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:

  1. Lat/Long: 51.281077°,-2.482759°
  2. IARU: IO81sg
  3. IOTA: EU005 (UK Mainland)
  4. WAB: ST65 – England

Google Map of Midsomer Norton Railway Station

Introduction

The weekend of 23 – 24 September 2017 was fair weather wise, reminiscent of our first outing to this site all the way back in 2011. The plan was simple and based on our years of experience of operating Special Event and portable stations as well as our long association with this site.

SSB StationData Station

Equipment comprised:

  • Club Yaesu FT-991 multimode transceiver for SSB
  • Yaesu Ft-857D multimode transceiver for Digimodes (mainly PSK31)
  • Club Manson EP-925 25A linear power supply for SSB station
  • Watson Power Mite NF switch mode power supply for digimodes station
  • Club MFJ-934 Manual ATU for SSb station
  • LDG Z11 Auto ATU for digimodes station
  • Diamond SX-600 SWR/Power meter for digimodes station
  • Signalink USB data modem for digimodes station
  • Club Dell laptop running XUbuntu 16.04 LTS and CQRLog
  • Toshiba laptop running XUbuntu 16.04 LTS and FLDigi

We were once again billeted in the railway carriage adjacent to the buffet car allowing visitors to the site and buffet car users to observe and take part in activities

AntennasAntennas

Our antennas were simple dipoles and doublets suspended from a central pole about 10m above the ground in an inverted vee configuration. We had an 80m doublet fed with ladder line, hence the need for an external tuner to provide conversion from unbalanced coax to balanced feeder, which was used for the SSB station and could be operated on 80m, 40m or other bands that the ATU could match for us and a 20m half wave dipole used by the data station. The dipole was slightly off resonance in this particular configuration hence the requirement for an ATU.

On Saturday we had little or no feedpoint separation and whilst both stations could operate there were effects of having the two antennas in such close proximity despite the 90° directional differences. On Sunday an additional wooden pole was used to provide more separation reducing the problems. We also had some difficulties with RF getting into both laptops at various times which would render the trackpads useless. External USB mice solved that one.

View from the BunkerRestoration Work

Setup was reasonably straightforward, or at least it is assumed that setup was reasonably straightforward as Andy G7KNA managed to delay his arrival on site until after most of the hard work had been completed. His excuse was that he was coning to site from a short break in Devon and clearing up on the day of departure had taken longer than expected! A likely story. He did at least have the courtesy to speak to Mark M0SKV via GB3WR on his way north to the site once he was within range so his late arrival was not the subject of doubt about his attendance.

Mark M0SKV Operating GB0SDRView of the Site

So by the time that Andy G7KNA arrived all that he had to do was to connect his equipment to the antenna, configure FLDigi for the Special Event and get on air. His first contact was IN3GNV Giovanni, always an interesting QSO as Giovanni is more or less unique in not wanting to have a macro based exchange. Instead of the "rubber stamp" name, locator, QTH, 599 exchange he always wants to have a free form keyboard to keyboard exchange which took up a good 15 – 20 minutes.

Mark M0SKV Operating GB0SDRMark M0SKV Operating GB0SDR

SSB operations were a mix of 40m and 80m the latter being most successful in obtaining inter-G contacts and we worked the bulk of our 17 other Railways on the Air activations on 80m. We made multiple contacts with the Flight Refuelling ARS operating from the Shillingstone Railway Project as they were trying to put someone at their end in contact with one of the Somerset and Dorset Trust members. Sadly despite having a good contact each time we spoke we never managed to get the two people into the same place at the same time. Despite this we made 17 unique Railway to Railway contacts within our 121 contacts for the weekend.

If we worked you then thank you we will be uploading our log to eQSL and QRZ.com. If you didn’t get through to us and we were the target of a pile up at various times then our apologies but we have every intention of being back on the air in this event next year.

