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Icom Sponsors Live 8 Amateur Radio Station

Icom Sponsors Live 8 Amateur Radio Station

Radio communication company Icom UK, together with the Worthing Amateur Radio Club ran a special Live 8 Amateur Radio station between the 2nd and 3rd July 2005 at the Worthing Steyne Gardens in Sussex. The radio station was the only ‘Live 8’ amateur radio station in the UK and was given a special call sign GB8MPH (GB8 Make Poverty History.)

GB8MPH promoted ‘Make Poverty History’ at the same time sharing in and promoting the ‘Centenary of the Rotary Club Organisation’ but also the commemoration of VE and VJ Day in Steyne Gardens. Worthing Amateur Radio Club members experienced very poor radio propagation conditions due to very little sunspot activity throughout both days and overnight on Saturday. Even so they still managed to establish contacts with twenty-nine countries speaking to some two hundred and fifty-six stations. These included; Brazil – Lebanon – Venezuela – Canada – Switzerland – Finland and New Zealand. The local QRM in the Steyne and QRN on the bands was a challenge with all bands fading during contacts.

Ofcom and the Radio Society of Great Britain granted the unique call sign GB8MPH for this specific event. This call sign was greeted by an instant response with up to twenty stations at a time scrabbling to establish contact with this Worthing based station. Filtering just one or two call signs at a time from the melee was a real test for the operators. Once contact had been established a full explanation was given of the station.

GB8MPH was sponsored by Icom (UK) Ltd who supplied the IC-756ProIII transceiver, along with goodie bags for young visitors. Icom UK will also be sending out special commemorative printed QSL cards to all those stations that established contact with the station.

How did the IC-756PROIII perform? Kelvan Gale, chairman of Worthing Amateur Radio Club said, 'Fabulously! We didn't want to give it back. Suffice to say when we return the set to Icom UK we will substitute the set with four engineering bricks in the box! The control functions on the IC-756PROIII are in keeping with Icom’s high standards of engineering with easy to understand menu functions. The filtering on the IC-756PROIII enabled GB8MPH to secure contacts, which may have been otherwise missed. The dual band TX/RX functions worked extremely well keeping us informed of changing band conditions and the huge monitor screen display made working the transceiver under pressure really easy. The recordable facilities in phone or CW modes were a real asset as they pumped out our CQ calls giving the operators sufficient time to wet their parched throats. The temptation to take off the covers to look at the engineering inside was huge, but resistance was maintained with the army of members placing their awaiting tools back into storage! We did not run packet or any digital modes over the event but we are sure it would have lived up to expectations.'

He added, 'The other transceiver in use was the club's own Icom IC-7400, which again is a superb piece of modern day engineering. We found the transition from one set to another, simplicity itself. Is the IC-756PROIII worth the additional money compared to the IC-7400? The answer is a resounding yes with all of its additional functions and features. We are sure the four engineering bricks will be most useful to Icom UK!!!'

Visiting members of the public were able to test their skills by sending their names in Morse code and were awarded a certificate of achievement and an Icom goodie bag for doing so - a very popular attraction for youngsters. The training team was on hand to answer any queries on the hobby, how radio works, and to give advice on training at all levels. Phil Hadler, Managing Director of Icom (UK) Ltd said, ' Icom were glad to be involved with such a prestigious station. In our own way the station represented the large population of Amateur Radio enthusiasts across the world in saying that we care about the global issue of poverty.'

Kelvan Gale further went on to say, 'We were proud to put this special Amateur Radio Station for Live 8. We have worked closely together with Icom who have supplied us with a top of the range base radios. These radios have given us the capacity to contact other parts of the world'.'

Icom UK Marketing - marketing@icomuk.co.uk

07/07/2005

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