Location

The Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust are based at the former Midsomer Norton South Railway Station. The postal address is Midsomer Norton Station, Silver Street, Midsomer Norton, BA3 2EY. However, there are some specific details that will be of interest to radio hams:

  • Lat/Long: 51.281077°,-2.482759°
  • IARU: IO81sg
  • IOTA: EU005 (UK Mainland)
  • WAB: ST65 – England

Google Map of Midsomer Norton Railway Station

Introduction

Station AdvertisementThis year the Railways on the Air commemorative weekend took place over the 21st and 22nd of September. As in previous years South Bristol Amateur Radio Club was invited to operate from the Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust at the Midsomer Norton South Station.

The Trust open the Midsomer Norton South Station every Sunday providing a station shop, 2 museums, buffet coach meals and conducted tours; so if you haven't already paid them a visit or haven't been for a while please consider spending some time in their company.

Station Setup

This is out third year of continuous operation from the Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust and we have learnt something each year. The big thing we realised from last year was something we were all subliminally aware of which is that in the event of poor weather the platform operation wasn't ideal. In our first year of operation both days had been really nice despite the late September date. Last year although Saturday was good, Sunday was wet and cold.

On the Sunday last year we had looked longingly at the rolling stock that wasn't part of the train rides and concluded that access to a brake van would give us a much better operating location. This offered a number of advantages: there was an open sided area where we could operate or talk to interested people in good weather, there was the covered guards area where we could set up if the weather became unpleasant, and finally the guards van had a stove that could potentially be lit for added warmth (assuming it was still operational).

We asked the Trust if this was a possibility this year. They, however, went one better and located us in the railway carriage next door to the buffet car which forms the café. This was a really good location. Not only did it offer warmth and shelter but it had comfortable seats and tables to form the operating position. It was also one of the areas of the site to receive the heaviest footfall as people visited the café giving us the opportunity to showcase Amateur Radio

We are indebted to the Trust for allowing us to operate from this location. The carriage itself is scheduled for full refurbishment to provide additional facilities for the Trust and staff including a staff rest room and a meeting room. We wish the Trust well with this operation and look forward to operating from the refurbished carriage next year.

This years station comprised:

  • Manson EP-925 25A Linear Power Supply
  • Yeasu FT-840 HF 100W HF Transceiver
  • MFJ-934 Manual ATU
  • Vertical Antenna
  • Half Size G5RV Antenna
  • Dell Laptop running HRD (only used for logging)

Saturday 21 September 2013

Julian M6JCE erecting roach polesColin (G4PYN) offers suitable encouragementAntenna Arrangements

The change of location, from the platform to the carriage, caused some consternation with Saturdays team. They had come prepared for operation from the platform, and despite being trained communicators Andy G7KNA had failed to adequately explain the change to Dave G7BYN. As a result hasty changes of plan replaced the expected horizontal dipole, doublet or long wire antenna planned to be attached to the platform fence to a vertical antenna.

This antenna was not, however, a particularly good choice. Possibly as a result of the angel of radiation or perhaps because it wasn't well grounded the initial performance was not what we expected to see.

During the Saturday, therefore, the antenna went through a bit of a rethink, resulting in a half size G5RV being erected from a couple of roach poles tied to either end of our railway carriage. In this case the roach poles were actually BT measuring poles but they served their modified purpose well and Julian M6JCE is commended for having the foresight to bring these with him and loan them for the operation.

As a result of the antenna issues, Saturday got off to a slow start with only 14 stations in the log, although 7 of these (50%) were Special Event stations associated with Railways on the Air and a further 3 were club stations.

Members of the club came and went throughout the day, in fact some went more than others. In lieu of the usual train rides the Trust were organising escorted walks of the track. Most of our operators decided to take one of these walks on the Saturday afternoon, leaving Henryk M0HTB at the operating post for a couple of hours without any relief as the walk seemed to extend itself into ever more interesting areas. Perhaps this goes some way to accounting for the limited number of contacts on the Saturday in addition to the antenna woes.