GB0SDR Log

Date Time (UTC) Station Worked Band or Freq’cy Mode RST Name QTH Notes
Sent Rec’d
23/9/17 10:47 IN3GNV 14.0719 PSK31 599 599 Giovanni    
23/9/17 10:56 G6UUR 40m SSB 59 59 Sam South of Birmingham  
23/9/17 11:00 G3KAG 40m SSB 57 58 Tony Royston Derbyshire  
23/9/17 11:00 GB0CMR 40m SSB 55 59   Coventry Coventry Amateur Radio Society – Coventry Model Railway Society
23/9/17 11:11 SP9AJM 14.0716 PSK31 599 599 Alojzy Nowy Sacz KN09IO
23/9/17 11:13 G4EHT 40m SSB 59 59 Bill Lichfield  
23/9/17 11:18 G4ADR 40m SSB 59 59 Nigel Oxfordshire  
23/9/17 11:22 GW4GNY 40m SSB 59 59 Martin Welshpool  
23/9/17 11:24 G3OKA 40m SSB 59 59 John Wirral Liverpool  
23/9/17 11:26 GB0SRP 40m SSB 57 59 Richard Shillingstone Flight Refuelling Amateur Radio Society – Shillingstone Railway Project
23/9/17 11:27 HA/OE3RAP 14.0716 PSK31   544 András Balatonmáriafürdö JN86QQ
23/9/17 11:33 M0JZH 40m SSB 59 59 John Telford  
23/9/17 11:34 M3ZKB 40m SSB 45 58 Ken Lincolnshire  
23/9/17 11:39 G3VCG 40m SSB 59 59 Don Chelmsford Essex  
23/9/17 11:42 GB0EVR 40m SSB 55 57 Martin Derby Derby and District Amateur Radio Society – Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
23/9/17 11:49 G3YZY 40m SSB 59 59 Howard Portsmouth  
23/9/17 11:52 SM7HZK 14.0715 PSK31 599 599      
23/9/17 11:53 G4MFK 40m SSB 59 59 Glyn Evesham  
23/9/17 11:58 GB4HMR 80m SSB 57 59 Mike   Southgate Amateur Radio Club – Hoddesdon Model and Railway Club
23/9/17 12:03 OK1AW 14.0715 PSK31   599 Pavel Nejdek JO60IH
23/9/17 12:06 GB0CVR 80m SSB 59 59 Martin Castle Headingham Braintree and District Amateur Radio Society – Colne Valley Railway
23/9/17 12:13 DK6GY 14.0714 PSK31 599 599 Rolf Maulburg JN37VP
23/9/17 12:13 M0SWL 80m SSB 59 59 Brian Pewsey  
23/9/17 12:21 2E0LMR 80m SSB 59 59 Gaz Northamptonshire Woodford Halse Grate Central Railway
23/9/17 12:28 G3TPQ 80m SSB 59 59 Jeff    
23/9/17 12:36 M3JIV 80m SSB 59 59 Richard    
23/9/17 12:41 M0AIA 80m SSB 57 59 Paul West Yorkshire  
23/9/17 12:45 M3IGN 80m SSB 59 59 Ian Box  
23/9/17 12:49 G0WGP 80m SSB 59 59 Ron Brighton  
23/9/17 12:57 G8VEN 80m SSB 59 59 Harold    
23/9/17 13:02 OM3DA 14.0715 PSK31   599 Ruda Poprad KN09DB
23/9/17 13:04 M0JCE 80m SSB 59 59 Julian Weston-super-Mare  
23/9/17 13:11 G3LUA 80m SSB 59 59 Alan    
23/9/17 13:13 SP3BGP 14.0715 PSK31   599      
23/9/17 13:17 GB0NVR 80m SSB 59 59 Merv Peterborough Huntingdonshire Amateur Radio Society – Nene Valley Railway
23/9/17 13:18 DM4ZPJ 14.0715 PSK31 599 599 Rolf Greiz JO60DR
23/9/17 13:23 M0DFW 80m SSB 59 59 Dave Cambridge  
23/9/17 13:27 GB4MHR 80m SSB 59 59 Chris Medstead Alton Horndean and District Amateur Radio Club – Mid-Hants Railway (Watercress Line)
