Location

This years operation was based at Government House on Lundy Island. The following information will be of interest to Radio Hams:

  • Lat/Long: 51.165213°,-4.664307°
  • IARU IO71qd
  • IOTA EU-120 (English Coastal Islands)
  • WAB (Worked All Britain) SS14 England
    • North Light: NATS (Navigational Aid to Shipping)/ALLRN (Admiralty List of Lights Reference Number) A5616
    • Old Light: NATS (Navigational Aid to Shipping)/ALLRN (Admiralty List of Lights Reference Number) A5617 (Not Operational)
    • South Light: NATS (Navigational Aid to Shipping)/ALLRN (Admiralty List of Lights Reference Number) A5618
    • Jetty Head: NATS (Navigational Aid to Shipping)/ALLRN (Admiralty List of Lights Reference Number) A5619
  • WWFF (The World Wide Flora and Fauna Programme) GFF-103

Google Map of Lundy Island

Prologue

Well, here we are again, I could go on with this rather aged song but I feel it would be more polite to spare you further poorly remembered stanzas. It also means that I won't have to go and look up the words which means that I will spare myself the inner doubt that always occurs when you think you can remember something but find out that you have had it wrong all of these years. After all if you've had something as simple as song lyrics wrong for so long what other nonsense have you been spouting in the guise of wisdom?

Yes, my avid readers, yet another Lundy DXpedition extravaganza is upon us or to be more chronologically accurate, yet another Lundy DXpedition extravaganza has taken place and these are the redacted musings of your scribe after the event. In the thoughts and ramblings that follow the names of the people involved have been preserved to protect the innocent.

Saturday 14 September 2013

Picture the scene, it's the early hours of the morning in mid-September, the sun has yet to rise although the temperature is not unpleasantly low. In various dwellings around the Bristol area the DXpedition team are beginning to stir.

Easiest by far is Steve (G0UQT) and Kirsty (SWL) who are billeted at the point of departure in Failand. Peter (G0DRX) has a taxi arranged from the Whitchurch area of Bristol and is arriving at the point of departure at about 04:20. Andy (G7KNA) is walking cross country from his QTH in Nailsea trying to avoid the cattle in the dark.

In the middle of a field at about 04:20 Andys (G7KNA) 'phone goes off, unrecognised number but being conscientious despite the time and the location he answers. How weird is this stood in a field in the pitch black at 04:20 in the morning taking 'phone calls. Just as well he did, the call came in from Julja (SWL). She and Matt (G0ECM) have been let down by their taxi and have yet to leave their QTH in the Patchway area of Bristol.

This is not a massive problem, there is sufficient slack in the travel timetable for a delay to be accommodated without undue stress. More important is that Andy (G7KNA) now has to act as co-ordinator and get in touch with either Steve (G0UQT) or Peter (G0DRX) to let them know what is going on. Thanks to a comprehensive 'phone book Andy is able to put a call through to Steves (G0UQT) mobile, but the call goes unanswered. Fall back to plan B, send a text to Steve (G0UQT), Peter (G0DRX) and Julja (SWL) to let them know what is going on. Conscious that if Steve (G0UQT) isn't answering his 'phone it is possible that he will also miss the text then as a final check to ensure the message is passed a call is placed to Peters (G0DRX) mobile. This is answered, as Peter (G0DRX) is en-route and only 5 minutes or so from Steves (G0UQT) house, and the possibility of the minibus leaving without Matt (G0ECM) and Julja (SWL) is avoided. Phew! Disaster averted, and Andy (G7KNA) can resume his moonlight stroll to the agreed bus stop rendez-vous with a bit more time in hand.

A little belatedly, therefore, the minibus leaves Failand around 05:20, picks up Andy (G7KNA) about 10 minutes later and the odyssey begins. For most the odyssey actually begins by falling asleep such is the excitement and anticipation of todays activities.

We arrive in Ilfracombe before 08:00, having made good time despite the later than planned departure. Somebody has allowed a fun-fair to setup in the car park alongside the jetty, rendering all available parking spaces inoperative. Good planning that is. Despite the restrictions we pull up and unload our equipment. It looks as though we are the first to arrive and in fact as the morning drifts on we begin to think that we may be the only party to be going across that day.

