The magazine Practical Wireless is celebrating 80 years of publication this year and has a permit to use the special call GB80PW. I don’t usually make a point of hunting for special callsigns but as a reader of the magazine I particularly wanted to work this one which I knew would be on today it being the publication date of the October issue and the actual 80th anniversary day.
I switched the K3 to 40 metres which I thought the station would be operating on and and began tuning down the band. Lo and behold, GB80PW was the first station I heard, on 7120kHz, coming in at 5 and 7 at the top of the QSB. I switched the magnetic loop from 30m APRS duty over to the K3 so I had a choice of either the loop or the multiband dipole. Switching between the two there was almost nothing to choose between the two antennas but the magnetic loop just seemed to have the advantage by a whisker so that is what I chose to use.
I cranked the power up to 100 watts. After my first call it was clear that Rob had quite a pile-up of people wanting to work him and he couldn’t pick anything out of the pile. For the second call I gave my call twice, once phonetically, and added “… in Cockermouth, Cumbria.” Straight away Rob came back with “the station in Cockermouth, Cumbria.” I thought that would get his attention as the magazine’s technical editor G1TEX comes from here! I went on to have a very nice, if brief, chat with Rob before letting him get back to the pile.