Tag Archives: field day

Region 1 Field Day 2009

M0XXT SSB Field Day 2009Field days seem to whoosh by in a seamless tirade of bodily abuse that starts in the balls of the feet, grows through your hands and wind blown cheeks before reminding you that you are starving hungry and you’ve only just taken over the driving seat.

A very dissapointed 1012s QSO this  year and we still can’t work out why we lost ground so fast with the other leading stations, even on 80m where we should have held our own. Certainly having a tribander at only 35 feet is a hell of a penalty to have to suffer every year, but why our 40m and 80m runs were not producing the numbers that the other high-flying entrants were managing? I just don’t know. High probably does mean might. Last year’s 1,000 foot entry was very different on the higher bands to this year. Mostly, we were firing right through a heavy forest. I wonder how much attenuation there is in 500 yards of dense oak trees that are about 80 feet tall? Well, you get my drift.

Filtering this year was amazing. We used a second rig as a dedicated 2nd receiver using James’s new Band Pass Filters, made to Bob Henderson’s designs and we had negligible breakthrough. I can’t wait to use the new permanent multi-two station when we have the stub filters in place too.

Anyway, although I’m gutted that we probably didn’t even make the top three, we still had a good time and achieved some learnings too. Contesting for me is about three things, learning, competing or having fun. Ideally, all those things. This year I had all of them but not at the same time. Knowing that we were beaten within 2 hours of the kick off made me push extremely hard, but we just couldn’t catch the leaders. Grrr.

Oh well, next year we’ll be back, stronger, cleverer and with a better strategy.

C.

Tower Update

DSC_3207Last night, we finally fitted the rotator housing and G450 Yaesu Rotator to the tower and tested it out with a small VHF ZL Special which we’ll use for VHF NFD in July (being at 1,000 feet means that we might be able to get away without high-gain antenna arrays, time will tell).

Barry (M0DGQ) is working on designs for a hinged rotator cage which means we will be able to use a 20 foot aluminium pole at ground level. Maybe next year..?

Anyway, we can now claim the record for putting up a 35 foot antenna: 20 seconds with a hydraulic switch :)

Callum

Mobile Lighting Generator Mast

My_VT-1_at_half_height.jpgA 10k generator and a lighting tower; the ultimate toy for a radio amateur. You get a generator, a hydraulic 10m tower and big, big lights – all in one package. It’s heavy but with a braked trailer and the right vehicle, it’s breeze.

Picture shows tower at about half-height and Barry has kindly offered to make a rotator housing for the very top of the unit which we’ll sort out this winter.

It’s easy to climb on top to make adjustments (mandatory at a field day with rotator housing fitting etc) and only 20 seconds to “wind” the tower up. Fair dinkum, it’s not a 100 foot tower but horses for courses, a great little easy-to-use package.

We should be operational for next Spring (2008) where we can enjoy some lazy days out in the Cotswold Hills on VHF – as well as HF Field Day (which was the initial reason for getting it!).

Pretty, eh?

Callum.