LEFARS Field Weekend 2-3 August 2014

The second summer Field weekend was held over the weekend of 2nd and 3rd August at the Rainbow & Dove, Hastingwood in Essex. Close to the Harlow conurbation  and the M11 J7  junction, it is a haven of peace if you discount the muted background roar of traffic on the motorway.   One of the attractions of the site is the pub with food and drink available to supplement on-site catering facilities hidden amongst the collection of tents and collection of antenna masts.  Yes, LEFARS were back at the R&D.

WP_20140802_022The theme this weekend was “bring your own gear”. The club’s two frame tents, tables, chairs and Honda genny/240V AC  were supplied.  It was a chance to test out antenna’s, try a different band and socialise.  Several stayed overnight – Dave M0TAZ, George M1GEO  and Chris G8OCV, Ron G6LTT and Karen.  The ‘LTT  encampment included a portable loo (hidden behind the green wind breakers – above).

WP_20140802_009Saturday morning had started very wet, storms were expected, but fortunately over by 10am and the rest of the weekend was hot and sunny.By Saturday lunchtime the main infrastructure was in place and it was time for lunch. For some this took longer than others, the attractions of good beer and food being impossible to resist :-). The R&D did close for lunch at 4pm but re-opened two hours later.

Dave M0TAZ operated in the low power 144MHz contest, from 2pm, used  his  IC-7100, 12m mast and 9 ele tonna beam outside in the sunshine and underneath the beam. Best DX was 319 km into JN19 France. (photos left and below. Separate blog report here – the log only here).WP_20140802_020

Brian 2E0FHU had his antenna up during the day and experimenting with his new dipole based on two roach poles.  This was used for HF. Unfortunately a structural defect (one of the wooden  support poles broke later in the evening) was discovered but this is what the weekend was for. To experiment.


Selim M0XTA operating the  HF station

Selim M0XTA operating the HF station

L to R. John G0VEH, PEter G4FQF, Dave G3VGR and Dick G4DDP  ponder the MFJ loop antenna....

L to R. John G0VEH, Peter G4FQF, Dave G3VGR and Dick G4DDP ponder the MFJ loop antenna….


At 6.30pm 19 diners assembled for the pre-booked meal at the R&D. One of the largest gatherings we have had for a while. The food was excellent; we managed to eat the entire weekend’s supply of apple pie and all of the steak and kidney pudding.




It was nice to see some old faces (including Frank G0LWI and Beryl plus Dave G3VGR) there.  An accident on the M11, closing the motorway,  meant huge traffic disruption in the surrounding area with up to 2 hours delay for some during the afternoon.









WP_20140802_044After the meal,  around 9pm,  George M1GEO and Chris G8OCV set up their 20m 3 element monoband yagi and 12m telescopic SCAM (Self Contained Antenna Mast) mast to work some  DX overnight. As this was done at dusk , generator-powered halogen lights  were used for an hour or so whilst the beam was put together. High viz jackets were tied to the guys to avoid tripping over when moving the equipment into the HF tent! This included a IC-7700.10495293_1440796439535433_6146850635033784874_o

10448588_1440797039535373_5241170407787329735_oThe DX window continued into Sunday morning and the 20m gear used during the day as well. Some good DX, including several VK’s was achieved (click on screen image to expand).

Dave M0TAZ also used his Icom IC-7100 on 40m and 20m (when the beam wasn’t in use) from the second HF tent.

10511446_1440796436202100_6467806043128893140_oDuring Sunday, more visitors and members arrived.  Peter G0DZB, a friend of John G0VEH, brought along his Elecraft KX3 and worked a JA station on 18m CW. 10W (battery power) and Pro-whip bungeed to the fencing. Derek M0XDC was operating on WSPR from his car, conditions were generally fairly flat on 4om.

(left) Peter G0DZB) using his Elecraft KA3. (right) Derek M0XTA supervising WSPR but not asleep!

(left) Peter G0DZB using his Elecraft KX3 for a JA contact on 18m. (right) Derek M0XDC supervising WSPR but not asleep!

R& D Field Weekend site as at noon 3rd August

R& D Field Weekend site as at noon 3rd August

R& D Field Weekend site slightly earlier

R& D Field Weekend site slightly earlier

Sunday lunch was partaken by a few, it was a chance to have a beer or two and watch the operating from afar.

Ron G6LTT with essential supplies

Sunday lunchtime – Ron G6LTT with essential supplies

Activity on several bands continued into the late afternoon, with the inevitable packing up starting around 4pm.  We left at 5pm. A most enjoyable weekend.

Dave G3ZXF  with the 20m station

Dave G3ZXF with the 20m station

John G0VEH on the 2nd HF station

John G0VEH on the 2nd HF station




John G8DZH
email: g8dzh@lefars.org.uk

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