The DX Interceptors Arrive in the Isle of Man
The small DX hungry group from Scotland traveled down from north of the boarder to make there way to our little island in the Irish Sea.
The team had left home in the bright sun, but arrived early evening in the poring rain (normal Manx weather) at Scarlett Point, 1 mile south of Castletown at just after 6pm.
8th May 2015
Arriving at Scarlett Point in the poring rain they quickly exited the car to a conveniently placed guard box (may of even been an outside toilet back in the old days), but any shelter in the rain, and it was being very Manx, poring down with that fine stuff that just soaked you through in seconds.
It was decided that we would all brave the weather and wrap up what we could and make a mad dash to the watch tower with the kit, leaving the heavy stuff for Frank (MM0HST) as we were all too lazy to carry that stuff!
Scarlett Point in the morning, long before the team arrived bringing the rain with them.
Looking from Scarlett Point towards Castletown in the rain.
Even poor old Ronnie (2D0RLA) got drafted in to carrying stuff for the DX Interceptors.
Once all the gear was thrown into the tower, the more hardier chaps went outside in the rain to set up the vertical antenna for 20m, leaving the hex beam for hopefully nicer weather tomorrow morning.
Ross (GM1KNP) making a few final checks to the main operating station.
The evening was put on hold a tad by the welcomed visit of Alex Gartshore (GD6IA) who had a really nice chat with the team and especially Ross (GM1KNP) , taking about the changes back home from when he was a youngster.
The rest of the evening and early morning (till around 2:30am) sore the guys operate a major pileup, after all, that’s what they came here to do.
9th May 2015
First job of the day for the DX Interceptors was to get the Hex Beam up and ready for the days event.
The idea was to get another station up and running and work on different band, but it was found that because of the only spaces available to place antenna was limited, the new Hex beam and also the Vertical for 20m kept getting swamped by the OCF Dipole, so after much trial and error and generally just having fun playing with antennas, the team settled on just one station.
10th May 2015
I met the guys on there way from the tower to grab a wash and cleanup in Castletown, so they decided that to save me standing around drinking there beer, that they would put me to work on the radio.
Only that this turned out to be not as simple as it was….
Ross (GM1KNP) switched on the radio and started to tune it in for me to use but found that for some reason the tuner would not touch the antenna, plus the noise level was very low.
After double checking there own patch leads and other connections to the equipment, they found that the problem was the feeder to the antenna and a quick re-solder of the PL-259 that came into the shack was needed and quickly sorted out
This was OK, but everyone was complaining about Frank’s feet (only joking)…
So after yet another running repair more checks were carried out only to find that even though the feeder was repaired, it was now looking like water had got into the balun or there was another break somewhere in the antenna itself.
The conditions were not really perfect for playing with antennas, especially as there was also a problem with the rope that held the balun up was being jammed in the pully and with the wind being so strong it was impossible to raise the balun back up now that it was down, something that I and Ronnie (2D0RLA) can sort out at a latter date when its warmer.
So with the team desperate to get clean, a new antenna was quickly un-wrapped and put up using the tower as a suitable mast. This was quickly tuned in and the team could leave me on the radio.
The conditioned themselves were not too brilliant, there was a very high noise level and most of the contacts being made were European, but a small and challenging pile up was enjoyed until the team reappeared in the shack.
Not long after the team arrived back, Ronnie (2D0RLA) made an appearance and was throw the microphone.
Ronnie (2D0RLA) did a grand job on the radio and added a few contacts to the log.
As we finished chatting, Bob Barden (MD0CCE) popped up to see the guys, so I said a quick hello and left him in the safe hands of Billy, knowing that the guys would enjoy a nice long chat with Bob.
I had to return home to cook the sunday dinner, so Billy (GM0OBX) followed me back to the car to very kindly give me a new headset and to make arrangements to replace the antenna at the tower with Ronnie’s help when the weather improves.
The Stats from the Weekend.
Below is the QSO Statistics for the three days that the guys worked MT0IXD on the Isle of Man.
Below is the list of all European countries that the team worked over the three days, a total of 53 countries over the three days.
And they managed to work 31 Islands (IOTA’s), with a few very memorable ones in amongst them.
The team managed to work 44 of the 50 states.
And in the the three days on the air they managed to work 89 countries.
And finally the may showing where the DX Interceptors managed to work.
Please note that this image is 8Mb in size and will take a while to load…
Thanks go out too...
Thanks to Ronnie Allcote (2D0RLA) for arranging for the team to use Scarlett Point for the weekend, the team much appreciated it and the help that you offered to help activate MT0IXD.
A BIG Thanks to Alex Gartshore (GD6IA) for making the trip down to see the guys, they really appreciated it, plus it was really nice to see you again…
Bob Barden (MD0CCE) called up latter on Sunday in the wind to say hello to the guys which was much appreciated by the team.
And finally a big thanks to Frank (MM0HST), Ross (GM1KNP) and Billy (GM0OBX) and also thanks for the new headset which Billy kindly let me have, please checkout the Facebook page for the DX Interceptors.