Author - Chris Cloclough G1VDP

Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2023

Well it happened, it was damp, it was dry, it was windy, but overall it was fun. Yes I have been off for a while as I have been doing my usual mid year volunteering and vacationing. Firstly with the Midlands Air Festival, then out to Friedrichshafen, RIAT, and finally a week in Wales chilling with my mate down on his farm.

But the big event was RIAT. What an excellent week it was again. Laughter, tears, aches, pain, and making new friends. The weather did it’s best to put dampeners on the proceedings, but our visitors are a hardy bunch and dedicated to watch the aircraft fly and also see up close the statics.

Here’s a few of the images out of the thousand plus that ended up on my memory cards.

Friedrichshafen Ham Radio 2023

The time is upon us once again to make our way to a small German town for the biggest Ham radio show in Europe. From Wednesday myself, Adrian (G6AD) and Charles (M0OXO) will be making our way to London Heathrow airport for a day of photography (aircraft), a stay overnight, and then a flight to Zurich for the start of the epic journey to FHN. A small glitch with our flight booking being cancelled and being forced by British Airways to get a later flight, thanks for the hour lost changing these times BA.

That aside the weekend will be another one to enjoy and create memories. Meeting old and new friends, having fun, and generally talking amateur radio. Along with good food, plenty of beer, and good company it takes place on the banks of Lake Constance with it’s beautiful scenery and beautiful buildings. I will have the camera with me so I hope to get some images to add to my next blog. 

If you are going to be there yourself come over to the IOTA stand and say hello, this will be in the DX Plaza along with the best DX clubs in Europe. It will be fun to meet you and get a photo to share.

Midlands Air Festival 2023

It’s that time of year again, the Midlands Air Festival is upon us. It takes place at Ragley Hall, Near Alcester as usual. The same venue as the past few years. Once more I am volunteering there and will be taking the usual photographs and (hopefully) start sharing them on here. 

Come along if you are in the area and see the balloons and varying aircraft.

GR1VDP – Spceial Call For The Coronation of King Charles is on the air

From May 1st 2023 through to June 30th 2023 UK radio amateurs can apply for a Notice of Variation to their licence to use a secondary letter in the prefix of their call to celebrate the coronation of King Charles on 6th May. I have taken out the NoV to see if it can get my interest back in the hobby. Today (1st May) I have been calling on 12M FT8 working a few from Europe, and across to the USA. These will be uploaded to LOTW and ClubLog later along with the usual QSL route through my manager Tim (M0URX) online QSL request system (OQRS) on his website. I will be looking at the design of a new card from next week when we have some photos of this event.

So remember  to look out for the call GR1VDP on your screens or on the air and give me a call.

Enjoyment of the Hobby

So for the past few months I have not been enjoying my amateur radio hobby for numerous reasons, especially because of the behaviour on the bands. There has been much talk on forums about this from some people who are very knowledgeable and have been in the hobby for many years. Some from new comers who are only just finding their feet and are being put off by this behaviour, and some from people who have been “around” the hobby for years but are now just starting to take it seriously. BUT no action is being taken to attempt to dispel the perpetrators or find them and have words to retrain them. 

Some of the comments have also been comical – “it’s those from 11M (CB) that are to blame” “these new licences are being given away in Cornflake packets now so no training needed” – portioning the blame from some quarters. Some of the best operators I know served an “apprenticeship” on 11M, learning about propagation, how to behave in pileups, and how to listen. Some of the callers I have heard in the bad behaviour bunch have been some of the “Old Timers” who made these comments, and some of the so called knowledgeable people in the hobby. Even some of the top dogs in the DX clubs out there. Maybe clean up you own houses boys first.

But this is not the only reason for my none enjoyment of the hobby. Where I have moved to I cannot get the antennas in the air I would like, even a small compromise antenna is out of the question. And I currently have only a 10/12M vertical dipole that is restricting me to these bands – here’s my 11M knowledge coming to the fore now. But even with this I am not having the fun I used to have. As I have written before maybe it is time for me to step back, think about the hobby as a whole, and take a time out. I know it will soon be time to go to Friedrichshafen for the big show, and even that I am thinking of just going and not do the show just visit the area and see some more of the German countryside – even take a trip to one of the German cities if they are close enough. 

So if any one is interested in buying a Kenwood TS590SG with matching speaker drop me an email, and lets talk.  

Clipperton Island DXpedition TX5S

For Immediate Release Press Release #1 March 20, 2023
Clipperton Island DXpedition (NA-011)

Since its formation in 2013 the Perseverance DX Group ( has conducted five DXpeditions, logging over 340,000 QSOs. From being chased off Mellish Reef by a cyclone to living on an Antarctic island for two weeks the team continues to plan projects that create excitement on the bands for the big guns and the little pistols.

After their successful 2020 VP8PJ South Orkney Islands and 2022 TX5N Austral Islands projects the Perseverance DX Group is pleased to announce their intention to activate Clipperton Island (NA-011).

