Monday, 27 April 2009
Saturday 25th April 05.30am.
So here I am setting off on the 45min drive down to Bass Point on the Lizard Peninsula, the rain is very heavy coming straight down and the wind is gusting very strong. What a change from yesterday when we went down to set up the antenna's for International Marconi Day, warm sunshine and not a breath of wind. By Friday evening we had a thunderstorm and torrential rain. The biggest fear was that the antenna,s and masts had come down overnight. Driving down the 3/4m private track on the last leg the wind was buffeting the car and the rain was now horizontal. The first view of the little wooden museum was when I turned the corner along the cliff track, to my dismay there was only one mast not two, getting out of the car I was almost blown off my feet by the strength of the wind. Resting on top of the gates were the top halves of Geoff's G0FHT home made delta loop, I could see one of the 20ft fibreglass telescopic arms was broken. As I was the first to arrive I set about untangling the wires and feeders, Geoff arrived 10 mins later
and we discussed the situation. He had a spare telescopic pole in the shack, so we set about repairing the damage.After 45mins the antenna was repaired, now it was time to get it back up, the mast for the antenna is 20ft then we had the two 20ft arms in a "V" configuration on a mounting plate on top of this.
Geoff held the base of the mast in a divot to stop it slipping, and I walked the mast and antenna up from the top over my head until we got it vertical. the wind really gave us a hard time during this operation. Finally it was up and Geoff secured the base with clamps and tightened the guy ropes to make it safe, suddenly there was a tremendous gust of wind and both fibreglass poles snapped off at the base above my head. Luckily they stayed partly attached so I did not get them coming down on top of my head. So after clearing up the destroyed antenna we decided to extend the mast a bit higher and erect my home brew G5RV multi band long wire which was brought as a backup. After about 30mins we had this up and tied off and feeders into the shack, by now just over two hours had passed and we were both wet and chilled to the bone, with fingers so numb we could not feel anything. so commenced the days operation, Geoff was working 80 metre band which means he was talking to people all over the UK, this band drops out mid morning so he and Keith the other operator who arrived at 09.30 then went onto 20metres working stations around Europe, Middle East and the USA.
I spent the day on the 40metre band working European ,UK Ireland stations from Scandinavia down to southern Italy and as far out as Moscow in Russia
We did about 250 contacts throughout the day, and I'm still hoarse from talking today.
So why do we do it? well there are about fifty stations with connections to Marconi operating around the world on the day, and if a station can work 15 0f these they can claim a very nice award certificate.
Add to this the surroundings of the museum with all the old radio equipment still in place from 1901, it gives a feeling of how Marconi and his team must have felt being there.
But most of all the memories of the best group of people that Radio Amateurs are, from all walks of life who treat everyone as equals regardless of colour, race ,religion or creed.
They could certainly teach the bureaucrats of this world a thing or two.
Finally would I do it again? YES I will be back next year as I have been for the past 20 years.
Below are a few photo's taken during a drier spell in the afternoon.