OV P08 DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2009 – Day 1

by MD0MDI
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A Nice set of flags flying from the tower at Eary Cushlin on the Isle of Man

DARC OV P08 DXpedition to the Isle of Man in 2009

With the weather being on the bleak side, a group of operators from Germany descended on the Isle of Man and booked themselves into Eary Cushlin.

With the weather being on the bleak side, a group of operators from Germany descended on the Isle of Man and booked themselves into Eary Cushlin.

They brought with them a monster vertical in the form of a GAP Voyager DX (below) and a Spiderbeam, and home made Dual Delta Loop to cover all bands available for the upcoming contest.

GAP Voyager DX Monster Vertical Antenna
GAP Voyager DX Monster Vertical Antenna
Eary Cushlin, Early morning, covered in Mannin's Cloak
Eary Cushlin, Early morning, covered in Mannin's Cloak
Even the early morning view was a little unwelcoming.
Even the early morning view was a little unwelcoming.
The Team start to arrive ready for a days hard work.
The Team start to arrive ready for a days hard work.

The poor guy from OV P08 with the neck brace is Gunter Hering (DK1SG), obviously trying to get out of any heavy lifting, next is Markus Wagner (DO5MZ) and the always funny Peter Herring (DL1SPH) and finally good old Erwin Kleiner (DL6SBN).

I managed to the the Beam and the Tower sorted ready for when the team arrived.
I managed to the the Beam and the Tower sorted ready for when the team arrived.
Another view of the tower in the mist.
Another view of the tower in the mist.
More members of German OV P08 DXpedition arrive on a cold Manx day to start work.
More members of German OV P08 DXpedition arrive on a cold Manx day to start work.

This time we get Bernd Bross (DH1SBB), and again Markus Wagner (DO5MZ), in the middle of the picture is Guenther Haug (DG1SBU) standing next to Gunter Hering (DK1SG), Erwin Kleiner (DL6SBN) and finally Peter Herring (DL1SPH).

The GAP Voyager Antenna assembled and ready to be raised into position.
The GAP Voyager Antenna assembled and ready to be raised into position.
A close-up of the capacitive hat at the top of the GAP Voyager vertical antenna
A close-up of the capacitive hat at the top of the GAP Voyager vertical antenna

These photos do not really show just how big this antenna actually is, it will certainly take the entire team to get it standing upright.

