Club callsign MS0FNR    

Activities and Events

of the Caithness Amateur Radio Society.




Events/Activities 2024

In general:- regular meetings at the clubhouse every other Thursday.
Maintenance at weekends and during week as required.
Training of candidates for the Radio Amateur licences, Foundation, Intermediate and Full, ongoing.

When Event Comment
Feb. PACC contest
April. Airfields-on-Air
May. Mills-on-Air
June Museums-on-Air
July Castles-on-Air
August Lighthouses-on-Air.
Sept. RSGB Field day
Oct. Scandinavian Activity Contest. Clubhouse
Oct. Jamboree-on-air Scouts JOTA
Oct. CQ Worldwide Contest SSB

Events/Activities 2023

The Lighthouse weekend from Noss Head was activated:-

Caithness Amateur Radio Club participated in the Lighthouses on the air event from Noss Head Lighthouse. We set up the station on Friday 18th August with Brian taking the pump up mast and Hamish taking the MTU up to the lighthouse. Along with Les, Harry and Scott we set up the station with the pump up mast up to about 40 feet.
We proceeded to set up the antennas with an 80/40/20 dipole. As the weather conditions were very windy and the forecast for more of the same we decided to set up the antennas in an inverted-vee format. The wind proved to be a hindrance and it took much longer than normal to get them set up. The station was then tested by Les assisted by Scott and found to be working satisfactory.
On Saturday Brian operated the station in the morning and the wind was so strong it snapped the antenna at the top of the mast. Hamish and Harry went up and we lowered the mast and reconnected the antenna and got the station back in operation and Hamish and Harry and Phillip then operated the station. On the Sunday Les operated the station assisted by Scott who got in some experience of operating and logging. Brian, Hamish and Harry came up to operate in the afternoon. We managed 140 contacts.
It was decided that we would take everything down on the Monday. Brian Hamish and Harry lowered the mast and derigged the antennas and MTU. The MTU was towed off site by Hamish and the pump up mast by Brian.
Apart from the inclement weather it was an enjoyable weekend of operating and we thank the owners for letting us use the site again and thanks to all those who assisted.

Activity with the Scouts and Beavers Wick on the 20th May:-

CARS attended the Wick Scouts/Beavers Hall on Saturday 20th May 2023 and in conjunction with their leaders put on a demonstration for them of Morse with 2 practice Oscillator sets and keys and got them to make their names up in Morse code and then practice sending them, we also had two sound powered Telephone sets that they wired up and established they could talk to each other from outside the hall to inside the hall. They then were given information which was based around the Harbour in Wick that they had to pass from one to the other. Information like what was the Harbourmasters name, what vhf channel do they use, the latitude/longitude of the harbour etc. We also set up a H.F. station in Van with 80m portable whip on the roof and established contact with Roddy and allowed them to have a short conversation over the radio. This was all as a precursor for this years JOTA in October so they will be familiar with what goes on and CARS will hopefully be in attendance for this event with the Wick Cubs/Scouts.

JOHN O'GROATS MILL was activated for the Mills-on-the-Air event:-

Caithness Amateur Radio Society took part in the Radio Society Of Great Britain Mills on the Air by putting a station at the Mill at John O Groats and contacting other Radio Amateurs around the UK and abroad over the weekend of 13/14 May 2022 using the special event callsign GB0JOG. The station was set up on Friday 12th using the clubs pump up mast and Mobile Training Unit (MTU). Antennas for 20/40/80 metres or 3/7/14 Mhz were then raised and tested onto the mast and connected to the radio in the MTU. The station was operated on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th May and then dismantled and removed from site. The idea for Mills on the Air is for informing and promoting historic mills around the UK to other Radio Amateurs. Contact was made with 82 other stations from as far afield as Netherlands, Belgium, Eire, and all over the U.K. including 14 other mills taking part as well. Permission for operating on site was given by the Mill owner and the John o Groats Mill trust for which the club would like to thank for allowing us to operate from and promote their Mill.

