GB2JAM ... the Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club

JOTA Weekend 17th & 18th October 2009


2009, was not straightforward .. Big changes were forced upon us for JOTA this year. The excellent facilities afforded to us in the past at our IRBY CRICKET CLUB H.Q. were not available, and so a rapid re-think was called for. It was soon decided that the Headquarters of BIRKENHEAD DISTRICT SCOUTS would be appropriate and although not perfect from a radio point of view, this was the best option available to us.

Richard (G8NDD) had kindly agreed to provide the RAYNET tower on its trailer for our use, although access to the enclosed read garden area at the new venue was very limited by the metal gateposts and narrow alleyway.  It was agreed, that the only way to be certain whether the trailer would go through the gap or not, was to try it.  (The tape measure said it wouldn't fit, but a true Radio Amateur isn't deterred by technicalities like measurements)!!

On the Friday morning, Neil (G4OAR) looked at the gateposts and decided "the trailer probably wouldn’t fit", Vic (G4UDR) looked and decided "it probably wouldn’t fit". Gary (2E0LGZ) agreed with them. The trailer arrived… I looked at it, I looked at the gap, "then I agreed with them but I didn’t let them know that".

Anyway, an hour or so later, the trailer was in the rear garden, and we were in glorious Autumn sunshine, putting the beam on it.  I am not prepared to say how it went through the gap but,…….finally .. it did.

By 15:30 everything was up and running. We had VHF (2M) at 35 Watts to a co-linear and we had HF up to max legal power through either a G5RV or the club’s three element beam which was about 50ft AGL.

Time to test the set up… Our first contact was into European Russia but the second, at only 100 W output, was to the U.S.Virgin Islands. Conditions on Saturday morning on 80 Metres were initially not good so the G5RV antenna was replaced by a full sized 80m dipole which made a huge difference. Yet again, the world was exposed to the BIG signal that GB2JAM usually achieves. Plenty of U.K. 80m contacts were logged until mid afternoon when we moved back to 20m where we received almost continuous 5/9 reports from stations as far-a-field as Iceland, Finland, All over the U.S.A. including the West Coast, Canada, Most of Europe and perhaps the most exotic of all the contacts, a 5/8 report from 5R8 (Madagascar). The rest of the evening and all of Sunday saw us back on 80m.  We achieved a Total of 106contacts (91 H.F. and the rest on 2m) in 17 countries and 20 of the contacts were other JOTA stations.

Thanks go to anyone from WADARC who visited , even for a short time and especially to Neil, Vic and Gary who helped set up, and to Neil Vic and Bob who helped pack away.

The biggest thanks though, go to Richard G8NDD because without his help and patience, we would not have had the Mast carrying the antennas that made us such a good signal.

If you weren't there, you missed a great weekend playing radio, so try and come to JOTA next year or to the Guide Station that we will be putting on in February 2010 when we have the callsign GG 100 WGG

   73, Simon G6XHF


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