Home Amateur Radio Wessex Contest Group Isle of Man’s DXpedition 2014

Wessex Contest Group Isle of Man’s DXpedition 2014

by MD0MDI
Wessex Contest Group MX0WCB)
A great bunch of operators have just arrived on the Island and have rented a property in Laxey to activate the Isle of Man for just a week from May 10th till the 17th. They arrived on Saturday after a very long journey up to Heysham, and then after setting off with flat seas and calm weather, they ran into choppy seas and by the time they got to the Island their sea legs were a little wobbly. They were certainly happy to get their feet on firm land with stories of many on the boat not being able to keep their dinners down. After a quick trip north to the house that they are renting just above Laxey, and even though they were tired they managed to put up a few wires and get the radios connected to try and work a few stations before tiredness overtook them.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Steve (G0FUW)
Steve (G0FUW)
Simon (M0TTE)
Simon (M0TTE)
Dave (M0SFT)
Dave (M0SFT)
Dan (M0TGN)
Dan (M0TGN)

First Day's Activation Ruined by Local Station.

The first day’s activation on the Island proved to be a little taxing – a local station which would not give his callsign was not happy about the callsign that they were using.

The guys were using a club callsign of MT0WCB, but the local station would start ranting about ‘Pirate Station’, and generally keying up over them, or pretending to operate to another station that was non-existent alongside the club’s frequency to cause them a few issues.

Even other amateurs were at this stage voicing their opinions of this operator, but with his constant ranting and even speaking pigeon German at one point to an imaginary station, the crew decided to have an early night and call it a day, with fingers crossed that tomorrow this person would have grown up.

First Day' of Play!

Sunday 11th May 2014

I turned up at midday to say hello to the guys and see what help I could lend to get them up and running. Little did I know that I was to become a ‘Slave’ for the day, hi hi!
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

Before any work could be carried out, a refueling was required and all stopped for the F1 on the box, so we sat down to relax, take a few photos and watch at least the start of the racing before any thought was made of putting up an antenna or two.

Dan Trudgian (M0TGN) showing that he would be ready for work in about 2 minutes, either that or something else!
Dan Trudgian (M0TGN) showing that he would be ready for work in about 2 minutes, either that or something else!
Steve Hartley (G0FUW) showing us up by vaulting the fence in such an elegant fashion!
Steve Hartley (G0FUW) showing us up by vaulting the fence in such an elegant fashion!

With the F1 over and the weather looking a little as though it was not going to clear up to much more than it was already, having been raining lightly on and off all morning, with the crew high on Coffee and Tea and with me being forced against my will (kicking and screaming) to help the guys raise the odd A3S antenna, the crew decided that it was a good time to see about getting at least one of the Beams up in the air.

One of the first jobs was to get one of the heavy ‘Clark’ ex-Army antenna masts into the field at the rear of the house and put into place ready for raising.

Dave Swift (M0SFT) putting the muscle into raising the mast onto its’ base plate.
Dave Swift (M0SFT) putting the muscle into raising the mast onto its’ base plate.

After watching Dave (M0SFT) struggle a little and giving him morale support and the odd giggle to his struggling, we decided to help him get this lump upright and into place.

These things are not light-weight, and certainly not back-pack portable, but they are very well built and great for portable operation..

Dave (M0SFT) and Steve (G0FUW) made short work of attaching the legs to the mast
Dave (M0SFT) and Steve (G0FUW) made short work of attaching the legs to the mast

With the mast upright Dave (M0SFT) and Steve (G0FUW) made short work of attaching the legs to the mast, and with a little weight applied to each corner the mast was settled into place and more or less upright.

Steve (G0FUW) was running around making final adjustments to the legs.
Steve (G0FUW) was running around making final adjustments to the legs.

Showing that they had done this more than once before, Steve (G0FUW) was running around applying pressure where needed to bed the legs into the ground and readjust the legs whilst Dave (M0SFT) kept an eye on the bubble to check that all was level.

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

The guys made short work of the adjustment to the mast and with a final check that the legs were tightened up we were ready for more bits.

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

The Top of the Pneumatic Mast.

All that was needed now was the might of a gorilla (in this case we had a Silverback) and a big hammer to knock the guy stakes into the ground. Using a piece of thin rope that was already marked at the correct distance from the base, the placement of the stakes was soon worked out and all that was needed was to hammer them in.

