Sunday, January 26, 2014

Visits to GM1DSK and GM0GAV

Whilst over in Scotland over new year, I made my usual pilgrimage to visit my Elmer. His call is GM1DSK, but to me, has always been Meeeeeester Steve! Steve is as active as his other commitments allow him to be, and up until now using a 100w and all wire antenna station. As luck would have it, Steve just recently got a 30' tower, a 3 element tribander, and a 3 element dual band warc beam, and the day I went to visit, it had just been installed and up and running:

Although in the photo it doesnt look too high and has tres around it, what you can't see is the nice dropoff to many of the more interesting DX áreas, as the QTH is on a clifftop with a river below. When we went to get on the air and see how it was working, Steve stumbled across 1A0KM, an entity he hadn't worked yet. Here's the moment of glory as Steve gets another "new one" in the log:

Next on the whistlestop tour, Steve drove me across to Gavin GM0GAV's place. I hadn't seen Gavin since the days when he worked in the Antartic as VP8GAV, and it was great to see him again. I knew he'd built up a good station but I don't think I was prepared to see such a level of workmanship or such a well thought out design. In the shack is nothing special, but the purpose-built house on a 4 acre plot took antenna placement into consideration at inception, something most of us can only dream about.

The first antenna you notice as you drive up is a relatively modest force 12 XR5 on an 18m high crankup tower, with a 5 element 6m yagi on top.

But as we came along the driveway, I noticed a couple of verticals laying on the ground. We then went out and had a look and it turns out to be a 2 element phased vertical on 80m. The whole field has an extensive radial system laid out under the grass. Each antenna is on a pulley system so that they can be lowered in case of high winds.

Once parked in front of the house I noticed another tower, wound down, with another HF yagi on it. This is a motorised korean made tower which goes up to 28m high and is crowned with an Optibeam OB12-4.

For top band, Gav uses an inverted L with elevated radials.
There are also 3 250m long reversable beverages, conveniently installed along field and road boundaries.
The whole system is controlled from a central switching system in a small shed in the garden.
My thanks to Steve and Gav for their time and for the guided tours (not to mention food, tea, and coffee!). CU in the pileup!!