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Swindon & Cricklade Railway from Blunsdon Station - Saturday 22nd  & Sunday 23rd September 2018

Another fantastic weekend spent at Blunsdon Station courtesy of the Swindon & Cricklade Railway and Railways-on-the-Air. The weather was kind to us as were the radio conditions. We were able to work many stations across the UK and near continent a number of which were other Railways-on-the-Air stations.

New Technology has arrived!

The usual problem we have at Blunsdon Station is that of getting the aerial across the lake. For 2018 new technology has arrived in the form of a DJI Mavic Pro drone. The drone was employed to carry a light line across the lake. Then a halyard was drawn across, taking the aerial. The whole process only took about 20 minutes!

This year, a marquee!

The Swindon Cricklade Railway group had held an event earlier in the year whereby they needed a marquee and this was still in place when we arrived for Railways-on-the-Air so e used it. The weather was showery (sometimes heavy showers) over the weekend and we were grateful! The ‘up’ side was that we were dry but the ‘down’ side was that we were not so easily visible to visitors. You win some, you lose some…

Technical details:

The transceiver used for the 80 & 40m SSB station is the trusty old Yaesu FT-840 with a Heil Headset and foot-pedal Tx switch. Aerial matching unit is the MFJ 948 and the antenna is a full-sized G5RV. The masts are RACAL 12m (40’) push-up masts and the lake was about 10 feet below us to the G5RV was about 50’ above the lake.

The 2m station uses the Yaesu FT-897 with the collinear at 40’ above the ground.

All logging was done on paper.

Weekend Summary:

We spoke over the radio to 23 other Railways-on-the-Air stations. We had 196 QSOs most of them being on 80 a few on 40m and 35 on 2m.

We were pleased at how well our signals were getting out and gratified by the signal reports about audio quality. We had many mini ‘pile-ups’ that kept us busy throughout the days.

We had a number of visitors both members of the public and licensed amateurs.

I am grateful for all of the assistance received throughout the weekend.

A few pictures below with thanks to Neil M6CUE: