The evening of the 23rd of July marked the opening of the XX 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
It was at the beginning of 2014, when it suddenly dawned on me that hosting the Commonwealth Games is not only a huge achievement by the people of Glasgow and Scotland, but that Amateur Radio should play a crucial role in supporting and celebrating the Games.
I quickly put around the idea of hosting a Special Event Station to members of the Stirling & District Amateur Radio Society, where I am a member. The idea was well received, so I decided to knuckle down and do some planning.
I then got in touch with the RSGB who also seemed very supportive of the idea and gave me a direct contact at Ofcom, with whom I could arrange the NoV. As we wanted to set ourselves apart from a “traditional” special event station, we decided on the callsign GA14CG; Golf Alpha One Four Commonwealth Games.
Usually, special event stations in the UK start with GB1 or GB2 and are then followed by 3 letters which usually represent the nature of the activation. For example, GB1JSS (Golf Bravo One June Summer Solstice) which the Essex Hams ran last month to celebrate the longest day of the year (21st June). As Scottish stations are permitted to use the Prefix MA, 2A or GA throughout 2014 to celebrate “Homecoming Scotland”, we thought it made sense that our station should also make use of the GA prefix as a special event station, with special permission from Ofcom.
As we are making use of the existing facilities at the Stirling & District Amateur Radio Society, we have been well prepared on the equipment side of the event. We have 3 HF stations and 1 VHF station, all of which can be used simultaneously. Each HF station uses an Icom 756 Pro III and Acom 1000, whilst the 6m VHF station utilises an Icom 7600 and Acom 1000.
Antennas range from our Optibeam OB9-5 for 20-10m, to our Cushcraft X240 Yagi for 40m and 1/4 vertical for 160m.
The activation began on the morning of the 21st July and at the time of writing this post (evening of 25th July), we have made 8,160 QSO’s.
The activation closes on the evening of the 3rd August and our target is to reach 20,000 QSO’s.
Visitors are most welcome to the station to operate. Just complete the booking form found on the GA14CG website!
See you in the pile ups or at the club!
John, GM0FSV on 20m
All antennas in use at GA14CG