GB8KW 2024

KW Weekend, which is an annual celebration of KW electronics – a local manufacturer of amateur radio equipment in the 50’s to 70’s – took place on the weekend of 6th and 7th of January 2024. Over the years, the event has grown, and this year there were no less than eight special event stations on the air for the KW weekend. Guy G0UKN organised the GB8KW station at the Cray Valley RS clubhouse assisted by members of the club. The other stations were:

  • GB2KW Chris GM3WOJ – Inverness Scotland
  • GB4KW Graham G4EUK – Shoreham-by-sea, West Sussex
  • GB5KWD Craig M0OYH – Liverpool
  • GB0KWD Julian G8HCZ – Ipswich, Suffolk
  • GB9KW Kevin GW0PUH – Pontypool
  • GB6KW Tim M0AFJ – Helston, Cornwall
  • W8KW Steve W8SAW – Michigan. USA

Similar to last year, there were around 10 full stations set up, aranged in an arc around the clubhouse hall.

The other side of the hall had the familiar exhibition, supplemented this year by a display of QSL cards from previous operations.

GB8KW is always well attended, not just by CVRS members but by former employees of KW and members of Rowley Shears’ (the founder) family including his son Richard (who now holds the callsign G8KW). Amongst the visitors this year were distant club members Jim G4AEH, who came down from Nuneaton to see us and ran huge pileups on 40M most of Saturday, Justin G4TSH and Kevin G7BCS. All in all GB8KW had around 70 visitors this year across the two days.

Conditions were pretty good this year and as well as our now regular sked with Peter VK4COZ (worked this year KW2000 to KW2000) we also worked KW to KW with W3EEE in Florida and W8KW in Michigan. Also worked for the first time at GB8KW was VU (India) and JA. One of the JA stations commented that the equipment was made before JA came to the party and took it over! Other than that, it was a stream of Europeans and Americans on 20 to 10M and Inter-G constantly on 40M. 40M was a constant pileup with lots of favourable comments on the signal quality. Our only time spent on 80M this year was several sessions on AM. Around 40 contacts were made on AM with 11 stations running KW Vanguards!

The AM station KW Victor, Vanguard, and a Geloso R209 receiver sold by KW in 1959

This year there were no equipment breakdowns, and all the stations were running continuously for eight hours a day on both days. The KW2000B with KW 1000 linear amplifier, and the KW Atlanta with KW1000 linear amplifier ran flat-out virtually the entire time. The KW Victor that let us down last year was more than up to the task this year and was one of the biggest signals on the VMARS net running 70W carrier 250W pep without complaint.