[The above audio is a chat with Steve G4HPE and Jim G4AEH at the G8BBC 2022 field day.]
It’s the latter half of September and I’m pleased to say I was still in shorts as I arrived at the Northamptonshire QTH of Brian & Hilary aka G4BIP & G7SOI.
As we parked next to a shiny new shack we were greeted by the house with a hot breakfast, pastries, tea and coffee.
As G8BBC club members arrived, a few including myself headed over to the shack looking forward to get on the air.
There were two HF stations (upper and lower) and a SDR station tuned to geostationary amateur radio transponder Qatar OSCAR-100.
In the words of Brian…
“It’s using SDR Console talking over a long USB cable to a small green box of goodies right behind the dish. In that box is a very clever little USB device called a Lime Mini SDR. This device has both RX and TX SMA connectors and can operate full duplex. Its RX is tuned to the output of the standard TV style LNB at about 740Mhz. The software adds some 9.7Ghz to the displayed frequency to show the actual received RF frequency of 10.489GHz. The TX side directly generates signal of about 1mW on our 13cm band at about 2.4Ghz that goes through a band pass filter and a 20w PA that is very under-driven to about 2W output to about 0.5M of top quality coax to a patch antenna that shares the same focal point as the LNB.”
I’d never made a contact via satellite before, but it was on my list of radio things to do. Although I had no idea where to start, I did get to watch Brian kneel at the alter of extra-terrestrial radio and watch how it was done.
A few minutes later I was sat at the desk wrangling a pile up while operating GQ8BBC/P via OSCAR-100. My first contact was with Ernst Stroeer DL5SD via microwave up and downlink.
And I went on to chat with a few stations in France, Germany (lots), Finland, Brasil (a few times) and Wales.
Thanks to Brian, having everything set up, there was little else for me to do other than adjust the levels on my mic and headphones and then click the mouse to talk.
You really had to focus with all of the other CQ-ing in the background. But contacts were made and logs were getting filled.
Once the sun had passed the yard arm it was easy to get distracted by the bucket of cold booze, the conversation, and the occasional fly-by from G0OQK’s drone.
Nick of course left the drinking to me and I left the flying to him.
More food came out and the barbecue was fired up with M7DHR in control, flipping burgers and (for want of a better phrase) tonging sausages. To finish the day we chatted over drinks and people popped in and out of the shack till late evening.
This was the first in person meet up for this incarnation of G8BBC. Hopefully the first of many. Thanks again to Brian and Hilary for all they did to make this such a special day.
Some of the operators, family and friends in attendance were (left to right):
G4BIP, G7SOI, G4OYX, Tommy, G4AEH, G0NXA, G5DOC, G7JBT, G5JPR, G4HPE, M0NTX, Julian, G1MME, Liz, M7DHR and G0OQK, took the photo.
If you would like to join G8BBC there are membership categories covering full time BBC staff, freelance, and the retired. Guest and associate memberships can also be considered for those connected in some way with the BBC and or Broadcasting.
Here is a twitter thread from the day.
Thanks for listening, reading and I hope subscribing.
Please share this wherever you think it might resonate. You are some of the more curious people in radio ;-) And I thank you.
73 de Christian G5DOC