Amateur Radio

Ray Oliver, G3NDS

Ray Oliver, G3NDS


A British radio amateur is sailing around the UK in a bid to raise money for charity.

 Ray Oliver, G3NDS, plans to sail round the UK for charity, operating /MM from his yacht Christine-Marie. He set sail from Lymington at the end of April and has now crossed the Thames to Shotley Marina, Harwich. During the next week Ray plans to cruise some of the East Coast rivers to his next major port of call at Lowestoft. 

Ray is operating an Icom IC706Mk2G with remote AH3 auto ATU that end feeds a 40 ft wire, sloping from the stern of the vessel to the top of the mast. He’s mainly been operating on 80m SSB with some activity on top band, but will also operate on other bands and on CW from time to time.

Details of how his cruise came about, the charities he’s supporting and his progress to date can be found on his web site via the link below. Ray says that he will be sending a special QSL card to stations contacted that gives a summary of his challenge.

Ray is also looking for crew to join him on legs of the passage, if anyone would like to crew or operate /MM

Visit Ray’s website to see how he’s progressing on his Round UK Cruise for Charity.  


The above article was published by the Southgate Amateur Radio Society.      


Christine Marie's navigation table.  IC706 Mk2G lower left, Marine VHF top.  GPS and Navtext left of VHF.

Christine Marie's navigation table. IC706 Mk2G lower left, Marine VHF top. GPS and Navtext left of VHF.












 Update 23 May:  Now Back at Oban and /MM.

Some active contacts were made during my passage through the Caledonian Canal.  I worked 14 amateur radio stations from the yacht at a mooring off Loch Ness including French station F4ECJ (Eric) and Dutch station PA3JD (Joop).  The friendly net was controlled efficiently by Steve and Graham operating the Yorkshire Radio Club call M3YRC.

I worked Cliff (G4YHP) from a delightful mooring on Loch Lochy who was operating the special event callsign GX4BJC/A … the callsign of the International Short Wave League. The band was quiet with very little noise or QRM (interferience  from other stations), more like 21Mhz than 80m.   🙂    Cliff, based in Grimsby, has made contact with me throughout my cruise.  We had a long chat with both stations clear S9 signals.

Update 14 July 2009:   I worked active nets /MM on 80m when at anchor at Puilladobhrain ( Seil Island), Loch Ranza (Arran), from An Caladh (N of Bute), Sanda Island (Mull of Kintyre), Rathlin Ireland ( N Ireland) and at Peel (Isle of Man). 

I had to close the station at 0000 BST at Rathlin after 2 hours operating as I was disturbing one of my crew who had retired 2 hours earlier.  Apologies to the many stations who were still calling or waiting to make contact.

I  am now at Howth (Dublin) for a few weeks awaiting crew to join me.   Listen for me, EI/G3NDS /MM.  I  usually operate 80m 3.740 +/- QRM or 3.760/66 MHz with WAB or other nets. 

During my cruise I have been supported by many EI stations, EI7JN Charlie, EI2IF Patrick, EI7GAB Rodney, EI4CN Mike, EI9CJ Tom, EI9CUB Patsy, EI6AH John, EI3JB Nicky, EI9GQ Ed, EI3GSB Andrew, to name a few.

Whilst in Howth I visited the Martello Tower that overlooks the harbour and that is the location for a very interesting radio museum.  I was made welcome by Pat who has collected the wide range of interesting radio antiques on display and by Tony who operates the amateur radio station, EI0MAR, there at weekends.  A very interesting and enjoyable visit, a link to their web site is on the right of this page.  Don’t miss reading about the Niemba Ambush and its link to amateur radio.

Update 27 July 2009:  Weather permitting I set sail for Cork on 2 August visiting ports along the Irish coast. I will try and operate on 80m during the week’s passage when at anchor or moored. 

My 140M, 30 hour passage across the Celtic Sea from Cork to the Isles of Scilly is scheduled 9 & 10 August and I intend to try and make contacts with brief operation G3NDS/MM from the middle of the Celtic Sea.  Operation will be limited to my off-watch periods and by battery power, plus my priority to safety of the yacht and crew.    It will, however, be reassuring to have contact via SSB when out of VHF range of coastguard.    🙂    

Listen 3.760 or 7.060 MHz +/- QRM.

Update 30 Aug 2009:  A very lively crossing of the Celtic Sea, I did manage however to make contact with 5 UK stations whist sailing on passage.  Mid-way across I was out of radio contact with both the UK and Irish coastguards on VHF, but SSB communication with amateur stations on 80m was very strong and clear. Contact was made with G3VOT (George), G4LYM (John), G3ZOE (Richard), G3KTC (Ron) and G3KGM (Don).  These contacts were special as I  was sailing and making the longest sea passage since I started sailing.

Further contacts were made from St Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly with G0BFJ (Brian), EI7GAB (Rodney) and G3MCD (Keith) who I was at school with when  we both gained our amateur radio ‘A’ licenses at the age of 17.

I have been sailing regularly since leaving the Isles of Scilly and have had little opportunity to operate.  I am now at Torquay and hope to operate from here before making my final passage home to Lymington on the 14 September.  I plan to arrive back in Lymington, the end of my 2-year adventure, on the 18 September.

Thanks to all amateurs who have made contact and/or who are following my adventure.
73    Ray Oliver, G3NDS

RU Cover Nov 2008.inddCover Dec 2008.inddrsgblogc


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