Ham Radio Summer at Scarlett Point!

by MD0MDI
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Harry Blackburn (MD0HEB) and Morgan Griffiths (MD0DXW) enjoying the sun at Scarlett Point, Castletown.

Scarlett Point, the perfect spot for relaxing and playing radio.

Instead of going for a coffee, we decided to meet up at Scarlett Point, near Castletown (IO74QB) and just have a day relaxing in the sun with a length of wire, a Vertical brought by John (GD0NFN) and see what we could do by working QRP.

We couldn’t have hoped for better weather, the sun was out in full force, and we had all that we needed, drinks, radios, and warmth in the sun, on the grass, at Scarlett Point!

Could not have asked for better weather over Scarlett Point, Castletown.
Could not have asked for better weather over Scarlett Point, Castletown.

I arrived early as per normal and waited to see who arrived first, it certainly looked like being a good day.

I could never understand how good old Harry (MD0HEB) could ride his bike being as blind as he was, but soon after getting out of the car he arrived.

Harry Blackburn (MD0HEB), never without his Bike and his Hat!
Harry Blackburn (MD0HEB), never without his Bike and his Hat!

Harry riding on past me, this is how blind he was, he said later that he did not see me!

Harry Blackburn (MD0HEB)
Harry Blackburn (MD0HEB)

John (GD0NFN) arrived soon after Harry.

John Butler (GD0NFN) arriving at Scarlett Point, Castletown.

Harry (MD0HEB) did not wait long before he was accessing GB3GD, the 2mtr repeater here on the Isle of Man.

Harry Blackburn (MD0HEB), Never to far from a radio!
Harry Blackburn (MD0HEB), Never to far from a radio!

Morgan was the final member of the troop to arrive complete with a water bottle filled with gin!

Morgan Griffith (MD0DXW) about to take in the Sun.
Morgan Griffith (MD0DXW) about to take in the Sun.

With the management watching, me and John got to grips with assembling John’s vertical HF antenna.

John Butler (GD0NFN) playing with the antenna whilst we just watched!
John Butler (GD0NFN) playing with the antenna whilst we just watched!
John Butler (GD0NFN) - It will Fit!!!
John Butler (GD0NFN) - It will Fit!!!

We finally managed to drag Harry into helping us and before long things were starting to look promising.

John (GD0NFN) getting a helping hand from Harry (MD0HEB)
John (GD0NFN) getting a helping hand from Harry (MD0HEB)

Just a little tightening up and all will soon be well.

John Butler (GD0NFN) finishing off the antenna with Harry Blackburn's (MD0HEB) help.
John Butler (GD0NFN) finishing off the antenna with Harry Blackburn's (MD0HEB) help.

And with everyone doing work, Morgan starts laying into the sandwiches, bloody typical, mind you it is normally me first so I will let him off.

Morgan Griffith (MD0DXW)
Morgan Griffith (MD0DXW)

The idea for the day was to just have a fun day in the sun playing a bit of radio and enjoying a good chat with a few friends. As it happens the day was about as perfect as you could get, the weather was great and conditions on the radio where surprisingly good as well, and considering that we were only messing about with a vertical HF antenna and a long length of wire laid out over the ground we were making better contacts on just 5 watts than we expected, and what was meant to be just a few hours of play turned out to be most of the day.

The view to Scarlett Point, Castletown.
The view to Scarlett Point, Castletown.
The Sign to Ronnie's Shack (MD0RLA) at Scarlett Point
The Sign to Ronnie's Shack (MD0RLA) at Scarlett Point
A View of the 4G Masts that have been installed to the back of the Scarlett Point Tower.
A View of the 4G Masts that have been installed to the back of the Scarlett Point Tower.

The views around this end of the island are really quite nice in the few days that we have as summer here on the island, really makes living here worth the while, even when John walks into your shot!

The path to Scarlett Point, Castletown.
The path to Scarlett Point, Castletown.
John Butler (GD0NFN) being Very Happy!
John Butler (GD0NFN) being Very Happy!
Morgan (MD0DXW) monitoring the airways in the sun, could this get any better.
Morgan (MD0DXW) monitoring the airways in the sun, could this get any better.
Morgan Griffith (MD0DXW) working QRP and enjoying it!
Morgan Griffith (MD0DXW) working QRP and enjoying it!

The makeshift bench worked out quite well, the ground was warm and dry so we had no need of chairs anyway with the sun high and no wind to speak of, the day was just about as perfect a day for operating in the sun.

