Meteor Scatter from The Lizard peninsula

GB2LD (IN79jx) 5th-14th August 2005



The historic site of Marconi's Lizard Radio (LD) now GB2LD
The Marconi Wireless Museum at the Lizard

Log

Details of all QSOs from GB2LD are on the log page.

Photos

I took a number of photos, which I have "stitched together" using PTGui software. I took the pictures before thinking of making a panorama, and I was very impressed with the result. I should have taken the photos the day before, when there was a cloudless sky! The panorama in high quality mode is 6Mb - too big for a web page, but I will be happy to e-mail you a copy at this resolution if you would like to see it! For this page, I have reduced it by degrading definition and size, and hopefully you will get some idea of what my horizon looked like.

Displays a panorama from east to west, via south
Panorama from east to west, via south, taken from the base of my mast (and Marconi's concrete mast base). To the east, there is the Old Lloyds Signal station, which was used in the late part of the 19th century to send and receive messages from ships using flags or semaphore. It had the disadvantage that only line of sight communication could be used, and therefore ships would have to come close to shore to signal. It could not be used in poor visibility or at night. The Marconi Wireless station at the Lizard put the Lloyds station out of business once wireless communications became possible from ship to shore. To the south of the camera are two huts. The Marconi Wireless Museum is in the original hut (the left hand hut) and I was operating from the room adjacent to it, in the same hut. The other hut was/is an accomodation hut. To the west is Housel Bay, and just beyond is the Lizard Lighthouse. When the lighthouse was manned, the keeper used to send "U" in CW on the foghorn if ships came too close!


Shows my station at the Marconi Wireless Museum
My station at the Marconi Wireless Museum. The Henry PA is to the left, with the rotator, and sequencer, the computer running WSJT, and the Icom IC-275e in the centre, with BNOS SSPA to drive the Henry, and the 70cm packet telnet equipment on the right.


Shows Marconi's shack at the Wireless museum
Marconi's "shack" at the Wireless Museum. From left to right, the receiver, coherer, morse inker, Leyden Jars (capacitors!), and antenna matching coils, and the spark TX


The antenna pointing at EA8
The 12 ele M2 antenna pointing at a clear horizon in the direction of EA8BPX and EB8AYA. The "lean" in the antenna mast was due to high winds the previous night, and was corrected soon after the photograph was taken. The concrete base is the original base of Marconi's mast in 1901


The view to the east
The view to the east taken from 200M to the east of the GB2LD site (i.e. what the antenna would be seeing)


A 2 second burst from ES1RF
WSJT screenshot showing a 2 second burst from ES1RF (ODX on MS)

My reflections

My DXpedition was planned to start on 5th August 2005, exactly 105 years to the day when Marconi first arrived at the Lizard and booked in to the nearby Housel Bay Hotel. Although I arrived on the 4th August to set up the station, my visit to the Marconi Wireless Museum during the 2005 Perseids was not without major problems! I had some difficulty in fitting my rotator to the mast, because the adaptor I had made was for a one inch mast (25.4mm) whereas the mast accepted nothing larger than 22mm! A second adaptor made by G4NNS for a one inch socket did not fit either, and so the 22mm top section of the mast was cut to fit this adaptor. The 70cm comms link TX developed a fault, which required a lot of time investigating it. Next, the main transceiver (IC-275H) suffered a catastrophic failure of the PA. Other problems were experienced with the PTT lines, and in all, it lost me one day's operating.

As a one man DXpedition, I relied heavily on support from other amateurs, and I must pay special thanks to Keith G4FUF for remote technical support and loan of equipment, to Tim G4LOH whose help was invaluable (thanks Tim ;-), to Dave G1OGY, who lent computer equipment and comms software, Catherinus PE1AHX for helpful remote support, and to Brian G4NNS who fabricated the adaptor whose flexible design enabled my rotator to fit the mast. I must also thank The National Trust and The Radio Officer's Association for the use of the facilities. Without their help, the DXpedition would have been impossible.