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
The Rotator was mounted on its’ base stub mast and then inserted into the top of the Clark Mast, with a few nuts tightened the mast was getting ready for its’ A3S Beam.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
With the entire crew looking over the plans, it was quickly worked out which of the elements went with each beam and in what order, once this was double checked, the crew could get to grips with building the first of the A3S Beams.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
With the antenna being assembled I helped Dan (M0TGN) and Simon (M0TTE) bring over the rest of the kit which would be needed to get the antennas into the air, and although not the normal items you would expect, the two most important parts were the generator to supply the mains, and the compressor to pump up the mast, along with the guy ropes and other required items.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

There seemed to be a lot of standing around and taking the mick out of both me and Dave (M0SFT), but we came to conclusion that they were just jealous of the teamwork, or maybe just the fact that we were getting all hot and sweaty whilst they were all relaxed! – Only joking,….

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

Whilst under the supervision of Dan (M0TGN) the rest of us managed to finally get the A3S built and clamped to the top of the mast, what’s more it was the right way up and even the elements were in the right order, so with a little luck it should work…. OK, there was no guesswork, and the antenna was perfectly assembled as the guys had done this on many an occasion before, so no luck was involved and with me getting the shortest straw, I was passed the antenna and with Dan Taking the weight, it was my job to tighten up the antenna to the rotator’s stub mast, fingers crossed it doesn’t fall off!

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

All that was left was for Steve (G0FUW) to prove to us that he was not scared of heights and connect up the feeder and the rotator cable and make sure that everything was cable-tied in place ready for any weather that may or may not show up over the week.

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

The Compressor was attached to the mast and the generator started and with a well tried and tested method, the mast was very quickly raised a section at a time, locked off and then on to the next section, The entire mast raised to full height in less than a minute and with just one minor hiccup that occurred when a gust of wind decided that it would be a good time to pass through, nearly toppling the mast by lifting two legs off the ground which caused a few seconds of panic and some hasty clambering by Steve and Dave onto the legs to bring the mast back to its upright position, and with Steve’s weight applied to the base of the mast, the rest of us ran around tightening up the guys ropes till all was safe to let go!

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

Before the team could rest, the feeder was sent back to the makeshift shack and the antenna analyzer was attached to check over the relevant bands, all was found to be good with nothing over 1.4:1, so everyone was happy.

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
One Down, One less to go…
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

All that was needed was a bit of cleaning up, working out which was north, and just a final check that all was tightened up and safe.

Steve Hartley (G0FUW) looking a little popped out after the lifting of the Masts
Steve Hartley (G0FUW) looking a little popped out after the lifting of the Masts
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
All of course under the close supervision of Dan (M0TNG) whose eyes saw everything!
All of course under the close supervision of Dan (M0TNG) whose eyes saw everything!

But there is no rest for the wicked, before we could have a sit down to test the antenna and grab a coffee, the feeders needed to be cut to length and fed into the shack.

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Then with both Steve and Dan cutting and soldering connectors on, the final test and connection to one of the shacks radio stations was ready.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Dan (M0TGN) Watching over his minions!
Dan (M0TGN) Watching over his minions!
The View over Laxey Bay from the House for the team of the Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
The View over Laxey Bay from the House for the team of the Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Caught in the act! Simon (M0TTE) finding time to eat!!!!
Caught in the act! Simon (M0TTE) finding time to eat!!!!
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

So with the guys finishing up their final checks and seeing what the bands were like and also which they were able to work on, the team started to relax and start to think about the next task.

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
And whilst the decisions were being made, Steve started to operate on the new beam and see what 20 meters was like.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Meanwhile at the other end of the house, Simon was either playing Hamlet (Shakespeare play) or just trying to work out which end of the mug to fill (boy am I in trouble now), whilst Dave was getting to grips with the washing up (quite house trained this lot!).
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

Not sure what Dan was drinking but he was not sharing!

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

It was not long before we were all getting ready for another session, this time with just a small mast and a dipole or two.

