LSWC was once again at the FirPark Wings & Wheels event. The Club was there from Friday afternoon through to Monday evening of the August Bank holiday weekend.
Friday afternoon Les G1LQB, Peter 2E0FGA, Stephen 2E0SSM, Steve M5ZZZ set off for FirPark from their various starting locations. Les arrived first and started setting up and putting the masts up, the great thing about the masts we use are that they are designed to be erected by one person.
In addition to previous years Steve brought down his 2m / 70cm beam and along with Les’s special rotator, aquired at a previous FirPark event, we had 2m / 70cm SSB available using the icom ic-910. We also had the usual fan dipoles covering all of the HF bands and Les’s X30 collinear for 2m / 70cm FM.
By Night fall on the Friday the antennas were ready to lifted into position in the morning for operation to begin.
Saturday morning saw the antennas raised into position and operating began.
Some contacts were made using various modes, Including CW, FM, Via Satellites and SSB on HF and 2m. One of which being an SSB contact to America.
Pam G4STO also joined us and brought with her the usual sausages and burgers, although an unfortunate dog incident occurred with the burgers, and cooked us a late breakfast and then some lunch. We were also joined by Barry G4DBS who spent some time on the radio.
During the day we had a number of people come and speak to us with a couple taking away Foundation books and some magazines. We hope we will hear from them again to do there Foundation licence.
As the day come to an end Les, Stephen and Peter were left to camp over and were treated to a nice sunset.
After a chilly night the three campers arose on Sunday morning ready for another day.
Sunday we were joined by Tom G4OSB, who took up the key on HF making a few contacts in the morning. By 11am though the weather had turned and the rain began to fall. The public had left and some stall holders had packed up and headed for somewhere warmer. Les, Stephen, Peter, Steve and Tom braved the weather before Tom and Peter had to depart leaving just three to continue. Band conditions started to improve with some good contacts made two of which to other special even stations in other parts of Europe.
Soon Monday arrived and reading a post on the internet Stephen read that the digipeater on the ISS was surprisingly back up and running. So to see if this was true he got out his Tape measure Yagi and hooked it up to his handheld radio. Using the built in TNC / APRS he transmitted the packets not expecting to get a reply.
After just his second transmission he got a reply back acknowledging his message and once the pass had finished he checked the received calls log on the internet and was delighted to see his callsign listed.
As the day went on we were joined for a brief period by Roger G3PVU & Jackie. Conditions on the bands were still quiet with mainly UK stations on 80m with one or two further afield on 40m. With the weather being better the other stall holders returned and so did the public. More people come to ask questions and see what was involved. As the winds picked up it was soon just Stephen, Les and Steve remaining but when Steve had to head off for other reasons Les and Stephen decided it was time to pack up and head home.
The LSWC will be back at FirPark with some potential improvements to the station there being worked on next year.