Archive - March 2011

Clarke Scam 12 debuts at MC0SHL


The recent purchase of a couple of Scam 12 Masts by my good friend Malc M0BZH proved its worth today when the refurbished one arrived at MC0SHL after making the trip from Yorkshire.

In lovely weather we got the Mast up in no time using the hand pump supplied with the Kit. Suprisingly with Rob MW0RLJ & Chris G1VDP at the pump end, it went up pretty quickly (says the guy not exerting himself by controling the sections as they lifted hi). Not long after we decided to try the 4element Monobander for 10M and thats what you can see in the foto. Some information about the Scam 12:

The SCAM Series of masts was created in the mid 1960’s to provide the military of several countries with a very stable field or vehicle mounted mast carrying the VHF/UHF antennas then in use. Headloads were a modest 10 kg and with few exceptions were always communication antennas. Weight of mast was not perceived as a particular handicap because other equipment generally was heavier than today

Probably the most striking feature of the SCAM Series mast is the provision of a steel box which houses and protects the mast and provides a fixation for legs or vehicle mounting.

A ball bearing makes turning the mast effortless even with a very heavy headload. A brake is provided. The bottom of the mast ‘box’ fits into a field base plate which can tilt in two planes to accommodate sloping ground up to 20°. A protractor ring is fitted calibrated in increments of 5°. The top socket for the antenna attachment is 40 mm dia. Hand operated locking collars on each telescopic section of the mast allow sections to be individually locked in the extended or closed positions.

Feeder cables are prevented from flapping in the wind by the provision of rubber guide rings. At the top of the mast the collar, to which guys may be attached, is arranged to allow the mast and feeder cables to rotate 360° within the guy ropes. Although a handpump is included in the standard kit, when the mast is vehicle mounted, a small Clark Masts battery powered compressor is preferable.


The inclusion of the Prop stand, enables the mast to be raised clear of the ground for antenna attachment. Then with 2 legs already fixed to the mast box, the whole can be lifted into the vertical position and the 3rd and 4th legs added. Legs are then adjusted with reference to the bubble level.

Let’s see how it performs over the next few days at this, an extremely windy and exposed location as you can see above!


Japan Hams assist in Tsunami relief coordination…


Japan remains under its worst threat to an ever rising toll, widespread
destruction, power, fuel and water shortages follow the massive earthquake,
tsunami and failed 40-year old nuclear power stations.

Ken JA1CJP quoting local news sources said, “The situation is getting worse.
On March 15, police announced that 2,414 people have been killed (up from
1,627 24 hours earlier) and 3,118 are reported missing (about double in the
same period).

“Some 55,380 houses/buildings were damaged by the earthquake and 3,000
houses washed away by the tsunami.”Thousands of bodies are reported to have been found on the coast of the tsunami suffered area,” he said. A Miyagi prefecture source says that the death toll will be in the order of ten
thousands in that prefecture alone.

Rescue teams have arrived and started their activities in the affected areas. They came from many nations including Korea, Singapore, New Zealand, China, USA, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, United Kingdom and Russia.

The 8.9 on the Richter scale quake hit off north-eastern Sendai durning the late afternoon on Friday March 11, and triggered a ten-metre tsunami. At the request of Central Emergency Communication Committee, Ken JA1CJP, the IARU Regional 3 Secretary, said the JARL is operating its HQ station JA1RL in Tokyo, and regional HQ stations.

Earlier it was reported that JA1RL was using 7 MHz SSB, 144 MHz SSB/FM and 430 MHz SSB/FM. He said, “Many other radio amateurs are thanked for providing information and exchanging support to the rescue and disaster
relief operations. Those who can operate in the affected areas are providing a lifeline for rescue teams and those at local shelters. Some stations are operating with car batteries and others with engine generators.”Minamisanriku-detail

Ken JA1CJP said, “Another problem is the nuclear power plant where the water
supply system failure caused overheating of the nuclear fuel bar. That
causes some radioactive gas release from the plant and people have been
evacuated from the surrounding area.”

Many other stations are active and are using various frequencies including some battery powered and others using small generators to exchange rescue and disaster relief operation information with JA1RL and others.

While 3525, 7030, 7043 and 7075 have been mentioned as in use, it’s wise to keep those and all of the Centre of Emergency (CoA) clear of normal and non-urgent traffic.

