HALIFAX & DISTRICT AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY

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/P Activities 2013


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  Our first outside event of 2013 was at the St George's Day Youth Festival in the Piece Hall in the centre of Halifax for which we had the Special Event Call Sign GB4HPH. The building was opened in 1779 as a trading place for local weavers to sell their "pieces" of cloth - trading took place for only 30 minutes per week and there were strict fines for anyone caught trading outside the allotted time.

The Youth Festival is organised by the Halifax Scouts and brings together the uniformed organisations: Boys' Brigade, Scouts, Guides, Beavers, Brownies, Air Training Corps, Officer Cadet Force, etc. The event was open to the public and included various activities such as abseiling, rock-wall climbing, a mini-caving opportunity, kayak rolling and crafts. HADARS ran a demonstration HF station and offered the opportunity to exchange greetings messages on VHF. Setting up on the evening before the event

The evening before the event, we set up the tent and G5RV. The aerial isn't visible in this picture but is level with the gutters of the surrounding arcades.

Response from the younger generation was disappointing but we made 55 contacts on 40m and 20m - mainly around the UK but including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Portugal and Russia. Picture of Gilbert G0HDN operating GB4HPH in the Piece Hall, Halifax, 20th April 2013
Gilbert G0HDN at the microphone, Martin M0GQB and John G7ELX look on

We used a G5RV aerial suspended from the upper galley of the Piece Hall, an FT-840 at 100 Watts with Heil headset and an MFJ-933 Auto ATU. Shortly after setting up the radio on Saturday morning, we were surprised to hear VK5 and VK6 stations at 5&8 but were unable to work them - "surprised" because Halifax is in a valley with hills all around and we had expected DX to be non-existent or, at best, very weak!

The next event was a public demonstration HF station at the Spring Fair at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Saturday 27th April. We meet at the Church every Tuesday evening and so we were able to use the permanently-installed off-centre fed dipole for the demonstration station. Despite the weather which was rather showery in the morning and cold all day, we all enjoyed the experience and without even trying we logged 18 contacts including several with Germany and Russia, and one each with Spain, Belgium and France. Picture of the G2UG demonstration station set up at Mytholmroyd, Halifax, 27th April 2013
Despite the weather which was rather showery in the morning and cold all day, we all enjoyed the experience and without even trying we logged 18 contacts including several with Germany and Russia, and one each with Spain, Belgium and France.

We even logged a couple of CW contacts courtesy of Richard G3UGF - not a mode which crops up too often in the G2UG log! Shown below is Richard G3UGF at the key watched by Sean M6OOC, John G7ELX, John M6JKW, David G3PTU (back to the camera) and Anthony G0WFG. Picture of Richard G3UGF operating G2UG at Mytholmroyd, Halifax, 27th April 2013

There were also a few QSOs which weren't logged or were made under personal call signs and we had quite a bit of interest from the members of the public visiting the Spring Fair which helped to keep us on our toes.

Here is Martin M0GQB at the microphone of G2UG with (from left to right) Darren M6DFW, John M6JKW and John G7ELX
Picture of Martin M0GQB operating G2UG at Mytholmroyd, Halifax, 27th April 2013

Band conditions were poor - a lot worse than the preceding weekend when we were at the Piece Hall - but they improved somewhat during the afternoon. As we were readying to pack up, 18MHz opened and we started to receive the USA at good signal strength.

In June, we were at the Halifax Charity Gala again. This is always a challenge in radio terms because there are several fairground attractions including dodgems which have lots of spark transmitters - known as dodgem cars - to add to the electrical noise.

HADARS at the Halifax Charity Gala June 2013
Left, David G3PTU takes it easy at the transmitter desk.



















At this event, we used our G5RV aerial but experienced a lot of RF getting into the rig's microphone which rather upset things and limited our radio activities.

HADARS at the Halifax Charity Gala June 2013
Right, John G7ELX in front of the display section and Ronnie M6HXI in the shade



















On the 18th of June, we had an evening working /P on the hills above Heptonstall. The weather was good and we enjoyed ourselves up there. As always, Barry 2E0PEC showed us had to do things, here he is setting up his rig on a convenient stile watched by Peter G0JKW. In the background Dick G3TIX and Eric M6PBN discuss some finer points

HADARS working /P on Heptonstall Moor, 18th June 2013
Below, from left to right, John M6JKW, Stephen M6BKI and Ronnie M6HXI discuss the capabilities of the FT-817.HADARS working /P on Heptonstall Moor, 18th June 2013



















It's not all radio - we sometimes go to local rallies, for example. Below, HADARS members are attending the Drighlngton Rally run by the North Wakefield Radio Club. Club members Ken G0ITI (extreme left) and John G7ELX (extreme right) flank Trevor G6XTZ and Phil G4VPO. Reports from others who attended said that it was a good rally. HADARS at friends at Drighlington Rally

Our next /P evening was on 16th July when we went to Lower Wyke. This was in the middle of the heat wave and weather-wise the evening was very enjoyable. Radio-wise, the conditions were testing. Barry 2E0PEC yet again led the way and below Barry (left) and John M0JPA check the log.
HADARS working /P at Lower Wyke, 16th July 2013
Some of us spent the time trying to tune a Sandpiper MV10. From left to right, Darren M6DFW and Martin M0GQB adjust one of the radials watched by new members Jim and Danny. HADARS working /P at Lower Wyke, 16th July 2013





























On August 20th, we went to Roils Head Playing Fields about 3 mils to the north of Halifax town centre. There we had plenty of space to erect aerials.
HADARS working /P at Roils Head Playing Fields, 20th August 2013
From foreground working back: an I-Pro Traveller, a Sandpiper MV10 vertical, a 20m inverted V with aluminium pole as centre support, a 20m inverted V with a "clothes post" centre support, another 20m inverted V with fishing pole centre support (behind the group of five people), a Snowdonia vertical and on the left a 6m inverted delta-loop on a Spiderbeam pole (unfortunately end on so the loop isn't visible).
The weather was good and the reception was excellent - except on 6m which was dead and not helped by a faulty power lead to the PA - and we made several QSOs around the UK and the near continent with the furthest contact being Romania. Unfortunately, it started getting dark about 20:30 and we had to pack up whilst we could still see to dismantle the aerials.

We shall return next Spring when it's warm and light!

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