We did work our friends and neighbours the North Bristol Radio Club who had set up at the Bitton Steam Railway, and the newly reformed Mid-Somerset ARC who were operating from the East Somerset Railway.

Dave G7BYN Operating with Julaun M6JCE LoggingDave G7BYN Operating with Julaun M6JCE LoggingDave G7BYN Operating with Julaun M6JCE Logging

Sunday 22 September 2013

Andy G7KNA Operating

The Lundy DXpedition team had returned to the mainland yesterday so there were additional operators available for the Sunday shift.

This, combined with the now resolved antenna choices and the fact that everyone had been on the escorted walks, meant that we were fully geared up for our normal operation. Starting about 10:00 we began searching for other RotA operations.

This tactic was successful, netting us Didcot Railway Centre, East Kent Railway and Hollycombe Steam Collection in the first 45 minutes of operation followed by Bluebell Railway, Marconi Centre, Nene Valley Railway, Royal Gunpowder Mills and Roundhouse Railway Museum.

Nene Valley was quite important to us as it is now supported by David M0DFW who remains a life member of the Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust and was the person responsible for our introduction to the Trust. He now lives in Cambridgeshire and is active with the Nene Valley Railway. We worked David direct towards the end of the day.

After spending the morning hunting and pouncing up and down the 40m band we selected a clear spot towards the top of the band around 14:00 and started calling CQ, allowing those individuals looking for RotA operations to find and work us.

This part of our operation was also a success and typically we were flat out towards the end of the day with mini pile-ups occurring at various times in the afternoon.

Overall we managed to work a total of 94 radio stations, although there were a small number of duplicates in this list. There were 18 confirmed RotA operations and several other Special Event and Club Callsigns bagged.

