Ham Radio

Sunday, April 19, 2009
2M Tour
The last week has been spent touring around the South West Coast of Scotland and taking in the many spectacular sights as well as making some good radio contacts on the way!
We arrived at Ayr where we were to be based for the stay at the beginning of the week and once we checked in at the accommodation, we were straight out checking out the scenic views and lovely beaches.
Listening around the bands from the mobile set up proved to be very interesting as the noise levels were none existent allowing weak signals to be heard with ease especially on the 20 meter band.
I found a nice beach side location to park up the Toyota to try work back to some of the big signals we were hearing.
Louise - M3TLL (MM3TLL/M whilst in Scotland) kept the log and I began putting out a few shouts operating under the Scottish prefix 2M0HTS instead of my home call 2E0.
It wasn’t long before the calls were answered back to other operators on the 20 meter band, the first contact I made was at 19.13 utc on Tuesday with UR5ZVP who was 5/9. Then at 19.15, I worked Mike – W2YP from N.York again 5/9, followed by KG4CN – Dan operating out of Guantanamo Bay, also 5/9 both ways. Mike – KA3UOL was next with a 5/7 signal from central Pennsylvania followed by AB9HP – Rick in Indiana coming 5/5.
The last station worked before we walked on the beach with Dudley the beach loving greyhound was CT1VV – Alberto from Lisbon, Alberto was a strong 5/9 signal.
The following day we visited Maidens and then Dunure Castle where I worked Archie - VE9AR from Kingspeer. Archie was 5/6 and struggled with me a bit as it was early (11.10 utc) and the band was only just opening up.

The next stop off was at Greenan Castle close by to the heads of AYR, we had a bacon sandwich and a hot drink made on the camping stove which always seems to taste the best for some strange reason!
Later on that day (Wednesday) we returned to the Sea Side DXing parking spot which was between Ayr and Prestwick and gave out a few CQ calls. N3GN – Ken returned to the call from Galena in Maryland with a 5/9 report and a nice rag chew! I was then called by MM3IPU – Alan from nearby Dreghorn, We had a good 15min qso and Alan mentioned he had worked a VU (Indian) station earlier in the day. The next station to call me on 20M was also local operator Chris – MM0ABB, Chris was located in Kilmaurs which was close to Kilmarnock which is also in Ayrshire and he was also booming through with 5/9. It was a pleasure to meet these two guys on 20m and I hope I hear them on the LF bands in the future.
On the drive back to the hotel I heard MM0BIM calling CQ 2meters so I gave him a shout back whilst mobile. MM0BIM – Gordon returned to the call back and we had a good half an hour talking about the local area. Gordon recommended that we visit Largs, and also that we should check out local phenomenon known as the Electric Brae . We followed Gordon’s advice the very next day and had a great time, not to mention the dog who loved the stunning empty beaches and beautiful views of the offshore Islands.
As we took in the stunning views and cooked lunch on the petrol stove I heard IT9RYH – Nino in Scilly, I called Nino and had a pleasant qso with Nino as we watched the seagulls dive into the clear sea water catching their lunch. IT9RYH – Nino was 5/9+ to Gull point at Portencross which was where we were parked up.
After lunch we explored Ardneil Bay and went on to Ardrossan beach which over looked Horse Isle.

Later that evening we parked up on the promenade at Ayr and worked VE3LX – Herman, from Thunder Bay near Lake Superior. Herman was 5/7 back to my mobile Yaesu Ft-857 and Maldol HFC-20m antenna. I tuned around as the band was slightly quieter than the previous evenings and then I came across Tony – IZ6BXV. I gave Tony a quick 5/9 report and had one last tune around.
The last station I worked from the sea view parking spot was W2IW – Mike from North Carolina which was a difficult copy but I got there in the end. I got a 5/4 report back and gave Mike a 5/7 into Ayr.

All good things must come to an end and Friday we set off back to the home qth via the coastal route which passed through Galloway and Dumfries and then into Cumbria. I made a couple of contacts on the way back down which were ER5GB – Alex from Moldova who was 5/9+ and RV3NA – Serge 300km N.E of Moscow also coming with a 5/9 signal.

Once we crossed the border I returned to 2E0 and as we entered N.Yorkshire I worked fellow CRAG member Adam – M6AXL from Keighley followed by old CB mate from many years back M3RIZ – Craig, also located in Keighley.

We arrived home safely and now need another holiday to get over that one h.i.

Thanks to all stations worked and also thanks to MM0BIM – Gordon for his suggested places to visit. Very enjoyable!
posted by Simon Davison @ 12:48 pm  
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