This was not the case, others began arriving nearer to the 09:00 boarding time. In fact over 100 people finally embarked on the MS Oldenburg including 61 island stayers like us.

There's a new statue on the harbourside in Ilfracombe. It is something of a talking point being a very large and typically unusual creation by Damien Hurst. Some information about it can be found here. We had very mixed views over it!

We arrive on Lundy just before 12:00 and our party splits up. Peter (G0DRX) and Matt (G0ECM) head off as the advance party followed by Andy (G7KNA). Steve (G0UQT), Kirsty (SWL) and Julja (SWL) wait for the island Land Rover. We all meet up at the top of the hill outside the Marisco Tavern and as Government House isn't yet available we decide to have lunch and a pint at the Marisco.

The afternoon is spent setting up the main HF station and the data station indoors and then deciding what antennas to run with what station. Antennas have been something of an experiment on Lundy over the last couple of years and we had already decided that this year was to follow on in that vein.

Delta Loop AntennaDelta Loop AntennaDelta Loop Antenna

The main HF station comprises:

  • Yaesu FT 950 Transceiver (G0ECM)
  • Yaesu Desk Mic (G0UQT)
  • Watson Power Max 25 Switch Mode Power Supply (G0ECM)
  • MFJ Versa Tuner (G0DRX)
  • SDG Auto Tuner (G0DRX)

The data station comprises:

  • Yaesu FT857 Transceiver (G7KNA)
  • Watson Power Mite NF22 Switch Mode Power Supply (G7KNA)
  • Signalink USB data interface (G0ECM)
  • LDG Z11 Pro Mk 1 Auto Tuner (G7KNA)
  • Diamond SX600 SWR/Power Meter (G7KNA)
  • Apple MacBook Pro 15" running FLDigi under OS X Mountain Lion (G0UQT)

The main HF station is equipped with the Delta Loop multiband antenna (40m/30m/20m/15m), that was built on the island last year. This is set up with a single 9m telescopic pole erected to 8m dropped over a ground spike and guyed.

Discussions on what antenna to use with the data station prevail long into the night with consideration of a half size G5RV set up as an inverted V using a 7m telescopic "roach" pole as the centre support and tying the ends to the gutters, a Buddipole set up as a dipole, a homemade vertical using a 7m telescopic "roach" pole and a 9:1 un-un, or a Q-Tec Penetrator. The latter suggestion was thrown in as something of a joke based on the past performance of this antenna on Lundy. Decisions were left to the following day with the promise of a number of experiments.

Sunday 15 September 2013

Buddipole at Government HouseQ-Tek PenetratorResident Shrew

A fairly slow start to the day, as is usual following the rigours of our travel, never the less antenna construction continues for the data station with a number of experiments being conducted. We begin by playing with the Buddipole.

In fairness to the Buddipole brand it should be stressed at this point that the piece of kit that we refer to is a bit of a hybrid. It certainly contains the traditional Buddipole loading coils and centre piece but the limbs and the support tripod are locally sourced and adapted.

That said we were less than impressed with the performance of the system, being unable to get a satisfactory SWR on 20m or 40m. Some reading of the manual indicates that the system requires a balun to assist which the owner had overlooked and with nothing else that could be pressed into service we had to admit defeat with that particular antenna design.

This left us with something of a problem, namely what to use as a antenna with the data station. Reluctantly we were pushed into using the Q-Tek Penetrator. For those unfamiliar with this particular piece of kit it is a vertical antenna that claims to be capable of operating from 1.6MHz – 30MHz without the need for an ATU thanks to the matching unit at the base of the antenna. It also doesn't require radials only a decent earth spike. Some further information is available from Haydon Communications and EHam

We have taken this antenna to Lundy on several occasions and even managed to put it up on a couple of visits, without it should be stressed much in the way of results. Consequently it was with some reluctance that we went to this antenna.

The Penetrator was assembled, two helically wound plastic covered aluminium sections plus a top whip and attached to the Buddipole mast (without the Buddipole being present of course). An earth spike was hammered into the ground at the base of the tripod and the feeder connected directly to the FT857, bypassing the LDG auto ATU.