GB0SDR Log

Date Time (UTC) Station Worked Band or Freq'cy Mode RST Name QTH Notes
Sent Rec'd
21/09/13 11:34 GB2LHR 40m LSB 59 59 Rob Lake Windermere Lakeside & Hatherthwaite Railway – Furness Amateur Radio Society
21/09/13 11:40 GB0GWR 40m LSB 59 59 Barry Cheltenham Cheltenham Race Course – Cheltenham Amateur Radio Asociation
21/09/13 11:52 G0BRC 40m LSB 59 54 Robin Sittingbourne Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway – Bredhurst Receiving and Transmitting Society
21/09/13 12:11 GB2NHR 40m LSB 59 59 Paul   Normanby Hall Model Engineer Society – Brigg & District A.R.C.
21/09/13 12:23 GB5RSR 40m LSB 59 59 Robin Preston Lancashire Ribble Steam Railway – Central Lancs Amateur Radio Club
21/09/13 13:28 M0XLT 40m LSB 57 59 Kevin Skipton  
21/09/13 13:41 MX0XLT 40m LSB 59 59 Kevin Yorkshire Dales near Skipton NVIS
21/09/13 13:44 MX0TSR 40m LSB 57 59 Daniel Tamworth Tamworth Scouts – QSO with Rebecca
21/09/13 13:47 G8YPL 40m LSB 57 59 Pete Liverpool  
21/09/13 13:48 M0ZVR 40m LSB 57 59 Barry Pershore  
21/09/13 13:50 MX0NBC 40m LSB 57 57 North Bristol Club Bitton Bitton Station Avon Valley Railway – North Bristol Amateur Radio Club
21/09/13 13:52 GW4GNY 40m LSB 57 59 Martin Welshpool  
21/09/13 14:16 GB2CAV 40m LSB 59 59 Dave Chattam Dockyard HMS Cavalier 1944-1972 Sea Class Destroyer D73
21/09/13 15:01 GB0ESR 40m LSB 59 59 Shaun Cranmore East Somerset Railway – Mid Somerset Amateur Radio Club
22/09/13 10:16 GB0DRC 40m LSB 59 59 Dave Didcot Didcot Railway Centre – David Aram
22/09/13 10:26 GB2KCL 40m LSB 59 59 Brian Dover The East Kent Railway – Dover Amateur Radio Club
22/09/13 10:57 GB2HSC 40m LSB 59 58 David   Hollycombe Steam Collection – D.Lawrence – Tooth Radio Group
22/09/13 11:06 GB0BR 40m LSB 59 59+20 Kevin Horstead Coynes Station Bluebell Railway – Gavin Keegan & The Downland Radio Group
22/09/13 11:33 GB2DMR 40m LSB 59 59 Bill Bangor Northern Ireland Drumawhey Miniature Railway – Bangor & District Amateur Radio Society
22/09/13 11:42 GB0HBL 40m LSB 59 59 Cliff   The Helston Railway – Poldhu ARC
22/09/13 12:00 GB0NVR 40m LSB 59+20   Paul Peterborough Nene Valley Railway – Huntingdonshire Amateur Radio Society
22/09/13 12:12 GB2RGM 40m LSB 59 59 John Waltham Abbey Royal Gunpowder Mills – LEFARS
22/09/13 12:33 G100RSGB 40m LSB 59 59 David Chesterfield Barrow Hill Roundhouse near Chesterfield – John Rogers M0JAV
22/09/13 12:54 M0RGI 40m LSB 59 59 Ian Hazelmere  
22/09/13 12:59 GB2CPM 40m LSB 59 59 Peter Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre Amberley Narrow Gauge & Industrial Railway Collection – Amberley Museum Amateur Radio Group
22/09/13 13:04 M0HTB 40m LSB     Henryk Dundry  
22/09/13 13:09 M6EUS 40m LSB 57 59+20 Sue Pullborough West Sussex WAB Required
22/09/13 13:11 M0VFG 40m LSB 59 59 Patrick Dartmoor  
22/09/13 13:13 M6FOR 40m LSB 59 59+20 Ian Derby  
22/09/13 13:17 G4GMA 40m LSB 57 59 John Kidderminster Flex 1500
22/09/13 13:31 M0HTB 40m LSB 59 59+20 Henryk Dundry 7m inverted dipole ends a few feet off the ground – SOTA linked dipole
22/09/13 13:38 2E0LKC 40m LSB 57 59 Peter 1mile from Manchester Airport  
22/09/13 13:40 G8CBU 40m LSB 59 59 Ray Luton Bedfordshire WAB: TL02 (WAB Square required)
22/09/13 13:44 M0PHI 40m LSB 59 59 Philip Bradford on Avon  
22/09/13 13:47 MM3PDM/P 40m LSB 53 59 Peter Peterhead  
