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

Event Details

Late September and we return, once again, to our good friends at the Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust in Midsomer Norton. Saturday is the big set-up day, as we have to put the antennas up as well as establish the stations within the operating carriage.

Mark M0SKV, Andy G7KNA, Julian M0JCE and ??? established antennas in the upper car park area. the choice of antennas followed the patterns of previous years and other Special Events with our, by now ubiquitous, 80m doublet fed with 450Ω ladder line. A deviation from previous years was the addition of a Hustler 4BTV 4 band vertical which was used by the data station on 20m.

In the carriage the SSB station comprised:

  • Yaesu FT-991 HF/VHF/UHF multi-mode transceiver;
  • Manson EP-925 25A linear power supply;
  • Barker and Williamson VS300A manual ATU; and
  • Dell laptop running CQR Log under XUbuntu 16.04LTS.

The data station comprised:

  • Yaesu FT-857D HF/VHF/UHF multi-mode transceiver;
  • Watson Power Mite NF-25 22A switch mode power supply;
  • Signalink USB Interface; and
  • Toshiba laptop running FLDigi under Ubuntu Mate 18.04LTS.

We noted some interaction between the two stations. Transmitting on the Datamodes station on 20m produced some noise on the 80m SSB station. Similarly the SWR on the 20m Datamodes station would deteriorate when the 80m SSB station was transmitting at the same time.

This was resolved by re-siting the vertical antenna and increasing the separation.

In Carriage ArrangementsAntennas

The setting up was more or less straightforward, the SSB station was on air first working 80m and with inter-G propagation behaving itself quickly ticked off a number of contacts before a QSO with the Bluebell Railway in Sussex got our count of participating RotA stations off the mark.

Working at a considerably less frenetic pace the datamodes station on 20m also started to make QSOs. The advent of FT8 has clearly drawn operators off of PSK and similar modes and into the realms of the 90 second strict form QSO. Data-mode QSOs have always, with a few exceptions, been very formulaic with a reliance on standard macros which are seen time and again word for word but at least PSK31 and similar modes have the ability to go off script when required to as was demonstrated by our QSO with IN3GNV. FT8, by contrast, does not possess this flexibility at the moment, and whilst many report fantastic numbers of contacts in a short space of time with exotic locations using FT8 it is unclear exactly how much they have gleaned about the other operator, their country or culture. It is perhaps to be expected in the day of “59 QRZ” style SSB contacts that FT8 would prove popular but is it really in the true spirit of amateur radio? Time will undoubtedly tell how enduring this method of communication is outside of the necessary reliable transfer of weak signals in poor conditions, although future alterations to the format to provide greater flexibility will undoubtedly improve the mode.

Despite this a number of PSK31 and PSK63 QSOs were achieved into Europe on 20m, particularly enjoyable were the QSOs with Kurt OE1KYA in Vienna who followed up with a number of truly lovely photos of Vienna sent by e-mail and another QSO with Giovanni IN3GNV who we have worked in previous years.

Restored LocomotiveKen (Foundation student) operating the SSB station and Andy (G7KNA) operating the data-modes station

Sunday saw a few changes to the operating crew. Ken, one of our Foundation students, joined us as did Vince who was visiting from Scotland. The format of the day continued in the same vein as Saturday, and by the end of the weekend we had made 131 contacts including 16 (38%) of the participating 43 (42 discounting ourselves) Railways on the Air operations. 15 (11%) out of the 131 QSOs were made using data-modes.

