Silent Key – GM0BMV – John Mackay

Sad to report the passing of John Mackay, GM0BMV at the age of 79.

john was a native of Harris and had served as Radio Officer  onboard Empress liners.

For many years to was a Radio officer at the UK Coast Radio Station Oban Radio / GNE and was the final Officer in Charge (and therefore the last morse examiner)  and the last man out of the door when the station closed.

After his time at GNE John obtained his Amateur Radio licence with the callsign GM0BMV and particularly enjoyed CW contacts with maritime mobile stations including GM0HCQ on the Antarctic Survey vessels.

John had been unwell since April of this year but was admitted to hospital in Oban early September where he died on 13th September.  John was well known in the Oban and North Connel area and a good crowd gathered at Achnaba Church to say farewell to him on 21st September.


Lorne Rally – Crianlarich – Sunday 7th August 2016

The 2016 Lorne Amateur Radio Rally takes place on Sunday 7th August.

The venue is the Village Hall in Crianlarich.

The rally runs from 10.30 to 14.30.

UPDATE – A few images from the 2016 Rally – Everyone loves the raffle !!

Lorne Rally 2016 at Crianlarich - everyone loves the raffle

Lorne Rally 2016 at Crianlarich – everyone loves the raffle

2016-08-07 13.32.50 2016-08-07 13.33.02

European HF Championship – Sat 6th August 2016

Full contest rules at

The European HF Championship is organised by the Slovenian Contest Club and takes place on the first Saturday of August each year from 12.00 UTC to 23.59 UTC.

This is a contest specifically for European Amateur Radio stations. It’s purpose is for European Amateurs to contact as many other European Amateurs and compete for the “European HF Champion” title. Only EU to EU contacts count (based on CQWW countries list).

All contest bands (i.e. no WARC) are used 160 to 10. Modes are CW or SSB or both.

Contest Exchange is:-

a)  RS(T) report plus a two digit number, meaning the last two digits of the year of operator’s first ever official amateur radio license(i.e. 59(9) 82 means that operator received his/her first ever official amateur radio license in the year 1982).

b)  Operators operating from club stations and guest operators operating from stations owned by other amateurs must sign a two digit number corresponding to the year of his / her own – the operator’s first ever official amateur license, NOT the first license of the station

Full contest rules at

Logs can be uploaded at

The contest logger SD V18.34 from supports this contest –  Select the “EU HF Championship” template.

CQ1EPIX repeater operational at 2,350 metres asl

A new cross-band repeater CQ1EPIX has been installed by União de Radioamadores dos Açores – the Azores Amateur Radio Union,  at 2350m asl on Pico Island, Azores

Portuguese Radio Amateurs Antonio Paz / CU3AJ and Paulo Gomes / CR8ABI) began the arduous climb to the highest point of Mount Pico in Pico Island at 5:30am on Saturday 2nd July 2016 to assembly the repeater. This is the highest mountain on Portuguese territory and the third highest emerging from the Atlantic Ocean, reaching 2,351 meters (7,713 ft) above sea level in the North Atlantic Ocean about 1,360 km (850 mi) west of continental Portugal.

CQ1EPIX is a cross-band repeater operating on the frequencies Tx / Rx: 144.550 MHz and Tx / Rx: 439.550 MHz with CTCSS: 82.5 Hz.

Repeater Information
Call Sign: CQ1EPIX;
Frequency Tx / Rx VHF: 144.550 MHz;
CTCSS tone: 82.5 Hz;
Frequency Tx / Rx UHF: 439.550 MHz;
CTCSS tone: 82.5 Hz;
Geographic coordinates (WGS 84): 38 ° 28 ‘04.9 “N / 28 ° 24’ 01.9” W;
Locator Maidenhead: HM58tl;
Location: Mount Pico – Pico Island – Azores;
License Association released: União de Radioamadores dos Açores.

