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****** CHANGE OF ADDRESS ******
I have now changed my address and operating QTH to Old Whittington, Chesterfield, about 18km south of my old Sheffield location which may still be in the Callbook.
Special Event QSL cards ...
GB5SWW: All QSL cards for this exhibition station held in April 2013 should be sent via G3PHO (direct or via bureau)
GB5SOS: All QSL cards for this 2012 Jamboree on the Air callsign should come via G3PHO either direct (with return postage please!) or via the bureau.
*** 9H3C OPERATIONS MARCH 2012 ***
From 7 -15 March 2012 I was QRV 'holiday style' from the Island of Gozo ( IOTA EU-023 ), Malta. The object of this trip was to take part in the RSGB Commonwealth Contest over the weekend of 10-11 March. I entered the Restricted Section of the contest, hoping to improve upon my previous year's performance from VP2V/G3PHO when I came third and helped my team (Rest Of the World) to win the first prize. This year I was part of Team Med /West Africa. I used the same antennas and equipment as in 2011, namely an IC 706Mk2g transceiver and a series of four dipoles (80, 40, 20 and 10m) arranged in a 'fan' around a common 50 ohm coxial feedline. The 40m dipole also doubled as a 15m three half waves in phase antenna.
Very limited operation took place outside the contest hours but nevertheless I contacted around 860 stations around the world during casual operations and a further 733 British Commonwealth stations in the 24 hour contest. This latter score is some 121 more than in 2012 and I had high hopes of exceeding last year's points score but, unfortunately, I did not hear enough multipliers to be able to use those 733 contacts effectively. Nevertheless, I achieved second place in the Restricted Section behind 9H3ET (G3LET) who operated from his car on a lonely and exposed promontory near Marsalforn, Gozo. During the first day of the contest we both experienced 80mph winds, cold temperatures and torrential rain which made operating very difficult at times. It was the worst weather that Gozo had experienced at this time of year for several decades. 9H3ET logged everything on paper with his left hand and sent CW with his right hand to make over 1100 contest QSOs!! This is an amazing achievement given the atrocious weather conditions and the fact that his 80 metre ground plane (a Spiderpole with 40m of wire taped to it) was snapped in two by the strong winds. In addition, his vehicle sank deeply into the waterlogged soil of the ploughed field where he had set up his /P station. In contrast, I enjoyed the luxury of a nice villa (Mediterranea Seaviews) up the hill from the Mgarr ferry terminal on the south coast of the island. Even there I had problems. Just five minutes before the start of the contest I discovered an antenna fault, on all bands. I lost over 30 minutes of contest time sorting out the problem which was a broken joint in the balun, high up the mast. Fortunately I had a spare but I got very wet out there on the villa rooftop terrace changing it!
On the whole, the operating standards of stations I worked were very good but there were still few who called when I was obviously replying to someone else. Even though 9H is not classed as rare DX, I was quite amazed at the size of the pileups I had to manage! For guidance of how to operate in a proper manner when chasing DX, please follow the DX CODE OF CONDUCT ... you know it makes sense!
I have already uploaded my logs to LOTW and Clublog . If you need a paper QSL please send them direct to my QTH with a minimum of $2 to cover my postal costs and a clearly addressed envelope (or a stamped addressed envelope if you are in the UK). UK postal charges to overseas destinationshave just been increased by the government to an exhorbitant rate so $2 is only just enough to cover my QSL postage expenses.
NO IRCs !!! Our UK Post Office has stopped accepting IRCs. Please send me "green stamps" only from now on.
Before you send your card please check that you are really in my log by going to Club Log.
ALSO NOTE THAT MY OPERATIONS WERE ONLY BETWEEN 7-15 MARCH 2012. I will not QSL any contacts outside those dates as the callsign 9H3C has also been allocated to other people who have visited Gozo in previous years.
I also welcome QSLs via the bureau but remember this can take years!
Thanks very much for all the QSOs during my short stay on the beautiful island of Gozo.
My thanks also to Frank Tabone, the owner of Mediterranea Seaviews holiday villa for not only attending to our holiday needs but also for helping me erect and take down the antennas on the roof of the villa and spreading them over onto the roof of his mother's and his own homes!
Check out http://www.flickr.com/photos/g3pho/ for some photos of this trip. So, where to next year???
Peter G3PHO (9H3C)
VP2V/G3PHO ...DXPEDITION TO THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 8-20 MARCH 2011
Many thanks to all who worked me from my DX location. I made 3600 QSOs during my holiday on Tortola, just operating a couple of hours a day for the week after the RSGB Commonwealth Contest in which I worked 612 BERU stations.
I managed to reach third place in the Restricted Section of this contest with just 100 watts to a fan dipole array for 80m-10m and help the Rest of The World BERU team to win the team section.
The pileups were fantastic :-) ---- all new too me as this was my very first DXpedition outside of UK!
Please QSL direct or via the bureau. I have QSL cards ready to send!
For a direct VP2V QSL please include $2 US
($1 is no longer sufficient as our UK postal rates have increased this year)
NO IRCs !!! Our UK Post Office has stopped accepting IRCs. Please send me "green stamps" only from now on.
Check in Club Log or LOTW before sending me a paper card. If you are not in the log you won't get a card!!
My logs have also been put onto LOTW and ClubLOG.
