____________________________________________________________________________________ Equipment: FT2000, 116ft doublet at 50ft, open wire feeder 4:1 balun homebrew tuner, N1MM (v8.9.0), 2 networked laptops, no Dxcluster access. Actually really lucky with the wx. Setup & takedown largely rain free, the main deluges occuring during the contest. Just a 2-man effort this year again, but with slightly different personnel. The return of Mark (G4AXX) brought access to all the mast hardware, so we could get the antenna at full height again. Neither of us were able to setup on the Friday, so we suffered the inevitable delay of 40mins at the start. Most of the lost time can be attributed to the strong wind on the Saturday tangling guys and halyards. Our 'big knob/little knob' operation needs to be refined. As it was there was little disadvantage to allowing the spotter to sleep. However, sleep was disrupted by the farm's rats sqeaking outside the tent! Propagation seemed good for this time in the sunspot cycle. Lots of JA's booming in on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons on 20m. In fact we worked Japan, China, Brazil & America in the first hour of the contest, good times are back again! 40m was not as productive as it should have been, with poor propagation to EU overnight. Had problems with log syncing on N1MM, which impeeded 'big knob/little knob' operation. Also it seems not all laptops are equal in the RFI department. Mark's Toshiba Tecra laptop was fine, but Andy's IBM laptop didn't like the RF at all. Generally much enjoyed, although we want to try and cut down on setup/takedown time next time - somehow. Having got to a state of over-complication in the past, we now prefer simplicity. Familiarity reduces stress levels. Band QSO Mults 80 285 22 40 136 20 20 122 28 15 11 6 10 4 1 Total 558 77 Score 176,946 ____________________________________________________________________________________Click on a thumbnail below to see a larger picture.
Arriving at Park Farm, Great Chesterford, Essex.
Unpacking the guy ropes.
Fitting the guys to the trailer mast.
Only two sets of guys are used for the restricted section.
The sleeping tent, and the Land Rover Discovery with it's 40ft pneumatic mast.
Andy G4KNO on VFOA.
The 40ft mast has a 20ft pole on top to get the required 50ft height for the contest. The antenna is at 50ft with halyards from 60ft to support the centre of the doublet.
The vehicle on the edge of a very muddy field.
The guys and halyards on the Land Rover.
The battery operated air compressor for the mast.
View of the site looking south.
The doublet and halyards to support the centre.
The L-match, a croc-clip is used to jump between L-C & C-L.
It rained heavily on Sunday, the roof leaked and we had to bail out the cabin.
Our reliable generator. It purred all through the contest with no fuss at all.
Tear down after the rain.