hughie was a little worried when we first tried the antenna because it wouldn't tune, this was found to be because there was a fault with the coaxial feed, all was well after it was replaced with some RG58 Mil Spec coaxial cable. The Inverted Delta loop was mounted on top of a a 2 part swaged alluminium mast around 11ft in length the fibreglass poles once extended gave an overall height of around 22ft.
The bottom picture is a balun with an so239... I would have preferred the so239 to have been mounted at the bottom of the case to reduce stress and make it more waterproof. One of the group members suggested feeding the coax over to the top of the perspex to relieve stress on the so239.
Both antenna worked well with very little difference between them signal wise although it was noted that there was less noise on the inverted delta loop in line with what the manufacturer claimed.
Ben 2E0WTL at the end of the evening on 20m running the group callsign MX0SCG/P. He did really well over the course of the evening making many contacts.
Pictured here is Dave 2E0DTG enjoying a break at the end of the evening.
And in the best traditions of the Two Ronnies heres an "And Finally" Hughie and Dave paid a second visit to Middleton Sands on Monday 2nd August and joined the "Owls Nest Net" Dave called in before I started the net Telling James M3APO that according to his watch it was 7.30pm and I was late...His watch was 4 Mins fast.... Dave could do with an updated watch, his is a classic:-)
Hope you have enjoyed the Blog.... Best 73 Brian G0RDH

June 23, 2021

Special Event Station MX0SCG Summer Solstice at Arnside Knott

Hi Folks, Its been a long time since I last did a post for the group and thought it was high time to put a new blog on the site. The picture above is from Sallys cottages blog which is a lovely read... Heres the link: Monday 21st of June found friends and members of Sands Communications Group meeting at Arnside Knott. This event has been run for many years by Baz G1JYB and is pretty unique in that it involves radio amateurs and walkers celebrating the longest day of the year together. The Car Park is 325 ft ASL The Summit is 527ft ASL Distance to walk from Car Park is 0.397 miles Weather conditions were supposed to be appalling with rain and cold temperatures forecast, but what a beautiful evening we had. Blue skies, sunshine and little to no breeze. It could not have worked out better. The only blight on the night was that we could not partake of the legendary Arnside Fish and Chips. Both Arnside and Silverdale chippy's were shut. My main aim for the event was to put the groups new Inverted Deltaloop up made by (G4YKB Ham Radio Solutions Bolton). I was ably helped by Steve G1TLQ, and Frank G8BME. Once unboxed the antenna was very easy to put up with just a 13mm spanner needed. It was found to be resonant on 28MHz when tested but will need the internal tuner of the TS-480Sat for the other bands.
I was hoping to put the Kenwood TS-480 Sat on the antenna but right at the last minute I found the lead that connects the head unit to the base was missing. The radio was last used in my absence at another SES.
There was some radio operation from the carpark by Hughie G4UME where he kept local amateurs informed about the event on 145.350MHz using the callsign MX0SCG/P.
James M3APO did a little C4FM operation talking to NWFG and Baz G1JYB laced up his walking boots and operated SOTA from the summit.
Kathy M3YOG is a keen walker/road runner/Fell Runner appeared from time to time she had joined with friends to walk to the Sumit ..................................................................................................................................................Here are some pictures taken by Baz G1JYB from Arnside Knott.
Thanks to Chris Edgar M5XYZ for taking the video footage and Summa M3XNZ as director of the event and Arnside
To finish the night Jonathan G7UBU who provided all the still photograghs took a lovely one of Arnside as the sun went down at the end of a lovely event. It had its highs and lows but I for one left the event happy and contented.
This is may not be perfect, its the first blog I have put together since 2017 but I hope you enjoyed it. 73 Brian G0RDH

March 04, 2021

That was the year that was Part 1

Hi Folks,

It has been some time since I last posted a blog on the Sands Amateur Radio Contest and Special Event Group mainly because I lost the password.  Thanks to Mark and Ian this has now been sorted and I hope to be able to post more regular blogs.

This is a two-part blog covering the year 2017.  I hope you find something of interest and visit us again soon.

Yorkshire Pudding Day

Our first event of took place over the weekend of 4th - 5th February with a special event station Celebrating the Great Yorkshire Pudding.
These pictures were taken from an earlier event 
Celebrating Yorkshire Pudding Day
Picture was taken from Trip Advisor
Our Hostess
at The Bridge Inn Tatham  
Steve & Frank

Below are some video clips and recipes

James Martin's Yorkshire puddings and onion gravy

Serves: 4


For the onion gravy:
25g unsalted butter2tbsp olive oil1kg onions, peeled and finely sliced2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped50ml dry sherry250ml white wine2tbsp plain flour1.2 litres fresh veal or beef stock1tsp soft brown sugar4 slices of baguette110g emmental cheese, grated
For the Yorkshire puddings:
225g plain flour8 medium free range eggs1pt whole milk55g dripping


For the onion gravy:
1. Pre-heat the grill to high.
2. Heat a large sauté pan and add the butter and oil. When hot add the onions and thyme and fry for 20-25 minutes over a low heat, until soft and golden brown.
3. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes, then add the sherry and white wine and cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
4. Stir in the flour and cook for a further minute, then pour in the stock.
5. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 10-15 minutes, and season with the sugar, salt and pepper.
6. Place the bread on a baking sheet and lightly toast, then add the grated cheese and return to the grill until golden brown.
For the Yorkshire puddings:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7.
2. Place the flour in a large glass bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the eggs and whisk and gradually add the milk.
3. Let the batter rest for 24 hours.
4. Place a little of the dripping in a Yorkshire pudding tray and place in the oven until the fat is hot.
5. Remove from the oven and pour in the batter. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Turn down the heat to 190°C, gas mark 5 and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Lancashire's revenge takes place each year with the World Championship Black Pudding Throwing Contest which takes place every year on Bridge Street in Ramsbottom.  The aim of the game is to knock as many Yorkshire Puddings off the gantry as possible by throwing black puddings at them.

Black Pudding throwing contest

The best Black Puddings are made in the nearby town of Bury

Hairy Bikers

Hairy Bikers

ARRL Dx and WPX Competition March 2017

This was not a good event for us or most of the country due to a series of Arora that took out HF Communications but we gave it a good go.

Archive picture of our antenna array
Hancocks Radio Hut

Antenna team 
Mark, Hughie, Frank, Steve, Brian

Brian G0RDH, Mark M0DGK, Hughie G4UME, Frank G8BME, Steve G1TLQ, Andrew G1LWU, Stephany G1LAT.

Brian and Mark tried to set the ball rolling with the graveyard shift but after a couple of hours decided to close down due to lack of activity.  The rest of the team literally took up the slack for the rest of the event and saved the day.

We faired a little better with the WPX contest at the end of the month.

Tour De-Yorkshire

Mills on the Air 6th -7th May