A Misty Morning at Eary Cushlin on the Isle of Man
A Misty Morning at Eary Cushlin on the Isle of Man
Peter Herring (DL1SPH) chatting with Markus Wagner (DO5MZ) about setting up the shack.
Peter Herring (DL1SPH) chatting with Markus Wagner (DO5MZ) about setting up the shack.
It was bound to happen! Who gets to have the sea view!
Bernd Bross (DH1SBB) laying out the feeder
Bernd Bross (DH1SBB) laying out the feeder
Bernd Bross (DH1SBB) laying out the feeder, they told him to go far, but didn't tell him how far!
Bernd Bross (DH1SBB) laying out the feeder, they told him to go far, but didn't tell him how far!
The ground was not too level where we placed the IOMARS Tower, and this was as good as we could get it, it remained very stable throughout the teams visit.
The ground was not too level where we placed the IOMARS Tower, and this was as good as we could get it, it remained very stable throughout the teams visit.
With the aid of a big sledge hammer Bernd (DH1SBB) managed to get the base for the GAP antenna into the nice soft soil of Eary Cushlin.
With the aid of a big sledge hammer Bernd (DH1SBB) managed to get the base for the GAP antenna into the nice soft soil of Eary Cushlin.
Bernd Bross (DH1SBB) and Markus Wagner (DO5MZ) chatting about guys ropes whilst Peter Herring (DL1SPH) takes the strain.
Bernd Bross (DH1SBB) and Markus Wagner (DO5MZ) chatting about guys ropes whilst Peter Herring (DL1SPH) takes the strain.
Markus (DO5MZ) looking fondly at the antenna whilst poor old Peter (DL1SPH) has to keep his hand warm in the still cold air.
Markus (DO5MZ) looking fondly at the antenna whilst poor old Peter (DL1SPH) has to keep his hand warm in the still cold air.
Bernd (DH1SBB) making sure that the antenna is ready to raise.
Bernd (DH1SBB) making sure that the antenna is ready to raise.
Markus (DO5MZ) attaching the mounting for the guy wires whilst Peter (DL1SPH) is looking very bored.
Markus (DO5MZ) attaching the mounting for the guy wires whilst Peter (DL1SPH) is looking very bored.
Starting to brighten up at Eary Cushlin for the OV P08 DXpedition to the Isle of Man
Starting to brighten up at Eary Cushlin for the OV P08 DXpedition to the Isle of Man
Not exactly a bad place to feel alone in.
Not exactly a bad place to feel alone in.
Eary Cushlin is a quite remote place, totally back to basics, Electricity is provided by a generator, no mains water so it need to be brought in, and certainly no mobile phone signals.
Eary Cushlin is a quite remote place, totally back to basics, Electricity is provided by a generator, no mains water so it need to be brought in, and certainly no mobile phone signals.
Bernd Bross (DH1SBB) looking very happy as they get near to raising the GAP Voyager vertical antenna, I think Peter Herring (DL1SPH) and Markus Wagner (DO5MZ) are just playing cards with each other.
Bernd Bross (DH1SBB) looking very happy as they get near to raising the GAP Voyager vertical antenna, I think Peter Herring (DL1SPH) and Markus Wagner (DO5MZ) are just playing cards with each other.
Peter Herring (DL1SPH) and Markus Wagner (DO5MZ) finishing off the guys wires for the GAP Voyager antenna
Peter Herring (DL1SPH) and Markus Wagner (DO5MZ) finishing off the guys wires for the GAP Voyager antenna
Bernd, Peter and Markus have been working on this antenna for a while now, nearly done.
Bernd, Peter and Markus have been working on this antenna for a while now, nearly done.
Another view of Eary Cushlin on the west coast of the Isle of Man.
Another view of Eary Cushlin on the west coast of the Isle of Man.
A small yacht braving the Irish sea in the force 3-4 weather of the coast of the Isle of Man
A small yacht braving the Irish sea in the force 3-4 weather of the coast of the Isle of Man
The guys making final adjustments
The guys making final adjustments
Final checked being made
Final checked being made
Bernd Bross (DH1SBB) going off to lunch and leaving Peter Herring (DL1SPH) holding the antenna
Bernd Bross (DH1SBB) going off to lunch and leaving Peter Herring (DL1SPH) holding the antenna
Finally up and guyed with Markus Wagner (DO5MZ) checking the VSWR
Finally up and guyed with Markus Wagner (DO5MZ) checking the VSWR
The team tightening up the guys and making sure the the GAP Voyager won't fall down if the wind picks up
The team tightening up the guys and making sure the the GAP Voyager won't fall down if the wind picks up
Bernd (DL1SBB) just confirming that it's one hell of a tall beast!
Bernd (DL1SBB) just confirming that it's one hell of a tall beast!
Peter Herring (DL1SPH) taking the relaxed approach to tightening up the guy lines
Peter Herring (DL1SPH) taking the relaxed approach to tightening up the guy lines
Well it's certainly straight up
Well it's certainly straight up
Pretty straight for what turned out to be a relatively quick job by just three operators.
There is always one joker that comes out after all the work is done and states that its bending over, Good old Erwin (DL6SBN) and Gunter (DK1SG)
There is always one joker that comes out after all the work is done and states that its bending over, Good old Erwin (DL6SBN) and Gunter (DK1SG)
Peter (DL1SPH) spent the next few hours disappearing and reappearing as he ran out as many radials as they could, his impersonation as a rabbit was flawless.
Peter (DL1SPH) spent the next few hours disappearing and reappearing as he ran out as many radials as they could, his impersonation as a rabbit was flawless.
As each radial was connected to the base of the antenna the MFJ meter was displaying the affects of more and more radials
As each radial was connected to the base of the antenna the MFJ meter was displaying the affects of more and more radials
Just for scale, Peter was about 50ft away from the antenna when I took this photo, certainly a big antenna.
Just for scale, Peter was about 50ft away from the antenna when I took this photo, certainly a big antenna.
This is Eary Cushlin - She stands alone and empty for a great deal of her life in a very remote place on the top of some high cliffs on the west coast of the Isle of Man, now she has a few antennas for company.
This is Eary Cushlin - She stands alone and empty for a great deal of her life in a very remote place on the top of some high cliffs on the west coast of the Isle of Man, now she has a few antennas for company.
Guenther (DG1SBU) and Markus (DO5MZ) seeing if they can get access to any DX Clusters across the water in Ireland to help them whilst they were her.
Guenther (DG1SBU) and Markus (DO5MZ) seeing if they can get access to any DX Clusters across the water in Ireland to help them whilst they were her.
Guenther (DG1SBU) puts the finishing touches to the feeder whilst Erwin (DL6SBN) and Peter (DL1SPH) check over the installation.
Guenther (DG1SBU) puts the finishing touches to the feeder whilst Erwin (DL6SBN) and Peter (DL1SPH) check over the installation.
Markus (DO5MZ) trying to locate a good VHF Cluster access
Markus (DO5MZ) trying to locate a good VHF Cluster access
Bernd (DH1SBB) setting up the feed point for the loop antenna with some help from Peter (DL1SPH)
Bernd (DH1SBB) setting up the feed point for the loop antenna with some help from Peter (DL1SPH)
Erwin Kleiner (DL6SBN) putting up the poles that will hold the loop antenna in place.
Erwin Kleiner (DL6SBN) putting up the poles that will hold the loop antenna in place.
Peter Herring (DL1SPH) and Bernd Bross (DH1SBB) sorting out the actual loop antenna.
Peter Herring (DL1SPH) and Bernd Bross (DH1SBB) sorting out the actual loop antenna.
These lightweight masts made short work of setting up the loop antennas
These lightweight masts made short work of setting up the loop antennas
Markus Wagner (DO5MZ) putting the finishing touches to the Satellite TV dish.
Markus Wagner (DO5MZ) putting the finishing touches to the Satellite TV dish.
The view of the loop antenna
The view of the loop antenna
Peter (DL1SPH) and Bernd (DH1SBB) standing in front of the GAP Voyager Antenna
Peter (DL1SPH) and Bernd (DH1SBB) standing in front of the GAP Voyager Antenna

All in All, a successful start to the DARC OV P08 DXpedition to the Isle of Man.

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