This was the Club’s first DX pedition in September 2004 to the Isle of Arran, IOTA reference EU-123. 5 members of the club traveled to Arran, Steve – G0MTD, Mark – 2E0MAX, Malcolm – M0XAT, Joe – M0DHV and Daniel who was unlicensed.
Arran lies off the West Coast of Scotland and we stayed in the small village of Lamlash that is on the Eastern coast of the island. You can see a map of the island below.
The logs from this trip are not currently on-line as we were not using computer logging in 2004.
To get to Arran requires a short, 1 hour, ferry crossing from the West Scottish Coast at Ardrossen to Brodick. Ardrossen is about 160 miles from Workington and was a good 3 hour+ drive.
Our home for the next 4 days was to be this bunkhouse located in Lamlash Bay, about 5 miles south of Brodick. As you can see we were well catered for and had access to the gardens to put up our antennas. The lady who runs the bunkhouse gave us free rain to basically do what ever we wanted, the only rule was to remove your boots before getting into bed !!!
All the equipment’s up and running and were on the air. We used a Kenwood TS570 and Yaesu FT920 for HF plus a Yaesu FT2800 for VHF. We also had a couple of mobile VHF/UHF radios, Kenwood TM-G707. Antennas included a 5 band homebrew cobwebb, inverted Vee’s on 20/40 and a 2/70 co-linear. Myself, Steve G0MTD in the forground with young Daniel our un-licensed operator.
We used a CobbWeb as our main HF antenna, this was my first attempt at building one of these antennas and proved to work very well on the bands.
Here you can see Malcolm who didn’t do much operating but did a grand job keeping the logs up to date.
Although only licensed for about 6 months Mark was the other main operator alongside myself, he focused mainly on VHF/UHF but also worked quite a few stations on 40M.
The weather on Friday 25 Sept was glorious and from the small harbour you can see the beautiful location from which we were operating.
Directly across the bay is Holy Island. Not sure if the Island is inhabited or not but you can get a small ferry from Lamlash and spend the day on the Island. Don’t know if there would be any change of operating radio from there, maybe next time.
From the southern tip of Arran you can see in the foreground the little island of Pladda. The lighthouse is now un-inhabitated but whilst out mobile we did speak to one of the former keepers of the light. In the background is Ailsa Craig, still part of EU-123 however this bird sanctuary is also un-inhabited and very much sought after by IOTA chasers.
From the centre of the island you have good views of goat fell the highest point on Arran. 2E0MAX was threating to put this summit on the air and despite the glorious weather never got closer than this.
2E0MAX driving with Joe M0DHV as co-pilot. Joe did all the research and gathered the background information to help plan the trip.
One thing for sure, we never went hungry. Can’t beat a bit of DX when taken with a fry up !!!