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MW0LLK Wales flag Wales

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QSL image for MW0LLK

Personal

Based at the old Anglesey Radio - coastal radio station - I just had to re-use the GLV (as MW6GLV and 2W0GLV) which was the station call when it was operational from 1959 to 1986 or thereabouts. Lost it when I passed my full license so ended up with LLK. Gradually doing up the buildings and making it into a comfortable home for my family.

Finished UHFSDR board under test.Equipment: IC-718 & FT817 with homebrew fan dipole, Pro-whip vertical (portable) and occasionally a homebrew top band doublet, BauFeng UV-5 handheld, TYT-800 handheld, SoftLite66 SDR 40m rx, RTL-SDR rx, Realistic pro2032 (AIS logging), SL-65 Sat rx (23cm DATV), homebrew Bluetooth dongle (FT817 CAT).

Refurbishing: Cushcraft R7.

Building: UHFSDR (WB6DHW) with a view to using it as the heart of a homebrew transceiver.

Up & coming projects - 50W PA (WA2EBY using 2x IRF510), Band Pass filters (WB6DHW), Low pass filters (WB6DHW).

Playing with ideas around: 3D printing (if only I could justify building one), STM32F4 based SDR add-on (make it portable - no PC).

Current interests: ATV/DATV Digital voice etc. Trying out many different modes and bands.

I am also involved with MonFM- Anglesey's developing community radio station.

About the radio station

Anglesey Radio GLV opened in 1959 and was purpose built for the GPO replacing an earlier station in Holyhead. The GLV call sign originated when the station was based in Liverpool when the service was first set up. Two other stations were built to a similar design at Ilfracombe (now a recording and rehearsal studio) and Stonehaven (believed to be derelict but may now have been redeveloped). Anglesey was unique in that it was required to be built with a (massive) slate roof and natural stone features - most of which was sourced locally.

Shortly after moving in a passing walker waved me down (I was cutting the grass at the time) and told how he worked as a roof labourer on the site. Seemingly he single-handedly carried every slate up onto the scaffold when the roof was put on - no mean feat when you consider the largest slates are 1/2 inch thick queen slates (approx 34" x 20") and seriously heavy! I also had the good fortune to meet one of the stone workers who built the feature stonework on the building. He still lives locally and is still building stone walls around the area.

Power

There was a 75kW generator - as a power backup for the not infrequent power cuts (which we still suffer from today). There is a 100kVA sub-station on-site in the form of a massive oil cooled transformer in a fenced enclosure at the front of the building. Apparently there were two units but according to the previous owner one of them went bang most impressively one night with "lots of fireworks".

Antennas

At each end of the building there are underground ducts which link to the antenna sites adjacent the buildings (1 mast), over two adjoining fields (12 masts we think) and a couple of very long ducts. One lead to the reception site at the top of Mynydd Eilian (3 masts) and the other to a hillside to the south of the station used for Adcock DF according to drawings from 1966. It is not known whether this was ever brought into use.

The receive antennas were ducted in underground at the operating room end of the station with the transmit antennas exiting via the other end of the site into the transmitter room (approx 35 metres away from the OR). Pressurised co-ax was used for these long distance feeders - the drawings show a pressure guage mounted in the upboard above the cable turning chamber where the feeds emerged into the operating room. A couple of glass cups are mounted in one of the windows of the transmitter room via which presumably two HT leads fed one of the main antennas.'GLV viewed from the summit of Mynydd Eilian

Transmitters

The transmitter room is large enough to now hold a double garage and kids play room which gives an idea of how big the transmitter equipment was. At one end of the room the underground ducts split into a series of bays - about 19" apart - it's assumed there was a series of racks positioned here.

Operating

The operating room was in the form of a horseshoe shaped room with glass all round arranged around a smaller central area which is labelled the "landlines room" which held the telephone and telex equipment. Apparently wireless operators would work a station, hand write the message details on a slip of paper which was then passed through a small hatch into the landlines room for onward trafficking. Messages also came the other way. Apparently later in the stations working life the partitions between the two rooms were opened up as, with reduced manpower, the same operator had to first work the wireless then walk round to pick up his slip and do the land side messaging.

The BT engineer who installed our broadband told us that there used to be a dedicated line to the coast guard with a red telephone mounted on the operating room wall. This was used to coordinate rescue work when handling distress calls - which were not an unusual occurance given the sea conditions around Anglesey. The local lifeboat stattion at Moelfre is still one of the busiest in the UK.

"Other" uses

I also heard from some of the duys who decommissioned the station that there was a long "Earth" wire that ran down to the sea. Together with various local rumours about other possible more clandestine uses the station may have been put to this seems to indicate some kind of surveillance role - perhaps submarine monitoring - but who knows. Apparently the station was used to monitor Radio Caroline recording their station output for some months. The tapes were sent off to the ministry and nothing more heard about it - sounds like "The Boat That Rocked" to me.

Economy

The station provided work for local people both during it's construction and over it's life as an operational station until around 1980. Several former employees still live locally and we have one or two club members (in Dragon ARC) who used to be operators here. I corresponded with a gentleman who now lives in Stranraer who was responsible for the station during it's twilight years (early 1980s) when nobody worked here but the equipment remained - operated by remote control from elsewhere in the country. Local firms had various supply contracts - most interestingly one of the local garages were contracted to provide four wheel drive taxi services for staff during snowy weather - otherwise they appear to have got here by bicycle, the station design having included a large bicycle shed outside the staff entrance.

Close down

The station closed in 1986 and was sold off to become a private house. If you have seen the film "The Money Pit" then you will have some idea what it's like. Previous owners have clearly invested much time and money into converting and improving the building. We have added massive amounts of draught proofing and insulation over the last few years and it is now just about viable to actually heat the place. When we first arrived we found that we were burning 9 litres of oil an hour in the central heating boiler - to heat up the air which was blown straight out of the building via all the leaky doors and windows, "repaired" ceilings and open electrical conduits and trunkings - think about that at 60p per litre!

The house has been owned by two previous owners since it passed into private hands. Planning was applied for to convert it into an old peoples home in the late 80s - I assume it was never granted. We have lived here since 2007 with our family. We consider ourselves priviliged to have had the opportunity to look after the building and it's history while we live here.

Chris
mw0llk

E&OE

 

 

108384 Last modified: 2013-10-08 08:19:33, 8678 bytes

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