Islands on the Air Contest, July 2001

Back to Events

IOTA, Two Single-Operator 12-hour entries, 28-29th July 2001.

Phillimore Garden Centre, Cambridge Road, Melbourn, Royston, Herts. NGR TL 393 461

2001 was a difficult year for contesting in the UK. Foot and mouth disease had made all public land and private farmland out of bounds. Things were so bad that the RSGB cancelled some contests early in the year. We wanted to operate the IARU HF Championship from Debden Airfield but the Army couldn't let us on the airfield.

As the year progressed the RSGB insisted that field stations like ours get written permission from land-owners to set up a station. We looked around for a site and eventually Andy got permission from a Garden centre with an adjacent caravan park in time for the IOTA contest. Written permission from there was no problem. It turned out to be the hottest day of the year, and quite a contest.

When we were setting up we realised shortly before the start that there was some software or hardware (I can't remember what it was in particular), that meant we couldn't network our computers together.

That meant we couldn't spot for each other, so we (quickly) agreed to share the station, and the time available, and put in two single-op 12 hour entries.

Simon helped to set up and the contest was operated by Mark & Andy.
Calls were: Andy G4KNO/P and Mark G4AXX/P.

Here's the detail of one of the summary sheets.

                2001 ISLANDS ON THE AIR CONTEST
     Call used: G4AXX/P               Location: EU005
     Category: Single Op All Band 12 hour
     Mode: PHONE                      Power: 400W
     Callsign of Operator: G4AXX 
     Exchanged Information: G4AXX/P 59nnn EU005
     Hours of Operation: 11:39

     ON 1405 28/07/2001 -> OFF 1559 28/07/2001    
     ON 1907 28/07/2001 -> OFF 2359 28/07/2001   
     ON 0504 29/07/2001 -> OFF 0800 29/07/2001   
     ON 1002 29/07/2001 -> OFF 1159 29/07/2001  

      band   CW QSOs    CW pts   CW muls     SSB QSOs   SSB pts  SSB muls
      80         0          0         0          14        150        10
      40         0          0         0          61        519        23
      20         0          0         0         215       1233        42
      15         0          0         0         365       1863        43
      10         0          0         0         194       1062        30
     TOTAL       0          0         0         849       4827       148
     ( 4827 ) QSO points x ( 148 ) multipliers  =  714,396 points
     Club or Team Name: Granta Contest Group        
     80m 3 phased vertical dipoles
     40m 2-element monoband yagi at 26m (85ft)
     20m 3-element monoband yagi at 26m (85ft)
     15m 3-element monoband yagi at 27.5m (90ft)
     10m 4-element monoband yagi at 12m (40ft)
     Radio FT1000MP, Linear FL2100Z, logger NA 10.52

     F&M restrictions meant we couldn't use our usual military airfield
     QTH this time, so we found a field next to a caravan site belonging
     to a friendly Garden Centre. It was 10 a night and we used the 16A
     caravan site mains. Take off was flat in all directions at only 20m

     What a brilliant contest, had a great time, and boy was it HOT! 
     Participation seems to have increased and the bands were in excellent

     High points were working VK & ZL, on 15m, 90 minutes after sunset and
     again, on 20m, 90 minutes after sunrise. 

     Finishing off the contest racing through a pileup was superb.
     I have observed all competition rules as well as all regulations for
     amateur radio  in my country.  My report  is correct and true to the
     best of my knowledge.  I agree  to be bound by  the decisions of the
     contest committee.
     Date 1st Aug 2001  Signature Mark Marsden  Call G4AXX

Click on a thumbnail below to see a larger picture.

The Strumech M100 tower.

Detail of the 15m feed.

Detail of the 20m feed.

Andy fitting 40m onto the 20m boom.

Andy operating.

The packed Range Rover. Most of the kit is stored in grey boxes.

Andy & Simon using up loads of tape.

The 20m gamma match.

The Ham V rotator.

Winching up the tilt-over tower.

Winching up the tilt-over tower.

The tower base.

A salad of coax.

Winching up the tilt-over tower.

The certificate from the RSGB.

Julia enjoying the atmosphere.

The view from across the field.

It was a hot day.

It reached 32.2'C.

The antennas.

10m on one rotator, ...

... 40, 20 & 15m on the other.

Mark (L) & Andy (R) getting the 40ft pneumatic mast ready.

Mark setting up the radios.

View from the paddock end.

Simon raising the tilt-over mast.

One of the guy stakes and our tents.

One of the 80m slopers can be seen in the top of this photo.

The cabin.

We needed that water.

unique visits since Nov 2005