Stockport Radio Society celebrating 100 years 1920-2020 Special call sign G8SRS/100

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by M6NAE, Aug 21, 2020.

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  1. M6NAE

    M6NAE Ham Member QRZ Page


    Special Event Callsign Celebrating the Centenary of Stockport Radio Society

    By Tom Bishop M0TKG with extensive contributions from the operators

    The Special Event Callsign
    The club callsign G8SRS was used by members of Stockport Radio Society for the month of June with the suffix "/100" to celebrate the centenary anniversary of the club. The callsign was operated from several members home stations as well as portable. A special QSL card was designed for the occasion, featuring photographs that document the history of the club. These have been received by members that worked the station, as well as sent to other stations by request.
    Figure 1. The QSL produced for the event. Top row: G2ARX, G6UQ, G3PEK/VK2BJ, SRS @ Bletchley Park, SRS @ NARSA, G0ROW (President). Middle row: G3LX, SRS Members 1950, G4ZDO, SRS @ NFD 1982, SRS Project Build, SRS Lecture, SRS @ AVRO Open Day, M0SAV (Chairman) w/ G0RXA, SRS Contest Site 2013. Bottom row: G3FYE, NFD 1950, G3NOM w/ G3LX, G3KAF & G3SHF @ NFD 2002, SRS Contest Team IOTA 2018, G6URD w/ SWL son, M6KOY.

    In total there were 18 operators of the callsign over the 19 days that the callsign was used. Most operators used their home stations, some operated portable stations as part of the "summits-on-the-air" (SOTA) programme, some sought high ground to take advantage of the good take-off, and a number of other operators also operated portable or “garden-portable”.

    Although June saw some excellent weather, there was also some particularly stormy periods. At times Rob G1VXD had to shut his station due to lightening in the area, and Tom M0TKG had to make
    a hasty retreat from Shining Tor as his shack, an old blue tent, began letting in rain and collapsing in the wind!

    Most of the contacts were made using SSB voice on the 40- and 20-meter bands, with FM on 2-meter also proving popular. However, a significant number of contacts were made using CW across a range of HF bands, and there were also some contacts that used the increasingly popular FT8 digital mode.

    Most contacts were direct, but notable exceptions were Rob M0ORA and Nigel G0RXA who worked stations via the Saudi OSCAR-50 (SO-50) and Fox-1B (AO-91) satellite FM transponders, including each other! Band conditions on HF were not ideal, but there were occasional sporadic-E openings on 10- and 6-meters during this period.

    A total of 44 countries were worked on 6 continents, the furthest afield to Uruguay (CX6DX; 11,000 km), followed in second place by Japan (JH8SGR, 8,800 km). There was a notable contact to Svalbard (JW4PUA), an island well within the Arctic Circle.

    From the Operators
    Many amateurs contacted passed on kind regards and congratulations to the club during contacts. Pete (M1PTR) spoke to several amateurs who had fond memories of our club, including an expat in France. Pete also worked an old work colleague and a Swedish station recognised him from a previous contact as F/M1PTR. Pete, our club, and its members are clearly well-known and regarded on the air!

    It was a pleasure and privilege to operate the centenary Special Event Station on behalf of the club. HF bands conditions were not ideal, but I was able to make steady progress throughout the day and exceeded my target of 100 QSO's.

    Pete M1PTR

    Evan M0TJU reported that he had success across the HF bands on CW, but this required considerable work and patience. With a slow start calling CQ, answers first came from members, then from further afield, but the pace was generally slow. Although RTTY was planned, Evan decided not to attempt this, but to travel the bands and see where the CW activity lay. He found that there were quite a few pandemic related special event stations calling, and by operating a “search and pounce” strategy in the afternoon, rather than calling CQ, managed over 100 QSO’s in total! On the unusual callsign, Evan noted that “our call, and particularly the ‘/100’ section of it, seemed to have raised numerous eyebrows, as evidenced by the requests for repeat sendings. Unexpectedly, most of the copying errors by other stations [were related to the] second ‘S’ in ‘G8SRS’”. Evan also reports that he noted several Finnish stations using the lengthy suffix “/STAYATHOME” and jokes they must have been grateful for the use of automatic Morse keyers!

    I really enjoyed my day of ‘being’ G8SRS/100, and I look forward to taking part in the society’s next special event operation.

    -Evan M0TJU

    Nigel G0RXA decided that the best chance of DX would be to head out and use VHF/UHF satellite transponders. He worked using a dual band Yagi-type antenna and a handheld transceiver. Rob M0ORA employed similar equipment when working the satellite transponders, but also headed out to work the 20m band portable along with Matt M0MVR. Rob notes that the furthest contacts he made (which happen to be the furthest DX made using the callsign!) took advantage of “grey-line” propagation, where there is enhanced propagation between locations where it is dawn or dusk on the HF bands.