Not to put too fine a point on it we were surprised with the performance that got. This antenna was never going to be earth shattering but after the disappointment of the Buddipole actually getting something to work more or less as it was expected to was something of a relief. We only logged a single contact for the data station today, that with CT2HFZ, but it at least meant that we were up and running.

In other news, Julja was upset to read in the house log that the local shrew had bitten the dust, or more accurately had bitten the underside of some oafs footware, and was no more. This was proven to be a falsehood, or quite possibly another shrew had moved in to the recently vacated place in the foodchain, as we definitely saw, on more than one occasion, a resident shrew.

Monday 16 September 2013

Rocket Pole PondRocket Pole PondRocket Pole Pond

The weather is very changeable this year, and we are plagued with high winds, never the less there are still opportunities to get out and about on the island. The high winds do have a tendency to limit our operations as we are periodically having to take down the Delta Loop to protect it from the wind. We have found that it still offers a pretty good SWR even when lying flat on the ground which is something of a surprise!

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Steve G0UQT Operating PSK31Steve G0UQT Operating PSK31Peter G0DRX Operating SSB

Peter G0DRX Operating SSBPeter G0DRX Operating SSBPeter G0DRX Operating SSB

Despite the inauspicious weather and what was expected to be a poor antenna in the form of the Q-TEK Penetrator by the end of the day we have made a total of 52 data contacts, mainly using PSK31 but with a few on PSK63, which is fast enough to give Steve a few problems if the QSO goes off script and he is forced to type directly rather than rely on the increasingly carefully scripted macros which we have been fine tuning over the week so far.

Our SSB log is a paper affair and therefore it is not as simple to determine the numbers or indeed the disposition of the contacts although our friend from last year, VK7AC, was spotted on the bands again this year. Sadly, unlike last year we were unable to complete a QSO with him this time.

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Ducks at Rocket Pole PondDucks at Rocket Pole PondHorses

HorsesSeals at Brazen WardSeals at Brazen Ward

Today's weather is a great improvement on the preceding days and a walk around the island to see a bit of the native wildlife is the order of the day. It was hoped to get close to some seals up at North End as had proved to be quite successful in 2011, however this year there do not appear to be any seals in that area. Fortunately walking back showed there to be one or two swimming around at Brazen Point so a scramble down to the shore in that area allowed a few pictures to be taken.

The walk also allowed a series of scans for open Wi-Fi networks to be made, of which more tomorrow.

Thursday 19 September 2013

Lundy Castle from South LightSouth Light HelipadSouth Light

The lack of a decent internet connection on Lundy Island has in recent years proved itself to be something of a two edged sword, especially when coupled with the almost complete absence of any form of 3G mobile coverage.

On the one hand it creates an environment of tranquillity and peace that allows you to disconnect from the rat race as even those with mobile e-mail find themselves out of reach.

However, increasingly we are moving towards 'Cloud Computing' with information stored on-line rather than on the machines we bring with us. Furthermore the Internet is a valuable resource once you can weed out the dross, the inaccurate and the downright misinformed that we now expect to be able to turn to get answers to our questions or possible solutions to problems we might encounter.

Finally, even the club now makes limited use of Social Media and the lack of any form of reliable connection to services such as TWITTER, where we can be found as individuals, the club (@G4WAW) and the DXpedition team (@GB2BLE) limits our ability to give regular updates on things as they happen.

For these reasons, we have begun to lament the lack of a reliable internet connection in recent years and decided that this year we would try to do something about it.

The plans began to develop following last years visit. The 2012 trip occurred in June and the most surprising thing had been the number of mainland open Wi-Fi hotspots that had been detectable from the mainland. These open public hotspots were setup in Woolacombe. Despite their presence the signal levels were too low for normal 'phone, tablet or PCs to reliably connect to these systems.

However, it is perhaps not surprising that we felt that with a suitably high gain antenna setup in Government House we would be able to setup a bridging access point to give us a local area wireless network bridged onto the internet via one or more of the public hotspots in Woolacombe.

