All Home Safely

April 27th, 2009 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in Uncategorised - (1 Comments)

All of the team are now home and most are back at work.  Some of the Cambridge lads drove all the way back on Saturday and some had a stop-off on the way and came back on Sunday.  Our QSL manager Neil G4HUN returned to a pile of QSL cards which had slowly accumulated over the week – we expect a big influx on cards now the dx’pedition is over, please be patient for a return card as we need to decide on the final design and then get them made up.

We all had a ball and are already thinking about ways to beat this years activities next year.

Dx’pedition Slideshow

April 26th, 2009 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in Uncategorised - (0 Comments)

Seamus and Aldo have produced slideshows that help capture some of the flavour of our trip – you can view them here:


Shack QSO total reaches 4000

April 24th, 2009 | Posted by g4hun in Uncategorised - (2 Comments)

At 2315 UTC this evening Rob MM0VFC worked Cambridge local, Michael – G7VJR, for QSO number 4000!

rob does 4000

log 4000

The last supper

April 24th, 2009 | Posted by g4hun in Uncategorised - (2 Comments)

Friday Evening 24th April 2009: 1900pm (By GM4HUN)

Well, that’s almost it. We’ve had a spectacular run on 20m and 40m today, as our QSO total from the shack approaches 4000. We’ve taken down the Spiderbeam and the VHF aerials, so we’re running on just the G5RV and the 40m dipole tonight. We’ve been blown away by the figures this time around. The other team members have done a marvellous job too. Allan, MM1BJP has now activated every SOTA on the island of Harris – all bar one of which have been first time activations. A mammoth task – well done Allan! Voi has had his final trip out activating WAB squares bringing his total to 11 (Including NB40 which is a special square this year as it is WAB’s 40th anniversary), and yet again has done a sterling job. On PSK31 Geoff, GM0DDX has rattled up 131 QSOs. Added to that we’ve had 3 SSTV contacts and 5 on CW.

Seamus has been busy doing some PR: he’s been chatting to the lady in the RNLI shop in Stornaway. Pat (The lady concerned) was very interested in what we’ve been up to, and she’s taken away details of the website, etc. We also had a visit from the local coastguard this morning. We thought we might be interfering with their comms – but it turned out the chap was licensed, and he’d been looking for us all week!

This evening we’re all enjoying a curry cooked by Aldo – and then its an early (ish) night ahead of leaving here tomorrow morning.

Thanks to all of you who have been in touch – be it by radio, email, or by commenting on this website. It has been huge fun, made all the better by knowing that the folks back home have been following our adventures. We enjoyed Mull last year: but we all love Harris. If you’ve never visited this part of the world then you have seriously missed out on one of the most beautiful and unspoilt areas of the UK. Do yourself a favour – promise yourself that you’ll come. If you do – be sure to bring a radio; it seems the whole world wants to speak to the Outer Hebrides!

Vy 73 from all of the GS3PYE/P team.

…-.- (dit dit)

Thursday evening was Jim the chef’s night off so we had booked in at a local restaurant in Leverburgh.

We all left the cottage around 18:45 for the 15 mile trip we managed to get all 12 people in 3 cars and set off, strange now I think of it but I am sure I remember that I could hear the song “convoy” playing  in the background……

The restaurant is located on the sea front right next to the ferry port that takes you over the the island of Benbecula and it has nice sea views of the local coast.


(The Camb-Hams from Cambridge were presented with a nice gift from “far northern” branch of the group, it was a Scottish passport)


(Alan 2M0TXY presenting the Scottish passport)


(View of the harbour from the restaurant window)

Wednesday – April 22nd 2009: 2115pm (By GM4HUN)

April 23rd, 2009 | Posted by g4hun in Uncategorised - (6 Comments)

That’s it! Just logged the 3000th QSO – with LA8BCA on 80m.

Wednesday – April 22nd 2009: 1545pm (By GM4HUN)

April 22nd, 2009 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in Uncategorised - (3 Comments)

The numbers have all gone a bit silly, really. Over 2700 QSOs in the log as I write this; 5300 lookups on QRZ.com (If you’re checking and you see 7800, remember to knock off 2500 from last year); and literally thousands of individual hits on the camb-hams website.

Despite a turn in the weather today we have continued our program of SOTA and WAB activations – Voi & Allan are doing a grand job between them, and at times we’ve had three HF stations running. The wind has picked up this afternoon, so we’ve had to lower the Spiderbeam and the VHF aerials, but we’ve still got HF wire aerials that we can use as well as the HF vertical. This afternoon we worked several Japanese on 20m, as well as another Australian. There are quite a lot of stateside calls in the log as well.

