The GM3HAM Contest Group of the Lothians Radio Society took part in the Restricted Section of RSGB VHF National Field Day on 5-6 July 2014 from our usual site in the hills near Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries & Galloway. We arrived on Friday 4th to get the tents set up and enjoy our traditional dinner in the Masonic Arms in Gatehouse. After driving through a heavy downpour we arrived to find the site enshrouded in cloud, but this miraculously cleared within an hour and thereafter we had great weather for the rest of the weekend. Operation was on 50MHz (Saturday only), 70MHz (Sunday only), 144MHz and 432MHz. After hearing some nice continental Dx and a K5 (Texas) on 50MHz on Saturday morning, conditions during the contest were not very good and scores were lower than last year. Two innovations this year were sound recording of the 2m QSOs which enabled a number of logging errors to be corrected before submission, and a barbecue on the Saturday evening.

Photos by Alan GM3PSP, Andre GM3VLB & Veronica XYL-GM3VLB - tnx.

 

Submitted Scores:

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50MHz    MAP of 50MHz QSOs

Rig: FT-847 running 100W.

Antenna: home-brew 9-element yagi at 10m high.

Number of valid QSOs :                        52
Claimed total score :                           15632
Best DX - Callsign; Locator; Distance : G0FBB/P JO01ld;  538km

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70MHz    MAP of 70MHz QSOs

Rig: unmodified FT-847 + small solid-state amplifier running 40W.

Antenna: home-brew 11 element yagi at 10m high.

Number of valid QSOs :                       79
Claimed number of QSO points :          24642
Claimed total score :                           24642
Best DX - Callsign; Locator; Distance : G5LK/P JO01qd; 556km

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Rig: FT-736R + BNOS 100W amplifier.
Antenna: 17 element yagi M-squared
 
Number of valid QSOs :                       180
Claimed number of QSO points :          55730
Claimed total score :                           55730
Best DX - Callsign; Locator; Distance : F6KCP/P; JN18hu; 816km
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432MHz   MAP of 432MHz QSOs

Rig: FT-736R plus 100W "brick" amplifier.

Antenna: 28-element yagi - M-squared.

Number of valid QSOs :                       50
Claimed number of QSO points :          14756
Best DX - Callsign; Locator; Distance : G5LK/P JO01qd; 556km

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 After driving from Edinburgh through torrential rain we found the site enshrouded in cloud.

 


 However, within an hour the cloud had lifted and apart from a shower during Saturday night we had great Wx for the whole weekend.

 

The first priority was getting the tents up.

Terry GM3WUX and Mike GM4IGS working on the 6m / 4m operating tent.

 

 With the operating tent already up, Brian GM8BJF and Pete GM4BYF got the refreshments tent up.

 

 Then down to the Masonic Arms in Gatehouse for some diet lemonades and dinner.

L-R: Pete GM4BYF, Danny GM6CMQ, Terry GM3WUX, Mike GM4IGS, Norrie GM1CNH,

Andre GM3VLB, Brian GM4DIJ, Brian GM8BJF, Alan GM3PSP, Colin GM4HWO.

Photo by Veronica XYL-GM3VLB - tnx.

 

Pete GM4BYF & Danny GM6CMQ.

 

 Mike GM4IGS (Troon) and Norrie GM1CNH.

 

 Terry GM3WUX joined us from Glasgow for the third year running

and contributed greatly to the 6m / 4m operations.

 

Andre GM3VLB (Kelso), Brian GM4DIJ & Brian GM8BJF.

 

 Colin GM4HWO & Veronica XYL-GM3VLB (Kelso).

 

 Brian GM4DIJ, Brian GM8BJF & Alan GM3PSP.

 

After dinner we repaired to the refreshments tents for some non-diet lemonades.

Brian GM8BJF & Pete GM4BYF.

 

 As the sun sank slowly in the west, so did Terry and Colin.

 

 In the morning Colin was up bright and early to cook the bacon rolls.

 

Norrie, Pete and Terry working on the 70cm beam.

 

Mike and Norrie getting the 6m beam ready for erection.  

 

 Terry, Norrie, Danny and Brian ready to erect the 2m beam.

 

 Danny (in camouflage gear) and Brian preparing to assemble the 70cm yagi.

 

 Up she goes. (You can't beat those gin-poles)

 

 Getting the beam aligned to the south in sync with the the rotator.

 

Pete GM4BYF:  "In that direction we shall boldly beam"!

 

 Amateur radio in paradise.

 

 More paradise.

 

 

 The LF guys on 6m: Brian GM4DIJ, Mike GM4IGS & Terry GM3WUX.

 

Pete GM4BYF & Norrie GM1CNH on 2m.

 

 Brian GM8BJF on 70cm.

 

 This nasty-looking cloud appeared at one point but fortunately changed its mind and went away.

 

A barbecue supper on Saturday was an innovation this year for the Saturday night

when operating requirements prevented us all going down to the Masonic Arms. 

 

 

 Terry GM3WUX, Pete GM4BYF & Brian GM8BJF enjoying their barbecued burgers.

 

 Then back to the operating tent for Pete to keep things moving on 2m.

 

Dedication.

 

 

 In the refreshments tent there was in-depth discussion of VHF band conditions. 

 

 Danny and Brian contemplate a tricky issue of VHF propagation.

 

Bright and sunny again on Sunday morning. 

 

All change for the LF station - Mike, Danny and Brian converting the 6m beam to 4m.

 

 The very large 6m beam is carefully designed to convert easily to 4m.

 

 Getting ready to erect the now-4m beam.

 

 Welcome visitor Andre GM3VLB (R) at the 2m / 70cm station with Brian GM8BJF,

Danny GM6CMQ, Colin GM4HWO & Norrie GM1CNH. 

 

 Andre GM3VLB was in the area to operate IOTA from some nearby small islands,

accessible with wellies! (Photo by XYL Veronica)

 

 Danny GM6CMQ, XYL Veronica & OM Andre GM3VLB and Norrie GM1CNH.

 

 We were visited by farmer and landowner Robert (R), whose field we are very grateful for.

Brian GM8BJF, Colin GM4HWO, Terry GM3VLB and Robert.

 

 Robert with three friends, the Robertsons of 4x4TreksGalloway,

who are all licensed and RAYNET-Galloway members.

 

Final group shot L-R: Alan GM3PSP, Danny GM6CMQ, Brian GM4DIJ, Mike GM4IGS, Colin GM4HWO,

Terry GM3WUX, Pete GM4BYF, Brian GM8BJF & Norrie GM1CNH.