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Again with some good pre-organisation, the men quickly located the correct guys for each mast, and the measuring rope for the guy stakes, and within a few minutes another antenna would start to take shape.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Every piece of rope that they use for their masts are not only colour coded, but also the carabiners are colour coded so that they know if they are for the top or bottom set of guys for that particular mast, also for the health and safety side of things, they defiantly stand out. There is no messing about with manky bits of rope long past its sell by date here, everything is laid out right, found quickly, attached and ready for use in such a quick time, I was quite impressed, though I won’t let them know!
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

The mast being lightweight was quickly raised while tilted over and then raised up and although the wind had picked up a little, it was not at all hard to hold it upright whilst waiting for the crew to attach the guy ropes to the stakes.

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
All that was left was to attach the wire dipole antenna to the lanyard.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

And with the antenna raised up the mast and the feeder cable-tied to the base of the mast, all that was left now, was to test it out!

Dan (M0TGN) Working 40 meters.
Dan (M0TGN) Working 40 meters.
Dave (M0SFT) Also starting to enjoy the Manx Airwaves…
Dave (M0SFT) Also starting to enjoy the Manx Airwaves…
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
I decided to leave the guys to it, they were all attaching radios and getting into pileups already, so with enough done for today, I made my excuses and left them to it…

Another Day and More Hassles...

I popped in later the next day only to be told that they had another problem with this idiot transmitting over them the previous evening. Although this only seemed to happen a few times, they did manage to make well over 1000 contacts during the last time that I saw them.

Either the person in question got bored or their Mother told them to go to bed, either way, this was sad news, it is not what is expected from Amateur Radio Operators and it doesn’t exactly paint the Isle of Man in a good light.

When I arrived, both Steve (G0FUW) and Dave (M0SFT) were enjoying good pileups on both 20 meters and 10 meters with some cracking stations coming through, Most of South America was just booming through and even Europe was finding it hard to work though the mass of stations trying to add MT0WCB to their logbooks.

SO with the operators busy I sat down for a chat with Dan and Simon.

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
I took the opportunity to grab a few photos of Steve and Dave on the radios, trying not to disturb them.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Steve (G0FUW) working 20 meters on his trusty Yaesu FT-897D.
Dave (M0SFT) working 10 meters on his Yaesu FT-2000.
Dave (M0SFT) working 10 meters on his Yaesu FT-2000.
Simon’s (M0TTE) Date Mode station, with is a really lovely Yaesu FT-1000 Mark V, and although I have mentioned it is mainly used for data.
Simon’s (M0TTE) Date Mode station, with is a really lovely Yaesu FT-1000 Mark V, and although I have mentioned it is mainly used for data.

I was told by the guys that Simon (M0TTE) can certainly pull his weight on SSB as well and when persuaded to, he can really get into and manage a good pileup.

A plan was being hatched to put up one of the SOTA beams that they had brought with them and see what stations they could get with some SSB contacts on 2 meters and 70cms.

Then Dan and Simon started talking about where to put the beam, and a few sensible thoughts were added to this as well, and before long another cunning plan was hatched!

Dan (M0TGN) even showed the best way to point the antenna, though we don’t think he was willing to stay there all night so something more permanent would be required.
Dan (M0TGN) even showed the best way to point the antenna, though we don’t think he was willing to stay there all night so something more permanent would be required.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
And with Simon and Martyn talking some more about working VHF/UHF, Dan felt his calling, and made his way to 40 meters and right into another pileup.
I decided to leave the guys to it and make my way home to see if I could add them to my own logbook and help them out with a few spots on the cluster.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Everyone at work as evening draws in.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Almost BBQ weather and everyone’s on the radio!

Another Day and a welcomed Guest!

I left the guys alone most of the day, trying not to interfere or become a pain, then later in the evening I decided to make my way over and see if all was OK or if they needed a hand with anything, only to see something parked outside the house that I certainly recognised, in the form of a Mark 3 V12 E-Type Jaguar that could only belong one person – Bob (MD0CCE).
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
I was only intending to pop in for a quick chat and drop off some photos and QSL cards for the guys, but as Bob was here what was going to be an in and out visit, turned out to be a good hour, I even forgot the Mrs was still in the car which would later prove to be bad decision, but after doing a nice dinner and the washing up I was thankfully forgiven…
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
I even managed to get a nice photo of Simon (M0TTE) on the radio, something that up until now had proven to be allusive.
Dan (M0TGN) deep in concentration.
Dan (M0TGN) deep in concentration.
The Humble Antenna Farm for MT0WCB
The Humble Antenna Farm for MT0WCB
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Another Long Night Ahead!

