The GM3HAM/P Contest Group of the Lothians Radio Society participated in VHF National Field Day 2011 on July 2nd - 3rd from our usual site in the hills near Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfriesshire. We entered the restricted section (in which we have won the Cockenzie Quaich in the past) and operated on 6m, 4m, 2m and 70cm using Yaesu FT-736Rs and solid-state amplifiers. The antennas were all very long yagis fed via Heliax cable.
 
The big difference compared with last year (when we lost the 6m mast & beam and the main operating tent in a violent squall at breakfast time on the Sunday morning) was that we had glorious weather for the whole weekend this year. We also witnessed a magnificant display of noctilucent clouds in the north after midnight on Saturday night. (Photos below).
 
Full results for VHF NFD are at:  http://www.rsgbcc.org/vhf/results/11/VHFNFD.html
 
The confirmed scores for GM3HAM/P on each of the bands are:
 
BAND  QSOs   POINTS   COUNTRIES   LOCATORS   BEST         km      LOC
  MHz                                                                         DX  
 
    50    101       55581              16                40      SV2JAO/P    2480     KN11jh 
 
    70      92       26786               6                 23          G5LK/P      545    JO01nd
 
  144     288      90531              11                 35      HB9STY/P    1164    JN36gu    - see map below
          
 
  432      46       11967               6                 22           G5LK/P      545    JO01nd   
 
 
TOTAL  528     184865
 
 
GM3HAM/P  won the following awards in this contest. Click to view the certificate.
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- This result allowed us to retain the Cockenzie Quaich for the Leading Station in Scotland in the Restricted Section: 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Photographs of the event:
 
  
As with the 2011 Microwave Contest in May, "there was nay coos in the field" but on arrival we found about a million sheep, who wisely kept their distance! 
 
Welcome additions to our equipment were two ridge tents brought by Robin GM4YPL,  allowing a separate operating tent for each band.
  
Brian GM8BJF contemplating the next two days on 70cm after erecting his tent and mast.
 
Pete GM4BYF, Brian GM8BJF & Alan GM3PSP waiting patiently outside the pub on the Friday evening for the second half of the group to arrive by GM4HWO Land Rover from the site. (Photo by Brian GM4DIJ)
 
 
On the Friday evening we enjoyed dinner and a few beers at the Masonic Arms in Gatehouse of Fleet.
L-R: Colin GM4HWO, Alan GM3PSP, Brian GM8BJF, Brian GM4DIJ, Mike GM4IGS & Pete GM4BYF. Missing: Robin GM4YPL, who arrived later. 
 
Colin GM4HWO cooked the usual great breakfast of bacon rolls each morning.
L-R: Mike GM4IGS, Brian GM4DIJ, Colin GM4HWO & Pete GM4BYF. 
 
Brian GM4DIJ with the 9-element 6m yagi.
This was converted to an 11-element 4m yagi on Sunday. 
 
Robin GM4YPL and Brian GM8BJF off to a good start on 70cm.
 
Alan GM3PSP and Pete GM4BYF busy on 2m.
Brian GM4DIJ and Mike GM4IGS on 6m. 
 
After returning to the fold on Friday night, the sheep were back in force on Saturday morning! 
 
The site looking north towards the hills. The weather was perfect for the entire weekend.
 
Dusk over the site on Saturday night.
 
Pete GM4BYF was still busy on 2m.
 
The 2m station used computer logging with Minos software.

 

Pete's silhouette on the 2m tent. 
 
Late on Saturday night we were treated to a magnificent display of noctilucent clouds, seen here behind the 2m yagi. 
 
The noctilucent cloud display behind all three yagis. The clouds really were very bright in this rare display.
 
Alan GM3PSP and Pete GM4BYF back on 2m on Sunday morning. 
 
Our one disaster occurred on Sunday morning when one of the guys failed on the 70cm mast, bringing it crashing down and damaging the beam. However, a good bit of repair work by Colin GM4HWO and Robin GM4YPL restored the yagi and although a little shorter, it seemed to work just as well!  
 
Pete GM4BYF and Colin GM4HWO busy on 2m FM on the Sunday afternoon when additional activity occurred with the coincident Backpackers' Contest. 
 
Map showing bearings for all 2m QSOs. (Tnx GM4BYF)
 
 
Final group shot after packing up on Sunday afternoon.
L-R: Mike GM4IGS, Brian GM8BJF, Colin GM4HWO, Pete GM4BYF, Brian GM4DIJ, Robin GM4YPL & Alan GM3PSP.