CROESO (WELCOME) TO THE COPPER MOUNTAIN STATION!
A 440 million year old hydrothermal vent that, in the late 18th century, was the largest copper producer in the world
Anglesey was named by the Vikings in the 10th century A.D. The 'ey' bit means 'island' in Old Norse.
SCAMMING: If you get emails about money from me, it's not from me!
Acid mine drainage harbouring plenty of bacterial life, at a typical pH 1, underground Parys Mountain; very high mineralisation gives ground dielectric values far better than seawater! Copper from here went across the world - and clad the hulls of Britain's timber warships. The mineral Anglesite (PbSO4) was named after being discovered right here!
My Interests include astronomy, middle and upper atmosphere research (noctilucent clouds and PMSE) and most aspects of science. I have been a regular contributor to Astronomy Now magazine for over 20 years. I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2012.
[Above: Using the radio in aviation is much more disciplined than on the ham bands! You can see the narrow (seawater) Menai Strait, which separates Anglesey (left) from the Welsh mainland]
[Below: The latest fascination is FM satellite working - which at the moment means only Saudi Sat SO-50! All antennas are homebrew timber-and-wire, using 4W handies; we enjoy very early horizon-clearing of sats, allowing good trans-Atlantic working.]
[BELOW] Marconi Station at Cefn Du, a few miles from here, where the first ever direct QSO with Australia (at Wahroonga) was made on 22nd September 1918, where mutual sentiments of gratitude were exchanged for each nation's part in the Great War. It took 160kW to do it! The photo on the right shows the matching inductor for the 1100 metre long inverted-L antenna system, keyed remotely from the receiver site, several km to the south. Operating frequencies varied with experimentation, but were typically about 50-100kHz. Steam was often reported to rise from the ground beneath the antenna during winter!
I work DX with this simple 20m homebrew delta loop with apex at about 8 metres. It used to be corner fed with coax and a 4:1 voltage balun. It is now fed 0.08 wave up from the bottom corner, with 300 Ohm twin running to a 4:1 current balun. There is no difference in performance, except it can be multibanded, with negligible losses in the twin at higher SWR. The loop is quiet on receive and resists winds up to 60mph, when it has to be retracted. Sections are kept in place with Spiderbeam 'jubilee' (hose) clips and rubber pads on the bottom of each section.
If you have never tried a loop, and your surroundings are fairly clear, have a go! To get to a signal as good as the delta means putting up wind-catching beams at unfeasible heights for this very severe QTH. The reason for the good performance is radiation below the horizontal, at significant variance with models, almost certainly due to the unique nature of the QTH and ground conditions. Kevlar-reinforced wire length for 20m to give 1:1.2 SWR across most of the band here is 21.5m.
Here's what you can manage with 'just' a 'simple' wire antenna on 30W:
[Above] For night time entertainment in the depths of winter, a 20m-long inverted L for 80, 60 and 30m is an excellent performer. A single elevated radial, plus several buried short (~0.1 lambda) radials typically get one of the best WSPR signals out from anywhere in the EU on 80m.
[Below] ARRL Terrain assessment, beaming North America (blue) and South America (red) with my 3-ele Yagi for 12m. It's a good place for radio, but note how the intricacies of terrain have big effects upon the gain at low angles.
[Below] 12m is a lovely band for DX. This Innovantennas loop fed Yagi gives excellent results, even with the tower lowered!
[Below] My recently-built G3JKF 3 magnetic loop array. Inspired by Ken Franklin's work and great WSPR results, this antenna covers 40-10m with three loops, 1m on a side. It will eventually move into a fibreglass-panelled shed outside. Feed is a parallel gamma match, though many other feeds may work. Full build details here.
[Below:] The narrowest point of the Menai Strait (Anglesey on the left), showing Thomas Telford's world-famous Menai Suspension bridge (1826.) The strait is a series of about three ancient fault lines, which from time to time slip to cause brief tremors up to about magnitude 6.5 (e.g. 1984); smaller events about M 3.0 happen every few years (e.g. 2013.)
[Below] Some national science broadcasting on BBC Radio 4 during 2010 and 2011.
[Below] 46.5MHz array at Capel Dewi, Aberystwyth. 160kW pulsed (5% duty cycle max.) Operated by the Natural Environment Research Council, this MST RADAR examines the atmosphere up to about 85km, and I have the pleasure of collaborating with this facility (image credit: NERC) I also work with IRF Kiruna, Sweden, and recently, the Australian Antarctic Division, examining the distribution of dust in the stratosphere after the Chelyabinsk meteorite event in February 2013.
[Below: SKiYMet meteor scatter (decay rate = derived mesospheric temperature) RADAR at Esrange, Arctic Sweden. Image: Nick Mitchell/University of Bath (approx. 2kW pulsed)]
[Below] My summertime research - noctilucent clouds at 82km (mesopause level) capture sunlight and reflect it forward to the observer during the summer twilight period. There are no known records of NLC prior to the mid-19th century, and a link with climate change is strongly implied. This shot looks north out over the Irish Sea towards the Isle of Man. The clouds are several hundred kms away.
[Below:] Spectacular and largely unexplained Aberystwyth MST radar returns extending deep into darkness, in January 2012. I am (2014/15) working with David Hooper at NERC to look again at an explanation for this phenomenon, and a possible link with Winter radio Es is of course interesting to hams! Image: David Hooper/NERC
1831427 Last modified: 2015-03-31 16:16:54, 10475 bytes
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