Arran DX’Pedition ‘11

For previous DX’Peditions go here…

For our realtime online logbook click here (opens in a new window)

The Camb-Hams were formed in early 2006 as the social and public-facing side of the Cambridgeshire Repeater Group (CRG). The Camb-Hams are made up of people from many of, but not exclusively, the various Cambridge radio groups including CUWS (Cambridge University Wireless Society), CDARC (Cambridge and District Amateur Radio Club) and Cambridge RAYNET.  More info on the main Camb-Hams site.

Please click and visit our 2011 Sponsors

The Camb-Hams are off to the Isle of Arran for the 2011 DX’Pedition. The dates will be from May 1st till May 8th 2011 from a cottage on the west of the island near Balliekine IO75HO. As usual, most HF bands will be activated with SSB, data and some CW (but please be patient!). VHF operations will be on 6m and 4m SSB/data (JT6m), and being a little more south than Harris, we will also activate 2m both SSB/data (FSK441). We may also have time for 2m and 70cm satellites.

Some portable VHF activations will be done around the island with the group’s portable operating shack Flossie. This year the CRG has a new callsign – G6PYE – which we will use alongside the traditional G3PYE. As the activation is in Scotland, the prefix becomes GS for a club station in Scotland, so listen out for both GS3PYE/P and GS6PYE/P.

Check out the other pages of diary entries using the links above the comments section on the page…

Arran 2011 Log Analysis Part1

So I’ve done some basic log analysis for the Arran DX’Pedition, more will follow but for now I’m looking mainly at the QSO rates vs time.  You can see the full analysis here in PDF form.


To keep things easier to display [in the graphs] the report is based on 30 minute snapshots i.e. 09:00 till 09:30. 

Note: All times are UTC.

The analysis starts with a graph showing the total QSO number in the log overlaid with the total number of QSOs being made per time of day for all stations, It’s interesting as it shows the operating pattern for the whole week.

The second graph again shows the total number of QSOs being made per time of day for all stations but this time averaged for the whole week which highlights the operating patterns such as lunch at approx 12:30 each day and then dinner at 17:30 to 18:00. No QSO were made at all about 05:30.

The third graph titled ‘Operator [Week] Averaged QSO Count vs Time Of Day’ shows the individual operators QSO count averaged over the whole week. This is interesting as it shows things like the majority of Colin G4ERO’s QSO were made between 23:00 and 03:00 UTC, Martin G3ZAY and Steve M1ACB were the only 2 operators to work anything between 03:30 and 06:00

After that we have all the individual operators QSO count vs time of day for each of the days of operation which clearly shows the different operating habits of each person.

This is only the first part of the log analysis and more will come with details of trends like countries worked vs time of day and similar…

DX crew at the Magnum radio rally

As you might know on our way back from Arran we popped into the Magnum radio rally where we met a few known callsigns and as Gavin is from these parts as few familiar faces too…  One face was Dick GM4PPT who we regularly work on the 2m RSGB UKAC who took this picture.

Cambs Hams 1

Left to right: Terry G3VFC, Mark M0MJH, Colin G4ERO, Rob M0VFC, Pete 2E0SQL, Gavin M1BXF, Bob G1SAA, Lawrence M0LCM, Steve M1ACB, Martin G3ZAY and [other] Colin G8TMV

Thanks to our QSL Bureau Sub-manager!

One of the rarely-mentioned heroes of any DX’pedition is the sub-manager at the QSL bureau who has to deal with all the incoming QSL cards!

Of course, it’s us that reply to the cards, but at least we get the benefit of having enjoyed a stunning week or two away in the Scottish islands, or somewhere equally attractive. But there’s a couple of important steps before the cards reach us – and that’s those who work for the national QSL bureaus.

In the case of the RSGB, after cards arrive in the UK, they are first sorted into several large groups, perhaps all callsigns starting “G4″, or all “G6″ calls with suffixes A-M. Each of these groups is then managed by a – voluntary – sub-manager, who sorts them into the individual envelopes provided by the amateurs the cards are destined for.

The latest batch of bureau QSL cards

The QSL manager for G(S)3PYE and G(S)6PYE is Rob, M0VFC, which means that cards sent “Via M0VFC” (please!) end up with Wayne, M0WAY, who sub-manages M0MAA through M0ZZZ. Anyone who wonders how a QSL sub-manager should handle things – look at how Wayne does it! He runs a mailing list to let people know when new boxes of cards arrive from the main bureau, updates them when they’re sorted, again when they’re posted, and emails those who have run out of envelopes. Always forgetting to send off some new envelopes to your sub-manager? No problem: there’s a PayPal link on his website to save you the hassle!

We’re just seeing the bulk of the Harris 2010 cards start to arrive via the bureau, so the most recent batch of cards was large. Again, no problem for Wayne – he suggested I send him a “float”, and he uses that to buy the most sensible postage as required.

So thanks, Wayne, and all those who work in the IARU QSL Bureau network – you really are stars!

(We worked Wayne a few times on Arran this year – so needless to say, his QSL cards were the first to arrive through the bureau for 2011!)

More GS3PYE/P Videos

Paul M3JFM has posted some videos of GS3PYE/P contacts, recorded from his home in Oxford, UK. The GS3PYE/P operators include Pete 2E0SQL, Rob M0VFC and Steve M1ACB.

Please go to Paul M3JFM’s YouTube Channel to view the videos.