23/9/17 13:31 G0HVN 80m SSB 59 59 David Birmingham  
23/9/17 13:34 SQ7RAD 14.0715 PSK31 599 599 Radek    
23/9/17 13:36 GW0AGZ 80m SSB 59 59 John Oswestry  
23/9/17 13:41 G0JMZ 80m SSB 59 59 Peter    
23/9/17 13:46 M3CHE 80m SSB 59 59 Che Exeter  
23/9/17 13:52 DL1TKI 14.0715 PSK31   599 Thomas Jueterbog near Berlin JO62NA
23/9/17 13:54 G4UHJ 80m SSB 59 59 Dave Forest of Dean  
23/9/17 13:58 G7HEU 80m SSB 59 59 Steve Swindon  
23/9/17 13:59 RK4PR 14.0715 PSK31 599 599 Vladimir Leninogorsk LO64FO
23/9/17 14:00 GW2HFR/P 80m SSB 59 59 Jonathon    
23/9/17 14:04 G4AAH 80m SSB 59 59 Keith Mansfield  
23/9/17 14:06 HA7FP 14.0714 PSK31 599 599 Peter Szigetszentmiklos near Budapest JN97MI
23/9/17 14:09 MW0WYN 80m SSB 58 59 Dulyn    
23/9/17 14:11 G0GWY 80m SSB 59 59 Geoff Scunthorp  
23/9/17 14:15 M0CGL 80m SSB 59 59 Graham Lincolnshire  
23/9/17 14:19 G0UOO 80m SSB 59 59 Rob Kent  
23/9/17 14:22 HF27PLI 14.0713 PSK31 599 599     SPECIAL CALL 27th Anniversary of the Activation of the First Internet Link in Poland. ALL INFO ON :QRZ
23/9/17 14:22 M0CIW/QRP 80m SSB 57 59 Howard Abingdon  
23/9/17 14:23 GB4SRM 80m SSB 57 59 Tom York Wearside Electronics Amateur Radio Society – National Railway Museum
23/9/17 14:27 ES0OU 14.0714 PSK31 599 599 Veljo Saaremaa Isl KO18IJ
23/9/17 14:33 G4UAQ 80m SSB 59 59 Ian Kent  
23/9/17 14:34 G8MNY 80m SSB 59 59 John    
23/9/17 14:37 GB2HSC 80m SSB 59 59 David Liphook Hampshire Tooth Radio Group – Hollycombe Steam Collection
23/9/17 14:44 G3TGB 80m SSB 59 59 Brian Braintree  
23/9/17 14:49 G0NBI 80m SSB 57 59 Graham Bromsgrove  
23/9/17 14:53 M0FAQ 80m SSB 58 59 Martin Braintree  
23/9/17 15:00 G3MSL 80m SSB 59 59 Bob Fleet Hampshire  
23/9/17 15:06 G0JNT 80m SSB 59 59 Les Grimsby  
24/9/17 09:16 GB0SCR 80m SSB 59 59 Collin Blunsdon Station Operated by Colin G4GBP – Swindon Cricklade Railway
24/9/17 09:24 CT4VB 14.0711 PSK31 599 599 Jose Carnaxide near Lisbon Portugal IM58jr
24/9/17 09:57 G4TXF 80m SSB 59 59 Colin Pershore  
24/9/17 10:04 2E0AXZ 80m SSB 59 59 Chris Ipswich  
24/9/17 10:20 G4RAC 80m SSB 57 58 John Burton on Trent  
24/9/17 10:34 GB0FLR 80m SSB 59 59 Mike Stoke on Trent Moorlands and District Amateur Radio Society – Foxfield Light Railway
24/9/17 10:49 EG5RCB 14.0712 PSK31 599       Carthagineses and Romanos 2017
24/9/17 10:52 G4XPE 80m SSB 57 59      
24/9/17 10:57 SQ8AQO 14.0717 PSK31 599 599 Jacek Skrzyszow KO00SC
24/9/17 10:57 MW0LGE 80m SSB 59 59 Rich    
24/9/17 10:58 M0TWB 80m SSB 59 58 Tony Lancashire  
24/9/17 11:05 M0LJT 80m SSB 59 59 Eddie Bristol  
24/9/17 11:07 II0ENG 14.0716 PSK31 599 599     Enigma Reloaded Award
24/9/17 11:12 IZ8DGR 14.0714 PSK31 599 599 Mario Napoli JN70CT
