GS3PYE/P EME on 2m and 23cm

April 30th, 2014 | Posted by M1ACB in Isle of Lewis - (0 Comments)

John G4BAO spent a long time preparing the Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) 2m and 23cm systems before we left Cambridge and now he’s in his element working people ‘off the moon’ from the Isle of Lewis.

These pictures were taken of John attempting some CW EME contacts on 23cm this afternoon :


John G4BAO operating the 2m and 23cm EME system in Flossie, with the 6m and 4m stations to his left.



GS3PYE/P 2m and 23cm EME antennas in operation on the Isle of Lewis.


EME Activity

April 30th, 2014 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in General - (0 Comments)

We came to Lewis with a low ERP 23cm EME system with hopes of making a handfull of QSOs.  We up till now we have 9 EME initials on 23cm with a few days to go.

Here are a couple of screenshots of some of the QSOs.



2m EME has been impossible due to local high noise levels on 2m.

Photographs from our GS6PYE/P activation of the Shiant Isles (EU-112) on 28 April 2014.
The operators were Dom M0BLF, Rob M0VFC and Steve M1ACB.

The radios were a pair of Icom IC-706MkIIG’s.
The antennas were a quarter wave vertical for 20m and a vertical dipole for 15m.

We made 1136 contacts on the 20m and 15m bands.

Photos of the activation are available here : https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=ShiantsDX2014

Rob M0VFC and Dom M0BLF operating from the Shepherds Hut on the Shiants :

The trip back was a bit bumpy …


A windy day on Lewis

April 30th, 2014 | Posted by M1ACB in Isle of Lewis - (0 Comments)

There’s a cold, blustery wind on the Isle of Lewis today and we noticed the Spiderbeam spinning on the mast when we got up this  morning. So, the working party went out before breakfast to lower the mast, remove the Spiderbeam, remove the rotator, replace the Spiderbeam and put the mast back up again. A few more adjustments were necessary to the mast holding the 15m beam, but all is well now and we’re on the air again from most of the stations.

Everyone inside again for coffee and bacon rolls.



Rob M0VFC adjusts the Spiderbeam at GS3PYE/P

Main HF Station

April 29th, 2014 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in General - (0 Comments)

HF1 station

This is the the room used as the main HF operating, typically SSB.

The Decca is symmetrical with opposite layouts at each end of the building. At the other end, in the opposite room, is another HF station mainly used for CW, an HF data station and the VHF/UHF satellite station.

VHF and Up Stations

April 29th, 2014 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in General - (0 Comments)

This year we have again put all the VHF and up stations together in Flossie, These are;

  • 6m = JT6m, ISCAT-B & SSB
  • 4m = FSK & SSB
  • 2m = MS and JT65 (EME)
  • 23cm = JT65 (EME)


This makes sense as we find the same stations usually want to work us back to back on all the different bands and with 2 operators we can run 2 bands each (6m + 4m) & (2m + 23cm).

Find us ON4KST chat.

4m Update

April 29th, 2014 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in General - (0 Comments)

So 4m has not had the best start.  We are experiencing higher than usual inter-station breakthrough from HF into the 4m RX, here is an example of it at its worst;


This is a combination of about 3 HF stations, and as you can well see it’s impossible to work anything on 4m through this QRM.

Lots of investigations ensued and found that even at low power levels, 100w, and with all stations using band-pass filters, the interference was still apparent and we had no way to cure it, the only conclusion is we have something nearby which is causing a “rusty bolt effect”, there is little chance of curing it.

The site we are operating from is an old Decca transmitter site used for navigation and we believe there is a network of ground radials underfoot and the building has an integrated faraday screen, and probably many other pieces of metalwork we have yet to see.

The good news is we have found a combination of bands which work now well with 4m and 4m operation is yielding QSOs again, so if you see us on the band, or on ON4KST chat, then give us a call.

One issue though, and it’s a biggie, is during the investigation phase, alignment of a backup transverter was in progress when it went into TX oscillation which resulted in too much RF power being delivered into the MRF-151G final PA which in turn destroyed the device.  The workaround has been to use the Yaesu Quadra on 4m as the final PA driven from the G4DDK 7w RA07H0608M pre-drive PA, this setup can achive 80w out the Quadra on 4m, this isn’t so bad as it’s only 3dB down on the MRF-151G output.  It does mean however 6m must run barefoot (80w) from the K3 when 4m is using the Quadra but can be set back to 400w when 4m is not in use.

This morning a group of thirteen operators will be heading off to the Isle of Lewis via Fort William during our travels you will be able to track us on APRS but also we’ll be operating HF mobile while on route (Recommend watching the DX Cluster and Twitter).


We should arrive on the Island on Saturday the 26th and be on air soon after, we will be covering the HF bands with five simultaneous stations, while the 6m & 4m stations will have a great take-off towards the UK and Europe from the island’s northern tip in IO68 square. All stations will be able to run at the full UK power limit.

EME operations will use 150W to 55 elements on 23cm and 400W to 17 elements on 2m. Primarily on JT65 but also available for CW skeds – if your station is big enough.

Satellite operations on 2m & 70cm will use X-Quad antennas and a fully automatic Az/El tracking system.

Contest operations will take place in the RSGB 70MHz UKAC on 29 April.

A number of the group hope to make an extra trip to operate as GS6PYE/P from the Shiant Isles (EU-112). They are aiming for afternoon/early evening operations on 28 April, but may switch to 30 April if the weather is bad.

We will be doing our best to share as much information as possible about the operation on the blog, but also Twitter (#Lewis2014), Facebook and Youtube.

This year we have an updated 4m transverter based on Sam G4DDK’s Nacton transverter. 

2014-04-12 10.13.44 

The transverter can receive signals from the generator down to, and beyond, –140dBm and can output 300w meaning running data modes at 50% duty cycle at 150w is easily possible.

A full write-up of the transverter, and it’s history, is available on Gavin M1BXF’s  webpage.

We are rapidly approaching leaving for the Isle of Lewis and my inbox has regularly been getting requests for satellite QSO skeds especially with stations in North America – I’ve just run the predictions for the week we’re on the island in SatPC32 which has generated a nice list of possible passes which can be found at https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_1dHk8Yo754eHlkTlhBQmRsam8/edit

I’d recommend if you’d like to try a sked that you try request  satellite passes from Sunday the 27th onwards, clearly its dependant on someone being available but we’ll do our best to make sure someone’s available.

You can request satellite skeds by either emailing us at skeds-2014@camb-hams.com or sending @2e0sql a tweet. We will do our best to tweet which passes we will be on.