The club took part in the Airfields-on-the-Air activity on the 1st and 2nd of April. Here is the report:-

Caithness Amateur radio Station held its second event of 2023 for the "Airfields on the Air" Over the Easter weekend. Working from the Air cadets hut adjacent to Wick airfield, members attempted contact with other enthusiasts operating at airfields and radio enthusiasts on the air. This was not a competition event so time to chat about the location and History. The club used two HF radios, taking it in turn to operate the radio or log the incoming station Members made 106 contacts over the two days including one from Alaska despite the poor conditions. The station also had a visit from Wick high school pupils who had shown an interest in amateur radio.

Events/Activities 2022

The club took part in the Mills-on-the-Air weekend on the 14th and 15th of May. Here is the report from the club secretary, Nigel 2M0HZR :-

Over the weekend of the 14th and 15th May, members of Caithness Amateur Radio Society took part in a contact event Called Mills on the Air. Clubs from all over the UK and Europe, operating from all types of mills, tried to raise as many contacts as possible through the medium of amateur radio. With thanks to the mill trust, We operated from the most northerly mill in mainland UK, John O'Groats flour mill, currently under restoration and a interesting location to work from. Using 2 radios and antenna's we raised many contacts from Mills in Europe and the uk.

Then we operated from The Castle of Mey for the Queens Jubilee. Report from the Secretary here:-

Over the weekend, 25th and 26th of June, Caithness Amateur radio society operated from The Castle of Mey using the callsign MQ0FNR (Mike Quebec(Queen) Zero Foxtrot November Romeo) to celebrate the Queens 70th jubilee. During the month of June radio operators could apply to use the Q (Queen) phonetic in their call sign. Despite difficult propagation conditions we managed to raise contacts in several euorpean countries and many in the UK. The weather was excellent and the event was considered a success.
None of this could have been possible without the pemission of The Castle of Mey trust committee and the help of their staff.

The Lighthouse weekend from Noss Head was activated and here is Nigel's report sent to the newspaper (Pictures on Photo Gallery):-

Members of Caithness Amateur Radio society set up their shack this past weekend at Noss Head Lighthouse for the annual event "Lighthouse's on the Air" (LOTA) . This is an international event originally started in Scotland in 1993 and has continued to grow each year with over 450 lighthouses and ships participating . Clubs seek to contact and exchange details and information about the lighthouse they are working from, Noss head being UK0039 . Caithness club (using the callsign GB0NHL) used Various High frequencies and digital data modes on a number of transmitters and antennas to contact many other clubs and individuals in the event. Set up taking approximately 1.5 hours on Friday evening, The weather was kind to us and a good deal was learnt about Noss head and the other lighthouses who we contacted ,even an inland light house ship based on the river Ouse in southern uk. The event is an annual event each August. See GB0NHL on QRZ here.


Activities/Events 2021

On the 9th and 10th of October, the club took part in the Scandinavian Activity Contest from the club house in Skirza. Operators were Hamish (MM0HDW), Harry (2M0DOU), John (GM0MST), Andy (MM7THU) with the help of Sinky, Les (GM0TKB), Nigel (MM7BWT) and Brian (GM4JYB). 177 valid QSOs were made over the 24 hour period.

The club also took part in the International Lighthouse and Lightship weekend on the 21st and 22nd of August. Here is the report from the club secretary, Les GM0TKB :-

Members of Caithness Amateur Radio Society took part in the Lighthouses On The Air event in August by activating 2 lighthouses. Noss Head lighthouse GB0NHL, which is a regular event in the club calendar, sadly missed last year due to Covid lock down. Stroma island 2M0DOU, a first for the club but probably going to become a regular occurrence.
Noss Head was equipped with three operating positions, MS0FNR mobile shack/training unit, MM0HDW mobile station and 2M0WIC mobile station. The antennas used were a three element beam 20/17/15M on a 12M pump up mast, which also acted as mid point for an 80/40M nested dipole and a stack of mobile whips for the digi operation.
Stroma Island was a simpler set up consisting of an 80/40M trap dipole in an inverted V format. The shack was located in the former generator room of the lighthouse after clearing out 2 feet of sheep muck.
Propagation conditions were far from ideal and the number of dx stations was far more limited than previously experienced in this event. The major benefit was for recently licenced members gaining multi-mode operation experience in the friendlier conditions of a special event station, rather than in a contest situation.
GB0NHL managed 268 contacts in 37 countries and 2M0DOU contacted 162 in 18 countries.