CROESO (WELCOME) TO THE COPPER MOUNTAIN STATION!
A 440 million year old hydrothermal vent, now providing the best land-based ground possible!
Also amongst the UK's windiest QTHs!
WSPR: Testing homebrew magnetic loop (see image below)
SCAMMING: If you get any emails about money from me, it's not from me!
QSL: NO BUREAU! NO BUREAU! Direct or e-QSL (AG) only, please. SWL reports welcome - thanks for listening!
The great opencast copper mine of Parys Mountain; the ground below the QTH is much the same.
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)
[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: Anglesey is home to 4 Flight Training School, R.A.F. Valley, where Prince William is currently a search and rescue helicopter pilot]
[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 9 metres. It is corner fed and so vertically polarised using a G-Whip 4:1 balun, though twin feed to the ATU is also just as good or better for multibanding. The loop is very quiet on receive and resists all but the worst winds. Sections are kept in place with mild steel 'jubilee' (hose) clips on the bottom of each section; hand-operated butterfly types allow quick and easy operation. For more gain, I can add a portable 20m reflector delta, which yields about 7.4dBi according to models.
If you have never tried a loop, and your surroundings are largely clear of buildings and trees, have a go! I have repeatedly found that horizontal 2-element beams give 2 'S' points worse signals even when at 8m or so. In other words, 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 has recently been found to be due to extremely low radiation angles at significant variance with models, probably due to the unique nature of the QTH ground conditions. Kevlar-reinforced wire length at 14MHz to give reasonable SWR here is 21.3m.
[BELOW] A 5% longer parasitic loop at 3.5m from the driven loop provides between 6 and 10 dB gain (not yet determined in practice) and 17dB F/B.
[Below] Experimental magnetic loop (1.2m on a side). Quick progress from Coke can capacitor to copper 'trombone' type. Still very difficult to tune properly, so a butterfly capacitor and motor are called for. Very impressive results on all bands 20-15m so far, though:
[Below:] I initially made the PVC frame for a 15m beam. By shortening the boom and re-wiring the spreaders with a loop for 6m, I have a nice and very effective 2-element beam for the Magic Band! About 6-7dBi gain.
[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)
[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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