The 11th August saw the Bittern DX Group setting up camp on the fields at Marsham in Norfolk (JO02OS) ready for the annual Starting Handle Club show. It was our first outing with all the new kit on display and, anticipating a steep learning curve, we set up on the Friday which proved to be a good decision as it took some time!
Final assembly with all the electronics was on the morning of the first day and we were up and running by 9am. What was surprising was the number of tractors there – we would estimate there were several hundred of all possible types! What made it especially interesting was the noise . . . audible and QRM. We never knew just how loud and electrically noisy some vintage machinery can be!!
However, as we have come to expect of late now the bands were pretty much dead, and although a few QSOs were made on HF, the local noise levels made that hard going so congratulations to our latest Intermediate license pass, Sue 2E0TSZ for her efforts in achieving those.
The weather satellite reception drew interest as always and fortunately the noise levels didn’t affect that too much. In between satellite passes, the VHF beam was pointed southwards and we managed two VHF SSB contacts to Surrey and Kent, which was pleasing.
With over 3,500 members of the public attending we spoke with a great many people, demonstrating various aspects of amateur radio, although it was noticeable that there were very few youngsters present. But we spoke with some those that were and at least 5 young people went away very excited at what they saw. Even a musician with the visiting Taverham Brass Band (who were very good!) noticed the aerials and came to see us. It turned out he was an M0 so perhaps not too surprising!