Forward team on route to Scotland

April 25th, 2011 | Posted by M0VFC in General - (0 Comments)

M1BXF and G8TMV have just departed Cambridge, on route to Dumbarton for a few days’ break before the DX’pedition proper sets out next Saturday.

You can see their progress on APRS.fi:

(M1BXF-9 is an RF-based tracker; M1BXF-8 relies on cellular coverage – pick whichever one looks more recent!)

This weekend was the Kempton Park Radio Rally, near London, and we took the opportunity to collect the radios we’ll be using for our two main HF stations on Arran from two of our sponsors – Icom and Kenwood.

Icom have loaned us their brand-new IC-9100, HF to 23cm “shack-in-a-box” radio, and Kenwood the top-notch TS-590S HF/50MHz rig. Here’s a couple of photos of Mark (M0MJH), Rob (M0VFC) and Steve (M1ACB) picking up the radios:

Thanks once again to Icom, Kenwood, and Linear Amp UK for supporting us this year.

As well as collecting the gear, it was great to meet up with several members of the team, both those going to the island (2E0SQL, G3VFC, M0MJH, M0VFC, M1ACB) and those who aren’t able to join us, but who are keenly supporting us from home (G6NHU, M0RFD, and many others!)

It’s now just two weeks to go, and with the final planning meeting tomorrow evening, things are coming together nicely…

73 for now,
Rob, M0VFC

Thanks to our supporters!

March 17th, 2011 | Posted by M0VFC in General - (0 Comments)

We’re very pleased to announce the following companies who are very generously supporting this year’s DX’pedition:

  • Icom are lending us one of their brand new IC-9100 "shack in a box" transceivers, covering top band through 23cm, including D-STAR support. This has been eagerly awaited world-wide, and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to be one of the first groups to test this rig on a DX’pedition!
  • Kenwood are lending us a TS-590S, their "K3 killer", an HF rig with outstanding performance. Several of us have been looking very longingly at these whenever we visit the Kenwood stand at rallies, and so getting a chance to put this through its paces in a relatively demanding environment is going to be great.
  • Linear Amp UK have once again agreed to lend us their Discovery 64 high power 6 and 4m linear, which performed so admirably last year – on the occasions we got some sporadic-E at least! Here’s hoping for a little more Es this year, which added to our more southerly location, means we’re looking forward to more VHF contacts from Arran. This year they’re also lending us a Challenger HF linear, which coupled with our own Linear Amp UK Ranger 811 (courtesy G1SAA) and Icom IC-2KL (from M0VFC, assuming he repairs it on time) means we should be a good signal on all the bands!

Thank you, all of you, for help making the trip as successful and enjoyable as possible – both for us on the island, and everyone else back at home who we’re hoping to work :-).

Planning Meeting #1 Notes

February 24th, 2011 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in General - (2 Comments)

So we had our first planning meeting last night (Feb 23rd) where 8 of us, not the full Arran lineup, got the first chance to run through the dx’pedition and some of the main points which came out were;

Bands of operating:

  • 2 x HF voice
  • 1 x HF data / HF CW
  • 6m SSB and data (JT6m/ISCAT/FSK441)
  • 4m SSB and data (JT6m/ISCAT/FSK441)
  • 2m SSB and data (FSK441) We will probably only be operating 2m /P using the call GS6PYE/P.
  • 2m/70cm satellites (with a working rotator this year)

Antennas will be:

  • 160m – Inverter L
  • 80m and 40m – 1/4 verticals
  • 20m/15m/10m – Spiderbeam
  • 6m – 6 element YU7EF
  • 4m – 7 element YU7EF
  • 2m – 17 element F9FT
  • Sat antennas TBD but cross yagis

As the location of the cottage is not great for VHF to EU we propose to leave Flossie available for /P operation around the island.  Worth mentioning we will use GS3PYE at the cottage and GS6PYE/P for portable operations.

We will also make a better effort to keep everyone updated with the radio aspect of the DX’pedition in the Arran Diary page including frequencies in use etc.

Colin G8TMV will be co-ordinating SOTA and is aiming to activate some of the hills never before been activated on the island.

More points to follow…

Check your path to us on Arran

February 10th, 2011 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in General - (0 Comments)

Using the brilliant heywhatsthat site we have setup a profile so you can check the path profile between where you are and where we will be on the West side of the Island of Arran. Zoom out and click on your location on the map and check which hills are in the way above.


VHF should be excellent from around the Isle of Wight clockwise all the way round to the north.