PLEASE NOTE THAT ONLY QSOs BETWEEN 2053utc ON 10 MARCH 2011 and
2031z ON 18 MARCH 2011 ARE VALID. Any qsos made outside this period are not in my log but in the log of the pirate station who was active at the time! I will return any invalid cards via the bureau or by using your self addressed envelope and the $ you sent to me.
***** I QSL 100% on receipt of your card *****
This photo shows the simple fan dipole system, at my VP2V location, on an 18 foot fibre glass mast (with at least another 18 feet immediately below the corner of the deck of the villa where it was mounted). Then the land dropped sharply from 700 feet asl down to the beach just a few hundred yards away. This view looks NE and it gets better as you turn around to the North and North West --- an ideal location for the BERU contest!
I retired from high school teaching (Geography) in 1994 and am now enjoying amateur radio more than ever!
Major interests these days are DX HF DXing and contesting as well as the microwave bands above 1GHz. I have equipment for all bands from 1.8MHz (except 2.3GHz) to 47GHz and the nanowave (light) bands. On the microwave bands I am primarily a "/portable" operator. . Fortunately, I have lots of test equipment to help me align the microwave gear and keep it working after rough handling in the field! In early 2008, I assembled and installed a microwave beacon (GB3KEU) for the 5.7GHz band. It became QRV from our local club station location in IO93GH during April 2008. Its frequency is 5760.925MHz. Unfortunately I had to remove the beacon in April 2014 but hope eventually to instal it at another location or even here at hme as personal beacon.
You can read and see more about my microwave activities on my sadly neglected web pages at http://www.g3pho.org.uk
Sometimes I operate on 144 and 432MHz ssb/cw/JT65, especially if there is a tropo or auroral opening:-). I have only 50 watts into single yagis on these two bands.
At home I have an HF station with gear ( FT950 and FT5000MP + Acom 1010 amp) and antennas for 80m through to 10, with 400W available on each band. At the moment I am still using wire dipoles for 10 t0 80m and a 204 ft centre fed doublet for 160m, 60m and the WARC bands. I hope to erect my Cushcraft A3S sometime in the Spring of 2014. In the past few years, I have renewed my interest in HF antennas, HF DXing and contesting and have spent weekends operating as MM3M with the Sheffield Amateur Radio Club during their IOTA expedition to Arran (IOTA Eu 123) or in VHF and SSB Field Days operating G2AS/P. While I much prefer CW, I also use SSB and RTTY a fair amount and sometimes can be seen on SSTV and PSK31.
The FT847 shown in this photo of my old shack, prior to 2013, is used on VHF/UHF.
The photo below shows me operating the multiplier station at MM3M in 2008.The "shack" for this portable event was my VW transporter van located at Seal Bay camp site on the southern coast of the Isle of Arran, a really good location. DX signals (especially VKs) on 40m were outstanding as I used a full size groundplane with five radials, located on the beach.
I particularly enjoy 80m and 40m DXing on CW. My all time country total (mixed modes), as of 13 February 2015, is 340, with 334 of them being on 20m. I have only around 315 of these confirmed either by QSL card or on LOTW.
From 2003-2006 inclusive I was chairman of the UK Microwave Group(www.microwavers.org) and I also edited their monthly newsletter "Scatterpoint" for some 26 years until May 2011. Membership is open to anyone who is interested in amateur microwave radio, anywhere in the world.
I was a member of the Sheffield Amateur Radio Club from 1958 to April 2014, a Life Member from 1975 to 2014 and held committee posts for most of those years. I was Chairman from October 2008 to March 2011) and Secretary from March 2011 until September 2013. During the time I was Chairman, the club was honoured to be chosen as RSGB Region 4 Club of the Year. By 2014 I was the longest serving member of SARC (54 years) so it was a very sad decision for me to voluntarily renounce my Life membership of this great club in April 2014 after a six month long dispute with its present chair and vice chairman who have, in my opinion and that of some 40 others who also left between 2012and 2014, ignored the club constitution and alienated a large number of its members. I was targetted by the club 'leadership' after expressing my concern as Club Secretary, over an unconstitutional attempt by the Chairman to remove a member from the club and over the financing and running of the club GX3RCM trailer ( I had successfully negotiated the donation of this vehicle from RSGB on behalf of the club in early 2013!). After my calling for the resignation of the club Chair and Vice Chair, the Vice Chair attempted, from October 2013 to Jan 2014, to have my Life membership removed but was unsuccessful. However, after a very disturbing incident in April 2014, during which physical restraint was used against me in and witnessed by two friends, when I tried (unsuccessfully) to recover some of my personal property from the club shack, I decide that SARC was no longer the club I knew and respected. I have now left and am applying my remaining energy towards building up a relatively new club in the Sheffield area. However I look forward to the days when the regime at SARC changes for the good and a more tolerant leadership takes over and I can return.
As a result of the very stressful happenings at Sheffield ARC, outlined above, I joined the newly formed (October 2013) Sheffield & District Wireless Society which has a highly successful contesting section. The Society has the callsign G5TO which once belonged to an old, now deceased Sheffield amateur, Jack Thorpe. The atmosphere at this new club is extremely warm and welcoming. There is no one on an ego trip! People are very kind to each other and everyone pulls together. While there is a committee and a constitution no one on it tries to further their own ends or embark on a "power trip" !
From 1966-68 I was ZL2BDA in Gisborne, NZ, and ZL2LA near Wellington, NZ, from 1975-80.
ARE YOU IN MY CLUB LOG? YOU CAN CHECK HERE.
I UPDATE HERE AND ON LOTW ON A REGULAR BASIS
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