GB0SDR Log

Date Time
(UTC)
Station
Worked
Band or
Freq’cy
Mode RST Name QTH Notes
Sent Rec’d
22/09/18 10:51 G0GWY 80m SSB 59 59 Geoff    
22/09/18 10:55 2E0PTZ 80m SSB 57 59 Paul Andover  
22/09/18 10:57 M5HFJ 80m SSB 59 59 John    
22/09/18 10:59 G3XDS 80m SSB 59 59 Peter Mansfield  
22/09/18 11:00 G6UWK 80m SSB 59 59 John    
22/09/18 11:03 G4BHD 80m SSB 59 59 Trevor Cambourne Cornwall  
22/09/18 11:06 2E0ERX 80m SSB 59 59 Mark Kent  
22/09/18 11:09 OE4BHF 20m PSK31 599 579 Franz Rudersdorf  
22/09/18 11:10 G2BKZ 80m SSB 59 59 Rob Hertfordshire  
22/09/18 11:12 G0ERS 80m SSB 58 59 Rod    
22/09/18 11:16 G1YPG 80m SSB 59 59 Steve Stafford  
22/09/18 11:20 GB0BR 80m SSB 59 59 Gavin Bluebell Railway Bluebell Railway operated by Downland Radio Group (M0XSE)
22/09/18 11:23 GB0AVR 80m SSB 59 59 Dave Ammon Valley Railway Avon Valley Railway operated by North Bristol ARC
22/09/18 11:23 EA3DUI 20m PSK31 599 599 Marti Caldetas JN11gn
22/09/18 11:36 GB4EKR 80m SSB 59 59 Peter Dover East Kent Railway operated by Dover Amateur Radio Club
22/09/18 11:40 GB0GCR 80m SSB 59 59 Stephan   Great Central Railway (Nottingham) operated by Nunsfield House Amateur Radio Group
22/09/18 11:42 M0KKM 80m SSB 59 59 Kevin Norfolk  
22/09/18 11:46 M0DFW 80m SSB 59 59 Dave Cambridge  
22/09/18 11:47 GB4MHR 80m SSB 57 57 Russ Medstead Alton Mid-Hants Railway (The Watercress Line) operated by Horndean and District ARC
22/09/18 11:53 GB1WVR 80m SSB 59 59 Derek   Keighley and Worth Valley Railway operated by Otley ARS
22/09/18 11:54 GB1FLR 80m SSB 57 57 Ron Kent Fenland Light Railway operated by PADARC
22/09/18 11:57 M3FEH 80m SSB 56 58   Cornwall  
22/09/18 12:01 G8GWK 80m SSB 59 59 Chris    
22/09/18 12:05 GX0SOA 80m SSB 59 59 Harri Stratford on Avon  
22/09/18 12:06 G0WWD 80m SSB 57 57      
22/09/18 12:09 GW0JAI 80m SSB 59 59 Glynn    
22/09/18 12:09 SP2HXY 20m PSK31 599 599 Stefan Rumia JO94en
22/09/18 12:12 MW6IEU 80m SSB 59 59      
22/09/18 12:17 GW4RLP 80m SSB 59 59 Terry Caernarvon  
22/09/18 12:18 M0TMD 80m SSB 57 57 Helen Glossop  
22/09/18 12:19 OE1KYA 20m PSK31 599 599 Kurt Vienna JN88fd
22/09/18 12:22 GB4VBR 80m SSB 59 59 Owen Berkeley Vale of Berkeley Railway operated by Thornbury and South Gloucestersshire ARC
22/09/18 12:25 G3OKA 80m SSB 59 59 John Wirral Liverpool  
22/09/18 12:25 G4SJX 80m SSB 57 59 Mike Leicester  
22/09/18 12:30 M1DEN/M 80m SSB 59 56 Lee Hull TS-690
22/09/18 12:38 G0ALI 80m SSB 59 59 Alison Congresbury  
22/09/18 12:38 G4EZV 80m SSB 59 57 Mike Torquay Devon  
22/09/18 12:40 OM1AD 20m PSK31 599 599 Dusan Nitr JN98ai
22/09/18 12:42 G4RAC 80m SSB 57 57 John Burton on Trent  
22/09/18 12:46 G4ZTQ 80m SSB 59 59 John Chichester  
