On the 23rd & 24th September, weekend of the Whisky Festival the railway took part in ROTA 2017 organised by Bishop Auckland Radio Amateur’s Club (BARAC). This is an annual event celebrating the birth of the steam passenger railway and the application of amateur radio by successfully contacting or hearing radio stations at preserved railways throughout the world. The following photo shows the certificate awarded to KDRA for interest shown in promoting ROTA 2017.

Technical information for left photo above:

The equipment comprised a trailer mast supporting a rotatable hex beam for 20m, with a delta loop for 40m. Our shack being an ex-Royal Navy Portable Communications cabin (white cabin to left of trailer mast in the photo).

The equipment was located in the station yard behind the maroon carriages forming the Sidings Cafe

Technical information for right photo above:

Simultaneous operations were made from two stations one using a Kenwood TS850 running 100W to the 40m delta. The other a Yeasu FT991 running 100W on 20m to the hex beam.

Isolation provided by home-brew band pass filters. On 40m we worked 17 special event Railways On The Air stations; on 20m we supported railways on the air to the wider amateur radio world.  A total of 206 QSO’s were made from both stations. Operators in the photo of the cabin were Jim Plummer MM0SMD in foreground and Phin Sloan GM6PLG in the rear. A further 3 operators also took turns in the cabin.


Thanks to Phin Sloan for providing the technical information and to Grampian Hilltoppers for the photos.

The certificate awarded to railway radio station GB2KDR for taking part in the ROTA 2017 weekend. The KDR has participated in this event for several years and hopes to continue to participate in this annual event in the future.