It’s Gavin’s birthday today, and he’s off to the big city of Tarbert to celebrate tonight!


(Gav MM1BXF blowing his candles out on his birthday cake)

Bob’s Tale.

Someone who hasn’t been mentioned much in this diary is the legendary Rob Warner GM1SAA. Bob has had a huge amount of involvement in the planning and preparation for this trip; he & Gav built the Spiderbeam – that added up to many, many man hours between them; he has spent hours on the internet researching the cottage and the surrounding area, and buying all the necessary bits that we need on eBay. Bob towed the trailer up here (OK, I helped a bit – but he still covered the lion’s share of the journey), and he is a stalwart in the shack. If anything needs doing, or a band needs working – you can rely on Bob. Last year it was Voi who seemed to have a car boot full of everything we needed – this year it is Bob. We thought we’d lost him yesterday evening – but it turns out that he, Seamus, Gavin and Rob were outside until three in the morning trying to photograph meteors.


(Bob GM1SAA operating on HF – wearing his Harris T-Shirt)

On the subject of stalwart operators, another rare find has been "Other Rob" – MM0VFC. This young lad has clocked up more hours on the air this week than the rest of us put together. Yesterday he was left to run HF singlehandedly all afternoon whilst the rest of us went to Callanish; this afternoon he’s back on the air again. You’ll have seen earlier on in the diary that he knocked out a neat piece of logging software, as the HRD version we were using was unreliable. This software is so easy to use that even an old Luddite like me has thrown away the paper log. He’s working on v2.0 at the moment. Rob is also a member of CUWS – but we’re going to start pointing out that he is a Camb-Ham now, and we get first dibs when it comes to contesting!


(Rob MM0VFC operating on HF)

Tuesday – April 21st 2009: 2115pm (By GM4HUN)

April 21st, 2009 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in Uncategorised - (0 Comments)

Radio highlights for today: Total contacts from the shack – 2200; Worked a few more locals including M1XZG for the first time; Worked VK (That’s Australia for those who don’t have a Prefix List to hand) on 20m; Voi activated WAB NA91; Allan MM1BJP made 29 contacts to activate GM/SI-165 a nice little one pointer, but yet another first time activation. In fact all the hills we have activated so far have been first time activations – only one SOTA on Harris GM/SI-129 has been activated before. Go Allan!! We’ve notched up nearly one hundred contacts on PSK31, and several on SSTV. Tonight is VHF night – Gav is trying to clear the sked list.


Non-radio high lights. The Standing Stones of Callanish – goodness knows how they manage to stay standing in the wind! If you do go there you must try the soup. Allan’s new hat (Pictures to follow); An excellent Spag Bol from Jim! And evening comparing favourite YouTube videos.


(Harry Worth is not dead)

Weather was lousy this morning, but by lunchtime the sun was out and we all had a sunny afternoon and evening.

Tuesday – April 21st 2009: 0120am (By GM4HUN)

April 21st, 2009 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in Uncategorised - (0 Comments)

Another day – another Camb-Hams first! Aldo, 2M0TXY has just had our first SSTV contact on 80m with DJ1IJ. More SSTV to follow.

Monday – April 20th 2009: 2225pm (By GM4HUN)

April 20th, 2009 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in Uncategorised - (0 Comments)

We nearly had a Raynet exercise up here this evening. It was gone 8.00pm and Voi hadn’t shown up. We’d all had dinner and his mobile phone wasn’t responding (No real surprise, to be frank!). But in the end he finally pitched up around 9.00pm. Voi has had a busy day activating WAB squares – a couple of rare ones as well. He notched up NB40 (Not activated for two years); NB31 & NB21. These to be added to NG08 which he activated yesterday


(Voi activating WAB)

The good news this evening concerns the totals so far. Last year we had 1600 QSOs from the shack in the entire time we were there – today we passed that mark, after just two days on the air. MM1BXF and MM0VFC are running huge pileups on 40m and 80m, so goodness knows what the final tally for the day will be. Our QRZ.com entry has had more hits in two days than the whole of the trip last year, and so has the Camb-Hams website. We’re feeling really good – we’re having a good time and all the gear is working like a dream. Shurely shome mishtake??

So far we’ve worked the following locals: 2E0JYK (Loads of times!); 2E0LCM; G0HEM; M0VMC; M1MAJ; M3ZCB; G8UFR; 2E0MVB; G6FSU; G8IDL; G6YQJ; G4ERO; G0KRB. Those are all we can remember at the moment – sorry if there’s anyone we have missed; we’ve been a bit busy!! If we haven’t worked you yet – please check the online logbook, it will give you which frequencies we are on at the moment.