Islands on the Air Contest 2005

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30-31st July 2005, The Guernsey Amateur Radio Society Clubhouse.

I was invited to join the GU8D team by Chris G3SJJ at the HF Convention in Gatwick, Oct. 2004.

Here are Chris's soapbox comments.

>Generally an enjoyable weekend. Good crossing both ways, good hotel (Le
>Friquet, wine supplier GU4CHY), good hospitality (BBQ at CHY's, Apres
>Contest at Da Nellos (wine by guess who?)  A special thanks to all the GU
>- Good teamwork. Groups allocated to assemble and erect antennas, set up RF
>side, set up computers and network.
>- Run team selected on basis of good run skills, likewise Mult team
>selected for ability to find and work the Mults.
>- RF equipment worked well. The Drake 4B Line didn't blow up despite not
>having been switched on for 18 years.
>- All the antennas worked as planned, despite last minute restrictions on
>use of the adjacent field.
>- Strategy was that Run A Op runs, Run B op works in-band same-mode Mults.
>Mult A op works other bands plus Run opposite mode. Mult B other bands.
>Spotter spots on campus cluster.
>- Band conditions were superb. We had been monitoring Space Weather and
>anticipated it.
>So what happened. I'll tell you what happened, we had mHam Keyers on both
>radios and it looks as though Router v2.14 was bug----d. Numerous times we
>lost rig control and CW went crazy. We had to close down several times and
>then re-boot all computers and re-access the network. I calculate we lost a
>good 200 Qs on the Run station and the resulting 10%, ie 20, mults, plus
>Mult station Router crashes which prevented us accepting moved mults and
>also calling and moving mults. As an example, I worked P3J on 15m SSB on
>the Mult station, agreed 21CW and then 10mCW, only to find that Router crashes
>when I go to CW. It was a farce. My impression of proceedings is that we
>would have been on for around 3K Qs and 500 plus Mults. It just didn't
>happen. I have since experienced this problem at home so it is real and
>still current.
>Writelog also didn't perform. It wasn't as stable as last year. OK, we had
>5 laptops instead of 4, but otherwise the same but one or more machines would
>drop out of the network. It added serial numbers and missed a block. We are
>not sure whether that is connected with the mH Router problem or not.
>More highlights - 20m open over night, 10m open. Rich M5RIC almost pleading
>for us to use the Optibeam on Run and not Mult! (Nope) The 80m and 40m
>verticals working DX Mults despite SVL's insistence they needed more than
>20 radials. Working some JAs on the HF bands! Good UK support (Thanks guys),
>plenty of Cluster spots.
>Run FT1kMP, Mult FT1k Mk5, Spotter FT1kMP rx only.
>Alpha 87A and Acom 2000A amps
>Optibeam 3/11, A4S, 40m diamond loop, 40m GP
>80m dipole, 80m GP and Spotter rx antenna
>5 laptops Wified. Write(c)log
>Main Run ops M5RIC, G4DRS, GU4CHY, G4AXX
>Main Mult ops G4IIY, G3SVL, G3SJJ, GU4EON and GU4WTN
>                      CW                            PHONE
>BAND     Qs   Points  Multipliers      Qs   Points Multipliers
>80       198    1338     37            167   1557    37
>40       251    1461     45            478   3486    56
>20       209    1275     45            579   3381    77
>15       121     795     30            303   1677    49
>10        23     333     23            270   1290    29
>         802            180           1797          248
>16593 points x 428  mults = 7,101,804
>Disappointing considering all the planning and a total expenditure
>approaching 3K. The value of the gear packed into my Freelander on the
>return journey was probably around 20K. Oh yes, The Drake line!  We didn't
>use it. I was running it up on the Club's Variac before bringing it home to
>renovate. Seems to work ok so far.

Click on a thumbnail below to see a larger picture.

Titan Airways, take me to GU

The tower and Optibeam at the back of the clubhouse. The clubhouse is in the corner of the grounds of the hospital, adjacent to a field

The Optibeam 3/11, what a superb antenna!

Some of the antennas in the field, 40m diamond-loop and 80m GP

The Spotting Receiver vertical

The A4S

The Run station, setting up before the start the contest, with an Alpha 87A autotune amp (tnx Ed GU3SQX)

Friday night, a BBQ hosted by Dick GU4CHY (QSLs were exchanged between G4AXX & GC4CHY for a QSO in 1973)

Chris pours a glass of wine

Rich switches from MU5RIC/P to GU8D at 1200Z, and hits the ground running at the start of the contest

(Furthest away) Ian G4IIY & John G4DRS on the Run station and Chris G3SVL (closest) tweaking the network

Chris, John & Ian again on Run

Dick GU4CHY building the score on 40m CW

Ian G4IIY on the Multiplier station

Ian (L) and Rich (R) on the Mult station

Mark G4AXX & Chris G3SVL on the Run station

Chris G3SJJ on the Multiplier station

Dick GU4CHY and Andy GU4WTN on Mult

Chris G3SVL watches the cluster and patrols the bands. Island-hunting with an Optibeam and an Acom 2000A - like shooting fish in a barrel!

Spotting Rx

Chris G3SJJ packing up

Apres contest at De Nello's

Mike cracks a joke, just look at our expressions - priceless humour

Aurigny Airlines, take me home

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