The Porthmadog & District Amateur Radio Society (PADARS) ran an amateur radio special event station from Pwllheli lifeboat station on the 28th and 29th of January 2017. The station was run to celebrate the annual SOS Radio Week event and promote the work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and used the callsign GB6RNLI.
SOS Radio Week
SOS Radio Week is a annual event that takes place during the last full week of January. It was set up as a fundraising week, during which amateur radio clubs and individuals raise money for the RNLI by being sponsored for every contact they make with other amateur radio stations around the world.
This year Pwllheli lifeboat station very kindly allowed PADARS to operate from their control room during the weekend and we would like to extend our grateful thanks to them for their support.
Porthmadog & District Amateur Radio Society
PADARS has been a long-time supporter of SOS Radio Week having taken part in most events since it was conceived in 2007. In that time the society has raised several hundred pounds for the RNLI.
Present at this year's event were Bob (MW0RHD), Dawn (MW3CYQ), Stephen (MW3CYU), Peter (GW0DFK), Tony (GW7KNF) and Thomas (MW6NKF).
The Problems We Faced
On the first day of the event however we ran into a few problems. The main one being that we could not get our brand new “off centre fed” dipole to tune and were unable to get a workable SWR on any HF band. (Valuable lesson learned... ALWAYS check equipment before the event!) So Saturday day was not as fruitful as we would have liked. Never the less the day was still a success, due to VHF and linking to MB7ILP Allstar simplex gateway, which is run by PADARS secretary Bob MW0RHD.
So on Sunday we changed the HF aerial to a vertical which did work but band conditions were not favourable. Yet again the day was saved by the 2M band and the use of MB7ILP.