FINAL Event Report

A Massive THANK YOU if you were assisting with the ILLW event. without you it would be near impossible for us to do it. As you are aware by now, Mark, Caroline and Garry try as much as possible to make your visit enjoyable and keep you refreshed, even if you are hammering stakes in or erecting the tent or even wiping down a table and helping with teas, every little helps and is appreciated.

As is the norm Garry drove the trailer into place and everyone unloaded so we could move round and drop the Genny off before finally setting up the shack. Mark beavered away at building the Hexbeam and various antennas while Herbie set up the second HF station and vertical 41 footer.

Caroline and a team of volunteers Sam, Nic, Becki, David, Louis, and everyone  else who helped  set up the tent and refreshment table so the urn could go on and Barry and Nic set the tower pulley system up.

Garry set up the radio for the main station plus wifi and second screen for the activity map and lighthouse tracker so by 6pm the majority of the setup was complete and it was time for tea. Mark, Garry  and Caroline continued in the evening while Nic, beck and Gabriel, our Becki’s Canadian beau set up the 2m station in the tent.

Just before midnight a few test QSOs to make sure the main station was working when we found the first of the antenna faults

Our antennas initially caused problems with the doublet becoming entangled earlyhours of Sat morning and the vertical refusing to tune to anything other than 40 correctly as the external tuner would only return 2 or 3:1 or higher on other bands and although we could use it on 20 it obviously created a problem.

After considering many options during Saturday regarding the second HF antenna Mark worked tirelessly during the day on a replacement while Garry and Caroline continued to ensure visitors were engaged and operators were kept topped up with required drinks and biscuits.

By 3am Sunday morning Mark and Garry set about erecting an 84 feet long wire to the Tower and a tripod and pole rig was set up behind the tow van (aka my camper) to give us that second antenna. The second CG3000 tuner was placed at the bottom and station two was ready to go on the air by 6 in the morning.

Over the weekend we had many visiting amateurs from local clubs including members of the Clacton Radio Club and some amateurs from outside the area who were visiting over the weekend.  We also had a record number of members of the public come over to have a chat and we were surprised and grateful to Dan Lan the new Chairman of Tendring District Council for popping over and giving us a photo opportunity.

We operated two HF SSB  phone stations and one HF data FT8 station.


During the night when the bands dropped the phone station was commissioned for FT8 so that we still had a presence on the bands.

Nic operated 2m SSB from the tent with a 10 element Cushcraft beam attached to the shack and worked into the Netherlands.

Good to see Becki 2E0NOM handling a run nicely with Caroline's help and great to get David 2E0HCO in the chair with a contact with the Harwich Light and Jonathan coming back to him, first event contact for David and a lighthouse too, cant be bad. Graeme also had his first experience of the hot seat and once in we couldn't drag him away, he enjoyed it that much.

Pack down was easier again this year with additional helpers including Dave G1OGY and John G4ZTR turning up to assist. Thanks again to all who helped.

Scores on the doors were Shack HF Phone station 328 QSOs. These included Namibia, South Africa, Argentina, Canaries, Shetland, Greenland and a total of 44 countries all of whom gave “booming” signal reports and strong audio with Jonathan commenting on the effectiveness of the Hexbeam setup.

Apparently we made one operator, James, , operating ZS1CT in South Africa very happy with our lighthouse contact and in total contacted 27 Lighthouses in this mode (list below). Despite our best efforts Oceania on phone and FT8 was not possible this session though all other continents were contacted.

Shack FT8 Station 50 QSOs (secondary) 17 countries with best distance being 7,000 miles into the states off the back of the hex. Including one light ON8CL/LH,

Shack Station FT8 (Main) 270 QSOs

2M station 45 QSOs by Nic and Becki which included GB2HLH Hunstanton Lighthouse. Well done guys worth the overnight battle to get you an antenna system built and erected.

TOTAL hours operated 31.2
TOTAL Countries 44 on phone and 8 additional on FT8 
TOTAL OPERTORS  8, of which 2, Graeme 2E0FIO & David 2E0HCO took the event chair for the first time and made it look easy.
Best Distance:  11,5000 kilometres (Argentina)

Band Breakdown: 317 on 40m...287 on 20m...35 on 80m...12 on 15m  and 45 on 2m

International (only higher rate) Germany 123.. European Russia 49...Netherlands 39...Poland 35...Ukraine 35...Italy 34...Spain 31...USA 21...France 19.

United Kingdom England 97...Scotland 22...Wales 8...N Ireland 8...Ireland 6


Garry M0MGP
Garry Champion,
21 Aug 2019, 15:05