    As a relatively new operator, I (Tom M0TKG) was nervous about representing the club; in any other circumstance I would have preferred to work from Walthew House with a warm mug of tea and an experienced operator beside me! However, with Walthew House closed and no HF station at home, I chose to go it alone on a hill in the Peak District. The pile-up that ensued was my first, and I worked it as best I could until the weather and my batteries conspired against me. It was a real privilege and valuable experience for me to use the callsign.


    Figure 3. Nigel G0RXA operating via satellite, using an Arrow antenna and FT70D handheld


    Future Special Events
    Some of the more novice operators remarked on how engaging and educational it was to use the callsign, and Dave G2DS noted that it was unfortunate that only full licence holders could operate the station; under more normal circumstances it would have been possible to arrange for supervision, but unfortunately “social-distancing” rules imposed to limit the COVID-19 pandemic prevented this. SSTV was mentioned, and might be an interesting addition to the modes since a QSL card designed for the event could be transmitted.

    Many thanks to all the operators who replied to my request for their input, as well as Heather M6HNS for co-ordinating the operators, Kieron M5KJM for collating the log and Pete M1PTR for mapping the QSO’s online. Tony M0SAV contacted Ofcom to ensure the /100 suffix was acceptable to them. I’m grateful for corrections I received on early drafts, but I must take responsibility for any mistakes!


    Figure 5. Tom M0TKG operating from Shining Tor. The antenna is a Yaesu ATAS-25, and inside the shack is a Yaesu FT-857D


    Figure 6. Matt M0MVR with his new SteppIR CrankIR antenna system, operated with a Yaesu 991a transceiver. The location is Frodsham (IO83pg).


    Figure 7. The view from Rob M0ORA's "shack" on the 14th of June. Rob used a dipole and an Icom 7300 to work 20m in Frodsham (IO83pg).

    Many Thanks For Reading All The Above Information. 7.3


    Attached Files:

    MW1CFN and JF1IRQ like this.
  2. 2E0TWD

    2E0TWD Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    So Proud to be a Member of this Historic Society. Congratulations to all who did everything they could to Mark this Centenary with determination and pride during very difficult times. Long live G8SRS.
  3. M6NAE

    M6NAE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Stockport Radio Society is such a great club and to be a member is even better. And to mark the centenary with an article on qrz and the special call sign g8srs/100. Here's to the next 100 years.
    MM7MTO, KI6PMD and 2E0TWD like this.
  4. G2DS

    G2DS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I really enjoyed operating the club callsign for a day. It gave me a superb opportunity to get over some of my “mic shyness” and try to rack up the QSO’s.

    Sadly, my plan to make a record number of calls to rival the legendary Richard G3CWI was hampered by getting my bald head burned to a crisp - I should know better by now!!

    As hoped, operators answering my CQ calls were great, really patient and friendly giving excellent feedback on my weedy QRP signal from Rivington, albeit my clever photo of the FT-817ND shows the size of my antenna was comparable to the others up there!

    I still have ambitions for the SSTV ops with the club call, think there’s time left in centenary year, but I would love to get further afield than my current VHF SSTV setup allows.

    Overall, a great experience operating the club callsign, and I look forward to doing so again in the future. Many thanks to Tom M0TKG for compiling the article, makes for a great read.

    73 de G2DS and enjoy your ops!

    Attached Files:

    M0SQJ and 2E0TWD like this.
  5. M0SQJ

    M0SQJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just a short update from me.
    Figure 4. Slawek M0SQJ operating from stationary mobile. Icom IC7300 + home brew 102 ft doublet, from Winter Hill IO83so on 28th of June 2020.
    Ps. Picture taken just before the heavens opened.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2020
    G2DS, JF1IRQ and 2E0TWD like this.
  6. JF1IRQ

    JF1IRQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is wonderful.

  7. KI6PMD

    KI6PMD Ham Member QRZ Page

  8. KI6PMD

    KI6PMD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great job chaps ! GO SKY BLUES !!! 73 to all Phil KI6PMD..
    2E0TWD likes this.
  9. M0SAV

    M0SAV XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just a short note, that any FLC or ILC club member will have a chance to operate using G8SRS/100 on Saturday or Sunday 26th and 27th September respectively,10am until 4pm BST.
    You need to email info@g8srs or to book a slot time. This will take place at club HQ, Covid conditions allowing and social distancing observed.
  10. NG7IL

    NG7IL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    CONGRATULATIONS!! What an amazing accomplishment.
    I'm sorry I missed the original special event date but looks like you will do it again on the 26th and 27th.
    Our local club W7SU, Ogden Amateur Radio Club turns 100 in June 2021.
    Hopefully this will be my chance to log a GB station.

    73 de Gil
    2E0TWD likes this.

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