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May 2014 UHF Contest

On Friday afternoon we began setting up our portable station for the weekend contest. The weather was mainly cloudy, occasionally damp, and with a brisk north-easterly breeze. The grass is long and damp with interesting patches of brambles.

 

Four masts are being prepared:-

 

30ft for 2 x 21 ele on 70cms

 

40ft for 8 x 23 ele on 23cms

 

30ft for a dish on 9cms

 

33 ft for dishes on 6 and 3cms plus 24GHz

 

We had only been on site for a couple of hours before the search and rescue helicopter came to inspect us, followed by a winching exercise on the cliffs just a hundred yards away. We couldn’t hear ourselves think, so we just stood and watched, waiting to put our tent up.

 

My iPhone takes pretty poor pictures, but they’re better than nothing ……….

Ready for action .............
The cliff edge is directly below the winch line

May 2014 UHF Summary

 

On most bands, our scores are a little above those for the corresponding contest last year, athough 3cms bucks this trend for no apparent reason.

 

On 70cms we had 160 QSO’s with the best DX being DK2A in JN69. We had a string of contacts into JO62 on Sunday which was most welcome. Contacts into France were few and far between, but we worked down to JN04. We had two less aerials on 70cms compared to last year, recognising time constraints in setting up.

 

We made 50 contacts on 23cms, best DX was OK2A at 817km. Must remember the voice keyer next time, it’s tough without.

 

We didn’t field a station for 13cms. On 3.4GHz we had 8 QSO’s with the best DX into JO31 at 350km.

 

On 5.7GHz we had 4 QSO’s. The best was into PA0 at 354km. We spent some time wondering if our gear was working correctly, after listening to a very odd signal indeed from the nearby Martlesham beacon. Turns out there’s a problem with the beacon power supply.

 

On 10GHz our best DX was DF0MU at 411km. We also worked stations in G, PA0, ON and F. There were 21 QSO’s.

 

We made 4 contacts on 24GHz. Two of these were across to PA0, which is an excellent result.

 

There are no scores or claims for our entries into the two trophy contests (70cms and 3cms), reflecting our strategy this year on an overall multiband effort.

 

On 5 of the 6 bands that we operated, CW gave us the best DX. Nuff said !

 

Saturday afternoon, four masts and 6 bands qrv
Robin G8APZ, Joe G0JJG and equipment for 6cms, 3cms and 24GHz
Another view of the microwave bands;- 'KST is a full time occupation !
Equipment for 70cms
Phil G0JBA on 23cms
Life on the edge