24/9/17 11:22 OE6GND 14.0714 PSK31 599 599 Gerhard Gamlitz JN76SR
24/9/17 11:25 G4GEW 80m SSB 56 59 Peter Croydon  
24/9/17 11:26 G6RQA 80m SSB 57 57 David Norfolk  
24/9/17 11:33 GB0SRP 80m SSB 59 59 Richard Shillingstone Flight Refuelling Amateur Radio Society – Shillingstone Railway Project
24/9/17 11:34 MX0OMC 80m SSB 57 59 Jim Okehampton Holsworthy Amateur Radio Club
24/9/17 11:41 G3NKS 80m SSB 59 59 Derrek Cheltenham  
24/9/17 11:48 M6MQM 80m SSB 59 59 Mike    
24/9/17 11:52 M0SHM 80m SSB 45 59 Steve Preston  
24/9/17 11:54 G8HBS 80m SSB 55 53 Peter Great Yarmouth  
24/9/17 11:57 SQ9JJX 14.0715 PSK31   599 Jozek Wieckowice JO90VD
24/9/17 11:59 GB0ROA 80m SSB 55 59 Dave Bitton North Bristol Amateur Radio Club – Avon Valley Railway
24/9/17 12:18 GW3UEP 80m SSB 59 59 Rog    
24/9/17 12:21 G3CRH 80m SSB 59 59 Hugh    
24/9/17 12:24 2E0LMR 80m SSB 59 59 Gaz Northamptonshire Woodford Halse Grate Central Railway – Woodford Halse Grate Central Railway
24/9/17 12:33 G3FVO 80m SSB 44 59      
24/9/17 12:42 G3XYD 80m SSB 59 59 Tony Swindon  
24/9/17 12:44 G4XIB 80m SSB 59 59 Dave Swindon  
24/9/17 12:54 G4OJD 80m SSB 59 59 Buddy    
24/9/17 12:56 M0CCW 80m SSB 44 59 Martin Lincolnshire  
24/9/17 13:08 M0BGS 80m SSB 59 59 Geoff Leeds  
24/9/17 13:10 GX6ZME/P 80m SSB 59 59 John Bog Shropshire Telford Amateur Radio Club
24/9/17 13:21 G0SDD 80m SSB 59 59 Chris    
24/9/17 13:25 M0EAU/P 80m SSB 58 59 Darryl   Kite 200ft
24/9/17 13:30 M1FCV 80m SSB 58 59 Clive Stroud  
24/9/17 13:36 G0AHM 80m SSB 58 59 Paul Cornwall  
24/9/17 13:45 G7LMF 80m SSB 58 59 Graham    
24/9/17 13:53 M0ZAE/P 80m SSB 57 59 Henry Norwich  
24/9/17 13:58 RA9SUE 14.0715 PSK31 599 599 Vlad Novotroitsk LO91DE
24/9/17 13:58 GW0AZB/P 80m SSB 57 59 Ian Horseshoe Pass North Wales  
24/9/17 13:59 GW0AZA/P 80m SSB 59 59   Horseshoe Pass North Wales  
24/9/17 14:10 G0SYF 80m SSB 59 59 Bob Wotton under Edge  
24/9/17 14:16 GB0EOR 80m SSB 59 59 Colin North Weald Harlow and District Amateur Radio Club – Epping and Ongar Railway
24/9/17 14:19 M6IXJ 80m SSB 59 58 Rob Okehampton Dartmoor Railway
24/9/17 14:25 G7UHT 80m SSB 59 59 Carl Ryde  
24/9/17 14:31 G0XTA 80m SSB 59 59 Ray Wisbech  
24/9/17 14:31 GB0SRP 80m SSB 59 59 Richard Shillingstone Flight Refuelling Amateur Radio Society – Shillingstone Railway Project
24/9/17 14:38 GB2EVR 80m SSB 55 59 Ian Warcop Cumbria Bishop Aukland Amateur Radio Club – Eden Valley Railway
24/9/17 14:40 G4HMC 80m SSB 59 59 David Whiteleaf Buckinghamshire  
24/9/17 14:44 G7CHB 80m SSB 58 59 Roy    
24/9/17 14:49 M0MCL 80m SSB 58 59 Kevin West Sussex  
24/9/17 14:51 G0UYN 80m SSB 59 59+10 Malcolm Isle of Wight