|Hi Folks, We have been playing Radio and looking at the Stars, Planets and Galaxies up in the very beautiful and historic Galloway area of Scotland. I would recommend this part of the World to you all if you get chance to visit! It offers beautiful scenery, lots of history, friendly people and for those of us who like operating HF, zero noise interference allowing many good QSOs. As far as Astronomy goes, Galloway boasts some of the darkest skies in the U.K making observations extremely interesting and easy to see other Galaxy's, Globular clusters, Meteors, orbiting Satellites and the International Space Station which I had the pleasure of viewing with the naked eye.
Whilst operating I was 2M0HTS/m which is my call sign for Scotland. I find this a bit confusing?As intermediate licence holders we have to drop our County locator's prefix which in my case is 2E0 (England) replacing the E with M for Scotland becoming 2M0. This is kind of ridiculous as MM/2E0HTS would be less confusing, but I don't make up the rules I just try to bend them a bit.
We arrived on Tuesday at the Galloway Astronomy Centre where we were greeted by Mike & Helen Alexander who where great hosts and very nice people. The Cottage was lovely and Mikes knowledge of Astronomy was fantastic. Helen made some terrific home cooked meals and they both looked after us very well. Thank you guys!
During the Two Night stay we were able to observe many Stars and different Galaxies, Mikes Telescopes and observatory was amazing again his Knowledge of the Skies was second to non!
This picture was taken looking up the telescope into the extremely dark sky
Here is Mikes Telescope in observing mode
This is what it looks like in the Day light, with Mike the proud owner and Astronomer
Whilst staying at The Galloway Astronomy Centre Mike introduced Louise MM/M3TLL, Dudley our dog and myself to Ian and Nadine who are also Radio Amateurs. Their Call signs are GM3SEC Ian, and MM3YNW Nadine, They invited us over to their lovely home and We got the chance to tour their Ham Radio Station which was an impressive set up!. Ian GM3SEC is a technical writer for the RSGB Members magazine Radcom which I am a regular reader and member so it was a real pleasure to meet them both.
Ian GM3SEC in his Shack
One of the Antenna arrays at Ian & Nadines QTH. Ian was half way through constructing a vertical square four for use on 40M it looked quite impressive.
As well as Operating our Radio, looking at the Stars, walking and touring, We were able to take in some of the many Historic views. Here is My YL Louise MM/M3TLL standing next to an Ancient Antenna system which would probably transmit energy from lay lines. The Ancient Standing Stones are called The Drumtrodden Stones, there are many stone circles, Castles, Forts and other Ancient and old interesting places to visit in the near by area well worth a visit. We managed a five Day stay which included two nights camping in Port William and have still not managed to see everything.
In this view you can see the empty beach of Monreith and in the background is the Isle of Mann.
Of course it is a Dogs Life, Here he is (Dudley) sunning his self at the beach near Glen Luce.
I had many excellent QSOs from my mobile on 40M, 20M, and 2M. I worked Germany, France, South England, Norway, Italy, Bulgaria, Morocco, Tenerife, Belgium, The Azores and Tanzania on HF 40m & 20m. On 2M I spoke with local stations from the Stranraer radio club some of which originated from my home area of Yorkshire, this was quite amusing as I did not expect to hear other Yorkshire accents on the Air. hi hi
The local Hams where extremely willing to make QSO on 2m not like back home where there is a distinct silence when I call CQ 2 Meters! I guess that the lack of mobile phone coverage in the area makes Ham Radio more appealing and there was no shortage of Hams and Antennas on My mobile journeys. I am looking forward to my return to Galloway.
73 thanks for visiting.... Simon