GB2JAM ... the Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club
JOTA Weekend 21st& 22nd October 2006
After the success of 2005, it was a natural reaction from everyone involved to want to "do it again". The only difference was that it was a week later this year in October and we were extremely lucky last year with some late summer weather.
We really needn't have worried as 2006 produced a mild weekend, although we had a little rain at the beginning setting up the antennas. Saturday was a fine day but it started raining again as we were closing and dismantling the station on Sunday afternoon. By this time, we had enjoyed a super weekend of contacts and it really didn't cause us any problems.
The bands were in excellent condition with plenty of DX around on 20m and 15m for short periods and plenty of stations to chat to on 80m. We enjoyed some excellent reports on our signal strength and the quality of our audio on both stations even though both linear amplifiers appeared not to reach anywhere near their potential ! The noise floor again proved the value of the site for HF.
The only change we made to the stations was that we separated the 40ft club mast with the dipoles even further away from the tower with the HF beam and we had absolutely no interaction between the two stations. In the pavilion we also separated the two stations a little further from each other and it made operating each station a real pleasure.
Scouts from the 10th Birkenhead Scout Group joined us on Sunday morning and all of them enjoyed the fun of speaking to scouts around the UK. It was also interesting to me to see how many knew quit a lot of the morse code and a separate little class evolved writing down the alphabet as the letters were sent .. as you can see from one of the pictures.
Vic G4UDR and I thank Irby Cricket Club for their hospitality in making the pavilion and real-estate freely available to us and for the support of the many Wirral & District ARC Club Members who gave up their time from Friday lunch time until Sunday afternoon to come along and help in erecting and dismantling the antennas, setting up a Wi-Fi link for the webcams, operating, logging, making cups of tea and generally helping out all round which contributed to a very successful weekend. Also to the small group who stayed overnight to ensure security of the site and equipment.
73, Neil G4OAR
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