Posted by: GW7AAV | May 7, 2011

Windmill Holiday

Hanging my amateur radio antennas from a fifty to sixty foot high windmill seemed like a great idea and it was always a bit of a dream to stay in either a windmill or a lighthouse, but the reality was somewhat less than the expectations. The problem being that Wendover Windmill is in the midst of Wendover, which is a smallish urban sprawl in Buckinghamshire not far from Aylesbury occupied mainly by commuters working in the capital.

The weather was fantastic but as holiday accommodation goes although Wendover Windmill more than adequate but having eight flights of stairs to climb to go to bed is at least seven flights too many and when you come down to breakfast it is a long way back up for your reading glasses, to change you footwear or pick up the camera.

As a HF radio location Wendover Windmill could not have been very much worse. At home I suffer S7-9 noise most of the time on 80m S5-7 on 60 and 40m but very little on the higher bands. Here I had S9+40dB all the time from 80-10m and consequently I did very little on HF and two metres was completely dead.

Probably only a mile away as the crow flies is SOTA summit Wendover Woods G/CE-005 and I was determined to activate it, get my point and cross it off the list. Here was the surprise even with very odd conditions on 60 and 40 metres Helen and I managed 46 contacts, without really trying. The noise level as the summit in the forest on HF was near nil. Stations were reporting massive QSB; Now we hear you, now we don’t but S9+ when we do reports followed one after another. I was ready to try another band when a summit to summit contact with Jack GM4COX/P on GM/SI-008 Beinn Tarsuinn came through on 40m suddenly my rig kept going off so after exchanging reports with Jack I left him the frequency and packed away the gear. Later I traced the fault to the two blade type fuses on the power lead both of which had worked loose.

One of the things I said to Helen before we went away was that if the Windmill was any good we might book it for the Mills on the Air week next year. Bearing in mind the noise level at the Mill I think we will give it a miss. Oh well maybe we will look at somewhere with a few more hills instead.

Don’t forget International Mills on the Air is over the weekend 14 and 15 May.

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