Saltford Brass Mill is situated on the banks of the River Avon in the village of Saltford, 5 miles west of the City of Bath in the South West of England. Its postal address is Saltford Brassmill, The Shallows, Saltford, BS31 3EY . However, there are some specific details that will be of interest to radio hams:

  • Lat/Long (Brassmill): 51.401219°,-2.451116°
  • IARU: IO81sj
  • IOTA: EU005 (UK Mainland)
  • WAB: ST66 – England


Saltford Brass MillNarrow Boats at Saltford Brass Mill

So we return to Saltford over the weekend of 11 and 12 May 2013 for another assault on the Mills on the Air annual event. We kept the setup pretty simple, following last years findings, namely:

  • Icom IC706 HF/6m/2m transceiver
  • 12v Car battery for power
  • External speaker
  • Power/SWR meter
  • Vertical wire antenna erected using a “roach pole”
  • SGC auto ATU powered from a separate 12V battery at the antenna feedpoint

Operating PositionVertical AntennaFeedpoint ATU

As an added element of luxury compared to last year Dave (G7BYN) had put a folding table and a couple of garden chairs in the back of his van to provide a covered operating position.

Andy G7KNA OperatingLuxuryDave G7BYN and Don G0NQJ Operating

As it was the weather was quite kind to us over both days and several club members came and went over the weekend to help setup, dismantle, operate or support. We were also visited by local hams who heard us on air and came down to visit the station.

Dave G7BYN, Don G1NQJ, Julian M6JCE and Paul G4CVD ChattingAndy G7KNA chatting with Paul G4CVDDave G7BYN, Don G1NQJ, Julian M6JCE and Paul G4CVD Chatting

The antenna was something of a last minute decision as our usual Pro Whip Delta Loop wasn’t available due to builders damage.

The chosen vertical was adequate but as we had reached the requisite quota of Mills early on the Sunday we began to experiment with other forms, using a Buddipole in a horizontal dipole configuration. This was noticeably better than the the vertical, to the extent that we began to consider how we could safely put up a horizontal antenna in future.

Vertical AntennaVertical AntennaVertical Antenna

We spoke with the local canoe club who were busy instructing their members in the safe use of the craft, and had erected tents to provide shelter and catering facilities to ascertain who they had obtained permission from for this. Next year may well see our Field Day tent making an appearance on the grass verge to give us an operating position out of the way of pedestrians giving us the ability to play with feeders and antennas without endangering the passing public.

Canoe Club FacilitiesCanoe Club Facilities


Date of Contact Time Station Worked Band or Freq (MHz) Mode TX RX Operator’s Name QTH IARU Locator Distance (km) Notes
11/05/2013 09:50 PA6KMS 40m SSB 59   59   Hank Klaarkampstermeer Mill      
11/05/2013 10:33 GB1AVR 40m SSB 59   59   Colin West Yorkshire      
11/05/2013 11:01 GB2BHM 40m SSB 59   59   Eddie Benholm Mill      
11/05/2013 11:25 GB100RSGB 40m SSB 57   57   Andy        
11/05/2013 11:35 GS3PYE/P 40m SSB 57   57   Peter Island of Mull      
11/05/2013 12:15 GB6MW 40m SSB 59   59   Richard Meopham Windmill      
11/05/2013 12:20 GB5HW 40m SSB 59   59   Dave Heage Windmill      
11/05/2013 13:46 GB2WPM 40m SSB 58   59   James Wrawb Post Mill Lincolnshire      
11/05/2013 14:18 GB1DGW 40m SSB 59   59     Green Windmill      
11/05/2013 14:55 GB2TM 40m SSB 59   59   Brian Thwaits Water Mill      
11/05/2013 15:06 GB0HPM 40m SSB 59   59   James Holton Post Mill      
11/05/2013 15:22 GB2WWW 40m SSB 59   58   Adam Wicklewood Windmill      
11/05/2013 15:31 GB2UW 40m SSB 59   59   Graham Upminster Windmill      
12/05/2013 09:50 GS3PYE/P 40m SSB 59   59     Island of Mull     Duplicate
12/05/2013 10:12 PA30ALX 40m SSB 59   59   Tom Details on QRZ      
12/05/2013 11:15 GB2MMW 40m SSB 59   58   Phil Marsh Mill      
12/05/2013 11:23 GB4MPW 40m SSB 59   59   Tom Mount Pleasant Windmill      
12/05/2013 11:41 F8DRA 40m SSB 59   59   Marc Alderny      
12/05/2013 11:48 MI0IRZ 40m SSB 59   59   David        
12/05/2013 12:15 GB6MW 40m SSB 59   59   Richard Meopham Windmill     Duplicate
12/05/2013 12:26 GB5HW 40m SSB 59   59   Dave Heage Windmill     Duplicate
12/05/2013 13:10 GB2WBM 40m SSB 59   59   Peter Brighton and Hove     West Blatchington Windmill
12/05/2013 13:15 GB6KLM 40m SSB 59   59   Tim Bishop Aukland     Killhope Lead Mine (Water Mill)
12/05/2013 13:23 GB1WM 40m SSB 59   57   Linda Weybourne Mill      
12/05/2013 13:28 GB0BM 40m SSB 59   58   Shaun Burcott Mill      

Congratulations must go to Julian M6JCE who bagged 9 out of the 17 Mills we contacted, all be it that only 7 were unique, this constitutes the best single haul of contacts for one operator this year. As can be seen the also rans were Dave G7BYN with 4, Andy G7KNA with 4 and Don G0NQJ with 2.

Best DX, however probably belongs to Don G0NQJ with his opening contact with Klaarkampstermeer Mill in the Netherlands and his contact with Tom PA30ALX. Also rans in this category are probably Dave G7BYN who managed GS3PYE/P on the Island of Mull (a contact repeated by Don G0NQJ on Sunday again as his first contact of the day), Marc F8DRA who may have been away from his normal home in Tancarville (north western coast of upper Normandy/Dept 76) and David MI0IRZ.