Last Day on the Radio and Break-down...

With the Manx weather being the best that it has been all year, the team decided to call it a day shortly after 12:30 and start the breakdown of kit, and with the sun beaming down on Laxey and very little wind, you could not ask for a better time to end the DXpedition.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
With ‘The Management’ (Dan M0TGN) taking a few minutes to relax before all the work starts, whilst good old (actually not that old!) Steve G0FUW tried to round the logs up at a even number using data modes and PSK, but after the many pile-ups that these guys have enjoyed during the week, they are now left with the bands totally dead, propagation at an all time low, and even getting contacting into Europe was proving a difficult task, but every now and then the band would open for a little while and a few more contacts were entered into the logbook.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
The rest of the crew joined in trying to add a few last contacts but this was really proving to be hard work, and with the weather looking so nice outside, a final decision was made to shut down the operation and break down the kit!
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
First job on the books is to take one of the Clark Masts down.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
But before we had even started, Dan managed to hurt his ‘Tackle’ and from this moment on managed to fulfil a life long wish to sing soprano and even managed to get his voice above ‘High C’, OK, only joking, the fence was not the best of fences anyway and care had to be taken not to fall off the thing and be laughed at, or maybe worse, break it!
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
That said, Dan was walking around after this with a bog roll in hand! he said it was to clean the mast with, but I am not so sure…
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
The whole team started to appear and even Steve (G0FUW) looked as though he had done a whole days work already, either that or he was not looking forward to what was about to come.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Dave (M0SFT) started getting ready to dismantle the supports, and making sure that all the halyards and feeders were free, whilst Dan (M0TGN) was checking out how good the fly trap worked!?
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
OK, I will explain, the mast was absolutely peppered with ‘Greater Spotted Manx Midges’, i.e. flies… They seemed to really love the grease that was applied to this mast. That said the other mast was quite clean, so not sure why this was so different, but at least I could now stop worrying about Dan walking around with the loo roll in his hand, I now knew what it was for!
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Those pesky knots! who did these up? Steve (G0FUW) and Simon (M0TTE) having fun undoing the lanyards on the mast.
Dan (M0TGN)
Whilst all this work is being carried out, Mr. Cool is … well playing it cool!
Simon (M0TTE) wringing out the Parachute Cord!
Simon (M0TTE) wringing out the Parachute Cord!
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
The mast is lowered just one section at a time by releasing the clamp and letting the air out, the knack to this is to try and control it, and although these masts are made for use by gorillas in the army, and can handle a bit of hard wear, it is obviously best to treat them with a bit of care. It was not too long though before the beam was lowered and all that needed to be done was to lock off all the clamps and zero the mast. With that done, dismantling can begin with the beam removed from the top of the mast and placed on the grass ready to be stripped down.
Steve (G0FUW) working on undoing the rotator from the mast.
Steve (G0FUW) working on undoing the rotator from the mast.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Once the rotator is removed from the mast it is then passed to Dave (M0SFT) and added to the pile of parts that have to be cleaned, packed and transported off the island.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
With a little more fettling, the mast can be carried out of the field and placed up near the house ready for packing onto the trailer later.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
With the heavy stuff removed the Cushcraft A3S beam can now be stripped down and packed away.
The field looks a little on the empty side now, was a little on the sad side…
The field looks a little on the empty side now, was a little on the sad side…
And with the help of waiter service from Dan, the beam was quickly dismantled.
And with the help of waiter service from Dan, the beam was quickly dismantled.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

That was the last of the sections for this tower and with one mast down, all thoughts turned towards the last one remaining….

And just to prove that was I was not being a lazy git, Dan grabbed the camera while I helped the guys get the mast over the fence.