The plan was solid, we came equipped this year with the necessary Wi-Fi hardware and a couple of high gain Wi-Fi Yagis. The manufacturers claims for these cheap antennas are quite astounding, gains of 25dBi were being quoted for a 16 element yagi with costs under £10.00 at the time. Even if only half this gain was achievable it should be more than capable of lifting the signal strength to the point where a reliable connection could be maintained.

Sadly the early experiments were less than encouraging. In the first place the number of visible hotspots was a lot less than had been detected in 2012, with nothing being reliably visible from Government House itself. We put the absence of hot spots down to the seasonality. It is possible, although not confirmed at this time, that the public hot spots are setup during the peak tourist season and closed down or have their numbers drastically reduced in the off season. This would certainly support the presence of these hotspots in June 2012 but their absence in September 2013. It is of course always possible that the hotspots detected in 2012 were merely a trial or experiment and that they weren't carried over into 2013, although this is perhaps less likely as in our surveys around the island at least one of the old hotspots from 2012 was detected.

The table below gives the findings, although some of the information has deliberately been withheld.

Identified Wi-Fi Networks
Date Time SSID MAC Address Security Freq (Mhz) Chan Sig Stren (dBm) Scan Location
18/09/13 10:54 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -91 Between Castle and Rocket Pole Pond
18/09/13 11:03 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -92 Near Rocket Pole Pond
18/09/13 11:04 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -92 Near Rocket Pole Pond
18/09/13 11:04 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -92 South West Corner of Island
18/09/13 11:04 Woolacombe Sands HotSpot 4 00:02:6f:7b:0f:2b   2412 1 -93 South West Corner of Island
18/09/13 11:19 Old Light West 60:33:4b:e2:bb:55 WPA2-PSK-CCMP 2412 1 -84 Grounds of Old Light
18/09/13 11:25 Old Light West 60:33:4b:e2:bb:55 WPA2-PSK-CCMP 2412 1 -94 Top of Old Light
18/09/13 11:25 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -89 Top of Old Light
18/09/13 11:25 Old Light West 60:33:4b:e2:bb:55 WPA2-PSK-CCMP 2412 1 -94 Top of Old Light
18/09/13 11:25 DLINK_WIRELESS 00:17:9a:d5:a5:f0   2437 6 -89 Top of Old Light
18/09/13 11:28 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -85 Top of Old Light
18/09/13 11:28 DLINK_WIRELESS 00:17:9a:d5:a5:f0   2437 6 -93 Top of Old Light
18/09/13 15:00 Woolacombe Sands HotSpot 4 00:02:6f:7b:0f:2b   2412 1 -95 East Coast of Island
18/09/13 15:00 Woolacombe Sands HotSpot 4 00:02:6f:7b:0f:2b   2412 1 -94 East Coast of Island
18/09/13 15:01 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -95 Near Hospital
19/09/13 15:00 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -92 Church side of wall bounding Government House
19/09/13 15:19 Woolacombe Sands HotSpot 4 00:02:6f:7b:0f:2b   2412 1 -96 Outside Church
19/09/13 15:19 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:64:61:5c   2412 1 -96 Outside Church
19/09/13 15:21 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -94 Outside Church
19/09/13 15:21 Woolacombe Sands HotSpot 4 00:02:6f:7b:0f:2b   2412 1 -94 Outside Church
19/09/13 15:21 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:64:61:5c   2412 1 -93 Outside Church
19/09/13 15:22 Woolacombe Sands HotSpot 4 00:02:6f:7b:0f:2b   2412 1 -94 Outside Church
19/09/13 15:28 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -93 On mound adjacent to Castle
19/09/13 15:30 Lundy 00:14:6c:38:d3:6b WPA-PSK-TKIP+CCMP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP+CCMP 2412 1 -91 On mound adjacent to Castle
19/09/13 15:31 Lundy 00:14:6c:38:d3:6b WPA-PSK-TKIP+CCMP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP+CCMP 2412 1 -91 On mound adjacent to Castle
19/09/13 15:31 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -92 On mound adjacent to Castle
19/09/13 15:41 WITHHELD 40:cb:a8:a9:6b:b3 WPA-PSK-TKIP+CCMP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP+CCMP 2437 6 -95 Top hairpin bend on Jetty Road overlooking bay
19/09/13 16:00 WITHHELD 40:cb:a8:a9:6b:b3 WPA-PSK-TKIP+CCMP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP+CCMP 2437 6 -95 Ugly
19/09/13 16:01 Woolacombe Sands HotSpot 4 00:02:6f:7b:0f:2b   2412 1 -94 Ugly
19/09/13 16:02 Woolacombe Sands HotSpot 4 00:02:6f:7b:0f:2b   2412 1 -93 Ugly
19/09/13 16:02 WITHHELD 40:cb:a8:a9:6b:b3 WPA-PSK-TKIP+CCMP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP+CCMP 2437 6 -95 Ugly
19/09/13 16:02 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -96 Ugly
19/09/13 16:02 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:64:61:5c   2412 1 -95 Ugly
19/09/13 16:05 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -94 Ugly
19/09/13 16:06 WITHHELD 40:cb:a8:a9:6b:b3 WPA-PSK-TKIP+CCMP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP+CCMP 2437 6 -96 Ugly
19/09/13 16:07 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -94 Ugly
19/09/13 16:12 WITHHELD 40:cb:a8:a9:6b:b3 WPA-PSK-TKIP+CCMP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP+CCMP 2437 6 -92 Site of Flagpole
