Galleywood Field Event May 2017

Sunday 28th of May 2017 was not only one of the most short-notice field events we’ve held, but one of the shortest.

With a three-day weekend on the horizon, getting out to do some radio was high on the list of priorities, but as the weekend approached, so did the threat of bad weather. The Met Office had a yellow alert for rain on the proposed day, Sunday, but on late Sunday morning, most (but not all) weather services were predicting a dry afternoon… so we pushed out a Tweet, Facebook and Email alert that we’d be gathering in Galleywood Common for some radio fun.

We started setting up two stations at 3pm, with Pete M0PSX operating a 2m station from a home-made slim jim atop a 7m fishing pole. Charlie opted for an inverted V for 40m and then 20m CW, getting a few contacts in the log on the CW contest that was keeping that Morse parts of the band busy. 

It seemed that we’d thwarted the weather, but had a trusty Acurite lightning detector on standby, but in case… 

2m station on-air, and tracking the lightning
2m station on-air, and tracking the lightning

After a couple of hours, Pete’s watch alarm (using the DarkSky weather app) warning of a heavy downpour in 9 minutes. Just enough time to start packing up (and for Peter G0DZB to start the bike journey back to Colchester) before the heavy stuff started to fall.

Pete, Colin, Peter and Charlie, before the heavens opened (May 2017)
Pete, Colin, Peter and Charlie, before the heavens opened (May 2017)

Fortunately, the location chosen for the afternoon’s activities was right outside the Horse & Groom pub, so we bravely retreated to the comfort of the pub to enjoy a few (soft) drinks, some good conversation and some beef and mustard crisps, whilst watching the storm unfold on a radar map.

Weather Radar, 6pm Monday 28th May 2017
Weather Radar, 6pm Monday 28th May 2017

All in all, not the most successful field event we’ve done in terms of RF and contacts, but good practice for the summer season, and we’ve discovered a new flavour of crisp!

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