Yorkshire Day, 2012
1. August 2012
In previous years the Yorkshire Day station operated by Pontefract radio club – PDARS – has been located at the club shack in Carleton Community Centre, near to Pontefract. In 2012 Nigel, G0BPK suggested we take the station to somewhere iconic – The Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge, deep in the North Yorks National Park seemed an ideal place!
For 2012 we put a station on the air covering the usual HF bands and 2m but we also had a real focus on 4m. Four has been the band to be on since mid-2011 and the PDARS weekly net – now known as the Pontefract and Five Towns Four Metre Net – can be heard every Wednesday on 70.400MHz.
As it was, GB0YD had as many contacts on 4m as any other band and a good few more than some!
We arrived at The Lion Inn car park just before 07h00 clock time (06h00 UTC) and set up: two cars, two tents, HF mast on a trailer towed in by Nigel, 2m colinear for 2m FM and a 3 element Yagi for 4m. At seven o’clock it was struggling to look like daylight through dense mist although there was also a stiff breeze. Strong wind might be a more appropriate term. Mist and wind? We were in the clouds, of course! On the road up to Blakey Ridge the mist closed in as I approached 1000 feet asl and the last couple of miles had visibility well under 25 metres. It was quite tricky and there was a dead sheep – roadkill – at the roadside just down the hill from The Lion Inn.
We got things set up and – keen as you’d expect us to be – retired to the pub for breakfast. Full, warm and recharged by traditional English fare (And plenty of coffee) we were on the air before nine.
We worked through the day – punctuated by visits to The Lion Inn for refreshment and sustinence – breaking camp after the 4m net a little earlier than planned. Nigel and I were out of the field by six that evening.
The weather began to clear mid-morning!
View from the VHF operator’s seat – The Lion Inn in the hazy distance
IOTA Eu-005 GFF-012
OS X (Eastings) 467966
OS Y (Northings) 499712
Nearest Post Code YO62 7LQ
Lat (WGS84) N54:23:18 (54.388366)
Long (WGS84) W0:57:18 (-0.954888)
Maidenhead Locator IO94mj
The Lion Inn is 7 miles north of Hutton-le-Hole. 1290 feet above sea level (393m). If you go, be prepared for weather (and large meals!)
Find out more at: www.lionblakey.co.uk
GB0YD was on HF using Nigel’s FT-897 to a doublet in inverted V configuration. The low ends of the antenna were about a metre from the ground, anchored on dry stone walling. The centre was about 10m and fed through RG58 coax; the balun at the feedpoint.
The 4m station was powered by a single 75Ah leisure battery with two 100Ah 6V batteries as back-up. A pair of 40W solar panels in a V-configuration were align with where the sun might have been in the sky and during the day were struck by about seven photons. An FT-817 IF was used at 28MHz with a Spectrum transverter for 70MHz. RG213 feed to a nuxcom 3 element Yagi. The wind was a real issue with the mount I had for this antenna. The pole was a 1½” aluminium swaged pole set. Support a drive-on L-bracket fabricated by ace welder Keith, G0RLN. With four, two-metre pole sections the wind was in danger of bending something. With two, things were stable pole-wise but the antenna had windmill tendencies. The final solution included tying the lower section of the radiator element to the support pole with string!
Conditions on VHF – two and four metres – were satisfying. (That may be slightly different to good.) We had good paths south-westish down into the midlands – the first contact on 2m was Coventry then Nuneaton and to the north, especially up the east coast through South Shields and Durham areas. Though Blakey Ridge is surprisingly far north!
We worked almost everyone who boasts being both a PDARS member and an owner of a 4m radio, working almost exclusively FM since our polarisation was determined by the string round the antenna pole.
There is also plenty of additional information on qrz.com: visit http://www.qrz.com/db/gb0yd
Nigel, G0BPK our SES organiser and PDARS club QSL manager says
“Now that the RSGB has a new policy on using the QSL bureau, the following applies:
Direct cards may be sent to G0BPK (QTHR) with a stamped addressed envelope (British stamps only) or an envelope with $2 US for return. Apologies for this charge, but the cost of postage has increased again.”
Visit Nigel’s web site here.