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A small group of LRS members operated GM3HAM/P in the RSGB 2m Trophy contest from Lauder Common on Sunday 8th September 2019. About 40 QSOs were made in this recreational entry. (Photo - Melvyn GM4HYR)

Report by Peter Dick GM4DTH:

The September 2m contest weekend usually sees a group heading to to Gatehouse of Fleet to take part. This year many of the core group were unable to take part resulting in plans being revised. Instead of a serious entry a part- time 'jolly' was organised for the Sunday at a nearby site at Lauder Common (IO85OQ) to give away some points to those who were taking part in the contests. Geographically Lauder Common can not be considered a top site, however, it is not too bad. We decided to field-test different equipment with low phase noise for use in future contests. We set up the station in the back of a vehicle comprising of an Elecraft K3 transceiver and a Kuhne transverter driving a LDMOS amplifier. This then fed an eight element yagi at 30' on an ex army mast. This experimental station was visited by members of several other clubs some who were surprised by the strength of the signals and the distance being covered compared to the low specification FM stations they were familiar with. The weather was good with no wind and the propagation was also good.

About 40 contacts were made, not all at contest speed, taking a little time to chat with non-contest stations. Contacts were made between Orkney and Kent not forgetting Wales and Ireland (EI); Northern Ireland was heard but not worked. Best DX was G5RS/P in JO00EW at 353.5 miles, and nearest was Danny GM6CMQ in IO86GB at 36.6 miles. We also worked LRS member Brian GM4DIJ/P who was operating from a beach not too far from the Gatehouse site (IO74MT). The path was about 105 miles mainly over high hilly ground.

In addition to the 2m activity a little time was taken to try a receiver which is suitable for the LRS Topband DF hunt. Lauder Common, being free from all the QRM noise of the city, gave a quiet background for receiving.  Several aeronautical Non-Directional Beacons (NDBs) were received: CL - Carlisle, PIK - Prestwick, NT - Newcastle, EDN - Edinburgh, UW - Edinburgh, DND - Dundee.

Participants: Norman GM1CNH, Peter GM4DTH, Brian GM8BJF, Melvyn GM4HYR, Richard MM0RPP, Bob MM0XRI and Rob.

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Thanks to Peter GM4DTH for the first 6 photos below and to Melvyn GM4HYR for the last 4 taken from his drone.

 

 Richard MM0RPP, Rob & Bob MM0XRI.

 

Aerial assembly: Bob MM0XRI, Norrie GM1CNH & Richard MM0RPP.

 

Aerial - mast - guy tensioning.

 

Equipment

 

The opportunity was taken to test a D/F receiver in the low-noise environment of Lauder Common.

Here Bob MM0XRI is tuning his Tescun receiver to a Non-Directional Beacon (NDB).

 

Close-up of NOVA-PAL receiver tuned to a NDB.

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 Now Melvyn's drone shots:

 

 

 

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