19/09/13 16:13 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -94 Site of Flagpole
19/09/13 16:14 WITHHELD 40:cb:a8:a9:6b:b3 WPA-PSK-TKIP+CCMP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP+CCMP 2437 6 -96 Site of Flagpole
19/09/13 16:14 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -93 Site of Flagpole
19/09/13 16:24 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -95 In field above Government House
19/09/13 16:26 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -92 In field above Government House
19/09/13 16:27 WITHHELD 40:cb:a8:a9:6b:b3 WPA-PSK-TKIP+CCMP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP+CCMP 2437 6 -95 In field above Government House
19/09/13 16:32 Lundy 00:14:6c:38:d3:6b WPA-PSK-TKIP+CCMP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP+CCMP 2412 1 -66 Picnic Garden
19/09/13 16:32 dlink 00:1c:f0:67:b2:45 WPA-PSK-TKIP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP-preauth 2472 13 -94 Picnic Garden
19/09/13 16:32 Lundy 00:14:6c:38:d3:6b WPA-PSK-TKIP+CCMP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP+CCMP 2412 1 -68 Picnic Garden
19/09/13 16:33 Lundy 00:14:6c:38:d3:6b WPA-PSK-TKIP+CCMP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP+CCMP 2412 1 -68 Picnic Garden
19/09/13 16:33 dlink 00:1c:f0:67:b2:45 WPA-PSK-TKIP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP-preauth 2472 13 -92 Picnic Garden
19/09/13 16:33 Lundy 00:14:6c:38:d3:6b WPA-PSK-TKIP+CCMP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP+CCMP 2412 1 -72 Picnic Garden
19/09/13 16:33 dlink 00:1c:f0:67:b2:45 WPA-PSK-TKIP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP-preauth 2472 13 -88 Picnic Garden
19/09/13 16:42 DLINK_WIRELESS 00:17:9a:d5:a5:f0   2437 6 -94 Outside Shop
19/09/13 16:44 Lundy 00:14:6c:38:d3:6b WPA-PSK-TKIP+CCMP, WPA2-PSK-TKIP+CCMP 2412 1 -94 Outside Shop
19/09/13 16:55 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -55 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 16:55 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -95 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 16:55 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -52 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 16:57 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -55 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 16:57 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -93 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 16:57 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -50 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 16:58 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -49 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 16:58 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -97 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 16:59 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -47 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 16:59 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:64:61:5c   2412 1 -96 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 16:59 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -47 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:00 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -46 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:00 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:64:61:5c   2412 1 -94 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:00 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -46 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:00 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -95 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:00 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -48 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:00 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:64:61:5c   2412 1 -94 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:00 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -48 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:00 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:64:61:5c   2412 1 -92 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:01 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -47 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:01 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -93 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:01 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:64:61:5c   2412 1 -95 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:01 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -51 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:01 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:64:61:5c   2412 1 -95 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:02 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -51 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:02 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -96 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:04 ZP300_UNIT309 02:13:e8:00:00:6c WEP, IBSS 2462 11 -68 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens
19/09/13 17:04 WITHHELD dc:9f:db:0e:b6:8a   2462 11 -95 Telemetry Field near Sheep Pens

