Special Event Station F/ON6JUN/P 2001 activation ... The story
After a week of preparation, we started our trip to Ranville-Normandie at 7 AM. We arrived at PEGASUS MEMORIAL MUSEUM in Ranville at 3 PM, as scheduled. The weather was fabulous! No rain, sunshine and a perfect temperature.
Our first work was the set up of the camp. After 5 hours of work the station was build as follows:
Shack 1: two stations operating 80, 40, 20 and 15 meter
. Station 1, TS 870 in CW
. Station 2 , TS 830 in voice
. Antenna's: all vertical homebrew
Shack 2: 2m, 6m, 10m and RS12/13 sat in voice
. Station 3 , FT 736 R + amp B5016G and TS 570
. Antenna's: 2m : 9 el. enhanced Yagi, design by ON1DHT
. 6m : horizontal Dipole homebrew by ON1DHT
. 10m: horizontal Dipole homebrew
We made the first QSO around 7:30 PM UTC (21:30 local) on HF voice, a few minutes later the HF CW and VHF station where also on the air. So I phoned Guy, ON1DHT our webmaster, to announce him that we are QRV so he could update the website. About one hour later he contacted me via VHF! This was a great surprise when You must know that he works with 45 Watt and a 6 element Yagi in the centre of the town Aalst (+- 10 m ASL)!
We stayed on the air with the 3 stations until midnight (local) and after a short briefing we needed a good sleep to be fresh during the following days!
We started our transmissions very early in the morning of Saturday the second of June and our activation was immediately very popular! After a couple of hours we took a QRX to enjoy our diner, made by chef-cook ON6BV! After a quick check-up of the antenna's and the rest of the equipment we started again calling CQ. Again a lot of stations where logged.
Propagation was constantly changing on every band, even during a few time we couldn't make any contacts! 6 meter was closed most of the time!
That day we had also a lot of visitors so our "PR team" had a lot of work with explaining what we were doing. This was a great opportunity to promote our HAM hobby!
Weather was cloudy with a lot of wind but no rain until 3 PM! Then we had again beautiful weather with nice temperature.
We stayed on the air until 01:00 hour local. After a little briefing with a lot of fun everyone went to sleep!
After a good night sleep, the operators went back again to their stations to activate the station. After a couple of "CQ's", stations were logged. Propagation conditions where very simular then Saturday.
VHF was a great disaster that day! In the morning we had good conditions, but in the afternoon the band was closed in almost every direction. Only an UK beacon (JO01)was heard, but no UK station was QRV! 6 meter was still closed the most of the time! HF was OK but also here the propagation was constantly going up and down.
Via RS12/13 we worked UT4QU from KN77! It was strange that there were not more OM's QRV on this satellite!
Weather was excellent! Good temperature, a little bit of cool wind, sunshine most of the time.
Again we received a lot of visitors. The people of the museum told us that they received more than 2000 visitors that weekend!
We also mounted a LEVY antenna to approve the QSO's on 80 and 40meter. And it worked! Immediately whole Europe was worked on 80 and 40 meter!
In the afternoon conservator Jacky of PEGASUS MEMORIAL MUSEUM, asked us to stay until Monday evening! Admiral Christian Briac de la Perrière (président du comité du débarquement) , who's responsable for the museum, wanted to visit us also but he would come only at 5PM on Monday! After a quick briefing with the crew we deceided to stay! But since a part of the crew had to leave already in the afternoon, we decided to be active only with minimum of equipment. So we could breakup already a part of the camp monday morning with full manpower.
In the evening we had the visit of an Austrian HAM that we contacted via VHF SSB while he was passing in the area with his XYL in his car! He and his XYL spend the evening with us.
Again a beautiful day! Sun was shining, no wind!
In the morning we dismounted the VHF shack and stayed on the air in HF. In the afternoon, Steven (ON4CLC) set up a VHF FM station so we could make some more QSO's on the local repeater of Caen.
Late in the afternoon we tried an experiment. We tried to be active with 3 HF stations on 80, 40 and 20 meter. At that time we also had the visit of Admiral Christian Briac de la Perrière. He was very interested in our activity. After a drink with the local authorities it was time to dismantling the rest of our camp!
During this job an old man visited us. He told us that he was one of the soldiers who liberated the Pegasus bridge! He told us his story and we recorded on videotape. He gave us also the answer on our question "was the message HAM and JAM sended in morse our in voice?". He told us the whole story on the mather: the message was sended in VOICE!!! We exchanged some addresses and said goodbye to this OM.
And then it was time to leave the site. But we will be back next year from the same site, in the garden of PEGASUS MEMORIAL MUSEUM in RANVILLE.
- 40 meter: 109 QSO's, 13 different coutry's,
Best DX: CX5BW, Pedro in Lagomar
ZL2JR, Jim in Plimmerton
- 20 meter: 366 QSO's, 47 different country's
Best DX: PP5AM, Robertson in Florianopolis
Best QSO: HA5FQ, YL Martha
- 15 meter: 93 QSO's, 30 different country's
Best DX: JI1KXL, Aki
- 10 meter:15 QSO's, 7 different country's
Best DX: CA5WLE, Nib
- 6 meter: 7 QSO's, 3 different country's
Best DX: IK8VHT, Mario in JN71OT
- 2 meter: 99 QSO's, worked F, G, ON, PA, DL
Best DX: PA4VHF in JO32EH (580Km)
DL1EJA in JO31DS (544Km)
F5MSL in JN36BP (557Km)
ON4CBT in JO20JU (405Km)
GW3MFY in IO81FL (335Km)
- Satellite: 6 QSO's
Worked S57NML, ON1DHT, F5MFO, F1BBV, UT4QU and G8ATE.
Personal note: it's a shame that so little OM's QRV on sat RS12/13 because the QSO's we made was in excellent conditions!
Final word :
The activation of F/ON6JUN/P was again a great success! We had a lot of fun, many QSO's and many visitors! Also the special QTH was unique. The performance of the stations was very good. The QTH is situated in a valley surrounded by hills, so normally it's no always easy to make long distance QSO's in excellent conditions, certainly on VHF! We were surprised that we made some QSO's with QRB's of 580 Km in VHF!!
We noticed also that there are still some HAM's who knows the word HAMspirit! They gave the chance to weak stations to contact us also! The weak stations had a lot of patience to make the QSO with us when propagation conditions were bad. TNX for the HAMspirit and patience, guy's! It made us easier to make the contact.
TNX to everyone who contacted us and CU next year from our special QTH in Ranville!
TNX also to the people of Ranville, the authorities, the crew of the museum, ON1DHT-webmaster Guy- and everyone who helped us to make this activation possible.
Latest news for 2002:
Last week we received a letter of Jacky, the conservator of PEGASUS MEMORIAL MUSEUM, to thank us for our activity. He invited us already for next year! TNX Jacky, we will be there next year to do it all over again and to keep the memory of World War II alive!
Story by Steven, ON4CLC
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