DXpedition to Isle of Skye by Stuart M1SMH

I went on a 1 man 1 XYL 1 dog DXpedition to Kilmuir Isle of Skye end of November 2018; there are two Kilmuirs on Skye – we were at the one just north of Uig and stayed at Tawmans cottage.

There is a field I could have used (for antennas) but there were cattle and sheep in it. So, I went with the kit for an 8m x 4m Flag antenna in the garden and took along my laptop and Perseus SDR.

The antenna was made from 2 x 15kg parasol bases and 4 x 2.4m plant supports from Homebase. Two plant supports were taped together to give a length of around 4m for the two supports. The variable 600-1300 ohm resistor and Flag balun were purchased from the eBay seller kafa2500 – https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Flag-Pennant-Diamond-LOOP-Antenna-KIT-WITH-ADJUSTABLE-TERMINATION-RESISTOR/323820460734 They are good quality and the balun uses a binocular toroid BN-73-202. I did not bother trying to optimise the f/b ratio by changing the resistor value. The coax used was RG-213.

The radio side was a new ASUS ROG Strix SCAR GL704GW 17.3 Inch Full HD 144 Hz 3 ms Display Gaming laptop with the Perseus SDR powered by an old Maplins linear power supply. The coax entered through the window sill using a Comet window feed-thru jumper – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Comet-Original-CTC-50M-Window-Feed-Thru/dp/B005OEB3IA And a few decent toroids on leads to stop any stray RF QRM.

The cottage though not connected to a landline was electrically quite noisy inside on MF when I tested with a portable radio XHData 808. However, with the external Flag antenna and RG-213 coax no QRM problems were noted.

The weather wasn’t too bad and overall we really enjoyed the trip – the food was great, the cottage was lovely and I proved the site for MF DXing, (even though) conditions were very average and no real DX was heard. However there were plenty of the usual regulars and one or two new ones I can’t get further south.

A PDF of my loggings is available below.