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Whereas the last mast was peppered with flies, this was really clean, really strange that one would get covered and the other only had a few to be cleaned away, yet they were only about 200ft away from each other. Dave (M0SFT) checking over the state of this mast and making sure that all the lanyards were undone ready for dismantling.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
The lowering of the mast is done in double quick time and without too much hassle the antenna is removed and the rotator is passed down from the top of the mast by Dave (M0SFT).
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
And even Steve (G0FUW) was getting a sweat on, and looking a little worse for wear, so for those back home who may complain about the guys going off on these holidays and sitting down drinking beer and spending all day on the radio, it’s not all that, there is about 10 minutes of hard work that does drag them away from the barrels of beer that they have in the shack!
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Dave (M0SFT) was getting a bit pissed off with the camera, not sure he likes having his photo taken…
Dave (M0SFT) was getting a bit pissed off with the camera, not sure he likes having his photo taken…
MG 7162
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Steve and Simon Finished off the hard part by taking the mast up to the house.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
After the fun of the large masts, a nice relaxing time can be had taking down the small aluminium masts that hold up the M0CVO dipoles.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Simon doing a great job on the cleaning up of the para cord! proving he is not just a good operator on the radio (having the voice and characteristics of a WWII Squadron Leader with a posh upbringing!), but he is good at the housework as well…
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
All the stakes, guys and misc. stuff gets packed into the ancillary bags ready to be thrown onto the trailer.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Now all that is left is to help Simon with the coiling up of the feeders, etc.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
A Salute from Steve, Glad to see he knows his place hi hi…
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Simon doing a great job of cleaning up all the balls of string…
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Even Dan took off his managerial hat to help out with the more technical stuff…
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
And Simon is still at it! Coiling away to his hearts content…
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
The guys designing a new V Antenna…
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
The last of the small aluminium masts were taken down and the cleaning up process began.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

I helped out with the last few cables that needed putting back onto reels. ….

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

And Dan kept giving me the ‘Why are you not working’ look!

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
I hope Steve’s wife is looking at these… We have photographic evidence that he does do housework and makes the tea and coffees and talking with the guys, he apparently insisted on doing all the cleaning and washing up as well, so just make sure he does not get away with being lazy when he gets home – That’s it, I am in trouble now hi hi…
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
One of my all time favourite radios, the Yaesu FT-1000 Mark V, well up until the FTDX-5000MP was released that is…
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

Nearly there and the last of the packing seems to be pretty close, just a few last tangles to get sorted out…

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Whilst everyone was frantically packing up the stuff, Dan had a work related call that was urgent, and by the amount of walking up and down he was doing – This needed to be sorted out – Urgently… He had his management hat on again…
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Everything laid out outside the house ready to be loaded onto the trailer.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

The last of the fuel is put into one of the generators.

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
The piles of stuff for the cars getting bigger by the front door, certainly looking as though there is no turning back now..
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Trailer ready for packing.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
This was a really nice and simple idea, using an old leg from one of those steel school tables that we used to see around everywhere, apply some heat to it and bend it into position, drill a couple of holes and you have a small and effective antenna mount that clamps onto the spare wheel mount on the Land Rover…
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
One of the first jobs was to load the car with all the expensive bits first.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
And with the last of the heavy items now put into the back of the Landy in the form of the Challenger Linear, this car is basically packed.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
That’s twice in one day that I have seen Steve sweating! maybe he needs to go to the hospital, I think he’s having a heart attack, either that or Dan’s whipping him too much after watching too many kinky movies…
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
That’s the Land Rover full, now for the trailer…
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

Why do I always get the heavy boxes!

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

The fun bit is lifting the masts onto the trailer and then lowering them into the wooden boxes that have been made for them, not fun when they weigh so much, but not too much aggro…

Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Nice simple and effective carrying crate for the masts, very neatly done guys!
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
Nearly done, all put in its right place and all ready to be clamped down and covered up for the journey home.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014
The Crew all ready to go!
Here is a Map of contacts made during the DXpedition in 2014.
Wessex Contest Group DXpedition to the Isle of Man 2014

Download a High Resolution version of the above Contact map on the link below:

Thanks to the few locals that made the effort

Thanks go out to the locals that made the effort to meet up with the guys, it was very much appreciated:

John Butler – GD0NFN

Stan Ellis – GD3LSF

Bob Barden – MD0CCE

Collin Ingles – MD0PWI

Thanks for the visit guys, your activation on the Isle of Man was very much appreciated and enjoyed by many. It was a real pleasure to meet you guys, Thanks for this… Many 73’s

It was a little disappointing that the so called ‘ONLY Official‘ club on the island could not be bothered to offer any help to the guys both prior to coming to the Isle of Man or whilst they were here even after e-mails were sent to them and then. Also when the guys hit the rock, not one club member even showed up whilst they were here operating to even say hello, but I suppose this is what is expected nowadays from ‘Closed, Private Clubs’.

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