A couple of conclusions spring to mind from this data. Firstly Woolacombe Hotspot 4, which was spotted in 2012, is visible again indicating that the public hotspots are still available although they have been cut back either because there were found to be more than was necessary in 2012 or because the additional hotspots are not required in the off peak season. Secondly the unit using the SSID 'ZP300_UNIT309' was originally thought to be a private Wi-Fi network on the mainland possibly situated on some industrial estate. However the increase in signal strength in the middle of the island does not support this. Coupled with the presence of some form of weather monitoring equipment in the field it is now suspected that this device is part of the data gathering exercise being undertaken by whomever with Wi-Fi being used to relay data and provide remote access to the equipment. This gives us hope that we will be able to do the same in years to come.

Mysterious TelemetryMysterious TelemetryMysterious Telemetry

Mysterious TelemetryMysterious TelemetryMysterious Telemetry

Our conclusion is that the jury is out on this particular scheme at the moment. There is no logical reason why it shouldn't work, but clearly it didn't on this occasion. The limited number of open networks reduced our options more than was expected plus we had insufficient feeder or the correct SMA connectors to patch the feeder to get the Wi-Fi Yagis outside and up high which would also have proven beneficial. Something to be resolved next year now that we know what to expect, although in 2014 it's back to a June trip so there may be more targets available to us.

This evening we made our usual attempt to contact the South Bristol ARC with our usual level of success, which is to say we were unsuccessful although both sides occasionally heard each other there wasn't a complete QSO despite the club members mounting up and going HF mobile on Dundry. If we can get the 2m Yagi sorted at the club and bring some sort of 2m beam to the island in 2014 that might be one possible solution. We think the skip distance is just wrong for any form of reliable HF contact especially given the amount of local QRM around the clubhouse.

Friday 20 September 2013

Local FloraJetty BeachRock Pool

PatriciaPatricia Receiving Life BoatPatricia Leaving Lundy

Traditionally, Friday is the day we have to dismantle our operations. This is because even when there is a late departure on the following Saturday we have to vacate the house early enough to allow the cleaning crew to do their jobs before the new occupiers can take over the house.

This doesn’t stop us playing radio up to about lunchtime or just after mind you and usually we find the Friday stint to be the most interesting, historically we have had massive band openings and pile-ups to deal with just when we want to be packing up. This year the Friday was fairly peaceful.

The island was visited today by the ‘Patricia’, a Trinity House Maintenance Vessel. The ship pulled into the Landing Bay and anchored. Members of the ships crew came ashore in a small launch, presumably to check on the South Light, although some of those in the party didn’t look to be regular mariners so possibly this was some internal trip operated by Trinity House for supporters, trustees or members.

Saturday 21 September 2013

Landing BayLundy CoastlineRat Island

CavesNorth LightNorth End

Seal ColonySeal ColonyLundy Coastline

So, packed up with our luggage ready for collection at the appointed 09:30 we sat around in Government House until we had to vacate for the cleaning crew. We adjourned to the Marisco Tavern to kill some time before heading down to the jetty.

The Oldenburg was on an early run today, with visitors and stayers already disembarked onto the island at 10:00 but not due to depart for Bideford until around 16:00. A scenic trip around the island was part of the itinerary and so about an hour before departure time some of those newly arrived and some of those departing assembled on the Jetty for a sail around the island.

There have been previous occasions (one at least) when these ad-hoc cruises have been undertaken, however this year the weather wasn’t ideal for the kind of scenic photography we can usually expect when able to view the island from this unusual angle.

After the cruise, all that remained was to stay on the Oldenburg for the crossing back to Bideford and onward road trip home.