December 2021 Field Day & Commemorative Contact

Essex Ham’s last field day of the year took place on Sunday the 12th of December 2021, at Galleywood Common. Despite the year’s Covid conditions, the group has managed to get eight field days in during 2021 (four at Galleywood, two at the Hackspace, the JOTA activation at Belfairs and one at the Earls Colne Airfield)

Despite being a little chilly (and clashing with some motor racing, apparently), we were able to run two HF and one VHF station, and get in some decent radio activity, as well as having the opportunity to catch up and socialise.

Galleywood Gathering 12 December 2021
Galleywood Gathering 12 December 2021

Commemorative Contact

Over the weekend, the RSGB had been active at Ardrossan in Scotland celebrating 100 years since the first transatlantic amateur radio contact (11th of December 1921) – Congratulations to Andrew M0OHN for making a contact that predates that by 20 years!

On the afternoon of the 12th of December 1901, the first transatlantic contact was made, with signals from a Marconi station in Poldhu, Cornwall being picked up by Mr Marconi and his assistant Kemp in Newfoundland (the letter ‘S’ in Morse, via a kite antenna) – See the full story here: Reception of Transatlantic Radio Signals in 1901

On the afternoon of the 12 of December 2021 (exactly 120 years later!), Andrew M0ONH made his own transatlantic contact (with Barry N4WFU in North Carolina), from Galleywood (just over 2 miles away from the original Marconi factory in Hall Street).

Andrew M0ONH's transatlantic QSO
Andrew M0ONH’s transatlantic QSO

Not only that, but Andrew also worked GB2GM, the special callsign from Poldhu (linking Chelmsford and the site of the first transatlantic contact). Andrew also worked YT21YOTA, one of the stations encouraging the next generation of radio hams to get on the air. He also made contact with OH9SCL, a seasonal special event station in Lapland (Santa Claus Land).

On-site Training

During the day, we were visited by Marek, a student on our Foundation Online course, who travelled all the way from Cambridge to get his first taste of a field day. He was able to make a couple of contacts on the club callsign, under supervision, on HF and VHF – our thanks to John G8MNY, a trainer from the Bromley club, for helping out with the training QSO.

Thanks to everyone who popped along to say hello, or called in to work us on Essex Ham’s final field event of the year – exactly 120 years after that first historic dit-dit-dit crossed the Atlantic.

Essex Ham's VHF station at Galleywood Common 12 December 2021
Essex Ham’s VHF station at Galleywood Common 12 December 2021

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