CQ1EPIX antenna installation and equipment cabin CQ1EPIX Paulo CR8ABI installing the repeater CQ1EPIX-above-the-clouds


MSF 60 kHz Time and Frequency Signal downtime July 2016

The MSF 60 kHz time and frequency signal broadcast from Anthorn Radio Station will be off-air for annual maintenance work from:

Monday 4 July until Wednesday 20 July (including weekends).  The signal will be off-air each day between 08:00 BST and 18:00 BST unless the weather is too poor to allow maintenance work to be carried out.

The transmitter will be returned to full service as soon as work is completed. The interruption to the transmission is required to allow essential maintenance work to be carried out in safety.

Scottish Amateur Radio Convention 2017

A Scottish Amateur Radio Convention
is being planned for 30th April 2017

The convention will be held at the Intu Braehead Centre near the City of Glasgow/ The centre  boasts excellent access by road, rail, air and public transport. There are a wealth of local hotels and activities. Car parking is plentyful.

InTu is best known as a shopping centre but also hosts an Arena, a Curling arena (where the convention will take place) and a massive area outside facing onto the Rive Clyde. The Venue features a large food court including  Starbucks, KFC, Costa and more, as well as having a whole host of other shopping needs catered for, also within a five-minute walk is a Large Ikea. This is a venue for all the Family.

Sunday 30th April is the day before the early May public holiday. so this is a great excuse to visit the convention, let the family enjoy all the facilities of Braehead and maybe make a weekend of it with visits to Loch Lomond or Glasgow or the many visitor attraction within easy reach of the location.

You can keep up to date on the Convention webpage which will provide details of the convention, the stall holders and exhibitors.

SKCC SKSE – Straight Key Sprint Europe Thu 5 May

First Thursday of each month is time for The SKCC European Sprint.

SKSE (Straight Key Sprint Europe) takes place as follows:-

18.45 UTC  / 19.45 BST / 20.45 ECT – Slow Morse QRS for 15 minutes

1900 UTC / 2000 BST / 2100 ECT – Main Sprint for 2 hours

2100 UTC / 2200 BST / 2300 ECT – Slow Morse (QRS) for the final 15 minutes


IRTS 40 Metres Counties Contest Sunday 8th May 12:00 to 15:00 UTC.

The IRTS 40 Metres Counties Contest takes place on Sunday next, 8th May, from 12:00 to 15:00 UTC.  The contest has Fixed and Portable sections, with two mode options: SSB Only or SSB/CW.  The Rules are here.

A few points to note …

  • Those planning to operate in the portable sections should familiarise themselves with the Requirements for Portable Section Entries
  • Permitted frequencies are: CW 7000-7040;   SSB 7060-7100 & 7130-7175
  • To encourage more CW operation in the mixed mode sections, there is a final score bonus of 1,000 points for any entry that includes at least 10 valid CW QSOs with EI or GI stations
  • There is a suggested CW “centre of activity” of 7022