I arrived in Cornwall very tired, having driven from IN95 to JO01 the previous Friday, and then driven back to IN95 on the Sunday. I flew back to JO01 on the Tuesday, and drove to IN79 on the Wednesday. After resolving the problems experienced on 5th August, I started operating on the morning of 6th August. In the first few days, I restricted my operating hours so I would be able to do longer hours nearer the peak. As the week progressed, I was qrv from 04:00utc until after 23:00utc with short breaks during the day to rest, and to go for some food and beer!

The National Trust had (unknown to me) put out a Press release, and as a result of this, I was interviewed by BBC Radio Cornwall , (PE1AHX recorded it, click here to listen) , and independent station Pirate FM. The two local newspapers The Western Daily News and The West Briton both carried the Perseids DXpedition as a news item!

It was good to have so many stations calling, and I must apologise for not being able to complete every attempted QSO. This was for a variety of reasons, some of which were due to mistakes on my part! There were times when I was tired, and called CQ split, and having been called, I forgot to remove the split! Some ops guessed this, and completed, but one or two others may have lost a QSO. (Do any other dxpeditions remember doing this?!)

Some QSO's didn't work through lack of pings, lack of power at the DX end, or trying paths that were too long. Other QSO's may have been lost because the other station decided not to wait until I called him. I can't control random meteors however, a QSO takes as long as it takes, and I regret that some QSOs were lost.

Towards the end of the DXpedition, when it was getting near to closedown, the computer started misbehaving, with the mouse freezing (thankyou Mr Gates) but I kept rebooting for every message change. I hope I didn't miss any good pings or bursts as a result! Finally, when I had extended the closedown deadline to 02:00utc, and the computer was unreliable, I resorted to SSB for the last contact, and had a QSO with I8MPO (Lucio described SSB MS as being for men, not boys!)

I would like to thank everyone for acting like gentlemen whilst calling. I can appreciate how hard it must be not to call when you need the square! It does make things slower if the weak ping containing RRR is masked by continuous 28 bursts! There were very few instances of people calling during a QSO, and I thank all of you for that. If any data in my log has been mistyped above, please let me know!

I very much enjoyed the visit to IN79, and hope to be able to do another DXpedition from there at some time. Next year I hope to do another DXpedition (it may not be from IN79 though). Wherever it is, it is sure to be on a lot of wanted lists!!

73
Robin


Statistics

I made the following QSOs:-

MS - 100 using WSJT 441A - ODX ES1RF (2170 Km)
MS - 1 using SSB
EME - 1 using JT65B - ODX ES6RQ (2201 Km)
Tropo - 2 using JT65B
Tropo - 44 using SSB - ODX EB8AYA (2594 Km)

86 Squares worked

26 DXCC countries worked:-

9A,DL,EA,EA8,ES,F,G,GJ,GW,GM,HA,HB0,HB,I,LA,OE,OH,OK,ON,OZ,PA,SM,SP,S5,T98,YU

QSL route

QSLs for GB2LD (ONLY for QSOs between 5th August 2005 and 14th August 2005) may be sent to G8APZ either via RSGB Bureau or direct. Cards sent to GB2LD via bureau will still reach me, but may be subject to some delay. My QSL address is on qrz.com

Please note All QSL cards which were received direct have been replied to direct. All other QSOs have been QSL'd via the RSGB bureau.

Literature

Several very interesting books have been published, and they contain many historic photos, log extracts, and details of Marconi's early history. I can arrange for these to be purchased on request. Please send an e-mail to G8APZ if you wish to obtain a copy of either (or both) books

History of Lizard Wireless - Marconi's little miracleFrom Spark to Satellite
The history of Lizard Wireless Telegraph StationFrom Spark to Satellite
Author David Barlow G3PLE (28 A4 pages)Author David Barlow G3PLE (64 A5 pages)
Price incl postage - GBP3.60 / EUR 5.00Price incl postage - GBP5.00 / EUR 7.50


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