22/09/18 12:51 IK2IAQ 20m PSK31   599 Angelo Castellucchio JN55hd
22/09/18 12:55 M0ALD 80m SSB 59 58 John Leeds  
22/09/18 13:05 G4CUS 80m SSB 59 59 Antony Hastings  
22/09/18 13:07 G3YCH 80m SSB 59 59 John Paignton  
22/09/18 13:24 G0RYL 80m SSB 59 59 Rob Portland  
22/09/18 13:30 2E1RBH 80m SSB 59 59 Carol    
22/09/18 13:30 G4ICC 80m SSB 59 58 Mike Northampton  
22/09/18 13:38 IN3GNV 20m PSK31 599 599 Giovanni Bozano JN56pl
22/09/18 13:40 G0IJM 80m SSB 59 59 Jen Leicester  
22/09/18 13:42 GB2BNM 80m SSB 59 52     Former Bishops Nympton and Molland Station on the Devon and Somerset Railway operated by Exmoor Radio Club
22/09/18 13:50 GB2CPM 80m SSB 59 59 Ed Amberley Amberley Narrow Gauge Railway operated by Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre
22/09/18 13:53 M0HFY 80m SSB 59 57 Barry Gloucester  
22/09/18 13:59 GB4HMR 80m SSB 59 59 David Hoddeston Hoddesdon Model and Railway Club operated by Southgate ARC
22/09/18 14:00 G8BPY 80m SSB 59 59 Peter Kingston Surrey  
22/09/18 14:04 G4EHT 80m SSB 59 57 Bill Litchfield IC-7300 Butternut Vertical
22/09/18 14:11 G4TXF 80m SSB 59 59 Colin Pershore  
22/09/18 14:14 G4RUJ 80m SSB 59 59 Paul Clacton on Sea  
22/09/18 14:15 G6BDV 80m SSB 57 59 Rob Bedfordshire  
22/09/18 14:19 GW6VEI 80m SSB 59 59 Doug NE Wales  
22/09/18 14:23 M0PER 80m SSB 59 59 Alan Chester  
22/09/18 14:24 M6LWO 80m SSB 59 59 Tony Bedford  
22/09/18 14:31 2E0DUE 80m SSB 59 57 Ian Margate  
22/09/18 14:37 2E0TGF 80m SSB 59 59 Alastair Cambridgeshire  
22/09/18 14:38 M6XXD 80m SSB 59 57 Paul Shrewsbury  
22/09/18 14:40 G0OFD 80m SSB 59 58 John Brancaster Norfolk Yaesu 200w Amp IC-746
22/09/18 14:40 UT0IM 20m PSK31 599 599 Vasily Makeevka KN98bc
22/09/18 14:46 MW6URI 80m SSB 59 55 Mel Fishguard  
22/09/18 14:49 GOVXM 80m SSB 59 59 Greg Pontefract  
22/09/18 14:53 G3XMB 80m SSB 59 59 Bob Chelmsford Essex  
22/09/18 14:56 M3LDS 80m SSB 59 59 Reg Paulton  
22/09/18 14:57 G0BFJ 80m SSB 59 59 Brian Huddersfield  
22/09/18 15:02 G6LXK 80m SSB 59 59 Howard North Essex Windmill
22/09/18 15:07 GB0CVR 80m SSB 59 59 Melvin Castle Headingham Colne Valley Railway operated by Braintree and District ARS
22/09/18 15:10 G3YZY 80m SSB 59+ 59+ Howard Portsmouth 400w
22/09/18 15:13 M1FFP 80m SSB 59 59 Brian Castle Cary  
22/09/18 15:16 M3OZP 80m SSB 57 58 Chris Folkstone  
22/09/18 15:19 GW4GNY 80m SSB 59 59 Martin Welshpool  
22/09/18 15:20 G7LEU 80m SSB 59 58 Mark    
23/09/18 09:12 EI3GO 80m SSB 59 59      
23/09/18 09:14 GB0SD 80m SSB 54 44      
23/09/18 09:17 G0WBG 80m SSB 59 59 Andrew Dover  
23/09/18 09:34 EI7CC 80m SSB 59 59 Pete Dublin  
23/09/18 09:37 SQ9LFQ 20m PSK31 599 599 Jozef Mordarka  
23/09/18 09:38 G4BQ 80m SSB 59 59      
