Sunday, May 01, 2011

Celebrating the Royal Wedding as GR4VXE

I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that OFCOM had offered us the chance to use a special prefix to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton (have you noticed how she's become Catherine recently!). The special call can be used from the date of their wedding, 29th April for 11 days.

On the day of the wedding my QSOs were all on 70MHz - but it was nice to catch up with some of the locals as I was using the special call. I was out and about a little from the mobile on both 144MHz and 433MHz too, so fun to use the call there too. Tried a few CQs on 29.600MHz FM, but no luck!

Today, I caught a little sporadic E on 50MHz this morning, so worked I0JX and I0WTD from the Rome area. Once again, tried a CQ on 70.200MHz but no luck. Also had a really nice DSTAR QSO with Gordon, G8PNN from Northumberland who I'd not spoken to for years. It was really good to catch up and hear about some of the interesting QSOs that he's been having recently - including optical ones!

This afternoon, after some pleasant 70MHz FM QSOs, I biked over to Windmill Hill taking the FT817 and whip as well as the Icom IC-E92. 28MHz was quite interesting and I was pleased to hear some African DX coming through; ZS1AX, ZS1ACH and a 5R7 (I think) all on phone. Heard a I3 working into Brazil (PP5) on CW and A61Q on 24MHz CW before switching over to VHF/UHF.

I called through GB3UK on Cleeve Hill and worked Mike, G4UXC a friend from a long way back. We were licenced around the same sort of time and it was good to work him with the special call. Last but not least, before pedalling back to Longworth was a QSO with John, G4SRE/M in Swindon. John's a great 70MHz FM enthusiast so we swapped news about the band. John's a native of South Wales and I'm hoping that I'll be able to work him on 70MHz FM from a mountain top in Wales at some point! Ought to be able to do it from here...

And this evening, I was pleased to work the Camb-Hams expedition to the Isle of Arran, GS3PYE/P on 7MHz - probably my first 7MHz SSB QSO in a couple of years!

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