Categorized | Local

US Ham Radio operators hand out Montserrat contacts from Gingerbread Hill

Left to right Bill (VP2MOR), Gregor (VP2MGO), Ron (VP2MTA), Vlad (VP2MTL)

A group of amateur radio operators (also known as “ham operators”) began arriving in Montserrat on November 18,2011 to begin setting up short wave radio stations at the Gingerbread Hill Guest House. Their object: to contact as many other stations worldwide as possible during an annual international contest.

The contest, sponsored by CQ Magazine, a publication for hams, is one of the year’s biggest events for these radio hobbyists. A total of five hams, four of them from the U.S. state of Minnesota and one from Germany, erected several antennas atop and around the Gingerbread Hill estate for use in the event. Montserrat communications authorities issued a license for the group, assigning the call sign VP2MWG for use in the contest. The MWG stands for “Minnesota Wireless Group,” as the four hams from Minnesota are all members of a club named the Minnesota Wireless Association, headquartered in their home state.

In addition to their participation in the international contest, these radio operators also were on the air for two other contests and in the interim periods between contest events. Each man was assigned a personal call sign. The operators, with their individual call signs are: Ron Dohmen, VP2MTA, Bill Dean, VP2MOR, Tom Menas, VP2MWT, Vlad Michtchenko, VP2MTL and Gregor Paris, VP2MGO.

Raising the spider beam antenna

The group chalked up some pretty amazing totals:
During the CQ Worldwide contest they made more than 10,000 contacts with stations around the globe in more than 140 countries. While the final score is subject to an audit, preliminary results indicate they may set a new standard for Montserrat in their class with a score that exceeded 18 million points. Two members of the group remained in Montserrat until December 6th to participate in two additional contests.

“The people of Montserrat that we have met have been really wonderful. They have been friendly, cooperative and very welcoming,” said Bill Dean, one of the operators.

“My wife, Faith was able to join me for a few days following the contest. We had a chance to tour the island with Sunny Lea, and were just amazed at how the Montserratians have adjusted to the great tragedies they encountered over the past fifteen years”, added Ron Dohmen. Ron said he is especially interested in a special contest to be held on Sunday, December 4th, when a form of digital transmission known as RTTY will be used.

“We are especially grateful for the outstanding support provided by the proprietors of Gingerbread Hill, David and Clover Lea, who have been unbelievably helpful”, said Tom Menas, who managed the lodging arrangements for the group. There is no doubt we will look forward to returning the Montserrat in the future.”

“We also want to thank Victor James, Clifton Riley and Monica Blake and many others, including George Briggs, VP2MDG, and Larry, VP2MVX, who helped pave the way for our adventure in Montserrat.”

(TMR Nov. 2002)
Ham Radio Team visited before, but ‘Just for Fun
’ following others on competition
Just a week after some Dutch radio operators used Montserrat as their base in an international ham radio competition, three American ham radio operators have set up here, except they are not competing. They are doing it for fun.

Dick Hanson, Steve Swaim and Pat Rose set up their base in a room at the Grand View Bed and Breakfast in Baker Hill for “a week long vacation.”

Hanson told The Montserrat Reporter, they came here “because Montserrat is very rare,” in the sense that very few countries in the world operate at such a high frequency and they want to operate out of this frequency and make as many contacts as they possibly can whilst on holiday.

He said Montserrat is one of the few countries that offer both luxury and comfort. “It’s good compared to many of the places I’ve been, plus the view is excellent!” he said.

Mr. Hanson said ham radio operation is similar to coin or stamp collecting. where the object is to get as many rare stamps or coins as possible. Ham radio operators, who broadcast from different frequencies, seek as many contacts as possible. Since Montserrat is one of the few countries, which operate on a six-meter high frequency, their goal is to send as many contacts possible from this frequency to other six-meter frequencies around the world. Their most distant contact from Montserrat was Australia.

The Americans ended their ‘working week’ with a social get together with their local counterparts at the Grand View Bed & Breakfast last evening.

