A few of us decided to have a go in the RSGB 21/28MHz contest on Sunday. We used Georges call, M1GEO and a combination of equipment from us all. I brought my 3 element 28MHz Yagi, Dave M0TAZ brought the two masts and his 21MHz 4 element Yagi, while George and his dad brought the Icom IC-7700 and generator. Fred G3SVK also came and done some CW.
UK stations can only work outside the UK and non UK stations can only work UK stations. This made it quite hard work as there was not much activity due to the bands not being in good shape, especially 10m. We could hear some beacons though, although not strong, we received a beacon in Brazil and one in Argentina. We did work some good DX however, including South Africa, Uruguay, Brazil and VP8NO in the Falkland Islands on 28MHz.
The operating table.
Still, we had fun operating outside in the October sunshine for possibly the last time this year!
We had a fun day up at Kelvedon Hatch on Sunday for the Practical Wireless 70MHz contest with fantastic weather yet again!
Dave M0TAZ was operating with his Racal PU12 mast and IC-7100 and I brought along my amplifier and Yagi for this once a year event. There was good activity although as predicted, the final hour was a bit slow going.
We were operating for the whole four hours, running 160W into an 8.24dB Yagi giving an ERP of ~1kW and we worked a total of 47 stations, of which the best DX was GM4JR at 454km. We also worked into Wales and The Netherlands.
As PW contests do not give you a QSO map, I plotted my own in Google Maps by exporting a KML file from the Minos logging software. The QSO map can be seen here.
A photo of the field can be seen below…
PW 70MHz Contest 2015 at Kelvedon Hatch
I also took some video on my phone, which can be seen below…
You can also read Dave’s article on his website. George M1GEO, Chris G8OCV, Dave M0YOL and some others also attended to play some radio so it was a good day all round!
We had some great September weather today for the 2nd 70MHz contest. We setup at the Kelvedon Hatch ‘Secret Nuclear Bunker’ as seen above, using my new 70MHz amplifier at 160w and my 4 element DK7ZB 12.5Ω Yagi.
Conditions seemed quite normal, we worked no Scotland or Ireland but our best DX (as many others) was PA4VHF at 449km. Other highlights were GJ3YHU in Jersey and M1CJN/P in the North York Moors. Total contacts was 46.
A very enjoyable day of operating and testing the new amplifier. Next week, it’s the Practical Wireless 70MHz contest, so lets hope for the same weather and some band openings perhaps? Maybe I’m asking too much 🙂
The Claimed Scores are available. Thanks to Dave M0TAZ, George M1GEO, Dave M0YOL and Chris G8OCV for help & company, and of course everyone we worked (or tried to work!).
On Sunday, Dave and I went to South Weald to take part in the 144MHz Backpackers Contest. We used Dave’s 9 element Tonna 6m AGL and 10w from the Icom IC-7100. The weather was perfect, blue skies and sunshine and hardly a breeze! Dave worked 51 stations and some good DX for low power, due to the big stations competing in the 144MHz Trophy contest. We managed contacts with England, Wales, Scotland, France, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. Our best DX was DR4X at 648 KM. The QSO map can be seen below.
5th Backpackers 2015 QSO map
I brought along some 70MHz equipment, which I set up after packing away the 144MHz gear and spent about an hour on 4m working 8 stations. All in all, a good days operating in the sun!
Some amateur friends (that sounds odd, but you know what I mean!) were playing radio this weekend from the Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker in Essex. I decided on Saturday to build a 70MHz Yagi and have a go in the 70MHz Cumulatives contest. I had some spare aluminium and wanted an antenna with good performance that wasn’t too bulky and therefore easy for portable operation. I decided to build a DK7ZB design as I have had great success with them in the past.
70MHz 4 element 12.5ohm DK7ZB Yagi
I decided on Version 1 on this page. Its a 12.5Ω design and has around 8.24dBd gain. The gain vs size is excellent, matching Yagi’s almost twice the length, except this one I can fit in the car. The compromise is the narrow bandwidth, and therefore tolerances were very small and build was rather critical. I adjusted the antenna slightly in EZNEC to suit my ½” tube. First tests with the antenna showed that it was a perfect 1.0:1 SWR at 69.5MHz and 1.7:1 at 70.2MHz. I trimmed 10mm off each element and that got it spot on 70.2MHz. We did well in the contest and a QSO map is available. We worked 40 stations in 2 hours, which I think is good for 70MHz. Our best DX was PA4VHF at 449km.
70MHz Cumulatives QSO map
Thanks to George M1GEO for allowing me to use the site and Dave M0TAZ for the use of his mast!
At the weekend, we took part in the RSGB RoPoCo (ROtating POst COdes) contest, which is always fun. We operated with Dave’s call, M0TAZ, from a portable location. Last year, we did really well, and we had zero errors in the log. Activity seemed a bit lower this year, but we did start 10 minutes late as Dave M0TAZ forgot to bring a key part of the equipment, the battery! We worked 47 stations in an hour and twenty minutes.
RoPoCo 2015 – After setting up the antenna, Dave has to drive home and get the battery he forgot to bring!
Its always funny when you are given odd exchanges. I remember last year we was given 001 to pass on rather than a postcode and this year was no different, with a few odd exchanges but we just passed them on as there’s not a lot you can do! We used my IC-7200 with a half wave inverted v, 11m at the centre.
RoPoCo 2015 – the setup inside the car.
Look forward to next year and I’m sure we Dave wont forget the battery next time 🙂
At the weekend, M0TAZ and myself took part in the first 1.8MHz Contest. We have taken part in these for a few years now, most notably 3 years ago in 6″ of snow, and last year getting the car bogged in the mud. We usually do quite well in the SSB only category, as most participants opt for CW or mixed.
Thankfully this year was mild, and not so muddy. The contest runs from 9PM to 1AM, and we used a top band dipole fed with 300Ω feeder. The centre of the dipole was at 60 ft (18m), and was of course 260ft (80m) long.
The big inverted V.
Using an Icom 7100 and 32w (the maximum for this part of the band) we managed to work 60 stations including England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Netherlands and Germany. Activity from the UK seemed to be low, perhaps due to the contest falling on Valentines day this year.
Our club operated in the CQ World Wide contest this year. We had 2 main stations running, one on 20m and the other on 15m. Some QSO’s were had on other bands too. Together, we totalled 1743 contacts. I also worked 50 from home in about an hour on 15m. More info and photos from our clubs activity can be seen here. Below is a pic of me operating the 15m station. Oh, and I shaved the beard off 🙂