GB1JSS Summer Solstice Report

Sunday the 21st of June – the longest day of the year, also known as the Summer Solstice. The perfect excuse to get out of the shack, into the fresh air, and play radio, and that’s just what members of CARS and other local clubs did at Galleywood Common, near Chelmsford.

The event was organised by Charlie M0PZT on behalf of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society, and due to the length of available daylight, it was a 15 hour event attended by an impressive number of amateurs keen to get out, play radio, and chat.

Some of the attendees at GB1JSS 2015
Some of the attendees at GB1JSS 2015

The day started down at Galleywood Common from just after 6am with Charlie’s arrival, followed by Peter G0DZB, Paul G4IJE and Pete M0PSX, who got stations up-and-running on HF, 2m and 4m.

We knew the day was off to a great start when we tuned into the RSGB’s GB2RS news service at 9:30am read by Selim M0XTA on 4m and heard a mention of the day’s operation at Galleywood Common (cue the big cheers)

A total of 5 stations were in operation, with a mix of operating modes, using the callsign GB1JSS. Most of the stations were running voice on multiple bands (SSB and FM), Peter G0DZB was mostly (but not exclusively) on CW, Charlie ran some 40m PSK31 whilst the bands were waking up, and Pete M0PSX send and received some FM SSTV (thanks to Neil G0RNU for the QSO)

As well as many locals, the event was also visited by some amateurs from outside Essex, including Steve M1ACB (the RSGB Region 12 Manager) who travelled down from Suffolk to join us for the day, and Ben M0GKY from Nuneaton – both of whom were very active on HF throughout the day.

Steve M1ACB and Dorothy 2E0NCE at Galleywood Common
Steve M1ACB and Dorothy 2E0NCE at Galleywood Common

For some technical detail about the event and the antennas in use, take a look at the CARS GB1JSS write-up over on the CARS website, which reports just under 300 contacts logged across 7 bands and 4 modes

We made contact with two other clubs in the area who were operating special event stations:

  • GB2BM – The South Essex ARS were working from the Bay Museum for Museums On The Air
  • GB2PHC – Thurrock Acorns were operating from the Purfleet Heritage Centre

Other highlights of the day included superb (and expected) hotdogs to round off the day, which much thanks to Peter G0DZB, plus Peter’s novel use of an electric screwdriver to wind up guy ropes.

Hot dogs, brought to you in association with Peter G0DZB
Hot dogs (no onion), brought to you in association with Peter G0DZB

2E0DVX’s impressive Parrot drone was up in the air, and taking some impressive aerial shots of the set-up. Picture quality and video stability is a lot better than Pete M0PSX’s £40 cheapy. Both were in the air duelling at one point… video to follow.

Shot of GB1JSS from the drone of Nick 2E0DVX
Shot of GB1JSS from the drone of Nick 2E0DVX

Summary

A great day playing radio in the sun. Well done to Charlie M0PZT for organising the event, and great to see so many people in attendance.

GB1JSS organiser Charlie M0PZT
GB1JSS organiser Charlie M0PZT

Also great that so many of the antennas in use were basic fishing-pole variants, homebrew slim jims, or budget beams. It’s amazing what can be done with basic low-priced antennas that are accessible to all amateurs, proving that everyone can achieve great results with low-priced kit, without the need to set up lattice towers and expensive commercial antennas.

GB1JSS 2015 at Galleywood Common
GB1JSS 2015 at Galleywood Common

If you missed out, the next event set for Galleywood Common is Skills In The Field, organised by Charlie M0PZT and set for Sunday the 5th of July.

Settling QRM differences at Galleywood Common
Settling QRM differences at Galleywood Common

Thanks to David M1DCJ and Nick 2E0DVX for providing some of the photos, which you’ll find in our gallery below:

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One Comment

  1. Avatar georgelee. G2ARY 27 June 2015 Reply

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