HQ station – GB22HQ

In support of the games, the RSGB, at the request of the Commonwealth Games organisers, held a Special Event Station for the 10-day duration of the games.

GB22HQ was operated by radio amateur volunteers, mostly from local radio clubs. It was active on the HF bands using CW, SSB and data modes and was equipped to make contacts with UK stations, other Commonwealth countries, as well as the international amateur radio community.

The station was located at Birmingham Smithfield until 2 August, when for operational reasons it was moved off site. The move to the Smithfield site had been a last-minute decision by the Commonwealth Games organisers, due to other calls on our original site. The location became problematic due to lack of public access, high RF noise levels and ingress of water and dust.

GB22HQ continued on the air for the remainder of the games thanks to members of the Wolverhampton Amateur Radio Society and the Central Radio Amateur Circle.


1 Aug 2022

The GB22HQ team are busy on the bands (and drinking coffee) from the Smithfield Commonwealth Games site today. Please listen for them on-air and give them a call.

[Photo: Wayne, M7WLH]

[Photos: Lee, G0MTN]

31 July 2022

Overnight rain and wind damaged the station at Smithfield, delaying operations for a while.

The team have spent a couple of hours today cleaning up, drying out and getting the station back on the air again.

29 July 2022

The Games are open and we have established the GB22HQ special event station at the Smithfield Market Commonwealth Games site.

We have two stations, using wire aerials for 40m and 30m, plus a Yagi for the five bands from 20m to 10m. The station was erected in a very short space of time. Although in a city centre location with electrical noise being quite high, we have already made QSOs with the west coast of the USA and some Canadian provinces.

The staff at the site have been very helpful but we did arrive at their busiest time, so everybody’s patience and support has been greatly appreciated.

Today was mainly about completing the station build and showing club members how to set-up and run the equipment. The tower has been up and down, Yagi elements adjusted and inverted V dipole wires cut to resonance.

Local club members, including several members each from CRAC (Central Radio Amateur Circle) and Wolverhampton ARS, will be carrying out most of the operating duties during the games.

Achieving access to the games sites has proven time consuming, not just for radio amateurs, with long queues for those who need special passes. It is great that so many local radio club members have had the patience to get over this logistical hurdle – in some cases waiting for as long as six hours for a pass that they have required.

The special station is a great opportunity for the local Birmingham radio amateur community to engage with the Commonwealth Games through their hobby and a chance to gain experience of operating when there are more replies to a CQ call than might normally be expected.

We suspect that the high noise levels will restrict QSO numbers to an extent but we will make every endeavour to be available for those who want a QSO with the Commonwealth Games station. 40m SSB during the daytime is probably the best place to look for us.

The station will be active until 8 August, when the games come to an end.

Nick Totterdell, G4FAL
RSGB HF Contest Committee Chair

[Photos: Nick, G4FAL]

[Photo: Lee, G0MTN]