I think everyone’s thoughts this week go out to the Japanese Nation.

Images (courtesy of Google) above show before and after shots on Minima Sanriku, one of the worst affected areas.

1 Watt Qso with VK8…..


Conditions still remain good but from one day good to one day bad. 10/12/15 metres have been the bands to watch of late with very good propagation to the Caribbean and also to the Far East. As well as several JA, BY and VK on 15M, I worked my first JA on 12M along with JT, VU, ZS & D2 on 10M.

The Band on 10M was well open by 0900UTC and VK stations were very abundant. After several qso’s with VK4, I managed to work Stuie VK8NSB in Darwin, cracking signal here and made all the more interesting by watching his live internet feed, (watching the qso through the internet whilst at the same time talking on 10m), amazing.

Shortly afterwards I heard Brendon VK8FQRP calling again on 10M, calling from Wanguri in the Northern Territory of Australia. His RST was 59 down to 57 with QSB and in return I received 59. Brendon was running 10 watts into a 3 element Quad (Photo above) as opposed to my 400w into the 2 element SteppIR. Brendon then suggested a qso with 1 Watt, just to see if we could make it and I obliged. I turned my power down as low as possible (FT1000MP around 3-10 watts?, difficult to measure accurately) and Brendon returned with 1 watt. He still had a 4/1 signal into my QTH, quite remarkable, even more so that it happened on 10M SSB!

Well done Brendon, hope to hear you again soon!

Yorkshire Dales Day (GB1YDD) Cards issued….


All the Qsl Card requests for the Yorkshire Dales Day event (GB1YDD) have now been issued.

If you require a Qsl Card confirmation for this event (WFF- GFF-020) then please email me or apply on-line here and I will drop one in the system for you.

500th IOTA reference logged…


Dxpedition team now Qrv on Sable Island (IOTA NA-063).

Managed to work them on 17m this lunch time with a very good signal.

The contact not only gave me a precious all time new DXCC, but also my 500th IOTA reference!

Many thanks Wayne & good luck with the trip!

International Space Station transits the Sun


Earlier today, International Space Station (ISS) transited the Sun and it was visible over south Florida.

“The ISS paid a visit to the Winter Star Party in the Florida Keys,” says Allan Friedman, a resident of New York.

“A fine transit of the ISS across the sun was scheduled for 2:39 p.m. not far from this annual gathering of astronomers.

I was scheduled to give a talk on astrophotography ending at 1:30 p.m. As soon as it was done, I made a mad dash to set up and record the pass.

We barely made it in time to catch the ISS silhouetted against the limb of the sun.
Total elapsed time of the transit from our location at Knights Key Resort and Marina – one fifth of a second. A blink of an eye and an 1800 mile drive to see it!”

There were two good passes of the ISS in the UK last night. Sadly though, both the Space Shuttle Discovery and the ISS had ‘merged’ by the time it go to us so no viewing of Discovery as a seperate unit :-(. Nevertheless, it was awesome as always (IMHO)!.

Geomagnetic Storm hits Earth


A solar wind stream hit Earth’s magnetic field on March 1st, sparking a day-long geomagnetic storm and bright auroras around the Arctic Circle.

NASA space physicist James Spann photographed the display from Poker Flat, Alaska.

This is the most obvious and accessible evidence of the connectivity that Earth has with our star the sun. Witnessing the connectivity first-hand was particularly special to me.

The storm is subsiding now, but it could start up again in response to ongoing high-speed solar wind.

LZFF Honour Roll Award – MØOXO


Thanks to Todor (LZ1HA) and the team at BFRA for the LZFF Honour Roll Award that arrived last week.

Its a beautiful Award which I am extremely pleased to have achieved.

See the range of LZFF Awards by clicking the Award Photo to the left.

Thanks Todor, 44 !

NFD 2010 – Strictly Contest win – MØSCC/p


Congratulations to the three Operators from the Strictly Contest Group for their          achievements in National Field Day 2010.

They managed to become 160M Band leaders in the Open Section of the Event.

Well done guys!

8TH Antarctic Activity Week closes….


Thanks to all who supported the event this Year.

It was a good and successful event for GBØANT with 3073 Qso’s logged over the 7 day event.

It brings the total worked as GBØANT to 15270 Qso’s.

Thanks again for the support this Year!

All Qso’s now confirmed on LOTW