HF Contest Summary Sheet Callsign: M0CAM/P Total Claimed Score: 254,004 Contest: IARU Region 1 SSB Field Day Date: 6-7/9/03 Mode: J3E Single/Multi Op: Multi Section: Restricted Group Name: Granta Contest Group Location: Park Farm, Gt. Chesterford, Essex. Band 160m 80m 40m 20m 15m 10m Total Valid QSOs 0 141 139 163 74 2 519 QSO Points 0 675 607 563 229 8 2082 Bonus/Mult. 0 16 29 44 31 2 122 TX/RX: FT1000MP Power: 100W Antennas: Rotatable 15m Double Extended Zepp @ 50ft Logger: Writelog 10.40J Operators: G0WAT, G4AXX, G4CWH, G4EAG, G4KNO Soapbox: This year saw us welcome Paul G0WAT as a guest operator, we all got on very well and look forward to having Paul join us again in future events. We were looking forward to using our newly developed auto-ATU. In theory this would provide instant QSY without the need to transmit to tune, unlike the previously used SGC Smartuner. We also reckoned it would be lower loss on 80m, the main underperforming band for us. Unfortunately, and despite prior testing, we managed to set fire to the antenna side capacitor bank PCB. Reluctantly therefore we reverted to last year's antenna arrangements. Very disappointing. On the logging side, one of the PC's now being an XP machine means that before every contest we spend several hours getting WL to network properly. We also lost more than half an hour's operating in total with networking re-starts - not a problem previously experienced with WL. Conditions weren't too great on the Saturday. No opening to JA on 15m and 10m dead except for two Q's at 19:30. We were concerned that 15m might not be open again and so concentrated on that band. As it was, 15m did open to JA on the Sunday morning, providing a useful drip feed of Q's. As expected, 80m in particular was the problem band. We notice that our competitors are usually behind us on Q's at midnight but they claw that back principally on 80m by the time 20m opens again on the Sunday. Throughout the contest we were comparing our Q total against what we thought was last year's log. Only after the contest did we realise we were looking at the 2001 log when propagation was far superior! Against 2002's log we're about 25,000 points better off. Considering we got a 10m opening last year, there’s hope. WX was generally good. It did chuck it down early Saturday evening which caused us some problems with local arcing noise. We still don't know where it was coming from but it did create S7 noise on all bands for some time, though the MP noise blanker did a good job.Click on a thumbnail below to see a larger picture.
Andy & Simon setting up.
The Range Rover roof-rack makes a nice platform to work on.
Untangling the wires and guys.
Assembling the double extended Zepp.
It's nice for us to use fields in stubble. If a field's been ploughed it get's far too muddy.
Wiring up the new remote control ATU.
Simon G4EAG taping the wire to the 9m fishing poles.
Andy G4KNO tightening things up.
Simon starts ....
.... winching up the tower
The tower half way up.
And Andy finishes off....
Nearly there .....
.... and Simon takes a guy ....
.... to lock the tower in place.
Well that was the antenna with the new ATU on Friday afternoon.
But on Friday evening we were "training" the ATU software and set fire to the antenna side capacitor bank.
So here it is on Saturday morning with the ATU removed and replaced with the SGC Smarttuner.
All set, the Zepp at 50ft.
Ready for the contest.
Simon setting up a tent with the 4m yagi in the foreground.
Interior view of the caravan, housing the spotting station. The Icom was replaced with Paul's MP on Saturday. The 4m radio and TNC are on top of the power supply on the left. The yellow cable is the ethernet to the WiFi link to the run station.
|It's comforting to hear the spots coming in off the internet in the 4m receiver speaker. We must find a way of restricting the data we send over to the site to Eu sourced spots. When the spots are sourced from the US, most of the time they are inaudible to us.|
The Cellnet base station. We tell Cellnet every time we operate from the site, over the years we've never had any co-location issues.
|View showing the spotting station with Carolina Windom. The run station with rotatable Zepp is in the background.|
The spotting vertical.
The remote filter bank at the base of the spotting vertical.
Worm's eye view of the spotting vertical.
The Range Rover mast supports the Windom and the 4m antenna for the packet cluster feed from Saffron Walden.
The Honda 2kVA generator and line noise filter.
The 4m yagi.
A rainbow graces the sky.
The certificate (2nd), from the RSGB.