There has been an amateur radio contingent present at every Electromagnetic Field event, gradually getting better organised as time goes on. I’m sure, eventually, we’ll get it right.

2012

Milton Keynes. No formally organised group - just the natural overlap of EMF attendees who happened to bring radios with them. There was also some high-altitude balloon tracking.

2014

Milton Keynes. The first thing which could be described as an “Amateur Radio Village” happened this year. Also, our special event call, GB2EMF, was first issued for this event. We had a HF beam and a VHF/UHF vertical and demonstrated amateur radio to anyone willing to stand still for long enough.

2016

Guildford. A lot more organised. As well as a special event call, we had an on-site repeater, satellite tracking yagis, a HF beam on a 12 metre mast and a beer fridge. We also experimented with web based contact logging and sent APRS packets to the International Space Station.

2018

Eastnor. The AMSAT UK guys were in the neighbouring village, and they had big antennas for satellite, so we focussed on other areas. Our repeater was upgraded to be an internet-linked, multi-mode FM and DMR setup called The Hub. We also had an on-site APRS digipeater. The geography around the Eastnor site made communication outside the site challenging, but some of us climbed a nearby hill to take part in a VHF contest.

2020

EMF 2020 was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19. Before it was cancelled, the following amateur radio activities were planned for the event:

  • Foundation licence exams and practical assessments for up to maybe a dozen people
  • A UHF analogue repeater with the callsign GB3MF
  • The return of The Hub FM and DMR internet-linked gateway/repeater
  • The same APRS IGate and Digipeater as in 2018
  • AMSAT-UK were scheduled to talk with astronauts on the International Space Station

2022

After missing 2020, EMF 2022 was bigger and better than ever with many different groups bringing equipment for many different modes.

There was:

  • Our new G1EMF club callsign working as many bands and modes as we could manage
  • MastCar providing a 10m pump up mast to hold our antennas
  • GB3MF 70cm analogue repeater run by M0TRY
  • GB7NQ 70cm DMR repeater run by Mal M0VNA from Maker Space in Newcastle
  • An AllStar node with a 2m simplex access port run by Jim M0ZAH
  • 2m analogue APRS run by Paul M0PLL
  • MB7ULG 70cm LoRA APRS run by Mal M0VNA from Maker Space in Newcastle
  • MB7PMF 70cm POCSAG pager transmitter attached to DAPNET. Also run by Newcastle Maker Space
  • AMSAT UK had their own marquee, 40 foot mast for UHF/VHF and 2.4m dish for DATV and narrowband via QO-100

We also hosted the core of the CuTEL network in our village providing physical copper phone lines to provide phone calls, fax and dialup across the camp.

With all these different modes, we made sure to try and link as many of them together as possible. We had text messaging working between DMR radios, analogue APRS radios, LoRA APRS and pagers. We also had a phone patch set up on the AllStar node and were able to have a QSO between a radio on the AllStar node and an analogue phone on a CuTEL line installed to a campervan.

An idea that we didn’t manage to implement in time was an SSTV to fax gateway. Maybe we’ll have a go at that one in 2024!

The Future!

We’re waiting hopefully for EMF 2024 to be announced so we can begin planning our activities. If you have a good idea or, better yet, something you want to bring along and show off then get in touch and let us know.