22/09/13 13:49 M0ZAE 40m LSB 59 59 Henry   WAB: TL05
22/09/13 13:51 G0FZI 40m LSB 59 59 Brian Wells Somerset  
22/09/13 13:52 MW0HJM/P 40m LSB 59+10 59 Richard Welshpool Club Callsign Air Cadets
22/09/13 13:55 GW3LNR 40m LSB 59 59 Aurthur Merthyr Tydfill South Wales  
22/09/13 14:20 MW0GUK 40m LSB 59 59 George Abergaveny  
22/09/13 14:22 ON2OPA 40m LSB 59+10 59 Andre    
22/09/13 14:22 M3VCP 40m LSB 57 59 Simon    
22/09/13 14:23 G4KLE 40m LSB 59 58 Merv NW Cambridge  
22/09/13 14:24 G8GRS 40m LSB 59 59 Richard    
22/09/13 14:25 G8ISI 40m LSB 59+10 57 Frank    
22/09/13 14:26 G1WAP 40m LSB 59+20   Brian    
22/09/13 14:27 GM4MTI 40m LSB 58 57     QRM
22/09/13 14:27 M6CQJ 40m LSB 59 58 Eddie    
22/09/13 14:28 M0DFW 40m LSB 59 59 Dave Cambridgeshire  
22/09/13 14:29 M0DFW 40m LSB 59 59 Dave Cambridgeshire  
22/09/13 14:34 GB0AVR 40m LSB 59 59 Gareth   Amman Valley Railway – St Tybie Amateur Radio Society
22/09/13 14:40 OZ3FS 40m LSB 59 59 Frank    
22/09/13 14:41 M0NWW 40m LSB 59+10 59 Nigel Harwich  
22/09/13 14:43 G0WKN 40m LSB 59 59+10 Ken Lutton South Lincolnshire  
22/09/13 14:46 EI2KD 40m LSB 59+10 59 Rodny    
22/09/13 14:48 GB75NG 40m LSB 59+ 59+10 Tim Walcott Station  
22/09/13 14:49 G0GNI 40m LSB     Mike Isle of White  
22/09/13 14:50 G8XXJ 40m LSB 59 59 Geoff Brighton  
22/09/13 14:51 M0KLK 40m LSB 59 59 Bill Shephay  
22/09/13 14:54 G4RAC 40m LSB 59+20 59 John Burton On Trent  
22/09/13 14:57 G7BGA 40m LSB 59 59 Geoff Shrewsbury  
22/09/13 14:59 GX4BJC/A 40m LSB 59 59 Peter Ivybridge Devon  
22/09/13 15:01 M5LMY 40m LSB 59 59 Dave Berkshire  
22/09/13 15:03 M0NWW 40m LSB 59 59+10 Nigel Harwich  
22/09/13 15:06 G4SXR 40m LSB 59+10 59+10 Colin Stonehenge Amesbury  
22/09/13 15:08 G6TEL 40m LSB 59+30 59+10 Steve Poole Dorset  
22/09/13 15:09 G4XXM 40m LSB 59+10 59 Dave Eastbourne  
22/09/13 15:11 2E0DSB 40m LSB 59+ 59 Dennis Bristol  
22/09/13 15:13 G0TRB 40m LSB 59 59 Roger Tamworth  
22/09/13 15:14 G4CHD 40m LSB 59++ 59+10 Terry Westward Hoe  
22/09/13 15:16 M0HCT 40m LSB 59+20 59+10 Martin Nailsea  
22/09/13 15:18 G8EWP 40m LSB 59+20 59 Dick Bognor  
22/09/13 15:19 G3PLP 40m LSB 59+10 59+10 Bob Colford West Midlands  
22/09/13 15:20 M0ZCB 40m LSB 59+ 59 John Wroughton  
22/09/13 15:22 M0VIE 40m LSB 59 59 Kevin Cheshire  
22/09/13 15:25 G3OOP 40m LSB 59+ 59 Brian Chesterfield  
22/09/13 15:27 2W0JKN 40m LSB 59+20 59 Stephen Wrexham  
22/09/13 15:28 G0VAS 40m LSB 59+20 59      
22/09/13 15:30 M0BGS 40m LSB 59 59 Geoff Leeds  
22/09/13 15:32 G6ENY 40m LSB 59+ 57 Noel Northumberland  
22/09/13 15:35 GW4PYC 40m LSB 59 59 Ray Llanelli  
22/09/13 15:36 G3ZIY 40m LSB 59 59 Richard Gatwick  
22/09/13 15:38 G4ENC/P 40m LSB 59 58 Pete Wrexham N Nottingham  
22/09/13 15:40 2E0KCW 40m LSB 59+ 58 Pat Hull  
22/09/13 15:41 PC2F 40m LSB 57 58   Netherlands 10w
22/09/13 15:42 M0TDW 40m LSB 59 59+10 Bill Malborough  
22/09/13 15:44 2E0LMR 40m LSB 59+30 59+20 Gaz Northamptonshire  
22/09/13 15:45 M0VRS 40m LSB 59+10 59+10 John Hatfield Peveril  
22/09/13 15:47 G0GWY 40m LSB 59+10 59+10 Geoff Scunthorp  
22/09/13 15:48 G4SQA 40m LSB 59 59+20 Dave Peterborough  
22/09/13 15:49 2E0GBU 40m LSB 59+20 59   South West London  
22/09/13 15:49 G0VLF 40m LSB 59+10 59+10 Ray    
22/09/13 15:51 2E0WUF/P 40m LSB 59 59     SOTA
22/09/13 15:53 G7TCW 40m LSB 59 57 Chris Staffordshire