The mast we call the beast

In the summer months of 2023 club members Andy G7LRR and Mike Wood started to build a mobile trailer mast that came to be known later as the beast by other members.

Work began in the form of stripping an old caravan down to salvage the chassis, On doing so a plan was then formed on how we were going to mount the mast as we wanted to use materials we had a lying about (i.e. FREE) and recycled steel.

This task involved welding, grinding and designing on the spot with raw materials a scam pump mast on a ground post had been acquired ready.

The first step was cleaning all surface rust from the running gear and rust-proofing, the main chassis was galvanized steel as luck would have it and was in good condition all ready for painting.

We mounted the mast finding a good balance over the running gear then started to build around it, We also wanted to make the mudguards strong so people could sit on them as we have had trailers that club members sit on and mudguards break, we used 20mm box steel then shaped aluminium checker plate to form the outside mudguards the plastic inner wheel guards was from the caravan we scrapped.

Next was how to make the out-riggers and to have them adjustable and removable, Mike had already thought of it and had saved the windup steadying legs from the Caravan. So how do we use them? As the only steel we had lying around was tube and some square box section, once again a plan was formed and it worked very well for what we needed with the outriggers done they worked great, maybe not great looking and a little odd but well up to the job at hand.

At this point we had a test run putting the mast up to full height and making sure the out riggers were far enough out as it happened all was well (great planning !! ) after all the mast while in use would be always guyed. We also had to test if we had made so far towed smoothly a (slow’ish)  test run around the site was done to our delight it was fine.

Next came the mounting of the cradle so we could lower the mast over for transporting keeping the center of gravity low.

Now came the decking Mike had some old scaffolding boards that came in handy for this task.

The only thing we had to buy was new LED lights and number plate lights with all this now mounted and in place we looked to undercoating and painting.

This task was taken on by Sue M6URG who made a cracking job of it over a couple of weekends again the paint was what we had lying about the workshop but made the trailer look good, Old fence paint was used to stain the woodwork then water-based vanish on top with some fine sand mixed in for grip.

Sean M0SLY donated a Site Box for the back this balanced the full trialer really well and carries the lots of rope coaxs etc…

During the build of the trailer, many members came up with nicknames for it,  Scud launcher, and Rocket launcher but one that stuck out the most was’ The Beast’  so it stuck and that’s the name of it now.

So far working only the odd weekend on the trailer we were well into August and the holiday season and it just so happened that one of Mike’s retired workmates came to visit him for a week and his name was Tom. Now Tom has been a welder fabricator all his working career, well how could we let this opportunity pass up without asking for his advice and his skill set? We had a talk and came up with fabricating a removable cage for the rotator and stub pole to mount on once a paper drawing was made Andy and Mike cut all the steel Tom had asked for, Tom soon got to work welding and making sure this was going to handle whatever we throw at it. It was VERY Heavy Duty and worked fine.

All we needed now was an event to test The Beast in action, Our Club (HFDXARC) had nothing planned on the calendar but HADAR had an event planned so after a call to their chairman Rich M0RRK they were more than happy to test it for us on their HF field day event,

HFDXARC club member Paul 2E0WPW in the meantime had been servicing and renewing hardware on our 3-element Hy-Gain TH3 (20-15-10m) beam which is now over 53 years old and still like new having been well looked after over the years. We had a test run to tune the beam up and make all-new guy ropes and lanyards for the mast.

With that all tested the field day came along and Mike and Andy G7LRR towed the mast to the event and set it all up for the HADAR radio club. This took 45 minutes not bad for a first deployment the weekend went very well and The Beast had its first outing without any issues.

All in all the beast was a great fun project building, and works just as we planned it, We are now planning to build another but a lattice construction this time, this one may well come up for sale, So keep looking you never know you too could have your own Mini Beast.

Summer Fun @ Spurn Lighthouse 2023

GB2SL Spurn Point Lighthouse weekend with the (YWT) Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is always one of the Humber Fortress DX ARC highlights of the year, always a really good one to be part of and this has been our 13th year working hand in hand with YWT to promote the Lighthouse and keep the Tradition of the lighthouse on the airways going todate.

All the preparation work and planning that goes into setting up this event over the months, and also a lot of it in the background taking place, there is lots more that has to happen than you think as well, so big thanks to the Events Committee and YWT for making this happen every year.

Meet The Team this year left to right Kevin M0KVK, Paul 2E0WPW, Andy G7LRR, Dave 2E0TKO, Charlie 2E0CIY, Pat M0PKE, Chris G0URG, Steve M0EBJ, Josh SWL, Rich M0RKK, Sean M0SLY. 

Saturday morning on the 19th of August 2023 the team gathered to get the equipment loaded into cars and Pats M0PKE Landy loaded from the HQ of the Club the Mill and make ready for the journey to the wildlife center at Spurn Point.