Forget about a 'Shack in a Box', what you need on a sunny day is a 'Shack in a Chair'!
Forget about a 'Shack in a Box', what you need on a sunny day is a 'Shack in a Chair'!
The car park at Scarlett Point made for a good operating location.
The car park at Scarlett Point made for a good operating location.

The old watchtower at Scarlett Point has a demanding position over the coastline near to Castletown, the old tower is owned and used by Ronnie (2D0RLA/MD0RLA), he keeps it to himself and does not allow anyone to use it which is a shame and a missed opportunity.

Harry Blackburn (MD0HEB) and Morgan Griffiths (MD0DXW) enjoying the sun at Scarlett Point, Castletown.
Harry Blackburn (MD0HEB) and Morgan Griffiths (MD0DXW) enjoying the sun at Scarlett Point, Castletown.
John Butler (GD0NFN) taking a stint in the chair.
John Butler (GD0NFN) taking a stint in the chair.
Morgan (MD0DXW) finishing off his bottle of Gin! he kept saying it was water but he seemed to have a big smile on his face after finishing it…
Morgan (MD0DXW) finishing off his bottle of Gin! he kept saying it was water but he seemed to have a big smile on his face after finishing it…
Morgan Griffith (MD0DXW)
Morgan Griffith (MD0DXW)

And when there is no where to sit, you can always find a suitably placed vehicle to lean over.

Harry Blackburn (MD0HEB) making sure that the vehicle wont fall over!
Harry Blackburn (MD0HEB) making sure that the vehicle wont fall over!
John (GD0NFN) was relentless, trying to get another contact, one after another.
John (GD0NFN) was relentless, trying to get another contact, one after another.

I always thought that you were meant to mounts radios inside a car, but this method works just as well.

I'm sure this will work whilst working mobile if we just hang on!
I'm sure this will work whilst working mobile if we just hang on!
Morgan Griffith (MD0DXW)
Morgan Griffith (MD0DXW)
Harry Blackburn (MD0HEB) working Bicycle Mobile.
Harry Blackburn (MD0HEB) working Bicycle Mobile.
John Butler (GD0NFN) working Chair Mobile!
John Butler (GD0NFN) working Chair Mobile!

John’s antenna seemed to work really well with loads of signals coming in from all over Europe, especially on the 10 meter band.

John's Vertical
John's Vertical
The View to the top!
Harry Blackburn (MD0HEB) with his supply bottle
Harry Blackburn (MD0HEB) with his supply bottle

Harry didn’t miss a chance to relax in the sun and chat away the hours with his friends. We thought that he was being safety conscious holding onto a fire extinguisher all day long till we worked out it was a hip flask!

John (GD0NFN) working on the small Yaesu FT-817 with Morgan (MD0DXW) listening and watching as John was working into Slovakia on just 5 Watts (QRP).

Our own local version of a 'Field Day'.
Our own local version of a 'Field Day'.
Morgan (MD0DXW) playing it cool in the sun.
Morgan (MD0DXW) playing it cool in the sun.
John (GD0NFN) deep in concentration working on the radio to eastern Europe.
John (GD0NFN) deep in concentration working on the radio to eastern Europe.

Another good excuse for wearing dark glasses was so that we were never sure if he was awake or asleep, which meant that we just kicked him every now and then to check!

Harry (MD0HEB) looking as though he is asleep
Harry (MD0HEB) looking as though he is asleep
John (GD0NFN) looking happy after making another contact into Europe.

Morgan was very happy with the days events, having laid on the sun, a comfy chair, the bottle of Gin and good company, he was a happy bunny.

Morgan (MD0DXW) happy in the sun
Morgan (MD0DXW) happy in the sun
John (GD0NFN) explaining to Harry (MD0HEB) how to operate the FT-817.
John (GD0NFN) explaining to Harry (MD0HEB) how to operate the FT-817.
Even the old ruins of old buildings looked pleasant in the summer sun.
Even the old ruins of old buildings looked pleasant in the summer sun.
I even managed the odd contact using the FT-817.
I even managed the odd contact using the FT-817.
Everyone on the radio, this is fun in the sun!
Everyone on the radio, this is fun in the sun!
Morgan (MD0DXW) managed to get quite a few nice contacts white the bands were open, 10 meters was being exceptional for a change.
Morgan (MD0DXW) managed to get quite a few nice contacts white the bands were open, 10 meters was being exceptional for a change.

The day turned out to be a real success, everyone enjoyed themselves and many contacts were made thought the day, and even though we were only working QRP, we managed to work all over Europe and even though we managed to hear many stations outside of Europe the conditions were not good enough for the 5 watts to make it.

We only called it a day when the afternoon chill started to creep in and we made our own way home. The day was well worth doing.

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