…. Please forgive the unintended pun in the title!
I first visited RAF Akrotiri as an Air Cadet in the spring of 1992 (before I was licenced and even knew what amateur radio was!) and can remember there being a rather active radio presence co-located with No 1 (Overseas) Sqn, Air Training Corps at RAF Akrotiri with both the callsigns ZC4ATC and ZC4RAF being regularly aired.
During a recent deployment to Aki, I was briefly accommodated very close to the radio club shack. Now derelict and left to rot.
From a distance, and to the uneducated eye, it looks an impressive set-up with a few beam antennas for different bands and a nice long-wire antenna. That is, until you get up close and personal …
The buildings are padlocked and on peering through the windows, full of random items dumped over the years. The main tower has what appears to be a tri-band, trapped, 3-ele beam for HF along with what I can only assume was at one point a 6m beam. This has seen better days and is missing the ends of 3 elements. It also appears that some elements are AWOL altogether! The HF beam looks intact, and possibly re-usable (if only I had a spanner with me!)
There’s also a rather large 2-element beam. The general consensus of opinion reckons this beast was for 40m. Again this one has seen better days. Although relatively complete, it is missing a couple of capacitance hats from the end of a couple of the elements.
The long-wire antenna is still strung up, running from the end of the building (far right in the image below) to the trees next to the main drag (just behind the Lightning gate guard for those that know the base!) Its coax, just like all the others, has had its connectors chopped off and coiled at the base of the mast!
It was such a shame to see what was obviously a very well equipped station at one time now left to rot. Sadly it doesn’t look like it will get any action soon ….