   The trip down to the Lighthouse is always fun and one of the enjoyable parts of the whole weekend, This is because to get all the equipment to the lighthouse, we have to be driven down the peninsula by a YWT team member in their Unimog.

The trip down gets longer every year as the tides over the past years have washed out the causeway more and more. 

video of the trip down

Once down at the lighthouse the task of unpacking the Unimog and getting setup starts. The operating tent is set in place, a small team headed up by Andy G7LRR along with Charlie 2E0CIK and Young Josh, who is Sean M0SLY Son, went up the 146 stairs to the top of the lighthouse to lower 300m of rope to support more rope hung off it as lanyards for big wire antennas from 160m to 40m.

Verticals were set on fishing poles for 20m 15m and 40m.

Then the fun began.

  A few funny things happened over the weekend, one was Kevin M0KVK in QSO was asked where is the lighthouse, to which he replied without thinking “Well it quite near the sea”, we all fell about the place with laughter.
















This was a really good event and well worth all the effort everyone puts into talking to over 1200 stations worldwide.

also, it’s a great place to unwind and relax and take in the breathtaking views and surroundings that are Spurn Point.

Enjoy what we see every year it is well worth a visit.

International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend Event 19th to 20th August 2023

International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend Event

This year once again the Humber Fortress DX Amateur Radio Club will be activating GB2SL over the weekend of 19th to 20th August from Spurn Point ‘High Light’ Lighthouse (Spurn Head Peninsula). 

AT 00.01 UTC 19th August to 20th August 2022 to 2400 UTC

Numbers  Location information Lighthouses:

Locator: JOØ3BN

UK0080=Spurn Point High

UK0081=Spurn Point Low

WAB: TA-41

LAT: 53.578978n

LNG: 0.06.33 E

Spurn Head (old): A2424X

Grid Reference: TA 40345 11240

Grid Reference (6 figure)

X (Easting) 540345, Y (Northing) 411240

Latitude, Longitude (decimal)

53.578980 , 0.11832847

Latitude, Longitude (degs, mins, secs)

53°34?44?N, 000°07?06?E

What3Words : wages.decompose.question

The Humber Fortress DX ARC has once again been invited by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, to put on a Ham Radio station during International Lighthouse on the air weekend.

Spurn High Light is a visitor attraction and the tallest lighthouse in Northern England!

Made of 300,000 Staffordshire bricks, with a height of 128ft (39m) and 145 steps to the top landing, providing a spectacular view of the Spurn nature reserve and the River Humber.

We are pleased to have been invited back by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to help promote the restored Spurn High lighthouse and to take part in International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend back at Spurn Point activating the call sign GB2SL.

Since our visit last year, there have been changes to the shape of Spurn Point and it is now inaccessible to road transport due to the big storms of 2013.

With at least a 200-yard break between the mainland and Spurn Point making a newly created island almost at high tide.

We are taking a small team of 12, regrettably, only those who can climb Stairs can attend this event, manpower and equipment will be ferried to the site by the YWT, in “or should that be on” their Unimog all-terrain vehicle.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend

Association of Lighthouse Keepers

Men’s Health Week Event a Massive Success

The Men’s Mental Health weekend event held 16th – 18th June 2023 by the HFDXARC at the Old Mill House was a massive success. The Club members operated on mainly 15/20/40 meters SSB but also did some digital FT4/8.

The response from the Ham world was one that can only be described as WOW, as we operated with this long stigmatised subject, and saw operators globally congratulating us for putting on the Special Event and openly talking about Men’s Mental Health.

The Pile up each station had constantly throughout the weekend meant we could not have any lenghty QSO’s as we tried to work as many stations as possible, however this did not deter anyone wishing to say Thank You for the Event.

The Club opened the doors yet again to guests and invited along members from the neighbouring Hull and District Amateur Radio Club, who joined us as we operated the bands. We held a BBQ on the saturday (2nd of the year) which was cooked by our very own “Gordon Ramsey” G0URG (Chris) and prepared by his wife Sue M6URG.

The HFDXARC is planning to promote the Men’s Mental Health Awareness every year and is encouraging othe Clubs throughout the world to also take part next year. We will be contacting the RSGB to see if there is anything they can help with on the promotional side of the Event. If any other Clubs would like to join us next year and hold their own Event, plz contact us at the HFDXARC so we can support each other.

Once again many thanks to the Club members and guests who took part in the event, and also to our members who could not attend as they are just a vital to the Club.

A massive Thank You to the operators who called into us, and gave such encouraging feedback on both the event and Men’s Mental Health subject. It was very apparent to the Club that operators globally have also suffered in silence for too long, and the Club putting on the event has opened that door of raising awareness and Getting Men Talking.

Below are some links to the superb organisations in the UK who are helping Men who suffer in Silence.

Mens Health Forum

Man Health

Man Up

Andy’s Man Club

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