Juan YV4BCD also recorded GS3PYE/P on 20m from Venezuela (Operator Colin G4ERO).
GS3PYE/P – 20m (from Venezuela)

GS3PYE/P & GS6PYE/P Log Analysis

We have analysed the GS3PYE/P and GS6PYE/P logs using Clublog and are extremely happy to report that we had a total of exactly 9100 QSOs from 108 DXCCs and 7380 distinct callsigns. The number of countries per band was as follows :

The GS3PYE/P Team

160m: 08
  80m: 54
  40m: 61
  30m: 50
  20m: 94
  17m: 43
  15m: 42
  10m: 08
    6m: 14
    2m: 08

If you have a Clublog account, you can view the full analysis here

We are all incredibly grateful for the 7380 individual stations who called us while we were operating from the Isle of Arran. We would also like to especially mention the 266 QSOs with M3, M6 and /QRP stations – it really was great to speak to you.

The dxpedition was a very enjoyable success because so many people took the time to contact us, many of them making the extra effort to work us on a number of different bands. Thank you.

A big thank you also to our supporters from Icom UKKenwood UK and Linear Amp UK for the loan of some really great equipment and for trusting us to look after it.

Please view the online logbook and QSL via M0VFC (direct or via the bureau) if you’d like a card.

Time-lapse operator videos

2E0SQL operating GS3PYE/P

Bob G1SAA was busy recording time-lapse videos of some of the GS3PYE/P operators while we were on Arran. He’s posted them, together with more videos of the shack and antennas, on the Camb-Hams YouTube Channel

Here are some direct links to videos of some of the operators in action :

Pete  2E0SQL
Bob  G1SAA + Custard
Colin  G4ERO
Mark  M0MJH
Rob  M0VFC
Gavin  M1BXF + Custard

Please visit the Camb-Hams YouTube Channel for more GS3PYE/P videos.

MW0GSR & MW6BOZ from SRC at the Magnum Rally

GS3PYE/P team discussing the DXpedition with Simon and Liz from Snowdonia Radio Company at the Magnum Rally. Simon worked us while we were on Arran.

SRC at the Magnum Rally

M1BXF talks DXpeditions with GM6NX

Gavin talking to members of the GM6NX group at the Magnum Rally today.


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16 Responses

  • avatar peter finnie says:

    Thanks for the jt65m contact on 6m hope you got me ok we are in ardrossan where you get the ferry to go to arran the antenna was the fred western hf-10 6-160 and the rig is the ic-746 thanks agn 73’s to all the team good luck de mm3yft sk

  • avatar Martin says:

    Dear OMs, thanks for your QSO with me, short only, but heartly. I still thinks, sending you my QSL-csard, is the best final courtesy after a kindly QSO. Congrates on having aterrific singnal here. You were really comming in, like a local station. I wish you and your familys all the best and for you furthermore DX. – QSL-card to QSL-Manager: Robert Chipperfield – VY 73 DO1LMM – Martin

  • avatar ph0z says:

    Nice site, good luck with the expedition.


  • avatar Alexander says:

    good luck in all your X- peditions, and hope to make soon, over 10,000 QSO’s !

    my best 73 !

  • avatar Andy says:

    Please consider setting up an eQSL.cc account. You have over 1000 eQSLs waiting for you.
    Thanks and 73
    K9oem – Andy

    • avatar m0lcm says:

      Hi Andy – we prefer real QSL cards actually, and wouldn’t like to see the practice of sending them diminished by eQSLs. Please consider sending us a QSL card, either direct or bureau via M0VFC – we will reciprocate.

  • avatar Leon says:

    Your commentThanks Colin for number 105 twards my DXCC
    73 and good DX, Leon W6SHR

  • avatar Donn Gallon K7LOP says:

    Rob and company Nice working you from Arran. I hope you finish out the holiday with lots of dx and fun. Look for me in the 7qso party in about 8 hours. 73 from WA state USA

  • avatar Joe VK3XH / G6BUH says:

    Thanks for the QSO even though the copy my side was difficult my end
    From an ex Nth London PYE employee ( London Romeo)

    Joe VK3XH

  • avatar Jan SP9BRP says:

    Thanks for the QSO and very interresing you online log/super/ congrats!

    Jan op.HF45BRP..hi

  • avatar Mark G0VOF says:

    Thanks for the QSO’s over the past few days. It was especially nice to have QSO number 8000 with Steve this morning on 40m. It seemed unlikely then, but that next target of 9000 QSO’s now looks within reach!

    Best of luck to all on Arran & I hope you all have a safe journey home.

    Best 73,

    Mark G(R)0VOF

  • avatar Martin MM0MOB says:

    Well done to you all for exceeding 9000 QSO’s
    hope to catch you on you next DX-peditions.

  • avatar mm0pod says:

    Thanks guys. It was good to meet you all at the Magnum on Sunday. And on the radio looking forward to the next time Ally mm0pod.

  • Hi team,
    It was great meeting the gang yesterday in Scotland. You should be very proud of yourselves for what you have achieved, an inspiration for other groups. The biggest thing that stood out to me was how close friends you appeared to be and that you was having a ball.
    Congratulations again Simon (MW0GSR)

  • Great to see you all at the Magnum Rally. Hope you enjoyed your visit to Scotland. Hope you see you all back at the rally next year;~)))
    Helen MM0HLN
    Magnum Rally Organiser.

  • avatar MILAN OK2BMI says:

    Your comment DR OMS thanks QSO is IOTA EU 008– Nice site, good luck with the expedition.MILAN OK2BMI is RADIOCLUB OK2OLD GOOD LUCL!!!!!!!!!

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