(see http://www.montserratreporter.org/news1102-2.htm).

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Left to right Bill (VP2MOR), Gregor (VP2MGO), Ron (VP2MTA), Vlad (VP2MTL)

A group of amateur radio operators (also known as “ham operators”) began arriving in Montserrat on November 18,2011 to begin setting up short wave radio stations at the Gingerbread Hill Guest House. Their object: to contact as many other stations worldwide as possible during an annual international contest.

The contest, sponsored by CQ Magazine, a publication for hams, is one of the year’s biggest events for these radio hobbyists. A total of five hams, four of them from the U.S. state of Minnesota and one from Germany, erected several antennas atop and around the Gingerbread Hill estate for use in the event. Montserrat communications authorities issued a license for the group, assigning the call sign VP2MWG for use in the contest. The MWG stands for “Minnesota Wireless Group,” as the four hams from Minnesota are all members of a club named the Minnesota Wireless Association, headquartered in their home state.

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In addition to their participation in the international contest, these radio operators also were on the air for two other contests and in the interim periods between contest events. Each man was assigned a personal call sign. The operators, with their individual call signs are: Ron Dohmen, VP2MTA, Bill Dean, VP2MOR, Tom Menas, VP2MWT, Vlad Michtchenko, VP2MTL and Gregor Paris, VP2MGO.

Raising the spider beam antenna

The group chalked up some pretty amazing totals:
During the CQ Worldwide contest they made more than 10,000 contacts with stations around the globe in more than 140 countries. While the final score is subject to an audit, preliminary results indicate they may set a new standard for Montserrat in their class with a score that exceeded 18 million points. Two members of the group remained in Montserrat until December 6th to participate in two additional contests.

“The people of Montserrat that we have met have been really wonderful. They have been friendly, cooperative and very welcoming,” said Bill Dean, one of the operators.

“My wife, Faith was able to join me for a few days following the contest. We had a chance to tour the island with Sunny Lea, and were just amazed at how the Montserratians have adjusted to the great tragedies they encountered over the past fifteen years”, added Ron Dohmen. Ron said he is especially interested in a special contest to be held on Sunday, December 4th, when a form of digital transmission known as RTTY will be used.

“We are especially grateful for the outstanding support provided by the proprietors of Gingerbread Hill, David and Clover Lea, who have been unbelievably helpful”, said Tom Menas, who managed the lodging arrangements for the group. There is no doubt we will look forward to returning the Montserrat in the future.”

“We also want to thank Victor James, Clifton Riley and Monica Blake and many others, including George Briggs, VP2MDG, and Larry, VP2MVX, who helped pave the way for our adventure in Montserrat.”

(TMR Nov. 2002)
Ham Radio Team visited before, but ‘Just for Fun
’ following others on competition
Just a week after some Dutch radio operators used Montserrat as their base in an international ham radio competition, three American ham radio operators have set up here, except they are not competing. They are doing it for fun.

Dick Hanson, Steve Swaim and Pat Rose set up their base in a room at the Grand View Bed and Breakfast in Baker Hill for “a week long vacation.”

Hanson told The Montserrat Reporter, they came here “because Montserrat is very rare,” in the sense that very few countries in the world operate at such a high frequency and they want to operate out of this frequency and make as many contacts as they possibly can whilst on holiday.

He said Montserrat is one of the few countries that offer both luxury and comfort. “It’s good compared to many of the places I’ve been, plus the view is excellent!” he said.

Mr. Hanson said ham radio operation is similar to coin or stamp collecting. where the object is to get as many rare stamps or coins as possible. Ham radio operators, who broadcast from different frequencies, seek as many contacts as possible. Since Montserrat is one of the few countries, which operate on a six-meter high frequency, their goal is to send as many contacts possible from this frequency to other six-meter frequencies around the world. Their most distant contact from Montserrat was Australia.

The Americans ended their ‘working week’ with a social get together with their local counterparts at the Grand View Bed & Breakfast last evening.

(see http://www.montserratreporter.org/news1102-2.htm).