John Taylor GM4JRT (photo taken on a different occasion).

I arrived at the Stirling Clubhouse (GM6NX) at 2150 on Saturday to a warm welcome, firstly from the two Stirling members already operating and secondly from the immense heat coming from the 2 Acom 1000 amplifiers running FT8! I was there as a volunteer operator for their special event callsign, GB1CWC, to mark the first ever UCI Cycling World Championship, being held in Scotland.

Stirling have access to an incredible array of HF & VHF aerials, all fed from modern radios, through quality coax, and big power amplifiers. I was operating voice on 40m through an Icom IC7300 and an Acom 1000 amplifier at 400W into a 2-element mono-band beam, roughly 15m high. The band was crowded so it took a while to find a spare frequency but I finally settled on 7.160MHz and started calling as GB1CWC. It didn’t take long for the contacts to start coming thick and fast, running full-legal power into a decent aerial will get you heard after all. I got 59+50 for one signal report!


The beam was pointed South East for most of the operating time so only UK and European contacts – Scotland, England, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Belgium. The band static and crowded conditions made some contacts challenging, as there were two very loud stations 3kHz either side of my frequency, but it was enjoyable all the same. I took a much more laid back approach than ‘normal’ HF contest style operating and encouraged some chat, this seemed well received. I particularly enjoyed pulling a few foundation licence holders out of the pileup and giving them a chance to be heard.

After operating for over an hour, the heat started to get to me and throat was becoming hoarse so I decided to call time at about 2340 and had a chat with some of the growing number of Stirling club members in the shack. I was one of six volunteer operators from other clubs, and the other five were all from the same scout group. Total contacts for GB1CWC stood at around the 3000 mark when I finished operating, I probably contributed 40 to 50 contacts.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience and if the opportunity to operate at the Stirling club came again, I would definitely take it up – and I would encourage others to do the same.

 73, John GM4JRT