Now designated a protected environmental reserve, visits to Clipperton require a lengthy and detailed application process. Leveraging our previous experience to sensitive and UNESCO World Heritage locations, the government of French Polynesia issued our team a landing permit.

Planning has begun for an expedition January 18 – February 2, 2024. A team of experienced DX and contest operators will operate from Clipperton Island for up to 15 days. The call sign TX5S has been reserved for this project. Up to eight operating positions are planned for 160-6 meters, SSB/CW/Digital operation. It will have been 11 years since the last Clipperton DXpedition, future activations may have to wait even longer. This will be the first 60m and FT8 operation from Clipperton.

The team will sail from San Diego, California aboard Shogun, a veteran of the 2000, 2008 and 20013 Clipperton DXpeditions.

Team members include: Jacky ZL3CW, Dave K3EL, Steve W1SRD, Ricardo PY2PT, Gene K5GS, Heye DJ9RR, Laci HA0NAR, Walt N6XG, Rob N7QT, Glenn KE4KY, Chris N6WM, Arliss W7XU, Philippe FO4BM, Dave WD5COV and Andreas N6NU. Joining the team will be a scientist from the University of French Polynesia who will conduct studies while on the island.

Additional details will be announced as they develop. Please direct your questions to:

73, Clipperton 2024 Team

V26EI Antigua Island (IOTA NA-100)

This week saw the start of the DXpedition to Antigua by some of my friends from the Emerald Isle, Eire, start. The EIDX group who have gone out to have some fun on the radio and the HF Bands. Se the details below from Charles (M0OXO) website.

V26EI Antigua Island (IOTA NA-100)

11 members of the EI DX Group will be QRV from the 24th of March to the 2nd of April 2023 from Antigua Island, using the call V26EI. It is hoped to have the station built in time for the “CQ WW WPX SSB Contest”. The team will be running four IC-7300’s when fully setup and expect to operate all modes over the nine days. We hope to be QRV on 60m & 6m also subject to propagation.
FT8 Operating will use MSHV only!
Team members include;
Jeremy EI5GM – Team Leader, Thos EI2JD, Enda EI2II, Alain EI2KM, John EI4L, Dave EI4BZ, Jim EI4HH, Padraic EI5IX, Declan EI6FR, Declan EI9HQ, Dave EI9FBB


Well not posted much since the 3Y0J lads left. Never made contact with them  as they had to scale back due to the weather, which was something out of their hands. This is not the disappointment.

What is is the amount of people commenting, criticising, and when they were on air causing interference to their transmissions. It has made me think as to whether I want to stay in the hobby I love and have been a part of for over 36 years. Ignorant morons that expect to make the contact. Probably never been on any sort of expedition. And what we call armchair DXers. Yes this activation has really caused me to think about the hobby. They are all part of the “me, me, me” generation who feel they are entitled to it and do not want to work for the contact. 

And on top of that my mast falling over a week or so ago causing damage to my neighbours extension roof, luckily I only had it low as hadn’t fully set up all the guys, tipped me. I still have some kit but as I sit here I really am thinking “f**k it, sell the lot and walk away”. Maybe knitting is the way to go, or just go back to fishing and building model kits as I did when I was young.

3Y0J Bouvet Team Almost There

After a sea journey of almost 2 weeks the 3Y0J team are almost at their destination – Bouvetoya Island. They have sent messages back to their pilot in the USA expecting to be starting to get on land Monday 30th January 2023. This will be a 2 day process to get all the kit on the island and set up. They hope to be on the air for 2 weeks so we all will have a chance of working them on one mode or more. They are hoping to work unique calls, so stations with just one contact, to give little pistols a chance of getting a new one in the log – this is the category I class myself as being as I only have 100 watts and a wire at the minute. 

I have been tracking their progress, as I will all through the expedition until they arrive back in South Africa, and the image shows their position at the time of writing. They did lose the GPS facility for a couple of days, and that is why there are no tracking showing for these 2 days.

Safe sailing, landing and may the weather hold out for them. And good luck to you all trying to make contact with them. I personally am looking forward to the DVD coming out of the trip as a memento of this expedition.

Aviation History On This Day 1952

As can be seen from my photo’s and looking at the website I am an aircraft geek. So this interested me today (January 22nd 2023). This is the aircraft that has opened up the world for passenger flights and the development of bigger, safer, aircraft.

On Tuesday 22nd January 1952, the De Havilland Comet 1, the world’s first jet airliner gains its certificate of airworthiness.  The Comet entered service on 2nd May 1952 with British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).  However, within a year of entering service, a number of aircraft were lost to accidents.  These were eventually traced to metal fatigue in the airframe.  Although the aircraft was redesigned, its commercial sales suffered somewhat and only 114 examples were built.

BOAC ceased operations with the type in 1965, although many airframes were operated successfully by Dan Air for many years to come.  The last flight by a Comet was by an RAF Comet C4, XS235 (Canopus) in March 1997.  A number of surviving Comets are preserved in museums, including ‘Canopus’ which is kept in ground running and taxiing condition at Bruntingthorpe in Leicestershire.