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On the afternoon of Friday 11th May, the intrepid amateurs of Colchester Radio Amateurs descended on the Naze Tower site at Walton to set up GB6WLB, a Special Event Station in conjunction with SOS week and Mayday month, both highlighting the work of the RNLI.

The event was the brainchild of Herbie G6XOU who obtained the SES NoV for the event assisted in the later organisation stages by Garry M0MGP, and Mark MO0LTG.

2 trailers, and 3 cars full of equipment, a 30ft trailer mast, 2 camper vans, a tent, 60ft mast and 6.5kva generator were unloaded and set up during the afternoon and evening by 10 volunteers from CRA and Louis from HARIG.

Despite several small setbacks during the day Herbie G6XOU opened proceedings on the Saturday morning and as it turned out, had the best Q's of the weekend. By 7-30 pm on the Saturday evening a 20m inverted L replaced the original MA5B which had failed and contacts were rolling in.

We had to admit defeat on the 2m FM setup after antenna problems but still managed to operate the 2M SSB band. Data was handled by George G1IPU in his dedicated data set up, operating on PSK 63&31 and FT8.

Many members of the public attended the event and made donations to the RNLI  and an equipment table was set up in the tent where amateurs had the pick of what was on offer from Herbie and Garry for a donation to the RNLI.

We also had 2 people who are considering taking their Foundation training after visiting and seeing us operating and one who signed up while they were with us. Another visitor said he was inspired by our setup and would now consider reviving his license.

More than 10 operators worked the stations and altogether we made 358 QSO's and made contact with 44 countries over the 30 hour period of operation which although less QSO's than last years GB6WLB event, more countries were worked.

The final QSO of the day was given to Stella M3LFO, wife of the event organiser Herbie as this was his last SES after handing the future events over to Garry M0MGP.

A HUGE THANK YOU to all who attended, set up, stripped down, operated & gave their support  in getting the station operational, see you all for GB6NT. 


For pics and detailed report see our CRA EVENTS Facebook page.