Railways On The Air 2014


Railways on the air



This year the group I am associated with M0LFG Leicester Fun (Radio) Group Were involved with Railways on the air. We operated from the parcel office of the old railway station in Rothley on the Great central Railway which Is a Heritage Railway. Using the call sign GB0GCR. We were using a half sized G5RV into my Yaesu FT-990. The bands were very busy and on Saturday we could not find a slot and ended up band hopping. Sunday we were a bit luckier and found a slot and found our set-up was doing really well, but favouring north/south.

dave radio2

Dave Making a voice contact

sandra morse 2

Sandra in morse qso


These pictures were taken from one of the video’s and I apologise for how dark they are. The area where we were operating was the parcels office of Rothley Station and this area and quite a few others areas were lighted by gas lighting. In keeping with the historical aspect of the railways and it was very difficult to get bright shots in this area, even with a flash. Using a phone video camera on which these shots were taken it is next to impossible to get a nice bright shot inside the parcels office. I wanted to include the photos here to show that the station was run entirely by people who wanted to operate and no one was pushed into operating. I myself did not do much operating as there was no shortage of people wanting to operate and I would have operated more if required. but wanted to give others every opportunity to operate when they wanted to.

I tried to brighten these pictures up using Gimp, but there is just not enough colour information contained in the pictures to improve the images.

For 2m we were using a Yaesu FT817 into an Home made 2m slim Jim made of ladder line. and this antenna was really cracking out. We tried qrp over the 2 days, but the bands were just to busy and we could not get enough hight. We didn’t have the ability to erect a full sized antenna and were using a wonder want wide bander and a wonderwand mag loop which were unfortunately being knocked about far to much.

It was our first ever Special event station and we learned a few lessons, but are generally very pleased with how the event went. and we owe a huge thanks to the staff at Rothley Station who were fantastic to work with and very accommodating.

We had about 2 and a half pages of call signs in the logs, no I don’t know how many contacts that was. I don’t think any of us were particularly interested in playing the numbers game and I do not think any of us bothered to make a count. We are the Fun radio Group and numbers of contact have little relevance to us.

A word On the RSGB

RSGBupsiderdownI have to say something about the RSGB news on GB3CF on a Sunday morning who completely messed up the announcement of our event and credited it to Leicester radio society. IT WAS NOTHING WHATEVER TO DO WITH LRS AND THEY HAD NO INVOLVEMENT IN THIS EVENT WHATEVER.

I and G4ZTD both corrected the announcement at the end of the news,by talking to the newsreader on the radio. I saw the script prior to the announcement and all it said was GB0GCR will be operating from Rothley station for railways on the air. THERE WAS NO MENTION OF OUR GROUP NAME AND ABSOLUTELY NO MENTION WHATEVER OF LRS ON THE SCRIPT.

When I corrected the news reader, instead of saying Oh sorry chaps I made a mistake. Which was frankly the response I would have expected and would have thought that reasonable. He instead proceeded to try and blame everyone else.He blamed our publicity where the fault was with the RSGB announcement. The newsreaders back peddling did concern me and I fail to understand what was so hard in saying sorry guys I made a mistake and instead just assuned It was LRS who were running this event. Had he read from his scriot he would not have nade this incorrect assumption.

We were advertised on qrz. and eqsl, our own sites, the railways on the air site and LRS. So we had done quite a bit of advertising ourselves , but when it gets to the RSGB they cock it up.

In truth If the script had been followed by the RSGB newsreader we would not have got our names mentioned (I suspect because we are not and never will now be affiliated to the RSGB) but then neither would LRS be given credit for our efforts arranging the event.

I am not having a pop at LRS here, but as part of our NOV conditions we have to publicize our event and we did our bit on this condition. The RSGB were contacted to help with that advertising and they completely cocked it up at thier end.

I have serious doubts that in future we as a group will have any further involvement with the RSGB in any way and certainly not for publicity, as they only cock things up, they just seem totally incompetent in all the dealings not only I have had with them. But a few of us have has similar experiences of this so called organisation (business) that say it helps radio amateurs, But the fact is they just don’t. Not unless they can make money out of it anyway.

It is typical of them though, no money in it for us so we wont do it. I am afraid this episode was the last straw for me with the RSGB. As fas as I can see they have never done any of us who have had any dealings with them any favours and as to publicity we don’t appreciate our efforts being credited to another organisation.-

This was the RSGB’s last chance as far as I am concerned and they messed up the PR and advertising, so I will be giving no more chances to the RSGB and my vote is that we will never ever affiliate to this business.

I think one or two of us are members of the RSGB at the moment, Which is fair enough and individuals choice, But I can almost guarantee that they will gain no new members from our group. Partly because of this advertising fiasco, Because make no mistake about it, a business is all they are and this bussiness aims is to help themselves to the wallets of anyone, whether they are interested in radio or notr to the tune of £50+ per year.

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