The 2018 August Bank Holiday Portable Extravaganza

Following the LEFARS 2017 portable get together at the Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker hosted by the SNB Contest Group. LEFARS once again convened at the bunker for a fun filled weekend of operating and a Barbecue on the Saturday night. Following on from the long hot summer hopes were high for good weather and good conditions but….

Little did we know that the sun had different ideas and decided that it would lull us into a false sense of security with good weather and radio conditions on the Saturday and then blast us with a heavy all day rainstorm on the Sunday plus wiping out most of the radio propagation above 4 MHz before returning to benign conditions on the Monday. Despite all that the elements could throw at us it was a very good event with a few thoughts to take away to improve for next year.

The Bunker is located at Kelvedon Hatch near Brentwood Essex with the following link to the Bunker Museum which can be visited. The Secret Nuclear Bunker Contest Group are based here Below is a picture of the weekends setup courtesy of the M0TAZ drone

As you can see quite a wide variation on bands and aerials.                                                          The SNB Group erected a 20m, 15m and 10m three element yagi on a SCAM mast with an ICOM 7610 driving an Expert 1.3KFA linear, Dave M0TAZ used a 40m 1/4 wave vertical with elevated radials again being driven by a TS990S and Expert 1.3KFA linear.

The LEFARS contingent used the trailer mast to support an Innov 4m and 6m 4 element beam and also a halyard to support the centre feed of an 80m dipole. A separate mast was used to support a Tonna crossed 9 element beam for 2m and David M0VID brought along his recently acquired SCAM mast to test with M0TAZ’s 17m 3 element beam.

Power for all of this was provided by a combination of three Honda EU20i 2 kva generators which can be linked to provide a total of approximately 6 kva.

On the Monday Colin G4CWH made us all jealous when arrived in his ex OFCOM mobile station based on a Mercedes Sprinter with a 22m pump up mast, 6 kva onboard generator and operating setups inside, very nice !

Although radio conditions on Sunday along with the weather went downhill quite a few stations were worked throughout the weekend. The SNB setup recorded contact highlights of China, Australia, Cuba, Arizona and West Malaysia on 40m. On 80m stations around the UK were worked with a number of 2m stations worked out to about a 100 miles. A brief sporadic E event on 4m saw Hungary, Poland and Belgium worked with FT8 whilst on 6m a number of stations were worked across Europe on FT8 furthest being Ukraine.

Throughout the long weekend the following people visited.

George M1GEO
Dave M0TAZ & Harry
Chris G8OCV
Ron G6LTT & Karen
John G0VEH
John G8DZH
David M0VID & Pam (and Orla)
Brian 2E0FHU
John M0JGR
Andrew G8RZA
Peter G0IAP
Richard G4DDP
Dave M0MBD
John G0XBJ (and Murphy)
James 2E0JBU
Stuart G0CBT
Derek M0XDC & Sharon
Keith G1HEQ
Brian M0OAB & Boo M6OAB
Marc G0TOC
Fred G3SVK & Diane
Peter G4FQF
Steve M6SRE & Elaine
Cliff 2E0RCW                                                                                                                                   John M0XJN

Guests & visitors…
Peter G0DZB
Dorothy M0LMR
Richard G7OED
Pete M0PSX
Charlie M0PZT
Gavin M1BXF
Mark G7LEU
Simon 2E0MCZ & YL
Colin G4CWH
Chris 2E1GAD
Mark M0MJH

Below are some pictures from the weekend

David M0VID Operating on 17m

Marc G0TOC Operating on 2M

lGeneral view of site from ground level

Colin G4CWH ex OFCOM mobile shack with 20m pump up mast

Most important Barbecue just starting, mind the sausages !




Dave M0MBD’s chilli cooking !

First try of G0VEH Catering unit with carpentry courtesy of Peter G0IAP

Who said pigs don’t fly !

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