23/09/18 09:40 G4ZJO 80m SSB 59 59 Doc Morecambe  
23/09/18 09:43 UA3AJZ 20m PSK31 599 599 Mike Moscow  
23/09/18 09:45 M0TLX 80m SSB 59 59 David Sunderland  
23/09/18 09:50 G0NOV 80m SSB 59 59 Mike Weymouth  
23/09/18 09:52 DL6UMF 20m PSK31 599 599 Olaf Werben JO71ct
23/09/18 09:55 GOGCJ 80m SSB 55 59 Ron Manchester  
23/09/18 10:01 G3TGB 80m SSB 59 59 Brian Braintree  
23/09/18 10:03 G0GWY 80m SSB 59 59 Geoff Scunthorp  
23/09/18 10:08 G4LTM 80m SSB 59 59 Greham    
23/09/18 10:19 OK1AYM 20m PSK31 599 559 Vlada Varnsdorf JO70hv
23/09/18 10:35 G3SZO 80m SSB 59 59 John    
23/09/18 10:45 G3ZPS 80m SSB 59 59 Steve    
23/09/18 10:59 G3XVX 80m SSB 59 59 Howard    
23/09/18 11:03 G0WWD 80m SSB 59 59 Dave Newton Abbot  
23/09/18 11:06 G8GWK 80m SSB 59 58 Chris    
23/09/18 11:07 G3LUA 80m SSB 59 59 Alan Solihull  
23/09/18 11:16 M0JZH 80m SSB 57 58 John Telford  
23/09/18 11:23 GJ3WMR 80m SSB 59 59 Frank St Brelade  
23/09/18 11:25 G0UOO 80m SSB 59 58 Rob Folkestone  
23/09/18 11:31 G0AWV 80m SSB 59 59   Thatcham  
23/09/18 11:31 M0SKV/M 80m SSB 59 59 Mark Midsomer Norton  
23/09/18 11:35 M0KKM 80m SSB 58 59 Kevin Kings Lynn  
23/09/18 11:37 GB2MOP 80m SSB 59 59 Mike Museum of Power  
23/09/18 11:40 F5VIG 80m SSB 59 59 Mike Brittany  
23/09/18 12:30 2E0VKM 80m SSB 57 59 Stefan Nottingham  
23/09/18 12:33 G0ERS 80m SSB 57 54 Rod Portsmouth  
23/09/18 12:34 DL1MBV 20m PSK31   599 Michael    
23/09/18 12:35 G0FEX 80m SSB 59 59 Ken Leicester  
23/09/18 12:38 G0PPQ 80m SSB 59 59 Peter Pontefract  
23/09/18 12:42 G3RZF 80m SSB 59 59 David Slough  
23/09/18 12:44 G8MIA 80m SSB 59 59 Andy    
23/09/18 12:46 G3WFK 80m SSB 59 59 John Manchester  
23/09/18 12:50 2E0MNG 80m SSB 59 59 Neal    
23/09/18 12:54 GB9TMB 80m SSB 59 59 Pete   Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway operated by Bromsgrove and District ARC
23/09/18 12:57 M0NAS 80m SSB 59 59 Neil Colchester Essex  
23/09/18 13:01 2E0UAC 80m SSB 59 59 Martin Coventry  
23/09/18 13:07 UR4MLS 20m PSK31 599 599 Sergey Krasnodon  
23/09/18 13:15 GW1DTA 80m SSB 59 59 Mark Swansea  
23/09/18 13:17 G0KSS 80m SSB 55 57 Keith    
23/09/18 13:25 G0OGS 80m SSB 59 59 Steve    
23/09/18 13:32 G8RZA 80m SSB 57 59 Andy Illford  
23/09/18 13:34 2E0DQL 80m SSB 59 59 David London  
23/09/18 13:37 M0ZGB 80m SSB 59 59 Johnathon    
23/09/18 13:53 GB2RDR 80m SSB 57 59 Eddie Banchory Royal Deeside Railway operated by Aberdeen Amateur Radio Society
23/09/18 14:18 GB0NVR 80m SSB 59 59 Graham   Nene Valley Railway operated by Huntingdonshire ARS
23/09/18 14:29 GB0SCR 80m SSB 59 59 Colin Blunsdon Station Swindon Cricklade Railway operated by Colin
23/09/18 14:36 SV2FPI 20m PSK63 599 599 Sakis   KN10ku