Sussex Electronics and Radio Fair – Sat 4 Sun 5 June 2016

Sussex Electronics and Radio Fair | MakingThings

Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th of June 2016

Weekend Itinerary and Times      We are taking BOOKINGS now.
Following our encouraging inaugural event last year, SERF 2016 in Eastbourne, East Sussex, is now even bigger and better than ever!  The Sussex Electronics and Radio Fair has expanded into a TWO day weekend event and incorporates:
  • Plenty of Indoor and Outdoor Venue Space
    • Indoor (Main Hall), Workshops/Demo’s (Main Hall Room) | Range of Outdoor Stands, Larger Displays, Pitches, Vehicle Displays etc.
    • Free stand for Clubs, Societies, Groups, Associations, HackSpace, Education, Schools, Colleges and Universities.
    • Should you wish to attend for weekend, or just a single day (either), then this is fine.
    • Main hall will be locked and alarmed, out of opening hours, so you may safely leave your tables and stock secure.  Security persons onsite.
    • Exhibitors setup, and overnight accommodation, from Friday evening.
    • Indoor Workshop Room being built within the main hall for Demos, Talks, Workshops, Product Launches etc.  Interested in a slot?
    • Outdoor SERF Operating Station & facilities, open to all licensed operators.
    • Exhibitors access via the main SERF entrance.
  • MakingThings
    • This is a Sunday addition in parallel to SERF and is set to inspire young Engineers, Inventors and Designers.  We are looking for workshop projects/kits, not just electronic but general engineering products, robotics, multi-copters, modelling and other ideas. Lets get the kids MakingThings!
      e are looking for kind sponsors & equipment! (kits, soldering irons etc).
  • Camping, Caravanning and Motorhomes
    • With FREE use of changing rooms and showers. If you plan to stay in vehicle, not a problem.
  • Saturday Evening SERF Party and Social Time
    • Outdoor stage. Musicians welcomed to come along, enjoy, have fun  and jam!
  • Sunday Tabletop Boot Fair
    • In parallel to SERF.
  • Raffle Prizes and Prize Draw
  • FREE WiFi Internet Access
    • In Main Hall, Refreshment and Outside Areas.
  • Hot and Cold Refreshments.
    • Mouth watering Hog Roast Catering by Hoggits, with Bacon Breakfasts, including Veggie options. Delicious Home Made Ice Creams and Cakes.
  • Easy Access. FREE Parking, with Disabled Facilities

Check out our NEW website for full details and BOOK online NOW! or printout the PDF and post/email.

Bookings before 30th April will automatically get a 10% discount on all items.

As an exhibitor, if you book before April 30th, you are also being offered FREE weekend Camping, Caravanning or Motorhome stay, with any booking over three stands/pitches, or if you are an overseas exhibitor.  Please use coupon code: serf2016-exhstay

Should you not be able to attend, please would you be interested in providing any items which could be used in our Raffle and Prize Draw, or even look to sponsor us in some way?

We are also completely open to ideas which could help you and us, so if you have any special requirements, suggestions, feedback, needs etc.  Please let us know.

We look forward to meeting you all at SERF 2016.

Dave Williams, G8PUO, +44 78 0707 4538
The SERF Team.

Tommy Hughes GM3EDZ – silent key

The death has been announced of Tommy Hughes GM3EDZ, a very well known and influential member of the Amateur Radio community in Central Scotland.

Tommy died at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Glasgow on 23rd December 2015 at the age of 88.

The death has been reported of well known Scottish Radio Amateur Tommy Hughes GM3EDZ

The death has been reported of well known Scottish Radio Amateur Tommy Hughes GM3EDZ

An obituary in The Herald and Evening Times newspapers read:-

HUGHES — THOMAS PATRICK (GM3EDZ) at The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital on 23rd December 2015, peacefully and surrounded by family after 88 wonderful years. Much loved and loving husband, dad, grandpa and great-grandpa. Greatly missed by all 73’s Tom. Reception and vigil at Church of Our Lady and St George, G52 2QE on Wednesday, 6th January 2016 at 6.30pm. Funeral Mass on Thursday, 7th at 9.30am, thereafter Craigton Crematorium at 10.30am. No flowers, thank you.

Les Hamilton GM3ITN commented on the obituary:-

“So sad to here of your passing Tommy seems like yesterday when we first met 70 years ago. I will always remember the happy times together.
Best DX to the land of the big antennas
your old Pal Les Hamilton GM3ITN”

And Graham Knight GM8FFX also commented:-

“I am very sorry to hear of Tommy’s death.
He was a leading light in the Radio and TV trade and a former President of The SRRA ( The electrical retailers Association).
I also knew Tommy as a fellow amateur radio enthusiast and again he played a leading part in organising events and exhibitions in connection with the hobby.
My condolences go to May and all the members of Tommy’s family.
Graham Knight GM8FFX”