GG 100 WGG - Centenary of the Guides Movement

Saturday 20th February 2010

Over twelve months ago, WADARC was approached by one of the Guide District Commissioners and asked to put on a Thinking Day On The Air Radio Station.  At that stage it was felt that the time scales available were too restricting but we offered to put something on for the Centenary year (2010).and so, in September 2009, the ball started rolling... and we were successful in gaining an N.O.V. for the callsign GG 100 WGG.

The GG 100 series of callsigns was made specially available for 2010 only to celebrate the Guide centenary and the phonetics for WGG were Wirral Girl Guides.  So at 2:30pm on Friday 19th February, half a dozen club members arrived at the Guide Campsite in WILLASTON to set up the station.  On our arrival there was about half an inch of snow and more was falling thick and fast.

It was decided that the best format for the station would be similar to what we have done recently for the Scouts at Jamboree On The Air, i.e. The club beam for 10m. 15m and 20m and a dipole for 80m. We also had antennas for 2m 4m and 70cms, although it transpired that little use was made of these.

The weather and lighting got the better of us so not everything was up and running by the end of the day. Only a brief test was possible on Friday evening but this earned us a 5/9 +20 report from Portugal (CU) despite the fact that at that stage the beam was stuck pointing North.

On Saturday morning after a heavy overnight frost, the 80m dipole went up and we were on air just after 10am.  From then on we didn't really stop.  The trusty old TS 440SAT performed impeccably and by early afternoon the log book was filling nicely with 80m contacts.  We earned good signal reports, one station in CHIPPENHAM commented that he was aware of a TDOTA station in his village and we were such a strong signal that he thought it must be us. !!!!!!!!

In mid - afternoon, we were tipped off that 15m was livening up so we gave it a try.  From 16:00 until 19:00 we were at the centre of a pileup, logging over 25 contacts across the USA and Canada with some stations chatting with up to half a dozen of our Guides and Brownies.

Throughout the day, over 70 Guides, Brownies and Leaders visited the station and almost all of these went on the air, many of them more than once.

With a decent aerial and a good location, away from stray R.F., consistent 5/9s with good audio reports are easily achievable from across the Atlantic even on just 100 Watts.

We have learned a few things {such as choose an easier callsign next time !!}, and made some improvements to equipment that will improve similar club events in the future, but all in all it was a very successful event for both Wirral Guides and for WADARC. Putting people 'on air' is what it is all about, whether they are members of the Guide movement or WADARC. and it doesn't get much better than sitting in front of a roaring log fire with views across the frosty fields, while playing radio.

If you weren't there, then you missed a great weekend, even on the Sunday when we had 2 inches of snow to contend with when dismantling the mast.

Big thanks go to all those who supported their club event, Especially, Richard G8NDD, Neil G4OAR, Geoff G4WUA, Bob G4NCI, Eric G6HWD, Phil G6IIM, Gary 2E0LGZ, Bob 2E0RAA, Lisa-Jane (My XYL), Daniel (1st Harmonic) and not least to all the members of Girlguiding Wirral for the interest and enthusiasm that went to making this event a success.

Simon (G6XHF) - Station Manager GG 100 WGG

(Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture)

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