International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend

This weekend sees the annual International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend, something that is close to mine and the Strumble Head Amateur Radio Klub’s hearts. This is where SHARK started and is where we get our name from. 

The object of the weekend is to work as many lighthouses or lightships that are on the air, or to have more fun get to a lighthouse and activate it. We were very lucky with Strumble Head Lighthouse in the fact that we were allowed to set up our kit actually in the lighthouse and having our antenna on the helicopter landing pad. It was a hard slog up to the light with all our kit, but well worth it for the fun and camaraderie we have as friends. 

You don’t have to be in the lighthouse to count as activating it, as long as you are at or adjacent to the lighthouse and can see the lighthouse from your position. All details are in the link above (click on the bold ILLW) and go have fun on the radio. I will be chasing them from home this year, but we may be active from a new one next year.

New Images on Red Bubble

This week I resurrected my account on the Red Bubble website. This will allow me to sell items other than just prints with my images on them, for example a nice tablet/laptop case with the Red Arrows in flypast with the BA Boing 747 in the old BOAC livery, or the Fulcrum of the Ukrainian air force on a beach towel (the “Ghost of Kiev”). Many more will be added over the coming months and I will add new going forward after the shoots/air shows. I may even have some special stuff for radio amateurs on there.

Top Gun – Maverick

YESSSS… Finally got to see it tonight. And it sure lives up to the hype. The flying sequences are amazing and have to be seen on the big screen. The first “BONG” of the bell in the opening credits sets the scene perfectly, and I swear I could smell Av Gas too.

RIAT and the Week following.

Well it happened, and it was one of the best I have done. A long week of hard work and fun with friends I haven’t seen for 3 years. The aircraft and statics were a excellent mixed bag from plenty of different countries. The highlights for myself were the Korean Black Eagles, the flypast by the Airbus Beluga XL (my first time seeing this aircraft so close) the Austrian Typhoon and C130 QRA demonstration, the Belgian F-16 paintwork with the green snake, the E4B “Jumbo” of the USA, and the helicopter SAR demo by the Czech air force.

The accommodation this year was also different to previous years, being off site at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester, where we were welcomed and looked after brilliantly. Nicknamed by us volunteers as Hogwarts (from the Harry Potter books) due to how the buildings looked, and the bar was just like the dining room from the films. Friendly staff and clean rooms go a long way when you have been on the airfield for a 12 hour day. I must also thank all the air cadets who attend the show each year and help with setting up and on the airfield, doing the dreaded F.O.D plod (Foreign Object Damage), picking up any rubbish and other debris that could damage the aircraft.

All in all a very enjoyable but tiring week, glad I had the following week off to recharge and edit my photo’s. Narrowing down 1600 to around 80 to share, and then processing through Photo Shop to get a final Jpeg. These will be in the gallery with the ability to buy them when I upload.

Most Wanted DXCC List Updated

Today has seen ClubLog update the DXCC Most Wanted list. North Korea (P5) still tops it with Bouvet (3Y/B) and Crozet (FT5/W) in second and third respectively. Hopefully Bouvet and Crozet will go ahead later this year and in the early part of 2023 allowing them to drop down the table a little. 

Most of the other entities in the top 10 have been activated within the last 20 years, but we still need DXpeditions to go and activate them. None are cheap and easy places to reach so please do give a donation to them to help cover their costs.

Friedrichshafen 2022 – The verdict

So Friedrichshafen 2022 was a great success, and I am already booking for next year. Plenty of photo’s taken which will be up in my gallery next week. The place itself is so clean and tidy, the company was even better.

It was a pleasure to make new friends, and meet old friends that have not been seen for a number of years. The show itself was more than I expected, even though it was smaller than previous years. Hopefully Friedrichshafen 2023 will be back to normal and will have more people in attendance.

Can definitely recommend a visit if you have never been.

GQ1VDP Jubilee Call Update

Just a quick update on how the GQ1VDP call is going. I have been exclusively working on FT8 for now, maybe some RTTY next week before I go to Friedrichshafen. 

So after just a few days, and getting on air around my work schedule, I have made over 300 contacts using just 100w from my TS590SG into a Dual Beam Pro at 20ft – it still amazes me how well this antenna works. The contacts range from across Europe to the Middle East and Asia, North and South America. 

Keep looking for me around the usual FT8 frequencies, and on the RTTY frequency around 14088/21088 give or take QRM.

GQ1VDP – Special Call for Queens Platinum Jubilee

Well I have returned from the Midlands Air Festival absolutely shattered but having had a fantastic time and so much fun, making new friends and renewing old friendships. But it is now time to start with the special call for our Queens 70 years as our Monarch. I will be operating on digital modes using GQ1VDP until 30th June 2022, with a short break to visit Friedrichshafen. Please listen out for me and give me a call. Please follow the instructions below and on for details.

DO NOT SEND GQ1VDP THROUGH THE BUREAU!!!!! Follow route below ONLY! Any cards sent through the bureau will not be collected.


DIRECT QSL REQUIREMENT – Important. QSL requirements are US$2 or 1 x IRC.

BUREAU QSL REQUIREMENT – NOTE : Request it! don’t send it! Use my OQRS. Thank you!
If you require a QSL via the bureau please click link above send your QSO details and request a QSL to be sent via the bureau.

Please DO NOT send your QSL Via Bureau, USE THE OQRS LINK ABOVE

All information you will find on our daily blog at WWW.G1VDP.COM