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.
I just got back from a couple of days on the South coast. I spent a day at Birling Gap and walked up the chalk cliffs at Beachy Head, then on Monday, I spent the afternoon at Dungeness. My plan was to do some photography during the day and some HF operating at night.
After a day of strolling around this strange landscape, I finally got round to setting up the HF station. I used an 85AH Leisure Battery, Yaesu FT-897D at 100W and the antenna was an inverted V for 80m up on a 9m fibreglass pole. I was facing a fantastic sunset (and the two nuclear power stations) as can be seen below.
Parked up at Dungeness for some HF operating whilst watching the sun go down.
I used a few different bands, 40m, 60m and 80m. Conditions on 60m and 80m were great for local contacts and I got good signal reports. It was an interesting spot to operate from. (more…)