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MW1CFN Wales flag Wales

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A 440 million year old hydrothermal vent that became, for a while, the largest copper producer in the world

Also amongst the UK's windiest QTHs!

SCAMMING: If you get emails about money from me, it's not from me!

Current WSPRing antennae: 1.25m x 1.25m indoor magnetic loop (Russian vacuum capacitor) on 20m. Inverted L on 80m

Anglesey west coast live webcam (20km SW from station): http://www.wirralcam.org/rhosneigr.shtml

The great opencast copper mine of Parys Mountain; very high mineralisation gives ground dielectric values 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!

Parys Mountain Copper Mine, a 440My old subsea black smoker.












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; this is a very enjoyable part of amateur radio that my son and I hope to build on in future.]

[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, which was 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 global 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 300Ohm twin running to a 4:1 current balun. Radiation from the corner-fed loop was actually lower in elevation than the 'proper' feed. There is no difference in performance, except it can be multibanded, with negligible losses in the twin at higher SWR (SWR being, of itself, lossless). The loop is quiet on receive and resists winds up to 60mph. Sections are kept in place with mild steel 'jubilee' (hose) clips on the bottom of each section with silicone rubber (cut-up egg microwaving cups!) under each one; hand-operated butterfly types allow quick and easy operation.

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 ground conditions. Kevlar-reinforced wire length for 20m to give 1: 1.2SWR across most of the band here is 21.3m.

[Above] For night time entertainment in the depths of winter, a 20m-long inverted L for 80m 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] 12m is a lovely band for DX.  This Innovantennas loop fed Yagi gives excellent results, even with the tower lowered!

[Below] Homebrew magnetic loop (1.25m on a side for 40m-20m). I went from coke can to trombone to Russian vacuum capacitors. WSPR tests confirm this is a superb antenna even indoors, where it suffers very little from electrical noise. I think every ham should have a magloop! Note the oval Faraday loop - this has been noted by several experienced loop users to yield better matching.

[Below:] Homebrew exhaust clamp and fishing pole 2-ele quad for 6m. A nice 6-7dBi gain and no need for great mounting height, especially living on a ridge!

[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.)

[Below] Some national broadcasting on BBC Radio 4 during 2010 and 2011.

[Below] 46.5MHz array at Capel Dewi, Aberystwyth. Operated by the Natural Environment Research Council, this MST RADAR examines the middle and upper atmosphere 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.



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