Saturday, August 29, 2015

My video from the EJ7NET Gola Island trip

This is a video put together from pictures of the recent EJ7NET activation of Gola Island, Co. Donegal. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Video from our activation of Gola Island by Gordon GM7WCO

This lovely video featuring a mixture of photos and video footage with music from the EJ7NET activation of Gola Island was created by team member Gordon GM7WCO. We hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Video - 40 metres SSB pile-up as EJ7NET nears QRT time

What a phenomenal last evening on Gola. I sat at the radio after dinner with the last radio and antenna remaining and started working stations, slowly at first, many from the UK. But as the evening wore down the pile-up got bigger and bigger and bigger, until I eventually had to split. I'm not sure what the QSO count was but the conditions were fantastic. It sounded at times like all of Europe was calling.

This is me at my very best. I love SSB pile-ups. I like giving everyone the chance to get in the log. Sometimes this requires me to calm things down, when some stations are calling out of turn. But generally it was quite orderly and I hope that everyone that tried made it into the log. This is just a snippet of the action, from early in the pile-up. As you can hear, I struggled a bit with the German mobile station, but I made sure I got him 100% right before moving on . . .

EJ7NET Gola pile-up on 40 metres SSB

We spotted this video of last night's 40m SSB pile-up on YouTube. Thanks to the HAM RADIO channel.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

EJ7NET Gola Island activation is QRT with 4,500+ QSOs

It's the end of the Gola activation. The EJ7NET operation from the island is now officially QRT. All stations have been dismantled and the antennas are put away. We had a fantastic run on 40 metres SSB this evening, with great conditions into the UK and Europe and a sustained pile-up. I was glad to have had the opportunity to work the pile for a couple of hours and it was exhilarating.

These are our final statistics. As you can see, we had a huge amount of action on 40, 30 and 20 metres, with total CW QSOs dominating at 3,252 compared with 1,299 phone contacts. We managed just 17 QSOs on 6 metres, which was not bad considering the band never really opened. 15 metres was a huge disappointment, but we got some nice runs into Japan on 17 CW on Monday and Tuesday around lunchtime which helped build up the total. 30 metres was a real "bread and butter" band, with almost constant activity. We feel that our location close to the Atlantic Ocean certainly helped our Q rate.

We celebrated our significant total with a nice meal cooked by Tony EI3HA consisting of half pounder beef burgers washed down with a glass or two of red wine.

The weather turned inclement again and it was raining while the antennas were being taken down. The team has to retire early because we have to be up at dawn so that we can get all our gear down to the pier where the boat back to the mainland arrives at 9am.

Gordon made a few videos of me running the 40m SSB pile-up. Because I'm on limited mobile phone data, I'll wait until I get home to upload them so look out for a further update tomorrow.

Empty desks . . . the Gola activation is now QRT.

EJ7NET makes over 4,000 QSOs in three days

It's official. EJ7NET's Gola activation has logged over 4,000 QSOs in less than 72 hours. The station tear-down takes place this evening at around 18:00 local time. We might get a couple of hundred more by then. There was another opening to Japan on 17 metres this afternoon, with about two dozen or so JAs logged.

Rolf operating portable from the cliff tops on Gola Island.
EJ/HB9DGV/P on Gola.
To celebrate our success, the EJ7NET QSL manager for the Gola activity, Rolf HB9DGV, brought his Elecraft KX1 to the top of the cliffs on the western end of the island and made about 30 QSOs as EJ/HB9DGV/P. He was running just 3 watts into a Sota dipole. Two of the QSOs were transatlantic.

While Rolf was up on the summit, accompanied by Declan and Gordon, Liam had a good run on 40 metres SSB, working mainly UK stations, helped by Tony who took over and continued the run.

Spectacular dawn on Gola as we exceed 3,000 QSOs

The dawn broke on Gola Island, off the Donegal coast, this morning at around 6.40am. As you can see, it was worth getting up early for. We've exceeded 3,000 QSOs here at EJ7NET, and in fact we're almost at 3,500, which, given the conditions, we're well pleased with. Remember that we're a barefoot wire antenna operation. There are no linears or beams at EJ7NET. The best DX yesterday was a run to JA on 17 metres and there was a VK6 on 20 metres. We have 16 QSOs in our 6 metre log, which I think is more than we had on Cape Clear last year.

The team is in good spirits. The food continues to be excellent, and the camaraderie is great. We hit 80 metres last night but found it somewhat disappointing. I was on 80 cw around midnight working whatever stations were there to be worked. We have to remember it's still only August, so the wintertime DX is just not there on 80 and it has been quite noisy, even at this QTH which is removed from all the electrical interference of busy civilisation.

We're planning tear down this evening, as we have to leave the island in the morning. So if you haven't worked us yet and want to get us in the log, it has to be today!

Our QSL manager for this activation is Rolf, HB9DGV.